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Solarionne Beta Released!
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02-20-2004 00:59

Posted by:
MapMaker

Location:
Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)

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Finally, after more than a year of trying to figure out how to make a game run, I have given up where I am and decided to release a beta.

You can find it on my website at:

http://www.geocities.com/triplesunssoftware/home.html

Make sure you read the read me before you actually attempt to play the game.

Please, I need feedback before I collapse from lack of knowing what to do with this.

I know this game sucks, I would expect it to, as this is my first game ever made, and TNT was my first programming language. It is 6065 lines long, and I can't even remember what half of those do anymore.

Enough listening to me, go download it and please tell me how to make it fun, because I have no clue anymore.

Thanks for your time, and special thanks to Mathew for helping learn to learn the language, and helped find bugs many, many times.
MapMaker

p.s. now that I think of it, does TNT stand for Tully And Treece-Birch?

02-20-2004 01:44

Posted by:
puffin

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i can't get it to run, but your read me file is seething with frustration. why don't you make a tiny game for your first game? this one sounds way ambitious.

02-20-2004 03:22

Posted by:
eekaydee

Location:
CA, USA

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The application appears as a file when I download it.

02-20-2004 13:09

Posted by:
-wyvern

Location:
Bedroom

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Same here - I cant drag it to tnt either, it says unexpected eof, and it does not appear to be a stand alone application. Try mailing your code to the TNT people to put in the directory, there is every possibility that your FTP or server is zapping the resource fork and making the file unplayable. I look forward to playing your game.

02-20-2004 16:13

Posted by:
Stephen Lund

Location:
Michigan USA

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Are you using a Mac or PC

Stephen,

02-20-2004 19:46

Posted by:
JW

Location:
Netherlands

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The same thing. If i open the file in hieroglyph--> everything is empty.
Can't drag it to TNT and the file can't run on itself.
I've tried to drag it to resedit, the resorcefork is also empty.

Hopely you can fix the problem.


Willem

02-20-2004 23:05

Posted by:
MapMaker

Location:
Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)

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Ok

I really need to make sure it works before I release it...

NO I SPENT A YEAR MAKING A TNT GAME ON WINDOWS STEPHEN :P

As eekaydee noticed, the application turns into a file when I zip it.

I am using Dropzip 8.00 from Stuffit. Has anyone else had this problem?

02-20-2004 23:19

Posted by:
MapMaker

Location:
Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)

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:( (:

Due to real life circumstances, Triple Suns Software has stopped supporting DropZip. It just doesn't work.

On a happier note, we have started using DropStuff, which does work.

>Sorry for wasting your time, it should work now :)

>Puffin; It started out small and it just grew and grew and I couldn't stop it ;)

02-20-2004 23:19

Posted by:
eekaydee

Location:
CA, USA

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Why not stuff it?

No, but is there a reason why you're zipping it? Why don't you just use DropStuff instead?

02-20-2004 23:30

Posted by:
puffin

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your writing to the disk too much. i tried playing and couldn't get very far because it kept asking me to save. this would probably explain your frame-rate problems.

02-20-2004 23:45

Posted by:
puffin

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oh, and the tutorial was nice but after watching it i was still completely confused. i knew how to uncloak ships though. in the tutorial, have the player do more and watch less.

also, the pieces are confusing. they all look too similar. make a colonizer and a destroyer (or whatever they're called) look as different as night and day, maybe using different shades of colors. one kind of piece could be a blue tint, while another could be a blue tone, and another a blue shade.

after watching the tutorial i couldn't understand the significance of the numbers on the planets.

this could be a nice puzzler, but you need to explain the rules more clearly.

02-20-2004 23:50

Posted by:
MapMaker

Location:
Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)

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Hence the uncompleted tutorial...

quote:

your writing to the disk too much. i tried playing and couldn't get very far because it kept asking me to save. this would probably explain your frame-rate problems.



What do you mean by this? The game only saves when you tell it to in the menu. Or so I thought...


