Stuff Under the Header


A New Feature and Lag Fixes

Too much Touhou, way too much Touhou. I did a no continue run through Touhou 11 on Normal.
Check it out here. Only showing the final stage of the run. Yay for it saving replays. Definitely gonna cut my Touhou playing down a notch. x_x

New Menu Option
A new setting in the options menu will allow you to set the games priority. You have 3 settings. (Normal, High, and Higher) It's the same as going into the task manager setting the priority there. If you notice some lag, setting it to a higher setting 'may' reduce it somewhat. I've noticed about a 4-6 fps difference on higher settings when I force a map to lag. This setting is not saved into your save file. Once you turn the game off, it will revert to Normal.

Collision Changes
A new system for handling collision has been put in place. The code itself has not changed, but rather the way I set level collisions. It has in some maps, significantly increased performance. I have basically reduced the amount of collision objects used. Maps typically had anywhere from 300-700 of these. The new system has dropped this number to somewhere around 20-30. This is no exaggeration. It takes a little longer to build the static collision for maps now, but it is worth it in the end. This has also delayed the next demo a bit as I am converting all the maps to the new system. I may not convert all the maps by the next release. We'll see, if I do decide to convert them all, just know it will delay the release by a little bit as it is very busy and tedious to convert them all. Checking to make sure I did not mess up somewhere as well.

I'd also like to note that this new method of doing collision will not change anything at all in the game. Except for you guys who like to try to get above the map. You won't fall into the ceiling anymore. This also makes it so I don't have to worry about anybody getting stuck up there.

Edit: I have come up with a method for very quickly jumping into the game and seeing right at a glance if the collision is correct. Already found an error I had made in a map. So using this, I shouldn't have any bugs coming out of this. :)

Edit: I have converted every map and tested them all. That method worked wonders.

Bug Reporting
This is also where you guys come in. 3 new items in the "Pointless Records" menu have appeared almost strictly for finding bugs. They are on page 5 of the records. (Map ID, Player X, Player Y) If you say... fall through the floor in a map, this will allow you to tell me exactly where it happened so I can fix it easier. For example, the first map of the Dusty Ruins has an ID of 143. If you found a problem there, just send me a bug report saying:
-Dusty Ruins - ID: 143
-Your x/y coordinates as well if you'd like. (The general area anyway)
-Explain the problem here.
I don't foresee any issues arising from this. I have a little system set up for myself for converting all the maps, but in the event something does slip through, I encourage you to use that system there.

Game Stuff
The Black Rock Fortress is actually nearing completion. I think the menu quote I chose for the area fits perfectly. That death count is no doubt going to rise quickly. This area has some things that others before it didn't in that sometimes you can't turn back. I'll put in a check mark for teleporting deeper into it most likely so if you do want to leave, you can and not have to lose all your progress. There is a shop keeper inside as well. There's also more than 1 boss fight and the Shrouds do not count, they may actually be harder than one of the bosses.

Game Changes
- In the save room, you now get a little summary of your current objective in the top right of the screen. Took all of about 10 minutes to implement... What? I'm honest.



Would've posted an update yesterday, but my roommates and I were doing stuff and when we weren't, I was playing Touhou. (#11: Subterranean Animism for those that want to know.) Beat it on Normal before the weekend was over. Stage 5 gives me trouble, as does the boss there. (I hate Rin.) x_X My roommates hate Touhou or any bullet hell game for that matter. XD

Edit: I've added a link to "Joy to Key" on the sidebar and here. It is a program that will allow you to map keys to practically any USB controller.

Here's an image showing my recommendation. PS2 controller because most USB controllers use this button set up.

Game Stuff
I'm not going to say I'm close to a demo release, but I will say that this won't take nearly as long as the Mega Man area to be released. There's not as much new content and systems to implement. The area is pretty big though. There are a ton of traps here and a few sections where you only get one chance to make a jump as well as being timed for some of them. This video kinda shows what I mean. Those latch crystals are not the theme of the area, they don't show up too often. The enemies are a bit odd in this place, but I don't want to give away what they do. I don't think they will be as memorable as the Shrouds, which are scary on Normal and a nightmare on Hard, we won't go into Distorted...

