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What game concept should we persue for the group project?  

12 members have voted

  1. 1. What game concept should we persue for the group project?

    • DFAF Dating Sim
      2
    • Game adaptation of the text-adventure-like shenanigans from the "Hey Tim! Thanks for being a massive legend..." thread
      1
    • Two-character sokoban/platformer hybrid
      0
    • A game where you keep a villain monologuing long enough to escape a deathtrap
      6
    • A lay-down-directional-tiles-to-guide-a-character-through-a-maze type game
      0
    • Something themed around “moving” that focuses on what you must take and what you can leave behind
      0
    • A camping trip game where you have to make sure the fire doesn’t burn out, while keeping an eye to your marshmellows
      1
    • Dark Paranoia
      1
    • Historical adventure game about joining with pirates to hunt down and chase Ponce de Leon to the New World
      1
    • A game in which you must move away to a special camp where the entire world is being relocated
      0
    • Citizen Snow
      0
    • Illuminations
      0
    • Cinematic platformer where the player must escape a Hollywood club and make your way up the hills to the Hollywood sign
      0
    • Narrative focused endless surfing game/brawler hybrid
      0
    • Cartoon characters discover they’re cartoon characters, want to discover what a taco tastes like.
      0
    • Game loosely based on Simon In The Land of Chalk Drawings combined with street art in the style of Banksy/Black Le Rat
      0
    • A sitcom show that gets out of hand and an entire season of problems happen in mere moments
      0


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Hey people!

As mentioned over here, are few of us have been talking about maybe having a little community game development project happen during the changeover to the new forums, coordinated mostly via IRC. The plan is to keep things pretty loose and casual - a small fun project to work on while we wait for our super cool new forums to go live.

At this stage, I think the most likely thing to happen is that we'll have a core project that anybody can contribute to, but anybody who'd like to work in a more focused manner with a smaller team is totally free to make something of their own!

In the following posts are notes on how we're going to structure things, possible tech that we could use, and some game concepts that we can pick between. Feel free to throw some more suggestiosn in the mix and we'll pop up a poll for what the main project will be within the next couple of days so that we can reach a decision before the old forums go offline.

This information will be archived in the channel info messages for the #DFAF and #DFAdventure IRC channels on foonetic.net (instructions here.

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Structure

Core project with an open contribution policy - people will be welcome to hop in and pick tasks that they feel would suit them.

This is the approach that we used (more or less) successfully for Bad Golf's development, and although we weren't able to get nice stuff like switching between different contributions of the same thing for that project, we can plan ahead with that in mind for this one.

We'll make use of the DF Game Club Github account to host the main project, and we can use the issue tracker there to organise tasks and leave notes for each other on specific development topics (think of it as sort of a focused mini-forum).

Primarily, we'll use the #DFAF and #DFAdventure IRC channels to communicate via live chat. It'll be a little more intimate and much faster than we're used to here, but it'll be fun - think of it as a sort of virtual camping trip away from the the forums for a couple of weeks :)

Engines

So far as engines and engine specific development toolsets go, we want to stick with stuff that's cross-platform. That means that anybody on Linux, Mac or Windows can join in without having to resort to emulators or other workarounds that might make it harder to get stuff done.

Here's a list of likely contenders:

* CWINE (comic-oriented Twine-like engine) https://github.com/bigjko/cwine

* Godot (general purpose 2D/3D engine) http://docs.godotengine.org/en/latest/

* OpenBoR (2D brawler engine) http://www.chronocrash.com/forum/index.php?topic=13.0

* Ren’py (2D visual novel engine) https://www.renpy.org/doc/html/quickstart.html

* Twine (hypertext adventure engine) http://twinery.org/wiki/twine2:guide

* Unity (general purpose 2D/3D engine) http://unity3d.com/learn/tutorials/topics/interface-essentials

Tools

For asset creation, feel free to use whatever suits you so long as it can export to a format that can be shared with others. Here are a few free cross-platform tools that I've used in the past.

* Gimp (painting/image editing)

* Inkscape (vector illustration)

* Blender (3D modeling/animating)

* Audacity (audio recording/processing)

* Tiled (tile based map editor)

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Game Concepts

Here's a list of game concepts that were brainstormed in IRC earlier today. Some have been condensed down. Raw notes can be found here.

Feel free to suggest more! We'll pop up a poll within a couple of days to pick one!

