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Decaffeinated Jedi

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  1. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi got a reaction from penguinfan in A one-room AGI/AGS adventure to promote SpaceVenture?   
    Thanks for the kind words! It's a little too early to go into much detail, but there's more Pledge Quest in the works. We're really upping the stakes for Bea this time around...
     
    Jess
  2. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi got a reaction from Johnathon in Space Quest at its best?   
    The other day, I was thinking about the Space Quest series and trying to identify a segment from one of the games that embodies what I think of as Space Quest at its very best. Is there a particular sequence from the series that encapsulates everything we love about Roger Wilco's adventures?
     
    The best that I came up with (and I realize this kind of thing is completely subjective) is the junk freighter sequence that opens Space Quest 3. I can't think of another segment from the series where the art, puzzle design, writing, and even the music all come together so effectively. It also incorporates some interesting/innovative mechanics for a SCI0 game; the recolored sprite when Roger walks into shadowy areas, the bucket lift, the conveyor belt, the grabber, and the Aluminum Mallard controls all spring to mind.
     
    Better still, the sequence is self-contained. Escaping the junk freighter almost works as its own standalone mini-adventure.
     
    Another candidate that occurred to me was the Kiz Urazgubi sequence from Space Quest 5, but that's probably just my SQ5 love talking. ;)
     
    What do you folks think? What sequence embodies Space Quest at its very best?
     
    Jess
  3. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi reacted to asdfasdf in EGA version of the SpaceVenture prototype dome   
    Those are awesome! During the KS I started trying to make the SpaceVenture dome in AGI just for fun (was playing around with it for the first time). The vector graphics and priority system certainly take a bit of getting used to. Anyway, I only got about part of the way through it before I realised how long it would take me to do the whole thing :) Also, it can be pretty draining to motivation when you mess up a colour fill and have to try to fix up the drawing instructions without destroying everything and having to start again :)
     
    Anyway, here's where I got up to (posted in the pledgequest thread):

    I actually got a lot further a couple of times but had to start over to get the priorities right etc. :(
  4. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi reacted to BLusk in Introduce Yourself!   
    Well, between life, the universe and everything going on therein, I've only just now gotten the chance to jump onto the forums and make my introductory blather.
     
    My name is Brian, I'm 36, male, married and have a whopping six children. The first three are named "Roger", "Mark" and "Scott". The three daughters... my wife shot down all the SQ-related names, but one of them I managed a middle name of Bea.
     
    I have been out of the computer game playing scene for quite some time, only occasionally managing to fire up some low-thought-process fare once in a blue moon. Most of my gaming is of the role playing type that involves character sheets, though not the cheeze-ball-stained-fingers while chugging soda and pizza variety that gets people around the same table. Thank heavens for the miracle of the Internet!
     
    That said, I still have all the SQ games sitting close at hand, and I will bust them out and play them once more very soon.
     
    For those that aren't familiar with me, I was a Moderator on the Virtual Broomcloset many moons ago, through several iterations and a lot of the words "the forums have crashed and we've lost a lot of posts". Thank you for keeping the ol' dream alive, and I hope I'll have the time to join once more in sharing the Janitorial spirit... even though the new game appears to be lacking in cleaning supplies to those of us with insufficient time to follow in detail... yet.
     
    Returning as from the grave,
    Brian
  5. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi reacted to mrtnkl in EGA version of the SpaceVenture prototype dome   
    Hey all,
     
    It's been a while since I visited these forums. Years actually: back when I was coding a virtual sierra-related chatroom in 2003 or 2004. Didn't even remember my login credentials so the sign-in-with-twitter was a nice welcoming :D
     
    Just for the fun of sharing, I was wondering if any of you SQ fans saw the EGA pics we made for laughs during the kickstarter?
     

