Hires versions of HD (and other games)

Talk about anything regarding the Hidden Dimensions core game and HD Spectrum.

Would you like hi-res versions of nulll games?

Yes, but only if they're free
4
27%
Yes, and i wouldn't mind paying a small fee
3
20%
No, current flash games are fine
8
53%
 
Total votes: 15
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Greywing
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Hires versions of HD (and other games)

Postby Greywing » Wed May 16, 2012 8:34 am

Before i started coding in actionscript (flash), i was working with XNA game studio and coding in C#. These days i still use C# for the server side stuff of multiplayer games. It's been on my mind for a while now to go back to C#. But the main reason i started working in flash is that it's very hard to promote you games if they need to be downloaded and installed, so if i make games in C# again, these would be secondary versions to flash versions.

The main reason for doing so is to have games in higher resolutions. Most flash games are 640 or 720 pixels wide and HD is 800, which is pretty much the upper limit if you want decent performance (plenty of flash sites don't even accept stuff above 720 pixels wide).
There are some options available to me and i'll be testing these sooner or later.

1. flash versions in higher resolutions (max 1024x768). Available on the nulll site as a secondary version of the 'normal' sized version of the game. I say secondary version since i can't guarantee these games will perform well enough on slower computers. I need to do some testing but i think it should be possible to write only one game client and make it so that it can be resized the moment it is launched.
Pros : i would only have to rewrite my renderer and mouse input code. No messing with savegames since it's the same client thus your savegames between both versions will be the same.
Cons : performance on slower computers might not be good at all. Limited to 1024x768, there's really no point in trying even more.

2. C# versions in any resolution possible, including full screen. Needs to be downloaded and installed.
Pros : more resolution options. Since it's a downloadable file, i won't have to squeeze everything out of audio and image files, so these can be included in higher quality as well. Having a downloadable game opens up a few more extra avenues of promotion and distribution, which is always good.
Cons : complete rewrite of the renderer and input code, everything else can almost be copy/pasted from flash. Needs downloading and installing (but i do plan to look into creating a portable version). Multiplayer and database communication should work, but need to be tested. If they work, they will be compatible with the flash version(s). Since there's no automatic way to log in as with flash games, you'll have to put in your nulll account details to play the game (at least for online content). Also windows only by default (no guarantee that it will work on emulatores for other OS's).

The latter is more interesting from my point of view, but also requires a fair bit of work. The good thing is that the software needed to write games in C# is free (as opposed to flash, tho there are free alternatives).
However, all time spent on either option above, is time spent not making new games or new content. Basically i won't be doing anything new.

I might also be charging some cash for these versions. Some ideas :
In case of the flash version, i'd ask a one-time fee which gives you access to all oversized flash versions i might do (for all my games) and at the same time it removes ads on the site and in my games for your account permanently. 10-15 US$ range.
For the C# version i'll probably sell the game at 5 US$. But people will want a free demo or something to test it on their computers.

I'll be doing some tests sooner or later, this is interesting for me as well, to see what is possible. If there's no demand i might not do much with it, but if there is demand, i'll be investing more time in this, also for future games. Initially, these hires versions will be nothing more than scaled-up versions of the game (but with higher quality images of course. In a later stage, i might start to use the extra screen space to improve certain things, for instance the HD deck editor might start showing more cards in higher resolutions compared to lower resolutions.
Most likely not with HD:X right away, but once the alpha is ready i'll be starting on another game, and i might implement some tests there to allow it to scale to 1024*768 (and perhaps another resolution like 800*600, since the base game will be 720*500ish most likely).
The C# tests will probably have to wait until the public beta (aka release :p) of HD:X. As i won't be starting on new game right away, so i can provide support for all the horrible bugs that no doubt will be found en masse. A good time to try out some C# stuff for HD:X.

Let me know what you think (and fill in the poll).
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Freefall
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Re: Hires versions of HD (and other games)

Postby Freefall » Wed May 16, 2012 9:57 am

The current res is just fine. The fact that it is flash is a bit crap, and I would like to see it moved to a 'real language' instead, but that is your call...at least it isn't java XD. If it is JUST being determined by yes/no to hires, then leave it as is.

