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Messages - Doan Sephim

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Color me impressed, Eric!

That's a ton of work! I only wish the conversion took place after I'd finished patching the game. I have a 8-page document of changes/additions I've made to the game since the most recent version.

I will definitely need to take a look at what you've done. Everything sounds great. I'm still a little fuzzy when it comes to the concept of the flags, but I'm sure with some practice I would get the hang of it.

SCI Syntax Help / Re: SCI Audio - how to set up a music on/off toggle
« on: February 17, 2020, 07:01:43 PM »
For what I think you want (changing volume on-the-fly), try using the 'change' command which should allow you to adjust the volume of a currently playing sound file.  This should work:

Code: [Select]
(send snd:
Ah! Perfect. Now the only issue is the added heap to the rest of the game

SCI Syntax Help / Re: SCI Audio - how to set up a music on/off toggle
« on: February 17, 2020, 05:11:46 PM »
Thanks Gumby. By the looks of it, I will have to have the SCIAudio script at all times loaded to have a volume setting.

Also, when you do this change with playx, will that start the song over in order to adjust the volume?

SCI Syntax Help / Re: SCI Audio - how to set up a music on/off toggle
« on: February 15, 2020, 04:23:13 PM »
I'm a little confused still. In the properties I see the following (In Studio Script, which I'm using for BA 1)

Have you considered converting to Sierra script? It would be a good excuse to familiarize yourself with it.
I'm using Sierra Script for the follow-up, but this one was written in the old code and I don't want to go through the process of transcribing it again and then dealing with the compilation errors.

SCI Syntax Help / Re: SCI Audio - how to set up a music on/off toggle
« on: February 15, 2020, 02:04:00 PM »
So volume can be a value from 0 to about 300.  If it's set to -111 that indicates to use the default of 100?  To retain the selected volume setting in-game between rooms/scripts, a global in main sounds right to me.
Cool, got it. That explains the -111 I see all through the script.

I'm a little confused still. In the properties I see the following (In Studio Script, which I'm using for BA 1):
Code: [Select]
(class sciAudio
command -111
fileName -111
soundClass -111
volume 9000//-111
fadeInMillisecs -111
fadeOutMillisecs -111
loopFadeInMillisecs -111
loopFadeOutMillisecs -111
loopCount -111
conductorFile -111
playXFadeOutMillisecs -111  // used only for playx command
I've set Volume to -111, -1, 0, 300, 9000 and at no time did it make any difference to the sound volume. I'm assuming it's checked and set elsewhere also, but all I can find is:
(if(<> volume -111)
Code: [Select]
StrCat(@msgBuf "   volume ")
      StrCat(@msgBuf volume)
      StrCat(@msgBuf "\n")
And I'm just not sure what this does.

SCI Syntax Help / SCI Audio - how to set up a music on/off toggle
« on: February 13, 2020, 08:20:02 AM »
This is mainly a question for Gumby, since he made the SCIAudio script. I was wondering a couple things:
1. How would I set up a volume toggle for the audio. Everything in the script (including volume) is set to -111, and that baffles me.

2. Assuming the volume can be toggled easily, could I do this without having to load the SCIAudio script at all times? Since the volume would be accesed via the menubar, would it be as easy as setting up a global variable and using that in the SCIAudio script?

SCI Syntax Help / Re: Setting a Cursor's location
« on: January 14, 2020, 09:35:31 AM »
It's very strange. The code I'm using does move the cursor and if I click on where I put the cursor it will trigger for that area, but when I move the mouse it snaps back to where I had the cursor before.

This isn't a big issue, it was just a small quality of life issue that I'm fine not implementing, but it does make me curious as to what's going on in the code. But I'm still very much an amateur in coding, so it's beyond me.

SCI Syntax Help / Re: Setting a Cursor's location
« on: January 12, 2020, 09:38:50 PM »
Yes, I'm running in dosbox.

Since my code does successfully move the visual cursor, all I need is to simultaneously move the variables associated with the cursor. I just am not sure where those are held.

SCI Syntax Help / Setting a Cursor's location
« on: January 10, 2020, 11:27:37 AM »
I'm trying to put the cursor in a certain location, but am having some trouble.

