What specifically does the VignetteAlpha control? I can't see any difference when I enter different values (0 -255).
The vignette is is a darkening around the edges of the screen.
The "alpha" of the vignette is how dark the vignette is.
In Extreme Pwn Laz0rz, the vignette starts at maximum, and then descends to 0, in the opening moments of the game. I did that as a little intro thingy. :> It means the focus starts out on the laser mine, and the edges are darkened... then gradually the surroundings becomes visible.
Is it normal for local variables to be held in memory after quitting a map to the menu screen and then immediately loading it againr?
Yes. If you initialise your variables in LevelSetup() then it shouldn't cause you problems, though. For this reason, be wary of using any conditional that checks if a value is nil!
Does anyone else ever experience double-menus, where an extra menu panel will appear mid-screen that can't be removed? It will usually disappear when restarting the game.
Yes I get that from time to time, usually when maximising the game window. A restart usually clears it, and then I maximise the window while in the menus, and it's fine...
I've searched, but haven't been able to find a list of default game/global settings/variables. Is that information available in one place? The threads I've seen mostly do not give value ranges nor default values.
If you look in your Eufloria\Resources folder, you'll find a file called default.xml
. This contains a list of all the default values for global variables.
I'm very interested in hearing other's opinions and philosophies on what they think makes a good map and a challenging, yet fun, experience in the game. Since as a map-maker you are able to decide how easy or difficult the game-play will be, how do you judge if a map is too hard or too easy? Some maps are so easy and repetitive one play-through is enough. Others are so difficult and epic that you have to devote a couple of hours to it's completion. Granted, part of the attraction of this game is it's grand, epic campaign and stately progression of marshalling forces across the asteroid field, but can a map be too large and long for it's own good? As a player, do you like surprises, and sudden changes of fortune late in the game, or do prefer a more systematic approach?
How many seedlings should I give the player? Should I give them just enough to struggle to survive, attractive to a more-experienced player, or should I be more generous and make it easier to expand and conquer- more suitable for beginners? What's "difficult" for me may be easy for most- I don't know.
Of course I realize that there is no "correct" answer to these questions, but I'm interested in hearing other map-maker's thoughts on what they think is a reasonable level of difficulty to aim for.
This is a good question and one we as level designers don't really spend enough time discussing. What makes a map fun?
Here are my own thoughts on this:
1. I think the level should be slightly unpredictable. Grid-like levels are very predictable and unsatisfying to play on, for example.
2. The level should be beatable within 1-5 attempts by most players. Totally impossible maps are frustrating, ridiculously easy maps are unsatisfying. Remember that you coded your map and you play it over and over during testing, so you know it very well - others will not have this advantage, so bear this in mind when setting the difficulty. When you release a map, it's worth saying in your post how difficult the level is. Casual levels are ok too - not all of us are 1337 gamers!
3. You need to pay some attention to the pace of the level. If you give the player 200 seedlings at the start, they will need to rush around grabbing lots of asteroids right at the beginning, leading to a stressful, fast-paced early game. If you give them 10 seedlings, it will take ages for the game to get going. Whereas if you gave them 45 seedlings, that's enough to colonise 1-2 asteroids and scout a couple more, which is a fairly nice pace imho.
4. If the level has some crazy mechanics in it, the controls for it should be _completely_ intuitive. If people can't work out how to play your level within a minute or two or without an instruction manual, it's not fun.
5. Originality is good. It's far from the only thing that makes a level good, but it's cool to see something totally new - the novelty is interesting to people. However there is also a distinct lack of "normal" style maps these days, and I suspect a demand exists for those sorts of levels that don't try to bend the game into something totally crazy.
6. Polish is important. Check the spelling in your message boxes, make a nice banner image for your level when you release it, make sure you've not left lots of the asteroids exactly the same size/send distance.. ensure everything is nicely adjusted and balanced.
7. Testing is crucial - if you release a level and then it turns out there's a bug in it that totally breaks things, this is not fun at all. Get other people to test your level too, and listen to their feedback.
8. The player must be able to win with different approaches. They must have choices. Linear levels are not fun. Levels where you can only win with a single tactic are generally not so fun.