Dagon 1.0.0 (alpha 1008) - The Super-Awesome Comeback Build

Instructions

For Windows:

[ul][li]Download https://www.dropbox.com/s/kefl6sy2rg3ss … r_WIP1.zip[/li]
[li]Unzip in any folder you like[/li]
[li]Launch Dagon.exe[/li][/ul]

For Mac:

[ul][li]Download the previous file and this one https://www.dropbox.com/s/47hf4i61gm293 … 0a1008.zip[/li]
[li]Unzip both in the same folder[/li]
[li]Launch Dagon.app[/li][/ul]

A debug mode is enabled by default, so you will see some permanent info (we are disabling this when it goes public).

Helpful tips:

ESC: Quit everything
SPACEBAR: Show interactive spots
CTRL + F: Toggle between fullscreen and windowed mode
TILDE or TAB: Toggle the debug console
When in windowed mode, the view can be freely resized

This is the brand new C++ rewrite. I’m happy to say that all the previous features have been completely ported, so the C version is now effectively obsolete. You have full control over what happens in the engine now, including fine-tuning visual effects (a much requested feature!). Additionally, the rendering loop has been GREATLY improved including framebuffer support. Everything should feel much speedier and smoother.

The code got obviously very complicated. I’ve tried to comment as much as possible, but more is needed. The new layers system (for HUD elements and GUI) is fairly straightforward, but the script tends to be complex. Intro.lua and particularly Journal.lua are pretty hardcore. Don’t panic, we will discuss these new features in due time.

Please not that some syntax has changed, so chances are your current code (if you have one) won’t execute. Refer to Asylum.lua first, then the individual rooms for the most basic stuff.

We’re going to need help documenting this, especially in time for the release in mid-August. If you can contribute in any way, it will be greatly appreciated!

More soon!

Forgot to mention: the major feature I’ll be implementing before we launch the teaser is slides (or zooms) support. It will be done in a way that would allow you to create a “slideshow” kind of adventure, if you wish so. That is, you can bypass nodes altogether :slight_smile:

Yippee, happily pursing lips to suck on Cthonic cyber nipple. :smiley:

OK, just back from spending about 20 mins poking and prodding at this release. Just a note - I haven’t yet looked into the code (it’s late!) so these are mainly comments from playing the teaser.

First things first - well done Agustín & team!! Really impressed with the hard work put into this.

Things that stood out for me (warning - spoilers if not yet played!):

[ul][li]Very atmospheric, creepy and it made me go ‘Eek!’ several times. :slight_smile: [/li]
[li]Loved the sound design - really set up the right uneasy mood.[/li]
[li]Totally didn’t expect Josh Mandell to be doing the voiceover - very pleasant surprise![/li]
[li]Journal overlay worked a treat - adds that extra bit of immersion into the story.[/li]
[li]Resized the window to extremes and everything held together (including position of journal).[/li]
[li]The guy running into the bathroom room behind me - totally freaked me out! Is it wrong that I wanted him to attack me? :slight_smile:[/li][/ul]

Some issues (several of these are nitpicks so make sure to get a general consensus):

[ul][li]The journal icon prevented me from being able to navigate in the down-right direction. Assume this would be pretty easy to fix by adding a few pixels to pad out the journal icon from sitting too tight to the screen border.[/li]
[li]On Windows, there was noticeable stuttering from door animation (as mentioned in the notes). Also noticed this at the final cells location with the mad guy screaming at the window (on the 2nd or 3rd play) so this may be the same problem (not just specific to the cafeteria doors). Here’s what the log states:
[Jul 19 2:05:11] SYSTEM → ERROR: Could not set vertical sync
[Jul 19 2:05:11] SYSTEM → System ready!
[Jul 19 2:11:15] AUDIO → ERROR: OpenAL error: cellsa6_mad.ogg: play (40963)
[Jul 19 2:11:25] AUDIO → ERROR: OpenAL error: cellsa6_mad.ogg: stop (40963)[/li]
[li]Found it hard to distinguish different dialogues that came up (for thoughts, descriptions, etc.). They all seem to run into one another so were hard to follow. Maybe an idea would be to have a subtle box around each dialogue or fade out each as they get older (i.e. newest is white, previous is light grey, next is medium grey and so on).[/li]
[li]The large readme screen (first item in the journal) seemed to be stuck once displayed. Couldn’t get it to go away - I just exited Dagon and started again but maybe if I waited longer or did more clicking then something would have triggered it closing again. Also, dialogue text was getting mixed with it making things hard to read.[/li]
[li]When you go to click on the journal, the screen begins to unintentionally rotate. This is a side-effect of the navigation design (where moving the hand towards the edges rotates the node). It conflicts with wanting to interact with the journal. The fix may be a simple tweak or the general consensus is that it may not be considered substantial enough to worry about.

