Scrolling Game Development Kit Forum

SGDK Version 1 => Projects => Topic started by: GameDeveloper on 2005-12-04, 10:15:28 PM

Title: Samantha's Game
Post by: GameDeveloper on 2005-12-04, 10:15:28 PM
I have decided to finally post about one of my many games.  This one is called 'Samantha's Game'.  Simple name I know, but the design in the game is anything but simple [at least I believe it to be].  The main character is named Samantha; she is not human, but rather she is a wolf.  It involves her being trapped in a doungeon in her dreams and she must solve the many puzzles to escape.  A being called 'MASTER'[caps] has trapped her in her dream - In hopes to kill her.  This game involves 25 levels and is very challenging!  It has no enemies, they are replaced with only puzzles and traps.  The graphics are a bit simple, but that wasn't a huge emphasis in this project.  If it is to be played, make sure to turn the brightness up on your comp. if you can't see it!  I would love to share this project with everyone, and I'd like for it to be reviewed by Ben Marty [bluemonkmn], but I have no idea on how to get it to anyone...  Could anyone help?

I look forward to hopefully getting this game out there, and maybe many more if people enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it! :)
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: bluemonkmn on 2005-12-05, 06:24:56 AM
How large is the project and all its files when zipped?
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: GameDeveloper on 2005-12-05, 11:41:40 AM
I'm not really sure on how to zip it, and the whole project shouldn't be that large, it only has about 3-4 tilesets, 25 maps, and a few images.  Could you help me zip it?  I'm sorry, but I'm new to this. :(

EDIT:  Wait, I think I figured it out.  I finally decided to at least try it before getting help.  The whole archive is 93 KB... is that a good size? 
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: durnurd on 2005-12-05, 01:06:37 PM
That's incredibly small.  Though BMP and MAP files do zip well.  Ah, you don't have much or any sound / video, do you?  That's usually what kills the size of the game.

So yes, that is indeed a good size (unless, of course, you forgot something).  If you'll read the sticky ( at the top of this forum (Projects), you'll see it tells you exactly what to do:

There is a list of projects that have been submitted to me in the Scrolling Game Development Kit Project list at  If you would like your game to be considered for review and inclusion in the listing, please post a link to your game in a new topic in this forum, and make it clear that you would like you game included in the listing.  If you don't have a place to host your game (to link to), email me directly by clicking my email icon at the bottom of this message, let me know that you have a game you'd like to have listed, and I will provide a method for you to send the game to me.

Please reserve replies to this sticky thread for discussion of the project submission process itself, and the sort (not details on individual project submissions).
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: GameDeveloper on 2005-12-05, 01:23:43 PM
Oh, good!  I thought it was large [when actually it's pretty small ;)].  Well, I can't host it, so do I E-mail bluemonkmn?  his e-mail address is in his profile, correct?
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: billybob884 on 2005-12-05, 09:58:48 PM
heh, 93kb large? right now, my game compressed (with all audio/video) is 26.6mb (26,600kb!)  ;)
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: durnurd on 2005-12-05, 10:41:27 PM
Technically, 26.6 * 1024 = 27,238 KB
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: billybob884 on 2005-12-06, 04:55:39 AM
yea, 27,913, but same difference
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: bluemonkmn on 2005-12-06, 06:52:17 AM
Since your game is so small, you could try attaching it to a reply in this discussion thread.  If you click on the "Additional Options" link in the reply page, you should see a way to attach a file to a message.  Then everyone else can play your game right away while I review it.  If you have trouble attaching it to a forum message, let me know.  Nobody has tried this feature yet so I'm now sure how well it works yet.
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: GameDeveloper on 2005-12-06, 09:30:14 AM
Alright I'll try that.

Tell me if anything is wrong, such as you can't play it, it didn't attach to this post, levels don't work, etc.  This is my first time zipping a project, so be kind about it.  Oh, when you unzip it, make sure that you put it in a folder in your GameDev. folder [where all of your other games and the main program are].  That's the only way it worked for me. ;)

I wanted to say something to anyone who plays it, when you are in each level, make sure you sit back and think for a good while about what to do.  Make sure you make the most logical next step.  If you see spikes, dodge them ayway you can, if you see multiple crates, try stacking them if you can.  I didn't implement any kind of a save feaure [not good, I know], but you can always edit to the game to start back on the level you died on.  Have fun, and don't give up!  All, of the cool puzzles are worth it! :)

  I took this one down, it was the frustrating version.  Look on page two for the game.
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: durnurd on 2005-12-06, 02:13:43 PM
Nice game.  I like it.  A few things though.

