Author Topic: "Escheron: Twilight over Ragnoth" — progress updates and discussion  (Read 42362 times)

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Offline Iambian

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Re: "Escheron: Twilight over Ragnoth" — progress updates and discussion
« Reply #180 on: July 20, 2016, 09:45:29 pm »
Update:
* Minor tweaks, bug fixes, and other updates
* ECE (Escheron Cutscene Editor) can now allow navigation and creation of main scripts

The GUI for ECE so far. Many of the elements you see
are fully functional. Still can't load or save, tho.



Notes:
Aside from easily implemented fixes and updates, work on Escheron itself has stopped in favor of getting the editor up and running. Most of the stuff that's been updated in the app was done Zera (artist/author) which includes adding new tiles to the maps, use for those new bookcase tiles (game lore), and the addition of consumable spell(s)-in-a-jar. The actual programming remains my fault so feel free to blame me for everything.

The cutscene editor (which we've named ECE) has been what we've really been working on for the past month or so. It turns out that making editor software is a hell of a lot more involved than previously thought but progress with it is steady enough. The framework necessary for adding elements to a script and executing it is in place along with most of the interface needed to edit those scripts.

TODO:

* Escheron:
-- Everything.

* ECE:
-- Finish sprite select/edit panel
-- Add viewport window to simulate what the player would see
-- Add text object handling/editing
-- Add scriptable map change and transitions
-- Add a way to edit more than one script?
-- Save/Load projects
-- Export a project to something Escheron can actually use
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Offline coops

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Re: "Escheron: Twilight over Ragnoth" — progress updates and discussion
« Reply #181 on: July 20, 2016, 10:22:16 pm »
Looks awesome! I was wondering if ya'll were taking a summer break, but it looks like you've been pretty busy! It kindof reminds me of Unity, especially once when ya'll set up a viewport window to see what the player sees.  This looks like an engine you could create Escheron sequels or other tilemap games with.

It fascinates me seeing what all goes into planning and programming a game.  How do ya'll know what to include when programming a cutscene or map editor? Is there an online tutorial that you've been using as a guideline and then make it  calculator/Escheron specific?

Offline TIfanx1999

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Re: "Escheron: Twilight over Ragnoth" — progress updates and discussion
« Reply #182 on: July 21, 2016, 01:38:55 pm »
The cutscene editor looks awesome! :o It'll be great once you get it done. ;D

Offline Iambian

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Re: "Escheron: Twilight over Ragnoth" — progress updates and discussion
« Reply #183 on: July 21, 2016, 09:39:45 pm »
Looks awesome! I was wondering if ya'll were taking a summer break, but it looks like you've been pretty busy! It kindof reminds me of Unity, especially once when ya'll set up a viewport window to see what the player sees.  This looks like an engine you could create Escheron sequels or other tilemap games with.

It fascinates me seeing what all goes into planning and programming a game.  How do ya'll know what to include when programming a cutscene or map editor? Is there an online tutorial that you've been using as a guideline and then make it  calculator/Escheron specific?

This is indeed something I could use to help build other games with, tho in all honesty, I'm probably going to just teach the other people in the dev team how to use this so they can make all the cutscenes that won't require special ASM magic to accomplish.

Aside from technical stuff answered by references or Stack Overflow, no tutorials were used in the creation of this project. Beyond PIL and Tkinter, all the project's logic was put together from scratch. The main things that are chosen to go into the editor are based on the following:

1. What can Escheron already do with its cutscene script engine?
2. What sort of interface looks like it would work?
3. How to manage everything in a clear, concise and coherent manner?

For (1) we have documentation that details exactly what is available for use. For (2), I thought a little bit about how CalcGS arranged things and I remembered some extremely fuzzy details about my experience with Macromedia Flash back some 15 years ago. Then I sketched some ideas on a sheet of paper, shared it with the dev team, and got some feedback. And we're still working on (3) based on the problems encountered in actually implementing scripts in Escheron and the overall reason why we needed the editor in the first place. That reason being that it's extremely difficult to have multiple sprite objects and the main cutscene run their own scripts independently from and concurrently with each other and still maintain some sort of cohesion.
I was going to say something else but I forgot what it was. I spent far too long trying to figure out what I'm posting about and now I'm going to give up. There's a reason why Geekboy gives me cherries everyday. It's because my DETERMINATION is all out.
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Offline Geekboy1011

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Re: "Escheron: Twilight over Ragnoth" — progress updates and discussion
« Reply #184 on: July 21, 2016, 09:46:07 pm »
Looks awesome! I was wondering if ya'll were taking a summer break, but it looks like you've been pretty busy! It kindof reminds me of Unity, especially once when ya'll set up a viewport window to see what the player sees.  This looks like an engine you could create Escheron sequels or other tilemap games with.

