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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/18/2018 in Blog Entries

  1. 4 points
    Chip's Challenge 3 is apparently happening eventually. Here are some improvements from CC2 that I would like to see. Need-to-haves: A sand tile. This would block monsters and blocks but allow Chip and Melinda (with hiking boots?) to cross. There is no tile with these properties in CC2 while even Chuck's Challenge has one. Using fake green walls as a block blocker is awkward. A no-drop tile. An overlay tile that prevents boots from being dropped on it. Blank no signs and no signs with irrelevant tools technically do the job but they are unsightly and don't convey their intent as well as a dedicated tile would. Native support for zero-directional blocks. This is the most commonly used "hacked" tile and is a logical extension of the other directional blocks. Wiring on a separate layer. Wiring in CC2 is powerful, but still held back by their restriction to being placed on just floor and steel walls. The ideal solution is to combine the best of CC1's connection system and CC2's wiring system and allow wires to exist on a dedicated layer. Visibility while playing a level could be toggled by a key and they could appear as a transparent overlay. This would also fix the oddity of pink and black buttons not appearing when hide logic is on. More consistent monster behavior. Bugs and rovers should not avoid canopies. Fireballs and ghosts with flippers should not avoid turtles. Rovers with fire boots should not avoid fire. Support for bowling balls starting on clone machines. The ghost setup takes up an absurd amount of space for such a simple result. Allow blocked green teleports to be skipped over. Support for lowercase letters. Give teeth monsters north-facing tile, and give blue teeth the same number of animation frames as red teeth. Automatic recording while playing a level, like Tile World's. This should be easy to apply to normal play since it already exists in the editor. Higher res graphics, 64x64? No 3D graphics like Puzzle Studio or Chuck's Challenge please Extra green chip/bomb tiles. More diverse sound effects. CC2 has fewer sound effects than the original Lynx game despite the wealth of new elements. Important bug fixes: Disallow hooks from attempting to pull monsters. Disallow the player from being able to slap monsters. If blocks can be pushed consecutively on floor, allow them to be pushed consecutively on force floors. Trap logic fix, including multiple trap button problems and the issues with wired traps Consistent snatching and hook block slapping behavior (i.e. not monster order related) Flame jet max distance fix The two disappearing Chip glitches and the Waterbirth glitch Thin wall on closed side of railroad should not have any effect except when the RR sign is equipped Allow player to step off force floor if they start the level on them Allow key inventory to exceed 255. Want-to-have fun stuff: Allow blocks to be pushed at 2x speed when Chip has speed boots. Make blocks have no effect on recessed walls. This would revert their behavior back to CC1. Ice blocks and directional blocks would still be able to be pushed on them, and turtles could still retain the CC2 "flicking" behavior. More thin tiles: walls are the only tiles to have thin versions of them even though other tiles could be adapted to this concept. Puzzle Studio has thin toggle walls. Thin gravel, thin force floors, thin recessed walls, etc. have potential. Lasers: Puzzle Studio and Escape have these. A beam it shot in one (or more) directions until stopped by a wall and other elements like blocks and perhaps monsters. Chip dies when hit by the beam. Maybe a beam receiver that converts the beam to an electrical current. Reflectors: Chuck's Challenge has these, though they apply to the spitter enemy. Pushable block that reflects bowling balls and lasers 90 degrees. Could be rotated with train tracks. Logic gate enhancements: Add NOR and XNOR gate for completeness. Add diodes which allow current in only one direction, the ability to specify a delay in frames from 1-10, which will make synchronizing circuits easier and remove the need for chained OR gates (Circuit City contains an example of long OR gate chains) "Frictionless" blocks (don't have a better name): Copy of the yellow blocks from Escape. These are blocks, once pushed in some direction, that continue on a straight path until they hit an obstacle. Think of tanks but pushable in any direction by Chip. Score gate: Exists in Challengo, essentially a socket that the player can open if they have enough points but will deduct from their score.
