GraLL - Take The Test (Update: 18th August 2007)

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Postby nikki » Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:57 am

PolyVox wrote:I've noticed all the levels (at least so far) are flat - maybe you can just prevent the ball going blow a certain z value?

I don't think that'd be a good solution because of the acid and pits. There are also ramps, bridges and jumps the later levels.

PolyVox wrote:Actually, on that note, maybe you should version the installers?

I think I'll do that. I'll version them by date, like so: "GraLL_Setup_15.8.2007". Is that good?

Jerky wrote:How hard would it be to make a patch? (maybe just a small file with the new exe?)

But then, people who haven't downloaded the game before will have to download the old installer and the patch. Or are you saying that I should make a new installer as well as a patch?

syedhs wrote:And being a curious person, I looked into the binary folders and notice that.. woot.. how come there are 2 scene managers here, octree & bsp.. and bsp is unusually large.. I mean really huge and cant compress well.

:)

EDIT: I think I found a solution to the 'fall-through-floor' problem!

EDIT 2: Yay! I fixed it. Stay tuned for an update.
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Postby nikki » Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:45 am

Update!
Here's a patch for all those people using the latest version (especially PolyVox, who reported the bug). I will not release a complete setup, because I just want to test a bugfix I did. To get it, go here. Extract the file into the application directory (by default, 'C:\Program Files\GraLL'). Let it overwrite the existing file.

Tell me if the 'fall-through-floor' bug still happens.
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Postby Jerky » Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:24 pm

nikki wrote: Or are you saying that I should make a new installer as well as a patch?


Exactly. This installer is for those who havent yet downloaded it and the patch if for those who have who do not need to download the whole thing again and reinstall. The less passing through windows installer, the better (uninstall -> reinstall = headache).
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Postby PolyVox » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:54 pm

Wahoo, the patch works and I no longer fall through the floor. Now I'm on Level 8 :D

But i think you've also changed the friction on the floor? I noticed that sometimes I slid around more than I used to. I think is fine though, it feels natural. Some remaining comments:

I struggled with the moving platform at the start of level 7. Getting on was very easy, getting off was nearly impossible. It seemed to be a matter of luck rather than skill which was frustrating.

Every time I approached that platform, a box would pop up telling me what to do. Maybe this box should only be displayed the first time? Or at least I should be able to press a different key to not show it again?

It crashed when I went in the acid at the start of level 8. I haven't tried reproducing this though.

But basically, excellent game! I love the puzzles!
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Postby nikki » Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:12 am

PolyVox wrote:I struggled with the moving platform at the start of level 7. Getting on was very easy, getting off was nearly impossible. It seemed to be a matter of luck rather than skill which was frustrating.

Well, you'll get used to it. The trick is to start getting off the platform before you actually hit the destination. This way, you'll already be half off the platform, and when you hit the destination, that half will touch the floor and you'll roll of cleanly due to inertia. See, 8 months of continuous testing does pay off after all. :)

The moving platform was surely the toughest obstacle to program. It worked by checking whether the player was above it, and if he was, it'd move him forward. The problem here is that if the player is on two platforms (like standing halfway in between two tiles), both the platforms will detect him and he'll move double the amount. It required a few really cool hacks to fix. :)

PolyVox wrote:It crashed when I went in the acid at the start of level 8. I haven't tried reproducing this though.

Hmm... Not sure why that happened. Did the level already start reloading (you'll see the loading message) after you failed, or did it crash right when you fell into the acid?

PolyVox wrote:But basically, excellent game! I love the puzzles!

The puzzles are an important part of the game. In such a game, its all about creative obstacles and good level design. I spent a lot of time designing the levels in such a way that every level has a new idea, a new challenge. This makes it really interesting and makes the player want to see what's next.
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Postby nikki » Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:56 am

Update!
There has been yet another update to the game. Check out the website and download it. There is a patch too, so that you'll have a small download if you already have the game. This time, there have been a few bugfixes, mainly the addition of the ability to slide along walls. I think this will be the final update.

I am going on a tour of East Asia for a week (I am visiting Kuala Lumpur too, syedhs! :) ), and I will not be able to fix any bugs you report (although I can check your comments).

Best of luck! Hope you have fun playing the game! :)
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Postby nikki » Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:41 am

I still don't get how I should popularize the game. What's the use of making a good (well, I'm not praising my self, I'm just saying) game when nobody knows it even exists? I've put it on GameDev, Devmaster, here, emailed everyone I know, and posted on few other forums I know. Is there anything else I can do?