* Dating sim

* Game adaptation of the text-adventure-like shenanigans from this thread

* Two-character sokoban/platformer hybrid (one character pushes blocks around to create the platforms for the other character to jump on to reach the exit)

* A game where you keep a villain monologuing long enough to escape a deathtrap

* A lay-down-directional-tiles-to-guide-a-character-through-a-maze type game (think Lemmings, Lucidity or Rush)

* Something themed around “moving” that focuses on what you must take and what you can leave behind

* A camping trip game where you have to make sure the fire doesn't burn out, but if you don't keep an eye on the marshmallows, they'll dip into the fire, so you have to constantly adjust them, and there's also a VN aspect to it, similar to Wheels of Aurelia.

* Dark Paranoia: Player wakes up in a street with amnesia, surrounded by dead bodies. Player begins to see that normal people are actually monsters and must fight for survival while avoiding authorities and discovering the truth

* Historical adventure game about joining with pirates to hunt down and chase Ponce de Leon to the New World, who was responsible for the player's family's death.

* a game in which you must move away to a special camp where the entire world is being relocated. What will you leave behind? What happens in the camp?

* Citizen Snow http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewreply/280483/

* Illuminations http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewreply/281086/

* Cinematic platformer where the player must escape a Hollywood club and make your way up the hills to the Hollywood sign after exacting revenge on a rival

* Narrative focused endless surfing game/brawler hybrid (Olli Olli meets Streets of Rage?)

* Cartoon characters discover they're cartoon characters, want to discover what a taco tastes like. Point n click adventure game.

* Game loosely based on Simon In The Land of Chalk Drawings combined with street art in the style of Banksy/Black Le Rat. Lonesome urban kid with sidewalk chalk draws worlds and creatures that then spring to life and join him for adventures. Probably best accomplished as a side-scrolling type puzzle-solving game

* A sitcom show that gets out of hand and an entire season of problems happen in mere moments. It would function as a quiz show in game style and proper answers would also reconstruct the sitcom scene. A mishmash of all shows and tropes to create hilarity.

Game Genres

Based on the first poll, here's what we're keen to do so far as genre goes.

* Point and click adventure 2

* Text adventure 1

* Hypertext adventure 1

* Puzzle game 1

* Visual novel 0

* Platformer 0

* Tower defence 0

* Brawler 0

* First person shooter 0

* Quizz game 0

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I'm not expecting to be able to contribute much across the forum break (I'll be around to help coordinate and lend people a hand with stuff like GitHub though!), so take my suggestions with a grain of salt.

Thinking about what can be pared back to a small scope, would be fun to work on, and could be scaled up into something larger if we get a lot of people chipping in without requiring significant redesign work, Feddlefew's "Keep a villain monologuing until you can escape" idea sounds like the best fit to me!

That could be implemented as a text or hypertext adventure, a point and click or a visual novel and be primarily a bunch of dialogue puzzles. This concept could be expanded to add more puzzles, increased branching, voice acting, etc. but could still be done in an interesting way without all that stuff.

Looking forward to seeing everybody else's thoughts!

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On the subject of individual games - would anyone be interested in that? I'll probably make one, and extend and/or fix the problems in my already released games during this period. So, we'll at least have three games or so to play with once we get the forums back up.

I'm going to be creating a private itch.io jam for my own projects for this, so they can be all grouped together for easy access once the new forums go live. So if anyone else wants to create a project, they can feel free to share it through my DFAF downtime itch.io jam (I'll post the url once I make it, so anyone can use it who wants to do so, that way you can also get stable hosting for your project through itch.io). It would be awesome if someone else wanted to make a game on their own outside of the large collaboration as well (and I'd be happy to help with any games if anyone wants it - the forum switchover couldn't have come at a better time - I have a lot of free time all this month).

If anyone wants to do a tabletop game, as was suggested before - feel free to do that as well. I might do a Chrononauts style card game myself for this. That's the benefit of a jam that's so loose - it should be awesome to see what comes from this.

I'll also be helping on the collaborative effort as well.

Thinking about what can be pared back to a small scope, would be fun to work on, and could be scaled up into something larger if we get a lot of people chipping in without requiring significant redesign work, Feddlefew's "Keep a villain monologuing until you can escape" idea sounds like the best fit to me!

That could be implemented as a text or hypertext adventure, a point and click or a visual novel and be primarily a bunch of dialogue puzzles. This concept could be expanded to add more puzzles, increased branching, voice acting, etc. but could still be done in an interesting way without all that stuff.