Might be worth considering alternatives as well. Another possible method is to have two different interface modes with one for node navigation (rotate node, move, etc.) and one for interaction (access journal, use inventory, etc.). Switch between modes using right-mouse click, space bar or similar and only have the on-screen icons appear during the interaction mode, leaving the navigation mode with a full icon-free view.[/li]
[li]Wasn’t initially sure how to close the journal again so maybe a visual clue would be handy (a scribble of a downward arrow at the bottom of the journal or scribbled ‘X’ in top-right would even suffice). I know the hand cursor changes but this is only seen once the cursor moves into that area.[/li][/ul]

Wish list:

[ul][li]Similar to the feature added for Scratches DC, it would be nice to have a nav option where the hand is locked to the centre and the node pans without having to touch the border.[/li]
[li]Additional node rotation controls using the WASD keys (I’m stuck on a laptop touchpad at the moment, which is a bit finicky to rotate the node with - WASD keys for rotation would greatly help).[/li][/ul]

There might be a few other things so will add if I remember them!

Ok, first walk-through response. Coooooooooooooool…
Using the Window’s build…

Glitches: no obvious visual artifacts. Artwork is just awesome. Can’t wait for the full Monty! Metal doors sounded right on first click but on repeat clicks it was kind of truncated and stuttery/echo, didn’t sound deliberate…

Navigation: very smooth. Too smooth! Too much inertia. I felt like I was wearing a 30 lb helmut! Once I start turning I can’t stop on a dime without major mouse reverse scrabbling. Personally I don’t like the engine telling me how I can move. I want it to be very tight and responsive. Not a big fan of the pushing-window-border-to-turn style, although it’s ok IF it’s tuned just right. Being able to use a hotkey to switch to a mouse-locked-in-center is a very nice option. Another mouse option I’ve worked with is click&drag.
Another nav issue I immediately noticed was the transfer of pan movement to the next node. If I clicked a spot off-center enough to cause a transition AND start the screen panning, the next node image was head-on in the direction of the spot, but the mouse position off-center immediately transferred my panning motion, causing me to constantly lurch off center. No, I haven’t been drinking :frowning:

UI and HUD elements:
Sweet, both worked really well. The grand floating Readme is a glaring example of how valuable the 2D overlay system is. Felt like a wall of HD glass floating in front of me in the Asylum. Imagine if it was a part of the game world!
Journal also worked without flaws, but unobtrusive, as it should be.

Show-spots option: Looks good for a simple-player mode, although the targets are a little obvious and break the context. Made me feel like I was in a shooter. Maybe something more innocent like a sparkle?.. Or, hey… a magnet motion on the node that subtly pulls the closest spot to the center of the screen. That would introduce no mood-breaking visuals at all, and would actually simulate your interest being ‘drawn’ to something for some reason. Maybe good for an intermediate level of help…
On a side note, I’d like a hotkey to toggle highlight of all spots, containers, and buttons with a tint, for debugging and development purposes. (you can see the click zones and outline of alpha’d images for example)

The voice over tone and character was really nice, reminded me of the voice quality from Scream, good job!

