Stuff Under the Header



Edit: (January 18, 2011) It's been awhile since I've said anything here. I'm still alive and well. The surprise is still in the works, very slowly. I will not release or say what it is publically until it is done.

Edit: (December 29, 2010) Between work demanding more time, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Christmas, and other misc. things and excuses, the surprise mentioned in the previous post will be released in January... or later. Another excuse is some of my time is being spent in XNA as well.

I hate them and everything they stand for, they are a shit stain smeared upon gaming. That said, I don't hate all achievements, just 99% of them. Things like "You beat Level x", that's not an achievement in the game, you were going to do that anyway. I also don't like grind achievements such as "play this setting 10000 times". This is just my opinion of them though. I don't mind the "Game Cleared" ones. I like the achievements that are more secondary such as clearing it in a certain amount of time or doing things a certain way. Distorted Travesty will NOT have achievements, but if it did, here are a few that it would have:

- Most bosses would have a time limit achievement attached. (Example: Beat the Shroud Lord in under 3 minutes and 30 seconds.)
- Complete the game on Distorted Mode.
- Get 100% items.
- Complete the game while you're still level 1. (It can be done.) (Or maybe not do this, but have an achievement called "404: Achievement Not Found") Basically beating any boss at 4:04 AM. :P (OkageSK idea)
- Defeat all enemies on the train elevator.
- Crush a Goomba, Mario style.
- "1-hit kill" 3 enemies with 1 jump attack.
- Beat the Metallicardian without ever landing on the top platform.



Edit: (December 18, 2010) You guys have probably noticed I've been updating the game practically every day for the last few days. That is because you guys seem to be working over-time in finding bugs (myself included). Not a bad thing. Version fixes a bug with Kudeku that made the animation loop forever and makes a very minor change to two other skills.
List: - Fixes a crash bug caused by a sound on the train and fixes a minor issue with Wave of Awesome. - The big hit detection update, some graphical updates with custom sprites by OkageSK, plus many other small bugs.
Just want to keep the most up to date version on here right now.

Edit: (December 16, 2010) The update that was uploaded has all the changes made below and a few others, I will list the changes. The new hit detection is in place. The Veiled Detritus theme has been changed. Then of course the sprites from OkageSK. He changed the Muffin sprites, and made a sprite edit for Jerry during the Muffin sequences, which have also been changed. Probably best of all is the custom sprite for Jerry during the intro to Black Rock. It was made in reference to the NES Ninja Gaiden sequences when Ryu approaches the fortresses. It looks great and since this is only viewable one time in-game, I have a video of it here. I'll take out that annoying white line on the left of the video sometime... maybe. Oh yeah... this is not the surprise referenced earlier. As far as work done to DT itself, this should be it.

Edit: (December 14, 2010) I made a change to DT that needed to be there since the beginning. Until now, when an enemy takes damage, it cannot be hit again till it is no longer flashing red, regardless of how many attacks you throw at them. This is no longer the case, each new attack you use will now damage the enemy. Attacks can still multi hit the enemy, but that time has been boosted. For example, Mental Insurrection no longer double hits (however it has a slight boost in power, yay cutting through defense :P ). Some skills have been rebalanced to reflect this update. This also does change Metropolis a bit. You can still blast them to bits like you could before, but your attacks have a slightly longer delay before they multi hit. Mental Insurrection still double hits them. Skills like 'Flame Pillar' were made for this type of system. I was just too shitty of a coder back then to do this. (Even though this was incredibly simple to set up.) Overall, this does boost your damage output a bit and truly lets you stun-lock enemies like you're supposed to. Again, that's what 'Flame Pillar' would be used for. You can lock them in that and still attack them with whatever other abilities you'd like. This update will be available sometime later. For the next bit of news... ... ...
Some of you in the rrr community know of OkageSK, he has been fixing up a few sprites, creating new sprites, franken-sprited a bit, and is currently making some nifty custom art for a certain part of the game. Most of it is done, I'm just waiting on one last animation set from him that will definitely be pretty awesome looking in game. A big thanks goes out to him for all the work he's done. (He replaced my awful Muffin sprites too.)
A video showing some of the things you can do with the new system:

Edit: (December 12, 2010) Wow, so apparently 'Wind Burst' has been working incorrectly this entire time. It is supposed to auto-destroy when it collides with a wall, something I acknowledged a long while back, but turned a blind eye to. The other is it's supposed to increase its velocity as it goes out. For some reason I made a typo in my code, not enough of one to cause a crash, but enough for the spells effects to be ignored completely. (Even though the actual code for it was correct all along.) I don't really know how I overlooked that this entire time... The difference is the spell has more range and speed with the offset of being destroyed when coming into contact with level surfaces. Anyway, it's not a huge concern to upload a new update for that right now, just something humorous to share since it induced quite a big facepalm on my part.

I've got a surprise for everyone coming up sometime later this month. (It could be next month depending on how busy things get.) It does involve DT and was something that was requested, though I'm very very sure that it is not at all what the requesters thought.

The bullethell is still being made, I'm just splitting my development time. This helps keep me from getting burned out and the ideas from getting stale so fast. Who knows, I may release a tech demo of the bullethell before the thing mentioned above.

Anyway... forget about all that for now, I might make a separate blog for various things. I want to keep this blog to only stuff about DT and stuff related to it. If I happen to make it, I'll link to it from here. That's it for now, no screenshots so this post is fairly boring for those of you that don't like walls of text without supplemental images. Anyway, Christmas is coming up, be safe, have fun, and eat cookies during the holidays.


Fun & Stuff

Edit: (December 9, 2010) That crash bug I mentioned in this post... well the fix is finally released, along with another bug that was reported about the game crashing in the control setup window of the menu. A null sound was returned and crashed the game. This update fixes those 2 bugs along with a slight efficiency boost in one of the submenus. (Found that while fixing the sound bug with the control setup.)

Been working on the bullet hell very very slowly. Actually got a small playable prototype out to 4 people. All positive comments, but then again, it was a tech demo of sorts and wasn't much to comment on. People said the idea looks promising though, so yay.

Well I've had a fun and interesting week. Some of the activities include a few unexpected job opportunities, seeing family again for the first time in over a month, being held at gun point, etc. You know, typical daily stuff.

The next game I am making is of the bullet hell variety. It's an idea that I had made a prototype of even before starting Distorted Travesty. When I get something that I feel is worth showing, I'll... well possibly show it. If you couldn't tell already from playing the second half of DT, I like the bullet hell sub-genre. I've just never made a full game from it. The two shooter levels in DT were very basic and easy for bullet hell and this game is nothing like those two levels. I won't give away what the gameplay mechanic is yet. A few know what it is already, but I'm not publicly giving those details out yet. As for progression, it isn't going to be like standard bullet hell, but more like Star Fox where you can change the story path as you play. It probably goes without saying, but I will not be using sprite rips. That was specifically for DT due to what the game world was.

On the mentioning of DT again, a crash bug was found by Slaix when you try to save. It occurred for him when he tried to save on the 4th map of the West Side Jungle. (The map titled "...What?  I couldn't think of anything.") It doesn't bug up the save data. This bug should actually happen 100% of the time any time you save, but it seems to be incredibly selective. I fixed it, and will upload the fix for it sometime. It will only be the EXE for now, and remember it is only for the completed encrypted version. (I can make an update to the older version upon request though.)

PS. I need to remember to print an updated copy of my car insurance, it's out this month.


Read If You Update

Edit: (November 10, 2010) A few people have had some trouble with the sound extension. It doesn't seem to be loading in the sound effects at times. For those of you that this happens to, you're SoL... okay not really. It seems to be a sound card issue. Your best bet is to update your sound drivers. On the note of drivers, if you get an error message the moment the game starts saying something close to "Failed to initialize surfaces", you may need to update your video drivers. These and/or a restart, I hope will help out some of you.

