Updated Pow Pow's Great Adventure Demo

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by Chris Evans, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. Chris Evans

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    Updated Pow Pow's Great Adventure Demo [Web Demo Added]

    Based off much of the feedback from the previous thread, I updated the demo: http://outsidetheboxsoftware.com/demo/PowPow_Demo_Setup_1.1.exe

    People who played it before I would be grateful if you give it another go and anybody else who was interested feel free to check it out.

    The demo (and also the full version) contains the following fixes and modifications:

    - Increased air control for long jumps
    - Added a Level of Detail option. With it set to "low", it can increase the fps by 6 - 12 fps. So if you were getting 5fps before, it should get you at least over 10 fps. Anything over 10 is playable (IMO at least).
    - If your frame rate is below a certain level in-game, you will receive a prompt to lower the detail or not.
    - You now can go backwards to previous segments.
    - Made stage 1 a little easier. Got rid of frogs and closed some of the gaps between jumps.
    - Fixed a few script errors with the PDA.
    - Fixed some of the sound delays.
    - Mai Mei gives advice/instructions pertaining to player controls on the first stage and doesn't get into conversational chat until the later stages
    - The mouse pointer is only displayed when usable
    - Fixed frontend navigation issues
    - Got rid of the transitions and made the navigation more consistent
    - Your full-screen/window preference is retained everytime you start the game.
    - The intro voice and sf/x should be better in-sync even on slower machines.
    - Bunch of other small stuff


    What to look for:
    - Even with the Level of Detail set to "high", the game should run faster compared to the last demo. However, one thing I noticed is that the performance issues haven't been linear. Meaning, some people on lesser machines actually ran the game better than some on supposedly fast machines. So if you're still having major performance issues, let me know your specs so I can find a common thread.
    - PDA script errors. These are hard to track down, so let me know if you get them.
    - Falling through platforms. It's been very rare on my machines, but some people in the previous thread sad it was happening a lot to them. So if you fall through a platform, it'd be great if you could give me a general location of where it happened and your specs.

    Anyway, I appreciate the feedback I got last time. I still have a few things to iron out before I release the game next week, but any more feedback you guys could give would be great! :)
     
    #1 Chris Evans, Nov 4, 2004
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2004
  2. tolik

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    So I'm sitting here at studio with all the leet equipment and checking how it works. I still can't get 60fps with 1gig of dualchannel RAM on P4 2.4 and GF5700. I'll test it on slower equipment later... The problem is with background details which shouldn't be seen so far. Have you played Bug! from Sega? It's not a must to see everything, use fog/clouds like in Mario 64...

    First, to start with sound.
    I have expensive Sony headphones (already scratched their ears so can't name a model). Here are some comments:
    There are no sounds when navigating menus.
    Compared to marvelous music and voicing, sound of jumping does sound like it's downsampled to 11kHz.
    COIN SOUNDS ARE AWFULL!!! My EARS!!!
    SHHH sound of PDA IS AWFULL!!! :(
    Sometimes character voice is downsampled when played at the same time as other sounds.

    I would propose to add a note with small font on introduction "Press ESC to skip".

    You have an option to Load Game/Quit after "Game Over" even when you don't have any saves. This screen doesn't have any music.

    In order to restart gameplay, you need to wait at least 30 seconds. Can you provide an option "Restart" for a level? Is it engine limitation?

    "New High Score!" dialog is not very friendly. I think you should have "Name Here" selected by default so pushing any button should replace this phrase. Also, for some reason, you can add line breaks to your name, check attachment.



    Gameplay issues.
    You've added ability to go back to different "dimension". That created some bugs. You can drop through the floor or get stuck in it. This didn't happen in 1.0, but now it does. In order to do that, hold run and try to reach the cliff. Check attachment.
    Also, with this ability, I was able to jump off the cliff on the first turn in the first level. Also, there's a bad-looking warp, sometimes you can jump out of the cliff and then get warped back onto another dimension. Check iviewcapture_date_04_11_2004_time_12_58_31.jpg.



    I think main character is too jumpy now. Plays good, but the level of control in air (i'm talking about the BACK-push) is not enough to precisely jump on top of enemies.

