Some feedback and suggestions

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Dr Gains
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Some feedback and suggestions

Post by Dr Gains » Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:20 pm

Hey Lewa, really digging this game so far. It has a simple clean play style. Looking forward to some harder, longer levels. There is only one thing I have to criticize, I think the surrounding scenery would look better looking like buildings instead of blocks. I don't really care for the hidden gems, but that's just me. The only small bug I've found is when you sometimes catch your knees on the top of a block you kind of clip up like it's just a step and instantly get top running speed regardless to your prior speed, it is however hard to duplicate and doesn't affect the game too much. One last point, that map editor of yours is beautifully done, the fact that you can play and edit on the fly is nice.

As for suggestions, I think an online ladder would be good, competition attracts people to keep playing. Something similar to the tempus jump server with Tf2 would be good. Here's what I was thinking so far:
[+] Spoiler
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing
If you would like some help with anything, I can a little. I know some general stuff with game maker including client server (only used 39dll.dll with gm8.0) or I could help make some maps, if you'd be interested in that too.

I've thrown up some celaria map runs on my YouTube channel and there's also the maps jump_bb_city and jump_attached that I made with hammer. If you or anyone else are interested in watching those.

Keep up the good work man
~Dr Gains
Last edited by Dr Gains on Tue May 03, 2016 10:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Lewa
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Re: Some feedback and suggestions

Post by Lewa » Wed Dec 09, 2015 6:13 pm

Saw your runs on youtube. Were pretty amazing.^^
There is only one thing I have to criticize, I think the surrounding scenery would look better looking like buildings instead of blocks.
More complex scenery would be indeed nice. But that comes also at a cost. First, any kind of slopes aren't possible due to the way the collision detection works. And second: Any type of complex geometry would mean that the loading times would also increase (and also the performance requirement.)
The very fast loading and geometry generation is something i would like to keep in the game. (+ it does have a distinct visual style this way.)
But: I'll experiment with the ability to load custom 3D models into custom maps. (If that works out, then you can build pretty much anything in the game.)
The only small bug I've found is when you sometimes catch your knees on the top of a block you kind of clip up like it's just a step and instantly get top running speed regardless to your prior speed, it is however hard to duplicate and doesn't affect the game too much. One last point, that map editor of yours is beautifully done, the fact that you can play and edit on the fly is nice.
The "stepup" of the camera can happen but i never encountered the instant speed increase of the character. Do you mean that you can instantly go from (as an example) 1Km/h to 80Km/h?
As for suggestions, I think an online ladder would be good, competition attracts people to keep playing. Something similar to the tempus jump server with Tf2 would be good.
Online Leaderbords will definitely find a way into this game. (The singleplayer maps for sure, custom maps maybe too, but it depends on how i run the servers.)
Currently, i haven't found a direct way to run server cheaply. There are multiple options available, but most of the time it doesn't make sense in terms of performance and/or most companies don't allow that in their general terms and conditions.
Leaderboards will be implemented as soon as i can iron out this problem.
If you would like some help with anything, I can a little. I know some general stuff with game maker including client server (only used 39dll.dll with gm8.0) or I could help make some maps, if you'd be interested in that too.
Thank you for the offer but i don't need help in that regard. :) The client already has multiplayer functionality built-in and the java based server is also fully functional (although it lacks a lot of basic features.)
If i ever need something, i'll do an announcement either here on the forum,the website or IndieDB.

#Base
Completion: 1
Bronze: 5
Silver: 10
Gold: 15
Platinum: 25
#Additional
10th: 2
9th: 3
8th: 5
7th: 7
6th: 10
5th: 15
4th: 20
3rd: 25
2nd: 35
1st: 50
#Titles
1: [rank title]
2:
3:
4-5:
6-10:
11-20:
21-30:
31-50:
And so on..
Is indeed a nice system. (For singleplayer, this can work out.) But i would love to translate such a system also into multiplayer.
So for the multiplayer mode:
Imagine that players play against each other on multiplayer servers (on the "official" maps or custom made ones.)
After each round (10-15 minutes) the player with the fastest time/highest points (depending on the gamemode) will be ranked against the other players and gets points depending on his performance.

