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Author Topic: Santhworld - Program Development  (Read 66398 times)
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« on: 23 April 2008, 23:48:45 »

This thread was opened to deal with development of the Santhworld program only. New general features will be announced and discussed here before and after their implementation. So everything technical goes here, all kinds of suggestions and ideas on what the program should be able to do, how to do it, what could be improved and what new modules should be added etc. should be posted here.

The latest features that was implemented is the sound support, so I post details how to test it below, by taking the post about it from the Lorehold thread:

Ok, guys, there's now a Santhworld version online that supports music and sound effects... - We need people checking this out - go here as usual! 

You can try now the things I've described above in the Nepris module. - Note that we're testing how this works, so I assume you need to have a fast internet connection, a 56K modem probably won't do you any good. Well, please report back if you hear the music, if there is a lag etc. (You can still play without music, see command at the end of this post. By default the music is on, and it will start in the NEPRIS module.)

To test it, do this:

- START NEPRIS

- Click through and you'll hear the Nepris music start. There are 2 Vladeptus pieces that will play in a loop, and it is random which one is picked first to start.

- You can hear simple sound effects once you have reached Nepris by looking in your inventory (command INVENTORY) and then READ INSTRUCTIONS. There are three different sound effects if you go through that.

- You can go until the bridge (north all the way), and if you go to the east one step before the bridge you get to a cliff. You will experience that the volume of the background music is reduced and that you'll hear the crashing waves. Go back and the waves will fade out and the background musci will increase.

- Then you have some sounds in the Prosperous Farmhouse. Just head all the way north, then east from your start point and then ENTER. Explore the area, try OPEN TRAPDOOR when you find it and hunt down the snoring...

- You can turn off the sound completely by typing SOUND OFF and turn it on with SOUND ON. Note that SOUND ON will turn the sound on, but it will only start again if a sound event is fired.

---------------------

We are aware of one small problem - namely that the decreasing of the volume is abrupt (e.g. if you enter the farmhouse), while the increasing is gradually. We'll fix that.

Anyway, feedback needed now.
« Last Edit: 29 October 2008, 22:49:34 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged



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« Reply #1 on: 23 April 2008, 23:54:05 »

Santhworld Mysteries of Nepris and Santhworld Program Development were now both added as own project threads and can also be accessed directly via the Masterplans/Project menu to the left.
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« Reply #2 on: 23 April 2008, 23:59:25 »

I can hear all the sound effects mentioned; very pretty!  grin Anyway, there is no lag on my end, and I run on Cable [Broadband]. Never mind my comment about SOUND OFF, it was a mistake. All seems to run smoothly.
« Last Edit: 24 April 2008, 00:01:38 by Gaffin » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: 24 April 2008, 00:04:07 »

Hmmm... No, both music and sound effects should fade out and disappear into nothingness. I have experienced something similar as well, but wasn't sure if it wasn't just a testing environment problem. In which room did you turn off the sound? What effect were you hearing? And does it happen as well if you start fresh, enter Nepris and then say SOUND OFF?  huh
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« Reply #4 on: 24 April 2008, 00:05:27 »

Aha... I see you edited out your problem, so the problem seems to have disappeared - maybe the fade out took a while? (longer than you needed for posting) lol
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« Reply #5 on: 24 April 2008, 00:08:28 »

I guess it did, because it took longer for it to fade out than it took me to type in INVENTORY and READ INSTRUCTIONS to see if the sound effects were turned off... but I swear I never heard it fade out until I re-entered the page!  undecided
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« Reply #6 on: 24 April 2008, 00:12:16 »

Well, we'll keep an eye on that - fade out time could also be reduced somewhat mayhaps.
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« Reply #7 on: 27 April 2008, 22:54:44 »

I've made a Santhworld introductory page now for the site, which will be opened if you click the Santhworld Experience link on the Website menu. From there you can open the program itself (opens now always in a new window) and have all the information needed presented on the page. Well, at least most of it, as module info and some more stuff still will be added, but the most important things should now be easily accessible. And if you want to look something up while you play, the main site is still open displaying the help page.

The Help module will also be somewhat changed to accomodate the final changes (eliminating the GOTO command and stuff), and the program will start eventually directly with the module selection as the introductory page already provides most of the help you need anyway.