    A lot of the objects doesn't have bound box at the bottom. By running off the first platform the character's head will go through second platform. And a hundreds of other platforms. This can piss of the player. iviewcapture_date_04_11_2004_time_13_17_00 - this really pisses me off "Push forward to die". Please, fix the collision detection before releasing it. Also, I can get into (INSIDE!) almost any platform due to this glitch.

    Also, bounding boxes for the basic enemies are just TOO ANNOYING. I get killed all the time because I'm too jumpy and they have weird collisions!

    Still, calling pause, doesn't pause the game itself. Stand near the enemy and push pause. The character will drop through the floor after being damaged.


    Having one leg on one platform and another leg on another platform... I see only half of the shadow.

    I think mouse view should give him ability to see from his own eyes. May be bind it to another button?
    Consistency: in some places Control key is referred as "ctrl", in some as "Ctrl".

    After you jump out of the cliff the character's shadow gets... fucked. Really.


    Second level: remove semi-transparent particles from butterflies, I get 5 fps on that point on a pretty good computer.

    It was a wise thing to remove frogs from the first level.


    Sometimes you can activate PDA mid-air or while being hit by an enemy. Since the game doesn't pause, you can get any kind of funky behavior (like slow drowing through the floor).

    Sometimes you can get hit by an enemy and float through.

    Once I got stuck in the enemy and died. Level 2.

    Please, polish at least the first level. Connect the roads between the dimensions. The overall impression is based on the first minutes of the play. I can't complete first level with one life, it's a matter of pure luck and you need to be f*cking patient to complete it.
    Don't make the first platform to float so high that you can die on the first platform where you need to jump.



    I have a solution for those keyboards who don't support three keys pushed at once (like SPACE and back+up arrow). Make Caps Lock a toggle for RUN.

    You really don't need a confirmation to load a saved game...


    Why do you need to use CHECK POINT as item? This is a crazy idea!

    There are bounding box problems with bonuses. You can fly through some of them. The most obvious one is a medkit on level one. Jump from one cliff side while running onto the other side. You just fly through the medkit.



    Ok, time to eat, bbl.
     

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  3. Chris Evans

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    Oh, that's because I locked the frame rate at 30fps. You can't go higher.

    Good call, I've been meaning to make that more user friendly.

    What exactly were you doing when you were turning the corners? Were you jumping up and down real fast or something? I did all kinds of things and I could never fall through the floor. Can you do this on any corner? I'll keep checking it out.

    Okay cool, I'll keep tweaking this. Anybody else have thoughts on this?

    Yes, I need to seal some of those up. However, some of them lead to secrets so they purposely don't have collision.

    Yeah, it's a fairly random bug, but it's on my to-do list. It's usually messed up for one segment, then it corrects itself.

    No it's not. On the easier levels the automatic checkpoints are laid out pretty liberally. But as the stages get bigger the automatic checkpoints are farther apart. Also, the checkpoint item allows you to restart at the exact point you want. For example, you may want to venture down to a lower platform level to get a special item. However, if something bad happens to you may want to be able to start back on the top level. You'll find the checkpoint item can be pretty useful once you get into the game.


    Thanks for the thorough testing. I'm going to catch a few winks, I'll be back in several hours. :)
     
  4. tolik

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    Ok, more stuff.

    In some cases, FOV doesn't change while changing "dimension".
    100 coins doesn't give you 1 life?

    When you end the level, map does rotate but enemies continue to jump in the same directions, thus wrongly on rotated map.

    Carpet in bonus level has huge z-buffer artifacts.

    Why should I confirm saving into an empty slot?

    OMG, level 3, 5-10 fps :(

    Wow, I'm stuck and here's a shooting galore!
    iviewcapture_date_04_11_2004_time_14_17_10
    After I died in this situation I came there and saw some bullets on the floor. I didn't dare to touch them. Oops, I did touch it. It moved me to non-existing dimension and I died. I hate this game ;)

    Sometimes a window pops-up but I never see what it talks about since I hold space... ATM I dropped through a floating platform, same issue as with menus, seems that you disable some kind of collision detection when menu is on screen.

    I have no idea what gemstones are for...