For what I'm doing next, this screenshot sums it up nicely.

This is it, this should be the last update ever. (Aside from bug fixes that are reported.) It has the new sound system fully in place. The sound changes cannot be turned off anymore, there's no need for it.

The game loads a bit faster now since it streams all the music files into the game, which means it doesn't take as much memory to run. It will stream them in and out of memory now. (I have yet to see any loading breaks in the game due to this.) The sound effects are not streamed however, they are loaded in the same way they were before. The memory leak mentioned earlier has now been completely fixed, yay!

The encryption on the save files is done... it is not "real" encryption. The values are just mixed up when they are saved to the ini file and converted back after the game loads them in. But it does hide everything now. (Feel free to try figuring out what I did, it's probably not that hard to crack.)

----- READ ME -----
Note: This version is NOT compatible with previous versions of the game. The save files are still read, but your data will be loaded incorrectly. It keeps your progress, but all of your stats will be screwed up and most likely lower. (Some may magically be higher.) Another note about this, since the game no longer uses mp3s, the older EXE versions will not load the new music files. So do not update your music folder, treat this as a separate game now if you make this update. If you are starting over or this is your first time playing, ignore this.

I ran through all key points in the game and made sure all the sound changes work. All that should be bug free. A few other minor bugs were found and fixed as well as one crash bug with a boss in Black Rock.

As always, have fun and thanks to those of you who have followed this project for so long and put up with my numerous bugs, delays, and other shenanegans. Oh yeah, file size only went up 8 MB.

Reminder: Slaix is doing a play-through on Hard and posting it here.


Progress Was Made

Edit: (October 31, 2010) I think I may release an update soon with the new revamped sound system. Everything, including the music will be changed. I'll include an option to turn the sound changing system off if you don't want the various effects from it. This only includes the low health changes, the rest will stay on.

Anyway, this little edit is mostly about Slaix' play-through of the game on Hard mode. He's done a lot of other play-throughs of underground games and Distorted Travesty is his next game. He is actually taking a break on posting his current LP ("Let's Play" for those that don't know the term) as it is a very large game and is now posting Distorted Travesty. He will probably take a break from posting this one about half way through and continue with the other to another major point, then finish up this play-through. Anyway, the link to the playlist is here and on the sidebar now.

Edit: (October 27, 2010) The new version with the updated sound has been uploaded. Since the sound buzzing was the last of the major bugs, I've decided to call it complete. It is no longer considered beta, it is done. I will still fix reported bugs and all that jazz though, I definitely won't abandon the project. The music is still not using the new sound though. It's going to be a bit tricky to get the music to work with how I have the code set up. Gonna have to rewrite a few things, which will take some debugging time. Working with it kinda killed my inner child a bit, so I'm going to put that on hold for now.
On the changed noted below about the sound changing when your life is in critical range, that is disabled if the low health warn is turned off.
Oh yeah, save files are still not encrypted. :P

I did something on the game today. I fixed the sound buzzing bug, yay! The game is now using the supersound extension, however only the sound effects are using it. The music is still using GM's default sound system for now. Until I can find a method for converting the midi to ogg files without a huge spike in file size, it will remain this way... Unless everyone doesn't mind a 20-30 MB increase to file size because I'm estimating it to boost by that much. That really doesn't seem so bad. I'm going to play around with things and see what I can do. Once you see an edit to this post, the new version with the new sound system will be in place.

Note: There might be a few crash bugs that slipped through while I was converting the game's sound. Luckily most of the sound plays through one place in the game code.

Game Changes
The new sound system has allowed me to do something I've wanted to do since the beginning and that's change pitch of some of the sounds based on what is going on. Your attack swing will change pitch based on your hit combo, the higher it goes, the higher the frequency. When your life is in the danger zone, all the sounds will slow down. (When/if I get the music converted, it will do the same, it's quite a humorous effect, especially when you get hit.)
Some of the sound effects will sound a bit different, in my opinion everything sounds much better.
The game runs a bit more efficiently now, GM's sound functions, including the loading calls, eat up more memory than supersound's functions.
Remember the slight memory leak I mentioned before. Well it's gone now... well sorta. It's even smaller, once I have the music converted to this system too, all the memory leaks will be gone.


Away + [Insert Title Word Here]

Edit: (October 23, 2010) I might give out the gmk file sometime if anyone would like to see and edit the game code. Then you all get to see my terrible code. A note on that. You can see the code with any version of GM, but if you do not have GM8 Pro, you can not edit it. You could technically with GM 7 Pro, but you would need to change a few things... a lot of things.

Another note, I'm sure some of you may have already caught on, but Distorted Travesty has a minor memory leak. It's been around since version... I don't even remember anymore, it's a memory leak that's over a year old. It's minor and I probably won't fix it, but I just wanted to make everyone aware that there is indeed one there.

Two other things that are actually unfinished. The main one is encrypting the save data and the other is a sound bug. The sound will start to buzz on probably 99% of sound cards out there after you have played DT straight for an hour or so. Restarting the game will fix it, but I don't like that. Sounds like Nintendo's way of dealing with bugs. I may in the future convert DT to use the supersound extension as it will most likely fix the sound buzzing. It will also make sound... sound better, give me a few more tools to edit sound, and lower the file size since I will have to convert the mp3 to ogg. I should not have been using GM's default sound functions as they are shitty at best. To anyone using GM for ANYTHING, do not use the default sound system, use something like bassmod.dll, supersound.dll, or FMOD.dll. Most of them have an extension package you can use so you don't need to mess around with the messiness that is dlls. A google search will reveal their locations to you. If I do convert it, I will use supersound because I am familiar with how it works and it is very reliable.

For those concerned, I haven't been ignoring you, I've just been away and working all week and been without a computer or Internet. (for the most part) I'm back now with nothing TOO much to say on the game. No changes have been made the last few weeks. Looks like the project is at an end now. I'll put in the save file encryption sometime and remember that they won't be compatible with older saves once I do that.

Hmm, now what else to say...? Oh, I doubt I'll be making another level. The Spire seems like enough. Maybe one day there will be a Directors Cut version or some pretentious thing like that. :P Also the suggestions will be considered if that day does happen to come around.

For future projects, I'll keep them posted here or if they get their own blog, I'll link to them. All my blogs are listed in my profile here. I am still working on stuff, but it is mostly generic prototypes for now.


No Changes To Water Barrier

Edit: (October 11, 2010) GDC is over and was tons of fun. Not quite as good overall as other years, but had more fun than any other year with the night parties.

Edit: (October 1, 2010) Newest version ( is out now. The content said below is available now. A change was made to the Distortion 2 boss. The room is a bit taller so you don't bump your head at the top. During its bullet storm, Jeremy will warn you a second before it changes direction. This will be the last update for awhile unless someone finds a major bug. Enjoy the game. :)

I will not be around next week as it will be the week of GDC, but that's next week... Sometime this week I will be releasing the not-really-final version of the game. It will have the finished up ending as well as a ranking at the end. The rank you get is determined by a few things such as death count and the rest you'll have to see. The rank only affects one thing at the end and you don't need a very high rank to "unlock" what it is. I like unlockables, but at the same time, I don't. If this were a much shorter game, I would put in more of these types of things. The ranking (and extra scene) is after the credits, so be sure to stay for them. Once the game returns you to the title screen, your save file will be flagged as having completed the game. Keep that file since, at a later date, I MIGHT release a bonus dungeon that is unlocked after the game is completed.

