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Snacko
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icon The DROD Flash Project (+2)  
This idea was originally posted here.

Basically, we're going to make a DROD hold in Flash and try to get it posted on some Flash portals, Kongregate seems to be the most supported choice.

Now we're going to need a few positions filled:
Director: Snacko
Developers: halyavin, vittro, brian_s, Fafnir, Rheb, hyphz
Architects: Chaco, Snacko
Release...rs: Snacko
Testers: Snacko
Others: (unfilled)

The developer's first action will be to come up with a room size that will be reasonable to use in Flash, this needs to be a size that will be easy to see in Flash but not too small as to eliminate all puzzle potential. They will also be the person who eventually makes the game after all is said and done (though they will not have to work on things like level design).

The Architect's role is to simply design a hold with every room as big or smaller than the room size. This may or may not be published on CaravelNet, but I really don't see the harm in it and we could use a Beta Board.

The releaseer's job is to clear everything with Kongregate and get the game posted on the sight. Any marketing (if any) will also be handled by the releaseer.

Other is anything I didn't list above, this includes largely organizing the whole deal with Caravel.

Note: One person can fill multiple roles and multiple people can fill one role.

Just post here or send me a PM if you'd like to fill any of the positions.

Updates: Vittro has found a suitable size.

Chaco has made one level of the final hold.

I will begin working on a tutorial covering all the elements that will be in the final hold after all the levels are locked in, I'm aiming for 5-7 levels (though if the developers can get a save function in this number can be increased, I basically don't want the level to feel like a demo but I want the average player to be able to finish it).

I have been informed that vittro is working only on graphics, this is fine but we need some developers to make the thing playable.

Still looking for someone who can make the thing playable!

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[Last edited by Snacko at 08-11-2008 02:49 AM]
07-25-2008 at 07:12 PM
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Chaco
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icon Re: The DROD Flash Project (0)  
I'm wondering what size rooms, exactly, would be used in this project. Regular DROD rooms are 32 rows by 38 columns. I'm wondering if rooms three quarters the size - 24 rows by 28 columns - would be small enough for a Flash site. The architectural community as a whole has proven that interesting puzzles can be fit into even smaller spaces.

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07-25-2008 at 07:37 PM
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vittro
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icon Re: The DROD Flash Project (0)  
I can make some tough/easy puzzles and can shrink some TCB or JTRH graphics to AE size. Count me in for Architect and GFX

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07-25-2008 at 08:00 PM
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Snacko
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icon Re: The DROD Flash Project (0)  
Perfect, PM me or Chaco when you've found an acceptable room size.

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07-25-2008 at 08:19 PM
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vittro
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I've tried Chaco's size on a 640x480 playfield.

It fits good and there's enough room for the HUD.

I will start making some rooms in tcb

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[Last edited by vittro at 07-25-2008 11:34 PM]
07-25-2008 at 11:34 PM
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Chaco
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icon Re: The DROD Flash Project (0)  
Alright, I'll make some rooms in the appropriate size of about 4 to 5 brains of difficulty.

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07-25-2008 at 11:47 PM
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Snacko
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icon Re: The DROD Flash Project (0)  
We still need developers, vittro is only handling the graphics.

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07-26-2008 at 02:47 AM
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halyavin
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icon Re: The DROD Flash Project (0)  
Are flash games capable of saving the state? I doubt that all players will solve entire hold in the first pass.
07-26-2008 at 12:35 PM
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Fafnir
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Yes, although I don't know the details...

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07-26-2008 at 01:26 PM
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halyavin
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icon Re: The DROD Flash Project (+1)  
Found the answer in the book. Flash can save up to 100Kb of information on local disk, this is more than enough for DROD.
07-26-2008 at 02:25 PM
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Chaco
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icon Re: The DROD Flash Project (+2)  
I've made a small DROD level with 10 rooms of the appropriate size. I've restricted myself to using roaches, single wraithwings, oremites, and force arrows - all rather simple stuff that's not too hard to put into code. I believe the puzzles, while not too hard, should be interesting and able to be solved quickly.

I have also included a second level with a template room of the appropriate size that can be copied and pasted into any other DROD hold.

Hopefully this should serve as a good example of what to provide for the project.

EDIT:

The hold can now be found in the Level Submission thread.

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[Last edited by Chaco at 08-16-2008 04:18 AM]
07-26-2008 at 04:03 PM
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calamarain
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icon Re: The DROD Flash Project (+1)  
In order to save time, have you considered using the AE graphics? They're public domain, and usable. Plus, restricting yourself to AE-only elements would make the development a lot easier.

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07-26-2008 at 05:47 PM
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Snacko
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Please PM vittro with any graphical concerns, though that is a fantastic idea.

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07-26-2008 at 08:18 PM
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Snacko
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Architects, post holds here.

