Introducing Retroformer!

Discussion in 'Works In Progress' started by Paradigm-SW, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    [​IMG]

    Retroformer is our all new puzzler/platformer, being developed for iOS, Android and web platforms.

    Retroformer features retro style 16x16 graphics and an easy to grasp playstyle, with features being added daily.

    Retroformer's main feature is the ability to create totally custom maps using any image editor you have at hand. Simply use our colour reference guide to create your map pixel by pixel, and upload it into Retroformer by URL to play right away! Please note your level file must be a .PNG and has a few requirements, detailed below.

    Controls: See bottom of post.

    Webplayer: v0.0.5 (Clicky!)

    Some screenshots:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The reference sheet:
    [​IMG]

    The square and sprite in the reference sheet are not to scale, they're only there to show you what colour to use. Each square in the ref sheet is 32x32, each pixel is 1x1.

    List of example maps:
    Due to the way some browsers handle accessing DropBox's public folder, we suggest using URLs to load our example maps. They are listed below.

    Note: To make the import work correctly your custom map needs to be WITHOUT Gamma information (the gAMA and sRGB channels). Luckily we've found and created two applications (for Windows and Mac) to remove these channels quickly and painlessly. (If you have PhotoShop, good for you, we believe you can save files without this information. However, we have not tested PhotoShop's save capabilities, so if unsure run it through one of our gAMA removal packages.)

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  2. Dávid Debnár

    Dávid Debnár

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Messages:
    107
    .
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  3. MakeshiftPancakes

    MakeshiftPancakes

    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    8
  4. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    Thanks!
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  5. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    We've updated the colour reference sheet to make the lava block more visible.
    We'll also be uploading a second sample map soon.
  6. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    Added another example map.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Please feel free to create your own maps and post them here! (Though try to remove the gamma info before posting).
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  7. MoonQuake

    MoonQuake

    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    I like the idea. :)

    Quick Q: is it normal that I can super jump by jumping and tapping the jump button again mid-air?
    Edit: seems like I can double-jump and even walljump? I can do this everywhere there's enough room.

    At the first spike columns, when I approach from above, I should be able to jump and slap myself to the wall on the right side and then just let me drop down to ensure I won't get hit by a spike. But even if I do this, I get hit by one. As if my collision box is bigger than the visual sprite. Or the spikes's is bigger.

    What's with the two keyholes and the two pink windmills to finish a level?
    I only need to unlock one path and touch one of the pink windmills to finish a level. :)
    The others server no purpose.

    Also, I fall forever when I load pyramid.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  8. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    Where are you when this happens?

    This normally happens when gamma information is present, the updated map might not have had it removed. I'll fix the problem.

    Edit: I've tested Pyramid, it now works.
  9. MoonQuake

    MoonQuake

    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    Transferring previous post updated info here:

    Quick Q: is it normal that I can super jump by jumping and tapping the jump button again mid-air?
    Seems like I can double-jump and even walljump? I can do this everywhere there's enough room.
    Just mash the jump button and a direction when you're close to a wall..

    At the first spike columns, when I approach from above, I should be able to jump and slap myself to the wall on the right side and then just let me drop down to ensure I won't get hit by a spike. But even if I do this, I get hit by one. As if my collision box is bigger than the visual sprite. Or the spikes's is bigger.

    What's with the two keyholes and the two pink windmills to finish a level?
    I only need to unlock one path and touch one of the pink windmills to finish a level.
    The others server no purpose. :)

    Update: reloaded the webplayer, loaded pyramid, still falling down endlessly.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  10. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    We'll take it into account, we're aware that the colliders need a lot of tweaking at this stage.

    Also, the level is an example, or showcase, if you will. We want to include some predone levels out of the box but this isn't one of them, these are purely to try out the game's mechanics, and, as you are so graciously doing, bug testing. We'll be getting professional level designers to design the levels that come out of the box.
  11. MoonQuake

    MoonQuake

    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    Again, great idea to allow for custom levels to be uploaded too.
    As a professional level designer myself I can see that It will be easy to design for and fun too.

    You could even allow for custom sprites for the player, themes, and graphics upgrades.

    About the collision box of the player, well, it should just be exactly matching the sprite, pixel-per-pixel IMO. :) It would just be 100% intuitive.

    MQ
  12. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    Thanks! As for at least one of those ideas... keep yer eyes peeled...
  13. Dávid Debnár

    Dávid Debnár

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Messages:
    107
    The second portal will be deleted as soon as we add more functions and make a path to another key.