It fascinates me seeing what all goes into planning and programming a game.  How do ya'll know what to include when programming a cutscene or map editor? Is there an online tutorial that you've been using as a guideline and then make it  calculator/Escheron specific?

This is indeed something I could use to help build other games with, tho in all honesty, I'm probably going to just teach the other people in the dev team how to use this so they can make all the cutscenes that won't require special ASM magic to accomplish.

Aside from technical stuff answered by references or Stack Overflow, no tutorials were used in the creation of this project. Beyond PIL and Tkinter, all the project's logic was put together from scratch. The main things that are chosen to go into the editor are based on the following:

1. What can Escheron already do with its cutscene script engine?
2. What sort of interface looks like it would work?
3. How to manage everything in a clear, concise and coherent manner?

For (1) we have documentation that details exactly what is available for use. For (2), I thought a little bit about how CalcGS arranged things and I remembered some extremely fuzzy details about my experience with Macromedia Flash back some 15 years ago. Then I sketched some ideas on a sheet of paper, shared it with the dev team, and got some feedback. And we're still working on (3) based on the problems encountered in actually implementing scripts in Escheron and the overall reason why we needed the editor in the first place. That reason being that it's extremely difficult to have multiple sprite objects and the main cutscene run their own scripts independently from and concurrently with each other and still maintain some sort of cohesion.
I was going to say something else but I forgot what it was. I spent far too long trying to figure out what I'm posting about and now I'm going to give up. There's a reason why Geekboy gives me cherries everyday. It's because my DETERMINATION is all out.

So pretty much we have no clue what goes into it. There are no guides. We know how to program, (Well stack overflow does), and we know what we want. Then we literally talk it out and plan it out.  We sit down and figure out what we think we need to make something function. We talk and sketch until we have a base idea then Iambian makes code to make it happen. He reports back to the team. We start it all over again because we always miss something the first 200 times. so its Just iteratively turning things  out until a product is reached. I think our saving grace is we take time to plan ahead to get things to work well enough the first time.

Offline SpiroH

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Re: "Escheron: Twilight over Ragnoth" — progress updates and discussion
« Reply #185 on: September 09, 2016, 04:59:35 pm »
Escheron Cutscene Editor GUI does look great but just out of curiosity how old is the windows version?:P

Offline Iambian

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Re: "Escheron: Twilight over Ragnoth" — progress updates and discussion
« Reply #186 on: September 14, 2016, 05:18:06 pm »
Escheron Cutscene Editor GUI does look great but just out of curiosity how old is the windows version?:P
However old Win7 is. I use the old theme for memory reasons.

--------------------
Update:
* ECE: Total rewrite. Functionally similar besides missing keyboard/mouse bindings. Added font editor, project save/load.
* Escheron: Changed font to the one specified at project start.

ECE2 interface, with the font editor open.
There's also a viewport and some other minor stuff.



A showcase of most of the change in the font and the renderer.
This includes "content" that definitely won't be in the final release.



Notes:
Making a PC-side editor is a helluvalot more involved than I thought it would be. I had to rewrite most of it from scratch since the code kept getting more and more cruft until it became an unmanageable and unfixable mess. The new code feels much cleaner and far easier to work with, especially now that I know what I'm doing. At least, much more than I did before.

Things that were added include the viewport, script labels in the timeline, NPC dialog editor, and collapsible frames. The viewport can also pop-out to its own window.

Things that haven't been put back include a script editing widget, and mouse/keyboard bindings for the timeline and tilemap canvas.

The actual Escheron app had its font finally changed over to the way it was supposed to look from the very beginning. Thanks Zera :D . That was fast work with the newly-crafted (and at that point, awfully buggy) font editor. The returned source made its way back to the app and I modded the font routine a bit to support 1px vertical descenders.

TODO:
* Escheron:
-- Everything. (still)

* ECE(2):
-- Add scriptable transitions to the viewport
-- Add back widgets that were removed during rewrite
-- Fix playback oddities
-- Export a project to something Escheron can actually use

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Offline coops

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Re: "Escheron: Twilight over Ragnoth" — progress updates and discussion
« Reply #187 on: September 14, 2016, 09:37:32 pm »
Wow! that looks pretty awesome! I hate digging myself into a hole when coding...It seems like once you code something, you know what you're looking for and you can rewrite a more robust code the second time around. So...I guess that's a plus...
Keep up the good work!

Offline Iambian

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Re: "Escheron: Twilight over Ragnoth" — progress updates and discussion
« Reply #188 on: November 30, 2016, 10:11:25 pm »
I knew I had to make this sort of post eventually.
*sigh*. I know someone's going to give me grief for this.

