Issue #5 Feedback

Discussion related to the Midnight Synergy newsletter.
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Midnight Synergy
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Issue #5 Feedback

Post by Midnight Synergy » Fri Jun 23, 2006 8:01 pm

Issue #5 will be on its way to your mailbox in the next few days, but you can already read it online.

http://www.midnightsynergy.com/newsletter/issue005

You can subscribe and un-subscribe right here:
http://www.midnightsynergy.com/newsletter

Enjoy - and let us know what you thought of this issue.

(I will also post a more detailed update on the re-designs and engine work of the new Wonderland on this thread in a few days.)
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TheoX
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Post by TheoX » Fri Jun 23, 2006 8:25 pm

Wow, a new CD with all the games? :shock: :shock:
I think I'll just stick to the games I've bought (Wonderland, RTWD, IntensityXSRecharge). :wink:
This will be great for people who are just being introduced to Midnight Synergy games and love them all.
The Peegue puzzle is great too. :)
It's the only one I can solve :oops:
I liked looking at the glitches too, thanks MS, the Midnight Post is great :D
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asf
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Post by asf » Fri Jun 23, 2006 8:38 pm

I hope I can get that CD, but it's just that I don't buy the things from Internet... :cry:
Well, at least Peegue is here to give me a task. I'm sad there is only one, not two...
At least it's the task! :wink:
Visit my site! :stinkycool:

Thanks for reading! :stinkywink:

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Loirae
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Post by Loirae » Fri Jun 23, 2006 10:26 pm

What a great issue. I loved seeing the explaination for some of the tricksy things. :D
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amy25
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Post by amy25 » Sat Jun 24, 2006 1:31 am

Looks awesome! Thanks for the update!
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Post by drushing » Sun Jun 25, 2006 3:37 am

Enjoyed the 5th edition! Very informative issue as well as entertaining! Thanks!
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Post by kiki » Sun Jun 25, 2006 8:26 am

:D :D :D Love the tricksy stuff, Thanks Patrick. :D :D :D
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Post by Salin » Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:07 pm

Thanks Patrick.
Just one question: What is intensity XS?
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Post by TheoX » Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:22 pm

It's a sidescroller spaceship game they made :)
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Post by Salin » Sun Jun 25, 2006 7:14 pm

Thanks Theo

Nice sig btw :lol:
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Issue #5

Post by jcvalcar2 » Tue Jun 27, 2006 7:03 pm

Nice Edition and I especially enjoyed reading about the glitches as well as seeing the ones that discovered them getting the credit. :D :D
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Post by Midnight Synergy » Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:27 pm

As stated in the newsletter, there isn’t much of an official update on the new Wonderland game. But I figured I’d fill you in with a little more detail on the forum.

As mentioned, a lot of work has been going into the “behind-the-scenes” work of the game engine. Things like general entity management routines, game logic systems, etc. None of these have any visual effect on the game, so there’s nothing new to show. (Other than the Dialog system, which is now complete... but that’s more text than anything).

There were also some re-designs of underlying game principles. Basically I kept taking two steps forward and one step back (or vice versa, in some cases), as I was struggling with and trying out different systems for, among other things, player control. The original movement method was mouse-based, non-tile based, and pixel-precise. You could point the mouse in any direction from Stinky, and left-click to start Stinky moving in that direction. You could walk at any angle, and any distance (not just tiles). You could also influence the speed of your movement by how far away from Stinky you moved the mouse cursor. Far away, and Stinky would break into a jog, close up, and Stinky would slowly tip-toe (the thought was, e.g., past sleeping bad guys).

The system worked very well, and was fun, but more and more it started to become clear that it wasn’t meshing well with the other pieces of the game. The pixel-precise movement made interacting with the puzzle elements a bit of a headache. It was, in essence, more suited to an action game than a puzzle adventure.

So, painful as is was to make this decision, I took out and scrapped a boatload of code and programmed several other prototype movements control schemes. The important thing was to keep the controls extremely simple... I think that’s one of the things that works well with the original Wonderland scheme: four keys to move, that’s it.

Of the various schemes, I seem to have settled on one now. It is different than I originally envisioned, and certain gameplay elements simply won’t work with it, but it is simple and fun to use, and has several other advantages. Rather than controlling Stinky’s movements directly, you now tell Stinky with a single mouse click where to go. Stinky will automatically try to find the best path to that point and take it. Click on a button, and Stinky will walk there and step on it. Click on a teleporter, and Stinky will enter it. Click on another Stinker, and Stinky will start a conversation. Keep the mouse button pressed, and movement will switch over to the more “direct” control scheme above. You can also use the same controls to issues “orders” to little Stinkers (if there are any) - e.. telling one to step on a button as you go through the gate, or assisting you in other ways through the level.