That sounds like the best fit to me too. That way we can have a finished game even if we don't have a lot of contributors. And, if we do have a lot of people that want to contribute, all the better - as we can use the extra resources to polish the game up more. :)

I think it would probably be best to do something graphical - that way we have more people to contribute. So if someone wants to do art, they can. And if they want to do music, sound effects, etc. they can contribute those (and we can keep them all in a git branch like we did for Bad Golf - and label them for later use on the issues tracker, and then if we get to the point where we advance enough to expand it, we can use it then.

The best engine IMHO to use for this type of game would be CWINE - to make it like a comic book with branching options for keeping the villain monologuing (and this concept would be awesome in comic book form). It's based on twine - so it seems like it would be pretty straightforward to use.

That way we could also use placeholder art to make sure that we get all the branches and such working correctly before moving on towards more polished art. IMO, it's always best to have a solid codebase in place before worrying about the art, music, and sound assets.

EDIT: The itch.io jam page is here. Feel free to use it if you make a game for this jam, but don't feel like you need to. As I said, this is mostly just to have my games that I did during the downtime show up in one easy to find place, but you're more than welcome to use it as well if you'd like. It's unlisted, but you should be able to join it via the url: https://itch.io/jam/df-forum-downtime-funtime-adventure

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I'll probably do something on my own that just HAPPENS to be forum-related. If I have time, obviously.

That said... I do like the villain monologue idea. Seems to be appropriate, given how a lot of threads seem to go. :)

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I'm not expecting to be able to contribute much across the forum break (I'll be around to help coordinate and lend people a hand with stuff like GitHub though!), so take my suggestions with a grain of salt.

Thinking about what can be pared back to a small scope, would be fun to work on, and could be scaled up into something larger if we get a lot of people chipping in without requiring significant redesign work, Feddlefew's "Keep a villain monologuing until you can escape" idea sounds like the best fit to me!

That could be implemented as a text or hypertext adventure, a point and click or a visual novel and be primarily a bunch of dialogue puzzles. This concept could be expanded to add more puzzles, increased branching, voice acting, etc. but could still be done in an interesting way without all that stuff.

Looking forward to seeing everybody else's thoughts!

The only mechanic I had in mind for it was that there's a balancing act- you have to keep the villain going so they're distracted (maybe talk to them a little?) and they don't notice that you're escaping and just shoot you, but if you take too much time the death trap will kill you or they'll run out of monologue. So you have to alternate between working the villain and working on your escape.

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I would like to contribute to whatever happens, but I'm on vacation until 24 July, so I'll probably miss it.

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I like the idea of a hypertext adventure which is basically a Choose Your Own Adventure with puzzles to solve in some of the chapters instead of just clicking on the option you want to progress.

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Alrighty, popped those poll results down in the third post there and added the list of concepts as poll for us to select the group poll from.

Let's get a decision made as soon as we can so that we're good to go with moving forward when the forums go offline :)

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I'll be quite keen to see what gets decided.

I do wish I had the actual programming know how to develop all my game ideas though. Looking at my multitude of concepts just on that poll, I'm either crazy or crazy... or crazy?

Whatever gets decided I'm happy to be part however I'm useful. (Which is writing and design and also coordination.)

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Since the forum's going off-line tomorrow, I guess that means that the collaborative project is going to be a point and click adventure game where you keep a villain monologuing long enough to escape a deathtrap.

So, I guess that means we're going to use Godot for it? There's a nice Point and click adventure game framework available for it. I'll start getting myself familiarized with the engine tonight so we can begin work on it tomorrow!

It's just about time for the fun to begin! :)

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I'll start writing some ominous dialogue of a horrible childhood and teenage life to explain why this villain has become maniacal and has an elaborate harebrained scheme to take over the world.

At least I'll try to write something usable.

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I'm working on a skeleton engine now. Cheese is going to be enabling the github branch tomorrow, and hopefully I'll have a dummy game up and running so we can plug things into it as it's needed.

The itch.io game jam I set up for this has a discussion page to discuss the projects. Cheese gave the brilliant idea of using it to throw around ideas for what is needed, that way we can use it even when these forums go down tomorrow. Feel free to post ideas here too while these forums are still up, as I'll move all suggestions over to the itch.io discussion page. I (or cheese) will then add them to the issue tracker once the github branch goes live.

So here's what we'll need for this, sorted by priority (HP = immediate/high priority, MP = important/medium priority, LP = nice to add if we have time, but not necessary/low priority)

(HP) A skeleton codebase - I'm working on this now. As we chose a point and click adventure game where you keep a villain monologuing long enough to escape a deathtrap, we'll be using the Godot engine. The skeleton engine that I'm going to upload to github tomorrow uses the point and click framework by stillinthe90s.

