Gameplay footage

Hi all! ūüôā

As the title of the post already suggests, it will be a quite unique one. Instead of a picture, I am starting it with a video:


Since during the last week, I solely concentrated on making the game completable, I don’t really have any code to show you now. I mostly did fixing of array indexes (since Pascal’s indexes usually start at 1, and C’s first indexes are always set to 0) and polishing already existing (thanks to the PtoC conversion) functions.

Now there are 23 fully working rooms (what I showed you in the video) out of the existing 34 of them. I think it’s a pretty good percentage:¬†68%.¬†
If everything will go as planned, I’ll soon have a completable (and mostly bug-free :)) game. After that I’ll implement the drop-down menus, what are still missing. (I postponed their implementation because they are not essential for playing the game, as you may see in the video, you can also do everything with the command line.) After that, in the remaining time, I’ll work on renaming and commenting my code, so I think that the main menu, the help section of it, the sounds, some animations (mostly death animations) and the missing mini-games will remain for after GSoC.
But I’ll do my best and we’ll see what will come out of it. See you soon! ūüėČ

Saving/loading and a little mouse

This screenshot not so flashy as my previous ones, and don’t show you much of the actual game, but I think it ¬†still looks pretty decent. ūüôā

After I arrived from my short vacation, my plans were precise: first implement the handling of the mouse, and then the drop-down menu. With a little purposeful nudging from Strangerke, I decided he is right again when he advised me to implement the saving and loading in the engine right after the mouse, so I can make the game completable as soon as possible. I took his advise and you can see the product of my work in the picture. True that the drop-down menu is still not working, but I think it can wait a bit more.

As I mentioned before, I started with the mouse. In truth, there wasn’t much to do since the game doesn’t have a pathfinding system or anything like that. Avvy just blindly follows the mouse on the screen until he collides with a¬†“magical” line, or if you tell him to stop. In fact there are a lot of ways to do so: you can control Avalot with the keyboard, the mouse, and even with the little compass on the left part of the toolbar on the bottom. Practically, that covers almost everything I had to do with the mouse: moving around the main character with the help of it, accept scrolls by clicking on the screen, replace the cursor of the parser by clicking on the desired position and activate functions by clicking on their icon on the toolbar. These are implemented in Lucerna::checkclick() which you can check out¬†here. Lucerna::verte() is the function responsible for guiding Avvy around on the screen.

The second and more tricky part of my week was spent with the saving/loading system. After a couple of hours of killing Strangerke’s and fuzzie’s brains with my stupid questions and fighting myself through¬†these tutorials¬†and reading a lot of code in¬†Hugo¬†and¬†Mortvielle, I finally got a solid footing where I could start from. Practically, I copied or mimicked a lot of code in Hugo regarding the use of the GUI, but the implementation of the actual saving and loading came from Mortvielle by the use of¬†Common::Serializer. This precious little thing gave me a lot of help during the implementation which was mostly done in¬†AvalancheEngine::synchronize()¬†by giving me a very pure and simple interface to work with.
After that I implemented various advanced engine features such as loading from the launcher and the displaying of thumbnails on the save and load screens. My last concern was adding some version control to the system and here we are: all working and done!
By the way, ScummVM has a very convenient and friendly API for developers to include these advanced features, and it was quite a pleasure to work with it as you may see for yourself if you take a look at the tutorials I mentioned before.

Next aim: a completable game. See you soon! ūüėČ


Those connected to speaking!

And I subtly showed you an entirely new (and working) room of the game! Hah!
I am writing this post because I am leaving for three days tomorrow and I’ll only come back Thursday night at best (but Friday morning is more possible). So let me sum up for you the progress of the past few days now!
First and foremost let me talk about the thing which needed the most work: the speech bubbles.
In truth, the actual drawing of them wasn’t really hard. ::Graphics::Surface::fillRect() and Graphics::drawdrawPieSlice() did the most of the work. The thing I had to implement was the “tails” of the bubbles. For that, I introduced a new function, Graphics::drawTriangle():

void Graphics::drawTriangle(::Graphics::Surface &surface, Common::Point *p, byte color) {
 // Draw the borders with a marking color.
 _scrolls.drawLine(p[0].x, p[0].y, p[1].x, p[1].y, 255);
 _scrolls.drawLine(p[1].x, p[1].y, p[2].x, p[2].y, 255);
 _scrolls.drawLine(p[2].x, p[2].y, p[0].x, p[0].y, 255);

 // Get the top and the bottom of the triangle.
 uint16 maxY = p[0].y, minY = p[0].y;
 for (byte i = 1; i < 3; i++) {
  if (p[i].y < minY)
   minY = p[i].y;
  if (p[i].y > maxY)
   maxY = p[i].y;

 // Fill the triangle.
 for (uint16 y = minY; y <= maxY; y++) {
  uint16 x = 0;
  while (*(byte *)_scrolls.getBasePtr(x, y) != 255)
  uint16 minX = x;
  uint16 maxX = x;
  while ((*(byte *)_scrolls.getBasePtr(x, y) != 255) && (x != 639))
  if (x != 639)
   maxX = x;
  if (minX != maxX)
   _scrolls.drawLine(minX, y, maxX, y, color);

 // Redraw the borders with the actual color.
 _scrolls.drawLine(p[0].x, p[0].y, p[1].x, p[1].y, color);
 _scrolls.drawLine(p[1].x, p[1].y, p[2].x, p[2].y, color);
 _scrolls.drawLine(p[2].x, p[2].y, p[0].x, p[0].y, color);

It’s clearly not the most optimized, nor the smartest code, but for now, it’ll do. The operation of it is quite simple: First, we draw the borders of the triangle with a marking color. (255 is as good as any number bigger than 15, since our EGA palette supports only 16 colors.) After that we search for the highest and the lowest point of the triangle, and moving from the top to the bottom, we go trough every relevant line of the screen and fill the selected parts of it with the color of the shape. In the end, we redraw the borders – now with the desired color.

