Questions Regarding Hollywood

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Questions Regarding Hollywood

Post by ocean77 »

Hi there, folks! Hope everyone is doing alright.

I'm seriously wondering whether I just purchase Hollywood in the near future. I'm on Linux at the moment, so that may be the most appropriate version to go for. However, my programming skills are pretty much non-existent. I could emulate the Amiga and buy the designer along with it as all I really want to do right now is create a graphic interactive fiction novel of sorts and I am more of a visual type of creator. I know there are plenty of language option out there. But I'm pretty nostalgic about the amiga, and I always wanted to make a game for the system.

Do any of you have any advice or thoughts on the matter? Is Hollywood easy to learn? Is the Designer a good option for a graphic novel with simple animations, background music and sound effects etc?

Thanks for your time. :)

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Re: Questions Regarding Hollywood

Post by lazi »

Hello and welcome here!

Certainly there are a lot of options to choose for your project, but if you are here you have some feeling for the word 'Amiga'.
However Hollywood is not the optimal language for a classic Amiga, it could give a bridge to every system that have Amiga roots.
This bridge puts it above anything that you can reach on Linux, as far as I know. :)

How easy to learn Hollywood?
Certainly it depends on you, but to help you it has a very loose syntax, a well designed logical structure and a top-notch documentation.
The language is easy, but to make quality you have to put time and effort as with any other language or tool.

Running the Designer in emulation can be a real option. You can do an interactive graphics novel for sure with Designer. You can reach much
of Hollywood features with an easy to use interface and then run it on Linux or on other systems natively.

If you have no programming-skills as you described yourself, but interested in learning it at some degree, I can suggest you to check Hollywood itself.
It has some demo option that you can try, and if it fails to your flavour then you can move to the Designer direction.

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Re: Questions Regarding Hollywood

Post by Bugala »

Sounds to me like Designer is exactly what you should try, instead of Hollywood itself. If you dont have previous programming experience, then even to get to graphic novel level with just the language (and not just Hollywood, but any language), it is somewhat long way to go.

With designer however, you will be there very quick.

And best of all, whatever Hollywood has, you can use with designer. What I mean by this is, that you are able to write Hollywood code to your designer programs, and hence be able to do anything that Hollywood can.

Of course, main idea with designer is to use it as graphical designer software, but in case some element is missing, you can then turn to programming instead.

Depending what that missing thing is, it might be very natural, or not natural at all to do.

That lets say you want a rectangle that keeps moving to the direction that you move your joystick (this might actually be doable through graphic system, but im not sure, but for this example, lets suppose it is not graphic design doable).

In this case, you would first create rectangle.

Then you double click to change this rectangles name to for example "moving rectangle"

I am simplifying this a bit, but basically you go and click on that rectangle, and you will one way or other choose an option of "run code" where you can now write this code.

Now you will write in way of (not real code) "If joystick=left then move "moving rectangle" left, if joystick=right then move "moving rectangle" right...

And there you have it. Now you have a rectangle that keeps moving according to joystick movement.

Suppose you now want to do same thing to a circle. Well, you can just copy the code from this rectangle, and paste it to a circle and just change "moving rectangle" into "moving circle" for example, or whatever you named that circle.

This is one way how you can add code to designer projects in case something is missing from graphic functions that you want to do.

I havent used powerpoint much, but comparing my experience with Powerpoint vs designer. Powerpoint is sligthly easier to use, but not much, but Powerpoint also restricts you much. Designer gives you much more freedom and possibilities. I would even think that if Designer would be released by microsoft or something, it would perhaps even kill powerpoint, or maybe it would just be the next step from powerpoint for people who would want a bit more control on their projects.

While designer might be harder to start that powerpoint, it however becomes easier to do new things with designer than with power point. That lets take a three part example.

I want to make three buttons, which all make it go to different page. I dont actually know how to do that in powerpoint, but i suppose there is some menu option or something to make a button like that.

With designer, you first make for example rectangle, then you double click rectangle and choose for example "On mouse click" option. Then it gives you list of options what happens after "On Mouse Click" (as example, "run code"), from here you would choose "go to page" or something similar.

I admit, Powerpoint was probably easier.

Then part two. Lets do the same thing, but i want it to play some animation before it jumps to that new page.

With powerpoint, perhaps they have something like that, and it is probably behind some menu option that you have to figure out where to find it.

Now with designer, you already saw that "On Mouse Click" thing. Go back there, and before "Go to page" add another option of "Play animation", and now you have animation playing before going to that other page.

I suppose designer is winning this time.

Part three. I also want it to change variable "buttonclicked" to "true" so i can later check if that button have been clicked or not.

Im not sure if powerpoint can do that or not. I would imagine it can, but i have no idea from where, maybe some menu option again.
Well, designer, i again go to "On Mouse Click" place, and now i add third option there, which i could for example do "Run code" and write "buttonclicked=true", and it is done.