I've used the following code:
Code: [Select]
(send gGame:setCursor(gNormalCursor SET_CURSOR_VISIBLE 279 31))This works in as much as it moves the cursor to the numbers specified, but the problem is that while it moves the cursor to that location, when the player moves the mouse, the cursor jumps back to where it was before I set it. So, the setting of the cursor to a location is only cosmetic and not influencing the actual variables involved.

I've looked and cannot find where the cursor variables are held. Can anyone help with this?

Edit: Sorry for the Studio syntax...I'm working on the patch of my old game, so I'm using the old syntax

I would argue that this "freedom" is mostly an illusion. A parser or a P&C interface is only as complete as the designer makes it. There are a LOT of parser games that simply fall back on genaric responses.
I agree with Collector here. While I generally prefer the parser games, I've played a lot where there's little care put into responding to lots of different input. Some of that, at least from my own experience, is due to heap concerns (I had to trim down a lot of input in my main script, for example), but a lot of it is insufficient play-testing.

The one thing I actually like about parser that PNC doesn't and really can't do is making dialog options more player driven. With the parser it's up to the player to play detective a bit and zero in on important words/images to keep the conversation going in ways to find out new things. I actually really enjoy doing this, but PNC conversations are pre-set and all plotted out so that the detective work is gone.

That's not to say the parser is "better" because the PNC dialog allows a better (or at least more reasonable) dialog tree flow. It also allows far better "back-and-forth" conversations, and if the writer is really good, like a Tim Schafer, the dialog can become one of the best parts of the game. If you've ever played Psychonauts (which isn't an adventure game per-se, but its dialog trees are essentially identical), you'll discover dialog that is just too delightful to skip. But if the dialog is boring, then I get put off by the branching dialog trees and find it to be a chore to click through them. That's essentially why I tend to enjoy the parser a little more - it asks me to be more active.

As Collector said, "a parser or a P&C interface is only as good as the game's design allows. Which is better is completely subjective." I would just add that each has its own inherent strengths and limitations and being aware of them can help you exploit the good and circumvent the bad.

Great list, NilG. I've been playing through some of the fan-made SCI games lately and there's a lot that can be learned from them as well:

One thing that stood out to me after playing Legend of the Lost Jewel Demo is that a lot of the negative aspects of puzzle design can be forgiven if the art and animations are good. The demo has almost nothing in terms of puzzles that cannot be solved very simply, there is no plot to speak of, and there are no other characters in the game to interact with, but after beating the demo, I still wanted more to play because there was so much attention to detail in the artwork and animations.

I'm not saying that art/animations are more important than those other things, but the game gains a lot of grace because of it.

1. So I'd add to the list, using text descriptions in place of animation. Text is easy, but animations add so much perceived production value and make the game so much more fun to interact with. Without them, the game gets to feel too mechanical.

2. Fetch quest puzzles. Don't get me wrong, you can always have parts in the game where you need to deliver an item from A to B, but when they become the premier puzzle mechanic of the game with little to no variation on obstacles in the way, the game becomes extremely boring.

3. Out-of-place-puzzles. Here I can use my own game as an example. Betrayed Alliance has a few puzzles that don't really have much relation to the world or story-line. I use a slide-block puzzle to get into an area, and there's really no justification for it. A lot of the puzzles work well, but some of them are a bit out-of-place. This is something I want to amend in the second installment.

This time you can build an installer yourself with my NSIS Publisher plugin for Companion 3. When you are finished with the new version, that is.
Cool. I downloaded the plug-in from the wiki. Thanks for the help with this!

Thanks guys! It's so much better when fresh eyes are on it.

Would anyone like to playtest and give me feedback?