The other thing was to revert (at least partially) to a more tile-based logic system again, with 8-way movement (i.e. diagonal movements are now possible). Making “smart” enemies or other gameplay elements was just so much more feasible using this system... e.g. having little Stinkers following you through the level when you rescue them - or having bad guys chase you! As said many times before, the type of puzzle and gameplay elements are going to be quite different from the “classic” trilogy.

The other change I made was a re-think in flexibility of the game engine. My original mandate was to keep EVERYTHING flexible, and I really stuck to it. The level editor would allow you to combine every conceivable model with any conceivable logic routine, to basically “make your own gameplay elements”. (e.g. take a box, alter the model to give it googly eyes, give it a z-bot like movement style, tell it to sink rather than float in water, tell it what tiletypes it can enter, etc.... and you’d have a new style of monster). Besides making things exceedingly complicated to code (since everything had to flexible for every combination) it was also leading to an unfocused gamedesign. It was almost more like a “Wonderland Construction Kit” than a real game. So the decision was taken to “keep it simple”. Advanced options such as the ones described above have been set aside for now, although they might re-appear in the final game in some form or another in the future.

So it’s bin a lot of (sometimes painful) back and forth, and in some ways the game sits roughly at the same stage as it was two months ago, but with very different innards. Hopefully I will have some more meaty updates next time.

Cheers,
Patrick
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Post by Midnight Synergy » Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:36 pm

Also, glad you guys and gals enjoyed the newsletter. The "tricksy" levels were fun to explore for me, too; I'm sure there will be future edition with more such levels (or other types of spotlights).
This will be great for people who are just being introduced to Midnight Synergy games and love them all.
Yes, the CD is definitely a great deal for those who just got to know our games (and for those of you who wish to give the games as presents and introduce friends/family to Wonderland). I'm very happy with how it turned out - the box turned out very pretty, and putting together the bonus material was fun!
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Post by flackwellian » Thu Jun 29, 2006 10:28 am

I think the compilation is a great idea. I bought on-line originally for my children but soon found that the whole family wants to play! I've been recommending it ever since.

I think it will make a great present for birthdays/Christmas - I'm based in the UK so that means allowing plenty of time for shipping.
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Post by Midnight Synergy » Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:10 pm

flackwellian wrote:I think the compilation is a great idea. I bought on-line originally for my children but soon found that the whole family wants to play! I've been recommending it ever since.

I think it will make a great present for birthdays/Christmas - I'm based in the UK so that means allowing plenty of time for shipping.
Shipping times might be lower than those quotes - but I figure it's better to be safe than sorry.
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Post by janetgalle » Tue Jul 04, 2006 9:42 pm

Hey there,
I ordered the CD and it came yesterday.
The bonus material is great, "test" version of the game is interesting, but the best part is "Peegues Audition", it's hilarious!!! (He pronounces his name Peeeeg, BTW.)
Thanks Patrick.
jg
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Post by Midnight Synergy » Tue Jul 04, 2006 10:33 pm

:)

Glad you like it! The bonus material was fun to put together.

BTW, I will try to put up a good link for an Atari ST emulator (to try out and play the Atari games that are one the CD without effort) in a few days. I didn't include a permanent link on the CD since these things are very fleeting on the net.

Speaking of fleeting links on the net, here is a Dragon's Lair video I found while surfing - someone posted a link of rare outtake footage that didn't make it into the final game:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=yYNSj2Gcd7M& ... 27s%20lair

It'll seem very odd and random if you didn't play the game in its day, but as retro flashback it's kinda neat.
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Post by janetgalle » Thu Jul 06, 2006 12:45 am

Oh my, the boys were here today and I had them listen to some of the bonus audio on the CD......"Stinky being Stinky" had them rolling on the floor, my sides still hurt from laughing.
litlejg is enjoying Intensity XS..... :D
Thanks Patrick.
jg
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Post by mette » Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:02 pm

I hope this is the place to continue the list of ideas/wishes for the new game...... :?

I have been in a "texture-making-frenzy" lately and it has given me some ideas:

1. Walls of custom width and height
This could be used to for instance make it look like the walls has small segments of vertical light embedded in them.