    Everything if fine and the character collider is per pixel, but the Unity physics engine allows the character collider to leak a tiny bit trough the wall, no allowing to do the move you mentioned.

    This error happens when an image doesn't have the gAMA and sRGB channels removed.

    -- David
  14. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    It works fine on my computer loading the file locally. We're looking into it.
  15. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    Resolved:

    List of example maps:
    Due to the way some browsers handle accessing DropBox's public folder, we suggest using URLs to load our example maps. They are listed below.
    • http://dl.dropbox.com/u/27959005/PixelformerWebPlayer/Level.png
    • http://dl.dropbox.com/u/27959005/PixelformerWebPlayer/Pyramid.png
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  16. MoonQuake

    MoonQuake

    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    The second portal will be deleted as soon as we add more functions and make a path to another key.
    --Nice. I do prefer the term portal over "pink windmill thing" :)

    Everything if fine and the character collider is per pixel, but the Unity physics engine allows the character collider to leak a tiny bit trough the wall, no allowing to do the move you mentioned.
    --I highly suggest to compensate for Unity's leaking features (hehe) by shrinking the collider a tiny bit to allow the move mentioned above.
    That move is at the essence of your game since we are often in very tight places. Also, I can totally see people making custom maps where you fall in a single column deep hole with spikes on each side, or falling between two lava blocks, climb up a ladder between spikes... would be impossible because the player's collision would leak onto the spikes.


    This error happens when an image doesn't have the gAMA and sRGB channels removed.
    Ok, then I'll wait until you guys fix your sample level to replay it. Looks fun. :)

    Keep it up!

    MQ
  17. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    We've found a resolution; DropBox handles the public folder differently to what we expected. We suggest using the URLs provided.
  18. MoonQuake

    MoonQuake

    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    Copy-paste works in the game's URL field. Nice.

    Played Pyramid. Now that's a serious level. The floaty physics allow for some great platforming moments.

    Also, you guys should mention that walljumping is essential in your game. You simply cannot complete Pyramid without walljumping. :)

    Oh, sometimes jump doesn't work. Seems to happen when you hammer the jump button right before walking then jumping. The jump will fail often.

    Check your PMs. :)
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  19. Dávid Debnár

    Dávid Debnár

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Messages:
    107
    I have fixed the character controller and the jumps are a lot more responsive now - http://dl.dropbox.com/u/49350017/Pixelformer/WebPlayer/WebPlayer.html

    fixed Level.png - Level.png (link)
    fixed Pyramid.png - Pyramid.png
  20. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

    Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,415
    Looking good, Can't wait to see get some purdy graphics in ;) hehehe, I only just figured out how to play pyramid level, thought it was only one you could do.
  21. Dávid Debnár

    Dávid Debnár

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Messages:
    107
    I can't wait to see some better graphics too :).
  22. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    Updated to 0.0.2, new lava texture, fixed some bugs.

    Updated Level.png to reflect the new lava pixel colour so the game reads it.
  23. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    Updated to v0.0.2b, we've tweaked the jump keeping the floaty movement of before but making the jump much more responsive.

    It makes walljumps much easier to time correctly.
  24. MoonQuake

    MoonQuake

    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    Good work guys!

    I think you should add in your original post that the character can wall jump.

    I will test the game further more tonight and maybe even make a level or 2 and I'll get back to you about it.

    MQ
  25. Dávid Debnár

    Dávid Debnár

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Messages:
    107
    Thanks! Just remember that the level images HAVE to be power of 2, or the level result might get blurry. :) Again, we really appreciate the feedback.
  26. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    We've investigated a bug making the graphics blurry. To fix, ensure that both dimensions of your level's saved picture are any power of 2 (they don't have to be the same, just a power of 2).

    I will add this information to the OP.

    --

    We have realised that the Pyramid level is actually imcompletable, due to some missing platforms. We will aim to roll out an updated map tomorrow. In the mean time, get to know the game, test it, make some maps, and enjoy!
  27. MoonQuake

    MoonQuake

    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    Yeah I came to that conclusion too when I took a minute or 2 to play the level and I realized I couldn't finish it.
    I wanted to give it more time to make sure that it was really not completable before telling you guys. You just can't get to the key am I right?

    Anyways I will get back to you guys when I put more time into the game.

