Alta, Texas - Bx5G Slice of Life - Upd 1/13/2013 - Demo

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EwanG
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Re: Alta, Texas - Bx5G - Slice of Life - Javascript

#16 Post by EwanG » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:35 am

jack_norton wrote:But also a lesson, better use cross-platform languages if you attempt to go in those "obscure places"... :mrgreen: if you used Monkeycoder for example, you could have published the game instantly for other, more open, platforms :shock:
I know, I know. I'm sure someone who had the time and inclination could look through my blog archives and tell me how many times I've preached the same :D

On the plus side, that means I can let the size grow a bit, which means I will be able to possibly do a couple extras I was trying to avoid with an RT target. More on those if they come to pass.
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Re: Alta, Texas - Bx5G - Slice of Life - Javascript

#17 Post by jack_norton » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:38 am

I tweeted about your blog and someone reached me:
https://twitter.com/jessefreeman/status ... 5779693568

try contacting him :)
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Re: Alta, Texas - Bx5G - Slice of Life - Javascript

#18 Post by EwanG » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:00 am

jack_norton wrote:I tweeted about your blog and someone reached me:
https://twitter.com/jessefreeman/status ... 5779693568

try contacting him :)
I probably will, but I'm tempted not to. If the Windows Store way of doing things is going to be "we generally don't let things we don't understand in unless you make a lot of noise", then I'm not sure encouraging the behavior is in my best interest.

On the other hand, do I really want to overlook a chance to make $100... :-)

Thanks for the plug and the info!
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Re: Alta, Texas - Bx5G - Updated - JS and RenPy versions

#19 Post by EwanG » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:06 pm

Latest update:
Talked with someone from MS (thanks again Jake), and the main problem was that I had a screen at the end that showed which Paths you had completed. Since I consider complete that you have done both the good and the bad end, the first time you play through it would be empty. I "thought" that if you had played VNs before this would be obvious (at least I've seen several games that did this), and since there was a big button on the side to start over, I figured even folks who hadn't played a VN would be able to figure out what to do. Turns out the tester saw a blank screen, assumed that meant it was broken, and so rather than drop me a note, just failed the app.

I have now replaced that with a full stop "You've finished this run, please start again" which I've been assured will meet at least that issue. I'm still not sold on the "Whack a mole" test model given that MS is paying these folks, but then no one is asking me.

I am also moving forward with a full RenPy version. First because I think this is a better version of the story and the game than the original "Senior Year", and because I can add a few scenes back in to a desktop version. It will still be All-Ages, but the current App is almost 41 megs, and for an RT user that is getting tight.

I am also pleased to say that since I now have at least one audition for each role, that I can announce that the desktop version will have all of the characters (except the player) voiced. That will likely push the final desktop version to around 100 megs. Still, I know a number of folks who wanted me to redo Senior Year just to get the voices again, and hopefully they will be satisfied with an improved version with voices. Of course having gone All-Ages made that easier too :D

Assuming I am done with Windows Store revisions, I should be able to get this out before the end of January. I would like it to be sooner, but I'd rather promise long and deliver short (I'm sure Jake and Papillon wish I had learned that lesson a little earlier, but oh well...)

Thanks again for your interest!
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Re: Alta, Texas - Bx5G - Slice of Life - Javascript

#20 Post by EwanG » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:22 pm

Still waiting to hear the latest from MS. In the meantime am working on the RenPy version, which means resizing everything to fit the "best" resolution rather than doing scaling or multiple resolutions of each image. My understanding is that if I do this right it should look fine for most folks even if you aren't running 1366x768 native.

Have converted all the character images and about half the backgrounds. Am still accepting auditions for the voices through next week, and then I will have a couple weeks of getting the script into RenPy standard format, and then getting in all of the vocals.

Just a quick update so folks know where I'm at...
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Re: Alta, Texas - Bx5G - Slice of Life - Javascript

#21 Post by EwanG » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:33 am

Latest from MS is that I have a screenshot for the game that the tester didn't see in the game. The reason is because they only played through the first choice on Linda's first question. I had said to play through all three choices, and they documented that they went to the Main Menu and did all three of the first choices...

Gosh, I wonder how Load Game worked for the tester with no games saved.

If it were possible to talk with the folks doing the testing (who I presume are off-shore contractors based on the timestamps and the phrasing), I would continue to try and work this. But I am not going to make enough from it, nor am I willing to deal with the hassle, of submitting twenty times or more just to get a game in. What really burns me is that a number of the apps in the Store currently are wrappers around Web Programs. For example, there is a wrapper for Picasa (just opens up the website in a single window) for $2.99. If that can get through and I can't, I think you can figure out what is going to be filling the Windows Store.

It's ok. I will move ahead with the desktop release anyway. It just burns me to have put the time in and have this happen. Oh well...
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Re: Alta, Texas - Bx5G - Slice of Life - Javascript

#22 Post by EwanG » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:05 am

Have just gotten the final script out to the VAs, and so can now get some heads down coding while I wait for them to get their vocal files to me. Fortunately the distance between script and game is a lot shorter with RenPy than with Javascript.

