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The Suggestion...

By: on 1 Nov 2010
Rating: 5.00 in 1 votes
Status: rate
mr_open | game | [Suggestion_6876]

Update! Ver 2

So, I've been doing a lot of workings on mr
over the past while, and I'm figuring that I
should give a little update as to what I've
gotten done thus far.

I now update weekly, with two versions
online; one from this week, and one from last
week.(the links will alternate, you should
look to the bottom of the page to figure out
which one is the most up to date)

Stream A
Stream B

and if you happen to be looking for the
newest mrOpen, you can find it all target="_blank">here. Be wary though! It
might not be entirely stable!

This page is for feedback, and comments on
what I'm up to; If you happen to find a bug,
please submit a suggestion in an area roughly having to do with what the bug is or was, and start the title with "Bug:"

Parent Suggestion

(an earlier version of this idea)

Update! | Rating: 5.00


164 comments hidden. Show
19 Jan 2011 [comment_40905]
You can just capitalize it.


19 Jan 2011 [comment_40908]
huh, Python, cool.

20 Jan 2011 [comment_40910]
Have we deceided on a language though?

Honestly, I don't think Steve would want MR in 3D. Remember how he had the zoom to make it look more pixely again.

20 Jan 2011 [comment_40912]
I wouldn't want to do 3D.

If I go that direction, I'll just my roommates' project and code their ray-tracing engine.

22 Jan 2011 [comment_40925]
Every time I decide on a language, I undecide (yes that is a word, spellchecker! (and so is spellchecker!!!)) it again a little while later. Currently though, I am most drawn towards C++ with SDL.

I am not personally interested in doing anything in 3D but that not say that I wouldn't join in if someone else did it and it looked promising.

I like the voxels though.

The thing that keeps popping into my head is to actually make it more retro though. I'd really love to do a version that is limited to the same graphics display rules a C64 had to use.

22 Jan 2011 [comment_40930]
Be careful. The Commodore's resolution was 320x200 with 4 bits color depth. That's only 16 colors!

It'd be amazing to do one that runs on a C64 though!

In regards to C++ though, I'm with Linus on this. I hate C++.

23 Jan 2011 [comment_40936]
I'd still say Java.
Multi-plat, easy, you can use SDL/OpenGL with it(obviously), and I know how to use :P

And also, Epic MR only had 32 colors. I had 5 for Merlin, but yeah, 16 is quite a limitation.. Still, it would be awesome :D

23 Jan 2011 [comment_40937]
I'm not saying it would run on a C64, just look like a C64 game.

The resolution was 160x200 for mutli-color mode 320x200 was high res mode but then you could only use 1 colour per sprite!

In multi-color mode each sprite had three colours plus transparancy. All sprites had to share the first two colours, the third could be set per sprite.

Backgrounds were similar - two colours had to be the same for all 'blocks' but the third colour could be set per block. A block was made up of 5x5 characters and a character was something like 5X10 pixels.

Additionally, the pixels were rectangular like two squares next to each other.

But these restrictions gave c64 games a distinctive 'look'. And you could say the same for any of the 8 bit platforms.

I dislike C++ too, I would prefer to use Vala with SDL but I couldn't find enough tutorials to get me started, whereas there is plenty for C++.

I never thought of using Java/SDL though. That could be good - Java is widely used where I work so it might be good to learn it.

23 Jan 2011 [comment_40939]
Java's dying if you ask me. It's like Oracle is trying to murder everything it got from Sun.

24 Jan 2011 [comment_40940]
I didn't know that Oracle bought out Sun.

24 Jan 2011 [comment_40941]
They did that like a year or two ago.

24 Jan 2011 [comment_40944]
Everything (non-professional, that is) is moving off to Python.

Professional stuff really tends to remain as C++, because of low overhead(of already having an existing code-base, along with having trained programmers in the language).

24 Jan 2011 [comment_40952]
I like Python.

The only thing that can be a tad confusing is the lack of variable declarations.

Then, you realize that it's really the best idea in the world.

24 Jan 2011 [comment_40953]
I like the whole: you just type something in, and it runs!

25 Jan 2011 [comment_40955]
Granted, even BASIC had that backing the 80s.

25 Jan 2011 [comment_40960]
On the other hand, BASIC is simply the worst(at least, one of the worst).

25 Jan 2011 [comment_40961]
True dat.

Line numbers and no while loop <> good.

25 Jan 2011 [comment_40962]
hehehe you know what's !great about assembly?

The lack of ifs!

26 Jan 2011 [comment_40964]
Yes I do actually.

At least you use labels, not line numbers.

26 Jan 2011 [comment_40966]
I don't think Oracle is good for Java, and them suing Google over their Android engine isn't helping. (Oracle does have a strong case though.)

I don't think Java is going away any time soon, but unlike OpenOffice (now Libre Office) or Open Solaris (now something else) I don't know if it's legally possible to fork Java if Oracle annoy everyone too much.

26 Jan 2011 [comment_40968]
I think that Oracle is only hastening the death of Java. Still, it is mostly everything Sun did to it, and will be used in software for quite some time. Especially networking.

I'd say it takes at least 15 years for Java to become a very minor language or one used for teaching the basics, for example.

And that is a long time.

29 Jan 2011 [comment_40978]
Yes I agree 15 years seems about right to me. Right now, there doesn't seem to be a strong alternative. .net probably comes closest but the framework hasn't been ported to as many platforms as the Java Run time has and I don't think it has as many capabilities (browser based games for example).

30 Mar 2011 [comment_41516]
Guess what!

with the cell game code, I can get between 600 and 700 cells to be moving around and thinking about things at the same time(on something with a less than 1Ghz processor)!

Next steps are writing it into director, and primarily, trying to figure out how to do teams.

I suppose I should explain how this is done.(and the battle plan):
All the data about the room is stored in a two dimensional array of objects called map nodes. These map nodes have a locXY(location in X and Y), a pointer to another map node, and some method of listing the objects it contains. (I like having a linked list here, to have constant time adds and removals)

Most places in the map array are empty, keeping memory costs down, and to add to the map, a simple bitshift can be used(shift right by 5 to divide by 32, for tile size) on the object's location(provided that it is an integer, of course)(hopefully director does 2's complement bit shifts)
Searching through the map is a simple matter of checking the map node at a given locXY, and if there are enemies there, target them.
If not, the map sees if there is anything around in the surrounding 8 squares, linking them together to be searched afterwards for actual targets using the 'next' pointer on the map nodes. If there are still no map nodes found, it'll try the next shell, and the next.(If its really having a hard time finding someone, it can also give up looking)

15 Apr 2011 [comment_41611]
Wow. Lingo feels really limiting now. Primarily due to a lack of bitwise operators.

22 Apr 2011 [comment_41630]
Bleugh. The game engine is kicking and screaming at me right about now.

24 Apr 2011 [comment_41636]
Halfway to the next mr4 demo. Its going to run at an estimated twice as fast as it currently does. Yay!

Also: my, this is a big little piece of work. What I've got left is dealing with bullets(for spellcaster ai) and melee attacks(a fair amount of work), then reworking mines a bit to make use of the faster targetting(little work involved).

Should I add some new enemies in the mix as well before putting the next one up? I think it'll be on a small map.

24 Apr 2011 [comment_41637]
Sounds great!

25 Apr 2011 [comment_41643]
I think once I've got the targeting done, I might take a look at speeding up the event notification stuff. I think the list searching could easily be replaced with a sorted list tree, for easy searching(and/or adding removing with a tree) The question with that, however, is the make up of what the events end up used for. From what I can see with a little debugging is that it gets searched fairly often, in order to find out whether to add something, to notify an event, and to remove things (I'm pretty sure the delete function works with a linear search) I suppose a hash table could work as well, though with some memory overhead. I'm also thinking about changing up the object pooling a little, such that it has a big queue of objects, (in addition to the existing stuff) and there is access to maybe, a maximum of 2000 objects or so(maybe bigger, maybe smaller) and then it can remove really old objects, letting garbage collection do its thing now and then.(this is moreso to keep mr from using such a large amount of memory when its been running for a while)

Ninja'd by m4e. >:D

25 Apr 2011 [comment_41644]

melee = done (though probably needs some more testing)

Next, mines. Then there's the question of what to do with bullets in the spellcaster ai (they like being able to find out who the nearest bullets are, such that they can run from the lot of em)
I'm thinking of two potential solns. One would be to make another grid of where all bullets happen to be(What I did with units/buildings though I haven't tested with buildings yet...)
The other would involve some changes to the relationship stuff.(objects have the ability to tie in to other's to get certain events and other info. One in particular is the object's target: aka, the bullet is aiming at its target and will only hit that one character)
When a bullet declares a spellcaster to be its target, the spell caster would add it to a list of things that it needs to avoid, and scroll through those every frame. I'm not entirely sure how to implement this, nor how fast the relationship code really runs.

For now, I think ima just comment out the bullet stuff and put it back in once I get this figured.

25 Apr 2011 [comment_41645]
On the other hand, it looks like I'm getting an infinite loop somewhere with spellcasters...

25 Apr 2011 [comment_41646]
and it looks like it has something to do with when things die.

26 Apr 2011 [comment_41647]

..err, get it fixed and post a demo? :D

26 Apr 2011 [comment_41653]
Alrighty, it should be up shortly. (on the mr4 page. I also get to test out the release function!)

Details: things move pretty fast, though spellcasters ignore bullets. press C to summon multiple, yatta yatta yatta.

I also think the saving bug might be fixed now.

26 Apr 2011 [comment_41655]
...and the energy mines decides to stop working again.

2 May 2011 [comment_41672]
Seems like you're along the right lines.

What sort of speed improvements are you seeing? I'd be interested to see some numbers.

2 May 2011 [comment_41676]
Well can't wait Note!

3 May 2011 [comment_41686]
The only speed tests done are on my 1ghz laptop. Roughly what should be considered towards the bottom of the line, I suppose.

The frame time is generally 90(as opposed to 150 or so with the old one) when lots of stuff is going on, with an upper limit of maybe 130. It tends towards 30 pretty quickly, and throughout what I've posted for the current mr4(it is updated btw) I'd say its mostly ~50(when the screen is not cleared).

An interesting change was to remove a repeat from the collision detection, which brought things down by 5-10 (it just enumerated through four things, which in testing I saw that a repeat took maybe 4 times longer than just writing it out)

Energy mines effectively produce unnoticeable change under the current system. I made them check less often than they used to, but they are just as reliable as the originals from mr3, as they check the nearest enemy rather than a random one. I could also add a considerable speed increase to the find random function, though I don't think its needed. (rather than make a list of all the units, I'd get a bunch of random numbers, the first would decide what team to use, the second to determine the role targeted, and the last would be the index in the unit list to grab. Of course, more information will need to be kept in order for that to work)

With regards to future improvements, I think there are a couple areas which could benefit from some reworking, though I need to do some checking on exactly how they work and how often they are used. Primarily, this relates to a different policy for the object pools(I think for now, it keeps a list what free objects there are, and allows the pool to keep up to either 100 or 500 of each object, which effectively never lets garbage collection do its thing(this is bad for caching, I think, seeing as how much memory mr seems to take up)) and the event system. I think the event system does a lot of searching and not much adding or removing, so implementing a binary search(the real question is whether any built in functions use one) or bst.

3 May 2011 [comment_41694]
Uh guys, the game says my plug-in of Shockwave is out of date and when I download the latest version, it says the same thing. Help...please. :(

3 May 2011 [comment_41696]
Can you play any of the games?(Also try the links up in the top of the page)

If not, then you might want to completely remove it, then download again.

3 May 2011 [comment_41699]
No, I have only tried the links above. I will try to delete and re-download.

7 May 2011 [comment_41721]
Got it working?

Anywho, I'm thinking of doing some work on Sunday, to integrate bullets into the new system.

Now that I think about it, I can add at least one more bit of optimization to the targeting system, and I'll include that with the bullets as well.

I might also get towards working on some other speed and/or memory stuff, or start on Morph.(I'd like some steve input on suggestions for that implementation)

Oooh! I just thought of another thing that probably takes a fair bit of time! Calculating collision rectangles! I could just have it calculate them once per frame, and give out copies of it whenever needed.

15 May 2011 [comment_41801]
bullets = done.

16 May 2011 [comment_41804]
Opinion = great job.

16 May 2011 [comment_41807]
♪ = Maker of great jobs :)

16 May 2011 [comment_41811]

I'll update all the download stuff either tonight or tomorrow.

17 May 2011 [comment_41828]

24 May 2011 [comment_41860]
... so nobody's said anything in a while.

Which I suppose leaves me saying that I'm a little sidetracked with school atm, but will try to get back to mr on thursday.

24 May 2011 [comment_41861]


24 May 2011 [comment_41862]
A little bit.

24 May 2011 [comment_41863]
Erik Rodriguez
Um=umm IDK...

3 Jun 2011 [comment_41887]
Its about to be midterm week (a very deathly one, at that) and I don't think I'll be able to do all the work I'd like to get done, so I think I'll post up what I've got tomorrow.

4 Jun 2011 [comment_41893]
Ok, I hope it is great.

5 Jun 2011 [comment_41918]
stream a should now be up to date, along with the download.

5 Jun 2011 [comment_41929]
Note, could you tell me what is new in the updates?

5 Jun 2011 [comment_41935]
Bullets are added to the speed update, along with the tvs being finished. You can probably get the downloadable working nicely...
I've done some work on the evil kings, but I haven't gotten an inspiring graphic drawn yet, and won't have time to in the next little bit. However, I'll be getting to it soon enough.

4 Aug 2011 [comment_42435]
ok just to get this out my maps dont work on tvs any suggestions?

4 Aug 2011 [comment_42438]
As in, the tv's are not moving?

You're probably using the background version. Make sure to put in the ones from the objects layer instead.

Otherwise, it may be that you need to update your mr file. For a while, the image was in the editor before I had finished getting them to work.

12 Aug 2011 [comment_42445]
Hey! Guess what!

I'm ddoooooonnnnnnnneeeeeeee!

So I want to power through as much mr4 and reMobile as I can before something else comes up.

12 Aug 2011 [comment_42446]
mr ToDo:
-make ranged attacks work for the player (maybe add a bow or something)
-make attacks able to create buildings(or a new attack called Drop?)
-Draw Tangerine wizard, some of his army
-think about what is needed to get the baby to work
-figure out what else needs to be done before morph can be implemented
-implement morph
(-morph bars)
-redraw ostrich's legs so he will look good at a reasonable speed
-write ostrich ai, probably very similar to a spellcaster
-import all the baby's gfx, if not already done
-work on gfx for desert enemies
-do ember wizard.

12 Aug 2011 [comment_42447]
-fake tree
-evil king(I think he'll be tangerine rather than scarlet, for nice colouring)
-draw all the anims for the golden acme box

12 Aug 2011 [comment_42448]
ranged attacks for player = done

15 Aug 2011 [comment_42457]
That's awesome! You're done just as my studying starts! What would be the chances?

Joking aside, I should get on and do that spritesheet for RE.. About 25% done, and I had already forgotten about it, for *gasp* weeks!

16 Aug 2011 [comment_42458]
On the other hand... Stuff came up pretty quickly.(Though I'm going to spend tomorrow morning on mr)
I was doing some late night jamming in front of a coffee shop, and we were offered a show, and some free donuts, and I think I might be going camping in a couple days.

16 Aug 2011 [comment_42464]
Another thing for the todo list:
Allowing anims for when units are released from their building.

6 Sep 2011 [comment_42489]
Done that now.

7 Sep 2011 [comment_42490]
I suppose that I'll get the power ostrich all together next. AI writing time!
(also, maybe redrawing some of it)

30 Sep 2011 [comment_42533]
Whoo! I just got something to draw in android!

10 Oct 2011 [comment_42543]
Oh sick! We can now use bows, I should be here more often. I have recently decided to get back onto programming. I think I might start with C# this time as I've heard Py-thon's syntax is quite bad. I was going to do Java but then I heard it was horrible language to learn.

10 Oct 2011 [comment_42549]
Well, the good language to learn is C,
(C# and Java are almost the same)

If you'd like to do some android stuff(which I'm currently learning and writing an engine for), you can probably get it to run on your ipad, though you might want to wait until ice cream sandwich is done, such that you can get the benefits of running a version built for tablets.

11 Oct 2011 [comment_42555]
Ice cream sandwich? I am afraid that I don't understand lol.
Also, I'd love to learn this Android language, it sounds interesting.

11 Oct 2011 [comment_42557]
Ice cream Sandwich is the next version of android, which will replace gingerbread and honeycomb. Honeycomb is the current version for tablets, but is not yet open source as they started again from scratch. Once ICS is released, a version will probably become available for ipads(Likely Cyanomod(CM) 7 or CM8) which will be optimized for tablets, giving you the best android experience.

The language used for android is Java.

12 Oct 2011 [comment_42563]
Lol wow, they give weird version names to Android.

15 Oct 2011 [comment_42566]

It's coming out on tuesday, too!

21 May 2012 [comment_42953]
Well! I'm going to put out releases and such for this batch of work on Friday, and we might expect some extra visitors on Saturday.

Things that will be happening:

* online files for merlin1234's various maps
* an mr4 features demo map
* an update to that big map I've got going. It will probably be a bunch easier.
* a bunch of bug fixes, and speed improvements (The best one is that saving will work completely again!)
* new enemies
* new spell(s) ... that may not really be spells, but ranged attacks
* new background tiles
* player reel
* (maybe) difficulty settings
* wizards who can use more than one spell
* ... and stuff I can't remember right now

22 May 2012 [comment_42965]
Exciting stuff! Can't wait.

22 May 2012 [comment_42968]
I may have bugged up the death algorithms yesterday, so I might need to cancel work on something to get that back up and running properly.

I can probably back track a little bit, add one extra state and it'll work again though... so its not too bad. There's another related bug, which I may have caused in fixing another, where the sorcerers end up not drawing graves, and just stay on the reel picture when they die. There might be a better fix for that than adding another state though... when a sorcerer dies, it seems like it jumps to finish,/rather than to die, which is likely the problem.

26 May 2012 [comment_42976]
scratch the whole "release today" thing.

I completely forgot how much work it is to set all of that up. It'll come into fruition over the next couple days though.

26 May 2012 [comment_42977]
Cool i will be looking foward to my maps never
thought they would be that good :0 but all of this sounds cool

29 May 2012 [comment_42982]
New enemies are probably one of my favourite additions. It's interesting to fight new monsters and develop strategies against them.

29 May 2012 [comment_42987]
yeah new ememies woo hoo !!! yeah,yeah i know i said yeah 4 times

30 May 2012 [comment_42992]
... I still need to do some drawing.

24 Jun 2012 [comment_43110]
I'm getting a 404 on both streams...

24 Jun 2012 [comment_43128]
I can't help noticing that MROpen 30 doesn't have my new maps, which were already in 26.

Maybe I should finish the works in progress and then post everything up at once..

There's quite a plentiful of nice stuff coming if I can stratch up the time and motivation, I'm telling you.

24 Jun 2012 [comment_43130]
Crap. I messed up, and.. I know, I read the warning in the readme, but Merlin 3 just has so few objects and none of the new fun ones!

20 screens of awesomeness into bitspace. We shall mourn this day.

