Derelict Demo is finally done for OSX and PC! - well, almost

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by Mark Fassett, Aug 12, 2004.

  1. Mark Fassett

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    16 months in the hole, and Derelict is almost done. But before I drop it in the "finished" pile, I thought I'd try to get your opinions on it, and a quicky, last test across a lot more (hopefully) computers than I have in my room.

    Thanks to PTK and it's emphasis on easy portability, I've got two versions of the demo for you, Mac OSX and PC. If you have a mac with OSX on it, I'd prefer to get your feedback on that. It's hasn't seen near as many machines as the windows version has.

    Mac OSX Version

    Windows Version

    And in case you want to see before you download (which will ruin the surprise), screens can be found at here. Some of them need to be updated (well - most of them), and they will be before I release, but they will give you an idea.

    Currently, the only adjustments I'm planning on making before calling it final is removing all the "beta" text and making the "Buy Now!" links go to the right place. Don't worry about adding more work to the pile. I'm currently trying to stave off post completion depression (as well as having to complete all the web coding I have to do). So pile on!
     
  2. Dingo Games

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    Hi Mark, I tried out Mac version. It seems to work perfectly.

    It's a cool game. I came up with a few suggestions, but they are mainly just minor things that would add to the polish.

    -It would be good to have a scroll bar on the popup text boxes. Text boxes don't feel right without it.

    -"Press A Key to continue".. I thought I was supposed to press the "A" key to continue. Which would work.. but I think it should say "any". But maybe it's just me.

    -Save files go straight into the game folder. Apparently, on mac you don't necessarily have permission to save there. So you are supposed to save in "~/Library/preferences" or possibly "application support".

    -Graphics are pretty nice.. certainly better than I could do.. but I think they would be much nicer with alpha for smoothing the edges. Seeing as how they are 3d models, all you would have to do is change a rendering setting to get alpha. Of course that would probably be a big pain to do at this point, and maybe the game runs faster without using alpha.

    -When you config your keys, you can set everything to the same key. This makes sense for the shoot and strafe, but locking the other ones, so that this isn't possible would better, I think.

    Well, I think the game is very good and ready to release. Feel free to ignore these comments, because they don't make much difference overall. btw, this is on a new eMac.. I don't know the exact model because it's not mine.

    Good luck :)
     
  3. Mark Fassett

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    Agreed. Probably do them in an update.

    Perhaps just a lowercase 'a'?

    Yeah. I hope someone who knows for sure what you're supposed to do and how to do it. I was negligent and didn't grab that thread on Dex that covered this whole topic. Yes, I'm lazy and a newbie mac user. Finding things in the docs is a real chore compared to MSDN.

    There's a story here. At one time, the game was done in a custom DDraw engine that didn't have alpha support. The switch to PTK (with alpha support) didn't happen until months after the character art was done. Getting the art rerendered and re-imported into the game is likely a multi-month job. As much as I might like to do it, I have a hard time imagining that the time expenditure would be worth it.

    Hahaha - I never thought of that. Will have to be fixed.


    Thanks alot. I really appreciate the feedback.
     
  4. princec

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    Tried Win32 version - love it! The graphics are just fine, sound is ok, the gameplay is challenging - possibly a little too difficult but this might be the controls ;), I always turn game music off anyway.

    Actually the controls are pretty difficult but I imagine that's because of the need to learn to strafe effectively so early on.

    But the main ingredients - fun, exploration, gameplay, challenge, shootin' stuff - are all just totally kosher, like Supreme With Cheese. I'm looking forward to its final release.

    I'll play a bit more later with the other characters.

    Cas :)
     
  5. Red Marble Games

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    Mark, re your question about where to put save games on Macs -- the two approved choices are the Preferences folder or the Application Support folder. As I've recently discovered, this is an important thing to attend to, as you have to have admin privileges to write to most other places and a fair percentage of Mac users don't have themselves set up as the admin (go figure). The easiest way to find the right folders is with the FindFolder API; go to Apple's developer site and search on FindFolder and it will pop right up. Of course, that routine returns a Mac-specific file specification; if you want to use the folder with cross-platform file functions like fopen(), you'll need to convert it to a full pathname; for that, you'll want the full-path routines in Apple's MoreFiles sample code (again, just go to developer.apple.com and type MoreFiles into the search box).

    There is also sample code at the Apple site to save high scores in the Preferences folder, which uses the very simple CFPreferences API, and is a great solution for many things but probably not save games.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. Dan MacDonald

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Cas are you really complaining about controls? :)

    What I find most natural is to use a gamepad, the game really plays best that way. If you dont have a gameplad, then use the shift button (the button that locks your gun in the direction it's currently pointing) I haven't really found a use for fireing in the same direction i'm moving...
     
  7. Scorpio

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    Just FYI that I just installed the game and tried to run it but it crashed after changing the video mode. I also tried the "Safe Mode" option but it did the same thing.

    From poking around the error dialogs, it looks it was in sisgl.dll

    I run a "stock" computer with most of the stuff on the motherboard for testing purposes. The only other game I've had a "won't run" problem with was Winter Wolve's trivia game.

    What are the requirements to run the game?
    -Scorpio
     
  8. Mark Fassett

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    The same as the Winter Wolves trivia game - they both use PTK. It seems your stock drivers don't have decent OpenGL support. Have you tried any of the games from http://www.phelios.com ?
     
