Stuff Under the Header


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.