Other than that, the changes are quite unnoticeable.
I may post some pics from GDC.

Hmm, this post is too short and I don't seem to have much else to say right now... (This is why I should write down the things I want to say here since I tend to forget half of what was going to be said.)

Well I'm on the 5th generation of Agarest War, suddenly the difficulty spiked up. I figured I had overpowered my characters in the previous generation, but apparently the developers knew that would happen. That's okay, I just reoverpowered them, so I'll see how that works out for me. (Had my first loss on this generation aside from a really cheap death that happened early on in the game.) Oh yeah, to gauge how long this game is, one generation will take, on average, just as long or longer than it does to get through all of Distorted Travesty. (Well I did it in 12 hours.) Here's a screenshot of my stat window after playing all the way through the beta. Item % is 99, I missed 3 items.


Stuff I'm Doing Now

Edit: (September 21, 2010) Slaix was kind enough to write a TVtropes page for the game. :) You can find it here and on the side bar.

Edit: (September 20, 2010) Version (now 'should' fix the rare loading issue for those who are using Vista or Windows 7.
It also makes a very important mechanic change. You can now execute the jump attack at any time when you are in the air, not just when you are falling. It also gives you a bit less upward momentum when used, but you can actually go a tiny bit higher than you could with the original jump attack mechanic.

Well the game is almost done now. Most of the things that need to be fixed are small things. I still need to fix up the very very end after the credits, but really that's all I "want" to do. Here is what I mean. It's gotten to the point where I hate the game now. I don't want to look at it anymore. I've heard this is both a good and bad thing. You're never truly done with a project until you can't stand working on it anymore. This doesn't mean I'm going to abandon the bit of stuff left to do on the game, but it may take some time. I'd like to do other things. Give myself a break from Distorted Travesty for awhile. (I spend a lot of free time with it.)

I'm going to play around with a game I had started making about 3 years ago. Not going to spend too much time with it, just going to play around with some concepts. In the future, I'm going to take more breaks from game design. At least with one project anyway. I feel my creativity starts to burn away if I put myself into one thing for too long. I definitely feel like some areas in DT suffered from some of this.

Overall, I'm happy with how DT turned out. It's the best project I've made, I think I've made something enjoyable and that's all I was aiming for as far as for other people. For myself, I've learn a lot from the project and I know it will show into future works of mine. My advice for anyone with a project of any size is to properly plan all the game details and mechanics out. I'm a total hypocrite with that, not "every" aspect of DT was planned from the beginning. Though feature creep will happen with almost any project, I just like to keep that stuff from happening as much as possible.

Again, the main thing left with the game is finishing up the bit after the credits. I may make the tutorial section have a bit more graphical representation for pointing things out, such as when the game explains what the element meters are for. (Or not.) One other thing is making a semi-transparent change (transparent to you anyway) to how it loads external resources. On some computers, (specifically Vista and Windows 7) the game doesn't properly load the audio resources in which causes errors and makes the game not start. Apparently I was not forcing Game Maker to look in the root DT folder. If I don't tell it to look in the working directory, Game Maker typically assumes that is the path... just not always. Luckily Game Maker provides this function for me so it's not really a problem.

Long posts are lo... anyway... I think I'm going to actually sit down and try to enjoy some games. I want to finish playing through Season 2 of Sam & Max. I was recently given a laptop that is better than my Desktop. (the one I'm typing from.) So I can use that to actually play the game without it freezing and lagging a lot.

Possibly finish playing Agarest War. Don't play that game, it's good and it sucks, my roommate Jerry convinced me to play it again. It's a strategy rpg with a fairly weak dating sim aspect. You play the story through 5 generations of characters, each one lasting about 15-20 hours, I kid you not. I just started the 4th generation and I can see that the developers were not lying about the 80+ hours of gameplay. I've been playing the game for months on and off. I've found that I hate the start of each generation, I finally get used to all the characters and the interactions between them and then at the end of that story arc, most of them have to say good-bye and then we're onto a new generation with new people I must become acquainted with. (Some characters carry over, such as the "immortals" like elves and such.) The end of the 3rd generation was the worst as that generation had the best character interactions and I didn't want them to part ways at the end. The battle system is repetitive, though rewarding and fun at times, especially when you manipulate the field the way you want. It's actually a very deep system with a lot of choice. I play it now for the story and mostly to see the interactions between the characters since that is done fairly well. (Plus I've already put 60 hours into it, might as well see it to the end.)

Well that last paragraph went on too long. My roommates and were talking today and I mentioned I might have a little thing at the end of DT that changes depending on your item %, much like how Metroid Prime went. The more you have, the more content at the end there is. Prime had 3, below 75%, above 75%, and 100%. Jerry jokingly said, parody Super Metroid exactly how it was and have the character strip down... No worries, I'm not doing that, not even for the laughs... well maybe. If someone sprites it in that style, I'll do it. No joke.

Anyway, I'm going to end this... oh wait. I'll be at GDC on October 4th - 8th. That'll be fun and informative. I've always enjoyed GDC. I'll be sure to actually get pictures this year. Now I'm done.

P.S. Does anyone want me to change the skin of this back to the orange one, or at least something else? Just wondering if this white on black is bugging anyone.


Fixed Up Beta

My brother's wife had her kid this last Sunday and it's a boy. I heard back from him yesterday and they are out of the hospital, which means both her and the baby are doing well. So it was an exciting weekend.

I've released an update to the beta with all the stuff I've fixed up. Some of the changes include:
-No longer having to press [L] to reach your equipment in the inventory submenu.
-No lag in The Hideout, fixed up the code for the conveyor belts there. The conveyor belts also keep objects moving at a consistent speed now. Note: Some conveyors may move you a bit slower or faster than previous versions.
-1 more skill capsule.
-Lots of fixed up typos.
-A few more binary indexes that give irrelevant info.
-Rave mode music now stops when moving to another map. (It didn't do this for all maps.)
-A few level changes.

Game Manual
-The pdf manual is also included with the game download now.
For a bit of time, I've placed the pdf in its own download here and here if you don't want to download this update but want the manual.


The Beta is Done

Edit: (September 14, 2010) Last edit to this before I just make a new post. I may release an updated version due to all the little things that have been fixed up. As you can see, there's a lot. Some of them are as simple as a typo, others are things like the inventory menu fixed up and even another skill capsule added in. Slaix (and my beta run) confirmed that I was 1 capsule too short for all the skills to be learned. A look at my skill list and total capsules in the game would have also fixed that. The new capsule was added in the second portion of Distortion 3. It's practically given to you... or I could move it and place in another hidden map somewhere. :P

Edit: (September 8, 2010) The side info now shows how close I am to fixing all the major bugs I have.

Edit: (September 7, 2010) The complete version save files will NOT be compatible with the beta or anything before it. The "encryption" on the save file will cause it to not be read properly. (It will read, but it will make some nasty mistakes and cause your saved game to do some odd things.) Anyway, with the beta, I accidentally left one of my test modes on, if you find out how to access it, well... there's nothing I can do to stop you from using it. Though I don't recommend saving after using it. (Depending on what you change with the debug settings.)

Edit: (September 6, 2010) It's uploaded, have fun!

Note: If you don't see it actually updated here, then it isn't uploaded yet. The beta is done, but when I have it actually packed up and uploaded, you'll see an edit above this and the side updated. Anyway...

I actually got it all ready by the date I previously said. There are still some things to do on the game, but for all intensive purposes, the game is "done". It is fully playable and ready for you guys to bug test and enjoy. During this time, I will be addressing a lot of issues like control schemes, typos, and some other random stuff, sound... I might make a boss rush mode (mega man style) or at least make the bosses replayable in their rooms. The submenu for inventory will be changed to where you don't have to press [L] to get to your equipment. There are currently 14 major bugs/issues that need to be fixed, when they are, I will consider the game "complete". This process may be a little slow as I won't be giving this as much time as I used to, so I will not be setting a release date for the full complete version, but I'll say here that I'd like the end of September.