The issue is that (at least in my opinion) there should be a system in place which also takes the current rank of the players into account. Like: If a new player plays better then a very experienced player (with a higher rank) then the new player will get more points for beating the more experienced player. An experienced player who beats another experienced player wouldn't get as many points.

If this wouldn't take the player rank into account, newer players would never be able to rank higher than older (experienced) players due to the time factor. (The sooner you start playing the maps, the more points you can gather.) Someone who starts later wouldn't stand a chance in getting a higher rank in multiplayer unless the experienced players stop playing. (so that they can catch up.) That's something i would like to avoid.

But then again, first i have to figure out how to host the servers. (Both financially and technically.) There are a lot of factors to consider.

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Dr Gains
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Re: Some feedback and suggestions

Post by Dr Gains » Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:55 am

Lewa wrote:
Dr Gains wrote: There is only one thing I have to criticize, I think the surrounding scenery would look better looking like buildings instead of blocks.

More complex scenery would be indeed nice. But that comes also at a cost. First, any kind of slopes aren't possible due to the way the collision detection works. And second: Any type of complex geometry would mean that the loading times would also increase (and also the performance requirement.)
The very fast loading and geometry generation is something i would like to keep in the game. (+ it does have a distinct visual style this way.)
But: I'll experiment with the ability to load custom 3D models into custom maps. (If that works out, then you can build pretty much anything in the game.)
I wasnt suggesting anything complicated, just sometime like a cluster of blocks like this:
Image
Lewa wrote: The "stepup" of the camera can happen but i never encountered the instant speed increase of the character. Do you mean that you can instantly go from (as an example) 1Km/h to 80Km/h?
Its rare, but there has been times where the speed went from like 70 to 84.60.
Lewa wrote:Online Leaderbords will definitely find a way into this game. (The singleplayer maps for sure, custom maps maybe too, but it depends on how i run the servers.)
Currently, i haven't found a direct way to run server cheaply. There are multiple options available, but most of the time it doesn't make sense in terms of performance and/or most companies don't allow that in their general terms and conditions.
Leaderboards will be implemented as soon as i can iron out this problem.
Lewa wrote:Is indeed a nice system. (For singleplayer, this can work out.) But i would love to translate such a system also into multiplayer.
So for the multiplayer mode:
Imagine that players play against each other on multiplayer servers (on the "official" maps or custom made ones.)
After each round (10-15 minutes) the player with the fastest time/highest points (depending on the gamemode) will be ranked against the other players and gets points depending on his performance.
[/quote]

For the server points being dealt out, I was referring to only getting a certain amount of points per map. So Platinum = 25 + the 1st place of the map server-wide = 50, Each map can at most give 75 points, thats it. When another player beats the last person in 1st, the 1st will drop to 2nd, and the new will take 1st meaning the original 1st place player will lose 15 points.

And, just an idea but, instead of having everything saved to MySql or something, would a server host allow your server to read/ write to an .ini file and have the stats ran off the server.exe?
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Lewa
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Re: Some feedback and suggestions

Post by Lewa » Thu Dec 10, 2015 8:35 pm

I wasnt suggesting anything complicated, just sometime like a cluster of blocks like this:
Ah, ok. Misunderstood that.^^ But isn't that already part of the level design? Or do you mean that the surrounding scenery should incorporate more complex shapes?
Its rare, but there has been times where the speed went from like 70 to 84.60.
I'll look into that.
For the server points being dealt out, I was referring to only getting a certain amount of points per map. So Platinum = 25 + the 1st place of the map server-wide = 50, Each map can at most give 75 points, thats it. When another player beats the last person in 1st, the 1st will drop to 2nd, and the new will take 1st meaning the original 1st place player will lose 15 points.
Ah, ok. That's a possibility. Although you then have to keep track of the exact number of tracks which are available and modify/alter the ranking and the points all the time. But i'll explore that more in depth.
And, just an idea but, instead of having everything saved to MySql or something, would a server host allow your server to read/ write to an .ini file and have the stats ran off the server.exe?
The problem is not MySQL or the read/write access to .inis, but the EULAS you have to accept/follow if you do host the server.
(Also, using MySQL or PostgreSQL for storing such data would be much more efficient anyway compared to simple .ini files.)