As you can see, with designer, all those three things all happened with same logic. And even if I am thinking of doing something i havent done before, and I am not even sure what it is called, i still know to go to "On Mouse Click" and then I just scroll through the options and see for example "hey, there is HIDE OBJECT command there, I guess i can use this to make something disappear from the page"

In the end, designer is quite simple to use, you just have to learn its working logic, which isnt that hard, but is not as easy as powerpoint, but what you lose in getting started, you will many times gain when it comes to situation where you want to do something you have never done before.
With power point it is to google how to do that new thing and figure what others call it, while with designer, as long as you have figured out the logic, it is easy to find how to do it.

And if powerpoint dont have that feature you are looking for, then you cant have it. With designer if some feature is missing, you can always use "run code" and get it done anyway.

I have done couple of Hollywood with designer tutorial videos. They are mainly aimed at teaching Hollywood coding, but it will anyway show you about designer too, especially the first video. However, those were done with older version of Designer, and new Designer added some very good new features to it, making it much better than the previous one in my opinion:
Tutorial 1:
Tutorial 2:
Tutorial 3:

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Re: Questions Regarding Hollywood

Post by zylesea »

Never used the designer myself. I guess it does make a good tool to build the daily bread part of a graphic novel game (levels with their multimedia content, interactions) but you'll probably come to a point where your games engine will have to do more complex things. And i guess then the designer comes to its limits.

And regarding Hollywood being easy to learn - from the languages I put work into it is by far the easiest. But to be honest it was only two¹ languages: C++ and Hollywood. C++ was too tough for me as an occasional programmer (well, not necessarily C++ itself, but digging deeper into the AmigaAPI _and_ .NET/MFC). Hollywood is straight forward. There are powerful inbuild functions and with the plug ins it really gets far. Support for so many operating systems is just great.
Of course doing something requires actually some work - regardless how easy/straight forward the language is.
¹ and Matlab, but I rather don't consider Matlab as full blown language, and the issues with Matlab were rather on the math part of the things than on the actual syntax...
And php, but that is rather a non-learned mess I dig in from time to time....

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Re: Questions Regarding Hollywood

Post by SamuraiCrow »

Re:Hollywood Designer
It only works on Amiga-like operating systems at this point so on Linux, you'd have to do the work on Hosted AROS with Designer or buy an Amiga-like machine like a cheap PowerMac G4 and register MorphOS.
I'm on registered MorphOS using FlowStudio.

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Re: Questions Regarding Hollywood

Post by Bugala »

zylesea wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:42 pm
Never used the designer myself. I guess it does make a good tool to build the daily bread part of a graphic novel game (levels with their multimedia content, interactions) but you'll probably come to a point where your games engine will have to do more complex things. And i guess then the designer comes to its limits.
I disagree with this, Designer doesnt really come to its limits at this point. Depending on complexity of your engine it might however become unpractical to use designer, but it is still doable.

In some specific cases it might even be that with designer it is easier to do than full programming. As example I made this brush grabber, that I can pick brushes (images to be used for characters etc.) from images and make them into animations (to make character have for example walking animation). With programming i would have needed much more lines of code than with designer. With designer it was very easy. I just put rectangles with text like grab image, save image, add frame... and then put simple couple of lines "run code" in them.

Anyway, I think checking my incomplete tutorial 3, in which i unfortunately ran out of demobuilders trial time to finish it, you will get very good idea on how adding more complex things into designer works as I am making simple point n click adventure in that one. It is very usable for simple kind of point n click like the one in tutorail, but if you want to make something like lucasarts point n click adventures, well, Designer is not your choice at that point anymore, but it is more practical to make your own engine using hollywood programming language.

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Re: Questions Regarding Hollywood

Post by ocean77 »

Thank you for all the responses. They have been very valuable and have given me something to think about.

I wasn't aware that the Designer won't run on classic Amigas (real or emulated). I haven't had much luck getting
Aros to install on a virtual machine, which means an additional investment in AmigaOs 4.x and probably hardware to run
it efficiently as well. Would AmigaOs install and run on a Talos 2 workstation by any chance, or is the AmigaOne X5000 the best bet? They're expensive systems both, but the Talos seems more future proof and versatile.

In any case, the realization of the game is still far into the future. I'm still building a prototype in Inform7 which
allows me to focus on story and character development while still writing it in game form.

I have some very limited experience with the Godot engine which uses its own GDScript which has its roots in Python, I think. I can handle the very basic stuff, but I find I quickly lose track of the code and what it does and eventually give up.

The graphics will be stylized pre-rendered backgrounds, prefereably with some light animation (snow, rain, clouds moving etc)
And the characters will be rotoscoped with timelapsed animations akin to what you would see in games like The Last Express.
Perhaps even just silhouettes against a grey-scale backdrop.

