Stuff Under the Header


Viruses and Updates

Edit: (April 26, 2011) After testing GM8.1, I've found that it renders roughly twice as fast as the old version, which is awesome.
I can finally zoom in and out in the map editor. The maps look so small when zoomed out.
Click me for image (you know this place)
Oh yeah, when DT2 gets another update, it will have the anti-aliased text fixed up. GM turned it all the way up for every font. Whoops.

Bleh, I got one last night. Luckily my virus protection got rid of it in the blink of an eye. Unluckily it didn't catch it soon enough and it destroyed all my file-type associations. Couldn't even get System Restore open. Luckily I managed to get Firefox open and found something to restore everything back to normal. So it was a short lived chaotic computer moment.

As you might have noticed, I've started changing the blog around. The downloads for the games have been moved up a section, I like it better this way. DT2 was updated with the changes outlined in the previous post. The file size was boosted by half a MB, oh no! D: I remade the exe with Game Maker's update. The exes are a bit bigger with the update, but I didn't see any changes to the loading times. The game itself will run faster now. Yoyogames sped up the sprite rendering, yay! I haven't actually tested how much better it is yet. I'm going to do a stress test after this post. They said they fixed the font issues, so the jumbled font issue SHOULD be fixed. I finally have more font options, like making the anti-aliasing better or turning it off completely. The update doesn't have any changes in that regard yet. Whether or not there's a significant boost in performance, the first DT will be getting an update from this too. I gotta fix those sound bugs anyway.

Won't be a spoiler if you finished DT2.

So you all saw the end of DT2 right? As you saw, it left on a cliff... hanger. (Wow that's a bad joke.) This does mean that there will be a third and final chapter to the game. It's not going to be finished for quite some time. I'm thinking 2 years. I won't have too much time to work on it for the next few months. That and it's a fairly ambitious project, at least that's what I've been told. If you got 100% in DT2, then you got an extra room that shared a bit of info about the third chapter... and an endless enemy gauntlet where you have infinite health and energy... because uh... I said so.

So here's some more info to add onto that.
The third part, called "Saved Game", picks up right after the events of the second. Both Jerry and Claire are playable throughout it. (They can be swapped much like how Viewtiful Joe 2 was done.) The narrative will be receiving a huge boost, so those of you that enjoy that aspect will definitely enjoy this. The story centers around a city in the middle of the large game world in DT3, where Jerry and the group focus on gathering others to assist them in their fight against the virus that is consuming the world.

The elemental attack system has been removed. The virus strips away everything that Jerry and Claire could do from the first 2 games. However, they are able to equip ability sets. For example, Claire will get access to a Samus ability set, which lets her use Samus' cannon, missiles, and bombs, which of course means the Morph Ball. Jerry will get access to a Link set. The others will be kept secret. None of them, aside from one, can be used by both characters. These abilities are gained in separate zones and until that zone is completed, it can only be used in there, and is also the only set that will work in that zone until it is completed. Once that zone is complete, the abilities can be used in the main world. While each set has its own play style, I'm doing my best to keep things as simple and intuitive as possible. I understand a concern with the first two games was how fast all the game mechanics were given out. DT3 will bring players into the game world at a much better pace. Dashing will make a return, but it is also taken away at the beginning. In fact, the only thing you can do in the very beginning is run and jump... actually you can't even jump, wait... you can't even move. Jeremy will assist with these issues at the start of the game. :P

The health system will take a simple approach. Jerry and Claire will share the same health of course. This screenshot will show what I mean. The HUD is super incomplete as you can see. (Free Internetz if you can guess the game that background is from.)

The engine has received a boost in performance. (Not counting the faster rendering that the Game Maker update provides. I only just got that yesterday.) The target fps is still 30. Right now I have no plans to bring it up to 60.

RPG elements are coming back. Enemies give out points (AP) which can be assigned to skills in a skill tree. (It actually looks like a tree this time.) They're quite a bit different from what you saw in part 1. Each of your abilities can also level up through just using them.

The game physics have been changed. The characters both control relatively the same, Claire runs a bit faster and is a bit more slippery. Jerry has a tighter Mega Man like feel. Their dashes both work differently. Air Dashing will make a return as will wall jumping, though with the wall jump, it is limited to only 1 of the zones. It will never be usable in the main world. Wall sliding however, may possibly be available everywhere. That hasn't been decided yet.

As far as things like Link's arrows and Samus' missiles. They are consumables, and at this time, are the only consumable attack source. The others work on a recharge, including Link's bombs. (Actually if you have 0 arrows or missiles left, they will recharge to 1 after a few seconds.) There is a single pickup that will recover these. If the active character is Jerry, the arrows are refilled, etc.

Well I hope this excites you guys. Feel free to ask questions about it. As far as game length, it looks to be a bit shorter than the first, though only for the main quest. The third part, by far, has more optional things to do.


slaix223 said...

Oh thank goodness. Now I can start squeeing to everyone about this game's existence.

Anyway, the only thing I'm thinking of is how exactly wall sliding would help someone if you can't jump off the wall. I mean, the only reason I ever took advantage of that was because I needed to get into a more favorable position to wall jump in the first place, so yeah.

Either way, I can't wait to see where this game goes.

ZephyrBurst said...

It's leaning more on the no side of making its way in. It would feel unnatural if you could do one but not the other.

Fool said...

This looks exciting! Very glad to see the RPG elements back, and the promise of storyline focus! I will eagerly await this, however long it takes.

ZephyrBurst said...

I'm happy that people are excited about it and I'm working to make this the best in the series.

Not much actual development has been done on it. I'm still in the pre-production phase and will be for a longer time than the previous games. It's been a good thing so far. I had found that my original control scheme had horrible flaws. I aimed to have all the Ability Sets have the same control setup. This didn't work when planning all the nuances they had, it felt more complicated than having them all control differently. A master control setup broke over half of them.

So now, the control schemes for each are similar, but the play style is different. I didn't want them all being radically different from each other. Trying to remember 5+ control schemes would be a nightmare for the player. This seems to work, at least what I envision does. I'll know more when I get a playable version working and out to a few people to test... which btw, if you want to test it out, you are welcome to... whenever that happens. :) The tests won't spoil anything story wise, but they will spoil a lot of the abilities you can get.

As for story focus, the world has already been setup and established. The idea is to add some culture into the world. DT seemed to be a very lonely world and I want to fix that with this.

In the first game, there was an idea that I cut that I wish I didn't. The Darkness had already established a place for people to live in by the time Jerry and Jeremy were brought in. This place would have been discovered sometime after Black Rock. The idea was it had people who knew very well what they were in and were loyal to The Darkness. As well as a conflict within this culture that split people into either being for or against keeping the program running. Neither side truly knowing that if the program was shut off, everything in it is gone. (I realized later that it was very much like The Matrix.)

DT3 will not have this conflict, but there will be an established society within the city the game focuses around.

Fool said...

Huh, that sounds interesting. I consider worldbuilding the most important aspect of stories, so I think you're on the right track. :)

I probably wouldn't want to be a beta tester though. It's just not the kind of thing I'm good at, I think.