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Forge's Chapter One has been released on the 16th of December 2013!
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Forge  |  Everything Forge  |  Forge Progress - Melting Pot  |  Topic: Forge Tech Demo Ver1.0 Now available (Updated April 1, 2010)
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Author Topic: Forge Tech Demo Ver1.0 Now available (Updated April 1, 2010)  (Read 33912 times)
Da_Duke2000
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« on: April 01, 2010, 03:15:03 PM »

Here it is! Thanks to everyone for their efforts in the release of this Tech Demo.

The Demo will Start with a Loom recap and then move into some Forge Screen shots. To replay the preview, you can do so from the Tapestry Selection. To learn about the new GUI, use the Tutorial. And to play with the GUI freehand, enter the Mini Game section.

DOWNLOAD HERE!

Please, discuss in this topic.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 12:01:44 PM by abisso » Logged
Esn
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2010, 02:30:32 AM »

First impression: There is way, way too much exposition, and too much text in general. The original Loom game plunked you right into the game with almost no preamble or background information, all of which only became clear later. You should try to find a way to do this - don't bog down the player immediately with a ton of details. You can keep the opening summary of the previous game, but have it be selectable as an optional background movie from the game menu rather than the first thing the player sees (the opening intro before the menu should be short and memorable as in the original game. In "Loom", it was just swans flying behind the logo). Try to have no more dialogue as a % of playtime than the original "Loom" did.

The artwork is by turns VERY impressive or slightly wrong. The backgrounds are generally fantastic. Some of the walk cycles don't feel quite right. The large close-ups of the faces do a pretty good job of copying the pixel art style of the original, but the artist doesn't appear to be very confident at realistically drawing anatomical details. i.e. The character with the mustache has elf ears and a strange neck.

The music is quite good. But I wonder if, to keep with the "original" aesthetic, it would have made sense to use the same low-res sound banks that the original game used.

More comments later, as I'm out of time...
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Da_Duke2000
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2010, 08:20:15 PM »

First impression: There is way, way too much exposition, and too much text in general. The original Loom game plunked you right into the game with almost no preamble or background information, all of which only became clear later. You should try to find a way to do this - don't bog down the player immediately with a ton of details.
Unfortunately, the game was released 20 years ago, and to forgive the first time player, we had to give some degree of "pretty exposition". Rest assured, the full release of FORGE will be the same as LOOM in the original design. We want the story to continue immediately. But, the current release was a demo for a Loom refresher, and to introduce the GUI and some art.

You can keep the opening summary of the previous game, but have it be selectable as an optional background movie from the game menu rather than the first thing the player sees
We discussed having the game start with the Tapestry screen, so the Preview was optional. But, its for that reason we made it skippable.

Try to have no more dialogue as a % of playtime than the original "Loom" did.
We agree, FORGE will not have narration. Any additional storyline will be provided via interactions, Book of Schematics, and rewards.

In regards to the art, we'll be going through all the portraits, and animations with a fine toothed comb. I assure you. We had April 1, 2010 as our launch date. Not everything was 100%.

And in terms of the music. We had a few attempts to make the low-res sounds which came out way to midi-styled. It is a style that I think would suit the art, and we'll do our best to achieve it. I would not consider any current piece of music to be permanent. The same goes for the Animations.

Thank you muchly for your comments!
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Esn
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2010, 09:14:44 PM »

Try to have no more dialogue as a % of playtime than the original "Loom" did.
We agree, FORGE will not have narration. Any additional storyline will be provided via interactions, Book of Schematics, and rewards.

I also meant: try not to be too wordy in the interactions, and achieve maximum efficiency with a minimum of dialogue. I know that it's definitely a difficult thing, to convey atmosphere, character and information while keeping the dialogue concise, without making it so concise that the spirit or believability of the game is lost. It's very hard to do it well - but it's something that has to be done, because long "cut-scenes" can quickly become boring.