02-21-2004 00:07

Posted by:
MapMaker

Location:
Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)

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:O

It was there.....

Funny, that save dialogue never came up for me, but sure enough it was there...

Thanks for pointing that out.

Version 0.2.7 now upgraded to 0.2.7.1 :)

02-21-2004 00:38

Posted by:
-wyvern

Location:
Bedroom

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I agree, this could be quite a nice little strategy game, but the framerate has GOT to improve - try only updating the display when absolutely neccesary, ie switching off sprites that are not in your field of view... If you can get that mouse smooth, you'll give a much better impression. And yes, the pieces are confusingly similar. Since each player's ships look slightly different, you need more of a common theme to each type, like a small thin ship for a scout, a big roundish one for a coloniser... Whatever you like.

Don't give up. You've put out a project, which is more than I've done.

02-21-2004 01:20

Posted by:
MapMaker

Location:
Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)

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Argh....

I agree with you.

I guess I'll look at remaking the ships. As I said, I'm not the world's greatest artist...

But the framerate is already at its max. When the sprites are off of the screen, they're off, and everything else is at its minimum too...

Theres just so much code to run through...

I'm thinking of taking out the map/viewport and just drawing everything to the screen normally, shifting the position of all sprites/pictures when you tell the screen to move...

Do you think that would help at all?

02-21-2004 04:04

Posted by:
eekaydee

Location:
CA, USA

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Problems

Ok, I had a problem. When I try to play the game, the turns end without me pressing End Turn. They just keep cycling through the turns, and I have no idea what's happening.

Also, I noticed something that might explain the slow framerate. I saw the rolling credits box (the one that appears in the title screen) being drawn during gameplay. Perhaps the thanks goes to the TNT bug in OS 10.3 that draws to the screen regardless of whether draw frame is called or not. Anyway, I think this might mean that you have lots of unnecessary background drawing, which would slow the game noticably.

02-21-2004 07:16

Posted by:
JW

Location:
Netherlands

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Well, what a great music. That's very nice.
Unfortunally the game isn't playable. The location on the minimap is
jumping all over the galaxy. It just won't stand still, which makes everything
impossible to do something. The response time of the mouse is also
very low. This could have something to do with a low framerate.
(and i have a dual G4)...

The tutorial works fine, the game idea is also good.
I quess that the strategy will work out fine if the problems are solved.

Good luck !


Willem

02-21-2004 13:20

Posted by:
MapMaker

Location:
Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)

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You know thats really funny, neither of those problems appear for me.

The endturn() procedure is definately only called when you click the "end turn" button.
(And after the AI's turn. Do you have the computers turned on or did you leave them all human?)

And as for the rolling credits box, thats outside of the main game loop so I see no reason why and how it would be doing that during the game.

JW;
Are you on OS 10.3 as well?
I know the response time on the mouse is low, just one of my problems to fix.
And as for the minimap, does it only move when you move the mouse, or does it move even if your not at your computer?

Did anyone else experience these problems?

02-21-2004 13:49

Posted by:
Stephen Lund

Location:
Michigan USA

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I have a Mac 9.1 and the mouse is still jumpy,

Stephen,

02-21-2004 14:57

Posted by:
JW

Location:
Netherlands

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My computer runs on Mac OS 10.3 (panther)
About the strange minimap movement... it doesn't matter what i do, it will
show me another part of your galaxy every second (meybe every frame), even i don't even touch a thing.
It's very confusing. So it changes position, like (probably) i have clicked on a location on the minimap.

Hope this helps...


Willem

02-21-2004 15:00

Posted by:
MapMaker

Location:
Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)

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I have come to the conclusion that my game does not run properly on Panther (Mac OS X 10.3+).