     

     

     

     
    We thought they'd make a good sq4-ish joke where the KS 2012 dome was in fact a remake of an old 1986 Sierra game - with time and space all getting mixed up and such.
    Fun fact: Mark loved them but was afraid it would scare away new potential backers as it could make them think this was the new game they were backing ;-)
     
    We posted these in the KS comments back when they were in high-rotation mode during the final days of the campaign (10 updates a second? What was it? ;)) so it probably got lost forever in the gap between everyone's page-refreshes.
     
    So I thought reposting them here would hopefully be apprecated.
     
    Cheers from a true sq-fan,
     
    - Martin
  6. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi got a reaction from Johnathon in "Space Quest: Roger Wilco and the Outer Edge of Earnon"   
    I was being completely serious -- no sarcasm or irony intended. I found your discussion of the extended EGA palette to be quite fascinating. I'm one of the least artistically inclined people on the planet, and it's always interesting to get a peek inside that kind of creative process.
     
    Carry on. :)
     
    Jess
  7. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi got a reaction from MusicallyInspired in "Space Quest: Roger Wilco and the Outer Edge of Earnon"   
    I was being completely serious -- no sarcasm or irony intended. I found your discussion of the extended EGA palette to be quite fascinating. I'm one of the least artistically inclined people on the planet, and it's always interesting to get a peek inside that kind of creative process.
     
    Carry on. :)
     
    Jess
  8. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi got a reaction from MusicallyInspired in "Space Quest: Roger Wilco and the Outer Edge of Earnon"   
    I have nothing valuable to add other than to say that I find this discussion of color palettes surprisingly fascinating. Thanks, Johnathon!
     
    Jess
  9. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi got a reaction from Johnathon in "Space Quest: Roger Wilco and the Outer Edge of Earnon"   
    I have nothing valuable to add other than to say that I find this discussion of color palettes surprisingly fascinating. Thanks, Johnathon!
     
    Jess
  10. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi reacted to Johnathon in "Space Quest: Roger Wilco and the Outer Edge of Earnon"   
    NEW UPDATE:
     
    July 17th, 2012
     
    Space Questers!
     
    I've decided to make this update a couple weeks early. I've got quite a few things to share with you, but first, I want to give you a good, STRONG reminder to go to guysfromandromeda.com, if you haven't done so, and PLEDGE a few buckazoids to help the Two Guys improve the new SpaceVenture, starring Ace Hardway!!! They have listed on their website a set of goal promises for specific features, provided they can receive enough funding (examples include translation of the final game into other lagnuages, and things like extra mini games and pixar-quality 3d character animations.)
     
    Now for the status update:
     
    Roger is... blonde...?
     

     
    Yes, after quite a bit of contemplation, awhile back, I had decided that, while this game will ring true to the classic SCI art atmosphere, I should make Roger's hair blonde, because... well... do I really need to explain it to you? Nah, didn't think so. Though, when I'd finally decided to go back and change the screens I'd released prior, to make Roger's hair blonde, I realized that the whole strawberry red face and yogurt yellow hair provided by the original 16 colors just wasn't cutting it for me; so I proceeded to toy around with a most unforgiveable and HEINOUSLY WICKED idea, one which purists everywhere will no doubt find unforgivable of an offense...
     
    "Super SCI" means... 20 colors?!
     

     
    Yes, after experimenting with color values over a two-day weekend (not the entire time, folks, the rest of the time in-between I was hanging with some local homies and drinking 'Keronian Ale.' Oh, and eating some of the world's greatest 'Monolith Burgers,') I settled upon four additional colors which I reasoned to be crucial for the game. I began rationalizing my rape of the "untouchable, original 16" when I recognized that the official pallette from the 1980's, while possessing some subtractive secondary colors (like purple and green), did not possess the secondary common ORANGE. In my art design I have found this to be quite an awkward setback, and it is also the reason why depicting skin and hair tones is especially difficult to pull off in 16 colors. I wondered to myself, if computer game designers had enjoyed the freedom to expand beyond 16 colors, which ones would they choose? Which shades would be considered most crucial to add to the pallette?
     
