Beta Greyout

fr4n

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Oct 23, 2008
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I've never played Echochrome, but seen videos. Will have to check out the demo.


The third dimension might be too much for me though... ;)
 

foxblock

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Thanks for the kind words, I appreciate it :)


@SONY: What part exactly makes this game so hard in your eyes? Is it a particular level you are struggling with? In that level is it because of hazards like the spikes or because you can't figure out how to get to the goal (aka you can't reach the goal or you don't know how to reach it)? Is it a general gameplay element or something completely different?


I am very curious about that and I appreciate any feedback by anyone - it is the best way one can improve in my eyes.


The game is not supposed to be easy, but also it should not be impossible for somebody. Think Braid as a comparison, that game is very hard and tricky in places, it took me days, even weeks to figure out a solution to a certain puzzle, but when I found it actually doing it was fairly easy.


Half of Greyout is to get exactly that, the other half (including levels like "Greyout") is just a hard platformer, because I thought mixing puzzle levels with some pure platformer levels and having some change in gameplay is a good idea in general. (well they are not pure platformer levels to be precise, there still is some thinking involved, but the focus is shifted).


Also I don't think the game would work that well in 3D.


I am very critical about 3D, on the one hand you can build nice worlds with it, it makes the game more closely related to anything real, on the other hand only some games really benefit by that and it often is over-used or wrongly used just to add some "3D looks cool/better"-effect, which is utterly stupid in my eyes (think latest Sonic titles for example).


With Greyout I wanted to have a interesting gameplay mechanic and try to fully explore it (VVVVVV is an example of this done right) - as I said, I don't feel like I have done that yet, so this is why I am still working on more levels.


In general I think I have not fully explored the 2D space yet and will most likely not make a 3D game in the near future.


Okay, got completely off track here, sorry about that, I tend to digress :p


Oh btw, check out FEZ


foxblock out
 
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bzar

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Half of Greyout is to get exactly that, the other half (including levels like "Greyout") is just a hard platformer, because I thought mixing puzzle levels with some pure platformer levels and having some change in gameplay is a good idea in general. (well they are not pure platformer levels to be precise, there still is some thinking involved, but the focus is shifted).
IMHO, this is a great idea. The platforming levels could use some non-static hazards, so you could use timing more as a gameplay element. The hidden spikes are an example of non-static hazards, but they too are static with regard to position. Something like moving spikes and self-moving boxes (that push the player around and try to squish him) could really make both the platform and puzzle levels more diverse. Also more interactivity with the environment through doors and switches, possibly even teleporters could make the game world richer.


Consider Braid you used as an example. The basic rewinding mechanic is constantly amended with different environmental hazards and elements. Having a solid basic mechanic- which you in my opinion have achieved -is of course paramount, but to keep the player hooked you need to vary the gameplay with the environment.

Also I don't think the game would work that well in 3D.


I am very critical about 3D, on the one hand you can build nice worlds with it, it makes the game more closely related to anything real, on the other hand only some games really benefit by that and it often is over-used or wrongly used just to add some "3D looks cool/better"-effect, which is utterly stupid in my eyes (think latest Sonic titles for example).


With Greyout I wanted to have a interesting gameplay mechanic and try to fully explore it (VVVVVV is an example of this done right) - as I said, I don't feel like I have done that yet, so this is why I am still working on more levels.


In general I think I have not fully explored the 2D space yet and will most likely not make a 3D game in the near future.
I agree with you here 100%. I can't really see how this would work in 3D, except by restraining the mechanics to 2D but using 3D graphics. Even that would probably mostly suffer because the lines between white/black/grey areas would be less clear (due to perspective). So yeah, 3D doesn't really contribute to greyout's mechanic.
 

foxblock

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IMHO, this is a great idea. The platforming levels could use some non-static hazards, so you could use timing more as a gameplay element. The hidden spikes are an example of non-static hazards, but they too are static with regard to position. Something like moving spikes and self-moving boxes (that push the player around and try to squish him) could really make both the platform and puzzle levels more diverse. Also more interactivity with the environment through doors and switches, possibly even teleporters could make the game world richer.