(HP) Story- We need to flesh out who the hero is and why the hero is captured by the villain. However, the beauty of this idea is that the rest is really open to just about anything, we can probably just throw out dialog for the hero and the villain (if we get a lot, we could always randomize it - that might be fun).

(HP) Art - We need to work out a style. The framework I'm going to be uploading is 320x200, so it will be old school (I can try to this to higher resolutions if you'd rather, but in my experience it's easier to get art assets for 2D fan game projects with lower resolutions). We'll have to sort out both sprite style and background style for this. Once we get the style settled (cartoon/DOTT inspired, more realistic/Fate of Atlantis inspired, etc), we can begin creating assets.

(HP) Plugging the game assets into the codebase. The skeleton engine should make this pretty straightforward. As with anything else, everyone's free to contribute to this if you like - just state your intentions in the issue tracker once the time comes so that two people aren't working on the same thing.

(MP) Music - We'll have to figure out what kind of a style music to go with based on the style of the game. The music will be much different for a comedy compared to a drama, for instance.

(MP) Sound effects - These will also be determined by the style of the game - they'll likely be determined by the script and the actions of the sprites as well.

(LP) Voice Acting - This is definitely just a would be nice to have thing to have, but isn't important. If we're far ahead in our plans, we can tackle this.

(LP) Multiple Protaganists/Villains - If the Bad Golf: Community Edition project is anything to go by, there will be a lot of ideas and art for characters. If we have time we can randomize the heroes and the villains so that they're different in each playthrough. If we do this and the VO, it'll make things harder. We might just want to stick to a standard male and female voice - but that's neither here nor there now, since at this point we don't even know if this will be worked on. ;)

EDIT: Yay! The github branch is live! I populated it with issues for assets that we'll need for the game. Feel free to chime in with your ideas, or add any other issues for things that we'll need for the game if anything comes to mind. I didn't list any code issues yet, as the code isn't live yet. I'm still working on it. I'll submit a pull request once it's ready to go. Fingers crossed, it should be ready by the time the forum goes down tomorrow, and we can hit the ground running. :)

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Alrighty, there's a github repo up (plus an extra one for asset source files)!

Jenni has started creating "issues" where we can discuss and allocate tasks and should have an initial codebase up soon. At the moment, Jenni and I are the only people who can write to the repository (we can add a few more people, but the typical workflow for a git based project is for people to contribute their work to "forks" and do "pull requests" to get those into the main repo - for anybody who that's gibberish for, myself and others will be happy to walk you through it on IRC!)

If anybody working on a solo project wants a github repo on the DF Game Club account for theirs, let me know (email me your Github user account at cheese@twolofbees.com ).

Also, take a few minutes to check out my Jam Survival Guide for some tips on how to get the most out of a short-duration game dev project :)

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I'm not sure how much time I'll be able to put aside for this project, but I'll read the documentation for Godot and I'll try to help out with coding if I can. Maybe it's a good idea to get a rough design doc together as soon as possible too? Godot looks designed to be very modular though, so it's probably possible to start out with a basic framework for a dialogue and then plug the escape elements* into the scene later, without having to go back and do everything over. I've only skimmed the first parts of the tutorial though, so I'm not sure what the limitations are.

* How will this work? Is it a series of mini games, or something else entirely?

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I'm not sure how much time I'll be able to put aside for this project, but I'll read the documentation for Godot and I'll try to help out with coding if I can. Maybe it's a good idea to get a rough design doc together as soon as possible too? Godot looks designed to be very modular though, so it's probably possible to start out with a basic framework for a dialogue and then plug the escape elements* into the scene later, without having to go back and do everything over. I've only skimmed the first parts of the tutorial though, so I'm not sure what the limitations are.

* How will this work? Is it a series of mini games, or something else entirely?

The collaborative game will be a single game (the premise works well for a game jam as it can be made small and completable and then expanded if we have time.

The Story issue is discussing a bit how the game will work.

Once I get the skeleton gamebase done (I have already begun to strip out the test game of the framework - I'm planning to replace it with dummy art for the characters and background, and set up the crux of the game - the dialog tree between the hero and the villain). That way we can add to the code as we need to based on what comes from the issues on the issue tracker.

There will also be single games developed during this - that can be made alone or with a collaboration. I've got a lot of free time this month, so if anyone needs any art, music, sound effects, voice acting, or programming help I can help with that too. Just contact me on the IRC channel, or the itch.io jam community page.