Anyway, if it isn't already here, keep a look out today. It's done and will be uploaded today.


Oh Sincerity, How Convenient

Edit: (September 5, 2010) I should be releasing the game tomorrow. (Monday) I will still have some stuff to do and finish up, but everything will be playable and that's what I'm going for right now.

Edit: (September 1, 2010) All the gameplay related things are done, which means a beta release will be coming up very very soon. Just need to fix up some stuff with the ending, (which isn't all that elaborate) test something with the final boss yet again, and we're all set.

Well I quit my job yesterday. The reasoning behind it I find quite humorous as it is very similar to certain themes presented toward the end of Distorted Travesty. If you're curious, (and this may be a subtle spoiler for the game) I quit due to moral differences between myself and the way the company is run. They deal in very shady business practices that I simply cannot associate myself with. Everyday would leave a bad taste in my mouth as I would be supporting and representing their unscrupulous methods. As far as who I was working for, I am under a restraint for a few days due to a term in their employment agreement, so I will not disclose who they are at this time. I doubt it pertains to things like saying why I left their company, but I will still wait till that clause has ended.
(No worries on what I will do for work, I have that taken care of.)

Game Stuff
As for the game, it is still coming along. The delay I stated before is still in place, it will/should be early September. I don't foresee any issues coming up on the development side of things so it's a straight shot from here. No changes to state this time, it hasn't had much work on it between last Thursday and today. I've been busy, mostly with life, partially the issue stated above, and etc. Also the 22nd was my birthday, yay!


Slight Delay in Beta Release

Edit: (August 25, 2010) Alright, it will definitely be delayed until early September. It's still getting closer and closer to being completed though. :)

Oh delays, we're all used to them by now. Seems like most big games out there get hit with this. My reason/excuse is I'm going to be busy this week. From the time of this post till about Sunday. So there will be a week delay, possibly released the first week of September. (Though I doubt it since I'm ahead of where I thought I'd be.)

When you guys see the end, you will understand why this is taking so long. It will be worth it, I like to save the best for last. And yes, this is the end of the update today. Nothing to really announce at this time and no changes to list.

Game Changes
Wait wait wait... there is one... guess what changed again...

- Yep, Water Barrier changed again. Its casting time has been significantly reduced and its casting costs have been reduced slightly as well. Final change to this ability.
Okay two more changes...
- Flood has been changed too and its description fixed. It says it costs 280 Energy, but it actually costs 250 Energy. Its power has been boosted significantly, making it the most hard hitting ability next to Kudeku.
- Piercing Stream's power has been reduced very slightly.
You know... nevermind...
Almost all of the abilities have been redone on the casting time/power side of things.


Almost Done

Edit: (August 13, 2010) It's Friday the 13th, which means... well nothing. A few have been asking when the update is. More of you are anticipating the last update than I thought. Same answer as before, some time near the end of the month. Probably between the 22nd and the 30th. There were quite a few subtle changes with the casting times. A lot of them have been slightly reduced. Other than that, no major changes have been made. It's almost finished though, another week or two!

Edit: (August 8, 2010) A small update is now available. (13.3) The file size bumped up a bit, but that's as big as it will get, maybe another 2mb will be added, but for the most part, all the content is in the game. The final level is still locked till I finish the end scenario though. One other change this has is there are now characters that give a small hint to where the hidden maps are. They are always in the maps where the hidden one branches from. The item count in the inventory menu is the final item count, so until I open up the final level, you won't be able to get 100%.

Alright, the Data Segment is done as well as the boss, yay! I still have a few more little things I need to fix up. I'd like to get most of these things done before I release it. The end sequence still needs to be scripted, which is coming along nicely.

All the collectibles are in the game, so yay again!
The bug where the boss health bar grows and shrinks when you damage the boss has been fixed. (All I had to do was move a line of code down 3 lines, no joke.)
Slaix has done a run through the Data Segment and has given some nice suggestions/critiques, so everyone else gets a more balanced version of that for the beta release. The final boss is as balanced and bug free as I think it's going to get. I've done NUMEROUS tests on it. (No, Slaix didn't get to see that, he has to wait for the beta too.) :P

Even though it's so close to being finished, still be expecting toward the end of August.

Oh yeah, I'll be nice and give a single screenshot, but I won't explain it. Enjoy! :P


Stuff Coming Along

Edit (August 2, 2010) Updated the game, the stuff listed below are in the game and bugs fixed.

Edit (July 27, 2010) Fixed a bug where the "Dash Power" skill was not being saved.

Edit: (July 26, 2010) The max amount of Awesome Points you can accumulate is 100000, which means you can only get a double exp bonus from it. Other exp boosters stack with the Awesome Point bonus, so it is possible to get it to go a bit higher than double.

It's been almost 2 weeks since I've posted anything here so I just wanted to say that I am alive and well and that the game is still on schedule, if not ahead of schedule.

Game Changes
-The skill "Strategist" level 1 and 2 have been added to the available skills. It increases the cripple time by 2.5 seconds each level. The base time is 10 seconds, so that's a 50% boost. The skills cost 1 and 2 points to activate.
-Your Spirit and Element recovery speed is boosted a bit in the Data Center.
-A few more hidden maps have been added, mainly in the Mario levels. One of which can be found during your first run through the area. The other, unless you can seriously trick the physics of the game, you will have to come back to get to. Well that's of the Mario hidden maps that were added anyway.
-The amount of Internetz given by some of the chests has been increased. Not by too much, but if you have opened those, you missed out for your current save file.

Game Notes
The save files for the final version will be compatible with the ones out now. However a few changes will be made to it. It won't interrupt or change your data in any way. There may be another entry in the save file that will store preferences for things like starting the game in full screen as well as some other utility functions. I may also include an ini file that stores the key controls so that you can also change the controls out of game if you'd like. Technically you can now, but it's somewhere in the save data mess and isn't marked for people to read. There might be a few control presets built into the game.

Game Progress
The final area is roughly half way done. The very end (not the ending/credits) is what will take up most of my time to get perfect. Gotta save the best for last right? Going to make one last reference to my previous game. If you are one of the very few who have seen the end dungeon of it, then you know how I like to have final levels and battles. For everyone else, that statement means nothing.

As far as pick ups go, most of them are in the game world. At the moment of this posting, every Heart Piece is in the game, 9 Skill Capsules and 1 Spirit Aura (the boost in Spirit/Elemental energy) are left to place into the game world. The final dungeon has a few of these, mostly Skill Capsules, and unless I make changes, will have approximately 13. There will be 131 total of those. O_O



Was invited by a friend to go to an anime convention in San Antonio tomorrow. (Depending on your time, today.) This is honestly my first one, so we'll see how it goes. If you know me, you know I'm not all that into anime. I like a few, but I never go searching for new anime and people typically need to talk me into watching them. It's not that hard really...
You: "Hey Joe, wanna watch this?"
Me: "Sure, why not."
Should be fun though. No costume, especially on such short notice. I'd rather not cosplay anyway, not my thing. If I ever go to another one of these, then maybe. I have cat ears, that's about all I've got on me right now that's even close to anything considered a costume. Maybe I'll wear those...

Game Stuff
As you know, I've started work on the final area. It's a fairly large and linear area. I'll be including warp points, much like the way Black Rock had the doors to let you exit the dungeon, come back and keep going from where you left off. The focus of it will shift throughout the area. You're going to experience both heavy combat and platforming areas as well as a nice mix.