Sorry to all of you that use it,
MapMaker

02-21-2004 15:02

Posted by:
MapMaker

Location:
Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)

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Jumpy Mouse

The jumpy mouse is just part of the overall lagg of the game. This comes from a very low FPS (~6)

I am trying to fix this but I don't think it can get much better.
MapMaker

02-21-2004 15:57

Posted by:
puffin

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can you send me your source code to look at?

i think your code must be structured improperly. while i'm playing i get between 60 and 6 frames/sec. that in and of itself is odd, but when it's getting 60 fps it isn't drawing anything new to the screen.

02-21-2004 17:21

Posted by:
JW

Location:
Netherlands

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Why does the game have so much troubles with framerate. What i have seen it' a strategy game and not much animations... In my opinion it shouldn't have framespeed problems, but it don't work on 10.3, so i have not seen the game as it should be.
Can you tell more about it ?

Willem

02-21-2004 17:31

Posted by:
MapMaker

Location:
Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)

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I don't know why its so slow either.

My guess is that it just has so many loops and procedures to run through that it takes a while to get around to the 'draw frame' command.

I can send you the source as well if you want.

02-21-2004 17:58

Posted by:
JW

Location:
Netherlands

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I don't need to see the code, i'm not so good in reading other people's code.
But i can give you a hint about the problem of speed.

There are many loops and procedure before redrawing the frame.
Yes, but in a strategy game it's perhaps not necessary to do everything before redrawing.
You have to make a game loop, if you have to redraw--> do it. Even if your not finished with the loop, let the computer handle this after the redraw.
(so it has to be timed based, see if the timer functions has passed a enough milliseconds, yes--> redraw)

I have made a space strategy game in the past, and it was also turn based game. I do all the calculations before changing players... (tax calculations, calculating enviroment,energy effects, ship productions updates).
Maybe this is also an option for you ?

Willem

02-22-2004 19:00

Posted by:
MapMaker

Location:
Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)

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:)

Thanks for the tips, but thats exactly how mine works :)

02-24-2004 22:01

Posted by:
Mark Tully

Location:
TNT HQ, England

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TNT Basic's graphics are suffering from a bug in 10.3 that causes flickering graphics if you draw in a certain way. Essentially, if you draw using any drawing commands (including text drawing commands, but not sprites) then your graphics will flicker.

I'm trying to figure out a way around it but apple have just made it really difficult. I'm kind of hoping they'll just fix it.

Mark

02-24-2004 22:13

Posted by:
puffin

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i've encountered this too, but i thought that it didn't happen unless the framrate was set. not sure though.

03-04-2004 17:11

Posted by:
Wil Hostman

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Well, I get 2 FPS, on an iMac DVSE 500 running 10.2.8.

Each frame is a different color for the commands.

Until I hold down the command key
Then it fixates on a single color, goes to 30-45 fps, scrolls in a square.

after a while, it pops up the credits over the play screen.

Yes, it looks cool. Type of game I enjoy playing. NOW: MAKE IT WORK!

At no point was I able to bring up the commands.

03-05-2004 00:44

Posted by:
MapMaker

Location:
Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)

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:/

I must appologise to you people who cannot get my game to run. It works perfectly for me.

I have been re-designing the map system to increase framerate, and it looks promising.

I'll keep you posted,
MapMaker

03-24-2004 02:19

Posted by:
Wil Hostman

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Got it to runn right...

re-d/l'd it yesterday.

Problems, in order of importantce:

1) CURSOR VERY HARD TO SEE!!!

2) planets in same grid locations is a problem. At galaxy build, it should check for and relocate if colocated with another planet.

3) No way apparent to cycle through stacks of ships... so if you move a ship over an unmoved stack, the stack is effectively innaccessible.

4) No way to target ships inside stacks.

5) No AI.

6) After a certain point, it wouldn't let me take over unclaimed worlds using colonizers. I could take over more by having the other player take them, then invading.

Pretty good if this is a first attempt.

03-24-2004 13:49

Posted by:
MapMaker

Location:
Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)

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Uhh..thanks..I guess.