So what are the hosting options?
  • Simple HTTP Server (hosted by a third party company) with PHP and Mysql or PostgreSQL installed
    > Allows to store player information online, the possibility to store player made maps on the server and (to an extent) act as a master server for player hosted multiplayer servers.
    Problem: Most of the time their terms and conditions don't allow the website to use a lot of processing power (which will happen if you want to implement some server sided features which will take up processing power... Like the master-server.) I even read about a company wich canceled a contract with a customer because his forum (which was the only thing that was hosted on this server) took up "too much ressources." (and this was a small forum...)
  • Virtual Server - Same as the HTTP one with more possibilities. (A Root server but running on virtual hardware) But the same problem as mentioned above due to the shared/virtual server hardware.
  • Root Server - The best solution (which doesn't restrict you like the above mentioned options) but it is simply to costly.
  • Dedicated Server which i would operate from my home
    > Also a possibility but it is also risky (for me) in terms of security (exposing my IP) and my Internet connection isn't really suited for that. (Also my ISP might also not allow any type of serverhosting...)
  • Steam Servers > if this game will land on steam i might be able to take advantage of their servers. But as i don't have any (developer-)access to steam and i don't know when it will land on steam (if at all) i can't test this out.

    There is a lot to consider (especially financially). I'll figure something out as time goes on.

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Dr Gains
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Re: Some feedback and suggestions

Post by Dr Gains » Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:44 am

Hey Lewa, I might have stumbled on a couple answers for your server. An old friend of mine is also making an online game and he is using a Remote Server through Amazon Web Services. I looked around for it and it might be the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), its suppose to be free for 12 months, but I dont really know the pricing after that. Ive also been looking into Game Maker Server, which I believe only requires the client and that is connected back to GMS, you might be able to use that for a single player top time rankings, but I havnt been looking too far into that either.
Also, just a question, but I looked at another topic on this forum, and if youre just going to have connections through portforwarding whats the purpose of getting an outside server for Celaria? Master Server maybe?
Oh! And nice update by the way. Ive been busy and had only got to play Rise so far, diggin it. That Freecity time :L newbies are going to get headaches.. Havnt tried the map editor either but seems like you did a solid job. Going to make some nasty maps when I get my mitts on it. :)
Get involved in speedrunning Celaria and compete against friends and others at
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Lewa
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Re: Some feedback and suggestions

Post by Lewa » Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:02 am

Hey Lewa, I might have stumbled on a couple answers for your server. An old friend of mine is also making an online game and he is using a Remote Server through Amazon Web Services. I looked around for it and it might be the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), its suppose to be free for 12 months, but I dont really know the pricing after that.
I'll look into the amazon web services. Already heard a few things about it.
Ive also been looking into Game Maker Server, which I believe only requires the client and that is connected back to GMS, you might be able to use that for a single player top time rankings, but I havnt been looking too far into that either.
The problem with a game maker server is that it does require a working DirectX compatible GPU in order to run. Servers don't have that most of the time. Even worse is the fact that you can't utilize multithreading. But that's not a problem as i can use other languages/tools which are far better suited for that kind of thing. (Java, PHP, SQL, etc...)
Also, just a question, but I looked at another topic on this forum, and if youre just going to have connections through portforwarding whats the purpose of getting an outside server for Celaria? Master Server maybe?
Yeah, i probably have to correct that. You aren't going to need to portforward the game. (Only the PC which is running the java based server has to do it as he is the one who is accepting the incoming connections.) Although, the game is also using UDP for communication... (don't know if portforwarding is going to be an issue with UDP.) I'll check that.
Oh! And nice update by the way. Ive been busy and had only got to play Rise so far, diggin it. That Freecity time :L newbies are going to get headaches.. Havnt tried the map editor either but seems like you did a solid job. Going to make some nasty maps when I get my mitts on it. :)
The new maps are a bit harder. I followed a slightly different designphilosophy during the map creation. Wanted to see how the maps will be played compared to the other ones. :) Also looking forward for the custom maps. ;)

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Dr Gains
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Re: Some feedback and suggestions

Post by Dr Gains » Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:41 am

Hey Lewa, finally got my paws on the map editor, Ive found a small handful of bugs, though.
-First thing I want to share is this bug where you get to see like 2 images on your screen, I have no idea what caused this but it happened after I did a record run: http://i.imgur.com/epN7LGv.png
-Then there are 2 problems with the check points: If the check point is less than 1 unit wide, it will have troubles seeing you hit it. Ive also ran into a really annoying bug were you can clear a check point while only being around 4 or 5 units away from it. (This is begging to be a pain in the a* for my 4th check point (index 3)). I can pm you the map file if you want.
-Also, it seems like some functions either work only sometimes, or not at all. The delete instance keys (both Del and Backspace) wont do anything, maybe Im just missing something here but couldnt find anything in the tutorial on this... And I havnt gotten the set checkpoints button to do anything yet.

Ive also ran into 1 unique bug with the game. I started running on a wall of a block, think I mashed jump or something, then started to run alongside 90' of the wall on the same block. I cannot duplicate this though. :\

Besides that, everything seems to be working alright, I found the editor really hard to use for the first bit, then kind of got use to how it works. My first map should be done by the end of this week. Just need to fix checkpoint 4 and get a flawless run for platinum time.

Oh! Just a suggestion but could you maybe change how the gold, silver and bronze times are set, wouldn't mind some way to manually edit them. (With gold' minimum being higher than platinum and so forth.)
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Re: Some feedback and suggestions

Post by Lewa » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:45 pm

Hey Lewa, finally got my paws on the map editor, Ive found a small handful of bugs, though.
Finding bugs is good! Software always has bugs. And it's better to find them sooner than later. :P
-First thing I want to share is this bug where you get to see like 2 images on your screen, I have no idea what caused this but it happened after I did a record run: http://i.imgur.com/epN7LGv.png
You probably dropped to the goal from a high ledge? This grey/double image is a post-processing effect which happens after you hit the floor and don't use the roll. (Happens if you stun yourself.)
There was a bug previously where hitting the floor in the map-editor (as the player) and quickly switching to the editor view didn't reset the post processing effect. I though that i solved that bug, but it seems that it still persists. I'll fix that.

You can fix it by youself for the time being by switching into the player again (Enter key). This should reset the effect.
-Then there are 2 problems with the check points: If the check point is less than 1 unit wide, it will have troubles seeing you hit it. Ive also ran into a really annoying bug were you can clear a check point while only being around 4 or 5 units away from it. (This is begging to be a pain in the a* for my 4th check point (index 3)). I can pm you the map file if you want.
It may be that you were way to fast on the move and the collission detection "skipped" the checkpoint. (Were you using a yellow booster block?)
This can be fixed (it does require a bit of restructuring of the code though). It will be fixed in the next update.
But the thing with being 4 or 5 units away from the checkpoint is very strange... If you want you can send me the mapfile per PM.

-Also, it seems like some functions either work only sometimes, or not at all. The delete instance keys (both Del and Backspace) wont do anything, maybe Im just missing something here but couldnt find anything in the tutorial on this... And I havnt gotten the set checkpoints button to do anything yet.
Did you select entities in the scene? You can only delete entities which were selected by yourself. (Select entity with the right mouse button > press DEL to delete it.)
The checkpoint button does only work if you select multiple checkpoint blocks in the order you want them to be activated in the map.
So if you place multiple checkpoints in the scene (let's call them checkpoint A,B and C) and you want to reverse their order, you first have to select checkpoint C then B and then A. After that press "set checkpoint path" and the order should be reversed.

Both of those things work for me (just tested it). Or am i missing something?
Besides that, everything seems to be working alright, I found the editor really hard to use for the first bit, then kind of got use to how it works. My first map should be done by the end of this week. Just need to fix checkpoint 4 and get a flawless run for platinum time.
Yeah, the editor is a bit finicky at first. (I tried to make it as user friendly as possible... but there is still a lot of room for improvement.) But after you get used to it it works quite well.
Oh! Just a suggestion but could you maybe change how the gold, silver and bronze times are set, wouldn't mind some way to manually edit them. (With gold' minimum being higher than platinum and so forth.)
Yes, i'll add that option. :)

I'll try to add/fix all those things as soon as possible and release an update after that.

