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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:33 am 
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I am thinking that I would like to make a point-and-click adventre game, but I think I would need help with the art. Anyone want to help out?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:47 am 
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So you wanna make the next Maniac Mansion. First write a design document with all you know about this adventure game, including every single piece of art needed for one character. Then you will understand the scope of the project and can try attracting artists.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:53 am 
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Do you plan on porting an existing game, or do you want completely new graphics.

KHan is working on LSL and I've been doing the image conversions for him, which is time consuming, but doesn't require quite as much work than making completely new stuff (or art skills). Do you plan on having a cursor, or will you just walk up to things.

I'd love to see some of the early KQ games converted.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:53 am 
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More like the next Uninvited :) I am just trying to get a feel for how receptive the community is to this type of collaboration.

Thanks for the advise Tepples. I will post again after I have the DD done.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:03 am 
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I was thinking cursor-based without verbs. IE you just click on a door it will open, click on an open door to move through it.

A major focus of the design will be to streamline the interface and user experiance. I feel a big barrier to entry for players of the older games was the clunky interface, and the "guess the verb" puzzles that tend to emerge.

I'll have all this in the design doc.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:39 am 
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I always wanted to make a point-and-click adventure for the NES... The only game of that kind I'm aware of is Manic Mansion, which can actually be seen as 2 games, considering how different the japanese version is, but in both games the graphics are very primitive, and I believe the NES can do better.

There's an interesting game for the GBC called The Fish Files, which looks a lot like Day Of The Tentacle. Obviously the NES can't produce such colorful backgrounds, but that's the kind of graphics I'd like to go for. A lot of CHR would be necessary. Sprites are also a concern... it would be hard to have more than 2 characters in the same room, unless some of them always stood on the same place, in which case they could be drawn with background tiles and have just small details animated.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:59 am 
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qbradq wrote:
I am just trying to get a feel for how receptive the community is to this type of collaboration.

A lot of people start big projects without any planning and quit early. I'm trying to help the community learn best practices, if only because I want more projects to get finished. From what I understand of a discussion on one of Fedora's mailing lists, Fedora doesn't include emulators precisely because not enough NES homebrew projects are finished.

qbradq wrote:
I was thinking cursor-based

The NES has no mouse without soldering. I can give you a copy of the cursor control code I use in Thwaite, which handles precise motions and large motions using subtle acceleration. Combine this with a slight bit of "auto-aim", or attraction toward clickable objects when the player lets go of the Control Pad, and it could be made workable.

qbradq wrote:
without verbs.

Occasionally, you might need verbs. By analogy to left- and right-click in a PC game, you could have the A Button do the primary action and the B Button pop up a list of actions if needed.

qbradq wrote:
I feel a big barrier to entry for players of the older games was the clunky interface, and the "guess the verb" puzzles that tend to emerge.

And as guess the verb declined, hunt the pixel initially increased.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:03 am 
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tepples wrote:
qbradq wrote:
I was thinking cursor-based

The NES has no mouse without soldering.


That is true.

However, it would be neat to have an adapter that does one of the following:

1) Connects serial mouse to joypad2 port. Granted, there are a gazillion different serial mouse protocols out there. NES code to support a few shouldn't be too huge.

2) Connects a USB mouse (via small pic or similar) to joypad2 port. The processor would convert the mouse data into something "simpler" for the NES to consume, and allow the NES to poll the mouse instead of sending async events that the NES would most likely miss.

A prototype for #1 can be done with minimal parts (and yes, a little soldering, or at least twisting wires together).

I lack the skills to attempt #2. However, if someone were to use #1 long enough to develop a game for it, someone (kevtris, bunnyboy, qbradq, etc...) might take up the challenge of #2 with a goal of making them cheap enough to sell.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:37 am 
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@tokumaru,

Check out the Uninvited TAS on YouTube to get an idea of what I am thinking about. Sprite animations are very sparse, and you cannot see your character on-screen. It's a point-and-click first person game. I think that style of game is much more doable on the NES, and I personally prefer them to the Scumm style games.

@tepples,

Dang man, you have some very good insights! I was planning on using a rubber-band cursor (helps with pixel hunting too). I would love to see your cursor control code.

@clueless,

I like the idea of using a cheap USB micro-controller to interface with a mouse and the controller port. Are there any other uses for this you can think of? It'd be strange to develop such a gizmo for a single project.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:04 pm 
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qbradq wrote:
I like the idea of using a cheap USB micro-controller to interface with a mouse and the controller port. Are there any other uses for this you can think of? It'd be strange to develop such a gizmo for a single project.


Several game types lend themselves to using a mouse interface instead of a joypad. I don't see designing (or even fabricating) a NES / PC Mouse adapter project having only one application.

(my opinion, made up right now and most likely flawed beyond repair): Joypads are more useful for games where the player in controlling ONE actor, moving the actor against the environment (Zelda, smb1, Metroid, etc...) Where user-input should result in direction action (move, jump, fire, etc...)

Mice are more useful when you need to interact with an environment directly, or have multiple actors. In both of those cases, moving the environment "cursor" or selecting an actor is cumbersome with a mouse. Examples would be an RTS game, or something like Simcity, Populous, Lemmings (those little bastards move too fast for a mouse though!), King's Quest and possibly turn-based games like Shingen the Ruler and Genghis Khan.

Some games can use either with the same effect. For example, Tepples' Thwaite.

I have some ideas on how to implement (UI, AI + actual game engine) an RTS for the NES. However, the prospect of using a joypad for it kinda sucks. A mouse would be much better.

I am not ready to begin such an endeavor though. I'm still trying to finish up my Yars' Revenge clone. However, if you guys would like to design a NES <-> PC Mouse interface, we can start a new thread, or fork this one off one post above this one. I don't want to hijack your original thread about graphics design.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:30 pm 
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I would not want to start on a mouse project until my dev cart is done. It is something to keepin mind though. I think if I do a little planning up front I could make the game support some future mouse interface standard.

I think the muse disussion is pretty relavent to my topic though.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:59 pm 
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qbradq wrote:
I think that style of game is much more doable on the NES

...and that takes half of the fun away! :cry:

I have much more fun thinking about things that are commonly considered "not suitable" for these old consoles! :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:51 pm 
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tokumaru wrote:
qbradq wrote:
I think that style of game is much more doable on the NES

...and that takes half of the fun away! :cry:

I have much more fun thinking about things that are commonly considered "not suitable" for these old consoles! :lol:

Sometimes, it's not about pushing the limits as much as making something fun. :P


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:40 pm 
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Drag wrote:
Sometimes, it's not about pushing the limits as much as making something fun. :P

Yeah, I get that. It's just that for me the fun part is making the games, not playing them. I absolutely need the making to be interesting and challenging, and pushing limits guarantees that.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:46 pm 
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Although I'm busy with my own projects, I think it would be totally awesome if you pursue this! I loved both Maniac Mansion, and the Uninvited (though I think shadowgate was better)! It would be great to this old style of game resurrected!


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