Edit: I lied about the 1-hit kill spikes in a previous post. They are back. ^_^

Game Changes
No game changes to report.
Well there is one, Water Barrier's duration was shortened by half a second. This was implemented on the release, so you already have it, I just didn't mention it.

Now that I reread this, it looks like a pretty lame update. Posted anyway!


Difficulty Settings

Edit: fixes a problem with the elevator on the train. I forgot timelines changed a bit for GM8. >_< It'll say 8.3 on the title screen, it lies. :3

I have adjusted all of the difficulty modes. Enemy stats have not changed at all, what has been changed are enemy and trap spawns. I will go into a bit of detail for each setting.

Beginner (Easy)
A lot of enemy spawns have been removed as well as a lot of traps. This can finally be called the easy mode aside from just enemy stats and reaction times.

Veteran (Normal)
Not much has been changed for this, you might see a few minor changes if you play through again on this setting. A few enemy spawns have been removed from this and are now Hard mode exclusive.

Hardcore (Hard)
Again, not too much was changed, but more changed for this than Normal. Roughly 3 or 4 enemy spawns were removed from this setting, but a few were added in various places. A few traps have been added to this setting, but not many. The boost in enemy reaction times is part of what makes hard the way it is.

These 3 settings are the main difficulty settings, you won't see too much of a difference in the game on Hard and even less of a change for Normal. Easy has been drastically changed though. The idea of being able to switch settings on the fly is if you are having too much trouble getting by an area, you can lower the difficulty, get through it and set it back to where you had it if you want. Or go higher if you feel the setting you are on is not enough. Easy mode is definitely much more friendly to you now. If you were having trouble with it before, try again with this next update and I assure you, you will see a major difference. Each of the settings are more unique now, especially Easy mode, making a lot of stuff fairly friendly.

For those of you asking for a harder setting, Hard mode's new traps add a slight bit of difficulty, but not much. I must say though, keep in mind, this is just the first half of the game, it's going to be much worse during the second half, HOWEVER...

Distorted (Extreme)
For those of you that have asked, a new difficulty has been added, named the 'Distorted' mode. The game gives you a warning before playing on this setting. You cannot switch out of this mode once you choose it. Throughout the game, I constantly take stuff out because I feel things may be too rough, even for the hard setting. This one however I will be keeping them in. Enemy base stats have not changed much, they are approximately 1% higher than they are on Hard (Bosses have an extra 5% HP), with an exception for power, which is roughly 12.5% higher than Hard. This is not what makes this setting hard, even if Hard mode had these base stats, you wouldn't feel much of a difference on it. What IS changed are enemy response times. Everything moves faster, shoots more, and has far less recovery time. New enemy spawns exclusive to this setting were added in fairly inconvenient places. Traps are more frequently seen. You will have to see it to see what I mean. Some of the environments have been slightly modified as well.

A video showing the first map of the Old Castle on Distorted.

Distorted is only for the extreme players. O_O Hard can be changed out of if necessary, this cannot. This new setting is really it's own thing. I thought about making it an unlockable, but meh. Even in the final version, this setting will be open straight from the beginning, though it is intended for you to have played the game once.

tl:dr version:
Easy mode has been made easier, Normal and Hard are fairly the same, and there's a new difficulty that will destroy you.

Game Changes
- Fixed collision for Jerry when he is running and shooting.


What's Coming Up

With the Mega Man levels finished, we will now venture into the awaited Black Rock Fortress. I will only be showing one screenshot from this place, and it's not even a real one, just showing you what some of the enemies look like. (If you remember a semi obscure game from the SNES era, you'll recognize them. There was another version on the Genesis as well.)