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07-26-2008 at 09:28 PM
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Jutt
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Have you considered simply cloning AE entirely?
After all AE was designed for a 640x480 window as well, so its interface would fit perfectly.
In addition, the original KDD hold and numerous other existing holds could be used instantly.

I do not know anything about the technical limitations of flash and wether this would be feasibe, but this option might save a lot of work on the interface, holds, graphics, music...

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07-26-2008 at 10:54 PM
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brian_s
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I am willing to help out on code development and debugging, but I do not know enough about Flash ActionScript to take the programming lead.
07-27-2008 at 04:44 AM
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halyavin
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Jutt wrote:
Have you considered simply cloning AE entirely?
After all AE was designed for a 640x480 window as well, so its interface would fit perfectly.
In addition, the original KDD hold and numerous other existing holds could be used instantly.
38x32 rooms too large - with smaller rooms we can create better looking hud. Also, KDD have some annoying drawbacks (like stuck possibility on 8 level) which we have a chance to fix now. Also, we can add new JtRH (and some TCB) elements to increase variety in the game now.
07-27-2008 at 06:12 AM
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Jatopian
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halyavin wrote:
38x32 rooms too large - with smaller rooms we can create better looking hud.
Glad we have our priorities straight. -_-

I do agree that not all of AE really needs cloning. Some later elements should be simple to add, too.

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07-27-2008 at 06:28 AM
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Snacko
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Are you sure including KDD would be the best choice? We talked about it in the past but decided that perhaps the start would be a bit slow. I know most of us cut our teeth on KDD, but is it really the best choice for a browser based game?

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07-27-2008 at 08:30 PM
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Fafnir
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I would say no. Several reasons:

1) As Snacko says, it starts out very slowly - if we want to bring in large numbers of people we need immediate appeal, and the first three levels of KDD are frankly pretty boring compared to what DROD can be.

2) Level 13 and level 16 (I think - the one where everything's hidden under tar) are both major sticking points for people working without hints, and could drive a lot of people away from the game. This applies to a lesser extent to all levels focused around a given puzzle type too, like 9 and 15. If someone doesn't like the puzzle type, they'll drop the game.

3) The point of the exercise is to bring more people into the community. That means that when they finish the game, they need to be left wanting more immediately, or they'll forget about it. KDD is sufficiently long that if we include all of it, most people will stop playing before they even beat it. We need something more on the order of three or four levels than twenty-five, something that can be beaten in a few sittings rather than a few months.

4) KDD doesn't really offer an introduction to the world of the Eighth, which is a significant part of DROD's charm.

5) Converting all of KDD into a usable form would probably take as long or longer than building a few levels from scratch.

As for helping out, at the moment I know pretty much nothing about Flash - I'm not qualified to be a main programmer. (I also have literally about a month of work to do before I get back to university so I probably wouldn't be able to put in the time required either.) I do probably know enough about programming in general (C, C++, Java, ML and Python) that I could work as a debugger/patcher and pick the language up as I go - count me in for that.

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07-27-2008 at 09:22 PM
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Snacko
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Come on people, we still need someone who knows Action Script.

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07-28-2008 at 09:12 PM
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halyavin
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I wrote the first dumb version with FlashDevelop + Flex SDK 3. See http://opensvn.csie.org/drodflash/trunk subversion repository ( or http://shade.msu.ru/~msu-se/flash/test.html for demonstration). I just started studying action script but I think my knowledge (I am not sure about patience ;) ) is enough for this project.
07-29-2008 at 11:46 AM
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Snacko
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Alright, I've made a list of forbidden elements for the holds, hopefully we'll have a few holds in this topic. Anyone who wants to test, please download the auditioned holds and pick the six you like best. Anyone can test but I'll only be able to give credit to those who vote or otherwise make their contribution known.

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07-29-2008 at 04:42 PM
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Fafnir
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I'm still very much finding my way round Flex and Subversion right now, but in the process I found a bug in the Help screen. The event listener that lets people return to the main menu after pressing ESC is attached to the text field, which doesn't take up the whole window. It starts with focus, but if it loses focus (e.g. if the user clicks in the bottom right hand corner of the window) the user won't be able to get back to the menu without first clicking in the right place.

The obvious fix would be to make the text field 640x480, but that strikes me as kludgy. Would it be possible to add an event listener to the background as well, or is there a better way?

Edit: Am I missing something basic, or should "if (currentFrame == totalFrames)" in the updateProgress function of Preloader.as be "if (load == all)"? I don't see currentFrame or totalFrames being initialised anywhere, and the code looks like it should be executed when the game has been fully loaded...