First of all, there are some spelling errors (dungeon, silhouette) and grammatical issues (Only use "Thy" instead of "Your" or "Thee" instead of "You".  You seem to be using the two interchangably and for refferences to others as well, for example, using "thy" in place of "he" or "his" is totally incorrect)

Second, If you die, it would be easy to restart the level rather than simply make you dissapear, and this would be incredibly more fun rather than having to play the game through perfectly every time.  Instead of deleting the player sprite, activate a special function that teleports the player to the same map they are currently on with the "restart sprites" flag checked.  Alternatively, you could teleport them to a different map that says "You died" or something, with the "Remember old map" flag checked, then when they press a button, activate a function to return to the old map, restarting the sprites.  These are all easy things to do, and if you need help implementing them, just ask.  Also, simply deleting the player sprite isn't very "game-friendly".  There's no hint of what to do next.  At least something should happen.

Also, the very first screen of text should say "press space to continue" (And prefferably every one thereafter as well).  Also, in the tips part, add a "(Use space to activate)" to the end of the door, since it isn't obvious.

Those are things that I think would make the game much more user-friendly.  Beyond that, my suggestions are cosmetical only.  Like: Add music and sounds.  Music for this kind of game could easily be pure MIDI (really small stuff), and the sound effects don't have to be much either.  Just a "click" when they push a button, a "bing" when something appears, you know.  Maybe a door creaking open when they exit the level.  I've attached some sounds that you might think about using (they're really small).  MIDI music is easy to find online, and not that tough to write yourself.  You've just got to make sure that if you take it from somewhere else, you either get their permission, or don't need it to use the music.
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: GameDeveloper on 2005-12-06, 03:52:47 PM
I thank you for your criticism.  I realise the game needs some work, and I already knew that the 'no-save' feature, or restarting, would simply kill it.  I do realise there is absolutely no sound, but it was that way for a specific reason.

The whole idea of not telling you what to do next was supposed to make the player think about what to do next, but that would take trial and error, which is impossible without a save feature!

Still, I thank you for your comments, and I hope you enjoyed it at least a little.  I have a question, did you finish it?  I know it seems ambiguous and a little ridiculous(the game does), but I was just wondering.
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: durnurd on 2005-12-06, 08:03:47 PM
After dying a few times, I stopped playing, because I had other things to do.

But I think not disclosing the game mechanics as far as "Push the space bar to remove this message" goes a little to far if you don't want to tell the player what to do next.
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: GameDeveloper on 2005-12-06, 08:21:35 PM
Yes, I suppose you are right.  My fault.  I suppose that wasn't the right game for me to submit :(.  I'm sorry you feel that way about my project, I suppose there is no way of changing that.  I can at least hope, for what it's worth, you enjoyed it a tad bit.  At least the bit you played it.

Thanks for playing, though.  I usually only set these games up for special occasions near here.  It's good for a change that others played it. :)  I hope Bluemnkmn likes it alright, or anyone else.
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: cbass on 2005-12-06, 09:17:43 PM
I like it a lot as well.   8)

I agree with almost everything durnurd wrote.  Although no sound I don't mind since I have no room to talk as I haven't entered the world of putting sound in my games either.  But i plan on composing some midis soon, and recording some sound effects.  ( I like to try to use my own work when possible)

Also, reading durnurd's post about spacebar beforehand helped me past that small frustration quickly. ;)

I enjoyed it a lot, and I was even on the phone through many of the levels, (easy to play one handed:))   I thought I was going to get though it all without diieing, but I died in the late teens somewhere, then edited the project to restart at that level, and played through to the last level.  I had to restart the last level a few times because I got stuck, then a few times because some of the crates would fall through platforms instead of riding on them, but I finnally figured it out and got to the end.

All in all, I would say its a great project, a few minor tweaks here and there and it could be one of the most simple yet complete and entertaining projects on the list.   :D
I'd be interested in any other projects you would care to share.

A little side note on design with SGDK in general.  I think you could avoid a lot of the busy work with sprites, collisions, and special functions if you did one of several things.  You could have made all the levels on 1 or 2 maps (one for scrolling and one for non-scrolling) and reused all the sprite templates, collision definitions, and special functions.  OR, You could also have made 1 fully functioning map with all necessary templates, collisions, and special functions and then copied and renamed the .map file 25 times and added them all to the projected by editing the .gdp file. (this is very easy to do)  Then edited the content of the maps as normal.
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: GameDeveloper on 2005-12-06, 09:34:57 PM
Thanks for the compliments :)!  I'm really glad you both liked it!  It was created as a secret game for my roommate, and therefore, it was kind of hard to make some sound for it.  My other games have sound, but this one doesn't.  It was made to go with my new character, a story I created, and the revealing of a whole new list of games to come out this year[to my roomate, anyway].

