GraLL - Take The Test (Update: 18th August 2007)

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nikki
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GraLL - Take The Test (Update: 18th August 2007)

Postby nikki » Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:22 am

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Website
Official GraLL Website

Overview
GraLL is a free 3d strategy/action game set in the future. Its in the style of Chips Challenge and Jumper 2.

In the year 2047, scientists all over the world are competing to make the greatest robot. One company, Gravity Systems, had come up with an idea never thought of before. They thought that a robot, shaped like a sphere, would have no chances of loss of stability, and would have extreme maneuverability. So, the scientists of this company started working on this idea, and came up with a working prototype by 2054. They named it GraLL, an acronym for Gravity BaLL. They carried out every sort of test imaginable, and yet the chairman was not satisfied. He wanted a mega test, a test no other robot would be able to pass through. So, the scientists got to work again, and got the test ready by 2065. This test was riddled with traps, doors, keys, acid, crates, enemies and a lot of other things. There was only one thing left to do. Put GraLL in there and see what it would do...

Use your skill and intelligence to guide GraLL through 30 action-packed tests as he avoids obstacles, solves puzzles, unlocks doors and does numerous other things in his quest to be qualified. Improve your score and compare it to others, and declare yourself the master of GraLL. GraLL needs to get through as fast as possible, and only you can help him.

Screenshots

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This herculean task wouldn't have been possible without your help, motivation and encouragement, and I thank you for it. There is one more way you can help: Spread the word. Tell everyone you know, email everyone you know, post in the forums you know. I don't mean spam, but tell your friend as a friend, for example, "Hey man! I've been playing this game, and I thought you'd like it.".

Have fun playing the game! Hope you like it! :) Comments and constructive criticism is appreciated.

Thank you for reading.
Last edited by nikki on Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:06 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby LostEra » Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:47 am

Downloading now. Thanks for all the work I know you've put into this. I've been following your thread because I enjoyed Chip's Challenge greatly and this looked like a lot of fun, too.

By the way, those screenshots look great!
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Postby nikki » Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:51 am

LostEra wrote:Downloading now. Thanks for all the work I know you've put into this. I've been following your thread because I enjoyed Chip's Challenge greatly and this looked like a lot of fun, too.

By the way, those screenshots look great!

Thanks! I used to play Chips Challenge a lot back when I was 7 years old. It was so much fun. I always wanted to make a game like it.

Hope you like the game!

I'm still wondering whether I should Slashdot this or not. :roll:
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Postby amroc » Fri Aug 10, 2007 5:37 pm

Watched the videos. Just downloading now :)

It looks great fun. Fantastic work!
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Postby nikki » Sat Aug 11, 2007 11:30 am

Thanks for the nice comments guys!

I'm out of town for 2 days, and I won't be able to surf the internet (I somehow got a connection now, but it wont be for long). So make sure you put up some nice comments by the time I'm back. :twisted:
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Postby jjp » Sat Aug 11, 2007 1:45 pm

I've got a bug for you - when I start the first test I first get to see the intro. Unfortunatly the last part of the intro doesn't go away. So I can't see the middle of the screen, what makes it a little hard to play ;)
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Postby Aiursrage2k » Sat Aug 11, 2007 2:26 pm

I ran into the same problem. Try changing the resolution to 600*800. It seems like sometime it works and other times it does not.

Make make the credits happen the first time you play (save a value to file) and give a button on the main menu to view credits.
Last edited by Aiursrage2k on Sat Aug 11, 2007 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Noman » Sat Aug 11, 2007 2:27 pm

I experienced the same bug as jjp. Only happened when i played in full screen tho.

My other issue is with the controls. I dont know if this is intentional or not, but turning is VERY slow, and sometimes the grall wont turn at all (lets say im holding right, it will turn a bit and then realign to wherever it was before)
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capture
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looks amazing

Postby capture » Sat Aug 11, 2007 3:07 pm

This looks amazing, is there a linux port?
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Postby Trosan » Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:10 pm

Nice game, great appearnce, nice interaction features! Brings back memories of good old Sokoban. ;)

Only thing that could be improved imho is movement/controls. I think the most annoying part is the acceleration. If it wouldn't be there (or at least not so noticeable) which means a rather linear speed, I think it would even be more fun. Just my two cents, still it's a great game!


