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DF Oliver

Programming Update #1

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Hi Oliver,

For the sake of cross platform-ness, and seeing that you only need 2D sprites, did you consider using some HTML5 technologies and make this a browser based game?

I'm also curious about this.

I've worked on an HTML5 gaming website for about a year or so, and my experience is that most people underestimate what's possible with /WebGL nowadays.[1] But at the same time, cross-platform/browser compatibility is still problematic. Chrome definitely is the player's browser of choice. I've always used Firefox (and Mozilla/Netscape before that) as my main browser, and I still do, but when it comes to playing HTML5 games, I switch to Chrome. Still, the future is now. It could be interesting for DF to be on the forefront of the next generation of web-based games. However, since Chrome isn't available on iOS, I don't think going for HTML5 would be wise. Unfortunately, it is (and the browsers' HTML5 implementations are) simply not mature enough.

[1] To see what's possible, check TankWorld, Emberwind and Crystal Galaxy.

I don't see DFA standing out as a forerunner in HTML5 users, because people sorta kinda already do 2D adventure games on the web. While they could make one that captures people's hearts, they aren't going to blow anyone's minds especially if they have taken a trip to Newgrounds or Kongregate at some point in time.

Not to shoot you down. It is a really cool thought.

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Question: obviously the shadow of SCUMM looms large when it comes to designing platforms for adventure games (particularly when you've got the inventor of SCUMM sat there in the office with you!) so I was wondering how the framework you're relating now relates to that. What sort of stuff does SCUMM do which you're going to try and mimic or improve on, what does your new framework do which SCUMM doesn't do, and is there anything SCUMM does you have ruled out doing with this new thing?

I wholeheartedly second this question!

I would love to see a SCUMM-inspired interface (as it is my assumption that SCUMM is still a copyright of LucasArts and therefore can't be used in the DFA). What are your plans on it Oliver? :D

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Thanks for the update and Q&A, DF Oliver*, I was gonna ask a slate of clever questions but most of them have already been asked so I'll just compliment you en Redbot and the general open information vibe this gives to the whole project.

*I like to put the DF, it's like the Darth in Sith Lords, sure, you could just call 'em Vader, Sidious and Whatnot, but it's just not the same. Darth Whatnot is far more awe-striking when addressed with his proper title.

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Hi Oliver,

Are you planing to use Lua, Python or some other scripting language as a SCUMM alternative?

It is probably too early to say something like that but you probably have some ideas of what you are going to use.

Thanks

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[...], because people sorta kinda already do 2D adventure games on the web.

Well, "sorta kinda"; true. However, nothing impressive. The best HTML5(-ish) adventure games I've seen are 1899 Steam and Spirit, Knifetank: The Hauntening and The Secret of Grisly Manor. What I've seen on Newgrounds, like Gretel and Hansel/Johnny Rocketfingers/Alice is Dead, is entertaining, but it's not like what DF might be able to bring us.

By the way, did you work on this game? :-)

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[...], because people sorta kinda already do 2D adventure games on the web.

Well, "sorta kinda"; true. However, nothing impressive. The best HTML5(-ish) adventure games I've seen are 1899 Steam and Spirit, Knifetank: The Hauntening and The Secret of Grisly Manor. What I've seen on Newgrounds, like Gretel and Hansel/Johnny Rocketfingers/Alice is Dead, is entertaining, but it's not like what DF might be able to bring us.

By the way, did you work on this game? :-)

LMAO nope. I had nothing to do with that game or the movie it is based on. I just found it to be a fitting graphic for the handle I chose for this forum.

And that is a valid point. The quality would be better. I am just saying it is nothing new to put an adventure game on the web.

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Woah that was fast! Was that done in a single day?! Good job man, it looks promising!

Something inside of me wants to scream "NEEDS MOAR PIXELS!!", but again, I guess that's the artists duty and not yours. I am no programmer and that engine looks simply amazing to me.

I expect some Redbot spin-off in the future!

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Thanks for the update! I love this kind of insight!