    You've fixed the bug where you can rotate a platform, but you can still do this:
    iviewcapture_date_04_11_2004_time_14_23_17 (float inside a platform)
    and this:
    iviewcapture_date_04_11_2004_time_14_23_46 (go onto different plane of a single dimension. and trust me, you don't want to know that it took 20 jumps for frog to jump out of the screen here :) )


    Don't activate magic carpet movement till title of the level has disappeared.


    Go to load game menu, select load on some slot, choose no, push space. se;ect load on the same slot again and push Right. "Last chosen menu" variable wasn't reset properly...




    Overall impression: better, but new glitches are worth previous ones. I can't imagine how many glitches I would catch on the later, more complex levels (like snow).


    The settings aren't saved. I can't choose low detail and low resolution, whatever I do I get high detail.


    You can jump over the level exit and die. ANNOYING.



    I think I have steel nerves if I've survived this game. Only ET on Atari 2600 is cooler.
     

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  5. Mike Wiering

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    It works a lot faster than the first version now, that's great! I did get the following message after leaving a bonus level though:

    Director player error

    #model

    Script error, Continue?

    I'll play the game some more when I have time.
     
  6. tolik

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    By reaching 60 fps I mean reching the max fps. It still is slow time to time.


    Always hold run and just walk here and there (not on one small place, but on quite a distance, like a size of a platform in Z dimension). While the rotation starts to animate (angle change), instantly start to run into opposite direction.

    Sometimes you can jump on an enemy while holding BACK and you'll have huge and fast BACK FLIGHT.

    I saw only 4-5 platforms which can lead to secrets. That leaves 98% of platforms unsealed.

    Then, I want to drop this checkpoing and get the energy before I get the checkpoint. Either do multiple slots for items, or just drop the movable checkpoint idea... I don't think you should do it on early levels, especially first episode.

    I would like to see couple of more complex levels. Doesn't they behave even worse?

    Level one. Touch the first enemy thrice and after third touch HOLD SPACE, and FORWARD+UP arrows.
    Level one. Instantly jump off the cliff. Observe that you still have 3 lives. Jump off the cliff again. 1 life.
    Level one. First floatin platform. Stand in the middle and repeatedly press up/down. You need to get some sync and that way you'll just drop down through the platform. Bad luck.


    ...
     
  7. Sirrus

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    Director Error

    Index out of range

    :(
     
  8. Reactor

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    Cooler...
    - Runs faster in some areas
    - Jumping control is much better
    - Escape doesn't make me nervous any more
    - The mouse 'looking eye' is a nice touch
    - Program stays in Windowed mode- yay!

    The not-so cooler...
    - Falling through the odd platform
    - Holding down still makes PowPow look like he has the hic-ups
    - Can't skip the 'Outside Box' intro
    - Sometimes PowPow seems to hover above ground (his shadow seems detached from him, on certain angles)
    - You have to delete "Your name" before you can actually enter your own name.
    - My dad walked past me playing it and asked, "Who's watch is that going off?" :)


    Anyway, I haven't seen any Pad errors this time. Nice work.
     
  9. Chris Evans

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    Where did you get that error Sirrus?

    Harsh. I appreciate the testing but if this game is that painful to play, then don't play it. I'm not forcing you and there's other people who do enjoy the game that contribute feedback.

    It seems the game is stable for some and unstable for others. Thankfully things have improved and I'm going to keep trying to get the game stable for even more people.

    Yep, this will be fixed.

    Are you still using the same machine you used earlier or is it different? Also, are you having it set to low or high detail?

    That's great to hear Mike! :) When you got that error in the bonus stage, did you fall off the carpet or complete the stage?
     
  10. Chris Evans

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    @Reactor

    Thanks, that's good to hear!

    I'll fix Pow Pow's "hiccups" and as I mentioned before I'm going to make entering the high-score a little more user friendly.
     
  11. tolik

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    I really want to play this game and make it bugless. That's why I'm doing it. This is a great game, it needs a lot more polishing to be as stable as Bug!.


    ps Those who enjoy the game should be S-M.
     
    #11 tolik, Nov 4, 2004
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2004
  12. Sirrus

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    That error appeared when I started the game on High level of detail, at 800x600 full screen.

    I set it to windowed and Low level of detail (still 800x600)

    Halfway through the first level, I ran and jumped through coins "Im rich" he said, then I landed on the corner....it turns his direction to the right, and I get this error:

    Object has been deleted.