BTW: Grinch has something else regarding the interface design up his sleeve that I planned right from the beginning, but had no time to get it done properly.Sso I'm happy that realization of this has pretty much progressed already. Should be up in a while, though there is still some work to do. :)
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« Reply #8 on: 04 May 2008, 18:34:59 »

Ok, I've uploaded the latest version now which bring a good deal of more stuff in Nepris. More about that in the Nepris thread.

So what's new in general:

- First of all, this version features what Grinch has been working on in this week - a first version of the soft/blur scroller. If you have more in the textbox (or in the keywords list) as can be displayed, you see the scrollars. If you scroll now you will see a pixel-by-pixel instead of a line-by-line scrolling. There's also a blur effect if you scroll quickly and the scroller slows down if it gets to the scroll target.

Note that the scroller isn't completely finished yet. There's a problem with bold texts that will display in the text from time to time as if there is no space between the bold text and the previous words. Grinch is working on this.

You can also use your mousewheel to scroll (if you're in the area of the textbox or keyword list) and you can also scroll up/down via Page Up/Down (currently works only if you don't have a combobox selection displayed!).

- We can now also smoothly decrease music volume and can determine by parameters how long sound should fade in and out (depending on the situation).

- Santhworld also now starts with the module selection, not with the Help menu anymore. Use e.g. START NEPRIS to start the Nepris module.

- We also have the possibility to define generic rooms, which serve as templates. For example I've created a forest room and a graveyard room and can place these rooms with a few mouseclicks multiple times on the map. We then only need to change specific room descriptions which differ from the template. If I change the template (pic or text etc.) all rooms change instantly :)

- The scroller is only the first part of changes in this respect. What we plan next is to clear the text window only if you enter a new room or talk to a person. Otherwise command and resulting text should be added at the bottom and the program will scroill that upwards. Still in the works, but we hope we can accomplish this soon as well, though it's not so easy as it sounds.

Ok, more details on Nepris content in the Nepris thread. Questions, comments on general stuff - please post here. Nepris stuff e.g. should be posted in the Nepris thread.

BTW: Grinch will be awarded with his own team page soon for his dedicated work - so watch out for his member page :)
« Last Edit: 04 May 2008, 18:38:41 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged



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« Reply #9 on: 04 May 2008, 20:48:19 »

I was just about to ask, dear sage.... what are we paying Grinch, as he seems to be toiling mightily on our behalf?  :)   Perhaps I should dedicate my next song to him?  Speaking of which, there's still a couple available for download.  I'll go get you one right now....
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« Reply #10 on: 06 May 2008, 01:21:01 »

Ah yes, I'll buy Grinch a candy bar tomorrow for his effort... lol - And well, if you dedicate a song to him, he'll be delighted as well.

Anyway, we're having a lot of fun together developing Santhworld, and Grinch has turned in a real pro in the last months :D

That said, I'm happy to announce that we've made the decisive breakthrough today in the final real important scroll-design element that we thought essential. We can be pretty proud of that I think, but it will last a few more days until we can put that online, as we need to test things and I need to write proper questions now in the dialogues.

How it works now is this: The textbox doesn't clear the text every time you enter a keyword, but adds the command (as bold text) and then the answer it to the bottom of the textbox and then scrolls it up smoothly. Only if you move into another room the textbox will be cleared.

This allows also very cool dialogue handling, because if you write a keyword now in a dialogue you won't get a command, but actually a full question (as bold text) and then the answer to it. That's the way I intended it right from the start, but we didn't have the means for it yet - now the dialogues are very much alive, it's just marvelous interactivity, I think :) - Stay tuned, an update will be coming within the next days!
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« Reply #11 on: 08 May 2008, 01:24:49 »

Okeydokey - it is done!  computer

Grinch and I have finalized the technical changes I talked about above, and the content was now adjusted to reflect the program changes.

