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bradwall
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Thanks for all the input, I will look into all this later. The problem with the speed seemed to be fixed, but when I added the Neather into the game, it slowed down (like it was doing before when it reached the top)... and I can't get it to not do it any more. It is really ticking me off. I will have to get to it later. I have updated some stuff, but will post it later. I am tired of playing tetris and need a break from it for a while.

Again, thanks for the input.
10-07-2003 at 11:08 PM
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Mister
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I can't run version 0.0.5 because of a missing dll: MSVBVM60.DLL :(


[Edited by Mister on 10-07-2003 at 11:11 PM GMT: This is a recently formatted WIN98SE]
10-07-2003 at 11:10 PM
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ErikH2000
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Brad,

When run DRODTris.exe (tried from command line and Windows explorer), DRODTris starts, but I can't see the window. I only see it in the process list, taking up all CPU.

I'm running Windows 2000 Server. Your first version worked fine for me.

-Erik

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10-07-2003 at 11:26 PM
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ErikH2000
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ErikH2000 wrote:
When run DRODTris.exe (tried from command line and Windows explorer), DRODTris starts, but I can't see the window. I only see it in the process list, taking up all CPU.

Never mind! I was being stupid. Extracted it from the archive wrong.

-Erik


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10-07-2003 at 11:31 PM
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bradwall
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So Erik, any thought about it so far? I know that it has a long way to go.
10-07-2003 at 11:33 PM
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ErikH2000
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quote:
bradwall wrote:
So Erik, any thought about it so far? I know that it has a long way to go.

It's a nice game, and by Tetris standards I don't think it lacks anything. However, I've played a *lot* of Tetris and have gotten pretty jaded. More game elements to distinguish it from standard Tetris would make it stand out. I would not necessarily try to translate more elements from DROD the game, because there may be fun things that have nothing to do with DROD.

Okay, I will throw out an idea worth 1/12 of a dime: What if the puzzle pieces that you got for each level were ordered in such a way that you had to place them very specifically. Have an undo key, so you can back up as many turns as you want. Get rid of the timer, and make the game contemplative.

This is just one example idea off the top of my head, and maybe not a good one for a game. It's not really Tetris any more, but do we need another Tetris clone? A little harsh, I know, but I feel that if you spend time writing a game, you have a chance to inject something unique into it. And of course, that's what you should do.

-Erik

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10-08-2003 at 12:10 AM
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/me likes it a lot! I don't particularly agree with Erik's idea on making it kind of like time-stopped Tetris, but that's just me.

One thing I find kind of annoying is the effect the rows do when you clear them. It should be something smoother and pleasing to the eye; maybe just a simple fade-out would suffice.

I definitely like the idea of having the 'Neather's bar move back when you clear rows.


Some concept ideas to think about in the future:

Instead of having one graphical monster orientation for all pieces, randomize it for each piece. It gets boring when all your pieces' monsters are facing the same direction. ;)

Animate the monsters randomly, like in DROD. Blinking eyes, twitching antennae; right now it all just looks kind of... static.

Dropping a little tower of pieces in the middle of the screen is kind of harsh; how about dropping pieces in random locations?

Make the "'Neather Meter" look nicer; currently it's a bit hard to tell exactly where it is. For instance, having a small marker at the exact "filled-up" point would be nice, as would having the meter be a solid, filled rectangle instead of a line.

Occasionally, the 'Neather Meter displays an odd graphical glitch where the black meter background will flash. I think it actually flashes the tile background, but I'm not sure since it does so really fast.

If the 'Neather Meter doesn't already go at the same speed all the time, regardless of what you do in the game, it should. Also, though this has been already mentioned, the meter continues to advance after Game Over.

Maybe make an orb "boing" when the 'Neather whacks his orb. You could change the "Eeeheeheeheehee" sound to trigger a second before he actually whacks the orb, so you know you're in for something a moment before it actually happens. (but not quite enough time to react, eeheehee :D)

Make the "drink a mimic potion" sound the sound that plays when you complete some rows, and then make the "shhhunk" sound the sound that plays when those rows are actually eliminated.


And in the very far-away future:

When tar babies land, make them create blobs of tar and join to other blobs if they're adjacent, using regular DROD tar-forming rules. If a baby can't form tar, it should just stay there.

