The Future of this Project

May 20, 2008

With little or no progress since early April, you might have guessed that something's up. Indeed, I am simply too busy recently to get any major stuff done as far as the player and editor are concerned. In fact, even if I did have time, my interest is somewhat faded at the moment, so getting motivated to progress this damn thing along is not as easy as I hoped it would be. With code updates being so ridiculously sparse, and the to-do list not getting any smaller, I won't be surprised if any of you out there are feeling frustrated.

So, what does this all mean? Simply put, it means that the project is inactive; however, it is not dead. I'll still chime in with some updates, but don't expect them to be huge or anything. Once again, if anyone wants to join in on the fun and maybe add something as far as the code is concerned, feel free to drop me a line and I'll add you in.

It's not all bad, however. :) I recommend you case-hungry people check out maybe MechaBowser's Case Maker 3, or KSA_Tech's PWLib Case Maker, the latter of which is actually nearing completion.

That's all for now.

Not Dead Yet, and OpenGL Support

April 10, 2008

Wow, looks like it's been quite a while since I last updated this place. Anyway, I want to assure you that no, this project is far from dead. :) Instead, if you've been looking at the CVS repository, you'll notice that I managed to overhaul the engine from SDL to OpenGL rendering. Will you notice any changes in terms of how the player draws the elements of the game? Probably not, but with OpenGL, I can finally do some neat things, like getting all of those nifty 3D transition effects done, as well as AJ's new examine system. However, the latter I'll worry about later.

So, what's going on? To be blunt, I've been really busy with some stuff that's not related to this project. Secondly, getting motivated to work on the code has been somewhat sluggish. I doubt that's going to impact anything other than progress, and the only reason for this is simply because I have some tricky stuff to get done (looping parts of music, for example). All in all, progress has been slow, I know, but I'll try to get up to speed as soon as I can. ;)

On a final note, I added the file specs for the exported case file, just in case someone wants to load the data or take the file apart. You can find the page in the developer documentation section.

Location States and Translations

March 4, 2008

After a brief hiatus, I finally got location states done. With this, you could now, for example, have a background with a piece of paper on a desk. Later on, the player could potentially examine it, and take the paper off the desk. In order to reflect this, you would use the set_location_state trigger to toggle another background that doesn't have said paper on the desk. The editor has also been updated to let editing of location states become a possibility.

The second part of this update includes the ability to select different languages for the editor. Once again, it's another pointless addition in my war on including more support for foreign languages, but at least it's done and over with now. Regardless, translating the editor is a piece of cake, since all of the text displayed can be changed from one file. Each language has its own file, and can be changed from the Tools menu. I have included a rather crappy translation into the Polish language (which is bound to contain mistakes given that I was half asleep at the time), just to get the ball rolling.

Finally, I'm going to finish up all of the loose ends to get a beta out. Using my magical, crystal ball, I'm going to take a stab in the dark and say that a release could be this month or the next. I've decided to skip an alpha release since we're way past that point now, so be on the look out.

Some Documentation and Other Stuff

February 16, 2008

I put together a complete guide for compiling the entire project under Windows. This is because many people have already asked me as to how they can compile the project for themselves, and so I thought it would be fit to let everyone who's interested know. The guide, right now, covers what needs to be downloaded, and how I set my compiler up. As a matter of fact, the guide assumes you're an idiot; even the most obvious of things is explained in extremely long prose. Regardless, I'll also get to work on the Linux guide a bit later, but it's going to be much more terse considering that Linux devs are probably already used to using various tools (pkg-config, etc) that Windows people might not be familiar with.

Also, besides the technical stuff, I'm also working on some documentation for future users. As we near the almighty beta release, I feel that it would be a good idea to get a headstart on all of the documentation that's going to be needed. As such, I have some tutorials planned, a whole reference of triggers on the way, and plenty of examples in the works, so anyone can download this project and get started right away. Of course, if anyone wants to help, feel free to contact me and I'll get everything coordinated.

Dialogue Colors

February 11, 2008

I noticed that I'm not updating this page as much as I should, so I'll make an effort to up my presence here. Anyway, a few updates this time around. Most importantly, I have finally, after many tweaks and screw-ups, come up with an easy to use method for changing dialogue colors.

Here is an example script:
\c(Hmm, well, this sucks...)\n
\wMr. Smith, you are \oa liar\w!

Which will produce:
(Hmm, well, this sucks...)
Mr. Smith, you are a liar!

As you can see, by using a control character in the script, the dialogue text color will automatically affect all characters following it, until another color change is made, or the block ends. Here are the color control characters:
  1. \c - blue (cyan)
  2. \g - green
  3. \o - orange
  4. \w - white (reset to default)
  5. \g - gray

This also adds the possibility for having custom colors, but I'll get into that in another update.

Also, apart from the color updates, I have been filling in missing animations and such to make the player feel more like the games themselves. This includes all of those litle fade effects (fading out the background to black, etc), and sequences, such as when you add evidence to the Court Record. Generally, the project's coming along well, and I'm actually thinking of releasing an alpha version just so people can get a feel for the editor/player.

More to come. :)

Foreign Language Support

February 2, 2008

I've been working on adding support for foreign languages recently, and I have to say that the end result looks nice, like a recently washed car. I know this doesn't really help gameplay at all (in fact, this feature is almost totally useless), but I felt that I needed to include it. Besides, someone actually requested that I put it in, so I couldn't be a jerk and say "Screw you," now could I? :P

Here is a screenshot of Phoenix getting upset, in Polish ;D ...

Windows Port Progress

January 29, 2008

After finally fighting with a whole bunch of random bugs and whatnot, I finally have ported the player to Windows. This means that I can now actually continue working on the project without having to worry that the people using Windows will get shafted.

On a side note, which I already mentioned before in a forum thread on, I ditched the old, bitmap font engine, and instead, replaced it with the far more flexible TrueType font counterpart. It's not going to make a big difference, but at least now you have the choice to use custom fonts and colors.

This was a rather miserable update, but it's definitely going to speed up progress from here on out.

New Triggers

January 23, 2008

As by request (once again), I added some triggers to the script that allow you to change character and evidence data. This means that now you can have a character that is initially unknown, maybe your actual murderer, for example, that you can initially set to have unknown age, name, etc. Later in your case, you can then change the profile to reflect new information.
The same can be done for evidence, as well.

These are the new triggers that I mentioned before:
  • change_character_name
  • change_character_gender
  • change_character_caption
  • change_character_desc
  • change_evidence_name
  • change_evidence_caption
  • change_evidence_desc

Editor Changes

January 20, 2008

I've added that requested 'Unknown' gender option for a character. As such, I've also updated the screenshots section to include this.

Also, I finally got around to adding a 'Find' option in the editor. This means you can type in a search string, and the editor will locate where instances of said string are found. The blocks that have this string, will be displayed in a list, along with some lines that border where the string was found. You can then opt to go right to the block. Here is a screenshot of that:

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