    Remaining somewhat of a 'purist'/16-color-enthusiast myself, I proceeded with great care, making special note of pre-existing hue/sat/lum values and blah blah blah... I decided that if I wanted to add any colors, I wanted to add only as few as possible, and only those which complimented the existing ones by sitting on the oppposite end of the color wheel (those that appeared missing); and by systematically mimmicking the original values (only plugging these same values into alternate RGB fields to yield new results), I settled on the four posted above.
     
    RATIONALE (technical babbling; only to be read by offended purists): Looking at the original 16 colors, the first thing I made note of was that while most of the colors came in obvious shades of two (that is, dark and light red, dark and light blue, etc...) bright yellow had often been employed in the games as the lighter alternative to medium brown. I began by considering to add one new shade to each brown and yellow. To the original yellow, "255,255,80," I added a new, darker shade, "160,160,0," which is justified by the existence of the official dark cyan, "0,160,160," residing on the opposite end of the color wheel. For the original medium brown, I added a new, lighter shade, "255,160,80," by using increments in the same numerical values across the original pallette, and by stepping those values up the same amount as original lighter shades had been stepped up from THEIR darker ones (ie: when looking at the 16-color pallette, one notices that when a shade is stepped up from darker to lighter, 0 becomes 80; 80 becomes 160; and 160 becomes 255; generally speaking (purple is the rebel)). After this point, I decided to add the completely new shade of orange, "255,80,0," which rings consistent with the original light green, "0,255,80," (possibly it's opposite on the additive/electronic color wheel). In my experimentation, I came to realize why orange had not originally been done. It can be difficult to determine when working with an additive color system as used in electronics. One cannot simply mix values of red and yellow together, because it often results in some form of brown (computer screens do not depict colors via light in the same manner that paint depicts colors when mixing subtractively in the physical world.) This is why when I continued to follow the logic of stepping the values from lighter to darker, my second, lighter shade of orange resulted in the newer light brown just above mentioned (or perhaps this had to do with the fact that, not being able to raise the red field any higher than it had already been, 255 became 255 for the "R" field.) I saw no violation with this, because, after all, when analyzing sierra's original light and dark green, 0 steps up to 0 when changing from light to dark green.) So, at this point I had three new shades, all of which seemed to subtly slide in with the 16-color pallete, in a constructive way, seeming to complete it, but because my new light brown had become the light orange (and honestly, it LOOKS just like light orange when placed next to the dark orange), I would have to find a new suitable partner for the medium brown. I reasoned that, because the most difficult thing to pull off in 16 colors had been the human skin and the hair, I should try adding a darker shade of brown. This way, I could succeed in more obviously differentiating the brunettes from the blondes (and their own hair and skin from background brown objects like mud/dirt). Using the above mentioned logic, I added the dark brown shade, "80,40,0." Below is the entire pallete, with the 4 newer shades arranged logically into the original, official 16. All values are also clearly listed. I find that this new pallette really helps to improve the potential of the game, in a way that is respectful and complimentary of the classic SCI feel. I hope you will agree with me. After all, when I originally dubbed the term "Super SCI," I expanded the background resolution to double that of Space Quest 6's, 800x418 pixels, and that could be argued as a rape of classic SCI :)
     

     
    I have updated the screenshots page to reflect my current progress with adjusting Roger's skin and hair color, with the help of these four new shades. Be sure to check it out!
     
    Now what about that summer demo you mentioned...???
     
    What about it...??? Okay, okay! I'm afraid that thing is going to take longer than the end of this summer; but let me tell you some of what I HAVE done, and why the delay:
     
    Firstly, while I toyed with programming in AGS a few summers ago, to make the parser/gui interface; I had not, to this point, worked on any game coding at all. I have, in these recent weeks, been slaving away programming the beginning game and introduction sequence (and lovin' every minute of it!). I'll tell you I'm very pleased with the results; but programming will make the demo take longer.
     
