suggestions for remastered games

Hi all,

Here are a few suggestions after playing part of Jinxter and Guild of Thieves on iOS 9.x (iPod). Please, Hugh and Stefan, don't take them too seriously because I would never thank you enough for all the incredible work you already did.

For mobile games:

  • I would love to be able to zoom and pan in the graphics, just like I do for my pictures in the Apple gallery app (pinch...).

  • Same thing about the map: pinch for zooming. I know about the slider but it's not very handy on a small screen.

For all versions (not just mobile):

  • Welcome screens are... well... sorry but I don't like them. The 2D effects is very slow and ruin the aesthetics of the cover art. I'm a big fan of box art, they are even beautified by the Rainbird blue color around. I would love to be welcomed in your remastered games by the exact box art (with pinch zoom...) surrounded by that great blue. You could also add a smooth transition effect from the original to your remastered box art, and vice-versa...

  • Fonts from old computers: even if the font used in the remaster games is fine, I would love to play those games with the same fonts than 30 years ago. I can't explain why. Nostalgia speaking! The Amiga font and especially the beautiful Atari ST font, I guess they were special Magnetic Scrolls fonts...

  • CRT graphics look: already covered in this discussion.

  • Gameplay helpers are great, the map is just heaven. I suggest to make it more helpful for "modern" adventurers:

    • show unlocked doors in green, and locked doors in red (except when the "door" is not a real door and has to be found first... think about the wired fence).
    • show unexplored path with a dotted arrow pointing nowhere.
  • Other interesting helpers that may lower the difficulty of the games too much, but they would be cool for an easy-mode:

    • in the map, darken places where there is nothing more to do.
    • in the inventory, darken items which have already been used, and won't be useful anymore.

That's all for now :). Thank you again for allowing me to play my favorite adventure games of all time in a new way, and anywhere! I can't wait playing Fish! again...

-lonestarr

PS: the only bug I've found so far: the can (of worms) in Jinxter is not underlined

Comments

  • HI Lonestarr

    Thanks for all your suggestions. We're always looking for improvements and submitted ideas do get noted.

    Pinch and zoom graphics is something we've thought about. I'd like to make this work, definitely for the map. Now that some pictures are actually vectors, it would also make sense for the main pictures as well.

    The mobiles also have a "splash" screen. This is actually a loading placeholder. But the title screens with 2D effects are additional. I optimised those 2D effect as much as i can, but obviously it depends on the machine whether it's fast enough. Turns out we've done a lot of work to clean up the box images.

    Here's a cleaned up jinxter box image, for example:

    There are some retro fonts that we've added, I'd like to get versions of the Amiga font. There is already one of the Atari ST fonts you can select. But i think there were originally more.

    CRT effect is something I've started looking into. There could well be performance issues with this, but it would be an option.

    Regarding the map, yes it would be nice to add more information. We added shaded areas to show darkness and also if you drop something, it draws a little dot in the corner to indicate it. This helps you find things that you dropped, but unfortunately it doesn't tell you what they are. You can also click on locations on the map for "fast goto" which can save a lot of time.

    All suggestions gratefully received.

    Thanks!

  • I agree with @lonestarr, his suggestions are all great updates for the game!

  • Thank you very much for your answers.

    On my (old) iPod with iOS 9, I only see a black screen before this one:

    And it runs at 2 or 3 fps.
    I would prefer to see your cleaned up Jinxter box image, which is great by the way.
    Same thing about GoT. A full clean box art would be enough (and welcome), instead of a very slow dripple effect.

    About the Atari ST font, yes you provide Atari ST system fonts, and many other old computer fonts. It's a cool addition, but these are not always the font that the game used on those computers. The Magnetic Scrolls Atari ST font is very different for example from the system font. The Magnetic Scrolls Amiga font is more narrow, and is closer to the Amiga system font named Topaz, but that's still another font (mobygames is a great source of comparison of the different versions).

    Font color is different too. I like the beige color of original Magnetic Scrolls menu and font. For nostalgic gamers, like me, it would be great to have this kind of retro theme that tries to mimic each platform as close as possible (Atari ST, C64, Amiga, etc).

    Thank you for the tip about the dots in the map. I did not understand what they were. If you had pinch zoom to the map, maybe you could add a kind of text legend next to the dots! On desktop versions, a tooltip (with the item name) on the dots would do the job.
    The fast goto is very natural to use and I did find it by myself.

    Thank you again Hugh and Stefan for all your great work!

