Thank you for making this game.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by OneMinus, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. OneMinus

    OneMinus Intergalactic Tourist


    I just finished the game. Thank you the time you took to build this engine. I was looking for a game like this, and you did it extremely well. I hope you were not disappointed by the lack of people who know about your game and I hope you have not abandoned the engine. I just learned of it myself, and it is a true gem. A modern day classic.

    I will be taking a look at the modding tools, I hope you occasionally still check this forum, as I may have questions and requests.

    Even if not, I wish to express my wholehearted thanks.
    • Seminus

      Seminus Halfway Developer Developer

      Thanks you so much!

      We do check on in the forum every day. (Besides busy weekends like this one ;)) But if you have any question, please feel free to drop a line here.

      We are working on our next game, even thought it takes a bit longer then we hoped for we think, everyone liking Halfway will love what we have in the pipeline. :)
      • OneMinus

        OneMinus Intergalactic Tourist

        I have now spent a bit of time with the map editor and gotten pretty familiar with it. It tends to be not entirely stable, but since the stability is inconsistent you can still do everything if you save at each important step. Have no problems there.

        One issue I take with the editor however, is the hardcoding of the object shadow layer. Because I cannot conveniently assign the height of objects relative to shadow layer and each other's shadows (they all cast shadows on the same layer) I work around it by having many layers and turning off shadow rendering where needed to avoid unsightly results (I use 3 object layers below the shadow layer and 4 layers above).

        The problem I have is that I don't have the ability to create an object layer that is below the action layer, but above the shadow layer. I myself could resolve this easily, however, by simply creating custom shadow tiles. There are in fact a huge hell of a lot of custom tiles and decals I need to make, but since I am just getting the basic placements done I didn't see a need to do that when the current tiles are perfectly serviceable for most purposes.

        Thanks again, having a lot of fun with editor. I have attached an image.

        • Seminus

          Seminus Halfway Developer Developer

          oh that is starting to look brilliant! Cant wait to see more of your project. <3 I love to see what you are doing with the work we have done and do new stuff! This is so awesome.

          On the shadow issue: yes this is one of the limitation that we had and this engine has. It makes you go crazy at some points yes. (me too when making the levels)
          But there are some tricks to ease the pain: (This rules are naturally mend to be broken ;))
          1. I recommend to make the tile drop shadow layer go below the object layer so it only cast shadows on the floor tiles and the border tiles. If you want to place a object in the shadow try to place it completely in the shadow and make it a bit darker via the color settings in the property panel of the object.
          2. For objects on objects there are two ways to handle that:
            1. Switch off shadows. (Done this in most cases)
            2. Paint a shadow directly into the main sprite png and not in the real shadow png. -> so the shadow is always attached to the object. This is less flexibel but in some cases it can help you improving the look.

          I hope this helps a bit and keep on experimenting. There are no hard rules on how you solve a problem. If you go through the main levels in the game I made, you will see so many fakes I did to make a scene work. The only thing that counts: Does it work overall, not the correctness of an approach.

          Let me know if I can help you further. :)
          • OneMinus

            OneMinus Intergalactic Tourist

            Oh Jeez, I had totally overlooked moving around the drop-shadows tile layer. Thanks for the tip! I'll keep you posted on the project as it develops. The really interesting part will come once I start messing with the scripts. I've thought of a pretty good (although resource consuming in the way of multiple, similar but slightly different maps) way to allow branching mission choices and other "more RPG-ish" elements. Other than that, I'm running tests for a weapon re-balancing to increase the usefulness of melee by adding pure melee weapons (the idea dawned on me when i tried to melee an enemy on mission 1 without equipping a rifle, thus no damage) by having high ammo count, 1 tile weapons that use charges reloaded by special item reload type (sharpening kit), as well as reworking the usefulness of shotguns and assault rifles versus the omnipotence of sniper rifles. Will keep posting stuff as it develops.
            • Seminus

              Seminus Halfway Developer Developer

              Sounds very doable and interesting! Looking forward to the progress reports!
              • OneMinus

                OneMinus Intergalactic Tourist

                Primarily working on sprites. Just basic modifications to the existing art to get at the specific things i need (rudolfidle at his terminal in the below picture needs to have keyboard removed so i can put a gun underneath his hands, as an example) Specifically I am slowly headswapping my brown color haired connor (see profile picture) onto Samuel L.'s body.

                Work on the homebase is going to be methodical as I've got a huge amount of real estate that needs intricate detail. I spent a bunch of time just thinking (not even placing, just thinking) where to place additional shops and seating, what reasoning there is behind them etc. At least I've finished setting out the walls of where everything is, so there wont be much "room creep" on this map, as it's playable borders should end where they currently are.

                Of course i need to draw up a parrallaxing background and set down pipes for the north and south parts of the platform, but that's a ways off. The distance of the rails is good and allows for 3 walkable height enclosed trains or 6 walkable height open trains on either platform with consistent perspective style.

                Finishing the outward borders allowed me to start on the areas just outside the homebase door, where the gameplay itself should occur, but I'm just prototyping the layouts for that map so not much to show.

                The overall theme is basically "scifi-far-future-Metro2033", to which I'm working out a workable plot for. One of the key art things I intend to do is do some head and body swaps to make some human enemies that leave behind corpses.

                See attached image until next update.

                  Attached Files:

                • OneMinus

                  OneMinus Intergalactic Tourist

                  halfway003.jpg sidenote: I learned how lighting works. Its ingeniously simple and effective method you guys came up with.

                  Do you know how I might use flicker to create a slower pulsing strobe using flicker? Like, instead of an electric short (the current default flicker), a little bit more like a drop in amperage (dimming rather than flickering)?

                  (edited to attach an image)
                    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
                  • Seminus

                    Seminus Halfway Developer Developer

                    Great work OneMinus!
                    About placing objects and planing: I know that feeling. What helped me a lot, besides getting the hang out of it because doing hundreds of levels, was to draw them on paper. Most levels in Halfway actually started as an idea in my sketchbook when not sitting in front of the PC. ;)

                    About the flicker: yes you can do that. Take a look at the parameters description there:
                    You can even the values out and you should get a clean sinus curve as light effect. (The whole light flicker is a sinus with random values thrown into the mix)

                    I hope this helps.

                    Keep up the great work!
                    • OneMinus

                      OneMinus Intergalactic Tourist

                      Small update: Just been developing the map further and filling up the smaller enclosed rooms. Applying lighting in a uniform way to all the sources. Trying to use default assets to the fullest extent possible to create the effects I need and noting where custom assets absolutely unavoidably required. See attached image. halfway004.jpg
                      • Seminus

                        Seminus Halfway Developer Developer

                        Looking good!
                        Some small tips: You can make the level look far more lived in by placing some of these transparent decals I put on everywhere in the levels of Halfway.
                        Also if you want to increase the lightcolor effect you can experiment with multiply sprites layer and use the sprite properties to make sprites render in the light color you want.
                        But be careful, it can start to look really colorful fast. (We did not use it that much besides the first level.)

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