/Edit:
I just found out that the rotation of the player startpoint is being ignored in the editor. >.<
I'll fix that and update the open alpha v4 download file on IndieDB this evening. (As that's a crucial bug.)
I'll fix the rest this week as time goes by.

/Edit2:
I played around in the editor for a bit and found out that the collission detection for the checkpoints doesn't take the rotation of the block into account. This is why you can sometimes activate a checkpoint without even touching it... oh well...
I'll try to fix it as soon as possible and hopefully make the bugfix public this evening (alongside with the fix for the player startpoint rotation...)

/Edit3: Found the bug with the checkpoints in the code and fixed it. I'll update it today (and I'll let you know about that here on the forum.)

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Dr Gains
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Re: Some feedback and suggestions

Post by Dr Gains » Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:05 pm

Lewa wrote:You probably dropped to the goal from a high ledge? This grey/double image is a post-processing effect which happens after you hit the floor and don't use the roll. (Happens if you stun yourself.)
There was a bug previously where hitting the floor in the map-editor (as the player) and quickly switching to the editor view didn't reset the post processing effect. I though that i solved that bug, but it seems that it still persists. I'll fix that.

You can fix it by youself for the time being by switching into the player again (Enter key). This should reset the effect.
I didnt drop to the goal, but maybe a check point. Think I remember hitting Enter and that didnt do anything. I ended up just restarting the game.
Lewa wrote:It may be that you were way to fast on the move and the collission detection "skipped" the checkpoint. (Were you using a yellow booster block?)
This can be fixed (it does require a bit of restructuring of the code though). It will be fixed in the next update.
But the thing with being 4 or 5 units away from the checkpoint is very strange... If you want you can send me the mapfile per PM.
I wasnt moving very fast, like 40k tbh. Though I think now that it might just be check point rotation like you were saying.
Lewa wrote:Did you select entities in the scene? You can only delete entities which were selected by yourself. (Select entity with the right mouse button > press DEL to delete it.)
The checkpoint button does only work if you select multiple checkpoint blocks in the order you want them to be activated in the map.
So if you place multiple checkpoints in the scene (let's call them checkpoint A,B and C) and you want to reverse their order, you first have to select checkpoint C then B and then A. After that press "set checkpoint path" and the order should be reversed.

Both of those things work for me (just tested it). Or am i missing something?
Well I was definately doing the check points wrong, but I just ended up making all blocks white then purple again. As for deleteing blocks, Im pretty sure I was doing that right, not sure if I need to exit something first but it just wasnt working for me.
Lewa wrote:
Oh! Just a suggestion but could you maybe change how the gold, silver and bronze times are set, wouldn't mind some way to manually edit them. (With gold' minimum being higher than platinum and so forth.)
Yes, i'll add that option. :)
Alright wicked.
Lewa wrote:Edit: I just found out that the rotation of the player startpoint is being ignored in the editor. >.< || Edit3:
I honestly didnt get that problem. 0.o
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Re: Some feedback and suggestions

Post by Lewa » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:29 pm

I fixed the player startpoint rotation bug and the checkpoint rotation bug.
Just download the current version of the alpha v4 from indieDB. (i patched it)
http://www.indiedb.com/games/celaria/do ... n-alpha-v4
I didnt drop to the goal, but maybe a check point. Think I remember hitting Enter and that didnt do anything. I ended up just restarting the game.
Okeyy... that's strange. I'll look into that.
Well I was definately doing the check points wrong, but I just ended up making all blocks white then purple again. As for deleteing blocks, Im pretty sure I was doing that right, not sure if I need to exit something first but it just wasnt working for me.
Deleting should work fine. Maybe it's an issue with the keyboard? (Other keyboard layout?)

I'll look into all the other bugs during this week.
I honestly didnt get that problem. 0.o
I was able to reproduce that on the current alpha v4 download. Maybe it doesn't happen all the time. But i fixed it with the current patch.

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