The Black Rock Fortress
I will say a little bit about the area though. Gone are the 1-hit kill spikes of the Mega Man area, now you face being dropped into pits by respawning Falcons... wait, wrong game, but you'll still probably be dropped into pits by something in there. Remember the Dusty Ruins and The Hideout and fun traps that you more than likely were caught by a few times? Then remember some of the more combat heavy areas? It's a mix of these, with a large lean towards combat. The worst enemy type is not shown in this shot though. The Shrouds, which will be a reoccuring enemy throughout the game after this point, will coordinate with each other. You will almost never fight only one, since their strength lies in working together to get you.

A lot of the more popular game worlds have been used now. During the second half of the game after the Black Rock Fortress, more obscure game references will be used. Though you will still see a few popular ones.

Other Stuff
Expect the game difficulty to rise, now that by this point you have been given enough time to learn the game's mechanics, and have a large number of abilities.

Game Changes
- Forgot to add it in before the release, in the hub for the Mega Man area, a little star will be shown next to the sub-area if you have all the items there.


It's A Day Late

Hooray!! I apologize for it being a day later than I said, family things came up... It's a real excuse! Q_Q


Version Mark Change
There are a few changes to the way I'm doing updates now. You will notice that the game has a more defined version number now. The one being released is O_O I will now be showing the latest uploaded version on the side bar. Every so often I may release a small patch, for example, I may find something that should be fixed or may get a nasty bug report, I'll release the next very quickly as I will not announce these small updates so you will need to check if there is an update. (Well my weekly updates, I'll make a mention if one was released.) There won't be any major content added to these, just minor changes and fixes. The version number is now shown on the exe. If you rename it, no worries, the version number is also shown when you mouse over the exe as well as on the top-left corner of the title screen. This allows me to release little fixes and such, but remember, it's only small stuff, no new content will be added unless specifically noted.

There is one known issue with this version. When Rave Mode is used in the Mega Man area, if you go to a different map before the song is over, it will not stop like it's supposed to until you either Game Over, or the entire clip is finished. This will be fixed soon though. A few sound effects are not in the Mega Man area that should be there, so in a later version, I'll add those sounds. (Once I can find or rip them.)

Keeping your save data
As a reminder, you can keep your progress by moving the "GameDetails.ini" into the new folder.

I found a crash bug a few minutes after releasing it. >_< Fixed and reuploaded.


Soon @_@

I have really lame titles for my updates. So let's see, what should I randomly talk about before I get to the game stuff...? ... ... ... (plus more ellipsis) Nothing. Well the soon title means there will be a new demo soon... this week. I'm sure of it!

Game Stuff
I have been using Game Maker 8 now. GM8 interprets scripts much faster than GM7 did. You will find that the game runs much more efficiently too. The loading time to launch the game has been decreased. Yay!

Game Changes
- If you play using the arrow keys, you've no doubt been annoyed by the fact that you can't interact with objects using the up arrow. This has been fixed. Overlooked things are overlooked.
- Your Resist window in the the stats sub-menu now shows your Resist % properly when you have an element active. (Remember, they add a 10% resist bonus)
- Easy and Hard mode have been slightly adjusted. Only the base stats themselves though. Reaction and recovery times have not. In a sense, Easy isn't quite as easy, and Hard isn't quite as Hard. No worries, not by much. It's a 5% difference compared to the Normal setting each way. This will play into other things later. (The Quick Time Distorter will still take 0 damage on Hard Mode without a cripple by a long shot.)

- The Metallicardian and Demon Cursor boss HP has been decreased slightly. (By about 500 points each, but their power has increased by 5)

- So I might include a harder setting as it has been asked for again and by a very interesting source. Competitions, really? O_O It will not be included in the next release, it may take some time for that, but know the full version of the game will definitely include a harder setting for those who feel extremely masochistic. As noted before, choosing this setting will lock you into it. There will be no switching in and out of it.