What has changed is hard to miss actually, so check it out - walk around, examine things and talk with characters to notice the design changes in the interface. Summarized:

- Room descriptions now fade/roll in
- In a room/during the duscussions with characters commands will be displayed in the main text window, corresponding text is added below and it will scroll up softly.
- If a text is larger than the text window, the scroll will stop at the first line you haven't read.
- Dialogues are still lead with keywords, but you get fuil questions and player actions based on the keyword displayed.
- Commands and player dialogue is displayed in bold to serve as an anchor point for the eye.
- Santhworld can now be played solely by keyboard only. Which means: You can scroll the main text window with the Page Up/Down keys, also if there is a combobox selection displayed. You can change a combo selection still with the Cursor Up/Down keys. You can confirm in combos with ENTER, nothing new here. You can move around with the Numpad keys (see Santhworld Introduction here). All this combined this means that you don't need the mouse anymore :)
- In the process handling was "normalized" as good as possible, so that commands should display consistently throughout the game (e.g. "Examine Ship" instead of "Looking at Ship" etc.) Part of this "normalization" was also to add proper questions at all existing dialogues, which of course contributes mainly to the overall atmopshere.

All this was a lot of work to finally get going, and it was mostly Grinch's devoted commitment to make all those little details work perfectly (and of which you are lucky not to know what they actually were, saves hair loss). I really have to commend him on the fantastic job he did - without him it wouldn't have been possible to reach such a level of interactivity and atmosphere with Santhworld within such a short period of time.

So I hope you enjoy the new version as much as we do, and can provide us with desperately needed feedback!

And here you go: Santhworld 2.0 - have fun! cool
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« Reply #12 on: 15 May 2008, 22:18:19 »

Feedback still needed guys, Grinch has been working his *beep* off on this! :D

Grinch has now delivered another version, which I just uploaded. It has the following problems fixed:

- Clicking the OK button as fast as possible or hitting RETURN repeatedly even while the program still loads stuff won't lead to a possible undefined state anymore. This was a major issue as it could throw you out of a combo selection and in the worst case leave you in no man's land...

- Smaller interface corrections were done, so that transition from loading screen to interface now works more smoothly.

- Mouseclicks on the scrollbar arrows sometimes didn't really trigger, this should now be a problem of the past as well.

A few things we will also fix in the next version is that in the Trivia module the window is cleared again regularly when new questions are posed or quizzes are started. Currently it is treated like a single room and the text is added and added etc.

It will also be possible technically to base quest conditions on the amount of items you have collected, which means: Someone could tell you to collect three plants, and only if you have all three the quest is completed and you get a reward.

We also plan to expand the Score a bit. Currently it displays e.g. that you have achieved 30 out of 340 points in the module, we also want to compute the percentage you have solved based on these numbers and put it out. Based on the amount of percentage we also want to display a funny title and perhaps a little explanation, e.g. if you have a score between 0 and 10 you could get the text

You have completed 7% of the game, which earns you the title Good-for-Nothing. Well, see it the positive way: If nothing would be your objective you could consider yourself quite good.

Something like that. - We could use some creative minds thinking up titles and explanations, e.g. for each 10%... - Help appreciated!

We could also need more quests and stuff to implement, now that we can turn full attention to the implementation of content. I still have a quest from Alysse, so that will come soon - what about the greenhouse, Mira?

Note: Even sound effects (or ideas on sound effects) are helpful - Lorehold is next to get sound!  cool
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« Reply #13 on: 20 May 2008, 22:08:49 »

I'm talking to myself, but I'm a good listener :)

New small fixes from Grinch:

- Trivia now clears the scroll once again with the new system (which means we can clear and fill the scroll at will)
- Combined maniacal ENTER and mouse-OK click could still cause a problem at combos when played online - is now fixed.

I've added by now:
- Mini-cheese quest added to the Lorehold
- Editor now can put out precisely the files that have changed, thus making updating a simple process (so far I had to upload all Santhworld files, ca. 20 MB)
- The Santhworld Introduction (accessibke through the website menu) has also a further link on top to the Lorehold module - there you find a Lorehold introduction, a quest list (so that you can check if you've completed all quests so far) and a maps overview for that module (was updated as well)

Grinch is already planning role playing elements with a battle system. Not to be expected within the next months, nevertheless. Even with a minimal version this is a massive effort. We're preparing more in this respect though.
« Last Edit: 20 May 2008, 22:10:39 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged



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« Reply #14 on: 20 May 2008, 23:35:31 »

Oh!  I had a play around the other day, and the only thing I noticed was that there were certain rooms on the little map which I didn't seem to be able to get to - the ones diagonally linked from the box I was in.  Is it not possible to go South-East, or North-West?  Or am I (probably) just missing something?

And how do you pick stuff up to put in your inventory?

Nice Music btw, I feel all relaxed.  I also love Pinn and his little ship - the picture is so mournful and kinda cute.
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