2. The option to asign different textures to different pieces of wall
So you could have normal wall pieces with different textures, so all the walls in a level doesn't have to look the same.

3. The possibility to put a sign function in a wall (with direction)
Walk up to a wall from the right direction and the sign text will appear. Plus the possibility of asigning a specific texture to a "sign-wall".

4. Walls with non-horizontal tops
To make it possible to create more natural looking environments.

5. Curving walls
Again, to create more natural looking environments.

6. Sloping floors
Same reason ;).

7. Stairs, lifts, different floor heights
I know this has been mentioned before somewhere, but I would really like to see it ;) . It would add a total new dimension to the puzzle making.

8. The ability to jump
Possibly requiring special boots or something similar.

9. The ability to swim and dive
Lots of new puzzle elements there. Possibly you would need to find swimming and/or diving gear to be able to survive.

10. Having everything needed to play a level saved in one file by the editor
Once done creating a level the editor should save the level and all the custom stuff in a single file. When playing a level the game should open the file and have everything ready to play without the user having to unzip files.

If this has all been mentioned before, I apologize for taxing your eyes :lol: .

I somehow picture the new editor to be something like the old Doom editor. Am I way off track?

Mette
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gamer12345
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Post by gamer12345 » Sat Jul 08, 2006 8:44 am

Sorry Mette, but it was mentioned in Szai's thread
http://pcpuzzle.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7129
that slopes wouldn't be possible (no offence intended).

My ideas which I posted on his thread:

Power-ups: Makes the Stinker faster, able to jump higher, invisible to enemies (you can see a faint outline), invincible, etc. for a short time.

Mini-Games: What better to relax your Brain after a Brain-Bending Puzzles?

More ideas:

Security Guards: These resemble a Kaboom, but have Helicopter Blades on top. They carry a Flashlight. Patrol paths are pre-set by the Level Creator. If they spot you, you'll be in a Tight Spot ( :stinkylol: )!

EDIT: Isn't ANYONE going to post :?: I've waited like a few days now :evil: :!:
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Post by Midnight Synergy » Thu Jul 20, 2006 9:54 pm

Still mum on official Wonderland updates...



But as mentioned, attached is WinSTon, my preferred Atari ST emulator. I've put it up here in case anyone with the Collection CD wants to try out the included ST games without too much effort.

So...

a. Make a fresh directory (e.g. C:\Winston) and unzip the ZIP below into it.

b. Copy any *.ST files (e.g. from the CD Colony.ST or SSTITION.ST or DLORD.ST) into the Winston\Discs subdirectory.

c. Start Winston.exe - you'll get the screen below.
Now
c1. Single click on the left disk symbol (see pic). This opens a windows file selector box. Select the file you wish to load (e.g. COLONY.ST)
c2. Once the file is selected, the disc will load and Winston will go into Atari ST mode. Important: While in ST mode, your mouse will move the ST-mouse (the little black one), not the windows mouse. Switch between Windows and Atari ST mode by pressing F12. (but you're in Atari mode now, so no need to do this ... but keep it in mind when you want to exit back to Windows - press F12 first). Ok, so double click on the A: disk symbol (see pic).
c3. A new window will open with the directory contents of the simulated disk. Double click on the program you want to run, e.g. "COLONY.ST" (see pic).

d. The game will load and start. Have fun checking out these relics.

e. Once done, press F12 to leave Atari-mode, and close the window as usual.

Please note, contents on the CD are still copyrighted material, so please do not post, share, or otherwise distribute.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
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eeyore31
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Post by eeyore31 » Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:42 pm

Hi Patrick----yes, I'm still around :lol:

Just doing some catching up......happy to hear a new Wonderland game is coming. That will be fun. Whatever you come up with will be great.
:D
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loof101
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Post by loof101 » Sun Aug 13, 2006 5:22 pm

eeyore31 wrote:Hi Patrick----yes, I'm still around :lol:

Welcome Back eeyore!

Many of us have wondered where you've been.

Loof ":D :D :D" 101
Last edited by loof101 on Tue Aug 15, 2006 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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LAN
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Post by LAN » Sun Aug 13, 2006 9:43 pm

How do you hex-edit the level "Levitation"? :?
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eeyore31
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Post by eeyore31 » Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:22 am

Thanks loof101 !!! just been busy with life in general----I could never leave Wonderland for too long !!! :D
Yes, I'm a donkey......
and I'm purple.....
and I am Polly, Minnie's little sister.
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