Finished with the implementation of it, the next thing I had to pay attention was the printing of the characters to the bubbles. Since the original code used Pascal’s outtextxy(), I had to come up with something to replace it as accurately as I could. As a solution, I introduced¬†Graphics::drawText():

void Graphics::drawText(::Graphics::Surface &surface, const Common::String &text, fontType font, byte fontHeight, int16 x, int16 y, byte color) {
 for (byte i = 0; i < text.size(); i++)
  for (byte j = 0; j < fontHeight; j++) {
   byte pixel = font[(byte)text[i]][j]; 
   for (byte bit = 0; bit < 8; bit++) {
    byte pixelBit = (pixel >> bit) & 1;
    if (pixelBit)
     *(byte *)surface.getBasePtr(x + i * 8 + 7 - bit, y + j) = color;

It’s a very simple function, which’s only purpose is to draw the given text with the given font to the given place on the given surface with the given color. (GIVENGIVENGIVEN!!!) It works like that: in font (which has the type of fontType), we store a mask for every character. The function simply search for every character’s mask in this array, and then using that, the coordinates and the color, draws the picture of the character to the surface. Passing the height of the font is needed, because Avalanche uses 3 types of font and 2 of them has the height of 12 (used on the scrolls), but the third one (used on speech bubbles, the drop-down menu and the text input field) is only 8 pixel high.
Using these two functions it was super easy to implement the speech bubbles, I only had to center the texts a little bit in Scrolls::bubble().

Besides these improvements, I managed to implement a lot of the game logics, so now the first 4 rooms of the game are complete and playable, all the NPC-s on these screens are fully functioning, and everything is basically very fancy. I could even make Spludwick (the mage on the screenshot above) follow Avvy around the room as in the original game.

That’s all for now! I hope next time I will be able to tell you about how I managed to implement the handling of the mouse in the game and I am planning to get done with the drop-down menu right after that. See you soon!


They are everywhere! Just like in this picture:

As you can see, there are two significant alterations since my last post: an error message on the screen in the embrace of a scroll, and the hands of the clock. Let me start with the former!

The complete “scrolldrivers” are not implemented yet, and at the moment my engine only can display these gray scrolls with black (mostly error) messages in them. Later, with the handling of multiple sprites on the screen, there’ll come the speech bubbles, since they have a very similar algorithm.
My idea to implement the scrolls was quite simple. I introduced a new surface object (Graphics::_scrolls) which I use like this: When a scroll is needed to be drawn, we copy the whole screen to _scrolls (which obviously has the very same size as the screen, 640×200), then draw the scroll to this copy (it’s method depends on the type of the scroll – currently the engine only supports this one) and do the followings:

::Graphics::Surface temp;
 _vm->_graphics->_surface.copyFrom(_vm->_graphics->_scrolls); // TODO: Rework it using getSubArea !!!!!!!

 Common::Event event;
 while (!_vm->shouldQuit()) {
  if ((event.type == Common::EVENT_KEYDOWN) && ((event.kbd.keycode == Common::KEYCODE_ESCAPE) || (event.kbd.keycode == Common::KEYCODE_RETURN) || (event.kbd.keycode == Common::KEYCODE_HASH) || (event.kbd.keycode == Common::KEYCODE_PLUS)))


I hope the code speaks for itself clearly enough, but if it does not, here’s a brief explanation: We make a backup for the actual screen, then draw the content of _scolls to _surface, and put _surface’s new content to the screen using Grahpics::refreshScreen(). After that we enter an (almost) endless loop, which checks for keyboard input, and if the user hits the proper key, we stop presenting the scroll: we copy the original content of _surface back. I don’t call refreshScreen() again here, since the main loop of the game will does it anyway.
After I talked about the methodology of the scroll system, let me say a word or two about the drawing of this particular type of scrolls. It all happen in¬†Scrolls::drawscroll(). The gray body and the red borders of the scroll were easy enough, they are just simple ::Graphics::Surface::fillRect() calls with the proper parameters. Putting the text on the scrolls was a very easy task as well, since it’s almost completely the same as I used previously in¬†Dropdown::chalk(). The real pain came when it was time to draw the corners of the scrolls. For that, I had to reimplement Pascal’s procedure arc(), since ScummVM doesn’t have anything like that. For that, I used¬†Free Pascal’s¬†InternalEllipse()¬†with some minor modifications. Basically, it does the very same under the name of Graphics::drawArc(). After implementing that, I could also recreate the behavior of Pascal’s pieslice() in Graphics::drawPieSlice() calling drawArc() multiple times with smaller radius every time than before. (As always, you can check out both of them¬†here.) With the use of these two I was able to implement the drawing of this type of scroll fully.

Right after that came the idea: Why not hit two birds with one stone and implement the clock as well? I tried to work around the use of Pascal’s arc() in this case before, but the result was¬†catastrophic. Now I¬†have¬†Pascal’s arc() in C++! Why not try again? So, the trying went very well as you may see. But because the drawing of the clock used the full functionality of arc() (which in Pascal stored the coordinates of the end point of the arc in a variable, which was accessible with¬†GetArcCoords()), I had to add a return value to Graphics::drawArc() which presented the very same value as GetArcCoords() did in Pascal. After that it was very easy to implement the hands of the clock. You can see the final functions for yourself ¬†in¬†Graphics.