Finn got here first, so I’ll just chime in on his stuff…
-Yeah, overlay wouldn’t go away! (bug? design oversight?)
-Yeah, closing Journal not obvious. (a design decision, not an engine issue)
-Dialogues. Similar to Scream, I’m ok with that, but only for for really simple text. When it starts to build a history, tends to interfere with the screen. ALSO, my eyes want to read from the top down, but the entries are from bottom up. I know, it’s the only obvious display method when the text is at the screen bottom. Will have to ponder alternatives…

I’m now going to peruse the script, that’ll take a little longer but exciting on it’s own!

Good work Agustin and Company, this is moving along well! (and it’s been way too long for sitting down with lights out and getting really creeped out with an adventure game)
BTW, if the Asylum is really as big as you say, I can see getting lost in a grid of rooms. I can foresee wanting a compass and map with current location, although maybe that doesn’t sit well with your experience in mind.

How can I turn the “effects” off? I only get 15fps with the effects on. WHAT??? My computer is 6 years old - give it a break ok? :slight_smile:

I tried setting “effects = false” but no joy. :frowning:

EDIT: Never mind - I done it. :slight_smile:

Just played through the teaser, and I am very impressed with the results.

I have not dove into the code yet, wanted to give my first impressions before I do.

One of the first things I noticed, was the atmosphere, it is lovely. with the voice overs and subtle sound of flies in the cafeteria. Very nice work by all the artist’s involved.

I really like the dynamic lighting, makes it feel much more alive, and curbs my appetite for the full 3d effect. a great mixture between the node vs. 3d elements.

When The guy ran in the bathroom behind me, I jumped. Though when i noticed that was him crying in the corner, i wasn’t sure what to do with him. I didn’t feel i need to run away, felt like i needed to click on him.

I enjoyed the videos playing without breaking the camera movement. It will gives developers a lot of freedom to add details to the game, which i see you guys are fully taking advantage of that.

The music and sound effects are amazing. i really respect what you guys have done in that sense. The screams and effects give me chills when put together with the rest of the environment. I particularly enjoyed going through the resources and listening to them at full volume. Very nice touch.

Now for a few things on the downside.

When i loaded up the game, everything was grainy. i remember this being address in another teaser, but i don’t remember the outcome. I personally don’t care much for the effect, but another member of my family seemed to like it and thought it added to the mood. Not sure if it was intentional or not.

When I first opened the Journal, I could not figure out how to close it. after a bit of clicking around I got it though. Not sure a good solution for that one. perhaps a subtle ‘X’ on the top binding of the notepad? or a new icon when the hand hovers over the top?

As far as controls, I would greatly prefer the FPS style navigation similar to the controls in scratches. as with Finn, i find the journal gets in the way. I also feel like i cant look around as fast or as fluently, sometimes causing me to miss out on some possibly key details. When walking down the tunnel, I was investigating and seems like it took a while to move on over to the other wall, where there was a very interesting window. With the FPS style controls, I feel like when i enter a node, i can do a quick scan of the room, and investigate some of the more interesting parts of a room.

When i left the cafeteria and went left, i guess my way was blocked, but I could not tell what it was. Of course this may not be part of the game. but if it was a felled tree or something similar, I would recommend letting the player get a bit closer, and investigate some night sky and beautiful tree textures. :slight_smile:

As far as the particulars of this teaser, I could not figure out how to get through the door at the end of the tunnel. though i noticed there was a video of the door opening included in the resources. when i approached the door, i could not click on it, did not get a message about locked or anything. Walking down the hall way quickly (by mashing the click button in one spot) left me with some broken video. also kind of takes away some of the immersion, i realize walking around slowly might be boring, but i feel like it is necessary for me to be able to stay fully immersed in the game play. Something i would have really liked to see in the teaser which i may have missed, was the ability to put books in the game. similar to finding documents, or reading a patients diary. Thoughts of books in the elder scrolls games come to mind.

Thats about all i can think of for now, Tonight i will start tinkering with the code. Im very excited!