Some issues I ran across:

On first start, it automatically selected "Rendering Device: Mobile Intel(R) 945GM/GU Express Chipset Family". A graphics card I don't have. :)

Also, same bug as jjp. But 800x600 seems to fix it, thanks Aiursrage2k.

The intensity for the brightness change (T/G) is a bit high. Pressing T shortly gives me a very bright screen, while pressing G shortly makes it completely dark out of a sudden. No fine way to adjust it (at least I can't get up the finger from the key so fast). ;)
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Postby PolyVox » Sun Aug 12, 2007 11:52 pm

Excellent work! I've completed the first 3 levels and have only died once. I'm sure it's gonna get tough pretty soon though if the preview was anything to go by!

I must say I'm extreamly impressed with how fast you seem to have brought this game together. Am I right in thinking your quite young? I didn't even touch 3D until I was 18 and now I see what you've produced!

That said, there are a couple of niggling things for you to fix in the first patch :wink:

1) As mentioned above it starts up with an invalid graphics card. Most likely you shipped it with the config file from your machine. I think if you just ship with no config then it autodetects first time.

2) The intro sequence explaining the story changes too slowly, and I didn't see a way to skip through the pages. Will I have to watch it again next time I play?

3) Because it was changing slowly, I Alt-Tabbed away so I could read the readme for the controls. This upset it a little bit as when I switched back it jumped through a couple of pages at a time. Hardly a critical problem, but not the kind of thing you notice unless your an end user...

4) Moement - I think it has imporved a lot since the beta version I tried. But as far as I can tell there is zero friction on the ice where as i feel there should be a little bit. And too much friction on the walls - it's quirte easy to gently touch them and then not be able to slide along.

But like I said, excellent work! The above are all small points and it's an otherwise great game :D
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Postby PolyVox » Sun Aug 12, 2007 11:57 pm

Ok, I just fired it up again and it turns out you can skip through the story pages so I take that back. Maybe you should put ""press any key to skip" or something in one of the corners.

However I then clicked on "New Game" and it deleted my previous progress without a warning dialog of any kind (though i realise now it warned me in the text I didn't read...). I know warning dialogs are often for stupid users but in this case that was me :D

Oh well, gives me a chance to try agin and see if I can get a score better than zero...
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Postby walaber » Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:26 am

I gave this a go, but for some reason the sphere was turning VERY slowly... so slowly that I couldn't play without being frustrated. I'm not sure what was causing it... any ideas? I tried both mouse and keyboard control.
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Postby nikki » Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:58 am

Ok guys, I'm back.

About the last story screen getting stuck, I can't understand how that happened. Never happened to me, neither did any of the testers tell me about it.

I've remembered the other points you guys have mentioned, and also some other points that guys on the GameDev forums have pointed out.

@walaber: You can use U and J to adjust sensitivity (its pointed out in the first level).

ps. GraLL's screenshot was 'Image Of The Day' on GameDev yesterday. I couldn't tell you because I didn't know. I didn't have internet.
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cool

Postby capture » Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:05 pm

GraLL's screenshot was 'Image Of The Day' on GameDev yesterday

Congrats on that.
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Postby Virion » Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:44 pm

GraLL's screenshot was 'Image Of The Day' on GameDev yesterday

I saw it :) Congrats.
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Postby Project5 » Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:47 pm

This is really well put together, and reminds me of marble madness. I love those types of games :-)

I was playing around with it, and noticed three things.

First, it would be really cool to have left and right strafe movement keys.

Second, I was testing the ice earlier, and found that it does have some friction; you do slow down on it. However, it ignores your movement when you're on it, so it's quite possible to enter ice sections at low velocity and become stuck on them such that you have to self destruct.

Speaking of destruction, one other thing that would be nice is a save state within a level, or maybe checkpoints, especially when there's some long block challenge at the beginning and then a timing one with spikes in the same level... get your timing a little off, and you need to repeat the long part again.

--Ben

edit: I can spell, really.
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Postby PolyVox » Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:57 pm

Wahoo, I finished Level 4. Died on Level 5 though...