Consider Braid you used as an example. The basic rewinding mechanic is constantly amended with different environmental hazards and elements. Having a solid basic mechanic- which you in my opinion have achieved -is of course paramount, but to keep the player hooked you need to vary the gameplay with the environment.
Well, now this gets a bit scary as it is exactly what I have planned or rather what has been implemented with the last update (just has not been used in any level yet) ;)

Dude you got to get that company to release the game for pandora ;)
They are not even making a PC version :(
 

Esn

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@foxblock, I just press "start game", and I always start on the same level, then after I'm finished the level, it goes back to the main menu. Here's the .out file, which shows me finishing that level after a few deaths, whereupon the game goes back to the main menu, I press "start game", and the same level starts again:

^_^

[19h43m21 SUCCESS ]=== Starting the application (./greyout ) ==========================

[19h43m21 START ]=== uMount the PND =================================================

[19h43m22 INFO ] cleanup done

[19h43m22 SUCCESS ]=== uMount the PND =================================================

=======================================================================================

Return code is : 2

Code:
=======================================================================================

PND_SCRIPT      : pnd_run.sh

PND_ARGS        : -p /media/mmcblk0p1/pandora/menu//Greyout.pnd -e ./greyout -b greyout

PND             : /media/mmcblk0p1/pandora/menu//Greyout.pnd

PND_FSTYPE      : Squashfs

APPDATADIR      : /media/mmcblk0p1/pandora/appdata/greyout

APPDD_FSTYPE    : vfat

PND_CPUSPEED    : <unset>

EXENAME         : ./greyout

ARGUMENTS       : <unset>

=======================================================================================

[19h36m59   START ]=== Mount the PND ==================================================

[19h37m00    INFO ]   Mounting : mount -t squashfs "/dev/loop2" "/mnt/pnd/greyout"

[19h37m00    INFO ]   Mounting the Union FS : mount -t aufs -o exec,noplink,dirs="/media/mmcblk0p1/pandora/appdata/greyout=rw+nolwh":"/mnt/pnd/greyout=rr" none "/mnt/utmp/greyout"

[19h37m01 SUCCESS ]=== Mount the PND ==================================================

[19h37m01   START ]=== Starting the application (./greyout ) ==========================

[19h37m02    INFO ]   ././greyout

[19h37m03    INFO ]   Penjin says: No command line args provided.

[19h37m03    INFO ]   Savegame successfully loaded!

[19h37m04    INFO ]   Input driver version is 1.0.0

[19h37m04    INFO ]   Input device ID: bus 0x18 vendor 0x0 product 0x0 version 0x92

[19h37m04    INFO ]   Input device name: "nub0"

[19h37m04    INFO ]   Input driver version is 1.0.0

[19h37m05    INFO ]   Input device ID: bus 0x18 vendor 0x0 product 0x0 version 0x92

[19h37m05    INFO ]   Input device name: "nub1"

[19h37m05    INFO ]   Input driver version is 1.0.0

[19h37m05    INFO ]   Input device ID: bus 0x19 vendor 0x1 product 0x1 version 0x3

[19h37m05    INFO ]   Input device name: "keypad"

[19h37m06    INFO ]   Input driver version is 1.0.0

[19h37m06    INFO ]   Input device ID: bus 0x19 vendor 0x1 product 0x1 version 0x100

[19h37m06    INFO ]   Input device name: "gpio-keys"

[19h37m06    INFO ]   Input driver version is 1.0.0

[19h37m07    INFO ]   Input device ID: bus 0x0 vendor 0x0 product 0x0 version 0x0

[19h37m07    INFO ]   Input device name: "touchscreen"

[19h37m07    INFO ]   i:0Pcal:-13868

[19h37m07    INFO ]   i:1Pcal:53

[19h37m07    INFO ]   i:2Pcal:54178276

[19h37m07    INFO ]   i:3Pcal:43

[19h37m08    INFO ]   i:4Pcal:-8681

[19h37m08    INFO ]   i:5Pcal:32884616

[19h37m08    INFO ]   i:6Pcal:65536

[19h37m08   ERROR ]   Penjin says: No errors detected.

[19h37m08    INFO ]   Surface cache cleared - deleted 0 images!

[19h37m08    INFO ]   Cleared music cache - deleted 0 music tracks (0 still playing).

[19h37m11    INFO ]   Surface cache cleared - deleted 0 images!

[19h37m11    INFO ]   Cleared music cache - deleted 0 music tracks (0 still playing).

[19h37m11    INFO ]   Loading new image to cache "images/menu/title_800_480.png"

[19h37m11    INFO ]   Loading new image to cache "images/menu/title_marker_800_480.png"

[19h37m12    INFO ]   Loading new music track to cache "music/title_menu.ogg"

[19h37m12    INFO ]   Now playing: "music/title_menu.ogg"

[19h37m14    INFO ]   Loading new sound to cache "sounds/menu.wav"

[19h37m15    INFO ]   Trying to open chapter file "chapters/default/info.txt"

[19h37m15    INFO ]   Trying to load strings file "chapters/default/strings.txt"

[19h37m15    INFO ]   Surface cache cleared - deleted 2 images!

