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Re: Ectocomp

Postby Lumin » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:19 am

What I've just been doing is setting the alarm on my phone - ideally at two hours in I'd have all the descriptions/cut scenes/etc. done and have an hour left to stitch it all together with some tasks. Both times I ended up pulling the plug because I was still frantically writing with 15 minutes to go. I did wind up with at least one cool idea I'm saving for later though. :)
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Re: Ectocomp

Postby P/o Prune » Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:26 am

This could be quite interesting....
How do you cope with a (in this case) 3 hour limit?

This is a comepletely new experience for me. With my other games I've had all the time in the world to complete them. I usually get the idea for a game, chew on it for a few days and then begin. But the game kind of develops while I write it and I can jump back and forth, correcting things here and there.
Now all of a sudden I find myself trapped in a timecapsule :wink: and I find that I have to plan the game almost to the smallest detail before even opening the developer.
How do you approach your game?
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Re: Ectocomp

Postby Duncan_B » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:25 am

I've only written two three hour games, and I took very different approaches to both of them. The first was Top Hat, for which I came up with the basic idea and just made the rest up as I went along. It was really challenging and quite nerve-wracking to write in this way, but it seems to have worked.

My other 3 hour game, I Was a Teenage Headless Experiment, I planned out extensively on paper before typing anything up in the Generator. I also made sure to have a stopwatch nearby, so I could stop my time, close the developer, and take breaks to re-examine my notes. I used each hour as a benchmark to try to scope my adventure... "Okay, I finished this much in the first hour. What do I need to cut?" (And, if one wants to finish, it is always a question of cutting rather than adding!)

I'm trying to plan a game right now, writing out object names/descriptions, some necessary tasks, a map... my hope is to chart out the idea and then be able to type it up in 3 hours or less (hopefully less so I can get in maybe 5 or 6 minutes of beta-testing). I prefer to re-type things from scratch rather than copy-paste, especially for reasons of keeping my scope modest.

I might try another one off the top of my head, if I can get a clear enough idea for where to start with a Hallowe'en theme to do it.
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Re: Ectocomp

Postby Campbell » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:32 am

Does testing count as part of the 3 hours?
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Re: Ectocomp

Postby Duncan_B » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:24 pm

Campbell wrote:Does testing count as part of the 3 hours?

I've always thought so.
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Re: Ectocomp

Postby P/o Prune » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:59 pm

I thought it was two different things...
Anyway, I think the testing should be a separate issue.
Give us better games, and any corrections made will have to be counted towards the 3 hours.
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Re: Ectocomp

Postby P/o Prune » Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:02 pm

Campbell wrote:For info, the next version of ADRIFT will record how long has been spent working on a game.


How will that work?
Does it start counting as soon as the developer is opened?
Then I have a problem because I like having the developer open in the background while I plan my game on a word doc.
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Re: Ectocomp

Postby Campbell » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:11 pm

It increments if Developer is open and is the active application. So if you were working in a Word doc, the timer would pause.
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Re: Ectocomp

Postby MikeDesert » Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:17 pm

hmm...I wonder if the timer was on when I went out for a 6 pack just now. In any case, I'm an hour in after restarting a whole new game because the other one was too ambitious. I had to pause a few times to look at the Adrift manual for character walks and things that I didn't know how to do. Gonna try to do another hour now
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Re: Ectocomp

Postby MikeDesert » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:10 pm

HELP!

OK, getting down to the end of the "game" here... I want the player to have 6 objects before he can do a number of end of game tasks...I'm not sure how to go about this easily. It's not going to be practical and will take too much time if I put restrictions on every single task and every object.

I was thinking of cheating it and making it so the player was transported to an identical location when they had all the objects where the tasks would have no restrictions...but that also sounds overly complicated...

I've tried using the Adrift 5 wiki, but it's still pretty sparse...

thnaks!!
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Re: Ectocomp

Postby Lumin » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:28 am

The first thing that pops into my head would be to have acquiring each of the objects increase a variable by one, and when that variable equals six have it trigger a task that lifts the restrictions off the end game stuff.
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Re: Ectocomp

Postby MikeDesert » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:53 am

thanks for responding! I tried something like that on Po's suggestion, and also another way on a suggestion from Campbell...but I couldn't figure either out...which was probably a good thing, because I still had to cut my "game" short due to time anyway...

which I'm now going to test, since I kinda plowed through testing reallly fast when making it...
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Re: Ectocomp

Postby MikeDesert » Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:56 am

Well, just testing my game and the whole ending is broke. It seems that anytime the player does something that makes the score go up it freezes. Also I used wild cards wrong (was my first time trying them) and it made it so a bunch of tasks won't execute. Unfun!

And yes, I already turned it in! I hit the 3 hour mark.
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Re: Ectocomp

Postby Duncan_B » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:03 pm

Announcement: MikeDesert has withdrawn his game citing unplayability, but we do have a third entry now, Po. Prune's "The House." Huzzah!

Mike, if you do want to try re-coding your game from scratch within another 3 hour time frame you could just call your first one a practice run.

So far, this year's Ectocomp features one Z-code game, one game in ADRIFT 4, and one in ADRIFT 5. A diverse bunch... these should all be interesting to play. Lumin, are you still working on a game? How about some other authors?

I'm 1 hour and 37 minutes into the actual writing of mine, now... and wondering where I can chop it to make it fit!
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Re: Ectocomp

Postby P/o Prune » Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:54 pm

There's been some talk about whether testing your game would count against the three hour time limit.
Just to set matters straight I asked J.J.Guest and here's his reply.

Hi Po. Prune,
Testing your own game is not beta testing but alpha testing, and in my opinion that counts as part of the three hours!
Jason


So, I guess that takes care of that. 8)
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