    Secondly, being as it is, that I want the demo to include the entire 1st day on Xenon, there is a very LONG and detailed, and REVOLUTIONARY cutscene featuring Roger and Jerry (NOT to be confused with the idea of Jerry Wilco from the new fan game, Space Quest -1: Decisions of the Elders; but instead the Jerry that Roger witnesses dead aboard the Arcada (with the keycard) at the beginning of SQ1 (remember, this is a prequel to SQ1)) - so, where was I, yes - Roger and Jerry, hovering in a skimmer, traveling across futuristic Xenon City. Because 3D pipeline will aid in the calculations/creation of the many background screenshots that will go into this lengthy and impressive sequence, the demo will take longer to construct than if I were only to worry about strict interactivity (perhaps this is not what you want to read, but this is the only taste you'll get of SQ:OEOE before it's released in full, and so I want to make it special as I can for you. ;)
     
    Thirdly, because fan game developers are horrible at giving accurate deadlines.
     
    In addition to the above news, I have been enjoying the hell out of myself working on the demo. I have perfected/edited completely specific dialogue, descriptions, and cinematographic details that will need to be referenced in order for successful completion of the demo (things like timing and camera angles and shitzoid.)
     
    I will continue to chug away at this, and I will continue to keep you posted.
     
    DID YOU KNOW...?
     
    ...That during a two-day, feverous designing frenzy on July 1st to July 2nd, this month, Johnathon managed to complete animation sprites, from scratch, necessary to finish a whopping 2 1/2 minutes worth of cut sequence for the demo...?
     
     
     
    ... Ha hah hah...
     
     
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Johnathon (now flying this thing solo)
  11. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi reacted to Johnathon in "Space Quest: Roger Wilco and the Outer Edge of Earnon"   
    To answer your question, Brandon, I have been dithering the original 16 colors all along. Bye the way, when dithering the original 16, in every combination possible, you get more than 64 colors; you get 136 unique shades. With 20 colors, all of the possible dithered combinations yields 210 unique shades. If you hadn't noticed my use of it, go to the website and download the background of Xenon City from the screenshots page, open it up in a program like paint or windows viewer, and zoom in; you can see that I had before succeeded in making the Super Computer look more orange and less red than the larger building in the foreground by use of dithering (it also helped provide an atmospheric effect, which is good, because the Super Computer is far in the distance). All my screenshots I've released have always used dithering quite heavily, well before I began toying with adding to the palette.
     
    As you suggest, I have already experimented very much with all the colors (it wasn't necessarily only until I decided to mildly expand upon the palette that I chose to make Roger's hair blonde.) I have snapshots of various attempts to dither his hair and skin using the original 16-color palette.
     
    But these colors are quite consistent with the originals, and help maintain the same style, and upon inspecting them closely, one must admit the only true color I've added is Orange. Look at the new dark yellow (with it's light yellow) next to Sierra's dark and light green; would you ever guess they don't serve as consistent alternates if you had never witnessed the original 16-colors? The shade of darker brown I added was just a variation of the pre-existent medium brown. The only completely new color is Orange, and that is because I felt it was really missing. It is difficult for people to disassociate their understanding of color as they experience it in the physical world, simply because colors behave differently in electronics. While additive coloring technically yielded it's own versions of primary and secondary colors: Red, Green, Blue; followed by purple(magenta), yellow, and cyan - many of us are trained to think of primaries as Red, Blue, and YELLOW, with secondaries resulting in Purple, Green, and ORANGE. The addition of Orange renders the palette more compatible both ways, and the experience more natural.
     