Addressing the topic of money, I personally would not have any issue paying for the games as is. You do good work. I am sure it will keep a massive number of players from actually playing [if it MUST be paid for]. On the other end of that, if it is free and you must pay for the hires option, I dont see that option getting used much.
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Re: Hires versions of HD (and other games)

Postby Chyriax » Wed May 16, 2012 2:31 pm

i have an argument agains the effort. an oversized flash version is going to go downhill fast, and you already have a memory leak to make that go even faster in HDS. this has been pointed out before, but isn't a big issue since it can be fixed just restarting the browser after leaving HDS on for a few hours at least. you make an oversized version, its going to make that problem much much worse. if you program in another format for each game, thats just as much time as it took to make them to begin with, and your going to have to go through all the bugfixes again, and you need to refresh yourself on two codes at once, and then when you have all the old games made, you get to code new ones in two versions at once too, go through two alphas and two mass bugfixes at once, or else go in succession, in which case you still get code confused from going back and forth anyway with bugfixes on the first release, and bugfixes/writing will be even more of a pain from this confusion, where you accidentally wrote in the wrong section occasionally.

please note that you also stated that you wouldn't be doing anything new anyway during this, but this was a forecast for once you *finally* finished the existing games with this. this also delays getting nulll games out into the world, since remakes of old things don't get as much as real new things, and this would slow future progress when you got there by practically forcing you to continue, as new games shouldn't have fewer quality options than old ones. they can have more, but not fewer, otherwise they are dissapointments no matter how good they are, since they don't have all the bells and whistles that the previous versions did.

in short: unless you can charge enough for this to not need a job, and that lack of a job allows you to do more coding than this would take to do, don't bother. i would rather see better games than bigger screens for older games, and if this can somehow make both, then good, but if it sacrifices the better games part any at all, then no, i don't want to see it.
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Re: Hires versions of HD (and other games)

Postby Greywing » Wed May 16, 2012 2:58 pm

Presence of a memory leak in another version of the game that functioned completely different as this one, should be no point. I'm still yet to see this myself, by the way in such a way that it affects the speed at which my browser runs. Granted my browser isn't fully loaded with crap plugins (i get the occasional bug report which then gets traced back to a bloated browser) and i don't play for hours on end, but this is an almost 6 year old computer, running XP - if the game performs well on this computer, then i generally don't worry about potential performance problems that might occur elsewhere.
Also that's for oversized flash only, and not the downloadable version.

Going from actionscript to C# is a copy/paste job for 80% of the code. Only the renderer and the input code needs to be rewritten.

I'm also not going to be doing this for older games, that would indeed be pointless, if this happens it'll be done in parallel to creating the flash version of a game. HD:X would be a good candidate as i really can't drop everything and start on a new game when HD:X is out anyway - there's bound to be updates, if not for bugfixing, then for balancing. It would be a good opportunity to start porting that code (if i decide to do it) to C# in that situation.

I'll be doing some experiments with either option anyway, but if there's demand from players, then it means i'll be spending more time on this beyond these 'alpha-level' experiments.
Oversized flash might be done for HD:X, but i doubt it since the renderer has been written with fixed screen size in mind. If i decide to do a C# port, then it will require a renderer for any size anyways, so then HD:X can be updated with that.
Most likely the first test will be the game i'll make after the HD:X alpha is released - it'll be a fast paced game with some more visual effects, so this might be a good stress test to see how performance is affected if you switch from the default size to the oversized version.

I won't be happy until i've tried this, or until i've spent enough time with it to determine it won't work out :p
But if i know that the people who play my games are interested in this, i'll do more effort to polish it up and make it available.
I mention the cost, just to see if people are interested in paying for this, it doesn't mean that i've decided to start charging money for my games.
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Re: Hires versions of HD (and other games)

Postby Wv_Hawk_vW » Wed May 16, 2012 3:01 pm

I have an argument for the effort.

if your going to do high res, charge us for it. more money->less work->more food->more time to code.
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Re: Hires versions of HD (and other games)

Postby Chyriax » Wed May 16, 2012 3:15 pm

Greywing wrote:Presence of a memory leak in another version of the game that functioned completely different as this one, should be no point.
Also that's for oversized flash only, and not the downloadable version.

Going from actionscript to C# is a copy/paste job for 80% of the code. Only the renderer and the input code needs to be rewritten.

I'm also not going to be doing this for older games, that would indeed be pointless, if this happens it'll be done in parallel to creating the flash version of a game. HD:X would be a good candidate as i really can't drop everything and start on a new game when HD:X is out anyway - there's bound to be updates, if not for bugfixing, then for balancing. It would be a good opportunity to start porting that code (if i decide to do it) to C# in that situation.