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We didn't quite make it to a completed game by the time the forum went live, but I have put in temporary endings so that it's completable - if very unfinished.

So if anyone wants to check out how the game is doing in real time (this build is current with the codebase that's up on github - at least at the time of this writing), feel free to try it out.  Builds are available for Linux, OS X, and Mac.

If anyone still wants to help out, feel free.  The github repository is here.  Be sure to check out the wiki and the issue tracker to see what's been done and what's still needed.

Artists, musicians, and writers are wanted as much as programmers.  Thanks in advance for trying it out, and extra special thanks to anyone who has or is going to contribute. You guys are awesome either way. :D

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On 7/30/2016 at 9:37 PM, Reid_Harris_Cooper said:

I am very excited to finally be able to say I have credits in a game that I aren't there because I backed it.

I know the feeling.  It's great to see your name in the credits of a game when you actually worked on it. :)

I just made another daily build.  Today's a pretty major change.  The second dialog tree is in place, and a second bad ending has been added.

You can grab the latest build to try out for Linux, OS X, and Windows here.

At this point, we're very close to having the first room complete, which will be Release 1.  Here's our Roadmap to Release 1, as of today:

Partially finished, but still needs attention:

  • Script: Almost all of this is done now! All that's need now is writing for the final scene (a sum up of Lemming Woman triumphing over Frontiersman).
  • Walking animation for Lemming Woman: at this point, she only has a single frame for six directions.
  • Code to hook up the final dialog choice that leads to the good ending.
  • Music. Reidhcooper made music for the intro splashscreens that show the name of the game and the Godot logo. Now we need music for the first room. It is the steel trap, guarded by Mecha Paul Bunyan, with Frontiersman interacting via a television set and a mounted camera. Either wild west style music or retro futuristic music would work here.

Not started, and needs to be done before release:

  • Animation, or a comic strip style panel, that shows Mecha Bunyan swinging his axe at Lemming Woman, either in the chair, or with the chair on the ground

Would be great to have for R1, but can be saved for R2 if need be:
The following are not trivial, so, while it would be preferable to have them at the first release, the release could be made without them.

  • Animations for talking. We need animations for Lemming Woman, Mecha Bunyan, and Frontiersman
  • Code for displaying the talking animations

Finished:

  • Background art for the first room (including Mecha Bunyan, keeping guard, as part of the background)
  • Engine framework in place for interacting with objects, walking around specified areas of a room (including behind objects), dialog trees, and changing rooms
  • Puzzle Dependency Chart for the first room. Thanks to Feddlefew's excellent script, this is now finalized.
  • Splash screens in the intro with title and a made with Godot logo, with music by reidhcooper

If anyone wants to contribute, it would be greatly appreciated. :) All you need to do is go to the issue tracker and tackle one of the issues there.  You don't even have to know how to use github, all you need is a github account to post, and I'll be able to add what you made to the code tree.  However, if you do want to use github, Cheese made a great guide here.

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On 31/7/2016 at 1:39 PM, Jenni said:

However, if you do want to use github, Cheese made a great guide here.

I should point out that a few people contributed to this guide! I think I wrote a small part of it and suggested areas that we should cover, but if I remember correctly, GoldenHeaven, InvaderErik and Bobsayshilol did most of the legwork!

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The DF Forum Downtime Funtime Adventure jam page at itch.io closed to new submissions tonight, so I added The other Double Fine Action Forums adventure I've been working on, the DFAF adventure.

This one's not as far along as the Forum Downtime Funtime Adventure, but, like that one, I added in a temporary ending to make it playable.  That way the jam page is a little happier than it would be if it only got one submission. :glottis:

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I just made another daily build.  Now all of the endings are in place, including the final, good, ending!

You can grab the latest build to try out for Linux, OS X, and Windows here.

Now all we need is to polish it up so that release 1 can be made. :)

We still need walking sprites for Lemming Woman, level music for the steel trap scene, animation or a cutscene of still image(s) (comic book style would work well) for Mecha Paul Bunyan swinging his axe.  After that, the first room will be complete and we can get release 1 out to you all. :D

If you do want to contribute (and thanks in advance for choosing to do so!),  go to the issue tracker and tackle one of the issues there. If you want to contribute via Github (it's not necessary, as you can just post your submission in the issue tracker, and I'll add it to the game), there's a great guide on how to do so here:)

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*Emerges from pile o calculus homework.*

I'm going to disappear for, like, a week longer. If someone can take over script writing for me, that'd be swell.