Also, it would be far more kind to the "first-time player" to not force him to memorize a whole lot of backstory before starting play (even though it's skippable, if you put it right when the game starts, most players will not skip it). Much of that story is not really important to the task at hand. Start with what Rusty himself knows. He knows very little of Bobbin's story, because he met him for a very brief period. So why would you start the game by recounting Bobbin's story, which the main character of the game is not even aware of? How do you know that he even realizes exactly what the weavers did at the end of "Loom"? Try to reduce things to the really bare essentials, to start with - then later you can expand, if needed. I think that was also the big mistake in the "Lord of the Rings" movies - Peter Jackson tried to show the epicness of the story from the very start, while the original book started small (thereby pulling in the reader with things they could relate to, and not starting off with abstract grand themes) and gradually got bigger.

Instead of narrating "and he saw the castle floating away, and he met this man, and he fell down a hole", maybe start the game simply with him falling down a hole, then after landing have him make a brief comment that will clear up the situation (Bobbin sometimes did this in "Loom" - talking seemingly to himself about something that just happened). Then maybe the player can take over. Or perhaps the game should start at the beginning of the narrated story, just after he tries to find any survivors.

Concerning the music, do you know the technical specifications of the original? Is it possible to reproduce that sound using exactly what the original game used?

By the way, have you decided on what platforms the game will be available? I think it could work very well on handheld devices, such as the Linux-based Pandora and GP2X Wiz.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2010, 09:43:38 PM by Esn » Logged
Da_Duke2000
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2010, 10:49:17 PM »

I'll simply restate that this is a Technical Demo. The exposition, the lengthy intro, the wordy dialogue, etc; will not be featured in the real game. There are too many people out there who are not familiar with the Loom franchise in the Adventure Game community, and rather than force them to play the original, or Youtube a LetsPlay, we wanted to give them enough information to enjoy the technical aspects of the GUI and the Rewards sections with at least some bearing on story.

But again, this is not an accurate representation of the actual release. None of of that will be present.

We're fully aware at how long-winded the tutorial is, and the preview. We definitely will be keeping the full release streamlined and clean. The demo is designed to be personable, and not to be considered practical canon in the cohesiveness of the story. You're getting ahead of yourself Smiley. Which I can appreciate, its easy to do.

Our intentions is to start Forge from the moment the Dragon kills Rusty. It will be seamless, and the player will not be given any direction other than "go through the portal to the afterlife". From that point, the player will experience the same type of unknown adventure that Bobbin had. And that is as much direction as the player will have. We have no intention of forcing the player read a novel first simply because we believe they need to know the information. If the player wants to learn how to use the GUI, there will be a manual. And if the player wants to know about Bobbin and Weavers, they can play LOOM. But for the Demo, to appeal to all users, it was worth putting it in.

The Engine we are using is AGS, AdventureGameStudio, of which Abisso is scripting. We'll have to wait for him to come by (or to check the AGS forums) to check the cross platform support. That will be one of the last things we'll be concerning ourselves with. The plan is to get a working PC model. Followed by a one or two language translations, Italian, German, Spanish most likely. And then cross platform ports.

The music for Loom was arranged and designed by The Fat Man:
http://www.fatman.com/compose.htm

When we get to that stage, it'll be worth an email or two and getting the information. But, since we're only at 8 backgrounds of about the 35 needed, its difficult to arrange music to for the theme.
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abisso
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2010, 04:00:33 AM »

400 Downloads reached!

Thanks to everyone, I'm quite satisfied with this achievement.
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Ernie76
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2010, 01:00:22 AM »

Hi my name is Ernie from Vampyre Games and one of the founders of the Maniac Mansion Remake called "Meteor Mess 3D".
As Great Lucasfilm Adventure fan and as fan of Loom, i had to test your tech demo and i am very impressed how perfectly the "LOOM FEELING" is even in this demo.
I always liked the looks and feel of the original and guess what: I spended 50 euros after i played your demo to get the original again, from ebay Wink       ( now i only need 4 other original first release lucafilm Adventure games and my collection is complete  Grin  )
The new system with the gloves feels strage at first but so did the music thingy in the original, when i played it the first time, and now i love it.
The tutorial is cool and with the black backround it remindes me a littelbit on the intro from Simon 1.
All in all i think your game will be a great one.