A new piece, Beethro's sword (only one tile, never appears in blocks), could chop away monsters that it lands on top of, and chop away tar using normal DROD reshaping rules. Make them rare, but not too rare.



More and more, I'm beginning to think that DROD's element behaviors lend themselves more easily to the "different" kinds of Tetris variants; you know, the kind where hanging pieces just fall off, and the goal is to match pieces of the same type while having stuff dumped on you by your opponent (like SPF2). Well, make game first, ask questions later I suppose. :)

[Edited by Sokko on 10-08-2003 at 01:11 AM GMT: It didn't do what I said it did. That's a lot of pronouns.]

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10-08-2003 at 01:06 AM
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ErikH2000
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I didn't want my last post to sound like DRODTris needed to be a radical departure from Tetris or it would be crap. I think it just needs more new stuff in it--the DROD theme makes it a little bit cool, but not attention-holding. I like Sokko's idea about the sword. There are many ways the game could be extended.

-Erik

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10-08-2003 at 01:41 AM
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bradwall
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All are great ideas. I am going to put all of our ideas down and prioritize them.

I appreciate all of the ideas and hope that more ideas come as the game progresses.
10-08-2003 at 03:14 PM
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mrimer
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Yeah, I like these ideas and the progress you're making too! Some guys and myself wrote up some DRODTris ideas about three months ago on another thread:

http://www.drod.net/forum/viewtopic.php?TopicID=188&page=1#3749

Good for brainstorming. They're about in the middle of the page.

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10-08-2003 at 04:15 PM
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bradwall
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Thanks, Mike.
10-08-2003 at 05:06 PM
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bradwall
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New version (0.0.6)

Changes:
- Randomly changes background (when completing a level) after level 8.
- The progress bar for the 'Neather is now a snake.
- The progress bar stops after game is over and when paused.
- The game doesn't slow down when there are a lot of pieces on the board ***

*** I think that this is finally working! Could someone try it out and see if they think that it still is slowing down when the pieces reach the top... it doesn't appear to do it anymore, but I would like another opinion.
10-08-2003 at 07:20 PM
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bradwall
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New version (0.0.7)

Changes:
- The 'Neather's progress bar used to not reset to the original speed when starting a new game... this has been fixed.
- Version 0.0.6 would crash when moving to level 2... this has been fixed.
10-08-2003 at 08:22 PM
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Oneiromancer
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I think the 'Neather build up bar should go a little slower at earlier levels. Also, sometimes it seemed like the serpent lurched forward for no apparent reason.

I would appreciate a minimize button up at the top, next to the "X" to close the window, which also pauses the game when it is minimized. A pretty typical feature, I think.

Game on,

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10-08-2003 at 08:38 PM
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bradwall
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I agree that the 'Neather bar should go slower at first... I will do some adjusting to it once I decide how I want it to work exacty.

I would like to know what people would rather have:

1) The 'Neather bar (serpent) does what it is doing now... meaning that it moves along throughout the entire level and will reset at the beginning of every level.
2) The 'Neather bar (serpent) doesn't reset at the beginning of every level... instead, when completing a line, the serpent gets a little shorter. I would have the amount that the serpent goes down depend on the number of lines completed and the level the person is on. For example, a Tetris would bring the 'Neather bar down more than just one or two lines completed. Also, higher the level, the less the serpent is effected by you removing lines. In this case, maybe the progress bar doesn't need to speed up at all.

Which idea does everyone like? How should it be? Any other idea for how it should work?
10-08-2003 at 08:50 PM
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ErikH2000
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bradwall wrote:
I would like to know what people would rather have:

#2. The 'Neather dump is really severe and I would like to be able to avoid it.

-Erik

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10-08-2003 at 09:07 PM
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bradwall
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I agree, Erik.

Do you think that the Serpent should reset at the beginning of every level, or just continue. Also, should the progress of the serpent remain the same, or should it speed up for each level?
I was thinking that it could stay the same speed, but the effect of removing lines from the board would get smaller.

Any other ideas? Anyone?
10-08-2003 at 09:15 PM
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Sokko
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#2. The serpent should stay the same speed, and the amount you remove from it should get smaller. Personally, I'd like to feel I have a way of combatting the inevitable 'Neather Dump. It also adds more excitement to the game.