Maybe I should Slashdot it. Or maybe someone else could do it for me, so that the Slashdot guys don't think I'm self-promoting. :twisted:
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Postby Trosan » Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:09 pm

Over here, nearly every game magazine has a monthly game contest which one can participate in. The software is then distributed on their magazine DVD.

Perhaps there's something like that over there were you live, too.
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Postby PolyVox » Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:38 pm

nikki wrote:I still don't get how I should popularize the game. What's the use of making a good (well, I'm not praising my self, I'm just saying) game when nobody knows it even exists? I've put it on GameDev, Devmaster, here, emailed everyone I know, and posted on few other forums I know. Is there anything else I can do?


Well the fact is it's very hard to do! However, I'd say you're targeting the wrong communities - in the Ogre, GameDev etc are game developer communities rather than players. You should target site which game players look at - I don't know what they are but I'm sure googleing for 'free games' will help.

I know there is this 'softpedia' site which rates and provides downloads of free software. And I'm sure there's other examples.

One thing I would say, is make sure you have the real final version, and include a link to your homepage in the game. Better still put a link to your homepage or updates in the start menu. The point is that many game distribution sites may host you file themselves rather than linking to your download. They may also pass it on to other people. You could lose control quite quickly. I'm only speculating here - I've never actually released a game myself!

nikki wrote:Maybe I should Slashdot it. Or maybe someone else could do it for me, so that the Slashdot guys don't think I'm self-promoting. :twisted:


To be honest it won't make slashdot. Even releases of Blender and Ogre don't make it there.
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Postby nikki » Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:46 pm

PolyVox wrote:
nikki wrote:Maybe I should Slashdot it. Or maybe someone else could do it for me, so that the Slashdot guys don't think I'm self-promoting. :twisted:


To be honest it won't make slashdot. Even releases of Blender and Ogre don't make it there.

Hehe... I was only joking (hence the emoticon). I know it won't make Slashdot.

Thanks for the other info though. I'll look into it.
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Postby PolyVox » Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:40 pm

I made it to Egypt! However I'm having problems with the physics on the invisible walls which appear when you touch them. Sometimes GraLLwill roll *up* the wall, and end up hovering in the air while touching the wall. This happens quite a lot, and is stopping me completing the second egyption level. See the screenshot below:

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Postby nikki » Fri Aug 17, 2007 3:01 pm

PolyVox wrote:I made it to Egypt! However I'm having problems with the physics on the invisible walls which appear when you touch them. Sometimes GraLLwill roll *up* the wall, and end up hovering in the air while touching the wall. This happens quite a lot, and is stopping me completing the second egyption level.

Woah... You actually made it that far. Congrats! Unfortunately, I'll be leaving town in an hour, and I'm not sure whether I can fix it. I'll try.
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Postby nikki » Fri Aug 17, 2007 3:21 pm

Ok, I think I've fixed it. You can get the patch here.

Thanks for the bug reports and suggestions PolyVox! You have been of great help. I hope you complete all the levels (or at least until level 25, after that its insane :twisted:).
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Postby nikki » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:08 pm

Update!
There has been yet another update fixing a small bug. Check out the website for a patch as well as a setup. The version number actually refers to tomorrow because there was already an update today.

Have fun playing! I'll be out of town for a week, so I won't be able to fix bugs, but I might be able to check your comments.

Thanks for your help! :)
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Postby PolyVox » Fri Aug 17, 2007 7:18 pm

Cool, that fixed my sticking to walls problem! I'm now on level 15 which is a bit tricky... I'm still not good with the moving platforms :twisted:

I went back and played the first couple of levels (because I like the music!) and as it loaded level 3 it crashed (same problem I had with level 8 before). This time I checked the log, and the answer is in there:

Code: Select all
19:13:16: Mesh: Loading Level3.mesh.
19:13:16: Parsing Object: Type: Player | Arguments: 90 | Position: -85 5 -115 | Orientation: 1 0 0 0
19:13:16: Parsing Object: Type: Crate | Arguments: none | Position: -15 7.5 -75 | Orientation: 1 0 0 0
19:13:16: Parsing Object: Type: Bomb | Arguments: GreenBomb | Position: -15 5 -55 | Orientation: 1 0 0 0
19:13:16: Parsing Object: Type: EndPad | Arguments: none | Position: 35 5 -95 | Orientation: 1 0 0 0
19:13:16: Parsing Object: Type: HelpMessage | Arguments: GrnBomb | Position: -43.2773 4.99508 -75.6131 | Orientation: 1 0 0 0
19:13:16: An exception has been thrown!

