Fishing, Fishing, Fishing, and Piccarats

21 02 2008

So.

As mentioned, I pulled a 36 hour stint. Professor Layton is a damn good game, and kept me enrap’t for that entire period. The art style was great, music was pleasant, story was engrossing, and it kept me hooked. If I have to assign it a fault, it was for making me paranoid about not having enough hint coins or losing unlockables due to low Piccarat score… leading me to restart my DS every time I got a puzzle wrong or had to spend coins. If I knew that clearing the game would unlock everything regardless of score I’d be more willing to just guess at things and experiment more.

The other big nooz this weekend was the fishing game, which I’ve gone into detail on. This is probably the biggest singular coding project I’ve ever done (if you don’t count my games as one huge project). I had to code a fishing rod, local relay server, master responder server, sub-master item servers, networked vendors with profit share, pet fish drivers, aquariums that interact with pet fish, aquarium backdrop loaders, and a fishing contest engine and probably a few more things I’m leaving out. All these bits talk to each other in some degree and needed to be reasonably secured against spoofed requests while cutting down on bandwidth and response time needs.

I’m happy to say that all of the above are done. After one and one half weeks of furious work (we started last Monday) the scripts are finished, save the occasional fix. I’ve even got my components — the contest board, vendor, and two aquarium — textured with some really nice wood textures. Not just “take a 512 from a texture library and slap it on there” but carefully positioned and redesigned for various purposes, ranging from a sloped side piece to a round button to a semicircular wood carving of our logo to a product window that looks like an old paint overlay on wooden planks. Damn good stuff.

But my stuff isn’t the most visually amazing. No, that’d be tangsm‘s work, which is bordering on spectacular… natural, carved organic shapes like tree log benches, rowboats with oars, docks, etc. Using the new “sculpties”, she’s made SL look less like circa 1992 Quake and more like circa 2005 Oblivion. Damned nice lookin’, basically.

…once again, I have failed to provide screenshots. Jen, can you do this tonight? Every time I post “I’ll take some tonight” I completely fail to remember to do so. @_@;

Anyway! We’ll be having an open beta of the whole system soon, with fully functional L$1 rods (about a quarter of one US penny) to test with, albeit ones that expire on the 15th. We’ll probably extend the beta test to Extropia and any other sims that want in on it, to make sure the cross-sim communications systems work. Stay tuned for more details.

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7 responses

21 02 2008
kowh

Re: Prof Layton, thanks for pointing that out. I started out obsessively saving and reloading then decided I just wanted to play the game and damn the consequences of not getting a perfect run. Glad to know there aren’t any.
I’ve specifically been avoiding reading about it online to avoid any spoilers. So if there are any other non-spoiler useful things to know, feel free to share. ;)

21 02 2008
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Explore everywhere, talk to everyone. Particularly, exhaust all available locations while looking for new puzzles BEFORE you proceed with whatever goal the game wants you to do next. If it says “Go to this location” go everywhere EXCEPT there first.
You never really “lose” access to a puzzle; they appear in granny’s shack, after you progress the game’s timeline to the point where the puzzle is inaccessible (the NPC moved or has a plot state now, etc). But you miss out on the funny dialog surrounding the puzzle’s original locale if you blaze ahead.
Piccarats and coins do nothing. They’re just your “overall performance” but don’t unlock anything. You get access to a video gallery and more just by finishing the game. The only unlockables you have to work for are the Gizmos, Portrait Pieces, and Inn Pieces, but if you take the above advice and scour the world for puzzles and leave none unsolved you won’t have any problems getting those — and even after clearing the game you can go back and redo them.
Generally, the game is actually quite nice to the player, unlike other bastard games that hate you. But I wish I knew that going in, I’dve been less paranoid… the industry has trained me to believe that games don’t want to reward me for anything less than perfection.

21 02 2008
kowh

Yeah, I’ve been trained for perfection by all the other games as well. But now that I have less free time in which to play games (vs. say back when I was in school), I find I have far less tolerance for such things and don’t bother.
As far as go everywhere except where it tells you to go, I’ve also been trained for that by other games. However, it’s nice to have confirmation that it’s a worthwhile strategy. Thanks.

22 02 2008
faerie_h

Oooh I’m looking forward to trying your fishing game.
But let me warn you – if I get a fishing hook stuck in my fins I am coming after you and you might find yourself tied to an anchor being used as shark-bait!

22 02 2008
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Yikes! Just be careful how you sling your rod around. :)
And the good part? Fish are for friends, not for eating! Any fish you catch are your new petsies and they happily swim around you. :D

22 02 2008
faerie_h

Heh. That wasn’t very clear of me was it.
I wasn’t worried about *my* carelessness with *my* rod, so much as I had a mental image of hordes of careless two-legs filling the water-ways with sharp hooks. And if someone snags my fins with a hook there will be retribution!
Actually you know, it could be fun to swim up to someone sitting on the shore fishing, surfacing and giving them a good telling off before swimming away again. :D
Caliburn, are you up for some fun teasing the two-legs dear?

22 02 2008
jenshikami

No reason to tell them off if they aren’t hurting the fish. Even the bait is happy! Don’t you want a cute fish pet to swim around you? :D
There’ll be catchable micro-mermaids later too (like the pixies.)

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