"Cursor is very hard to see" - What would you suggest? I'm not much of a design person.

I'm currently working on the planets and ship problems when they're on the same grid.

"No AI" - Did you set the player to "computer mode"? - In the player setup menu when you select a new game, it will come up with the list of four players. Use the up and down arrow keys to select a different player, use the left and right keys to change its mode (between 'human' 'computer' and 'closed'). Sorry, I guess I should make that more obvious :/

As for the coloniser thing, I've never experienced that, but I'll look into it.

Thanks for the feedback,
MapMaker

03-24-2004 16:15

Posted by:
Wil Hostman

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I discovered the bug about colonizers playing a 2-player game...

to recreate it, if it will occur, do both as human, and have one go hog wild... the other saves up... the hog wild one seems to stop being allowed to colonize.

As for cursors: the current cursor design is good, but the colors need to be more vivid... and contrast. So don't use a red cursor for red player... perhaps use a red cursor with a white outline.

one other thought: Player 4 is, colorwise too close to player 2...

I had to set the screen to maxbright to play, and neither my wife nor I like to compute that high... [grin]

03-27-2004 01:55

Posted by:
MapMaker

Location:
Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)

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New Version Released

I think that I have suceeded in making this game playable, so I decided on another release. Not too much has changed, except the following:

1) I have tripled the framerate - from ~5 to ~15 fps.

2) I've changed some of the colors to make it easier to tell which is which.

3) I've added a few more lines to the tutorial.

I have not suceeded in finding a bug in the colonizers. If you ever come across it again, or any other bug, please save the game and e-mail the saved game file to me.

I know this isn't much different, but hopefully now its at least playable.

Thanks for all the great feedback,
MapMaker



03-27-2004 13:13

Posted by:
-wyvern

Location:
Bedroom

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Excellent work - This is turning into a very promising game.

The only thing I can think of at the moment is an "Undo Move" feature - I hate accidently sending a coloniser to the square adjecent to a planet and having to wait until next turn to move it again...

03-31-2004 02:19

Posted by:
Wil Hostman

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Crash Issues Emailed

I emailed you about the specific bugs I found:

Ghosting, Not able to invade, etc...

04-04-2004 05:11

Posted by:
MapMaker

Location:
Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)

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Thankyou everyone for the feedback

I have made a new release, fixing many of the bugs that you have found for me. These include:

1) The 'colonizer bug' - I have fixed a bug that I have found with the colonizers, but I am not sure if it was the only one.

2) Closed slots are now closed. The purple player no longer pops up in a two - player game between red and blue.

3) Closed slots no longer generate system planets and suns.

I have also modified the cursor colors a bit, and might have fixed a bug in the moving system (although I'm not too sure I've gotten rid of it).

Thankyou to everyone who gave me feedback, it really helped alot. Again, if you do find any bugs, please save the game and e-mail it to me.

Thanks,
MapMaker

04-05-2004 23:32

Posted by:
matteo

Location:
Venice, ITALY!

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Not to be rude but... I find the game a bit ugly... I mean it's very unresponsive on my imac... probably it's not your fault, it's just that TNT is taylored to arcade-sprite based games (although I think it could handle well a game such as the old "micromachines", top down racing). Oh well, kudos for your effort ;-)

05-07-2004 23:46

Posted by:
MapMaker

Location:
Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)

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(?)Final(?) beta released

Hello, me again.

I've been working onthis game for the past few months, and now I think I've gone as far as I'm going to on this version. This release should fix (all of?) the bugs, and I've used many of your ideas.

I've realised that the game is too oddly built to handle much more, so I'm going to start an entire new project for Solarionne Verion 2, which WILL feature such cutting - edge technologies such as:

- Graphics (real ones)
- Sound FX

And other stuff which I just don't think really fit into this version :)

I'm just keeping this one simple, and I've tried to make it as playable as possible.

Thankyou all for your feedback, you've really helped alot in the game's development.

Again thanks,
MapMaker

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