Update:
* Complete rewrite of the Escheron: Twilight over Ragnoth project
-- Text hive objects apart from static elements now build inline with tilemaps to help fill some page gaps
-- Menu and cutscene systems fully redone and consolidated. It's almost like a VM now
-- Map/sprite systems consolidated
-- Hotspots mostly rewritten and optimized
-- Sprite interactions optimized and dead/useless code removed
-- Some simplistic cutscenes have been added back in
-- Battle input menus and enemy scripts added back in
* Changes to the toolchain
-- Aforementioned text hive objects now build from an editor project file. Editor is also included
-- Consolidated all build scripts so asset building takes ~80% less time on Windows (we have nothing for Linux yet (again))
-- Project data optimized to nearly double main build speed. Who knew ".org" was an expensive operation?
-- Added far more points in the source to identify how much space each module takes up

No screenshots. Sorry. Much work remains to be done before
I can announce my total failure to make any progress.


Notes:
Two months and four days. From the initial commit to the new repository to the date of this post, that's how long it's been and that's how long I've been working on the rewrite for Escheron. As for the reason for the rewrite? Long story short, there were too many memory issues and too many things that were either unmovable or I couldn't tell which page any of the data was on.

This all started out when I wanted to integrate ECE2-generated text hive objects and then it all snowballed when I also wanted to change out the text system to something that was Turing-complete (with a minimal register/instruction set).  I didn't realize at the time that more than half of the whole game depended on the text system in some form or fashion and at that point I decided I might as well rewrite it all.

I'm still going to salvage as much of the code as I reasonably can because there's just some things I won't rewrite no matter what. Battle magic script system/data, I'm looking at you! Those animations, while fun to make, were also absolute hell to get right.

If you want to track the progress of this rebuild, I do my best to make daily commits to this repository, even if it's "omg everything broke sadfaic".

TODO:
* Escheron:
-- Put vehicular travel back in
-- Re-finish battle system
-- Put back all the maps
-- Put previously coded scripts back in...
-- ...including the Underdeep mapgen script
-- Put back that thing I refuse to mention because superstitions. Or not. It's not important
-- Manually code in the first few cutscenes and get people to test the game up to that point
-- Somehow get all the other cutscenes and events coded in
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Offline Eeems

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Re: "Escheron: Twilight over Ragnoth" — progress updates and discussion
« Reply #189 on: December 02, 2016, 12:27:58 pm »
I sure hope you are heavily documenting your toolchain so that others can benefit from it in the future. It sounds like you've got lots and lots of cool tools/macros.
/e

Offline coops

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Re: "Escheron: Twilight over Ragnoth" — progress updates and discussion
« Reply #190 on: December 02, 2016, 06:10:32 pm »
Quote
I know someone's going to give me grief for this.

Long time no see! I was getting worried for a while! :P I come here all the time to check up on this project, and the Ruben project.

Quote
-- Manually code in the first few cutscenes and get people to test the game up to that point

That perked my ears up! lol

But seriously, I know the feeling of having to trash all your hard work and start from ground zero. I've been learning/working with solidworks for the last couple of months at work, and many times I'll dig myself into a hole, get the object designed, and just start over and remodel it to see if I can get it more efficient. Hindsight's always 20-20, and sometimes you just gotta redo it all over.

Quote
If you want to track the progress of this rebuild, I do my best to make daily commits to this repository, even if it's "omg everything broke sadfaic".

Awesome! I'll be checking it out periodically, even though I dont understand the computer jargon :P

Offline Ranman

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Re: "Escheron: Twilight over Ragnoth" — progress updates and discussion
« Reply #191 on: December 02, 2016, 07:47:35 pm »
Lookin' pretty dadgum good!!  8)
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Offline 123outerme

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Re: "Escheron: Twilight over Ragnoth" — progress updates and discussion
« Reply #192 on: August 18, 2017, 06:56:34 pm »
It's been pretty long since the last update, but I just wanted to post my support; I looked through the source a little bit and it looks like progress is going good! I understand how much of a pain it is to rewrite a game engine, and then I understand I have to multiply that pain by 20 since you're dealing with ASM. If you have any progress to show, I'd love to see!

Offline TIfanx1999

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Re: "Escheron: Twilight over Ragnoth" — progress updates and discussion
« Reply #193 on: August 18, 2017, 08:05:22 pm »
It's been pretty long since the last update, but I just wanted to post my support; I looked through the source a little bit and it looks like progress is going good! I understand how much of a pain it is to rewrite a game engine, and then I understand I have to multiply that pain by 20 since you're dealing with ASM. If you have any progress to show, I'd love to see!
^This. :D

Offline Geekboy1011

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Re: "Escheron: Twilight over Ragnoth" — progress updates and discussion
« Reply #194 on: August 18, 2017, 09:37:08 pm »
I would be lieing if i said we have gotten distracted by other projects over the last few months. And motivation to return to this, At least onmy end is rather low. That being said. We left off re-implementing the battle system.