For the platforming and traps, I've only shown a part of that aspect to a small group of people. I won't go into that and for what they've seen, that's all they're going to see. (You keep that bet going Slaix :P, though you may get to see the AI in action once, but it will only be a very short clip.)

The combat may actually be harder than the traps this time. I'll explain a tiny bit. It is a squad based group of enemies that all support each other. They react to what you and their allies are doing as well as where everyone is. Fighting them head on does not work, I've made sure it doesn't. They support each other far better than the Shrouds could ever hope to. Speaking of them, they'll still be around, but not often, the Veiled Detritus is really where they shine. That's all I'm going to say about it.

Other Game Stuff
There's still more hidden maps that have not been put into the game. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to release them with the final area completed, or give some out before that. Anyway, look for the full, well beta version of the game in late August or early September. That's just my estimation.

Continue your summer fun.


The Spire is Built

Edit: (July 7, 2010) Slight change with the Easy setting. Enemies and traps had 30% less power than they did on Normal, this has been adjusted to 25%.

Here it is, the spire is complete and ready to be... experienced. I know I was telling some of you I would have it done sooner, but life and all that. Hey, if I was working at Emagination this year, there would be no updates for 2 months. Though not being there is making me very sad. :(

I went ahead and bumped up the release number. This will be the last release before the beta, so it's going to take awhile before you guys see the final area of the game. As always, you may see a few small updates between now and then. Look for it toward the end of August.

Game Changes
- No, Water Barrier was not adjusted this time.
- There is now a little progress percentage that shows up when you save.
- You can now use the [Q] key to cycle backward through your abilities. Yeah, it should have been functional when I put the [E] key to use. You still cannot map them to other keys yet, I'll get that going soon.
- There is a short explanation just before the Vegetable Garden boss fight about how cripple points work when more than one entry is displayed. (Though you all know how that works already.)
- You get an exp award after all the floor sets in the Spire. You can continually get this award by completing that set again, though after the first time, it will only award you 10% of the original award. No worries for those of you who already completed the first 2 or 3, the award is very minor for those.

Some Stuff That Will Happen Before Beta
A few more hidden maps will definitely show up as well as some game characters that will give you hints in to their locations around where they are. These characters will only show up after completing Black Rock Fortress. I'll be giving chests that contain money a different sprite so you can differentiate between the 2 types.

On the subject of money chests, there will be a few more of those scattered throughout the game. This will help get rid of 90% of your money grinding, if some of you do that. By the way, Metropolis is a great money grinding area, especially if you come back after getting a few power upgrades.

There will be a level cap. Oh noes!! The level cap is going to be 64. Your level at the end of the game will most likely be around 50, assuming you kill roughly 80% of the enemies you come across and don't grind.

Alright, have fun. :)


The End is Near

Edit: (June 30, 2010) The tower is almost complete, possibly by tomorrow. When it's finished, I'll upload the new version for you guys. It's being thoroughly tested, so there shouldn't be any bugs.
I'll go ahead and tell you now that floor 26 and up are going to be a nightmare. The last few sets don't mess around and some scenarios in them will be harder than the final area. On that thought, development will start on it shortly. :)

Edit: (June 27, 2010) After completing floor 15 of the tower, trying to go to floor 16 from the reward room will give an error. You can click ignore though and it will still record that you completed that set.

Released an updated version. This is quite a large one sorta. Fixes up a few things with the newest area. Probably stuff that no one saw hopefully. There are 5 more floors available in the tower. On the subject of the tower, the next update will have it completed. There's a new extra area which branches off the Veiled Detritus, should bring lots of new deaths. There are also a few new hidden maps, some of which are fairly easy to find, some are there to taunt early players. Check your map to see which ones have new areas to find.

The Mario [?] blocks are fixed and work better than they did when they initially worked. There are breakable blocks there now too, excuse the lack of sound when they are hit for now.

Oh, one more thing. If you completed the latest demo, check to message in the Data Center for what you have to do next, it now accurately shows what to do. The end cutscene dialogue changed very slightly to reflect on what it says to do next. (It basically says to go to your Sky Base.)

I think that's it for this announcement. I'll update this when the tower is done... unless one of you find a nasty crash bug, then you get more floors if anymore are playable when it's fixed and reuploaded.


New Demo Out Today O_O

Okay, this is way faster, I was gonna set the release date to July 4th, but here it is. The file size has unfortunately gone up by 6 MB, though that's not THAT big a deal. The final version shouldn't go beyond 54 MB when compressed.

Release Info
The next release date says August, however there will be minor updates, like extra levels, the tower being completed, hidden maps in previous areas. I'll be putting signs and npcs around to give you clues to these hidden maps as well.

Remember last update when I said there would be one more small update before the final one? Well there will be. Version 13 will be a VERY small update though and that brief story area may just be included in 12 sometime.

Some Broken Stuff
The Mario [?] blocks are not working properly. I'll have that fixed up soon.
That's the only broken thing that I saw.

In Conclusion
Just felt like having a section like this. Makes this sub-par update seem better. Have fun with this update. I warn you, it's hard. Harder than Black Rock, way harder, just shorter... good luck.


What Is Happening Next

I just had one of those Sonic Blast things which has nothing to do with this post so ignore that.

The project is almost over, so here is how things are going to go now. After this update with the forest, you will have one more update with a new area. There are only two more updates I will be releasing. After that I will be creating all the content for the final chapter of the game, once all that is done, I'll release it all for testing. The game will be in beta then, so yay! This should happen at the end of August or sometime in September hopefully. The beta phase should take about 2 months with things going back and forth with the bug finding and fixing. Plus all that stuff that wasn't put into the game earlier.

Removed Content
There's something you don't want to see. Here's what will be removed. The Conjure ability has been taken out. It was just a test to see how everyone reacted to them and how well they worked with the game. All in all, they're no good for the game. The event with Blazing will flow the same and he will still join with you, however, he will show up on his own. There is a constraint to him appearing. He will only show up when the Shrouds find you. He'll do different things to them, none of which will take from your energy. The other summons will not appear at all. I had only released two of them, so you'll only miss the water summon, Muuguru. The spot where you get Muuguru will be replaced with... nothing. Look in your skill window in Version 12 to see.

I was tempted to remove the bullet hell section, but it will remain in the game. Mostly as a minigame type of thing, though that one spot will still be mandatory. I have actually only heard good things about it despite not a lot went into it. It's very basic as far as bullet hells go. I attribute it to that section breaking up the gameplay.

That's all I wanted to announce today. This upcoming update (version 12) will be the last big update. (Version 13 will be fairly small.) Version 14 will be quite a large update and will also be the beta version. It will probably be a long process, but it'll get done. Yay to the game being completely done before 2011.

Thank you everyone that has followed the project this far and provided me with bug reports of all different kinds. The project wouldn't be what it is without all of you. <3

What's Next?
What do you mean what's next? I just said... oh, what's after Distorted Travesty? I'll be making Distorted Travesty 2: The Sequel to the Prequel. Actually not really. This will be the only game; no series for this. What am I really doing? I know, but I'm not telling. Maybe getting a life... no, that won't happen... That's a scary thought.


Broken Gameplay

Edit: (06/09/2010) How about a video showing those spinning death spikes. Also it gets much worse than this. Imagine what things would be like when you get your dash back.

Not really sure what the title means... or do I?
I've come upon an odd revelation, I think I secretly hate games and it's so secret that not even I know about it. Wait, that's not true. It is, but it isn't. I find myself playing Independent games much more often than anything. So enough of that.