*Vanishes back into pile.*

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On 8/4/2016 at 3:53 PM, Feddlefew said:

*Emerges from pile o calculus homework.*

I'm going to disappear for, like, a week longer. If someone can take over script writing for me, that'd be swell.

*Vanishes back into pile.*

No worries.  I added the remaining story line for the first room that was missing.  What you did write was very helpful, as it allowed the dialog tree to be completed quickly. :)

With a lot of people stating that they aren't comfortable with reading the script in the java-style scripting language that Godot uses, I was trying to figure out where to put it.  I originally uploaded it to the assets repository, but that's easy to get outdated.  I think the wiki is probably the best bet.  Once we start on room 2, we'll need more script, so it's best to keep everything in one place so that people can easily know what to write by seeing what's left and checking the puzzle dependency charts, art, etc to know where the scene is going.

I did a lot of work over the past couple of days working on the animations for Lemming Woman.  This is a big hurdle in polishing the game up for release.  Currently, there's animations for two directions - up and down.  The code looks for eight directions, but it might be better to just do four directions for now, and then go back to the other directions at a later time, if we want.

down.GIFforward.GIF

You can grab the latest build to try out for Linux, OS X, and Windows here. After it's polished up release 1 can be made. :)

We still need walking sprites for the left and right directions for Lemming Woman, level music for the steel trap scene, animation or a cutscene of still image(s) (comic book style would work well) for Mecha Paul Bunyan swinging his axe.  After that, the first room will be complete and we can get release 1 out to you all. :D

If you do want to contribute (and thanks in advance for choosing to do so!),  go to the issue tracker and tackle an issue listed. If you want to contribute via Github (it's not necessary, as you can just post your submission in the issue tracker, and I'll add it to the game), there's a great guide on how to do so here:)

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Awesome stuff, Jenni :D

 

1 hour ago, Jenni said:

With a lot of people stating that they aren't comfortable with reading the script in the java-style scripting language that Godot uses, I was trying to figure out where to put it.  I originally uploaded it to the assets repository, but that's easy to get outdated.  I think the wiki is probably the best bet.  Once we start on room 2, we'll need more script, so it's best to keep everything in one place so that people can easily know what to write by seeing what's left and checking the puzzle dependency charts, art, etc to know where the scene is going.

So far as storing the script goes, even the wiki can get out of sync with the game - it's particularly tricky since so far as I'm aware, GitHub doesn't give notifications of wiki changes.

The dialogue is stored as a Python style array of dictionary objects (Godot's scripting language is effectively a re-creation of Python syntax rather than Java/C/C++). Mixed whitespace and inconsistent indenting might be making things harder to read than they could otherwise be, but I'm also wondering if maybe there's a way we could find a format that's more accessible for prospective writers that still contains all of the information we'd need to generate the dict syntax and do that at runtime.

In the long run, I think it's better for everybody if we can empower people who want to work on writing to be able to write into files that the game will use and see their changes locally before contributing/committing changes.

 

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I've only skimmed over the code, but from what I can see, en_EN.gd contains both the script source and logic for initializing dialogue to be used in-game. I'm not sure how localization is supposed to work, but wouldn't it make sense to store dialogue in a separate text file (or text files, when/if new languages are added) using a human readable markup language like YAML or something inspired by it, and just handle parsing of it in the gd script file, in addition to the initialization that is already there? Godot probably doesn't have much in the way of modules to utilize for such things, but I'm fairly familiar with Python and it probably wouldn't take me long to write an ad hoc parser for whichever text format works best for the people writing the script.

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The way the dialog tree works is that a scene (dialogue.tscn) is set up as a node, that contains two buttons (this is the way the Godot engine works for scenes). The buttons are the hero and the npc.  There's code in /dialogue/dialogue_base.gd that contains code for the dialogue function (and the actual code that controls the functions is in /dialogue/scene_runner.gd.  Then, as you said /locales/dialogs/en_EN.gd contains the dialogue itself as well as the code that plays it (q = hero's starting line, n = npc, and cinematic for multiple lines - with a line to tell the engine which npc is speaking).

It definitely could use an overhaul to make it more user friendly.  I plan on tackling this (as well as the rest of the mess in the code) to make it easier for contributors to drop in their stuff, after R1 is released. There's an issue on the issue tracker that details the code that needs to be refactored going forward.  Of course, if you're up to it, I'd really appreciate any help you can give. :)

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