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Messages - lirmont

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Tethical / Re: Installation instructions
« on: Today at 08:36:31 AM »
Yes, that was my plan. The current plan is cutting that to 1/10th of what I wanted to accomplish, aiming for just $2000, but also providing a playable tech demo related to sRPGs (working on this now), open access for the Kickstarter campaign month to the three tools I've written (the Sprite Animator, Unicode Font Tool, and the Sprite Remixer), a playable demo related to card games (done), and a youtube channel filled with videos that introduce or further explain the claims I make about what the engine can already do (mostly done; Assuming that goal is even reached, more things from the original plan will be incorporated as stretch goals are reached. I'm taking longer to do the planning than I originally said I would because I don't want to have any regrets about this next campaign. If it's not successful, I have to walk away from the project and return myself to the job market.

Tethical / Re: Installation instructions
« on: Today at 01:13:34 AM »
The IRC thing and the online demo (which requires running the server as a web application) was something Kivutar was offering back in 2012. He's still tangentially involved in the project, but I think the general lack of interest in such an IRC channel and the online demo may have contributed to his decision not to maintain it. This website (FFH), as far as I understand, is available in part because of him, though, and I've been developing that code since then. There will be a playable tech demo soon, but it will be standalone (rather than something played online).

Tethical / Re: Installation instructions
« on: April 18, 2014, 04:30:12 PM »
That .p3d file is just the files located here wrapped up into a bundle:

You'll need the Panda3d Software Development Kit (SDK) and Python 2.7 (though Panda3d's SDK comes with a pre-configured python shell called ppython.exe). That can be found here: Python 2.7 can be found here:

The two files you'd want to run (i.e. double-click) are located at /server/ and /client/

Note that you may need to make a file like "panda3d.pth" in the Python27 installation folder (or you can put it in /Python27/Lib/site-packages) for Python to find it:
Code: (pth file) [Select]


Tethical / Tethical Channel Trailer
« on: April 13, 2014, 11:44:07 PM »
Channel Trailer

Switch to high-definition to see how it looked on my screen.



First, I want to thank everybody who's contributed sprites to this website over the years; this video would have been a lot harder without you. In many ways, this is a culmination of my own efforts, too. While, yes, they've been used to super-impose Twitter into an sRPG context, at least that can be done in a straightforward manner now. Earlier in the development of this engine, we were suggesting that you just replace whatever character you want with a special symbol. That means you might have typed "A" for the Twitter logo to show up. Now, you can just type an appropriate Unicode symbol, like the "Bird" (U+1F426; 128038) in "Miscellaneous Symbols and Pictographs" (U+1F300 - U+1F5FF). You can also properly comply with Twitter's somewhat meticulous guidelines for using their logo, too. That would have been a nightmare before when one font took a whole day to make! Now, the Unicode Font Tool can spit out huge fonts with a variety of colors and variants without too much effort from a user.

And the styles available might even turn out really good-looking, too!

And, for that rare occasion where I decided to actually paint on a sprite:

Thanks for watching!

Spriting / Re: Choto's maybe sprites
« on: April 09, 2014, 01:21:04 AM »
Those arms are pretty damn convincing. I feel like maybe the left arm is swinging out when it should be swinging in on its farthest back frame. I know you mentioned flashing; that left hand looks disconnected when it's behind the body. I think everybody who knows who Umaro is would recognize it immediately.

General / Re: Someone sent me this scary story
« on: April 03, 2014, 11:12:38 PM »
I am intrigued. What are "tree droppings"? Also, do people still call their friends? They'd probably text.



It's late, you know you should have left the party a bit earlier, but you needed one last drink. You didn't drive because your friend's house isn't too far from your apartment. You came alone; thus, you leave alone. The party was a blast, and you had a big, intoxicated smile on your face as you hugged everyone and exited to the street.

The street was unusually dark due to the street lamps being out, and this area never had a high volume of traffic anyway: so it's just you — alone.

You walk at an even pace, adjusting yourself to the brisk night air and hoping to not look too drunk to a roving police officer with a quota to meet. Your street is narrow with thick foliage on either side. It's often referred to as "Horror Highway" on the account of it looking so stereotypically horror movie-esque. That thought was unsettling at the moment, so you pushed it out of your mind by the thinking of the cute person who you finally got the courage to approach to ask for their number.