Broken Trap
I call this update broken gameplay because I am announcing a new late game trap that somewhat breaks the game. This trap will still damage you even if you are dashing.

You: Wait WHAT, bull!?

Yes, you heard/read correctly. The jump attack (and Grand Slam) will still go through it though. How about a screenshot...

Those spikey circles that you see will be a hated sight. If you already couldn't tell from the screenshot, they spin and have an open spot for you to get through. The screenshot shows that you have no dash points as well. The first time you are introduced to these, your dash will be disabled to encourage you to get used to not dashing through them. These easily break what I have been teaching you throughout the game and because of this, are the only thing that will break through your dash. There's enough for you to have to remember without having to remember some crazy amount of things that you can and can't dash through, so know that these will be the only game breaking object that you will encounter.

The Next Area
The forest and anything attached to that area will be full of obstacles. These are no combat heavy areas and there are few enemy encounters, especially after the forest. No worries though the Assault Unit, which is worse than the Shrouds, is coming up soon. They'll provide plenty of combat for you. :P

The end of the game is coming up soon so all of the more organized enemy types will be showing up.



My dislike for Square's games continues to grow. Even when I try to go into fanboy mode, I get disappointed. Between bad design choices that lead to frustrating gameplay, (Extremely high encounter ratings... which also means random encounters, I thought this method was out of style these days) and terrible writing that sounds like a bad fanfic... I think I'm done with Square's games. (More at the bottom.)

The Next Area
The next area is called Shady Woods. It will be fairly short, no wait, it will be really short. There is a secondary area along with it though. The idea behind this area is concealed traps. The foreground (trees) scroll at a different pace than you. (You know the illusion by now with 2D games) You must be very observant for this area or you're going to fall into it's many traps. Although it's short and condensed, it will be harder than Black Rock. The hindered visibility plays into this mostly. So yes, the game is going back to it's roots of pissing you off.

The shot doesn't show it, there's a lot of tall grass in some areas for enemies to partially hide themselves.

The second area of the update will also play into hiding things, but not to the extent the forest goes to. It will change throughout the area. Instead of spoiling it, I'll let you all find out for yourselves.

Game Progress
The game is actually getting close to the end. Story spoilers, (actually not really, Jeremy tells you right at the beginning of this) a Muffin is obtained from this area, which only leaves one more that is being guarded. Story wise, most of the characters will be explained in the next area as well as their motives. (If you are even following it .) :P

Once all the content is in the game, lots of stuff will be fixed up like the sounds and dialogue; So no worries, things aren't being skipped over, just put off for now.

RPGs, Specifically Square
I think I mentioned FF13 in a previous post, but here we go anyway. First the good: The characters were great. They were written very well, stayed in character (aside from a few parts that made me go o_O) and were overall, enjoyable. Snow may have been annoying, but that doesn't mean he wasn't written well. While I hate characters with misguided revenge issues, Hope like the others, was done well. As usual with Square, the visuals were awesome, especially Pulse. The artists put a lot of time and effort into crafting them perfectly, I periodically stopped to look around to see what they had built.
And now the bad: The battle system. At first I didn't really like it, then around chapter 4 and 5, I saw some potential for it and I at that point, I was enjoying it. This is around the time you Synergists and Saboteurs. I won't explain combat since you can read up about it anywhere else and you have most likely played it. I say I liked it, yet I place this under the bad. Here we go. Around Chapter 10, it was suddenly becoming annoying. Every battle became the same thing. Buff/debuff first, stagger, kill. Skip a step periodically, but it always played out the same. Battle started taking too long due to the buff/debuff aspect. Sure you don't have to do that, but then it just takes even longer to finish a fight. I'll come back to combat in a second.
The story was something else I enjoyed. I was a well crafted drama with really good pacing... and then Chapter 10 happened. The villain was about as typical as they come with plenty of illogical moments of sudden "hahahas" thrown in. Now I didn't go to the school of how to be a generic villain , but I'm beginning to think there's a class called "Moments when you shouldn't laugh, laugh anyway". Why, WHY must they always laugh at everything? I knew the story was about to go downhill when the villain gave his wondrous exposition on how evil he was at the end of Chapter 9. What's worse was the characters that I had enjoyed for the first 9  chapters were suddenly filled with one liners all through chapter 11. Which lets talk about that particular chapter for a second. Why was it there? Gameplay wise, that's where the game opened up, but nothing gets accomplished in the story in this chapter. Mediocrity and one liners apparently go hand in hand when delivering stories in gameplay driven areas. Before I go to the next part, apparently only main characters get any development. By main characters, I mean only those 6 in the party. If you weren't in that party, you weren't important.

Interactivity was a big concern with this game err movie. If you've played FF13, you know the immense amount of cut-scenes there are. When not in a cut-scene, you are running down a hallway, periodically engaging in combat. This repeats for the entire game. (Except Chapter 11) I never really felt like I was interacting with FF13, nor was in interacting with me. I felt like a spectator the entire game. What choice did I have on these pathways? None to be honest. I didn't really feel like I was interacting in combat either. You choose your role and the game plays for you. There are 2 main options you have in combat. Auto and Manual. Something that was done right, once you have either fought an enemy for a moment or used Libra, the characters would know how to fight the enemy better. This was also a slight problem as well as there was almost never a reason to not choose Auto. (Double negative, RAWR!) So there we go, I'm no longer interacting with the game past that.

FF13 can be summed up as a movie that you constantly have to press the play button to keep running. In this case, the A button and sometimes holding the left stick in the up position.

Another game I recently played by Square was FF4:The After Years. I played this out of curiosity and wanting a nostalgic feeling. The original FF4 was the first major rpg I had played through, so it holds that special place... you know what I'm talking about. I loved the original's dramatic and interesting characters. I was hoping to see more of that in the sequel. I decided to try being a fanboy for awhile. Bleh, I'm not going into it much. It started out decent, then goes into the realm of bad fanfic. In conclusion, Square could use better writers.


No Longer Hidden

Edit: (May 24, 2010) 
Another edit: fixes yet another crash bug. I recommend getting this if you plan on item hunting. Sorry about that, and sorry Slaix for that bug. :/
Okay, that's enough crash bugs. Find something that isn't game destroying this time. XD

Version fixes the crash bug when getting hit by projectiles while equipped with the Revenge Bead as well as fixes the crash bug with Zephyr. (Yes, it crashed the game... AGAIN!) The objective display within the Data Center is also updated. (It wasn't accurate for the end of Veiled Detritus.)

The newest version has been released today. (Being uploaded as I type this.) You can now enjoy the Veiled Detritus! As always, there are a few sound effects missing. Sound is one of those things that will be fixed up at the end. There is also 1 music track that is not in place and 1 that may be changed. Bleh, anyway. It is all playable and ready for you all to test. :)

It was a week early too, and now... I'm taking a break. Enjoy the game and of course, any bugs that you inevitably find, report them so I can dispose of them properly. :)

Game Changes
- For the bullet hell sections, err, section. (for now) There are 2 changes.
  - The scoring system has been slightly changed, for the most part, you will end up with the same amount of points in the end. You get extra points during bosses (after each phase) depending on how many lives and bombs you have remaining.
  - There is now a little homing shot that will track the closest enemy. It is much weaker than your normal shots.
- Jerry's hitbox has been slightly changed... again. It is roughly a pixel smaller on each side. His foot hanging down during his normal jump animation is no longer part of his hitbox. (You're still going to die just as much.)