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c2/AdditiveColor.svg/200px-
     
    There is also the issue of "cognitive inference"; such as when a person experiences a Red square next to a Green square, it will appear more Red than if it had been placed adjacent to a Blue or Purple square. When experimenting with the idea of making Roger's hair blonde using the original 16-colors, it was not possible to utilize the available yellow in a manner which would prevent accentuating the redness of his face; and dithering brown down as much as possible, while making his face appear more pink/peach, made him look too much like a brunette. Additionally, the colors can generally only be dithered two at a time without producing a scratchy/split-line or other strange, undesirable effect, and dithering is used for the hair even when not trying to change desired colors (for the sake of making hair-like texture.) I could not dither the original colors far enough to provide the results I wanted for the hair color, without compromising the hair "texture."
     
    When I think of the original SCI style, I think of simplistic shades coming in pairs of two, with no more opportunity for excessive details and beyond-3rd-degree shading (that is, without dithering, of course). I don't naturally think that any one seemingly vital color should be excluded from being employed in that style, only because computers back in the 80's didn't allow more than 16 at a time. While I wish to hold true to the visual effect and experience of 16-colors, I don't wish to limit the experience based upon, literally, what hardware had been limited to in the past. I'm using my intuition and knowledge on the subject of color and psychology to interpret and polish this idea of the SCI style. The two new shades which compliment the original yellow and brown do so in a way that is most consistent and appropriate, in the same respect that the remaining original colors do so for each other with their light and dark shades; and the entirely new Orange, while entirely new to the palette, is an Orange of the same 'temperature' and 'tone' as all the other colors. I find that for the SCI style, it fits like a perfect glove, and in my thoughtful opinion it is the exemplification of the completed/perfected SCI style palette when experienced with no hardware restraints. :)
     

  12. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi reacted to Jared in Hardest Space Quest   
    Okay, this is actually my issue with SQ6... not the new characters in Starcon. They're all fine (as much as I got to interact with them anyway) The way they're handled. Yes, SQ5 brought in character interaction with the other games hadn't had - notably lacking in SQ4. But... and this is the important but.. you were properly introduced to the entire cast. The player gets introduced to Quirk, Bea, Drool, Flo, WD40 and Cliffy in ways that make perfect sense and we get to know them along with Roger.
     
    In SQ6 Roger is sent to the Deep Ship and... erm. Stuff happens. Off screen. He knows who Kielbasa, Stellar, the robot dude, the doctor, the hologram, those two guards are. Wow. Great for him. I have NO IDEA. All the introduction I get is basically Roger saying "Hey, what's up?" It baffles me entirely - especially with Stellar. Josh took issue with Roger having a girlfriend character looming over the series. So he ditches her and then introduces ANOTHER girlfriend character that he's gotten involved with before the game starts?
     
    That's what I meant when I called it an alienating game. I have to wonder if some sequence on the Deep Ship was meant to precede Polysorbate VX because I can't imagine anyone could have thought giving so many characters no introduction whatsoever was a good idea .
  13. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi got a reaction from Troels Pleimert in Adventure game needs HELP!   
    Back in mid-'90s, the average SQ1 speedrun took over 46 hours -- and we liked it! ;)
     
    Jess
  14. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi got a reaction from Frede in Adventure game needs HELP!   
    Back in mid-'90s, the average SQ1 speedrun took over 46 hours -- and we liked it! ;)
     
    Jess
  15. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi reacted to Dat Engineer in Hardest Space Quest   
    I did quite well on the Skate-O-Rama considering that I hadn't played Space Quest 4 fully for a good six years. Only four or five deaths! My solution was a bit different from the last time I played it, too. Honestly, I think that section of the game is totally luck-dependent (assuming no outstanding timer issues). Imagine if something like the root monster was a timer-based puzzle.
     
    That might be a good idea for a puzzle for a Space Quest: Lost Chapter Two. The root monster maze from Space Quest 2, combined with the crest-scrubbing puzzle from Space Quest 5, the Skate-O-Rama dodging sequence from Space Quest 4, and the acid drops sequence from Space Quest 1. In other words, scrub every pixel surrounding the root monster's roots on a difficult-to-handle Scrub-O-Matic, being careful not to touch the roots, all the while dodging Sequel Police laser bullets. Oh, and watch out for falling acid.
     