Regards Ernie

If you wanna know more about our Project, read the Interview with NEW screenshots here:  http://www.gamecaptain.de/PC/Artikel/4451/Interview%3A_Meteor_Mess_3D_Special.html

Or look on our Projectpage ( Old screenshots ) here : www.vampyregames.de

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Da_Duke2000
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2010, 12:13:21 AM »

Thanks for the kind words. I'm impressed by the 3D enviros. It seems like a good game for the engine, since all rooms are indoors and square edged.

Although I am ashamed to admin, that I have never played Maniac Mansion. Wow eh?!
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abisso
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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2010, 08:08:29 AM »

Quote
Although I am ashamed to admin, that I have never played Maniac Mansion. Wow eh?!

But I did, and I looooooooved it too.

I'm not very fond of 3d adventure games, but I have to tell you this one looks really nice and impressive for a freeware fan project. The only thing I'd like to know is why you felt the need to convert MM in 3d. I would have preferred a sequel! Sad

Good luck with your project, by the way. We fan-gamemakers must stay together and support each other the most we can. Smiley
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Ernie76
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« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2010, 04:38:03 AM »

The Reason for a 3D Remake was, that we want to learn more about the engines capabilitys ( by the way, the times that 3d gamestudion could only do indoors is over, you can to large outsideworlds and MMO?s too. The new version 8 ( comming soon) is as powerfull as most other 3D engines).
Were planing an own Adventure with own story and so on, and it could be a commercial project but we had to test the whole system we a Programming ( A scumm like thing we call G.A.S. = Gamestudio Adventure System) to make 3D Adventures.
The Goal is a Tool to create 3D adventures just like scumm was for 2D.
By now we can add many many things to an object, just by choosing the action from a list and then configure its special behavior with a few buttens and nummeric or Text enteries.
For example: We want an 3D object like a door to work, we just add the usage protokol "DOOR" to it and type in the 2 rooms it should connect. We also can type in, what discription is displayed when the courser moves over it, and we can enter as many lines of text we want for the player to say wenn he trys to Look at it or oben it or what ever. We can simply give the door a state like open or close and what key or other force is needet to open it, and so on and so on...
All that by just pushing a few buttons an make a few text enteries, and all that in an engine that never was ment to be one for adventures. We have a system for Audio Speech too. ( Yes the Remake will have speech Wink
You see the Maniac Mansion 3D thing ist just a homework for us, so we dont give it the full power of grafix and so on, becouse its a fangame. For the Commercial game that were Planing the Grafix, sounds and fetures will ne much better and more modern. For me in Person it was the ANKH series and Jack Keane that made me accept that 3D adventures could work if the team that produce it, loves the work and dont just want to make fast money. ( Monkey 4 was such a game that ruined a whole series just couse it has to be in 3d befor the time was right for that. )
Enough Written  Grin       I Love Adventures, i love to work on 3D models and im a hugh Maniac Mansion Fan
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abisso
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2010, 06:53:11 AM »

Interesting, really interesting, especially since I'm a scripter too. And I understand and share your point. We, Quill o' the Wisp also wish that Forge will be a way to be more popular and to produce other AGs, although this is not the main reason that makes us dedicate our time to it. Loom MUST have a sequel. Smiley
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Ernie76
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2010, 02:40:15 PM »

I totaly agree. 
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ddrenai
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« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2010, 04:19:26 AM »

I just played with the demo...totally satisfied^^
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abisso
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« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2010, 10:43:32 AM »

This pleases me a lot. Thanks ddrenai, and if you've got anything to offer to the project (graphic/audio/reading/acting/writing skills, but even fan support is enough), please do.
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Da_Duke2000
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« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2010, 12:24:59 AM »

Thank you for registering solely to say you enjoyed out Demo. It all about the little things like that.
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