Will you tease us with code snippets in your next update? :)

Maybe not quite in the next update, but hopefully soon. :-)

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Question: obviously the shadow of SCUMM looms large when it comes to designing platforms for adventure games (particularly when you've got the inventor of SCUMM sat there in the office with you!) so I was wondering how the framework you're relating now relates to that. What sort of stuff does SCUMM do which you're going to try and mimic or improve on, what does your new framework do which SCUMM doesn't do, and is there anything SCUMM does you have ruled out doing with this new thing?

Obviously SCUMM is a huge influence on how we are going to decide the new tech. There are a lot of features which will work in a similar way like for example cooperative multi-threading and the way you can describe sequences. Having said that the language will be different (Lua instead of SCUMM script), which has a lot of benefits over the original script system.

I'm planning to write a update on SCUMM in comparison to the new tech at some point in the future, so hopefully that will shed some light on the matter. I'm not sure when I'll get around to write it, so please don't expect it next week. Thanks for the question though, because it is a good one. :-)

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Question: obviously the shadow of SCUMM looms ...

So, tell me about loom

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This is great, and yet another thing that makes me think my money has been well spent even if I don't get the game in the end! Not that I'm not incredibly excited to actually GET the final game mind you, just that I'll have already received my money's worth by that time.

Looking forward to your next installment :)

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Great post, Oliver. Thanks a lot. Between developing the game and answering all of our questions, you're in for a busy few months.

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Hi Oliver,

For the sake of cross platform-ness, and seeing that you only need 2D sprites, did you consider using some HTML5 technologies and make this a browser based game?

I'm also curious about this.

I've worked on an HTML5 gaming website for about a year or so, and my experience is that most people underestimate what's possible with /WebGL nowadays.[1] But at the same time, cross-platform/browser compatibility is still problematic. Chrome definitely is the player's browser of choice. I've always used Firefox (and Mozilla/Netscape before that) as my main browser, and I still do, but when it comes to playing HTML5 games, I switch to Chrome. Still, the future is now. It could be interesting for DF to be on the forefront of the next generation of web-based games. However, since Chrome isn't available on iOS, I don't think going for HTML5 would be wise. Unfortunately, it is (and the browsers' HTML5 implementations are) simply not mature enough.

[1] To see what's possible, check TankWorld, Emberwind and Crystal Galaxy.

Hi,

Thank you for saying this. I'd like to know what Oliver thinks,

shul

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Best after-Kickstarter-DF-post so far! To actually see work being done on DFA fills a void I didn't know I had. Following you adventure to create an adventure will be an adventure indeed! Although I can see already that creating the game will take longer than anticipated due to the in-rushing of questions and comments making you guys less efficient. hehe

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This is what I paid for. Getting the game is just a huge bonus. Thanks for explaining everything. I have a feeling you'll go more in-depth with the next video update ? I can't wait to see what is in store.

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This is what I paid for. Getting the game is just a huge bonus. Thanks for explaining everything. I have a feeling you'll go more in-depth with the next video update ? I can't wait to see what is in store.

Seconded.

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I don't know anything about programming except a few binary jokes (10 to be precise) and that the primary programs I use for research are in Python (which doesn't like any of the commands I try to type in), but I really liked the picture and if more pictures are posted I can pretend to know what is going on. Maybe I should go read that C++ for Dumb Puppies book or something...

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Hey Oliver, can you tell us just how public will the code is going to be? Will you actually release the binaries at some point or will you simply tease us with small snippets and vaguely refer techniques and existing libraries? How about the architecture and other UML - like products?

From what I've read, there's quite a few programmers around who really want to know every detail of the sausage, myself included.

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I'm planning to write a update on SCUMM in comparison to the new tech at some point in the future, so hopefully that will shed some light on the matter. I'm not sure when I'll get around to write it, so please don't expect it next week. Thanks for the question though, because it is a good one. :-)

Awesome! I'm sure I'm not the only one who'll be looking forward to it.

Question: obviously the shadow of SCUMM looms ...