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10-08-2003 at 09:38 PM
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Oneiromancer
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I was thinking about it, and to keep kind of a DROD "feel" I think the serpent should only increase when you place a piece and you don't complete a line (except when the 'Neather drop occurs, of course). This kind of removes another "timed" aspect, and makes it a little more turn-based. And then we feel like we have a little more control over the serpent length, and aren't rushing to drop pieces before it gets to the end of the bar. As the levels increase you can either have the amount the serpent lengthens increase, or decrease the amount the serpent shortens upon a line completion. Some options: always have the serpent lengthen the same amount upon non-line completion, and reduce the serpent lenghth as follows for level 1: 1 line, 25%, 2 lines, 50 %, 3 lines, 75%, 4 lines, 100%. At level 2, decrease the percentages by 5%. Level 1 can never get below 5%, 2 lines can't get below 10%, 3 lines can't get below 20%, and 4 lines can't get below 30%. Obviously this is a very preliminary suggestion, I am sure there is a better way to do it. These percentages should probably be of the entire line, not of what is left at the current time, unless you are feeling really evil. :devil

Another suggestion: put the word "Next" at the top of the next pieces box, so we know it's the top one and not the bottom one.

Game on,

[Edited by Oneiromancer on 10-08-2003 at 10:01 PM]

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10-08-2003 at 10:00 PM
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ClaytonW
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quote:
Oneiromancer wrote:
I was thinking about it, and to keep kind of a DROD "feel" I think the serpent should only increase when you place a piece and you don't complete a line (except when the 'Neather drop occurs, of course).


How about only when you create a "hole?" You put a piece down that restricts access to a square. Such an event is uncommon enough that probably three to four penalties would cause the 'Neather Drop.
10-08-2003 at 10:18 PM
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StuartK
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#2, but then you add alot of negative conditions to the option that I don't like, to make the game more difficult again.

In its current incarnation (or any of the incarnations you detail) I think all the feature adds at the moment is frustration. What if the player is unlucky with the blocks they get? They then get the double whammy of a flurry of blocks clogging things up, which often means an instadeath, or at least a quick death.

Some options/criticisms;

1. Have the bar stay near the same speed, and have the same amount taken off throughout the game, as the game itself speeds up. The speed of the game alone causes enough problems. If you're going to do so, I'd rather the bar go faster than the amounts taken off it be less, since this would be more visual to the player.

2. Never, ever send a flurry of three blocks in a row (I usually just quit about 1 second after that happens) Horrible :evilmad: I don't know under what conditions I get that, but (if I even continued) it basically means game over, or game over considerably quicker.

3. Give the player some time to react when the blocks are dropped. One or two spaces away from landing. Or maybe just speed that particular block up to x2 or 3 the current gameplay speed, instead of dropping it to the bottom straight away. The player may not get to put the block exactly where they want, but they could at least get the orientation as best as possible. This would probably fix #2

4. If playing near the top, slow the bar down, or stop it entirely. It really does *suck* if the Neather alone finishes the game off for you. Perhaps #2 and #3 would fix this.

5. Alternatively, stop the Neather from being a constant game effect. Perhaps only 'activate' the Neather, if a certain block type is used when completing a row (but not a tetris, so you'd have a way out) If activated, you have a short time to prepare yourself (10-30 seconds) and he does his thing.
10-08-2003 at 11:37 PM
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bradwall
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Thanks, StuartK (and all) for the ideas. I will play around with some things and see what I can come up with.
10-08-2003 at 11:46 PM
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levelthirteen
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I can't see all of the board; the bottom 4 and a half rows or so and the rightmost one and a half columns are hidden. This is on 0.0.7
10-09-2003 at 12:12 AM
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ErikH2000
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One more idea for the 'Neather bar:

Have it advance whenever you clear just one row. If you clear three rows, it backs up a little. If you clear four rows, it drops all the way back to nothing. Otherwise, it doesn't move.

-Erik

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10-09-2003 at 02:55 AM
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mrimer
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Wow! That 'Neather and snake meter are really cool! Adds some real adrenaline-pumping tension!

