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new version of Zombies (Real Studio games Mailinglist archive)

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[ANN] Preview of RBD 2.4   -   Marc Zeedar
  new version of Zombies   -   Joseph J. Strout
   new version of Zombies   -   KamaShin
   Re: new version of Zombies   -   Joseph J. Strout
    Re: new version of Zombies   -   Lars Jensen
     Re: new version of Zombies   -   Joseph J. Strout
      Re: new version of Zombies   -   Lars Jensen
     Zombies: auto-select   -   Lars Jensen

new version of Zombies
Date: 14.04.05 04:01 (Wed, 13 Apr 2005 22:01:42 -0500)
From: Joseph J. Strout
I've updated Zombies a bit, including at least the following changes:

- it now shows the count of zombies and humans
- newly aware humans can be selected from the keyboard right away
- can be played from the numeric keypad as well as the main keyboard
- rearranged the dialog to leave more room for the display
- display now scrolls the selected unit into view
- unit renderings indicate hit points, movement points, and weapon

On that last point, cramming that much information neatly into a
32x32 square was a challenge, but I think it worked out pretty well.
It's entirely symbolic, however. I'm still intrigued by the idea of
having more pictorial graphics, perhaps even with animation (what's a
shambling horror without the shambling?). But I'd hate to lose the
quick visual display of all those vital stats. Suggestions are
welcome.

Anyway, feel free to check it out, play it, wrap fish with it,
whatever you want to do: <http://www.strout.net/temp/Zombie.rb>.
You may need to do "Save this link as..." in your browser, unless
somebody wants to explain to me how I can adjust my server
(controlled by my ISP) to present this as a different MIME type or
whatever.

Best,
- Joe

P.S. Play tip du jour: if you have only one Aware unit, don't let him
die! If he does, you can lean on the enter key and hope somebody
else in town gets a clue before it's too late, but usually, it ends
up being too late. Mayhem ensues. Not a pretty sight.

new version of Zombies
Date: 14.04.05 18:51 (Thu, 14 Apr 2005 19:51:46 +0200)
From: KamaShin
Have a look at games like Age of Empires or Myth 2, having a small
health bar and things like that can be done easily... moreover, if the
caracter is in the 32x32 tile, the health bar could step a bit out of
the 32x32 without everything being a mess... besides, the most vital
information for a player is health and remaining moves... other
caracteristics could be drawn only for the selected caracter

Le 14 avr. 05, à 19:00, <email address removed>
a écrit :

> But I'd hate to lose the
> quick visual display of all those vital stats. Suggestions are
> welcome.

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Re: new version of Zombies
Date: 14.04.05 19:28 (Thu, 14 Apr 2005 13:28:41 -0500)
From: Joseph J. Strout
At 7:51 PM +0200 4/14/05, KamaShin wrote:

>Have a look at games like Age of Empires or Myth 2, having a small
>health bar and things like that can be done easily...

Yes of course. But what about the movement points and weapon?

Also the standard health bar shows percentage of total hit points for
that unit, which doesn't work so well in this game, where a perfectly
healthy unit may have anywhere from 1 to 3 hit points. But maybe we
could have a segmented bar instead, showing from 1 to 3 blocks.

> moreover, if the caracter is in the 32x32 tile, the health bar
>could step a bit out of the 32x32 without everything being a mess...

Well, I was thinking that if we switch to a more graphical display,
the characters would no longer be in 32x32 tiles. They'd probably be
drawn isometrically, so each unit overlaps the ones behind it by
about half.

> besides, the most vital information for a player is health and
>remaining moves... other caracteristics could be drawn only for the
>selected caracter

The only other characteristic is the weapon, which I imagine could be
part of the sprite or model itself. I'm still not sure how to show
the movement points though. I hate to have another segmented bar of
1 to 3 blocks... it's going to seem pretty confusing with all those
bars around.