Other Games

Mega Man 10 Thing
I looked at Sheep Man's stage from Mega Man 10 because I was very curious as to how they used a "digital computer-ish" level and I can safely say that their idea was far different from mine. I'll give a link to it, however I warn you, only click this link if you are willing to spoil that level for yourself as they show pretty much all but the boss fight.
Click if you don't mind a Mega Man 10 spoiler

A Game Save Frustration
Games today on the current gen consoles are getting very advanced and saving methods sometimes need to change and adapt to fit the content. However there is one thing that has really gotten on my bad side that I first saw with "Smash Bros. Brawl", is that you cannot move/copy save data to say, an SD card and bring that data to another Wii. What? Why? When I got my Wii a few months after Brawl was released, I wanted a copy of the data that my brother had on his as we had done a lot. And was disappointed when I couldn't. While I didn't mind playing the game again, I didn't want to have to unlock everything again. I don't see the reason for this. Not even for the online part, which is a joke anyway as that portion is completely unplayable due to terrible network code. (Unless some magical patch has been released that I am unaware of.) If it was because of the online records then lolwut? Have the game not copy that portion of the data or separate them into different blocks so the Wii can easily know which data to not copy.

Another game that did this, which I can justify a little bit more was Demon's Souls. Now I know this doesn't happen often, but what if I want to show my character to a friend, you saying I have to transport my PS3 just for this? What if I want to back up my character? It's not saved server side like real mmos, so if my PS3 takes a dump, I lose it all. I'm sure they could have thought of something for this. It's not like you can trade items like say, Phantasy Star Online, which I will cut Sega some slack for that as they didn't want people easily cheating and duplicating items. (Happened anyway.) :P


A New Year

Yay, it's a new year! Let's try to make the best of 2010 and hopefully make it better than the previous year. GAME STUFF!!

Game Stuff
A new demo with the Mega Man area is getting very very close. This place is taking me awhile because of the large amount of content going into it. There are 7 different levels to it, a larger variety of enemy types than any other area (although Mega Man enemies aren't the hardest thing to script), the minibosses (the Robot Masters), a couple real boss fights, the gimmicks and such that go with each of these levels, story sequences, etc... x_x Hopefully it is all enjoyable. I estimate it's roughly an hours worth of play time, give or take depending on your speed and death count racked up in this place.

Story Stuff
The next demo will also finally reveal what The Darkness is. Not everything, can't go giving it all away yet.

Game Changes

- Implemented the new map feature that lets you know which areas you have everything in. You'll see how it works. I kept the old way in too.

- For the boss fight with Dark Mind, when he uses the energy balls that spiral, they have a shorter life span.

- Heart pieces have taken on a different look. Been toying with this idea for months and I find that their new animated look says "Come get me!" much more than the Zelda heart pieces. Same effect though, you must still acquire 4 to get a max life increase.

- Ring upgrades now count for 7 points of Spirit Defense instead of 6. You will not need to start a new game to get the effect. Example: If you have 4 ring upgrades, you will see that you have an extra 4 Spirit Defense.

- You can now see your overall Item % Completion within your items menu. It is possible to have 100% at this time as the game reads only the items that are currently in the game.

- Quick Time Distorters Physical Defense was decreased a slight bit, but its Spirit Defense was increased the same amount.

- Bosses are now included in the exp bonus given from the Statistician skill.

- A few people have cried (you guys know who you are) about the hall of explosions in Distortion 1, saying it doesn't give them enough time to start up, and they die instantly. That's right, you're being made fun of. :P Due to these concerns being legitimate, I have made a change. The explosions now start back a bit more, giving you more time in the beginning.
To be exact:
It was moved back 80 pixels, which gives you an approximate 0.386 seconds more time to get away. In response to this, the wall of death has been made a tiny pinch faster, so instead you get 0.385 seconds more to get away. This is on the normal setting, it has been made a bit slower for easy and a bit faster for hard. Overall, you still get more time than before, even on hard, though it's only by about 0.382 seconds more. But then again, this is only accounting for those first few seconds. (No but really, you get more time now and this hopefully fixes the problem that some of you are having.)