Adventure Creator original thread

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Adventure Creator original thread

Postby tlaero » Wed, 10May12 12:05

This was the original thread where I introduced Adventure Creator version 1.0 so many years ago. It's gotten pretty long in the tooth, but there's some good information here where people asked questions and got help. I'd like to keep the thread around, but I've started a few new threads. We'll migrated the discussion to them.

New releases of AC will now be posted to the Adventure Creator release thread viewtopic.php?f=30&t=3678 instead of here.
If you have feature requests for AC, please make them in the new Adventure Creator feature discussions thread viewtopic.php?f=30&t=3679 instead of here.
If you have questions about AC or how to write games with it, please ask them in the new Adventure Creator Q&A thread viewtopic.php?f=30&t=3680 instead of here.

Admins, even though we're moving the conversations to other threads, there's no need to lock this one. It's possible that someone will read through this and want to respond to something they see. I'm fine with them doing follow ups here in that case. I suspect that most of the conversations will happen in the new threads naturally.

Tlaero

Original message follows:

Hi folks,

I've uploaded a new version of my AdventureCreator tool. (Now version 7.0)
http://www.mediafire.com/download/six8f ... reator.zip

AC7 requires a later version of .net (4.5 compared to 3.5 for previous versions). That version should be available for your OS, but if for some reason you can't use it, AC 6.9 is still available here:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/0hhtg ... tor6.9.zip

Beware that AC6 creates significantly different files than AC5. You need to do a fair amount of conversion in your game before you can use it. If you're in the middle of a game, you might want to stick with the previous version (5.7) which is here:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/tgh2i ... tor5.7.zip

Similarly AC5 version creates significantly different files than AC4. If you're in the middle of a game, you might want to stick with the previous version (4.9.1) which is here:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/pubt7 ... r4.9.1.zip


I wrote this tool to help people like Chaotic and Phreaky write "Virtual Date" games. I used it to create Amy Redux and found it to be a big help. It comes with an example "game" (it's really short and has no sex, don't get excited) that should get people started. If you've been thinking about creating one of these games but don't understand the coding, this tool and example should take care of most of your concerns. I'm happy to answer questions too.

I wrote this tool for the Dating Game community and it's free to download and use. You're even allowed to sell the games you make with it. My only stipulation is that you give me a free copy of any game you make with it.

Chaotic, if you like the tool and decide to use it, and feel any sort of debt to me, a free pass to your Offsite page would completely settle the score. (-:

I'm looking forward to the great games you folks make with this tool. Let me know if you have any questions.

Tlaero
Last edited by tlaero on Sat, 16Jan23 19:52, edited 59 times in total.
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Re: A tool to help write "Virtual Date" games

Postby Squeeky » Wed, 10May12 16:37

Hey! tlaero babe! That's quite a neat opening presentation, but not date :-(

Honestly, at this point I've just downloaded and opened and ran through the sample. What you have there is quite fluid, and I love the humour.

Since you won't come into the room with me while try to look at the rest of the package (and I don't mean the one outside my door -- drools) I'm very upset that I can't find a liquor cabinet or even a door so I can go to the lobby to get one!!!!

Lastly, can you reduce the image of that girl outside my door to avatar size so we can all drool? Take my mind of DiTo [sorry D luv!]
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Re: A tool to help write "Virtual Date" games

Postby Arnulf » Wed, 10May12 21:54

Hey, phreaky, let me help you to improve the GIFs!!!
Image
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Re: A tool to help write "Virtual Date" games

Postby Squeeky » Fri, 10May14 17:40

tlaero,
I have an interest in this project, but more from the programming view. I eventually raised the interface on a machine that has been giving me concerns.

That said, the interface looks quite barren when it opens. Uh,uh! I realise that this a no frills project! It just looked like it should have had a "welcome" banner or something in mid screen.

I don't specifically have anything in mind (might experiment with a few pages from one of the VDG games). json.err, as you may have seen has an interest in a similar development. Seems he has a bit of an issue in that he works with Linux. We've swapped a few ideas, much in line with what your interface does.

Do you have any experience re his OS environment which might assist his development, a word of advice here or there? I realise one's time is important so I don't want you to feel that this is an imposition.
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Re: A tool to help write "Virtual Date" games

Postby TheBrain » Sun, 10May16 04:24

I must agree that it's a bit barren. While I can certainly imagine it to be a helpful tool, I kind of expected an editor on a bit higher level. In particular I think you'd want to be editing on a game-level, not individual pages (that's not to say that this is bad, it could very well be part of a larger whole).

Anyhow, I've had quite a few ideas about this, but I might be a bit out of place writing them here :P.

About the interface though, if you develop in C++ I could really recommend using the QT library. The core of it is a GUI library that akin to Java's AWT/Swing (dynamic layouts, easy to add elements using code, etc.), really makes GUI programming in C++ a piece of cake, and it's cross-platform as well :). It would be really helpful if you wanted to make something like a multi-window interface (like the photoshop UI), but it's just a hint, it takes some time to learn using it ^^.
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Re: A tool to help write "Virtual Date" games

Postby Squeeky » Sun, 10May16 06:22

This was not meant as a criticism, just a mere observation:
That said, the interface looks quite barren when it opens. Uh,uh! I realise that this a no frills project! It just looked like it should have had a "welcome" banner or something in mid screen.
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Re: A tool to help write "Virtual Date" games

Postby TheBrain » Sun, 10May16 07:23

Nothing wrong with constructive criticism though...
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Re: A tool to help write "Virtual Date" games

Postby tlaero » Sun, 10May16 08:57

Photoshop is $800. When I write an $800 tool, I'll make it pretty. This one is free, so I focused on functionality, not frills. (-:

When I started Amy Redux, the task took too long. I wrote this tool to speed up the process, and it had a huge impact on my productivity. Hopefully Chaotic and Phreaky and others can look past the lack of a welcome screen and find some benefit from the tool. If not, that's okay. So long as they keep making these games...

json.err, sorry I can't help you with Linux.