No pressure  ;)

Sorry to Resurrect an old thread, but I'm working on another patch. I'm trying to make this game better and better to prepare for bigger things (Betrayed Alliance Book2 in particular).
Here's the current list. I plan on recording a Let's Play of the game to find more bugs/other things needing fixing:
•   Should be an option to turn off music
•   Add difficulty settings: Easy and Hard
o   Hard includes more intricate parser commands
o   Easy includes ability to skip some puzzles (slide block puzzle)
•   Draw new dead thumbnails
o   Ogre killing you
o   Ghost killing you
o   Bugs eating you
o   sarcophagus
•   If teleport to WELL room from WELL room, Ego disappears.
•   If teleport to well rom from adjacent room, not teleport animation (goes for graveyard as well)
•   If top waterspring active in GHOST puzzle, game freezes upon leaving room
•   Crystal ball cannot be interacted with
•   Wizard Room – Wizard’s windows not colored
•   Cliff w/vines. Click on graveyard (word “landscape” repeated twice)
•   “Use marble” should work to get boulder down
•   “Pry open slab (with shovel)” should work in mausoleum
•   Block puzzle (“There seems to be a missing piece”) text should be lowered
•   “Ask about secret” doesn’t work for Sammy
•   Add animation of picking up marbles at meat seller’s house
•   “Look” in Attic doesn’t mention anything about bookshelf
•   “Take Quiz” = “not close enough” – no need to walk to quiz.
•   “Take Kite” = walk to kite and take it, not “Ur not close enough.”
•   “Search body” of dead man in face cave is too verbose. Break it up
•   “Search body” for skeleton doesn’t work
•   Directions for blow dart unclear
•   No message after hitting water button leaves things unclear
•   Allow shooting dart at flies – animation of them dodging?
•   After shooting water to get rid of flies, perhaps a message?
•   Autosave before going into the mausoleum pit.
•   Pry open sarcophagus doesn’t work
•   “Use crystal ball” doesn’t have a response
•   No Pick-up animation in Magic room (heap issue?)
•   “go in hole/cave” doesn’t work at pond area
•    “It’s definitely a rock” message strangely off center [hermit outside], same with tree
•   Cliff area, can’t read sign far away is stupid
•   Talking to soldier who patrols the bridge should be easier (you shouldn’t have to be so close)
•   “Look at pot” should include bend over animation (heap issue?)
•   “Go in mouth/cave” should work. “Crawl in” should work
•   No pick up animation in cavern for marble. No mention of what marble obtained.
•   Skeleton should no block ego
•   “Use dart gun” and “blow dart gun” yields no response (which room?)
•    “take paper” doesn’t read paper in sarcophagus cave
•   “look at ground” doesn’t mention bar
•   Turner on safe should have hint that you can click it
•    “item region” doesn’t seem to work on bridge with guard
•   Scientist’s house…door doesn’t appear as a door
•   Door puzzle – have a wrong solution Print when all pieces are down
•   Eat pork/chicken gives no hint
•   Death image against Ogre is wrong
•   Bugs eat even after you hit button?
•   “activate trap” should work for arrow trap
o   Activating trap says “you’re not close enough” – this is dumb
•   “You may pass” phrase with goggles doesn’t work when lever picture is active
•   Stairwell – walking after defeating armored can be altered by user input – problem
•   Saving in the underground is broken (seems to work ok for me)
•   Puzzle points in character stats not equal what’s on menu bar

•   Librarian could give hints on where to find missing books
•   “Fish” or “go fishing” yield no response
o   Music from Leah’s area not turning off when at pond area
•   “Ask about woman” to Leah yields useless response
•   Front of Castle – some sort of message that it is not the preferred entrance
•   Ran out of heap in Sarah’s secret sanctuary
•   No hint to ask Bobby about hair (perhaps a list of missing books is posted)
•   After digging up ring – there should be a pick-up animation (and a hole left over?)
•   No reasonable hint that Bobby has book about hair
•   Cave of whispers ghost pathfinding is broken after latest fix / also doesn’t kill you
•   Additional room to add suspense would be good
•   Hermit home – right click look on characters just tells you names
•   Face cave does not look menacing…bright colors, nothing foreboding about it.
•   Cavern of madness, no water waves
•   Scientist room
o   Explanation of Goggles seems weird “anything from anywhere”
o   After getting Goggles, give some hint what player should do next
•   No outside door on Dock house
•   After giving letter to Deborah, maybe she tries to sell you food
•   Add some kind of clue to let player know to move table over plate on ground
Yellows currently fixed

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