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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:24 pm 
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I haven't spent much time with the beta yet, but I have been having fun exploring the differences from the demo. The first message that appeared after dying a lot of times was a nice surprise, and I immediately sought them all out for their story elements.

rainwarrior wrote:
the 2nd and 3rd [messages that appear after you die a lot of times] are more like tips for people who haven't read the manual.
I remember being surprised by 2nd message's tip to press SELECT at the starting screen to access the options, because that wasn't mentioned in the PDF manual. I now see it's in the text file, but how will players of the cartridge version know there are options available at the starting screen?

Also in the PDF manual: It bothered me a little that both of the map pages mention the direction west in their descriptions to refer to something on the left side of the page, because when you flip between the sides, the "west" from one description is a different side of the world than the "west" from the other description.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:48 pm 
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Bavi_H wrote:
rainwarrior wrote:
the 2nd and 3rd [messages that appear after you die a lot of times] are more like tips for people who haven't read the manual.
I remember being surprised by 2nd message's tip to press SELECT at the starting screen to access the options, because that wasn't mentioned in the PDF manual. I now see it's in the text file, but how will players of the cartridge version know there are options available at the starting screen?

Yes, that's a big reason I put them there. The manuals were actually printed before I implemented that menu for the title screen, so I wanted to get that message into the game.

Whether the word west or east is confusing in the manual... I dunno, I don't think there are common terms with a precise and accurate meaning that I could apply to a space like this which is topologically different from the real world. So... I chose "west" for left, and "east" for right, on either map. That this bothered you at least indicates that you have figured out for yourself how this world is really shaped.

I also considered something like "toward the edge" and "toward the fold" to give a hint about the nature of these maps, but I felt like that was even more confusing. On the other hand, if I had said just "left" and "right", I felt these words were similarly inadequate to east/west.


At this point I plan to leave the manual as it is.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:34 am 
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Full house! Im liking the story text that is slowly unvailing. It sounds like gauauu and I took roughly the same path.

Without spoiling anything (and I don't think I've got far enough to spoil much) I got that ending and it reset, but then I discovered something which made me think I might want to keep the password and carry on using that game, rather then reset everything.

If that's the case, you might want to leave some kind of hint at that moment, as the ending made me think I should start from scratch. Unless there is one in the text, and I just overlooked it.

Also, yes, brutally difficult! Great enemy interaction though.

Finally, I like the structure of it and appreciate the save points - but if its tough both backwards and forwards it can feel like they tie you to a certain place in a bit of death loop. Maybe the option to warp back to the main first point from a save point? Similar to the reset function? Although I appreciate that suggestions like this late in the day sometimes aren't exactly helpful.

Still very much enjoying the game and we'll be cracking on with it today. Oh, and the map and overall world design is awesome - were going to start drawing a map today, and I can't wait.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:53 am 
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Curious to see the beta, but I don't mind waiting for a full, more polished game, as I'd prefer my money going towards a genuine cartridge copy instead of a digital download.
Hoping you aren't "dumbing it down" too much due to complaints about the difficulty being too brutal :D

And congrats on your upcoming release.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:59 am 
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I'm saving myself as well, but only because i don't have the time currently. Else i find the testing process rewarding.

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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:59 pm 
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Sumez wrote:
Hoping you aren't "dumbing it down" too much due to complaints about the difficulty being too brutal :D

I prefer to think that the game is "smartening up". ;)

So I maybe have described what I'm doing generally as reducing difficulty, but that's only because saying exactly what I think I'm doing would be too much to say. Difficulty isn't just some single monolithic quantity where some people want more and some people want less. Every element of is is an individual case with special meaning. There are things in my game that I think are difficult in ways that are worthwhile and fun, and other things that I think are difficult in ways that are not.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:00 pm 
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I tend to theorize in this matter quite a bit after so many years of playing and designing games. I have a very personal opinion about this: it's fine that it's difficult as long as it is fair, and fair means that a situation is difficult for you *only* because you don't have the required skill, a skill you can get solely by practice. When the difficulty comes from "chance", it's not fair. And this covers a wide spectrum, including situations where you as the player are not in complete control due to poor design.