Explanation of the Bullet Hell Scoring
If you've wondered how this works, then read this.
- Each time you hit an enemy, your points increase by a slight amount.
- Destroying an enemy ship gives a greater amount of points depending on the enemy destroyed.
- The stars (will probably be changed in the future) dropped by enemies give 1000 points each. You get an additional 20 for every graze point you have. - 1000+(graze*20)
- When a boss phase has ended, any bullets still on screen will be converted to a point item. These are worth 100 points each in addition to 3.5 additional for every graze. (rounded up) If you graze a lot during the levels, bosses are worth a substantial amount.
- Damage dealt by bombs will not award points.
- Enemies that are damage by a bomb will be worth half their normal point value and will only drop half the point items they normally would have. (If an enemy only drops 1, they will still drop it.) This also includes bosses, however it only counts for the phase the bomb is used on.


Work and Pacing

Edit: (May 16, 2010) I should have the area ready in a few days. Still ahead of schedule! Nothing else to say at this time.

Edit: (May 14, 2010) Frustrating job is frustrating this month. Anyway, GOOD NEWS!! The next part of the game will definitely be released by the date I originally set, most likely a few days (maybe even a week) beforehand. There is not much left to finish up and most of the debugging and fine tuning has been completed.

A new control feature has been implemented as well. You will now be able to cycle through your abilities without having to go into your menu. You cycle through your abilities much like you do your elements, in this case, it will cycle through the spell list of the active element. If fire is active, it goes Fireball -> Flame Fillar -> Blast Off, etc. If none of them are selected, you will cycle through your physical skills. They are currently mapped to "Q" and "E", back and forward respectively. I will probably add them to the key configure list, especially for those people that either moved the default WASD set up or are using the arrow keys.

Question: Would you prefer the setup I explained up there, with a forward/back cycle button, or would you like one button to cycle forward through the current active element and the other to cycle through your physical techs, regardless of the active element?

Edit: (May 02, 2010) The main part of this area is almost done and the map system and all it's components are completely done. There are only a few incomplete maps, but story sequences and a few scripted things will need to be put in place afterwards. The boss battle may take some time to make. Planning and all that is finished for it at least.

Here are 2 screenshots showing those Element Doors I mentioned. The graphics may or may not be final. Leaving them in links.

Work is going to pick up this week, but a lot of progress has been made and the pacing is going well. I may actually have this area ready by the target release date.

Developing this area has been very enjoyable, the play testing isn't as bad as I thought it would be either. Though this area isn't all that hard. (Which makes it easier to test.) I can easily say that this area will give you a break. You may have to stop for a moment to think on some of the puzzles, the further you go in, the more elaborate they become. Most of them only require observation and some timing.

New Item
You can get an item here that will help you locate items. It will make a chime when you enter a map that you do not have all the items in. This can be turned off from the options menu, which will be added when you get the item and will be on by default. It will only alert you to optional items, story related items and keys are not included.

Here's a screenshot showing one of the new abilities you will get here. Yes, finally an effective water spell!

A new type of door/barrier will be showing up soon and unless I change one of the puzzles, they won't appear until after Veiled Detritus.
It's a door that is only open when a certain element is active. Simple concept, but very effective for puzzles.

I'm going to release a small update soon, you'll have 10 floors to try in the Spire and Zephyr will be fixed again. (I broke it, don't use it in version 10.2 or 10.3, it will crash the game.)


Hidden & Veiled

Edit: (Apr. 20, 2010) Quick announcement. I'm back, yay! I come back to a report that the game crashes within the first few rooms if played on anything other than Normal. This was due to the thing I said below about cleaning up unused variables. Forgot about a small thing with the difficulty adjustment script, it's all been fixed now.

Edit: (Apr. 15, 2010) Going to be out of town for roughly a week. I'll release a little patch later today which has the bugs fixed that were reported to me as well as the bullet hell section fixed up. (Still no music of it's own.) :P
I recently cleaned up some of the code, mainly things like enemy projectiles and traps. Since they are an object inheriting from the same source as enemies and such, they had parameters like life and defense, an unused cripple point value among other things unique to the enemy types. This has been fixed up, about 39 or so variables were removed from those types of objects. When you think about the amount of things like spikes that were in some rooms like in Black Rock, that's a lot of memory freed up.
39(vars cleared) * 200(spikes) = 7800 less variables used in memory, which is somewhere around 39KB of memory freed up.

Edit: (Apr. 14, 2010) Alright, got the first few maps done and all the systems in place and fully working, so things should go fairly smooth now. As said before, the difficulty is a bit lower overall in this area, the enemies are a bit tricky in that it is very important that you hit an enemy's weakness here. Some enemies, if you're playing on Hard or Distorted, you will hit for 0 damage unless you cripple them. Most of them also have an element that they are completely immune to. This is going to become fairly common. You don't have to deal with elemental shifting opponents yet though, that will be a common sight in the next area. As for boss fights in the Veiled Detritus, there will of course be the 1 big one, and there will also be a few mini-bosses scattered about. You guys will definitely love the way the game checkpoints you in this area. It is areas like this that it was set up like this in the first place... aside from the game killing you in nearly every map. (I'm sure Distortion 3 did that.) <3
Anyway, automatic updates insists on my computer restarting, so I better do that before it has a fit. Another note, I'll most likely be working more. Real life jobs demanding more time, bleh, but w/e $$. :P It shouldn't have TOO much an effect on this, but it will slow things down.

Edit: (Apr. 12, 2010) Earlier when I mentioned that the new area would be large, I didn't realize how large. Looking at it all laid out now, it spans well over 20 maps that all intertwine and weave about to create this labyrinth. It is bigger than all of Metropolis collectively. Like that area, there are numerous story events and new abilities. (And will expand on your Conjure ability.) What I'm saying is this will take some time to complete. I've gone ahead and set a desired release date and we'll see what happens depending on how life goes and how many issues come up during development. That mini-update still needs to be released...

Redundant titles are... yep. I'll be releasing a little update soon with all the problems fixed that were sent to me. There were roughly the amount of problems that I figured there would be. You guys found some really good ones that got by me this time, so thanks for that.

Game Changes
- Changed Water Barrier yet AGAIN. This time I changed the amount of HP it has. Before it had 1/3 of your max HP, now it has 1/2. It's lifetime has not been changed.
- The enemy "Black Mantle" that first appears in Windy Caves has a slight change. Their bullets no longer go behind the level tiles. I bet that was annoying. >_<

Bullet Hell Section Change
- Probably won't have the music or sounds in place yet. However you will be able to get a Skill Capsule from it if you get enough points. The required points will be displayed next to the area in the selection menu. A star will be displayed if you have earned the item there.
- Note that the required points is slightly different per difficulty. You need 10% less points for Easy, 10% more for Hard, and 20% more for Distorted. These are also the score modifiers for each difficulty, but it is still technically easier to get the required score even on higher difficulties due to the way the scoring system works. Just a heads up, the required score for Windy Mountains is 1,500,000. It's not as hard as it looks. Unfortunately due to when/how it awards these, even if you have the required points, you will have to retry with the next update. (This is also so you guys don't cheat the scoring system for it since you currently can.)
- Bosses during these sections will have timers for each of their patterns, this will be put in place due to how the scoring works.

Upcoming Level
The next area, currently called the Veiled Detritus, may take some time to complete. No new systems need to be put in place and all the pre-production work is done, but it is quite large, bigger than Black Rock Fortress, and a lot happens there. You may remember a few months when I mentioned that you would be given a Zelda like map for The Hideout. As you saw, I did away with that. What had happened is I simplified The Hideout and decided to push that idea back. This is when that will be taking place. (For real this time.) It is tamer than Black Rock and Windy Slopes as far as enemy and trap difficulty go. There is a slight emphasis on puzzle solving for this area. That isn't to say it won't have it's fair share of rough spots, this is Distorted Travesty after all, but they will be more spread out.

