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The Garden

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:42 am
by Bort
here's a demo (or chapter one)
of my little 3rd person adventure..

follow this link to download

i won't post a raft of screenshots because there are plenty taken from the game in various other parts of the forum 8)

here's a link to one of the forum threads

is it me or is the little picture i posted being stubborn and not showing..i'll attach it instead to be safe..

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:13 pm
by cpkspikyhair
looks good Bort

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:12 pm
by Bort
Cheers spiky :!:

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:14 pm
by cpkspikyhair
I also like your artwork (keys, torch, hammer, etc.). I used them for my PSP game demo.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:21 pm
by Bort
Cheers again! 8)
post some screen shots of them in game (if you get a spare moment) i'd like to see that..makes it worth while knowing some ones having some fun with them

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:31 pm
by cpkspikyhair
i can't do that because the screens I made are blank and then i added the pic as a hotspot :cry: .

Wait a sec, though. I'll zip up the project file and you can play the demo through windows (but you must skip lv. 6 and no animations will be present). The gray key is used on the 11th level (skip to frame [STlv11fr2]).

EDIT: I love your idea of the lockpicking routine. Can I use it? I was thinking of using it on the 12th level of my game, but since I can't script, I am going to need a LOT of frames... :?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:10 pm
by Bort
ok cheers like the game..thanks for theD/L :D
a heck of a lot of hard work right there!

yes feel free to use the lockpick images etc if you want...

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:14 pm
by cpkspikyhair
thanks :D

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:50 am
by Bort
he he!... 30 people have downloaded the game and not a peep out of any of them..!!
the concept of the internet is.. as ever.. a bit of an oxymoron..
tho i suppose it's better than finding out some-one didn't like the game because the 3rd person characters shoes didn't match her hand bag...or similar...which is what usualy happens!
so may be it's a good thing... :wink:


one of the things i'm interest to discover (tho it's too early to ask this at the moment perhaps )
is how long it takes (as a rule) for folks to complete the game..
taking for granted for a second here that any-one has found it enjoyable enough to take it on board and play it through..
(every-one has their own tastes of course..and they're will be those who have taken a look at it purely for curiousitys sake..)

as this helps to measure wether it works as chapter one or wether it is a demo..

the reason i'm curious is that if i were to write a walk through for it there would be plenty to write and having viewed walk throughs for complete commercail games...and found that they often fit onto one page and seem incredibly short when compared to the amount of time that passes whilst in game playing through the same puzzles..

the walk through for this "game/demo" if i wrote one.. would compare reasonably well with ..blah blah etc...never mind :lol:

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 6:11 pm
by Mystery
You are right, it's quite frustrating not to get feedback :?
I've been very busy lately, and just didn't have time to test games ;)

I've just downloaded your demo, and I'm looking forward to trying it over this weekend.
Stay tuned for my feedback :)

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 6:50 pm
by Bort
:D it would be perfectly understandable if this were a stamp collecting forum..
as it's the forum for AM it's just i say...a bit of an oxymoron..(again) :lol:
hope folks find the time to play and with any luck enjoy the game..
(they've certainly found time to download it!)
.if not no worries. :oops:

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:11 pm
by Candle
This is a open forum Bort so lots of people see the links and can download your game and not reply due to them not being members here.
but just keep working on it and have fun.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:41 pm
by Bort
yes it's just such a shame that those who are enthusiastic end up feeling like fools you know?

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 1:15 pm
by Mystery
Okay, I started your game. Unfortunately my old laptop is having CPU issues due to the animations :?

Anyhow, I seem to be stuck. I assume I need to find the restauration kit, but I've been walking around for ages, and tried to find it without success. Care to PM me a hint? :oops:

I suggest to take it to PMs, and as soon as I have played it through, I'll post my feedback on the game here :)

Since Bort is not happy about people asking for a hint, I suggest in general that people who post games for testing, tell in advance if they are willing to give hints or not. That would save a lot of misunderstandings and hurt feelings.

Anyhow, I'll post here a feedback on a game as soon as I have finished it ;)

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 2:22 pm
by cpkspikyhair
it's difficult...very difficult...

Oh, and is it just my computer, or is there A LOT of lag in your game?