If the required amount of practice is too high for your standards, then the game is simply too difficult for you. This brings a new matter: as long as "chance" is not involved in difficulty, the game designer should decide on which audience he or she is focusing. And nowadays the amount of people who have the time or will to master your game no matter how hard it is is low, sadly.

So I find it interesting if you are a bit forgiving in your game until the point that your players get hooked. Then, you make the learning curve steeper. Letting the players get some achievements in their first go is a good idea.

There's a very famous game in Spain, released in 1985 for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. The game is called Abu Simbel Profanation and it was a blast back in the 80s, when people had access to less games and tended to persevere more. Nowadays, this game would have been a complete bluff just because it took you dozens of tries before you could even get past the first enemy. Once you got past the first screen, the game felt much easier and really got you hooked. That's bad design, in my book.

I'm really looking forward to this game to be released and I hope I can purchase my copy even though I wasn't around for the kickstarter campaign.

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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:22 pm 
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The beta seems like it's winding down (people are only going to be interested for so long, anyway).

I think the version that is up now (4192) will likely be the last before release. I'm pretty happy with the way it is now.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:34 pm 
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Lizard if officially finished.
Digital version is available now: https://rainwarrior.itch.io/lizard

Carts aren't for sale yet but that will happen fairly soon.

Currently working on a new demo version, then steam release.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:07 pm 
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Have you considered a Game Boy Advance cartridge release using either the C++ codebase or PocketNES?


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:09 pm 
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No, not really. I might port it to another platform for fun later on, but GBA isn't really an interest of mine. If it runs on PocketNES already, I don't see the point of doing any work toward this? People can just play it there.

Is there a good C++ compiler for Genesis though?


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:54 pm 
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gcc still targets 68k, and produces ... passable? code?

No idea if the maintainers have broken its optimizer or code generator in the same way they broke SPARC's.

People are continuing to make new SMD games using it (e.g. using SGDK); I'm certain there's people around here who could give you a clue dump.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:19 am 
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GCC 7.2 runs perfectly for Gen, even LTO and garbage collecting work. The generated code is not asm-coder-perfect, but it's very good.

Disclaimer: I write C for Gen, not C++.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:34 am 
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Ah, well that's interesting. I didn't expect that GCC would target 68k... but after looking up its history apparently that was its first target?

Anyhow, my line of thinking is that it's not really worth doing anything for a non--modern platform that's powerful enough to just run an emulator (like GBA), and on the other end of things a platform that is too underpowered to support a C++ version would require porting the whole thing.

In this middle ground are a few that I'd been considering playing with: SNES, Genesis, DOS.

Not that this is a promise to do anything of the sort. I don't think there's much good reason for me to do so, but a SNES or Genesis port might be a fun learning project for me. The DOS one would just be a nostalgia trip: I cut my teeth on DJGPP.


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 Post subject: Re: Lizard
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:26 am 
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rainwarrior wrote:
Anyhow, my line of thinking is that it's not really worth doing anything for a non--modern platform that's powerful enough to just run an emulator (like GBA)

Sound in PocketNES isn't perfect for two reasons: the way envelopes on the DMG APU work (piecewise linear hardware envelopes, with annoying period resets if full software control is attempted), and the triangle channel can't be heard so well on a tiny built-in speaker whose high-pass response resembles that of a third-order 800 Hz Butterworth filter. Perhaps emulating the game but HLEing the audio? It should run C++ though, so long as you don't try iostreams or any of the other landmines for which GCC with libstdc++ emits ridiculously oversized code. You might need to rethink camera control to compensate for the less tall screen.

rainwarrior wrote:
In this middle ground are a few that I'd been considering playing with: SNES, Genesis, DOS.

For Super NES, much of your NES code will still work in 8-bit MX mode. But you'd probably need to improve color depth somewhat and arrange the music and sound effects for the double polyphony and sampler mentality of the S-DSP. If you don't feel like getting your hands dirty in SPC700 assembly language (which is a 65C02 in drag), there are a few pre-built homebrew audio drivers, such as SNES GSS.


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