  2. 2 points
    So, I hadn't meant to let it slip quite yet that I'm in the early stages of working on a CC-like game which will eventually (hopefully on the scale of a few months) become an open source community project. I mean, we're talking very early stages. So far I can read in CC1 levelsets and convert them into an in-memory format. And there's a sweet random number generator. That's not much. That being said, however, I've spent thousands of hours working on stuff like this (Puzzle Studio in particular), and I'm pretty confident that this project will go somewhere. The project is unnamed so far. Every name so far doesn't seem to fit. It's not Super Tile World or Tile World 3 because Tile World is an emulation of Chip's Challenge, and this project has no intent of emulating a ruleset, but rather inventing a new one based on the best parts of old engines. It's not JBone's Challenge because I want this to be a community effort, and JBone's Challenge is really a different game I want to write (and which may eventually be branched from this). So it's just The Project or The Unity Project for now, name suggestions welcome. Is the Unity Project open source? The Unity Project is meant to be a community effort. I intend to release all of the C# code under an open source license of some sort, probably either the MIT or a Creative Commons license. HOWEVER, I have a set of criteria (Phase 1) that I want the project to meet before I open source it: The game has a new experimental ruleset which has received positive feedback from a large number of community members, particularly from the optimizer crowd. The game can open and play any Lynx-compatible CC1 levelset. All official levels in CCLP1, CCLXP2, CCLP3, and CCLP4 are solvable or at least are expected to be solvable (I'm certainly not going to solve all of them!) in the new ruleset. Depending on the engine it may be possible to apply an algorithm to the public TWS files to generate replays in the new engine, and then manually test the levels where that strategy doesn't work. The game uses a forward-thinking internal level format for things like button connections, global toggle state, level size, viewing window, controls, etc. which is expected to accommodate most of the CC2 gameplay. (I would like to be able to open CC2 files and use many of the elements, but I have no intention of ensuring that all CC2 levels are solvable under the new engine. The game has a robust testing framework. Unit tests for single elements (e.g. assert Player.testEnter(Wall) == false) Integration tests for as many gameplay situations as we can think of (e.g. make a 3x3 level with force floors, assert that after input "URDL" the player is on square X). Replay tests for a significant number of CCLP levels (e.g. if I apply this series of inputs to this level, gamestate == WIN_LEVEL). Why the emphasis on backwards compatibility? Lots of reasons! Might sound silly, but here's one of the biggest for me: We don't have to design a level editor until we get the core gameplay down!!! This is HUGE! I've probably started a half-dozen CC clones in my life, and none of them got very far. Part of the reason is I didn't become a software engineer until 2 years ago. But time and time again the part that I've gotten bogged down on is how to create a freaking editor and save and load my files. If we start by loading DAT files, we have tons of gameplay testing right out of the box. We don't have to decide on a save file format yet. Tons of world-class content available immediately for new people. Maximize engagement from existing community members. Level designers stay connected to their creations Familiarity of existing levels and gameplay. Spending time on CCLP5 submissions vs working on this doesn't have to be either/or. Best chance of moving future community level pack design efforts away from the two-ruleset tyranny. By setting clear definitions about what features the core gameplay must support, it allows the project to begin on a strong software engineering foundation, with a clear initial direction. How can I help during Phase 1? Get involved in the discussions. I'm going to have a lot of questions about things like boosting, spring step, trap behavior, etc. I'm trying to take the best parts of MS but I haven't spent a lot of time playing it. Even though the code isn't open source I do intend to share parts of it that I'm working on for feedback. Start learning C#. Unity tutorials will help a little bit, but I'm really just using Unity for the easy graphics and the cross platform support. Make animated game artwork! Make sound effects! Start designing the new features and tiles you want to implement. It's one thing to say we want lasers, it's another to specify what they will do and exactly how they should interact with other tiles. Playtest and aggressively look for bugs (as soon as there is something to playtest). Keep asking for progress and showing support. This is 100x more likely to happen if the community stays enthusiastic!
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