I'm glad you both liked it.  I would love to share some more.  I was wondering did any of you like the level design[puzzles, how everything worked out]?  I try to make that really good.  I do realise the games short comming's, and I've already addressed each in most of my other projects.  Like dieng and restarting, saving, clear instructions, etc. 

Thank you either way.

  Thank you for the tips, I realise what you said, but decided to try it the other way.  My fault.
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: bluemonkmn on 2005-12-07, 07:13:26 AM
I just got through the whole game myself, but I did have to change the project to restart from a particular level a number of times.  I think the one I redid most was level 13 (with the arrows).  I think I tried that one about 5 or 6 times before I got through it just because I was impatient on figuring out the proper timing to avoid the arrows.

Overall it's quite a nice game.  I think cbass and durnurd are of the same opinion, but the way I would explain our (or at least my) feeling about it is that there's something frustrating/troubling about seeing such a great game with such simple little problems that could be easily fixed, but which do get in the way.  I can see you put a lot of effort into the game -- it has nice clean graphics and design, and the overall implementation is great, but it's hard to appreciate the full glory of it with these simple, but seriously distractions.  Would you be interested in working with us on fixing these problems before posting the project to the list (or would you at least permit someone else to make the fixes and then review/approve the fixed version to be posted as your game)?  I think the biggest one has quite a simple solution: Add a "Restart" function to each level that is activated by button 3 and is global.  The effect would be "Switch to new map".  The function should be set to switch to the current map and reset sprites.  In most cases I think this will effectively restart the level.  You might have to do a couple additional tricks if you have levels that alter the map (I think I saw a couple levels that were probably doing that as I played through the game).  If this is done, then the player can simply press the Shift key (or whatever Button 3 is mapped to) to restart a level when they die or get stuck.

So please don't misunderstand me/us.  I do appreciate the game, even as it is.  It just compels me to help you perfect it so everyone else can fully appreciate the effort you put into it! :)
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: durnurd on 2005-12-07, 07:42:54 AM
Oh, and I had no problem playing the game in a different directory than the GameDev executable.  I don't see how that could make a difference unless some something wasn't installed properly on your computer.
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: GameDeveloper on 2005-12-07, 09:04:50 AM
I'm glad you all liked it.  I had no idea you would let me fix it before you submit it!  Of course I'd love to fix it, in fact it sould take maybe two hours or less, and I'll do all of it.  I know how to put a restart function in, it's just I simply had no time.  I'll take it down right away and fix it.  Hopefully then the project will be ready.

Thank you.
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: GameDeveloper on 2005-12-07, 11:01:36 AM
Alright, here is the improved version.  I added a restart function for each stage, and also some more helpful text in there[press space to proceed, press shift to restart, etc.].  I hope it's better now.  If anyone would like to try it out and give feedback on whether it's better, I'd appreciate it! :)  Otherwise, I think it should be ready for the listing.  Unless I screwed up agian somewhere...

Thanks agian for the feedback! 

EDIT: I took this one down.  Look at my next post for the Project.
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: durnurd on 2005-12-07, 12:25:29 PM
I noticed a few more things.  In stage 20, the spikes at the very beginning don't do anything

In stage 22, the crate button that falls from the sky only works when the crate that appears touches it.  It's kind of confusing to me why that would happen (I understand the game mechanics behind it, but it may confuse the player as to why the other crate has to activate it.)  Also, as I understand it, the other crate has to land on the platform and then be pushed off for it to work the way you want to (specifically in stage 25, where I gave up).  This is very difficult to do when the player is moving down and the platform is moving up as is generally the case.

The first map is stage 1 instead of the intro.  Did you do that on purpose?

Also, I noticed that you have seperate sprite classes defined for each crate in the levels.  This isn't really nececssary specifically in stage 25 (the one I looked at).  You could just have 1 sprite class that all the crates have, since they all act exactly the same, and similarly, you could have simply 1 sprite template and create three sprite definitions using three different paths.
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: GameDeveloper on 2005-12-07, 12:50:15 PM
Well, I see a few of the minor problems you are talking about.  I fixed them, except for the pushed the crates off of the platforms.  I can't change that, it's part of the game design and it's going to stay that way.  Thanks for the feedback!  I didn't notice it starting on level 1!  I fixed it though.  Good thing you caught that.  Well, you gave up agian?  I suppose it's alright, since it is just the last level and beyond that is just more text.  I'm sorry you couldn't do the final puzzle, or if I just simply made broken and kind of ridiculous.  Others I had test it seemed to do it just fine, but thats ok.  I believe it should be listed now, since the main problem was fixed.