I won't be happy until i've tried this, or until i've spent enough time with it to determine it won't work out :p
I mention the cost, just to see if people are interested in paying for this, it doesn't mean that i've decided to start charging money for my games.


i think you just came up with a counter for everything i wrote. for the memory leak part, i assumed that you were just going to expand the old game some and that was that, but if its that much different, then it should work. if 80% of getting it to C# is a copy and paste job, then that certainly cuts down the time i had assumed it would take. you agree that its a bad idea to do this to older games, so that part of my argument is gone, and then with all my other arguments gone, that brings things to the last part. you have mentioned making it cost. i won't be able to do much at first for that, but when i get the money i will gladly support this. don't worry so much about removing ads from this, i haven't seen any major gaming companies removing ads from their games, even if they sell the whole game on a disc for whatever system you have, and nobody really complains there. yes, they usually adverize themselves, but my point is made. downloadable copies, just do your own ads for it, but on site, keep the old ones, maybe listen when people say that one or another is in the way, and remove that one for the paid users.(like you did in HDS with the in-game ads for registered users)

with my other complaints out of the way, i say this: please do make this in larger versions, and please do charge for them. its another way we can support your effort, and won't really be much out of your time to make.
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Re: Hires versions of HD (and other games)

Postby Greywing » Wed May 16, 2012 3:29 pm

HD:X is almost a complete rewrite of HD:S. I could have just added stuff on top, but there would be no challenge in that and i'd get bored really quick. The flexibility of the new code will also make it much easier to do other stuff with the core engine of HD. It would have saved a lot of work if HD1 was like HD:X, but i've learned a lot in the 3.5 past years of almost non-stop coding.

Part of this idea is also due to the challenge. I really enjoyed working in XNA/C# - it really makes creating games easy (just like flash, but more professional and with better performance). But there's almost no platform to promote small games - even the smallest indie studios these days that use XNA to create games are teams of several people that outsource art/music/content as needed and thus have quite some financial backing, still a huge difference with my one-man team of stubbornness. You'll need plenty of resources to get up to that level and that's not what i'm aiming at, but moving in that general direction will help NULLL Games as a whole, especially if it all remains 100% compatible with the flash versions of my games.
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Re: Hires versions of HD (and other games)

Postby Chyriax » Wed May 16, 2012 3:36 pm

well, this one man team of stubbornness makes better games than huge companies. yea, its mainly the HD series im refering to, and then xyth memory and nebula wariors are both better than comparable alternatives with similar focus, but how much can we expect one man to do. even if games like ultranought get repetitive fast, i am rather impressed, and hope to be further impressed by this one man team of stubbornness.
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Re: Hires versions of HD (and other games)

Postby dark1n » Wed May 16, 2012 5:10 pm

i couldn't care less about higher resolutions and more eyecandy special effects that desktop version would offer. if i made a list of favorite games, almost half of the list would be games played in 320x200 resolution with 256 colors.

but the news of GW experimenting with high-res is a good news to me... maybe in a year or two, we will play HD:Isuka (a 4-player edition). in desktop resolutions, it might be done without scrolling, which is pretty much impossible in a small flash window.
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Re: Hires versions of HD (and other games)

Postby DEEP SPACE » Wed May 16, 2012 11:34 pm

I don't know about things such this, but as well i see other pages i find diferent things:

    Some games have a Flash demo and a C# entire version.
    Some games have a Flash demo and a Flash entire version that only can by played by the members; but the membership have a cost.
    Some games have features that cost true money.
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Re: Hires versions of HD (and other games)

Postby Ginger88895 » Sun May 20, 2012 1:35 am

If Greywing want to make a stand-alone, I can help Greywing with many different things, including what I said multi-target and card-designing interface(if Greywing wants them)
Anyway, I'd like a high resolution version on HD because my computer's resolution is just like my tv's. I have a good graphic card. Of course Greywing can put loads of unannoying ads for money, and I don't think that's bad. But I really, really hate paid games.

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Re: Hires versions of HD (and other games)

Postby http404error » Mon May 21, 2012 5:48 am

Standalone C# --> performs beautifully on my computer, unlike hulking, inefficient Flash --> instant buy.

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