The soundscape will be richer and more complex, and translating that to a four-channel tracker mod, I suspect will be an enormous challenge (if I want to do a classic Amiga version that is).

I just wanted to experiment and see what could be done in Hollywood with Designer. I guess the best option is to buy the discounted All-Platforms-Pack and save up for the Designer software in the future.

Thanks for all your input. :)

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Re: Questions Regarding Hollywood

Post by Bugala »

ocean77 wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:35 pm
I wasn't aware that the Designer won't run on classic Amigas (real or emulated).
Not sure what you mean by this? I have been using Amikit when i made those tutorial videos, to my understanding that is emulating classic.

One thing however that I have been running into trouble with have however been with memory. That is probably because I have been doing my designer projects in HD resolution. For when i try to run them, it complains it is runnin out of memory, so often i just get around thsi by compiling and running it in windows environment. I suppose this problem could be fixed by looking at amikit settings and increasing avaialble memory, but i have been too lazy to do that.

i checked that the last express from youtube, and as far as i saw, i am actually pretty much showing those necessary things in tutorial 3 video, that just with stuff in that video, you could already close to do that game.

It is another matter if it makes sense to do it with designer or not. If I would be doing, I would likely do it programming way, but that is based because I have got used to programming.

But in your case, Designer might make even more sense actually, for you mentioned you lose track of your code. Which I suppose means that when your code becomes big, it becomes messy and hard for you to remember/figure out anymore how it is supposed to work, or to find how some specific room for example should work.

With designer, while it is otherwise not too optimal for programming big projects, in this case it could work very well, since you could always simply open the specific room and then click on each animation, item etc. to see what they are doing in that room.

Unfortunately that tutorial 3 is not complete, since there was actually going to be two different rooms and a timer even there. These would have been very useful tutorial stuff for you, basically had shown you all you would have needed for a game like the last express.

To explain you bit more how this would work in designer and also to show to advantages and disadvantages of using it.

In that video, when it was walking on that corridor, it kept going like small steps forward. That instead of jumping to doing big jump to next location, you would do like small steps to make it seems like it is 3D engine, when it is not, example location: 13:08.

That would be somewhat annoying to do with designer, since you would need to make own page for each step.
However, it is not as hard as it seems, since you could copy-paste the previous page and then just alter the necessary stuff.

For exam+ple to change the arrows, I would imagine you would probably put invisible blocks to the page, and use "OnMouseOver" command, that when mouse is over invisible block 1, it would change mouse cursor to left arrow, when on top of invisible block 2, then it would change arrow to right.

Because movement might change these locations a bit, you might be in need of moving/resizing these invisible blocks for each step.

On top of that comes that mans animation. Programming way you could simply alter the characters size, but with Designer, while that is still possibility, it is probably more sensible to actually do it the natural to designer way, which is somewhat a hard way, meaning that each page will have that character done independently in right sizes.

So step 1 would have that guy in size 40, while step two in size 60, step 3 size 80 and step 4 size 100. Then each of these chracters would have IF condition attached to them, as example "IF character1location = corridor then showanim(character1)"

This way when you would normally walk there, this characters animation wouldnt be shown, but in case caracter1location = corridor, then it would show it.

But this would need to be done on each page, and especially when doing some changes, it is easy to make one small typing error, and then on step 1 and 2 you see him, on step 3 you dont (thanks to misspelling) and step 4 he is visible again.

These are the downsides. But good thing is, you can get into doing it right away. As long as you have graphics existing, you can already make for example just that corridor place and see how it works.

Also another good thing is, that it is not hard to figure what all can happen in that page. Just keep clicking on all objects in your page. For example there could be objects for charactermysteryman, characterwoman and characterconductor. If you wonder when are those shown, just click on them and see what is written to them "if conductor=corridor then show(conductor)" "IF murder=true, then show(caractermysteryman)"

Now you know that in case conductor is at corridor, conductor will show, mystery man on the other hand wont be there until murder have happened.

Oh, and basically those characters would in the last express case be animation, so you would be playing animations.

Eyeview point n click is very much doable with Designer, but point n click with character moving around, that isnt really suited for designer anymore.

I recommed you check that tutorial 3 i linked there to see a bit about how you could be doing your game, Designer might actually fit your purpose in this case.

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Re: Questions Regarding Hollywood

Post by ocean77 »

Not sure what you mean by this? I have been using Amikit when i made those tutorial videos, to my understanding that is emulating classic.
I must've misinterpreted SamuraiCrow's respons. My apologies.
But if I can emulate the classic Amiga and run Designer then that would be perfect.

I'll check out your videos, but I'm having some issues with Youtube at the moment.

Thanks a whole bunch! :)

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Re: Questions Regarding Hollywood

Post by Bugala »

If you find it easier, those videos can be found from Indiego Appstore as well:

Indiego Appstore is made with Hollywood by they way.

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