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Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostWed May 31, 2017 3:33 am
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Funny you should ask. I'm slowly preparing a presentation of a tool that I don't think anyone here uses, or even knows about, that could really transform the way we approach game design. I'm still converting my documents to this extremely efficient and useful system, but I'm not there yet. I'm pretty sure I'll have something to show in June. More to come soon.

I'll make a separate thread about it when the time is right.
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Metal King Slime
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 PostWed May 31, 2017 2:16 pm
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For notes/plans/documents, I use a text file with sections, subsections, etc, and edit it with emacs org-mode, which can selectively show/hide sections, and more. I would guess Pepsi is going to talk about a mind-mapping/note-taking tool with hierarchical views... I thought there was a well known one (maybe he mentioned it to me), but I can't remember the name.
I've collaborated with people who wrote up design docs as plain text files, google docs with sections and internal hyperlinks (you badly need to install a table-of-contents plugin for large documents, or have they built that in now?), and spreadsheets, but I found that none worked well. (Google docs would have been good if it wasn't so slow, especially that plugin)

For pixel art I use GrafX2, and sometimes GIMP for image filters and so forth. But I actually find that I use ImageMagick commandline tools much more than GIMP, for things like converting format, quantising, or scaling an image.

For scripts, I use emacs. I recently wrote a mode for editing HamsterSpeak. It's unfinished.
We were discussing the HamsterWhisper editor for HS in Discord a couple days ago. Being able to view help for a command is great. But the biggest problem with it is installing it.
Liquid Metal King Slime
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 PostWed May 31, 2017 3:34 pm
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One of these days I'll get around to packaging HamsterWhisper with PyInstaller or something

I am just spoiled on debian/ubuntu where all the pygtk and pygtksourceview dependencies are already in the package manager by default
Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostWed May 31, 2017 8:55 pm
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TMC wrote:
For notes/plans/documents, I use a text file with sections, subsections, etc, and edit it with emacs org-mode, which can selectively show/hide sections, and more. I would guess Pepsi is going to talk about a mind-mapping/note-taking tool with hierarchical views... I thought there was a well known one (maybe he mentioned it to me), but I can't remember the name.


What I'm talking about has the ability to do all of these things, yes. Well, I don't know about emacs org-mode; not sure what that is, but it can show/hide sections like what you describe, so maybe that, too. The mind-mapping, it doesn't do natively, but you can import mind maps into the program, if you have something that makes mind maps, and convert them into outlines. I actually went looking for a decent mind map program when I realized how useful they would be, but I can't find any that are priced within my budget, which is free, so I don't have one yet. But you're on the right track.

Maybe I'll work on putting the presentation together this weekend.
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Liquid Metal Slime
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 PostSun Jun 11, 2017 8:15 am
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Okay, here's my presentation (in the same thread after all):

Using Scrivener for Game Design

Recently, Iíve ported my design journal into a writing and organization program called Scrivener. If you donít know what Scrivener is, itís a project-based design tool that keeps all of your documents, web links, video files, PDFs, etc. in one place. You can use it to plan out your games extensively, from the journal itself, to character bios and files, to maps of your games, and so on. You can also tag your assets, keep notes on every file, view select files at once, maintain side-by-side comparisons of documents (perfect for plotscripting), and so on.

Here is a sample of what my journal looks like in Scrivener.

From my May 25, 2009 entry:



A visual map of Hybrid City to remind me where everything is located:



And here is a sample of what my plotscript file looks like in Scrivener.

Itís important to note that Scrivener does not work as a compiling source. You would need to copy your scripts to a text file and compile from there. Or, you could probably export your scripts into a single text file, or into a document that you can convert into a text file. Itís neither hard nor time-consuming. But it is perfect for keeping track of scripts and for taking notes on what each script is used for, and even where you might be using it in the game.

The script I use for starting the game:



An example of the side-by-side view, using the search parameter ďrandom textĒ:



Keeping track of game assets:



Finally, here is a sample of a story script in Scrivener. The program comes with various templates to help you draft the perfect story in your preferred format. It also comes with character and setting sheet templates to help you flesh out your people and locales during the design phase.

Note: Those templates are usually located in the novel formats, but you can import and use them wherever you want.

A sample story script from the gameís introduction:



If these screenshots donít do enough to convince you that this program is awesome and a great tool for game designers, then check out this three-part video I recorded.

Video 1 (Design Journal): https://youtu.be/N9kcDbOBB_Y

Video 2 (Plotscripting): https://youtu.be/9DhhU0CZJCo

Video 3 (Screenwriting): https://youtu.be/YNnj6G5d8Ho

Full Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2ihfMnuinWPyDkNfgtqSotqWuonxKqWM

This is just the tip of the iceberg regarding all of its possibilities. Scrivener is the ultimate organizational tool, and as TMC hinted in an earlier post, it can even import mind maps, if you have supported software. Itís extremely versatile, and after going through a minor learning curve, anyone can find a use for it in game design planning, or any type of design, and it can even replace the need for a Trello account if youíre clever enough.

It does come with a price tag, but itís low compared to most writing software, and probably more useful than most of them.