One thought I had was to have a list of controllable humans on, say,
the right side of the display. These could give a name, mug shot,
and stats for all your units. The selected unit would be highlighted
both in that list and on the screen. But this seems like a cop-out
-- it's pretty much just admitting that we couldn't find a good way
to represent that same info on the main display.

Thanks for the ideas!
- Joe

Re: new version of Zombies
Date: 14.04.05 20:59 (Thu, 14 Apr 2005 15:59:03 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
> I hate to have another segmented bar of 1 to 3 blocks...

I hate to have any at all, particularly since you really want to see stats
for all characters all the time. High-tech displays don't help create a
feeling of creepiness.

However, I can't think of how to represent this more subtly but clearly. So
here's a concept:

http://ljensen.com/misc/zombie_stats.jpg

The idea is that each tile with a person or zombie on it would have the
movement and health points "on the floor", so to speak. They would occupy a
circle around the player, with the same diameter as the tile's width. That
way they would be

- guaranteed not to overlap with neighboring tiles
- visible no matter what angle the board was shown at (they would
auto-rotate to face the camera always), including a top-down view

This works only because health and movement have only a narrow range of
values. In my drawing, movement is shown as 1-3 short blue arcs on the left,
and health is shown as 1-3 short arcs of varying colors on the right.

Or instead of brightly colored arcs, you could use small spheres or some
such. And there is the issue of A's stats being obscured by B standing in
front of A. But the basic concept of putting things on the floor is what I'm
getting at.

lj
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Re: new version of Zombies
Date: 14.04.05 21:39 (Thu, 14 Apr 2005 15:39:13 -0500)
From: Joseph J. Strout
At 3:59 PM -0400 4/14/05, Lars Jensen wrote:

> > I hate to have another segmented bar of 1 to 3 blocks...
>
>I hate to have any at all, particularly since you really want to see stats
>for all characters all the time. High-tech displays don't help create a
>feeling of creepiness.

True. This needs to ooze creepiness.

>However, I can't think of how to represent this more subtly but clearly. So
>here's a concept:
>
> http://ljensen.com/misc/zombie_stats.jpg
>
>The idea is that each tile with a person or zombie on it would have the
>movement and health points "on the floor", so to speak. They would occupy a
>circle around the player, with the same diameter as the tile's width. That
>way they would be
>
>- guaranteed not to overlap with neighboring tiles
>- visible no matter what angle the board was shown at (they would
>auto-rotate to face the camera always), including a top-down view

Those are good points! And thanks for taking the time to sketch this
out -- I really appreciate that.

>This works only because health and movement have only a narrow range of
>values. In my drawing, movement is shown as 1-3 short blue arcs on the left,
>and health is shown as 1-3 short arcs of varying colors on the right.

Right.

>Or instead of brightly colored arcs, you could use small spheres or some
>such. And there is the issue of A's stats being obscured by B standing in
>front of A. But the basic concept of putting things on the floor is what I'm
>getting at.

You could also float them over the unit's head; this would pretty
much fix the problem of a unit standing in front of another one's
stats. But I don't like it as much -- it seems more intrusive than
having them on the floor.

Of course we could also have user preferences for which stats should
be shown in the display for non-selected units. But we should strive
for having a stats display so useful and unobtrusive that most people
leave them all on.

Best,
- Joe

Re: new version of Zombies
Date: 14.04.05 22:01 (Thu, 14 Apr 2005 17:01:18 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
> You could also float them over the unit's head; this would pretty
> much fix the problem of a unit standing in front of another one's
> stats. But I don't like it as much -- it seems more intrusive than
> having them on the floor.

Agreed...and I think the standing-in-front problem might not be too bad in
practice. I think you'd quickly get accustomed to how each value looked on
the tile, even if there were legs and bodies in the way -- particularly if
the indicators disappeared from the center first, and left the rightmost and
leftmost ones for last. And you'd always have selection as a backup and
confirmation.

lj
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