I must say I'm very impressed with the block pushing puzzles - how do you manage to design them?
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Postby nikki » Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:53 am

PolyVox wrote:Wahoo, I finished Level 4. Died on Level 5 though...

I must say I'm very impressed with the block pushing puzzles - how do you manage to design them?

I first draw them on paper and then make them in the level editor (Blender). This way, I don't have to do too much meddling in Blender, and I also get a good idea of what to do before I start. For the block puzzles, I start out by adding a block, and then adding a few blocks around it in such a way that you have to push the other blocks before getting this one. I repeat this for few of the other blocks, and I add walls so that it becomes even more complex. I keep doing this a few times, and add a few changes after that until I'm happy with it. Then, I'll test the level, and fix things that are too tough or impossible.

And good luck on level 5. You'll need it. :wink:

Right now I'm working on fixing a few bugs, making the story screen skipable (you can press a key to go to the next screen), adding keyboard turning speed adjustment, and toughest of them all, allowing him to slide along walls. This last one is pretty tough, since he has infinite friction, so if I make him not stop, he'll go right through the wall! So what I have to do is take the normal of the wall, rotate by 90 degrees, find that component of his velocity and set his velocity to it. Well, I've done it now, but unfortunately, it doesn't work. :) When the new version is released, you just need to uninstall the old one and install the new ones. The saved game is retained.

EDIT: Yay! The slide-along-walls feature is working now. I'll test it for some time and upload the new version today.

Project5 wrote:However, it ignores your movement when you're on it, so it's quite possible to enter ice sections at low velocity and become stuck on them such that you have to self destruct.

Hehe... That's part of the fun. :)
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Postby nikki » Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:59 am

Update!
Ok, I've uploaded the new version. Check out the website and download it. If you already have the old version, then uninstall it before installing this one. If GraLL suddenly falls through the floor while playing, then tell me. :)

ps. Today is India's Independence Day!
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Postby PolyVox » Wed Aug 15, 2007 2:57 pm

I tried the new version and the controls are definitely an improvement. Sliding along the walls rather than stopping is much less frustrating and leads to a faster game. However, the falling through the floor thing is a real killer - I couldn't get through level 5 without it happening :(
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Postby nikki » Wed Aug 15, 2007 3:08 pm

PolyVox wrote:However, the falling through the floor thing is a real killer - I couldn't get through level 5 without it happening :(

I've been trying to fix it for a while and have given up (for today, at least). I'll see if I can fix it tomorrow. But it doesn't happen often, does it?

The old version had 196 downloads. Now all these people need to get it again. :roll:
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Postby PolyVox » Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:40 pm

nikki wrote:I've been trying to fix it for a while and have given up (for today, at least). I'll see if I can fix it tomorrow. But it doesn't happen often, does it?


Well for me it happened quite a lot, like I say I couldn't get through the level without it happening. There could be a couple of things going on here. Firstly it might vary between computers - perhaps depending on the rate the physics system updates or something like that? Secondly it seem to be triggered by hitting or sliding along the wall. But because your probably much better at the game maybe you don't hit the wall as often?

I've noticed all the levels (at least so far) are flat - maybe you can just prevent the ball going blow a certain z value?

nikki wrote:The old version had 196 downloads. Now all these people need to get it again. :roll:


Actually, on that note, maybe you should version the installers? Otherwise all the installer have the exact same filename... Also, maybe it's possible to just replace the .exe rather than downloading everything again? Maybe not, but just a thought.

Don't be disheartened, it's still a great game! And every game which is released commercially gets patched - it's just part of the process.
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Postby Jerky » Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:01 pm

nikki wrote:The old version had 196 downloads. Now all these people need to get it again. :roll:


How hard would it be to make a patch? (maybe just a small file with the new exe?)

Otherwise, great work. I had fun playing with this last night.
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Postby syedhs » Wed Aug 15, 2007 11:34 pm

I downloaded Grall, and I played the first few levels and I said.. not bad.. And being a curious person, I looked into the binary folders and notice that.. woot.. how come there are 2 scene managers here, octree & bsp.. and bsp is unusually large.. I mean really huge and cant compress well. Heh. I guess I should stop there.

Btw.. good job! Looking forward to finish all the levels.
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