Stuff Under the Header


Two in One

No bird stuff to report today other than they're all doing great and it seems a few more younger birds have caught on to me.

Both DT1 and DT2 got an update today. DT1 is very very minor and figured I'd give it an update since it had some stuff fixed that was bad. Soothing Spring, which has been asked a few times to be made better, has been made better. It does the same thing as before, it just lasts a lot longer. