Thread in 'Discussion' started by tepples, 19 Aug 2008.
Who has ideas for how to give Lockjaw a facelift?
There's a lot of skins out there. Maybe someone will donate one. I'd offer you mine, but while it's not ugly (a lot of guys who see it on Youtube will ask me for it in fact), it's even more minimalist.
I have a feeling that mufunyo was referring to things that the Allegro version's current skin system can't fix, such as the solid backgrounds in the menus, and the complete lack of a skin system on the Atlantis version (GBA/DS).
I for one like lockjaw the way it is. It may not look as nice as some other games out there, but i never thought that was the purpose. One of the best things about lockjaw is it runs wonderfully on any computer i've put it on. However, if you did want to update the look, I think it would require dropping allegro and moving to something more powerful like a SDL/OpenGL setup.
I like minimalism. Try implementing the TGM-style active piece brightness depending on its lock delay, and the outline/darkness thing on the stack. Then put in an abstract vector graphics background, and make sure the HUD features aren't too flashy. Also, make the default BGM either go away or not suck.
Universal Principles of Design by William Lidwell under the chapter "Aesthetic-Usability Effect" states
While I highly recommend the book, I just found out Google actually has it online for free:
http://books.google.com/books?id=e4AaWB ... t#PPA19,M1
Less white background please
Minimalist skins can be quite aesthetically pleasing. What Lockjaw needs most is something that is simple and modern. Here are some things I would consider.
Dark backgrounds - optimal for playing as it doesn't distract the player's eye
Brighter objects - optimal for playing as it attracts the player's eye
Sharp edges - sharpness of rectangular corners tend to give off a modern vibe. Rounded edges feel outdated.
Thin lines - Apply only what's necessary to guide the player's eye . Remove excess border
Sounds - Look for something tonal and ambient. Avoid sharp sounds.
If you're going to move away from Allegro, I would also suggest having simple animations for subtle situations. Things like menu selection, cursor movement, and menu transitions would really feel more "grand" and "satisfying."
"Thin lines - Apply only what's necessary to guide the player's eye . Remove excess border"
Except for the border around the playfield. Bigger is better there.
Well, LockJaw for the PC is fine the way it is, I like it. The GBA/DS version is fine too, but skin support could really improve it.
That's why I wanted to port LockJaw for the GP2X, but it never happened, I just didn't have the time or knowledge to do so.
Personally I think LJ (PC) is fine the way it is (short of me still *severely hoping* that #0096 listed in LJ's Bugs.txt will be re-implemented in the game).
One can easily change almost the entire look of the game via skins, thereby having an instant "facelift" -
Same. I personally found it extremely convenient having the ability to change these things in-game, even if I don't touch the options often enough. It's nice having them there when you do need them on that rare occasion. It's a peeve of mine to have to alter an external config file to get the game to do what I want. Certain options in Heboris require this and it's just a tad annoying to have to quit the game, scroll through the long config file to make a change, and then relaunch the game to test. In a game like Lockjaw, in which customization is the premise, I think hiding features away is not the way to go. I imagine a well organized options menu would be better.
Agreed 100%, I've mentioned this before as well -
1. Please make background black.
2. And the ghost piece should be alot darker.
The I block blends in wayyyyy too well.
Please make these for the DS version too.
There are "faint colour" (50%) and "fainter colour" (25%) options. Other than that, you probably need to think about the block images file.
Lockjaw could definitely benefit from (skinnable) "pixel fonts" to give it a more polished, arcade-y look. The truetype fonts have a lot to do with why it's an ugly, ugly game
The fonts in lj.dat are bitmap fonts, just rasterized from the original TrueType (called DejaVu LGC, the same font used for the game's logo) and slightly edited. You can look at them using Allegro Grabber from allegro.cc.
But how would you propose making a proportional bitmap font skinnable? I could allow users to specify a large and small font to load based on the format used by the Allegro font loader, but Allegro was never intended to treat fonts as UGC. The Allegro font loader has tended to crash the program (not just return a result code for failure) if a font is malformed.
it would be cool if lj kept track of records, with leaderboards for each mode that would appear after a game over.
yes yes, my mistake. I just found it. Thanks
Well, perhaps write a routine that checks the integrity of the font before loading it? Or program an external tool that takes a folder full of bitmaps (one for each character) and converts them into allegro's format, ensuring "font skins" are always valid? A simple GUI app could help with previewing the tileset and opening each character file in an editor to simplify font creation...
Alternatively, create your own format along with a printf() wrapper function (or a more elaborate C++ equivalent)... But that might be overkill...
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