So, tell me about loom

You mean the latest masterpiece of fantasy storytelling from Lucasfilm's Brian Moriarty? Why it's an extraordinary adventure with an interface of magic, stunning, high-resolution, 3D landscapes, sophisticated score and musical effects. Not to mention the detailed animation and special effects, elegant point 'n' click control of characters, objects, and magic spells. Beat the rush! Go out and buy LOOM today!

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I think it would be awesome to get red robot as a fun fan kick back.

Have redbot in a storeroom or something in the final game, just lying there and unworkable.

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I really love the fact that you guys (or currently just you, Oliver) are building a new engine from scratch. :P That hopefully means that there will be more than just one game using it in the long term. Any plans in making it free-to-use afterwards, maybe like the "Adventure Game Studio"? That would be pretty cool for starting Adventure designers!

:)

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Also another question, since you are working at the engine, have you guys thought about programming a feature to display the game with "old skool" graphics? I am talking jagged lines and pixels as big as a melon here!

Basically it's what was done in the Xbox LIVE version of Monkey Island (Monkey Island SE), where the player could press the Back button to activate the original version's graphics. I thought that would be cool and fairly easy to implement?

As far as the 'old-skool' mode goes it will be tricky to get the same effect, since we don't have low-res art to start with. The visual style of the game hasn't been finalized yet, so let's see what the artists come up with. I'm sure it will be absolutely awesome though!

This is particularly relevant to my interests and something I've been thinking about a lot - I'm working on a point and click adventure at the moment (it's my first game :P) and it's really important to me that it looks pixelly like old-school Monkey Island et al because that's what I played and loved when I was younger. I'm basically thinking about making the game really low res and then upscaling it. My other thought was to write some sort of graphics overlay that would go on top and average the underneath pixels in to one big blocky grid on top, but that doesn't address the problem that the sprite animations underneath would then blend with the background, wheras I want them to move a "pixel" at a time. Any thoughts on this at all?

Also, when you guys script in lua, do you tend to do it more on an object basis (i.e. each "actor" has its own object and properties) or is it more linear than that? I'm a ruby guy by trade (kind of) so I'm wondering whether I'm going to have to undergo a bit of a paradigm shift.

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So with writing a new engine(but not from scratch) what are some of the newer features you want to incorporate in the game that the old SCUMM language couldn't do(or had trouble doing with ease)? Are there specific mechanics or under-the-hood type stuff that you want the new engine to do that SCUMM couldn't?

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Really interesting read. I had to take a break from these forums because of the unruly mob of new users, but this thread sucked me back in. Like several others here, I'm also a programmer by profession, but this branch of programming is uncharted territory for me, so it's very exciting to get a glimpse at what's involved in creating a game engine from scratch.

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Hi Oliver,

For the sake of cross platform-ness, and seeing that you only need 2D sprites, did you consider using some HTML5 technologies and make this a browser based game?

I'm also curious about this.

I've worked on an HTML5 gaming website for about a year or so, and my experience is that most people underestimate what's possible with /WebGL nowadays.[1] But at the same time, cross-platform/browser compatibility is still problematic. Chrome definitely is the player's browser of choice. I've always used Firefox (and Mozilla/Netscape before that) as my main browser, and I still do, but when it comes to playing HTML5 games, I switch to Chrome. Still, the future is now. It could be interesting for DF to be on the forefront of the next generation of web-based games. However, since Chrome isn't available on iOS, I don't think going for HTML5 would be wise. Unfortunately, it is (and the browsers' HTML5 implementations are) simply not mature enough.

[1] To see what's possible, check TankWorld, Emberwind and Crystal Galaxy.

Hi,

Thank you for saying this. I'd like to know what Oliver thinks,

shul

Hmm interesting. To be honest I don't know HTML5 in great detail although I have been quite impressed with what some people manage to create using it.

For us it wasn't really a choice because of the platforms we need to support. As you guys already said it would cause problems on mobile devices, which will be important for this project. Also it might make future SKUs more difficult to port (unfortunately). If the game is super successful (and I hope it will be) we might want to port it to consoles for example. Of course this is pure speculation, but for us it was the right business decision.

Does that make sense?

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