Thanks for the feedback Durnurd!  The final project is right in this post.

:  Whoa, wait a minute Durnurd.  When you played level 22, did the (blue)button that fell from the sky fall on top of the first crate?  That's why only the second can press it, I thought the first crate would always be exactly where the button drops, but I have another Idea so it always happens.  I'll just create the button near the first crate and offset it's path way up so it only appears near it, and so it can drop on it.  Sorry it was confusing, and I'm guessing this is why you had trouble understanding.
It's fixed now.
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: bluemonkmn on 2005-12-07, 03:53:23 PM
Oops, I wish I had gotten a chance to mention my suggestion before you made both revisions.  The one thing I had to say was that some of the platforms were having trouble catching the sprite falling onto them sometimes I think.  In the past this has been due to the fact that the platform was set to "Follow Exact Path".  There's an "irregularity" in GameDev that causes those type of platforms not to catch things as well as platforms that are set to "Follow Approximate Path" or whatever.  I could explain the gritty details of why, but I won't bother unless someone really wants to know.  Suffice it to say, approximate paths work better for platforms.  Did you notice this problem when you were playing/testing?  Are your platforms set to Follow Path Exactly?  I'm at work at the moment, so I can't be playing games, but I'll check back later when I have time.
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: GameDeveloper on 2005-12-07, 03:58:48 PM
That's a great suggestion.  Do you mind holding off on the listing while I fix the paths?  Yes, I did encounter certain problems with the platforms, and I'll try to fix it right away.  Thanks for mentioning!.

EDIT:  On second thought, after playing it through agian, the platforms seemed fine to me... I even got my brother, mother and father to all try and they thought it was fine...  If you see any problems in any level then just tell me, and I could fix it.  Right now, however, it seems just fine to me.
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: durnurd on 2005-12-07, 04:29:57 PM
On level 22, if you move the crate out of the way first, the button lands on the ground.
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: GameDeveloper on 2005-12-07, 04:34:49 PM
In response to the post above this one, no, not in the newer version.  I set it so the puzzle will work now.  I thought I said that in my last post, sorry.
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: bluemonkmn on 2005-12-07, 08:57:49 PM
after playing it through agian, the platforms seemed fine to me... I even got my brother, mother and father to all try and they thought it was fine...
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: GameDeveloper on 2005-12-07, 08:59:40 PM
No problem, and thank you for playing!  I hope you liked it! :)
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: bluemonkmn on 2005-12-07, 10:37:49 PM
OK, the game and review are posted.  I hope we can get more games from you in the future!  Judging from this project, I think you could come of with some really fun games if you continued to work and expand a game for a longer time.  The graphics and designs are pretty good -- just need more of them spread out in a single game... maybe one with a map screen.
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: GameDeveloper on 2005-12-07, 11:02:53 PM
Shoot!  Only two stars!  I was hoping it would garner a 3 star rating at least :(...oh well... you bring up good points.  I have another game I'd like to submit, but this time I'm going to take my time to tweak it and make it better.  So I'll make a new thread about it.  Thank you for playing/reviewing :)!
Title: Re: Samantha's Game
Post by: bluemonkmn on 2005-12-08, 08:13:40 AM
I fretted and deliberated over the rating for quite a while.  It was better than most of the 2 star games. But there were some pretty good 2 star games that I couldn't justify ranking below this game.  Maybe I need a more precise or more generous rating system.  I think most of my 2 star games might actually be 3 star games, and many of my 3 star games might actually be 4 star games.  One thing to keep in mind is that any number of stars is a positive thing.  The only reason to grant any game even 1 star is because I think it has some real merit to make it worth playing.  Another thing to keep in mind is that you're competing against some pretty serious projects.  GuildHall turns out some pretty professional work created by teams of developers, and most of those even get only 3 stars (mostly because the students don't have time to make anything longer than a demo in a semester).

The fact that I feel bad about giving a low number of stars to projects that I think are better suggests that I need a better rating system and/or all my existing ratings are off (my initial reaction to this game is that it should be a solid 3 stars, but compared against my existing ratings, that didn't work out).  But I haven't taken the time and effort necessary to work it out.

I would like to hear opinions about my ratings in general.  I think I'll make a new post for that question.