-----------------------------------
Details:
-----------------------------------
Error #: 6
Function: OverlayManager::createOverlayElement
Description: OverlayElement with name GUIBase.w60 already exists..
File: ..\src\OgreOverlayManager.cpp
Line: 549
Stack unwinding: <<beginning of stack>>
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Postby PolyVox » Fri Aug 17, 2007 7:26 pm

Oh, and another thing, are you releasing your source at some point? I have vague memories of you mentioning 'Nikki's Game Framework' at some point in the past.
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Postby jacmoe » Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:05 pm

He said so a little while ago, so .. :)
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Cool

Postby capture » Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:07 pm

I decided to mention grall in my blog. http://blog.spocore.com/?p=18
I just love this game!
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Postby nikki » Sun Aug 19, 2007 2:07 pm

@esuvs: Wow! You actually finished level 13? Impressive. I was really nervous whether people would quit due to some of the levels being really hard. And about level 15, I only have one clue for you: The name of the level. :)

And I encountered that bug too. I thought I fixed it. I'll look into it when I get back.

@capture: Oh, thanks! Seems that it came up on Digg too. May be I can expect a few more downloads. :)

@everyone: Thanks for the great comments guys! I'm on a ship right now and the internet here is slower than a sleepy tortoise (hence the lack of quoting), so I can't say much more.

Thanks for playing! Hope you have fun! :)
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Postby PolyVox » Sun Aug 19, 2007 4:37 pm

nikki wrote:@esuvs: Wow! You actually finished level 13? Impressive. I was really nervous whether people would quit due to some of the levels being really hard. And about level 15, I only have one clue for you: The name of the level. :)


Well I'm now on level 20, and haven't figured out yet how I'm supposed to do it... As for it being too hard, I can tell you that my total failure count it 367. That means I'm failing each level an average of 18 times, but obviously it's more like 30-40 times on the later levels and just a few time on the earlier ones. Is this too hard? I'd say it probably is but hopefully i'll keep making progress...
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lol

Postby capture » Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:01 pm

@capture: Oh, thanks! Seems that it came up on Digg too. May be I can expect a few more downloads. Smile

I actually hit the digg button from your download page to get it started also. :)
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Postby nikki » Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:00 pm

@esuvs: Man, you're really good! You made it so far so fast! And about it being hard, its meant to be that way. Its hard, but its addicting (read: "No, I'm gonna get it this time! <boom> No, this time! <boom> That's it. This time its for sure <boom>..."), just like Chips Challenge and Jumper 2. Remember one thing though: It gets a lot harder from now on (and a lot more fun too). Get ready to fail many times before passing. Best of luck!

Also, did you like the 15th level puzzle? :)

@capture: There's a Digg link on my download page? Wow. I didn't know that. :)
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Postby PolyVox » Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:27 pm

Wahoo! I made it to level 21 - the third stage. I like what happened it was very cool (though for a minute I wondered if I should file a bug report!).

I must say though, level 20 was infeasibly difficult. I must have tried it almost 100 times before I found a consistent way of getting across the ice in the third puzzle... Also there seemed to be a bug in the collision detection in that Grall would often get stuck inside the fan on the right hand side of this puzzle.

Good work once again!
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Postby nikki » Sat Sep 01, 2007 7:55 am

PolyVox wrote:Wahoo! I made it to level 21 - the third stage. I like what happened it was very cool (though for a minute I wondered if I should file a bug report!).

I must say though, level 20 was infeasibly difficult. I must have tried it almost 100 times before I found a consistent way of getting across the ice in the third puzzle... Also there seemed to be a bug in the collision detection in that Grall would often get stuck inside the fan on the right hand side of this puzzle.

Good work once again!

Wow! Congratulations!

100 tries? That's a lot. What motivated you to keep trying?

And also, I'm now back from my vacation (remember when I said I am going to move everything to my mom's laptop, that's when it started). I'll now try popularizing GraLL a bit.

Best of luck with the next levels!
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:)

Postby klarax » Sat Sep 01, 2007 4:41 pm

The game's looking good.

Wish there was more backgrounds tho, rather than the blackness all around. Simple skybox would solve that :)

Good work :)
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