[19h37m16    INFO ]   Cleared music cache - deleted 0 music tracks (1 still playing).

[19h37m16    INFO ]   Trying to load level file "chapters/default/06.txt"

[19h37m16    INFO ]   Trying to load custom image "chapters/default/images/levels/06.png"

[19h37m16    INFO ]   Custom image not found, loading default!

[19h37m17    INFO ]   Loading new image to cache "images/levels/06.png"

[19h37m17    INFO ]   Trying to load custom music track "chapters/default/music/together.ogg"

[19h37m17    INFO ]   Custom music track not found, loading default!

[19h37m17    INFO ]   Loading new music track to cache "music/together.ogg"

[19h37m17    INFO ]   Trying to load custom image "chapters/default/images/player/black_big.png"

[19h37m17    INFO ]   Custom image not found, loading default!

[19h37m18    INFO ]   Loading new image to cache "images/player/black_big.png"

[19h37m18    INFO ]   Trying to load custom image "chapters/default/images/player/white_big.png"

[19h37m18    INFO ]   Custom image not found, loading default!

[19h37m18    INFO ]   Loading new image to cache "images/player/white_big.png"

[19h37m18    INFO ]   Trying to load custom image "chapters/default/images/units/exit.png"

[19h37m18    INFO ]   Custom image not found, loading default!

[19h37m19    INFO ]   Loading new image to cache "images/units/exit.png"

[19h37m19    INFO ]   Trying to load custom image "chapters/default/images/units/exit.png"

[19h37m19    INFO ]   Custom image not found, loading default!

[19h37m19    INFO ]   Level has 2 players and 4 units.

[19h37m19    INFO ]   Successfully loaded level file!

[19h37m20    INFO ]   Now playing: "music/together.ogg"

[19h37m20    INFO ]   Trying to load custom sound "chapters/default/sounds/die.wav"

[19h37m20    INFO ]   Custom sound not found, loading default!

[19h37m20    INFO ]   Loading new sound to cache "sounds/die.wav"

[19h37m22    INFO ]   Trying to load custom sound "chapters/default/sounds/die.wav"

[19h37m22    INFO ]   Custom sound not found, loading default!

[19h37m22    INFO ]   Trying to load custom sound "chapters/default/sounds/die.wav"

[19h37m23    INFO ]   Custom sound not found, loading default!

[19h37m52    INFO ]   ALSA lib pcm.c:7234:(snd_pcm_recover) underrun occured

[19h37m52    INFO ]   ALSA lib pcm.c:7234:(snd_pcm_recover) underrun occured

[19h37m53    INFO ]   Trying to load custom sound "chapters/default/sounds/die.wav"

[19h37m53    INFO ]   Custom sound not found, loading default!

[19h38m39    INFO ]   Trying to load custom sound "chapters/default/sounds/die.wav"

[19h38m39    INFO ]   Custom sound not found, loading default!

[19h39m15    INFO ]   Trying to load custom sound "chapters/default/sounds/die.wav"

[19h39m15    INFO ]   Custom sound not found, loading default!

[19h39m18    INFO ]   Trying to load custom sound "chapters/default/sounds/die.wav"

[19h39m18    INFO ]   Custom sound not found, loading default!

[19h39m52    INFO ]   ALSA lib pcm.c:7234:(snd_pcm_recover) underrun occured

[19h39m52    INFO ]   ALSA lib pcm.c:7234:(snd_pcm_recover) underrun occured

[19h40m00    INFO ]   ALSA lib pcm.c:7234:(snd_pcm_recover) underrun occured

[19h40m02    INFO ]   ALSA lib pcm.c:7234:(snd_pcm_recover) underrun occured

[19h41m11    INFO ]   Trying to load custom sound "chapters/default/sounds/die.wav"

[19h41m11    INFO ]   Custom sound not found, loading default!

[19h41m14    INFO ]   Trying to load custom sound "chapters/default/sounds/die.wav"

[19h41m14    INFO ]   Custom sound not found, loading default!

[19h41m52    INFO ]   ALSA lib pcm.c:7234:(snd_pcm_recover) underrun occured

[19h41m52    INFO ]   ALSA lib pcm.c:7234:(snd_pcm_recover) underrun occured

[19h41m55    INFO ]   ALSA lib pcm.c:7234:(snd_pcm_recover) underrun occured

[19h42m59    INFO ]   Progress saved!

[19h43m00    INFO ]   Surface cache cleared - deleted 4 images!

[19h43m00    INFO ]   Cleared music cache - deleted 0 music tracks (2 still playing).