You feel a slight chill. You have on your favorite sweater, so you still feel okay. The alcohol is warming your blood as well. Your beloved iPod was lost last week, so the night air and autumn leaves rustling are the only sound track of your walk. Just as you begin to sing your favorite song in your head, you think you hear something... a slight pitter-patter, like footsteps. Looking behind you, you see nothing but the blackness of the night and tree droppings. Turning around, you feel silly: "You're drunk," you say to yourself... but you hear it again! Pitter-pat-crunch! Pitter-pat-crunch! — Footsteps in the leaves! You turn again. No one is there, but you aren't quite sure this time. Time to pick up the pace.

What could it be? Another party-goer? No, they would have called out to you. A deer? Possible, very possible. The more possibles right now, the better to calm your nerves. It seems that this walk is strangely long; the street stretches far in front of you as your feet move in slow-motion. Now you wish you drove tonight.

It only took a minute for the sound to come back again: pitter-pat-crunch, pitter-pat-crunch. It was closer than the previous two times. You stop this time and swing all the way around! The sounds stop, but you see something very vaguely in the darkness, something almost invisible. A nondescript figure is behind you, and, for a quick second, you wonder how long it's been behind you and how you'd missed it before. It didn't move. Neither could you for a second, but you quickly got your wits about you, turned, and began to jog: you have to make it home! The sounds began, and your worst fear was realized: it was chasing you! Crunch! Crunch! Crunch! You found yourself unleashing speed and strength you hadn't called upon in years and ran for your life. Is it a robber or killer? No time to think, just run.

Finally, you make it to your door, and you jump up the stairs to your apartment, tripping on the top one. Keys already in hand, you hurriedly unlock your front door. The crunching had stopped, but you didn't care as you slammed and relocked your door, collapsing on the couch after. It probably was a neighborhood kid messing with you or a stray animal you surmised, adrenaline wearing down now. You sigh with relief and begin to check the rest of the rooms and windows in your apartment. Check. Check. Check. All clear. You're alone.

Heading up to bed, you ponder what had happened: were you drunk and imagining things? You consider calling your friends, but its too late, and you are too tired: it can wait. You slip off your clothes, and you get into bed with only a slight bit of fear left. Snuggling deep into that comfy bed of yours, slowly being over taken by sleep...

"I'm so very glad that you didn't find me. You wouldn't understand, — they never understand — and it makes me... It makes me have to do something drastic. The deep morass of solitude is unforgiving and harsh to ones like me... the ones deemed 'mentally unfit'. They don't understand my needs — they don't understand... They don't — they don't — they don't! But you do... Even if you don't know you do. I love watching you sleep — I love you... you are mine.

"Rest easy, you are alone... with me.


FFT+ / Re: [April fools joke status: Denied]
« on: April 02, 2014, 02:38:45 PM »
It didn't have enough King Ali, the rapper.

Tethical / Re: Name Entry State, Multi-Language Support
« on: March 05, 2014, 05:44:40 PM »
Yes. If you look at the concept-driven lore video, the larger text goes through a simple parse process, and only the part of the text that's shown is appended at any given time. During that process of appending text, there will be a hook into the "Where is this character's data in the requested super-font?" There's already a hook into which "text property". It's just replacing that call with a call to the new "Which text property and part is the requested character in".

Those emoticons are part of the Unicode standard. Their chart is here: Emoticons (other charts). They're that size in this font because that's the only size they looked good at in the free font I found that had them. Nothing stopping anyone who actually wants people to be able to use those from providing base images that look good with the rest of the font. As you can see from the video, they still exist within the line height of the default font (which means they overlap). To make it look right, you could also just make a font that large to begin with (in which case, everything would be that size and have an appropriate line height).

Tethical / Name Entry State, Multi-Language Support
« on: March 05, 2014, 12:41:08 PM »

7 colors. 3 variants. 968,730 embedded images. 2.1 gigs of exported fonts from ~15MB of descriptions + base images (managed by the Font Tool). Also, support for modern Arabic. You literally have no excuse not to support other languages if you can afford or arrange for someone to translate your stuff.

Longer video (~30min): here

Tethical / Re: Plan for Difficulty and Story "Battles"
« on: February 21, 2014, 05:38:49 AM »
Again, I have to stress that it's never about what but how you do things. If your story dictates that a character must die, that character will need to die, whether it's by the player's hands in battle or by some story action. Obviously, when planning such a thing at the design level, you might put in a story branch that predetermines the outcome to the player killing the target if you're hellbent on bloodlust as a designer. However, what really changes if an enemy general is killed? Does that army not have a chain of command to fall back on? Is their military complex hinging on that one character? Sure, we'd like to think one person can make the difference, but the story isn't about the general's actions unless they're a secondary character or a primary antagonist. In which case, you'd make a story branch or resolution, but it's crazy to suggest they're all so important that this system would need to branch that much to stay in line with the story. They may be alive or dead, but, again, unless that aspect is in stark contrast to your story, you don't need to create a story branch. I don't know if you looked at the conversation code for events that I detailed elsewhere on this board, but you can ignore a character's lines or a whole conversation depending on some condition (like PlayerName.IsAlive), and this could certainly be used to put a new general into the mix.

Brute force isn't always an option at higher difficulties. In fact, losing and retreat are always options, since you won't always be able to win by just throwing all your troops until everything is dead at higher difficulties. I find it hard to believe that no one, over the course of the entire game, would look at a main character's actions, have the resources to plan to appropriately defend against the character, and then simply not do that.

As for lacking the quality of fun because of choosing the "most efficient" route, that really says a lot about the player. Maybe they just shouldn't be playing games? You'd really poison everyone every single time if it was faster (and the condition of access to a water supply was met)? Even if everyone in the game decidedly hated you and insulted you at every point (massive negative in Total Humanitarianism)? Maybe even the blackmarket people and domestic animals wouldn't want anything to do with you. The engagement here, by comparison, is that you're playing by a standard, instead of the bogus maniacal standard, "If it moves, it must die." However, most of the options can be achieved in the context of the battle system.

As for feature drift, this is a design to be part of an engine. There's no such drift in a game. There's just the choice at that level to decide what to include. If you don't want anything from this, you don't have to bother with it (force brute force and call your own formation screen state). Remember, the engine is state-based, and you control that, meaning you could have a game that never bothers to even call the battle state.

Offering different missions (re: mission variety) is not the goal of this system. If the story says, "The character takes over Fort X," then you're taking over Fort X; that's your mission. It's just how you do it that changes, which still falls into the context of the battle state, regardless of the option at the planning level. Let's say you try to negotiate, arranging a meeting on the field. When they invariably turn you away, you might think, "Oh, well, it's time to brute force my way in. I should have done that from the beginning." If they have the manpower (or gates that lock from the inside), you won't be able to accomplish the story goal. You'll need to retreat and pick from the options you have left. If someone gets frustrated that a game is "unfun" at this point, even though they're being engaged by the system to solve a critical thinking puzzle, then they can switch difficulties and devolve to brute force for the rest of the game (which strips out the critical thinking/tactics).

Example. The character takes over Fort X by...
  • brute force (single company).
  • concerted force (single company, but as many units as paid for).
  • pincer attack (2 companies).
  • back attack (single company).
  • ambush (2+ companies).
  • feint (2 companies).
  • clear and hold.
  • air strike.
  • decapitation.
  • box-in maneuver.
  • turtle maneuver.
  • cannon volley.
  • entrapment.

The sentence will still read basically the same way: The character takes over Fort X. Story branch before that if you want a different goal. Story branch after that if their choice of how somehow managed to be out of line with the story.

Tethical / Re: Plan for Difficulty and Story "Battles"
« on: February 20, 2014, 07:16:11 PM »
Well, it doesn't preclude you from using the standard "choose left or right" story branching in RPGs in general (such as Tactics Ogre had). Though, the way you play may need to be considered in what options you can pick, but I can't think of any off the top of my head. I mean, is it suddenly physically impossible for a "bad" person to do what a "good" or "neutral" person might?

As for overhead, the way I see this playing out is that standard difficulty offers you only the brute force tactic (because you don't need anything else to win the game). Because of that, you don't even need to see the planning screen if you're not making a change to anything else, and so maybe a setting can be used to ignore it completely. If you find planning (re: clicking through a list of options that have relevance to colorful geometry) tedious, then that would let you not do that step.

Tethical / Re: Character Generator Proposal
« on: February 20, 2014, 03:23:49 PM »
In my opinion, there's really only two scenarios you want to avoid. First, you want to avoid attaching things that are long enough to cross from the foreground into the background. Second, you want to avoid drawing the item separate from the actual pose. I'm sure some people are good enough to get the angle right, but it's easy to mess up, especially if you're using the illusion FFT's sprites use.

Tethical / Re: Character Generator Proposal
« on: February 20, 2014, 08:11:05 AM »
I'd say it's negligible, unless you start having lots of parts on-screen at once. There are things realizing images won't do for you. For instance, you don't have the ability to rotate/resize an image in-between pixels since you're in a 2d, integer-based space. A graphics card operates in a 3d, decimal-based space, and it can do that stuff. That's probably not a concern you'd have, though.

Let's say you want to provide head-swapping via this method. What I'd suggest based on what I've seen of Mobius' goals is to follow a multi-step process for this. First, he'd just do a connected sprite for a class (re: each frame is realized right there in the image); this is the standard class sprite. Second, someone else would have to manually separate the head and the body into two different sheets. Third, you'd need a pool of other mostly empty sprites that just include heads. Now, you can just put the two sprites together.

Let's say you want to build that feature right into the sprite format (re: with the Sprite Animator). Add a named attachment where the face should be on all the composite frames. Attach whatever face you want (from an image that just contains 1 face). That simple. It even has support in the engine so you could equip expressions (like an item) that map out to face image files, and it'll change out. It's a very interesting feature.

Tethical / Re: Plan for Difficulty and Story "Battles"
« on: February 20, 2014, 07:52:16 AM »
It's more simplistic than it sounds, because it's not about what you do at a macro-level; it's about how you do it on a micro-level. What you do is determined by the narrative. For example, a common thing that Tactics Ogre had you do is literally takeover castles and forts. However, you had the choice to pick which entrance you attacked from. You also usually had the choice whether to just deal with the leader or to wipe everyone off the face of the planet (because cards and class unlock goals). Let's say a system like the one I've proposed provides the same goal and the same options.

Objective: Capture the Castle
  • Composite choice A: Attack castle from front, kill everybody.
  • Composite choice B: Attack castle from front, only kill leader.
  • Composite choice C: Attack castle from front, only incite leader to run away with damage.
  • Composite choice D: Attack castle from back, kill everybody.
  • Composite choice E: Attack castle from back, only kill leader.
  • Composite choice F: Attack castle from back, only incite leader to run away with damage.

So, to advance the game, you do one of those things. I'm just suggesting that a system be put into place at a local level and a world level to track your behavior so characters can react. Tactics Ogre even had something like this in the sense that characters on your team can choose to leave if you're not following what they want to do, but I'd also like to see it applied to the characters that don't and can't ever join your party. Imagine for a moment that the player chooses choice C. Shouldn't what happens next have the possibility of being at least a little different than choosing choice A or choice D? And furthermore, shouldn't people in the world near that area treat you differently for said choices? I think they certainly should. Again, if you go slaughtering everybody to take over not just one castle but several in the area, who in their right mind would sell you weapons? You probably killed someone related to someone they know if the body count gets high enough. You would need to buy your stuff elsewhere or commission to have it made, instead of the silly grocery-store approach, which I seriously doubt could field an actual request of 99 swords, 99 armor, 99 magic spells, etc.

Let me take it back to some of the other options I've talked about. Say you pick choice A or D, to ameliorate some of the negative vibe you make around yourself, you might pick the choice, "Respect the Dead". To enhance the negative vibe, you might pick the choice, "Disrespect the Dead". People in the game would behave accordingly. Code for that choice could be a simple number check against a composite score (or grade) as a whole or for a specific category. For example, you've been a marauder for the whole local area, and your score for the "Local Humanitarianism" category is -300. A shop seller in that area might choose not to sell weapons after -100, and they might all choose not to sell you anything after -250. Flipping that around, you could try a black market, since the black market sellers only sell after -150. However, they might even reward you with more vicious weapons at -300.

Tethical / Re: Plan for Difficulty and Story "Battles"
« on: February 19, 2014, 07:10:15 AM »
For me, most of the reason for providing a scalable difficulty (which yields you more options) is to either let you take the game seriously or not. Want to plow through content like a snow-plow? Brute force is all yours. Want to actually have the tools NOT to act like a raving lunatic? Up the difficulty, and make it happen.

As for a morality system, it's not there to judge you or to make a social commentary (like, "Woah! Did you just decapitate that guy?"). It would be there to let you express the actions your character might want to express (role-playing), and to have a means by which characters in the story can judge how they should behave. For instance, you want to play as a villainous person who really enjoys using poisons? This lets you do it. Want to play the archetype-style hero who would never stab someone in the back or do anything untoward? This lets you do it. Want to make a switch mid-game/mid-battle? There'd be nothing stopping you. It's not the "fall in line" approach Tactics Ogre used where you wind up on rails. It's more of a reality. Say your character has froofy hair and eggs a noble's house. You ought to be treated like you did that in-game (in-game people should red-flag you for being out of control). Say you drive a motor-carriage around town in a drunken stupor. You ought to be treated like you did that in-game (in-game people should think you're a spectacle and act accordingly). Now, having done either of those things, go try to buy weapons. The weaponsmith's answer to you should be, "No." Whereas, if you selflessly save the town or you buy weapons from the blackmarket, it's business as usual.

Tethical / Re: [UTILITY] Win32 Unicode Font Tool (
« on: February 18, 2014, 11:10:50 PM »
A Linguistic Goal & Tools to Achieve It

As a test, I wanted to show coverage for an important script (namely Han). First, a real word in a different language: google translate for comparison. Then I jokingly tried to transliterate my handle name to show I could pick the appropriate characters. I ended up with something like this: Liù rú mán tiāo. Hear google translate say it out loud: here. The faux-lation is just the meaning of each individual character strung together.

Type Anything. Copy Anything. Paste Anything.

Same Great Base Font. Brand New Skin. No New Work.

Type in Egyptian Heiroglyphs, Because It's the 21st Century

Check Coverage of Scripts (Languages Later)

Those were some pictures of how this program looks now. I don't have a stable release yet, though. Unicode is a beast.

Tethical / Re: Plan for Difficulty and Story "Battles"
« on: February 18, 2014, 09:19:18 PM »
I'm certainly not suggesting that a system like this be used to inundate a player with non-killing objectives just because it can be used that way. I'm just saying it's foul to have a game where you literally kill every last single thing, win the game without having lost one time (because that's the only way to do it), and then have no ramifications (remember all those characters you slaughtered to win?) at the end that reflect that reality. In that particular scenario, you could just factor the river of blood your player leaves behind into the story. However, that would be a terribly dark, unrealistic game, wouldn't it? So a different way of handling that is focusing on aligning plausible objectives with the story. That way you don't need to justify this ridiculous oversight, unless you want to turn it around into something that makes sense, like playing a bad guy who literally would kill practically everything. But then, you could even take that a step further and allow the person's character the ability to express psychopathies (like how I mentioned choosing to act in contrast to established religious beliefs; another example, how a horrible character, like Kefka, might poison an entire river).

As for actually choosing a tactic, that's too simple. You're literally planning the battle ahead of time in this system. Ever play on a sports team where you try to organize 4 or more other people after walking out onto the field? I seriously doubt that's a viable choice when your lives are at risk. Even more than that, you typically start out as an inexperienced player character (rather than some hardened battle veteran with a group of equally hardened professional mercenaries). This system also tries to line up with the reality of your goals a player (separate from the story). Maybe you don't want to lose units you've grown attached to. You can certainly choose to plan to avoid casualties ahead of time (ex. don't piss off people who aren't dead-set on fighting you, don't choose to make every fight a battle to the bitter end, properly support your team, etc). That doesn't preclude you from losing anyone, but it doesn't expose you to extra risk of losing someone either. Furthermore, there may be times when the story calls for the player not to have control over anyone else's actions but their own (like all of your group simultaneously disagreeing). A system like this is flexible enough to allow that, too.

Spam / Re: For all the lonely folks today...
« on: February 16, 2014, 02:35:33 AM »
There was no silver wig. We knew.

Spam / Re: For all the lonely folks today...
« on: February 15, 2014, 07:31:56 AM »
It's pretty clear she's just addicted to diamond dust. The amount she carries on her person is unsettling.

Spam / Re: For all the lonely folks today...
« on: February 15, 2014, 06:19:30 AM »
You know you can't trust anybody who has JPEG artifacts.

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