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 2:50 pm
by Bort
it's very tricky trying to gauge the difficulty when your making the game...i wasn't at all sure wetehr it would be too easy or too many apologies it it's overly tough (that was not deliberate)
yes your the second person to mention PC is 3 years old and hasn't been in any way up-graded from it's very basic specs so can't be sure what the issue there is..

sorry Spiky hope it doesn't detract too much from the thing :oops:

oh hang on do you mean the time it takes to travel from one screen to the next??

sorry that WAS deliberate...just a "trick" to slow the pace down a little with it being really limited to the 3 main "rooms" :arrow:
this also allows the 3rd person character time to walk to the exit point before the screen changes....had to balance that out with the walking speed etc....bit of a compromise balance THAT out - you can click on the "exit" point whilst she is any-where on the screen and she automatically walks towards it and goes to the next screen.. :idea:

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 3:42 pm
by Mystery
Okay I finished the game within about 45 minutes.

I think that the animation of the woman is quite good and looks pretty natural. It's just a pity that small parts her jacket go into her body while walking. Maybe it would be possible to fix this :)

I've found the overall idea of the game very good. The game has a little of the Myst/Riven atmosphere despite of the setting in a "real" environment. :)

What I had some difficulties with at the beginning was the controls, e.g. the need of dragging the magnifyer onto the professor to talk to him. I just tried to click on him, and needed some time to figure out the trick.

It also was a bit difficult for me as a player to get used to the changing of the hotspots over time. Sometimes a magnifyer showed up on the screen, later not anymore, and then it showed up again. This was abit confusing to me, and I didn't know at what part of the game these hotspots would be important to advance in the game.

So I had to get the hang of the gameplay first, and get used to walk around a lot and click on everything to see if something has changed. Also I had first to understand that I had to drag the items first onto the professor to be able to use them.

What you felt as my asking for a step by step walkthrough and led you to point at my inability to play an adventure game, was in fact just a confusion on my part. I didn't want a walkthrough at all, just a hint: When the professor told me pretty in the beginning that I had to go to another location, I was looking for a way/door to get out. I didn't know that going to another location was the end goal of the game itself, and that I had to find things and solve puzzles first. This wasn't clear to me, and I thought that I missed to find the door...

So all in all I enjoyed your game a lot, and after getting the hang of how things were working, it grew much easier to advance, and finally to finish it :)

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 4:10 pm
by Bort
Many thanks for the nicely balanced review Mystery..most appreciated :)

i apologise for any misunderstanding over the hints etc.
that was my fault entirely :oops:
maybe i should do a "first five minutes" walk thru ?
as we often get with games these days as your absolutely right that it takes a while to get into the swing of the thing :idea: good thinking..yes your right feeling the need to leave the garden after the manuscript conversation with the professor...will make a note of that and either incorporate it a little more into the story-line (with some form of explanation) or drop some sort of hint within the conversation it "after you have finished here" or something similar..

glad you enjoyed the atmosphere etc and thank you again for the time and effort spent reviewing the game ...nice one.. i'm a happy bunny :lol:

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 4:22 pm
by Mystery
Apology accepted.
Let's forget about things that happened, we both are here to enjoy the forums, right? ;)

Just an idea:
You could add general instructions to the README file, so that players know that the end goal is to get out of the garden, and also that players are informed about basics of the gameplay.
This would make it a bit easier and less confusing for them, but still keep your game challenging. :)

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 5:16 pm
by Bort
ok :)
one of the problems was a direct result of me neglecting to rework the magnifying glass item to add a small talk icon to it and renaming it to


instead of simply


which is what i had meant to do..
this would have provided the first vital clue to what the player was expected to drag it onto the professor to talk to him...that would have started the ball rolling without giving too much away..

i can get thru the game in about 15 minutes which is the absolute bare i know exactly what to do of course..thnsk for the info about the length of time it took for you to play it you're an experienced adventure game player this puts perhaps the average players time to finish at maybe around an hour.?? what do think?....which isn't bad...

this is what i was hoping to find out as i can now decide wether to extend the garden section of the game or build chapter two

there is still a lot i can do within the garden section it self....that final key item could easily be simply the mid way point thru the chapter and instead of him taking it from you and the game ending it could open up a new part of the the professors left as he's sat there i was saving to provide space for a new room with a large ornamental gate or similar providing access to maybe even his office and perhaps case the player can then move out of the actual rooftop garden downstairs into the building proper...having to go back and forth in order to complete the final section of puzzles...and eventualy be given the travel documents money and final set of possibly usefull inventory items for the journey...
if i do this i will beef up the original puzzles slightly breaking up or changing the order in which they need to be completed so that a secodn play thru will not be completely without worth...

very use-full feed back thanks the way did you like the graphics (the garden it self?)

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 6:33 pm
by Imari
In Mystery's defense, I also have had the same experience becoming stuck. I also tried clicking on the man, and only knew to use the magnifying glass after reading Mystery's post. The woman has now talked to the seated man about looking around, and has been looking for a restoration kit to no avail. I was thinking that perhaps the pavers, tables, and pedestals might be part of a puzzle, but if so, I have not found a way that she can utilize any of them. Thus far she's discovered one additional use for the magnifying glass in each of the rooms, but I have no further clues as to what to do, and two of the additional magnifying glass hotspot are no longer active.