And now I don't really feel like doing any of the maps, before this problem is issued and fixed and MROpen gets proper updates. :3

24 Jun 2012 [comment_43136]
Oh, that must suck. I hope you regain some motivation to create another map. I am sure your maps would be rather challenging. :)

I may do my own map later, but it might not be too big.

25 Jun 2012 [comment_43139]
Challenging? That word is underestimating the ruthless brutality of battling with your life in hand to survive in these maps ;)

Do you remember the Golden Fortress or whatever it was called? It was rather difficult, wouldn't you say?

Well, they are meant to be beatable, but.. ..Just barely. It's like, a bar to show the limit of my skills. There are better MR players out there, I believe. If you can't beat it without cheats or saving mid-battle, you're not as good as me, and if it's a breeze, you are much better. Something like that.

Plus, it's refreshing to have to work for something really hard, and when you finally beat it, you're rewarded with an awesome cutscene! Or maybe you aren't, seeing how I don't bother to make cutscenes.

25 Jun 2012 [comment_43142]
The Golden Fortress? The one from MR2? It wasn't THAT hard. The hardest room by far in MR2 is the one near the end. The floor is covered in webs making you walk slowly and then there are 2 necromancers. There isn't alot of room to run around either. It was very hard, almost cried. Completed it though.

25 Jun 2012 [comment_43145]
I remember that room...

25 Jun 2012 [comment_43146]
Yes, that dreadful room. We all remember it.

25 Jun 2012 [comment_43150]
There were four necromancers in that room.

OH, you mean THAT room. Right, the one with the necro's caged up? I found it easy, but it might be tough without Beam and GMG.

As for the Golden Fortress, I meant a MROpen map I made a while back.

25 Jun 2012 [comment_43151]
You found it quite easy??!!

You sir, are some sort of magician.

25 Jun 2012 [comment_43154]
All you need to do is blast them both in reel before they blast you. It's a matter of anticipating their movements and intercepting all of their attacking methods.

But during my first playthrough, I did die because of them. And I was angry having to start all over again.

Later I discovered saving, and that helped me a plentiful of times. :D

26 Jun 2012 [comment_43161]
That is a common strategy against monsters in many games but I feel like in that room, it's rather difficult to execute that strategy. This is because there are two of them. Of course, if you anticipate what ever they're going to do, it would be much easier.

27 Jun 2012 [comment_43163]
Odd stuff:

I played the latest MR4 alpha online. Potions etc were blastable - whoa! But not after the screen was cleared. Is there a solution?

9 Jul 2012 [comment_43214]
I fixed that bug in the last set of work I did. I also deleted the two streams, as I'm going to be making a new update! thread, with an mr shockwave in the post.

18 Jul 2012 [comment_43329]
well, for now, if anyone would like mr, here's a dropbox link to my mrOpen folder.

Eventually, I'll make an update! ver 3, with a link to the dropbox, and an embedded/playable mr in the suggestion.

The binaries are likely not up to date. I recommend acquiring director mx 2004 by some means, and use that to play/edit.

Note: There are three versions of Main under the main folder/cast in the .dir file. The game will use which ever one is in the first slot.
The quick start one is best for regular use, while the other two are generally just for outputting binaries. Avoid using the slow start while in the dir. There's a large chance of doing a lot of damage to the .dir/destroying all the work done on mrOpen. Don't worry too much though: dropbox keeps revisions of all changes made to the files.

18 Jul 2012 [comment_43330]
Yes the slow start one was intended to allow people to edit the code of MR without owning Director. I would suggest we drop it all together for the time being.

It is not really practical to program that way.

I am really reluctanct to move away from Director MX. I actually went out and bought it and I can't afford to upgrade to MX 2004.

18 Jul 2012 [comment_43332]
Aren't the files compatible between the two? You're probably fine if you can open the file, which I think we've sorted out before.

24 Jul 2012 [comment_43368]
Oh ok sorry, I'd forgotten. Must be getting old...

23 Apr 2019 [comment_44566]
Are you guys still active here? If yes, can I help? If no, may I have your blessing in pursuing something inspired by MR mechanics and style?

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