    -lonestarr

  • edited January 20

    Hi,
    the black screen at the start is indeed intentional. I know that many games show a splash screen there, but actually the Apple guidelines explicitely state that the launch screen must not be used for logos, splashes and so on. And since it is very easy to get your app rejected, the screen is simply blank. Perhaps we can be more adventurous about this in the future ;)

    Using the original fonts would be nice, but unfortunately we do not have the original platform dependend stuff like images, fonts,... And without that this is difficult. I tried to find out which fonts this might be, but were not successfull.

    Speaking about the ST: This often goes unnoticed, but especially on the ST the actual screen layout was quite spectacular. I think, Magnetic Scrolls were among the first to combine low-res and med-res into one screen. If you play in game in 80-column mode, you have a status bar in med-res, a 16-colour low-res image scrolling over another med-res text part. Actually you only had 4 colours in med-res mode. Perhaps the drop-down menus even used the normal ST med-res system-font, but the other text parts had a different font.

    Definitely not planned by the ST creators :)

  • A few months ago I played Guild and the game ended up in an unsolvable state wherein the bank would not open due to a missing 15 point item. I shared some savegames with Stefan who determined that the plectrum must have gotten lost somehow, but I couldn't remember how that happened. (Thanks for your efforts to track down the problem by the way.)

    I already suggested a treasure list feature in a separate thread to help with this kind of problem, but now I think a more general solution would be better. One of the great frustrations of classic adventure games is unsolvable game states because you destroyed, dropped or otherwise lost a required item.

    My idea, which would be complementary to what lonestarr already proposed, is a mode that prevents actions that would cause the game to become unsolvable, at least due to missing items. In that mode, if an action will erase an item, it would be aborted and you get a message like

    "You have the eeriest feeling that {action} would make it impossible for you to complete your mission."

  • Hi,

    We added the word "treasure" to The Guild, so at least you can identify it. But of course, that won't tell you which treasures you're missing.

    Unsolvable states is indeed a problem. It was worse for Jinxter. We've been calling these situations "dead ends". We made a lot of changes in Jinxter to try to avoid these states (disabled in classic mode). However, there are still probably many left we didn't find.

    Sometimes, these are too difficult to, because it would mean significantly changing the game. For example SPOILER ALERT...

    In Jinxter there were just too many cases where you could fail in the bakery. And when you do, either the bakery is exploded or the Baker does not let you back in. If you've failed to get the charm from the bakery you are cooked!

    SPOILER OVER

    Jinxter has a bit of an excuse in the shape of the Guardian. To fix many problems, we've made the guardian help you more. This workaround wouldn't work for The Guild, unless maybe the master thief helps you. But then he's not supposed to do that.

    I totally agree that dead ends/unsolvable states are a real problem.

    However, occasionally a really good idea pops up and we can put it in.

  • Hi,

    Thank you Stefan for the clarifications. I didn't know about the 80-column mode on the ST. I've always played in the common mode with wider fonts:

    Thank you too to Dsinclair and Hugh for your warnings about unsolvable states. I didn't even know about them! It's indeed an important design flaw in the original games. I imagine either an automatic undo when such a "dead end" is detected, or a kind of "red alarm" icon that would show up and warn the player that he/she won't be able to complete the game if he/she continues...

    -lonestarr

  • @hugh said:
    Hi,

    We added the word "treasure" to The Guild, so at least you can identify it. But of course, that won't tell you which treasures you're missing.

    is this in 1.1.3.8 integrated?
    if i type treasure i got Are you talking to yourself again?
    t -> I don't understand t
    in Android and Windows

  • "treasure" is a noun set. So, for example, put treasure in safe will put just those items. Also drop treasure, look treasure etc.

  • aah, sorry, i totally misunderstood. I read sthg about a treasure list, to use it like INVENTORY, to see what treasures are already in the safe.

  • yeah that's what I was thinking when I proposed that addition.

  • Jinxter Spoiler ahead

    I can remember back in the day when I played Jinxter, with the mad gardener in the boathouse, if you didn't oil the runners before going in, he would hear you and not drop something? Memory may be failing a bit here; I can't remember what benefit you got or indeed if the game was solvable without oiling the runners, but that's definitely something these days which should be made explicit IMHO.

  • edited January 23

    yeah that's what I was thinking when I proposed that addition.

    :D
    maybe we can have that too? e.g. TREASURELIST
    For now I have a handwritten list in which I can see what treasure is in the safe. > @Dsinclair said:

  • @dave Yes, you are right about this possible dead end, but this is solved if you play in remastered mode. But I won't tell how ;)

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