And once again, Well done, im very impressed and cant wait to get my hands on asylum!

edit:
As far closing the readme, i found it pretty easily, you just click the readme button again. but i still think that a subtle x will deliver the message, and create alot less frustration coming out of the gates for players.

Does anybody else have the effect, that the view does not change when the mouse cursor is exactly in the lower right corner?

I also experience very sluggish behaviour especially when turning around. I’m currently testing on a dual core XP system that is not really brand new but should be good enough for this one. I’ll try on a quad core Win7 later.

Browsing the code, trying to get my head around LUA again…
Quick feedback before going to bed: (Window’s build)
I can’t get the console to work correctly. Trying to type ‘(’ just types a ‘9’. Also shift doesn’t work to change caps. If caps lock is on when I start the game, all typing comes up caps, and vice-versa. If I hit the Caps Lock key while game is up, all entry into the console stops.

One other weirdness: not sure if this is character encoding issue or what, but after a simple edit and save (trying to test the alternate mouse mode), I get an error that says failed to load asylum.lua. I then have to re-unzip the original files.

Sooo…do you know what encoding your text is using? I thought stuff like this would be simple ASCII since LUA doesn’t use any special characters, but it fails. I used JEdit extensively way back scripting for the scream engine and never had this kind of problem.

edit: Since I recall that Agustin is developing on a Mac, I tried the (suggested,common) MacRoman encoding and it seems to work ok. Must be some stray non-printing character in his files that Dagon has been weaned on. If so Agustin, you should chase that down if these script files are supposed to be truly cross-platform, use something like UTF-16 which is supposed to be universal. I only vaguely know what I’m talking about here… :?

My thoughts,
Like all ready mentioned I’m not wild on the navigation, I have a crappy dual core and with all the effects and full screen I was running at 12fps, althought it wasn’t running notchy it was slow going from node to node and opening doors, windowed and effects off it was running at 20fps and switch nodes a lot nicer, the down side was it responded to fast sometimes and was very difficult to find anything, if the cursor went to near the edge it snapped to centre and wildly turned in the oppisite direction.
With full screen and effects I got stuck at the jammed door spinning while trying to open it
Honestly I don’t care much for the controls, I felt like a lunatic on morphine with full screen and effects and as if I was on speed and downers for windowed and no effects

I couldn’t close the readme, well I did eventually then didn’t realise I’d activated it again lol

Saying all that I think your on the right track and your getting there :slight_smile: the scenes, sound, movies and effects are awesome
Windows Vista Home Premium, 32-bit (Service Pack 2)
DirectX version: 11.0
GPU processor: GeForce 6150SE nForce 430
AMD Athlon 64 x2 4400+
2gb Ram

I have the same problem like ASteed and don’t know how to get through the last door in the floor…

My other opinion towards the teaser is in the beta section :wink:

For those looking to get access to the locked door (highlight below to read):

On the 2nd node into the hospital, look at the ground and you should see a bunch of keys.<<<

Just read Agustín’s recently sent email where it’s mentioned that several of the interface controls talked about here are being implemented, which is great to hear. Different people prefer different ways to interact with the game - best way to deal with this is to offer multiple options for the end user so great to hear. Also, in addition to user preference, keep in mind that certain interface methods are going to work better for particular platforms (e.g. mouse-driven, touchscreen, touchpad, game controller).

One other thing I noticed: I was just poking at various keys to see if they did anything and found the screenshot key (F1, I think). I know it’s probably more of an undocumented feature at the moment but the resulting screenshots were corrupted (could make out the scene but it was sheared and in greyscale). This could be to do with the way TGAs can be interpreted by certain image viewing programs.