Since it seems to be a key item, it would be nice if one could trigger a close-up of the drawing by dragging the magnifying glass over it in inventory.

I noticed, as Mystery did, the poke through of the blouse and pants on your female sprite. I also noticed the dark green ground shadow following her feet. Before rendering in Poser, you can select to hide the ground shadow. For the poke through, you can make the hip area of the Posette figure invisible in the material settings of Poser. Then, also in the material settings, if you make a transparency map for the areas of the blouse and pants where they are hidden by the jacket and apply it, you can probably avoid the show through entirely. If you do get an odd spot here and there, you can use the clone tool in your paint program to get rid of it on the affected image files. There are, by the way, lots of free textures for Posette so that she does not look "chalky", although her current coloration does fit with your overall subdued color palette.

One last suggestion for the sprite. In the second frame of the garden, I'd move her walk path away from the walk at the far left side of the screen. She overlaps the wall oddly there.

Other than being stuck, I've enjoyed the game so far. Nice images and use of sounds.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 6:46 pm
by Mystery
Bort wrote:by the way did you like the graphics (the garden it self?)

Yes, I did. I think it's good job :)

Hehe, it seems that Imari is having the same problems and confusions as I had :D
Imari, I sent you a small hint :)

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:04 pm
by Bort
cheers Imari. :)
yes familar ground here as Mystery will attest! :D :lol:

the thing to remember as you play one is that the hotspots change as you double check the ones that ARE active at the time in case they give a different response.. and check for new ones

that restoration kit....i had it a minute ago..where did that thing go...?
maybe i had it when i was sat in the other chair this morning?? :?:

thing about the poser woman is that i am absolutely at a loss as to how to properly use poser in any way what so ever- it drives me was the limit of my understanding to get her done at all...not my favourite program
i'm glad you noticed the way she blends in with the scenery...that WAS deliberate...i tried her with the full texture mapping facilty on and she stood out like a sore thumb lots of possibilities.she'll do for the time being tho...i don't think i could face redoing her again..valid observations tho..perhaps i could just do the retouch jobs with a graphics prog....i'll experiment...i reckon the shadow is essential tho..she'd look distinctly un hinged from reality withiut one..

cheers for the feed back

oops simultaenous post!!

Cheers Mystery!!! :lol: :D

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:48 pm
by Candle
Might be a good idea to start a thread in the Games Hints and Walkthroughs forum. :P

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 9:14 pm
by Imari
Finished The Garden demo with a little hint. I think that you have the beginnings of a very interesting story. So far as game play goes, however, I found the extensive and repetitive pixel hunting to be an unpleasant chore. Why, for instance, the pop-up text for unusable items (some flagstones, garden furniture, a column, a small shrub, etc.) at one time, but not at another? Unless there seems to be a logical reason for it, I generally find it irritating to have to return to the same spot multiple times only to return to "magically" find something lying about in plain sight.

Since it's necessary to return to the man often, you might consider not having the initial "How are you?" conversation thread start every time that you drag the magnifying glass to him. And I'd suggest using an icon other than the magnifying glass to zoom out of a close-up.

Nice start. I'll be interested to see how the game comes out. Good luck.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 9:29 pm
by Bort
thanks for the feed back..tho i must admit i have yet to play an adventure game that didn't require me to double check hotspots and find items that some how were not there before (perhaps you'd like to point me at one! :wink: )..this is exagerated by the limited number of "rooms" here of course .but many thanks for the time and effort are being ludicrously over critical i believe...but that is just my opinion
if you can come out with a balanced opinion and or review please do..i'd be interested in hearing and i both know that what you have described could very well be aimed at literaly dozens of professionaly made commercail games...cutting me up (to flatter your own ego) won't change that..this is a fun hobby and supposedly forum too, not your personal shooting gallery.. i hope you have good luck too.and your website is nice...if that balances my other comments out then well my reply is actualy far more balanced than your review

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 10:04 pm
by Candle
I think you maybe taking what Imari says wrong.
She has been on the forum a long time and has never put any member down and I think you may be taking what she says wrong.
lets not get off on the wrong foot here as your a new member here and not use to some of the members here.
Anything else like this and I ask you to take it to PM with the member and leave it off of the forums.



PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 10:05 pm
by Bort
well i'm doing me best...

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 4:12 am
by Hamesu0
is really good, nice work. :D

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2007 4:17 am
by Bort
Many Thanks Hamesu0!