    Script Error

    Continue?
    Yes, No


    Hmmm
     
  13. Anthony Flack

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    Still crashes out for me when the game proper tries to start. Menus and intro run fine.

    I've got win2k here, with a 64Mb GeForce2, and DX 9.0b

    [edit] - runs in windowed mode.
     
    #13 Anthony Flack, Nov 4, 2004
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2004
  14. Chris Evans

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    Ah thanks Sirrus! I should be able to track that down.

    Oh, I forgot to answer this:
    Listen to Mai Mei on the first stage. She explains how to use the Gem Stones. Also, if you press ESC, it will bring up the in-game menu, which has the controls listed.

    @Anthony

    Thanks Anthony for giving the game another shot. What error are you getting exactly when it crashes? Do you have any USB controls or devices plugged in?
     
  15. Anthony Flack

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    "has generated errors and will be closed by windows. You will need to restart the program"

    Currently, no USB devices plugged in, but that's a coincidence as I usually do, and wouldn't play a game that made me unplug them. Especially not my USB to playstation controller adaptor...

    But as I discovered, it will run windowed.

    But aside from that, I think you've got some serious problems. The bugs got me, too. Final straw was when my PDA rang, I answered it, and while I was talking my character slowly sank through the platform and died.

    It also ran like a dog on my machine. Playable, but frequently slowing to a crawl. Even on low detail. And I have a still-respectable P4 1.4Ghz, so that's a very bad sign. I have a bad feeling that this game might end up being a bit of a "live and learn" experience for you, if you can't significantly improve compatability and performance. There's much bughunting and design-refining needed too, but that's all fixable. I'm concerned that perhaps the performance issues largely aren't.
     
  16. Anthony Flack

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    Also, after playing your game, there is now a big black space where my taskbar used to be.
     
  17. Chris Evans

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    Wasn't saying you should play the game with no USB devices. I was just trying to isolate the problem.

    Also, how much Ram do you have and what version of Windows are you running?[edit - you already answered that] I've heard there's been some issues with Director/shockwave and Win2K, so I'm going to look into this.

    As for stability and performance issues, I'm obviously concerned but I'm also confident that it will get resolved to an acceptable level. Judging by the feedback I've gotten on this new demo (not just from this forum), the stability and performance has improved for a lot of people. That's very encouraging. After all unless a game runs completely in software mode, usually with 3D games you're always going to have some compatibility issues across different platforms and setups.

    I'm going to work hard to get these glitches and smaller bugs taken care of. Once that's done, I should be good to go. Working on compatibility will be an on-going thing.
     
    #17 Chris Evans, Nov 4, 2004
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2004
  18. tolik

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    WOW!!!
    Win2K/P3-800/256/GF5200MX, low level of detail DOES WORK and it's fast!
    And it does play GREAT, very fun when I was tired of searching glitches and just started to complete level by level.

    LOD (level of detail) adjustment is VERY GREAT, I don't care seeing everything behind me and it does look and play great.

    Now I see where the gameplay starts - on faster computers you have more time to see glitches for some reasons.

    Anyway, on slower boxes Director errors start to appear, I haven't seen any on the faster ones. Here's one of the examples (attach).
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Chris Evans

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    Cool thanks for that attachment. It looks like the same bug Sirrus got. I should be able to fix that easily.

    Anyway, I'm glad to hear the game played well with those specs. Your system is actually similar but slightly lower spec than Anthony's. The exception maybe being Ram. So the performance issues may have to do with Ram or maybe my game just doesn't like Anthony's computer. :) I've never ever heard or seen the initial windows error he got.

    It's also good to hear you started enjoying the game. :) I think the game will do well once these glitches and bugs are ironed out. I've spent A LOT of time and effort into this game and I think people will have fun with it. I'm willing to put even more effort until things are stable for more and more users. I agree that the script errors seem to be occurring on mostly slower machines and the faster machines have far less problems.
     
  20. Sirrus

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    Just an FYI, my box is P4 1.7ghz, 512 DDR Ram, GeForce 4 256mb...so it should be running pretty fast ;)

    I definately agree that the speed issue has improved but it still isn't to a playable speed for me yet atleast.

    Hope you can iron out these issues, the game does indeed seem like good fun...
     

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