So far, itís saving me the burden of getting lost in my plotscript rewrites, and itís reminding me of all of those unimplemented features Iíve forgotten about.

Scrivener can be bought and downloaded at https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php.

You can also try it for free for 30 days. So, if youíre on the fence, you can explore that fence.
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Metal King Slime
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 PostWed Jun 14, 2017 10:08 am
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I was really surprised that you used Scrivener for your scripts as well. It is definitely nice to have everything in one place, so that you can cross reference (even if only implicitly, using keywords).
But having to copy scripts into a separate program and keep them updated is definitely not feasible for me, unless it can be automated (like documentation generation tools do).
Unfortunately my audio isn't working at the moment, so I can't hear your explanations.

Ichiro, Newbie Newtype and I put together a language definition (UDL) .xml file for Notepad++ for HamsterSpeak. It enables syntax highlighting and code folding.
Code folding is broken in my code of Notepad++ but apparently it works for other people.
Slime Knight
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 PostThu Jun 15, 2017 6:48 pm
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Thanks for linking to that YouTube playlist. Scrivener looks like a really useful tool.
...spake The Lord Thy God.
 
 PostSun Sep 08, 2019 10:23 pm
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RGSW Poster small.jpg
Since I don't always get a chance to bring my laptop around, I found some useful browser-based tools that are handy for the people who don't have the luxury of installing offline software. While most of these have [limited] cloud support (for the free versions, anyway), you can still save offline project files (that I upload to my Google Drive, in case I need to reference them later).

Piskel App - great for doing sprite work.
https://www.piskelapp.com/

It gives you a grid to work within, and more importantly, layers (for people who want to make it possible for a sprite to have a different look when other things are equipped, or for better animation control)!

Pixlr - browser-based Photoshop clone.
https://pixlr.com/

While not having the more advanced features that Photoshop has, it's a very useful clone that is especially handy since it runs in browsers (while this does have a cloud service, it's not reliable; I usually save my project files offline and store them on my GDrive).

Clara - a browser-based 3D modelling software.
https://clara.io/

Clara lacks sculpting or real fine-tuning tools available in most 3D creation software, but for someone who is a beginner with 3D modelling, this software is a great place to start - and allows the ability to model fairly decent-quality objects.

Gravit - a browser-based Vector art creator.
https://designer.gravit.io/

I've tried out several browser-based vector art sites, and this one - by far - is my favorite. While there are some features they hide behind a pay wall, you can do most things (that matter) without having to have a paid account with them. It's the cleanest UI, and allows for folders and layer groupings (making vector art MUCH more tolerable).

Attached is a scaled-down wallpaper that I made using some of these above-listed tools. I created the characters within Gravit, the building in the foreground(-ish) was done within Clara, and I used Pixlr to composite everything together and give it the aesthetic look that it has.
- George R. Powell (Setu Firestorm)
Digital Music Composer, Writer, Creator
Wingspread Creations
Metal King Slime
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 PostMon Sep 09, 2019 3:51 pm
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Wow! Hello again Setu, it's been forever since you were seen!
Neat, I hadn't heard of most of those, I didn't expect to see a browser-based photoshop clone. (I see it's flash-based.)
Do you still do any pixel art? I thought you've been concentrating just on music (and now audio adventures, I see!) for most of 20 years.
 
 PostMon Sep 09, 2019 7:23 pm
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It has been a very long time.

I haven't done pixel art in quite a long time (long enough to be fairly out-of-practice), but now that I've downloaded OHR and am chipping away at doing a game adaptation of one of my cyberpunk stories, I'm re-familiarizing myself with things (and the myriad of new - and very useful - changes that have happened over the past 15 years since I last made games here).

From 2007 to around 2015, I had scored a handful of short films, feature films (the first of which was the BMB Finishes "Hero of Time" fan-film from 2007, released in 2009), and animations. With major life changes happening since then, I closed down my original website (even though I have, since, put up a Wix site) and was on a hiatus. I tried to take that time to develop some of my story ideas (wrote a handful of screenplays, some of which I'm re-drafting and hoping I'll have the means of turning them into a film at some point) and pick back up my previous hobby-of-my-20s of digital illustration (which I've been practicing for the past year), and I've been trying to get back into a regular habit of making music again.

It's an interesting feeling to realize that it has been 20+ years since the earlier days of OHRRPGCE.
- George R. Powell (Setu Firestorm)
Digital Music Composer, Writer, Creator
Wingspread Creations
Metal King Slime
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 PostWed Sep 11, 2019 1:51 pm
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Shut down your original website? I guess you don't mean your original website! IM said that your music was a large portion of the data served by CP; don't know whether that's still true.
Oh, actually picked up the OHRRPGCE again? Heh, a lot of people have come back after a decade or more to see what happened to that RPG engine they used long ago and are amused to find familiar faces still around. The OHR certainly still looks the same... user interface is not something that's received much attention. Sounds like you have quite a few projects and hobbies; I didn't know you wrote stories of various sorts too.
 
 PostThu Sep 12, 2019 1:45 am
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Oh no, it was a website I had started through Bluehost that I was using to advertise my film work.
- George R. Powell (Setu Firestorm)
Digital Music Composer, Writer, Creator
Wingspread Creations
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