    MQ
  28. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    There's a suspiciously empty space 2/3 to the top of the pyramid. Must've gotten distracted while trying to finish it earlier. I'm not on the old PC at the moment (paint level editor :D ) so I'll fix it tomorrow. Myself, I've never gotten inside the pyramid >.>
  29. MoonQuake

    MoonQuake

    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    In creating myself a Photoshop template with each block separated in a layer, I realized the Reference Sheet you posted is a compressed jpg.
    That means the colors might not be exact and there are compression artifacts too.

    The different spike blocks seems to be of slightly different shades of red. Is that on purpose?
    Is your game able to tell the difference even if each block is not of an perfectly even color?

    Also, can I upload to any filehost then put in the URL in the game for it to work? Tried from TinyPic and it didn't work. ("downloading image" never ends...)
    If not then, how can I put the image on your dropbox?

    MQ
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  30. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    The spikes are meant to be different shades. For instance (don't use these RGB values, they're off the top of my head) an up spike is 255, 0, 0, a down spike is 255, 10, 0, etc. the ref sheet's colours are fine; colour distortion only happens upon import to unity when gamma information is present. For the game to read a block that pixel needs to be the exact shade in the reference sheet - but this is easy to accomplish with the colour picker.

    As for image hosting, make sure your file is a gamma-less .PNG, and make sure you paste a direct link to it.
  31. MoonQuake

    MoonQuake

    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    Well,... the reference image is in jpg format. If you zoom in on it, it shows artifacts. Can you replace the reference sheet as a uncompressed pgn? So that colours are 100% exact.

    Like you said, the spikes have slightly different color values which a compressed jpg image will alter and make it look wrong and possibly prevent your game from reading the color values properly.

    A .jpg image will alter its color palette based on what is on the image. Use an uncompressed PNG image as a reference to avoid this problem.

    Remember: when you post an image as a reference for your game to be used as a design tool, it's got to be 100% exact. Otherwise, users will run into problems and you will lose interest and feedback. :)

    Test level PNG:
    Like I said, I did paste a direct link to it. Didn't work.

    What about my question about uploading a file on your public dropbox? :)

    Thanks
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  32. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    I'll redo the reference sheet when I get in. As for the URL, can you link it, please?
  33. MoonQuake

    MoonQuake

    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    It was just a test PNG file... incomplete for testing purposes, to see if my layout, constructed off of the compressed JPG reference sheet, would work.
    Here's the link: http://i50.tinypic.com/wm0z1h.png
    As soon as you got an uncompressed PNG reference sheet... I'll be able to test and then upload a custom made level of mine.

    Gonna check this out tomorrow... it's bed time.

    MQ
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  34. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    I see a couple of problems that may explain the issues. Firstly, each block in the rendered level is one pixel in the editor. Assuming you haven't enlarged anything, this gives you 1042 start points (where the player spawns) but no end point. In addition, you don't need to copy the arrows for the spikes; only the colour is necessary. Finally, what is the grey colour supposed to be? Ladders?
  35. MoonQuake

    MoonQuake

    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    There's no end block.
    Its incomplete... based on your reference sheet grey is open space( I just put a few for testing), black is wall.
    Arrows useless for spikes?...not mentionned anywhere. Your game could've detected it that's why I used them...now that I know it doesn't, I wil remove arrows from them.. :)

    It was just for a quick test... will wait for a png reference sheet and do more tests tomorrow.

    MQ
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  36. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    It's the other way around; open space in the level is blank in the image. If you construct the level pixel by pixel like it's supposed to be, you can't draw arrows on each individual spike anyway. The reason the arrows are on the spike colour is to make the reference sheet more consise. I believe the reason why it wouldn't load is due to having more than one start point and no end point.
  37. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    Interesting, the reference sheet is PNG but appears to be being changed. I'll investigate further.
  38. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    I've found that Photobucket's crop function saves the new file as a .JPG. I have now uploaded the slightly uncropped but still functional reference sheet in PNG form.

    I'm going to create a sample map and post that here, and I won't upload it to the dropbox. I'd be happy if someone could save that picture and upload it to an image site (Photobucket, Imgur, etc) and try pasting the direct link into Pixelformer. Thanks for the assistance!
  39. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    $SampleLevel.png

    Attached is a .PNG image, with all gamma channels removed. Please could someone save and upload it to an image hosting site and try pasting the direct link into Pixelformer, and see what loads.

    Thank you.