On a random side note, Hard mode makes Windy Slopes 10 times harder. x_X


You Know What Time It Is!

Edit: (Apr. 7, 2010) In the next update, you will be able to reset your skill trees. There is a new character added in towns that will reset them for 25 Internetz. Took a bit to make that work, they were never coded to be reset. I know some of you will like this.
I've been trying to think of ways to make a screen blur effect that wouldn't drop the frame rate and finally did. It's pretty nasty on the eyes, and I would be very conservative with effects like these. Here's 2 screenshots of it, though it looks a lot better in motion.
Keeping them in links.
Blur Effect 1
Blur Effect 2

Yay, it is finally here! So many deaths await you.

A few things to note:
For the bullet hell section: (yes there is one, and it shouldn't be too bad even if you don't play those types of games) It currently uses the music from Windy Slopes, this will change, as will the sound effects for that area. (Or rather the lack of sound there.) It is still being worked on, but fully playable. There will be numerous changes occurring very soon with that. I don't like releasing something so incomplete, but it is a minor part of the Windy Slopes level. Rather than delay any longer, I want everyone to be able to play in the new area. There will be more of these bullet hell levels, but not too many, probably 3 in total throughout the game.

As far as how it plays... the same as any generic bullet hell, they all play almost the same, so if you've played one, you will understand this one easy.

Anyway, I really hope I got it as bug-free as possible, but that's where you all come in. Have fun and try not to die TOO much.


Where Have I Been?

Edit: (Apr. 5, 2010) The next demo will be released today, there will be a new post when I do.

Edit: (Apr. 2, 2010) It's not fake, I swear!

Edit: (Mar. 30, 2010) The collision point for the character has been refined again. It is smaller for a few frames. And fixed up the running while shooting frame (the collision point) for Metropolis. (It was kinda off.) The new area will be done soon. Yay!
Likewise, the collision point for enemy projectiles originally was the entire sprite. All of them have been shrunk down a pixel or 2 within the sprite. The game plays a lot better this way, before this, it looked like you would be getting hit when you really weren't. That wasn't the case, but regardless, you can now graze by projectiles. Enemy collision points are the entire sprite still, this is partially due to that being their hitbox for your attacks too.

Hey look, a post! I know I said the next update would be tomorrow, but that goal is impossible right now. Gonna have to delay it a bit. Real life is calming down again and I have more time for this now, so it will be soon. Also I've been playing games more. FF13 has taken up a good chunk of time. (Even though I said I wasn't going to play through it.) Having fun with it though and getting kinda close to the end... I think. o_O Done over half the hunts. There's so many of them.

Game Changes
- The sound effects for hitting an enemy in Metropolis aren't so loud now. (An issue that came up from the sound volume control.)

There's not too much to say right now. Not wanting to spoil anything. Overall though, I don't think the Windy Slopes are quite as hard as Black Rock. There are a few rough points though, multiple boss fights as well. Everyone will enjoy the second boss fight there, which I definitely can't spoil that.


Wolves and Apples

Edit: (Mar. 16, 2010) Noticed that the first time you save after starting a new game, you will get a crash error. It still saves and won't crash anymore afterward, but still very bad. This has been fixed. will have that fix as well as:

The Shrouds will now scout for you. The system is complete and has been fully implemented. This only takes effect after Black Rock of course. A new entry in the records sub-menu will tell you your threat level. There are different warnings:
None: They are not scouting your current area.
Minimal: Some Shrouds are around, but the likelihood of running into them is low.
Low: Same as above, but the you may run into them if you are unlucky.
Moderate: They have started scouting a bit more thoroughly.
High: The Shrouds know you are in the area, it is only a matter of time before they pinpoint your exact location. They may follow you if you run from them on this warn level.
Critical: The Shrouds are on high alert and have probably already seen you. If you run from them, there is a slightly higher chance that they will follow you.
Imminent: You would have to either be lucky or have run from the scouts a lot to see this threat level, and even luckier if they don't find you at all on this. If you run from them on this warn level, there is a very high probability that they will follow you.

As noted above, on a warn level of High or above, the Shrouds may follow you if decide to leave the map without defeating them. If they do follow you, that group will continue to pursue until you either defeat them or leave the area altogether. (Exit to world map) Running from them will almost always increase the warn level up a notch.
A few rules that Shrouds must follow however. They will never scout for you in the Data Center, towns, and areas marked as "Extra". They will also not scout in the Spire of Forgotten Souls and a few select maps. They may scout in some boss rooms, but only if the boss has been defeated. If you exit to the World Map and your warn level is Imminent, it will drop back down to Moderate. If it is High or Critical, it may drop a bit.
Added rule: Jaffe suggested a great idea, if your warn level is High or higher, you cannot use the teleport ability.

My roommates and I have been watching Spice & Wolf, hence the title. Now we're just waiting for the English release of Season 2. Watching that gave me a craving for apples though... so now I have some.

I usually stay away from TV Tropes, when I do go on there, I have a self-imposed 3 link rule. It keeps me from staying on there forever, same with wikipedia. But there are 2 tropes I found relevant to Distorted Travesty, I think you will all find most of this very familiar.

Platform Hell
Classic Video Game Screw Yous

Game Stuff
Windy Slopes should be available in 2 weeks. It is taking some time as real life has demanded a bit more of my attention this last month and Windy Slopes has a lot of stuff involved. Testing it has become quite a task. A new thing will show up, there are hidden maps in this area so keep a look out for that. Some of the pick ups will take some out of the box thinking.

Here's a little video showing what I call the Blazing Fire Spam.
This is part of the Windy Slopes, there's more to it than the upper field.
You get a new ability here which most of you will like, I won't reveal what it is though. There's not too much to report on the game except that it is taking awhile to finish this place up. :P

Game Changes
- You will slide farther now when you kneel after running. If you used it as a way to dodge before this, note that it is even more helpful now and gives a bigger boost of speed, just be sure to accommodate for this. has this change already
- You can no longer swap spells while in the casting animation. Try this before the next update. Cast a spell with a noticeable casting time and change it out from the menu. It should crash the game.
- The Up Arrow key now works with everything. Map doors and npcs did not respond to it before this.

Other Games
Final Fantasy 13 was released this week. I've decided the game could have been a 2D side scroller and it wouldn't have changed a thing. Battles are fun and the system is very simplistic, however it gets very repetitive and sometimes time consuming starting every battle with buffing first. I'll give them props for keeping the pace of the game moving forward at all times. I think the Star Ocean team could take some design lessons from Square in how not to make an easily broken game. Star Ocean 3 just chain moves until enemy dies, they can't counter, it works every time. Star Ocean 4, just use Meracle once she joins as she's even more broken than Ike was in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, actually he was broken in Radiant Dawn too. Hell, he's broken in Smash Bros. but so are all the characters in that game.

I started playing Ninja Gaiden 2 (360) again. I haven't played it in about 2 years. I only played through the first level of it back then. I died in the first 5 seconds of it due to not remembering anything about the game. (Holding block does nothing for you) O_O Then blazed through the first 2 levels, it was all coming back. I stopped there, may play more later today. The camera is really REALLY bad. Multiple times I was attacking off-screen enemies, not able to see the ground, or it just refused to respond to me. Using spells puts the camera right at your back most of the time so finding a new target is pointless to try. At one point, one of those mages situated himself directly in front of the camera and followed it as I moved. So for roughly 10 seconds, I was almost literally fighting blindfolded and for some reason, I wasn't able to recenter the camera. Luckily boss fights give you the option of keeping the camera focused on the boss while trying to keep you in view too. Other than that, it flows really well, once I learned a few combos, I blew through most things. Oh, and I hate archers, take them out first. >_<