Looks like we are still on track for the Desktop version to go out at the end of the month.
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Re: Alta, Texas - Bx5G - Slice of Life - Updated 1/11/2013

#23 Post by EwanG » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:50 pm

Have now received all the voice files from the VAs (including a cameo gentleman for the "Officer"). Have edited most of them, and are adding to the game. Am hoping to have the RenPy version done early next week. Not sure if I will release immediately, however, as I finally got some folks from Microsoft to take another look at the app version, and agree that it "should" have passed. Since I have the voice files I want to add those to the app, and then they have said they can help get it through the approval. So I'm inclined to try and release on all the platforms on the same day. We'll see :D
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Re: Alta, Texas - Bx5G - Slice of Life - Updated 1/11/2013

#24 Post by PyTom » Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:21 am

App stores on closed platforms - like the windows store, or the iOS store - are a terrible idea, and you're just seeing some of the side effects. There's a company that can render your work useless. If they enforce their standards "fairly", at best you're limited as to the sorts of content you can include in your game. You can also say goodbye to things like a public beta.

When things are done capriciously, the problems multiply.

To succeed, a platform needs three things - in the word of Steve Ballmer, "developers, developers, developers". You've seen how bad an app store can be - I saw the post on Hacker News. Why are you still playing ball with them?
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Re: Alta, Texas - Bx5G - Slice of Life - Updated 1/11/2013

#25 Post by EwanG » Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:12 am

PyTom wrote:To succeed, a platform needs three things - in the word of Steve Ballmer, "developers, developers, developers". You've seen how bad an app store can be - I saw the post on Hacker News. Why are you still playing ball with them?
First, because they were willing to concede the app as originally submitted should have passed. Which I considered as close to an apology as I was likely to get from any large company.

Second, because however much I agree with your view of app stores, it is also obvious that the OS folks are planning to go down that route more and more. Ubuntu had an app store before Windows, which I think tells you how even the "open" OS community view the desirability of such a thing. If that is the future I have to play in to be able to sell a product, then getting my foot in the door now seems to make sense.

Finally, and somewhat related to the second point, I know there are going to be people who get the Security Warning on Win 8 and don't trust me as a newbie (in their eyes) when I say it's ok to ignore. For those folks there will be an alternative.

Of course I could take away the lesson that I shouldn't try to charge for a game and then not have to deal with this. Sadly I suspect many of these issues will start to be a problem even for free games. There is also the desire (selfish as it may be) to do well enough with this game to fund my next game. I really (!) want to get to a point where I can pay an artist, pay my VAs, and possibly even pay for music. Heck, possibly even make a decent donation to what is possibly the greatest story telling tool out there (and looking at the WIP forum I don't think that's an exaggeration). Since I haven't won a McArthur grant to let me do that just because I'm such a nice guy, I can only hope to make each game going forward a better thing and let that snowball into something which can be a better thing for other creative folks as well.

All of which probably shows why I shouldn't take a coding break at 4am to answer a post. But there it is.
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Re: Alta, Texas - Bx5G - Slice of Life - Updated 1/11/2013

#26 Post by jack_norton » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:41 am

You can get rid of the security warning simply codesigning them. Sure paying $100/year just to have the privilege to build apps for a platform sucks, but it's not the end of the world if you do it commercially.

I agree on Pytom, I am very cautious and paranoic about Windows, and the future seems totally grim, and that's the main reason why I'm doing the HTML5 version of my games right now. In 5-6 years MIGHT become the only way to distribute games directly, without any restriction on content (a game like Loren would never be available on any appstore and a lot of people would be disappointed).

Then again anything can happen, like the new Valve console running Linux, but allowing anyone to have their own store on Steam. Maybe that will take off and will be the way most people play games on their PC.

Personally I think MS is digging his own grave with the insane dashboard of Win8. Just make the tablet how you want but don't touch desktop users please :D
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Re: Alta, Texas - Bx5G - Slice of Life - Updated 1/11/2013

#27 Post by EwanG » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:33 pm

jack_norton wrote:I agree on Pytom, I am very cautious and paranoid about Windows, and the future seems totally grim, and that's the main reason why I'm doing the HTML5 version of my games right now. In 5-6 years MIGHT become the only way to distribute games directly, without any restriction on content (a game like Loren would never be available on any appstore and a lot of people would be disappointed).
So I just have to ask, what are you using for HTML5? Obviously I was doing JS with the MS Framework for the Win 8 app. I've looked a little bit at PhoneGap and AppMobi with an eye toward going more toward a multiple release capability, since I have yet to do anything in a VN where "native" speed is an issue. However while there was a great HTML/JS tutorial for the MS apps (almost literally - here is what you change in this place to make it do what you want), I have not seen even a decent "Hello World" for the other two. In fact while VS was just point and install, those two platforms spend the first couple pages of their "Just Starting" talking about how to setup all the different environments you might want to target. I'd rather know how to DO something with them, and then worry later about how to deploy.

Oh my... hijacking my own thread... still, would be interested in hearing what you are using and why (if you don't mind sharing).
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Re: Alta, Texas - Bx5G - Slice of Life - Updated 1/11/2013

#28 Post by jack_norton » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:04 pm

*I* am doing nothing, I'm not a good coder :D
Spikycaterpillar is coding it, using Monkeycoder, so the games will run "on a few" platforms. The only other one of interest is probably iOS, since for Android Ren'Py works already well. I don't think will bother to submit to Win8 appstore now, maybe later when I hear more decent sales numbers.
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Re: Alta, Texas - Bx5G Slice of Life - Upd 1/13/2013 - Demo

#29 Post by EwanG » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:17 pm

Still working to finalize the Desktop versions (looking for a Wed or Thurs release). But the Demo versions are working fine. So for a sort of "private" release, I have links to all the demos listed at the following post:

http://nawegr.blogspot.com/2013/01/alta ... s-mac.html

Will hopefully have the actual release posted to "Completed Games" this week for the Desktop. May put an additional post or two here about the App version, and then will close once it is out as well.

In case anyone is interested :-)
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