    EDIT: The spawn point in this level is the WRONG SHADE.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  40. MoonQuake

    MoonQuake

    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    Yeah, open space is white. I got confused by the images you posted in your first post. It's grey!
    I could easily put arrows on each spike, I copy-paste each block everytime I use it.
    Ok, a few questions here:

    - The PNG I uploaded only has 1 green block. Why do you say it has more than one?
    - Is your game requiring a start and an end point to properly load a level? Because sometimes, when we create levels, we don't place the end block at the beginning.
    - A bit like above, what can cause the game to not properly load a PNG? Does a level have to be made in square blocks? Or could I just paint using a round brush and it'll still work? (but be weird to play in).

    Thanks :)

    Update: when I upload your PNG on TinyPic, they convert it into a jpg.... :( Looking for a solution...

    Update 2: I found a file hosting website that provides direct linking:
    http://dl105.herosh.com/5b00dbcb2e55909ee0e3699023ef74c8/SampleLevel.png
    But when I put this in the game, it doesn't work. "Downloading image from URL" forever...

    Is there a way so that anyone from the public can upload a file directly on your dropbox? Say with a limit of 256kb per file to avoid people uploading other type of files and maxing your DB. That would be much easier and safer. :)

    MQ
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  41. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    Your level does not use one pixel, it uses several pixels arranged in a square. I can tell because the arrows that you've left on the spike blocks are composed of pixels that are smaller than everything else you've placed in the level. If you are painting with a round tool, then you are not painting pixel by pixel, since pixels are square. Note that you only need to copy the colour, not the entire square. The square and sprite in the reference sheet are not to scale, they're only there to show you what colour to use. Each square in the ref sheet is 32x32, each pixel is 1x1.

    I need to check with the programmer, David, about the start and end point thing, I'm not sure. First you need to make your level where one pixel = one block in the level. That said, we're planning on making a level viewer for testing when you're building the level.

    I've whipped up a small map and done some testing. It'd appear that the image hosting sites handle images strangely. Tinypic doesn't work at all, however Photobucket and Imgur will all load the level. However, the player will always spawn just to the outside of the level and fall indefinitely. We're going to have to do some further investigation and possibly rethink the way we're importing levels.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  42. MoonQuake

    MoonQuake

    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    ... got confused by the first screenshot and reference sheet that were not to scale. NOW I understand. :)
    I pixel per block, just gotta work pretty damn zoomed-in all the time. :)
    Again, I suggest you make that clear in your first OP.

    It would be nice if we could just load a PNG locally while creating levels. Then at the end upload the final level once we're done.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  43. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    What do you mean?
  44. MoonQuake

    MoonQuake

    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    Well, the only way right now to play test a level is to upload it first then load its url in-game.
    It would be nice if we could click a "load local level" button that allows for local browsing of a png file that the game would load and allow the user to play the custom level he has made so far.

    This would make the process of iteration much easier.
  45. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    I see- if the file is in the same folder as the web player this is actually possible- however doing it online means the web player can't access the files in my public folder, hence why you have to use URLs.
  46. MoonQuake

    MoonQuake

    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    Can't you guys just popup a browsing window to allow the user to browse his computer for a png? even restrict files other than pngs?

    You know, "Click here to load a level locally, must be a PNG image file" user selects a png. Level plays no matter if theres no end/portal block.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  47. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    I'll do some research on it; I agree it will make loading local files a whole lot easier. We've also got to investigate the bugged URL importing.
  48. Dávid Debnár

    Dávid Debnár

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Messages:
    107
    - We could use HTML5 and connect it to the WebPlayer build to make it work as you say.
    - The level does not require an end and start point, though start points are important, because your player would, in 99.9% levels, just fall down. The end is not required at all.

    I am sorry for the confusion, David
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  49. MoonQuake

    MoonQuake

    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    123
    Nice! :)

    As soon as you guys got a version with a way to import a PNG locally, it will be possible to make and test a level of the complexity of Pyramid in less than 60 min.

    I would prioritize on that because that's how all testing of the game will be done and how people will be able to make levels for the game.

    Can't wait. :)

    MQ
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  50. Paradigm-SW

    Paradigm-SW

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Messages:
    402
    Thanks! As I've said, a level viewing mode is very high on the priorities list (though we're redesigning the procedural texturing backend first). As it stands, we'll probably implement the local file browser at some point during the development cycle of the viewing mode.