Yeah, I think there's gotta be a way to fight the snake meter. I think the penalty drop is an effective game element, but I think it would be better served to drop the three/four blocks side-by-side, simultaneously. So, rather than a huge problem in the middle, you end up with a couple possibly messed up rows on top of the pile at most. Enough to be a difficult challenge, so that you really want to take out that crotchety ol 'Neather, without it being lethal.

I propose that each level be like a new room, different DROD rooms, for example. For now, that could mean restarting the snake each time, but in the future, it could also mean beginning each level with a new playing field, possibly with a certain pre-set room configuration which has some puzzle element to it. Maybe a room would be passed each time the snake is knocked down to nothing (a la Erik's latest idea or something similar). The preset room block configurations could facilitate easier multi-row combos if you handle the room's puzzle correctly. Take, for example, a single-width, four-deep hole covered by a single block. Remove the block by making a row on top and then drop in a four-long block to get the Tetris and solve the room! I'm sure we could think up a lot of creative puzzle rooms that way.

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10-09-2003 at 05:40 AM
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eytanz
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I really like the new version - and I think a lot of people had a lot of good ideas vis a vis the serpent meter - so I'm not going to suggest anything new there, except to say that I agree there needs to be some way to reduce it, and I agree with Mike that dropping the blocks side-by-side would be better.

One graphical nitpick: On most backgrounds, it is extremely difficult to see the 'neather. I mean, I know what he looks like from DROD so I can tell it's him, but objectively, he looks like a weird blue blob. I think you need to put him on a floor tile rather than a wall.

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10-09-2003 at 02:44 PM
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bradwall
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New Version (0.0.:glasses

Changes:
- Can battle the snake down. Every time you remove a row, it goes down a little... a tetris will bring it down faster than just removing one row. The higher the level, the less effect your clearing pieces has on the snake.

I liked Erik's idea:
quote:

"Have it advance whenever you clear just one row. If you clear three rows, it backs up a little. If you clear four rows, it drops all the way back to nothing. Otherwise, it doesn't move. "



I think that I may try this. I wanted to release what I have first so that I can get an idea of whether anyone likes it the way it is. The reason why I like what Erik said is because someone wouldn't get penalized because they are a slow player... instead, they are penalized because they are not a "smart" player.

I also like Mike's idea of having it drop the pieces in three different areas (instead of just down the middle).

One more thing:
Yesterday, it appeared that my game was going slow when pieces were filling up in the board... however, this morning (after just booting my PC), it appears that it runs fine. This makes me think that the problem isn't with my Painting the screen, but with resources. I will have to run some tests on this.
10-09-2003 at 03:53 PM
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mrimer
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Great! Attacking the snake makes gameplay much more manageable. I think we're going in the right direction.

In line with Eytan's aesthetic comment, I'm wondering whether the snake might look better on checkered tiles rather than a solid background. It doesn't have to match the playfield color or anything, just alternating light and dark gray, about like it is now. I say "might look better", but I really mean that it might help to better dilineate the meter. You know, make it easier to eyeball its progress and more intuitive to the player how the block combinations affect it.

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10-09-2003 at 05:02 PM
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bradwall
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Yeah Mike,

I was thinking about that too... but, I used picture boxes for the snake (instead of BitBlt(), like I did with the other things). I was worried that it would slow down the game play (like it has been doing). Since, I don't think that the BitBlt is the problem that I am having, I will have to change the snake to a sprite or something and get it working the same way as the other graphics.

Thanks for the info.
10-09-2003 at 05:13 PM
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bradwall
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New Version (0.0.9)

Features:
- The 'Neather dump doens't make one large pile anymore. I took Mike's advice and had it drop the pieces in different spots in the board.



I want to put Erik's idea about battling down the serpent, but I wanted to know if everyone likes the way it works now, or if they like Erik's idea. Eriks idea was:
quote:

Have it advance whenever you clear just one row. If you clear three rows, it backs up a little. If you clear four rows, it drops all the way back to nothing. Otherwise, it doesn't move.



Try the new version and tell me if you like it, or would rather have it with Erik's idea.

[Edited by bradwall on 10-10-2003 at 08:44 PM GMT]
10-10-2003 at 08:42 PM
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