    :wacko: Actually, that sounds more like Touhou or Ikaruga than Space Quest.
  16. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi reacted to Troels Pleimert in Hardest Space Quest   
    Just because we misspent our youths obsessively playing these games doesn't mean we're actually any good at them. ;)
     
    Except for pcj. But he's a machine.
  17. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi got a reaction from Troels Pleimert in Sam Suede Kickstarter to be sued by Replay?   
    The key is keeping those mentions of Al Lowe as modest as possible.
     
    "From the game design duo that once worked down the hall from the legendary Al Lowe, it's Ace Hardway in SpaceVenture!" ;)
     
    Jess
  18. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi got a reaction from Troels Pleimert in Hardest Space Quest   
    I struggled mightily with large chunks of Space Quest 6 -- and still do, as evidenced by my performance during the first Super-Fan Hangout.
     
    Still, that accursed glass shard in Space Quest 1 may be the longest I've ever been stuck on an adventure game puzzle.
     
    Jess
  19. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi reacted to Dat Engineer in Hardest Space Quest   
    I remember you gave up outright. I mean, I had trouble with Space Quest 6 too, but wow... Rather surprising performance from the custodian of the Virtual Broomcloset. ;)
  20. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi got a reaction from Frede in Sam Suede Kickstarter to be sued by Replay?   
    The key is keeping those mentions of Al Lowe as modest as possible.
     
    "From the game design duo that once worked down the hall from the legendary Al Lowe, it's Ace Hardway in SpaceVenture!" ;)
     
    Jess
  21. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi reacted to Troels Pleimert in Hardest Space Quest   
    I love @Datadog's list, but I have a hard time picking the most frustrating SQ game. From a technical standpoint, at least, it's an easy toss-up between SQ4 and SQ6, and both for the same reason: the timer. (Yes, the sickbay bug in SQ6 is technically a timer issue. I know, it makes no sense.)
     
    But gameplay-wise, it's a different story. All the games had some elements that drove me up the wall. Let's have some fun with those, and our "spoiler" tag, shall we? :)
     
    Oh, and if Scott or Mark is reading this, then by no means is this a list of "bad design decisions" that the Two Guys beat themselves up for on a regular basis. Rather, it's a list of things that happened to me while playing the games that made me feel stupid for not paying better attention. ;)
     
    Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter (EGA)
     
     
     
    Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter (VGA)
     
     
     
    Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge
     
     
     
    Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon
     
     
     
    Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers
     
    See Datadog's list. :)
     
    Space Quest V: The Next Mutation
     
     
     
    Space Quest 6: The Spinal Frontier
     
     
  22. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi got a reaction from WilcoWeb in Anyone just the tiniest bit restless?   
    It's too soon to go into much detail, but I have a feeling we'll see Pledge Quest's Bea back in action sooner or later.
     
    Jess
  23. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi got a reaction from WilcoWeb in Anyone just the tiniest bit restless?   
    I've channeled all that excess post-Kickstarter energy into revisiting adventure games I haven't played in ages (or at all, for that matter). So far, my selection has included Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkess, Sam and Max Hit the Road, and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. Next up is the iOS version of Broken Sword.
     
    It's like methadone to replace my addiction to checking the Kickstarter numbers every three minutes for a month straight. ;)
     
    Jess
  24. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi got a reaction from Johnathon in Sierra oakhurst location   
    The redwood building in 2003:
     


    With bonus "Talking Bear" interaction!
     


    Jess
  25. Like
    Decaffeinated Jedi got a reaction from Johnathon in SpaceVenture Haiku, Limericks, Ballads, and other poetry   
    Snouts at the ready,

    reunited after split.
    It's SpaceVenture time. 
     
    Behold, Ace Hardway!

    Poultry-obsessed space plumber.
    "Sit, Rooter! Good dog."
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