[19h43m02    INFO ]   Surface cache cleared - deleted 0 images!

[19h43m03    INFO ]   Cleared music cache - deleted 0 music tracks (2 still playing).

[19h43m03    INFO ]   Loading new image to cache "images/menu/title_800_480.png"

[19h43m03    INFO ]   Loading new image to cache "images/menu/title_marker_800_480.png"

[19h43m05    INFO ]   Now playing: "music/title_menu.ogg"

[19h43m05    INFO ]   Trying to open chapter file "chapters/default/info.txt"

[19h43m05    INFO ]   Trying to load strings file "chapters/default/strings.txt"

[19h43m05    INFO ]   Surface cache cleared - deleted 2 images!

[19h43m06    INFO ]   Cleared music cache - deleted 0 music tracks (2 still playing).

[19h43m06    INFO ]   Trying to load level file "chapters/default/06.txt"

[19h43m06    INFO ]   Trying to load custom image "chapters/default/images/levels/06.png"

[19h43m06    INFO ]   Custom image not found, loading default!

[19h43m06    INFO ]   Loading new image to cache "images/levels/06.png"

[19h43m07    INFO ]   Trying to load custom music track "chapters/default/music/together.ogg"

[19h43m07    INFO ]   Custom music track not found, loading default!

[19h43m07    INFO ]   Trying to load custom image "chapters/default/images/player/black_big.png"

[19h43m07    INFO ]   Custom image not found, loading default!

[19h43m07    INFO ]   Loading new image to cache "images/player/black_big.png"

[19h43m08    INFO ]   Trying to load custom image "chapters/default/images/player/white_big.png"

[19h43m08    INFO ]   Custom image not found, loading default!

[19h43m08    INFO ]   Loading new image to cache "images/player/white_big.png"

[19h43m08    INFO ]   Trying to load custom image "chapters/default/images/units/exit.png"

[19h43m08    INFO ]   Custom image not found, loading default!

[19h43m09    INFO ]   Loading new image to cache "images/units/exit.png"

[19h43m09    INFO ]   Trying to load custom image "chapters/default/images/units/exit.png"

[19h43m09    INFO ]   Custom image not found, loading default!

[19h43m09    INFO ]   Level has 2 players and 4 units.

[19h43m09    INFO ]   Successfully loaded level file!

[19h43m10    INFO ]   Now playing: "music/together.ogg"

[19h43m10    INFO ]   Trying to load custom sound "chapters/default/sounds/die.wav"

[19h43m10    INFO ]   Custom sound not found, loading default!

[19h43m10    INFO ]   Trying to load custom sound "chapters/default/sounds/die.wav"

[19h43m10    INFO ]   Custom sound not found, loading default!

[19h43m14    INFO ]   Loading new sound to cache "sounds/menu_back.wav"

[19h43m14    INFO ]   Surface cache cleared - deleted 4 images!

[19h43m15    INFO ]   Cleared music cache - deleted 0 music tracks (2 still playing).

[19h43m15    INFO ]   Loading new image to cache "images/menu/title_800_480.png"

[19h43m15    INFO ]   Loading new image to cache "images/menu/title_marker_800_480.png"

[19h43m17    INFO ]   Now playing: "music/title_menu.ogg"

[19h43m19    INFO ]   Penjin says: Shutting Down.

[19h43m19    INFO ]   Progress saved!

[19h43m19    INFO ]   Surface cache cleared - deleted 2 images!

[19h43m20    INFO ]   Cleared music cache - deleted 2 music tracks (0 still playing).

[19h43m20    INFO ]   Cleared sound cache - deleted 3 sounds (0 still playing).

[19h43m20    INFO ]   Penjin says: Goodbye!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

foxblock

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@foxblock, I just press "start game", and I always start on the same level, then after I'm finished the level, it goes back to the main menu. Here's the .out file, which shows me finishing that level after a few deaths, whereupon the game goes back to the main menu, I press "start game", and the same level starts again:
Haha, okay, I get it now. This is actually the expected behaviour, you reached the last level of the game after completing which it sends you back to the title screen. Pressing "Start game" now will always send you to the last level - I know this is not ideal, but I could not come up with a better behaviour.


Now thinking about it, the "Start game" button probably should start you again on the first level if you completed the whole chapter - I will try to get this done for the next version.


To play the chapter from the start, just select the first level from the level selection screen. Or use the speed run mode while you are at it ;)


Sorry about that, I probably did not think people would play through my game twice.


foxblock out
 

bzar

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You could also add some kind of indicator that the player has played through the available levels before sending him back to the title screen.
 

foxblock

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You could also add some kind of indicator that the player has played through the available levels before sending him back to the title screen.
Yep, eventually there was supposed to be an ending level/cinematic, but I ran out of time and forgot about it afterwards.