I just finished the teaser (under a Win 7 machine ) so here are my thoughts:

[ul][li] The multiple layers feature with the journal is EPIC! I love it – I just love it![/li]
[li] While in windowed mode I minimized the window and after a while it crashed. I couldn’t find any info at the log file. I’ll try and reproduce it.[/li]
[li] I noticed, too, a sound issue. Specifically, when at the cells and at the part where you open the door window and the crazy pops up, if you re-open the window the audio seems to “stutter” so to speak – or to put it differenly it makes audio gaps like instanlty turning off the volume and turning it up again.[/li]
[li]I would love a shortcut for the journal, like the “J” button, for better navigation experience :slight_smile: [/li][/ul]

For those of you who can’t get rid of the Readme layer, just click on the journal’s first entry again. It will disappear :wink:

This feature works fine for me - under windows I opened the snapshot with quicktime.

Sorry for the brief post, but my AC is out and its over 100 degrees in my office. My experience was most similar to Finn’s initial post (except, of course that I wasn’t waiting for the “loose guy” to attack me, I was trying to look for a blanket or something to throw over his shoulders and a way to get him help. :stuck_out_tongue: )

I was expecting the hotspot for the male door keys to be on the handle, but it’s on the cage grate area of the door. I also was missing the inventory as a separate entity —it’s part of the journal, right? If I was supposed to see a key icon when using the inventory item, I did not. The pencil in the hand icon for crossing out completed tasks needs to be bigger.

I’m also on Windows and am having the stuttering videos after the first play. Here’s the log. There’s also an error at start up about the vertical sync.

[Jul 19 10:07:10] SYSTEM -> ======================================== [Jul 19 10:07:10] SYSTEM -> Initializing system... [Jul 19 10:07:11] CONTROLLER -> Dagon version: 1.0.0a1008 [Jul 19 10:07:11] CONTROLLER -> Initializing main controller... [Jul 19 10:07:11] RENDER -> Initializing renderer... [Jul 19 10:07:11] RENDER -> OpenGL version: 4.2.0 [Jul 19 10:07:11] AUDIO -> Initializing audio manager... [Jul 19 10:07:11] FONT -> Initializing font manager... [Jul 19 10:07:11] FONT -> Freetype version: 2.3.9 [Jul 19 10:07:11] VIDEO -> Initializing video manager... [Jul 19 10:07:11] GENERAL -> Initializing console... [Jul 19 10:07:11] SYSTEM -> ERROR: Could not set vertical sync [Jul 19 10:07:11] SYSTEM -> System ready! [Jul 19 10:12:22] AUDIO -> ERROR: OpenAL error: cellsa6_mad.ogg: play (40963) [Jul 19 10:12:32] AUDIO -> ERROR: OpenAL error: cellsa6_mad.ogg: stop (40963) [Jul 19 10:12:35] AUDIO -> ERROR: OpenAL error: cellsa6_mad.ogg: play (40963) [Jul 19 10:12:45] AUDIO -> ERROR: OpenAL error: cellsa6_mad.ogg: stop (40963)

Once the AC is fixed (I’m on a waiting list…ugh!) you can be sure that I’ll be running through this again.

Thanks, Agustin! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

regards to the email Agustin; I think with full screen and effects it is a lot slower, but not jerky like it was before, I’ll try the other mode and see if it feels better.
There’s nothing to say its not my PC, its been tortured for 4 years and out of date, I dare say if it was running XP or Win7 it would be a lot better, it would be interesting to see how it differs under Linux as this system dual boots Ubuntu and also a laptop running Mint

Edit:
I can’t enter caps, ie controlMode or DRAG in the console
I also get the same errors as Imari and the broken second playback on the guy in the cell

Look the post below please :slight_smile:

As in the other thread postet I wanted to let you be part of the poll where to locate the journal…

[url=http://www.senscape.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1186]viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1186[/url]

Time for some programming details.
What is the timer period? I see a value used but don’t know how long a tick is…

I’ll be addressing all questions later today!

As for the timer period, it’s in seconds though you can use decimals (at least I think so, haven’t tried that).

I’ve just tried it on my slow laptop just to see what it would give.
It’s clear that the engine is much faster now. The game runs at 26fps with effects off, and 15 fps with the effects on (there’s a big fps drop when animations are played). It used to be slower and unplayable.