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[Last edited by Fafnir at 07-29-2008 08:34 PM]
07-29-2008 at 07:50 PM
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halyavin
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Fafnir wrote:
I'm still very much finding my way round Flex and Subversion right now, but in the process I found a bug in the Help screen. The event listener that lets people return to the main menu after pressing ESC is attached to the text field, which doesn't take up the whole window.
I found the way to keep focus on the text field.
Am I missing something basic, or should "if (currentFrame == totalFrames)" in the updateProgress function of Preloader.as be "if (load == all)"? I don't see currentFrame or totalFrames being initialised anywhere, and the code looks like it should be executed when the game has been fully loaded...
These conditions are probably equivalent. The project has "-frame main org.drod.Start" additional compiler option. So it has 2 frames - Preloader.as(+Background.as) and the rest of the code.
But if we move update loader code to separate function, current condition would be shorter than "root.loaderInfo.bytesLoader == root.loaderInfo.bytesTotal".
07-30-2008 at 08:47 AM
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halyavin
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07-30-2008 at 08:52 AM
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brian_s
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Depending on how the internal game structure is setup, I think I can implement, or at least write pseudocode, for all of the following:

Tile Elements: Wall, Crumbly Wall, Floor, Trapdoor, Pit, Red Door, Green Door, Yellow Door, Orb, Blue Door, Force Arrow, Orthosquare, Oremite Tile, Exit Stairs.

Monsters: Roach, Evil Eye, Single Wraithwing, Rock Golem and Rubble, Tarstuff and Babies, Seep.
07-30-2008 at 03:11 PM
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Snacko
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I think that covers Chaco's hold, but it is a bit limited, what are the chances of introducing some of the more common elements you didn't list like roach queens?

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07-30-2008 at 05:12 PM
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Fafnir
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halyavin wrote:
Fafnir wrote:
Am I missing something basic, or should "if (currentFrame == totalFrames)" in the updateProgress function of Preloader.as be "if (load == all)"? I don't see currentFrame or totalFrames being initialised anywhere, and the code looks like it should be executed when the game has been fully loaded...
These conditions are probably equivalent. The project has "-frame main org.drod.Start" additional compiler option. So it has 2 frames - Preloader.as(+Background.as) and the rest of the code.
But if we move update loader code to separate function, current condition would be shorter than "root.loaderInfo.bytesLoader == root.loaderInfo.bytesTotal".
Ah, that makes sense now. Of course, since you've already set load to root.loaderInfo.bytesLoaded and all to root.loaderInfo.bytesTotal, load == all is the shortest of all! :P By the way, could you PM me (and the others if you haven't already) the password to the repository? Thanks.
Snacko wrote:
I think that covers Chaco's hold, but it is a bit limited, what are the chances of introducing some of the more common elements you didn't list like roach queens?
Basically, if we design things so that every monster object can access the following information we should be able to implement movement for most non-brained monsters without a problem by copying the DROD source code:

- The monster's position on the grid.
- Beethro's position on the grid.
- The contents of the grid (for things like goblin movement, multiple wraithwings and evil eye alignment).
- The current position of the spawn counter.
- (We also need to provide for different monsters being able to cross different terrain types, for things like seep and walls or wraithwings and pits.)

If we just give every monster object access to that lot, we get roaches, wraithwings, evil eyes, goblins, seep and wubbas right off the bat (and I can give pseudocode if required - see here and/or the DROD source). Spiders and rock golems only require minor and hopefully trivial enhancements (the ability to change appearance and the ability to count as dead while remaining on the grid, respectively).

After that we have the spawning monsters (roach queens and water skippers), the sworded monsters (guards, stalwarts), the long monsters (serpents, rattlesnakes and adders), tar/mud/gel and the appropriate babies and mothers. These are sort of grouped together in that if you've already implemented (e.g.) roach queens, then implementing water skippers should be relatively easy. Then you have things like Halph, aumtliches, fegundos, briars, rock giants and so on which are really special cases all of their own. Then you have brains, which without spending some quality time with the DROD source I can only assume would cause extreme pain.

If I had to guess, I'd say the spawning monsters, the long monsters and the tarstuff should all be doable. The only things that jump out as difficult are Halph, NPCs and the Slayer, and the only thing that jumps out as maybe not feasible is the brain. Of course, this is all very much subject to change depending on how the engine ends up working - please don't take this as gospel! :)

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07-30-2008 at 09:14 PM
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Fafnir
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Oh yeah, for some reason the event listener attached to textInfo doesn't seem to be removed on exiting from HelpScreen. The result is that if and only if you've visited the Help screen, pressing Esc always returns you to the menu - even from the test screen which doesn't yet have a listener. Also a couple of bugs that I've fixed and will commit when I get the password:

1) You had the clockwise and counterclockwise arrays the wrong way round in Direction.as.

2) In HelpScreen.as you missed one of HelpScreen's children in the keyPressed function.

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[Last edited by Fafnir at 07-31-2008 12:33 AM]
07-30-2008 at 10:06 PM
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