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Re: A tool to help write "Virtual Date" games

Postby tlaero » Sun, 10May16 10:01

Let's talk some about the coding of these games, though. My goal is to keep the Javascrïpt simple so that the games can be written by artists and writers who don't necessarily know how to code.

I've got a way to remove the "check" files, but it makes the code a little more complicated. I'm not sure if the change is worth the complexity or not. I'd like Phreaky or Chaotic, or any non-coders who are seriously considering writing one of these games to weigh in.

Here are the tradeoffs:
Pro: Don't need individual "check" files.
Con: The "check" functions live in one file and can get confused if you accidentally gave two the same name.

Pro: You can have a location check itself. So if you decide to make a bunch of links to a location, then later decide to make it have a check, you don't need to go back and change all those links. This happened to me a few times when I was doing Amy Redux and I found it annoying.
Con: Currently it's very clear how you get from one page to the next, because the html always has an HREF that moves to the next page. With what I'm suggesting, a function could change your location. That's less clear when looking at the html.

Pro: This would enable random encounters, like an area that, sometimes when you visit, muggers appear.
Con: Again, the code is a little more complex.


I want people to have the ability to make great games. But I don't want the Javascrïpt to get too complicated and keep you folks from trying.

I'm interested in hearing from the writers of Chaotic-style games what you think.

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Re: A tool to help write "Virtual Date" games

Postby TheBrain » Sun, 10May16 10:02

tlaero wrote : Photoshop is $800. When I write an $800 tool, I'll make it pretty. This one is free, so I focused on functionality, not frills. (-:

The comparison with photoshop was not about the frills, merely the multi-window feature (which is a simple feature allowing multiple files to be open, not a frill).
When you're talking about speeding up a manual process, the interface becomes part of the functionality. That has almost nothing to do with how pretty it is.

For example, if you basically encapsule your current interface into a window and allow multiple of those windows to be open, then you're already a long way to the game-level of editing I mentioned, since all pages in the entire game could be open at the same time. Then imagine an option next to each link to go to the window of whatever page the link refers to (or open/create it), etc. etc. Those are things that can bump productivity beyond just not having to copy-paste the HTML stuff yourself.

Again, that's not to say your tool is bad or anything, but if you're going to continue developing it I'd say (and that's just my opinion) that that would be a good direction to be looking at.
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Re: A tool to help write "Virtual Date" games

Postby tlaero » Sun, 10May16 11:07

A fair point, TheBrain. However, when I started Amy Redux, I was editing the html in a good MDI editor, and it wasn't helpful. There are a lot of files in these games and I found myself spending too much time searching through the open files.

That said, I have been thinking about having the tool scan through the pages in your game folder and creating a map diagram of the game. If I did that, clicking on the map would open that file for editing. That would help you find broken links, etc. Let's see if anyone uses the tool first. Not much point in spending more time on it if people don't need it.

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Re: A tool to help write "Virtual Date" games

Postby tlaero » Mon, 10May17 03:07

Freakin Firefox. )-:

I coded up the ability to do without check files and did a separate example that shows how to do it. But, just before uploading it, I tried the code in Firefox. For the fourth time since I started doing this, I've found another bit of standard HTML/JS that it doesn't do correctly. So I'm back to the drawing board. Why do you people like this terrible browser?

I'll find a way to bend $%!# Firefox to my will, but it'll probably not be as understandable as my original plan, which in and of itself was less understandable than check files. Maybe check files are the way to go afterall.

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Re: A tool to help write "Virtual Date" games

Postby Tjommi » Mon, 10May17 03:17

to stray off topic a little bit I actually prefer Opera as the highlighted field when you tab around for clicking areas is more visible in that browser. Perhaps it's because of my insane internet connection but I don't feel much difference in the speed of opera compared to firefox. And I guess that's what it boils down to. ie is much more sluggish than firefox.
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Re: A tool to help write "Virtual Date" games

Postby tlaero » Mon, 10May17 08:09

Don't mind me, I'm just grumbling. People should use the browser they like.

I just wish the Firefox people would pay a little more attention to the standards. I keep coming up with these cool ways to improve the coding of these games, only to find that Firefox doesn't support them. I'll get over it, though.

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Re: A tool to help write "Virtual Date" games

Postby tlaero » Mon, 10May17 11:37

I've uploaded a new version 1.1 of the tool and edited the link in the first post of this thread.

This one supports calling a function when a page loads, which will allow a number of neat things, including getting rid of "check" files if you so choose. There is a second example which plays the same as the first, but uses the new functionality under the covers.

Also, I changed the names of the style.cs and functions.js to _style.cs and _functions.js. I didn't like how those two files got lost in the middle of the html. This would be a serious pain if you're already in the middle of a game and have been using the other names. For that reason, I also wrote a quick cmd line utility called "StringReplace" and included it in the distribution. You can tell StringReplace to open all of the html files in a directory and replace one string with another. For instance, to change all of the "functions.js" in your files with "_functions.js" you'd open a command window, cd into the directory with your files, and type:
stringreplace *.html functions.js _functions.js

You could also use this for other purposes, like changing the Title of the game. Etc.

If you've never used a command line program before, let me know and I'll help you get it going.

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