  9. Mark Fassett

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    Hmm - perhaps I should be a little less cryptic. The game runs fine on TNT class cards or better with proper drivers. Unfortunately, the only 8mb card I have is an ATI Rage Pro, and it's drivers are crap. The game runs on that, but doesn't run well at all.

    What is the onboard chip? By the name of the dll, I would guess an SiS chip - but which one?
     
  10. Scorpio

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    Device Manager shows the following:

    SiS 650_651_M650_M652_740
    Driver Version: 6.14.10.2170

    I don't want to update my drivers because I need to make sure all HipSoft games run "out-of-the-box" since our target market doesn't know how to update drivers.

    Let me know if there's something else I can try or other information I can provide you.
    -Scorpio
     
  11. Mark Fassett

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    I just tried on a Wal-Mart special I've got that I just remembered had an SiS onboard chip, a 630/730 (I think it's the 630) on Win98 with drivers downloaded from windows update (that have been up since 2002), and it ran, well - if not quite fine, better than the ATI Rage Pro card. I think expecting users to be able to update drivers from windows update is a perfectly reasonable expectation, as they should be going there anyway to get security fixes.

    The only reason I can think of for crashing where it did is that it couldn't handle the splash screen texture that was 640x480 (PTK upsizes to the next power of 2 if the card can't handle odd sized textures, so it may have been 1024x1024).
     
  12. svero

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    Seems pretty good. It's come a long way since the early demos I played.

    My only serious complaint is the "find the key" level. I think it's a mistake to put a level in a demo that involves walking into a secret area to find a key.

    - S
     
  13. Dan MacDonald

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    PTK Doesn't like some matrox cards, but that's not really PTK specific, matrox cards have horrid OpenGL support.
     
  14. dreeze

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    I was a bit confused why the doors opened when the timer ran out. I think it took some of the fun out of it (since I only completed one level within the timelimit) because I didn't get to find all the keys, etc.

    I didn't bother to read the help texts (except for the one telling me why there was two firing buttons) but is was quite intuitive. I ended up always using the strafe button.

    Other than that, I liked it.
     
  15. bantamcitygames

    Administrator Original Member Indie Author Greenlit

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    How about standing in the center of a swarm of aliens closing in on you from all sides. I just held CTRL and rotated the player. :)

    Over all I thought the game was very well done and reminded me of a cross between Guantlet and Chip's Challenge. I played it for almost an hour and didn't find anything that bothered me... Nice Job!!
     
  16. Valen

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    Pretty cool. Reminds me quite a bit of "Smash TV" on the SNES, you should check it out if you can. What you can especially borrow from that game is the way they let you control your firing direction. Instead of having you turn in every direction you want to fire, each of the four buttons on the controller would fire in its appropriate direction (up, down, left, right) and you could fire diagonally by pressing Up and Right for instance, at the same time. That allowed you to move around and fire in different directions at the same time, which I think is very needed with the amount of enemies you're fighting at any given moment.

    [edit] Just realized that you can use Shift to lock the firing direction. That's pretty good too, but you should still consider what I suggested. :)
     
  17. Mark Fassett

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    @dreeze - The doors open when the time runs out so that players who are less than stellar can still complete the level. However, they don't get any of the bonuses, which can be really huge. I've contemplated several changes to this, and the one I think I'm going to go with in an update is modifying the hard mode so that when the time runs out, you have failed the level, and will have to play it again, while leaving the normal and easy modes the way they are.

    @Valen - while your suggestion has merit, I don't want to add any more keys, especially on the keyboard. Finding four keys that a) make sense and b) work while pressed in combination with the arrow keys across all keyboard types is really difficult. I had to abandon using the spacebar as the fire button for that reason. Some keyboards wouldn't go diagonally if the spacebar was held. Also, while that setup works really well on a gamepad, I think it would fail miserably on a keyboard, even if you could overcome the first two items. Very many people have trouble keeping track of six fingers on the keyboard. Adding two more is just additional confusion, I think. And since most players won't have gamepad's I have to stick to what what works well on the keyboard.

    As for Smash TV - I've had several people tell me I should use my engine to remake that game next :) I'd probably make that with the mouse/keyboard interface, as used in Crimsonland (Crimsonland being one of the reasons I probably won't make Smash TV next ).

    Thanks for the feedback, though. I love hearing what people think. It's great fun :)
     
  18. Dingo Games

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    Ughh, I know what you mean. It took me a while to figure out the Mac specific file index stuff. Eventually I got it to work with FindFolder, the way that Mark Batten said.

    But a new version of PTK just came out, and it has a KMiscTools::getUserFolder() function. So I think you can just use that now ( adding "Library/Preferences/" or "Library/Application Support/" to the end of it to get the full path ).
     
  19. Mark Fassett

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    That's why I love PTK. He's really on top of things, and gets updates out quickly, adding nice things that make it easy to port to the Mac.
     
  20. Sunshine

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    Ditto, this, the time limit is too quick i think.

    Also the doors and computer terminals need a delay so that they cannot be used again for a second or so. Otherwise you can get kinda stuck on the terminals, and she says the sample like 10 times. Also the girls voice is annoying when you are trying to blast off some martians with your back against the door, and she keeps saying over and over that she does not have the key.

    Other than that I gotta say this game rocks! :cool:
    I liked the influence from SmahTV and Gauntlet.
    Also another game it kinda reminds me of is Alien Syndrome (which you can get as a MAME arcade rom now I think)


    I can't wait till the sequal!! :D
     

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