So thanks for reminding me, this will probably be included in the next content update. :)


I still also am not entirely happy with the "Start game" button, it works, but it does not properly indicate what it is going to do.


Maybe I put another menu afterwards in which one can chose to start at the last point saved or start the chapter over. Eventually I also planned on linking it to custom chapter, but without any out there I don't see any need :p


foxblock out
 

moxie

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I want to add my voice to the choir of praise here :) Excellent fun, very mind-twisty. Too few levels, though - I crave more!!! :D (or possibly not, since I need to do ordinary life kind of things, too.


I don't, however, get the level select screen - I get two choices, where one puts me back at the level I played last (the "Greyout" choice) and one puts me in some strange space with two men and strange movements. Apparently I can materialize blocks, but they explode...wut?


Still, that probably has an explanation. Excellent game! Minimal, and with a weird mechanic.
 

foxblock

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I want to add my voice to the choir of praise here :) Excellent fun, very mind-twisty. Too few levels, though - I crave more!!! :D (or possibly not, since I need to do ordinary life kind of things, too.


I don't, however, get the level select screen - I get two choices, where one puts me back at the level I played last (the "Greyout" choice) and one puts me in some strange space with two men and strange movements. Apparently I can materialize blocks, but they explode...wut?


Still, that probably has an explanation. Excellent game! Minimal, and with a weird mechanic.
Thanks :)


Okay I guess I never explained how that screen works.


Initially the screen shows all the chapters installed - for now that is only the default one, but user chapter could be added and would show up there, too. It also shows another item the "single levels" folder, which is a collection of single levels not associated with a chapter (they work the same, but if you just got one crazy idea and not a bunch you don't want to create a full chapter with image, etc.).


The single levels folder for now only contains one item, the "playground" - this level is pretty useless as it does not even has an exit as you may have noticed. It purely is to play around with the physics and game mechanics. The level-specific controls are shown when you start the level for the first time (each session). I also use this level to test new features of the engine. Currently is has those moving platforms as they use a new feature I implemented in the last version.


Now when you select a chapter you should be given two choices, "explore" and "play". "Play" simply works like the "Start game" button, it places you at your current progress in the chapter and let's you play from there. "Explore" opens the chapter and displays the individual levels, so you can select any one you like and play that (if you have it unlocked - you unlock new levels by beating the previous one in the list).


The screen makes much more sense when there would be custom user-made levels as they would be integrated alongside my default levels ;)


Btw, the speed run screen works the same (and also looks the same for now), but "activates" a special mode in which the time it took you to complete a level is displayed at the end (and in the pause menu).


The best time for each level is saved locally, but you can post them here for bragging rights (btw, times are also saved in the "normal" game, but simply not displayed).


I hope this explains it, I will try and make a video going over the several features of the game and also make a run through all the levels soon-ish.

@ foxblock


The first level with the elevator thing that goes down and spikes below.
Oh, I assume that is the second level called "The Tower" (every level has a name).


Actually players should not be struggling with that for too long, what exactly keeps you from finishing the level? Is it simply too hard because of the spikes and red blocks or can't you reach the exit for some other reason?


foxblock out
 

foxblock

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Actually, I finished it once, but then tried the level another 100 times with no luck. :(
Could you please explain what makes the level so hard for you (at which part of it you are failing if any specific)? It would help me tremendously to ballance and tweak it :)


Oh btw, this level is called "Outside the box" in the latest version, I obviously don't know my own game properly :p
 

jeffrey

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Jan 24, 2011
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I love this game!


For some reason I've played through the levels multiple times and still consider playing them again. I like how there's both a challenge in finding the trick to a level and actually doing the trick. The music is really nice too.


I patiently await more levels :) I'd try to make one myself, but I just don't think I have the creativity to do this game justice.
 

foxblock

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I am experimenting with an effect on wrapping levels and I need your opinions on it.


Basically it just draws the map tiled instead of filling the outside area with a solid colour.


Here are some screenshots:


http://foxblock.pirategames.co.uk/games/greyout/media/greyout_tile_test01.png


http://foxblock.pirategames.co.uk/games/greyout/media/greyout_tile_test02.png


http://foxblock.pirategames.co.uk/games/greyout/media/greyout_tile_test03.png


and for comparison:


http://repo.openpandora.org/files/pnd/greyout/preview/pic2.png


Any comment is appreciated :) I will keep my own thoughts silent for a minute.


foxblock out
 
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