ThiefEd Additions

On tap for today, I’m going to go ahead and finish the portal rectangle bits and make the enemy button keep track of the enemy Level – with graphics and everything!
-Done. Well, the Portal Rect is done. I’m considering adding a thing to ask, really nicely, if you want to save what you’ve done. Right now, it helps when you may not want in to help. But no matter, the fact that it helps, let alone works, is good for me. What I finished by the way, was having it draw the character on screen when you place them. Then you can get it right where you want, for super specific placement. Otherwise, if you were a little low or a little high, it may hop out of a box or fall into one when the engine takes over. Now, none of that.
-Okay, cool. Ive gone ahead and made the Enemy Button work really well. Now there are little arrows you can click to increase the enemy skill level up to 9 (the theoretical skill level of the final boss) or decrease it to zero – which removes the enemy from the level. It also has a counter on it that let you know the what the current setting is. Tommorow, I’ll add the final bit where you place the enemy on the screen and set up the limits. Or, I’ll make a good attempt to. Then make the save info finalized and everything on the ThiefEd should be cool. The only things left to do then are the in-editor testing, which will require some decent coding work, and a way to have it show images.
-For the images, I had an idea. Since it worked so well for the levels, I though that I could create a file system for the pictures too. The issue is that the system would go all crashy crash when I tell it to find something that isn’t there. So, a workaround would be to create blank images and put them there. The cute part of the idea is that if I have a picture to start from, then all I have to do is save it in the appropriate place and open the level. It should appear all cool like. Then if I have nothing, it will still show the basic template picture. Heck, I may even put some useful info on it. If I can think of some that is.
-Just browsed the blitz site, and I think I found a way to get some really good sound in the game. There already is a sound effect function, but it kind of sucks since it is so basic. I think I will use it and build a function that takes into account the position on screen of the character making the sound and then play the sound I want. Then, we’ll get really nice panning sound effects, just like a real game!
– On random thoughts, something recently occurred to me. I am a member of the Middle Children of Gaming. Let me explain. The Firstborn were those that could remember of a time without games. These were the folks that fell in love with Pong and PacMan and generally made sure games weren’t just a fad. These people may or may not have given games up after the crash, but they were weaned on the games that had a basic, if any story, and were more tests of skill. Nowadays, these are the gamers that 1) Make Games or 2) play the more simple Flash things you can find online, as they are the kind of games they know and enjoy playing.
The other gaming generation is what I call the Third Generation. I have a story for this. I was over at a friend’s house, (Steve – my animator’s house incidentally) and we were talking about old games, and the topic of The Adventure of Link came up. If you’ve never played TAOL, then go do it now, and you’ll see how wicked hard it is. So, anyway, one of his little brothers comes up and says “Yeah, Zelda. I love that game. It’s not that hard though, only the Pyramid part.” It took me a second to realize that he was talking about A Link to the Past, a game I had seen him playing on an emulator on his computer. I let him know that we were talking about a previous game in the series, to which he replied, “There were Zelda games before that one?!” Which made me feel very, very old. The Third Generation of game players demand story and plot progression. They have little issue with playing 60- hours to finish and many of them are too young to have jobs, yet manage to spend Millions on games like Dynasty Warriors.
So I, am a Middle Child. The Second Generation. The games I like, are those Olde Skool style games, where the focus is on genre. But, I grew up on TAOL and those old, really hard games. Now I know that Halo on Legendary is hard. I finished it that way (with friends). But these were games that tested you and gave you a sense of accomplishment when you finished them – like Mega Man.
I find myself in a weird place. On the one hand, if I see one more match three game, I will shit a perfectly formed and fired brick. No, I don’t want casual crap, it’s just not my bag baby. I like to learn something new that then challenges me.
On the other hand, I do not have the time or energy to pour 60 hours of my life into something that I do not care that much about. GTA4 is a good example. I started playing it, and now I’m on the 4th island, have a good many things unlocked, and I’m at 30%. I keep playing, getting false endings and so on, until I just get to a point where I think to myself, “When is this going to be over? I want to finish – since I’m not a quitter, but I really want to move on and play Mass Effect.” Oh, I’ve heard, ME is supposed to be, like, 12 hours long in the main quest. That sounds awesome in every way.
So, I beg and ask, give me a good game that I can finish in 12-20 hours. That’s fine. Anybody that complains the game is too short is complimenting you game designers. It means that they enjoyed your game so much that they wanted more of it. Recently I played Gears of War with a friend. That game is 7 hours long. I played it 3 times on 3 different difficulty settings, and not once did I think, “Man, I want to play me some Mass Effect. When is this over?”
-Oh, in case you’re curious, for The Thief’s Tale, I’m shooting for like 5 hours, tops, if you find Everything.

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