Posts

ResidualVM: Week 9

Image
So apparently this week is still about the keyboard bindings, mostly on the two things: the display of exit locations, and further improvement on the dialog panel.

In the original game, when the player presses the key X, all the exit locations of the current location will be pointed out with a symbol on it. To achieve this, I need to find which PATTable (the object that contains info of a clicking area) has the exit action, get its location, and render a symbol on it. It sounds easy, but the OO structure of the game engine warps it in a pretty complex way and I have to open interfaces in many classes. After doing so, I started to understand that why people are being more critical to OO design and FP is getting more popular. You really need to know how to balance things. Also, it took me some time to verify the exact location of the symbol to be drawn.


As for the dialog panel, I made a wrong assumption in my previous implementation: assuming that all dialog options will be only one lin…

ResidualVM: Week 8

Image
So, this week's focus is on the keyboard binding in The Longest Journey. In the original game, although you can freely use only the mouse to play through the game, you can still use the keyboard to do numerous things, such as opening menus, pausing the game and selecting options and items. It is like a combination and cooperation of things I have worked on previously.
Most of the bindings, like opening menus, is pretty easy, but some needs extra working and twisting, like directly choosing inventory items through pressing A and S. Up to now, I would say that the most complex keyboard binding I've implemented is the binding for dialog options.

The Longest Journey has very heave dialogs, each of them with many many options, all fully voiced. It would indeed be very convenient for players if they can use keyboards to go through and select options in the game. However, the previous implementation of this part is fully based on mouse movements, with a structure that is not suitabl…

ResidualVM: Week 7

Image
Sorry for you guys waiting as if there really are people waiting to read my blog, it seems that this week, and potentially next week, are still about finishing small tails left from the menu task. Well, this is not just because of laziness (and there is some laziness recently... I didn't feel completely well for a couple days... But I am good now, so no excuses any more), but some of them actually have problems deeper than I had expected.
One example is the task of implementing the Book of Secrets, the extra content of the game, in the main menu. It looked easy at a glance since it is not a menu, but a game level. Just load the level when the button is clicked and there, the book opens.

But that's not the whole story of it. The Book of Secrets is probably the only game level that contains texts in its resources. When it comes to texts, one problem will show up: the texts' textures will not be automatically reset when the screen's resolution changes. I have done simila…

ResidualVM: Week 6

Image
Not much update this week. The conversation log menu is still under review at this point, but it should be merged very soon.
The recent plan is to finish some small things left that are related to all the newly implemented menus. I have included all of them in the project on ResidualVM's GitHub page. Right now I have finished implementing two of them:
Task 1: Improve the debug console. Basically, this is a task about fixing issues. There is a debug console, which I have shown in week 1, provided in ResidualVM's The Longest Journey, where a number of commands are provided for users to look at the game's data and probably mess up with it. In the previous implementation, the console will crash if the user types improper commands in improper locations. Fixing this is not that hard, just add a bunch of checking beforehand and you are done with it.
Task 2: Add the version info text in the main menu. The lacking of the version info text was aware of weeks ago. I just want to tac…

ResidualVM: Week 5

Image
This week's work nearly blew my mind...
So, it is finally the time to bring the conversation log back to The Longest Journey, which is another pretty complex menu in the game. In the conversation log, players may view all the past conversations they encountered. What makes this menu extremely complex is that it is completely dynamically data-driven generated. Based on your previous action, the conversations could be different. This means that retrieving all widgets of the current page at once is not working since you don't know for sure how many widgets there will be.

Worse still, this menu actually contains two submenus: the Index and the Content, which means I am actually implementing two menus on one trail. And just when I am typing this blog I suddenly realize that it won't be difficult to actually separate them as two distinct menus, damn...



The mechanism of recording conversations has been implemented in the existing engine, so my job is just to retrieve them and pro…

ResidualVM: Week 4

Image
Not many things to update this week. I just started doing the internship, so I am still getting used to the new schedule. There is one thing I found out though: GSoC is like a million million million time more interesting than my internship. So sad that I cannot use GSoC to cover the credit requirement of my university.
OK, back to business. There are two focuses in this week: one is the video replay menu, the place where you can replay the video you have seen in the game, and the other is the diary pages menu, where you can read April's diary. These two menus are both pretty easy, so I actually didn't work heavy on them. The overall logic for them is pretty straightforward and is basically the same as what we have done previously. Get the widgets, render them, put actions on them, done.


Although pretty simple, there are still some small things that need to be treated specifically in these two menus.

For the video replay menu, the widgets for videos behave slightly differentl…

ResidualVM: Week 3

Image
Time flies, isn't it?
This week's focus is on the save & load menu. Similar to the settings menu, the most important part of implementing the save & load menu is to implementing the widget that shows the save data.

I created a new class called SaveDataWidget for this purpose. A SaveDataWidget consists of three parts: the screenshot thumbnail, the text, and a blue outline that shows up when you move the mouse on it.


The thumbnail and (most of) the text are already saved in the original save data. All I need to do is to extract them out and properly store and render them. The thumbnail will be read as a Surface, which will then be bound to a Texture and then got rendered by a SurfaceRenderer.

The text further consists of two parts: the title of the chapter and the saving time. The title will be saved and loaded through the description field of the original save data, while the time is already saved in other fields, well, almost. The original version of the save data lac…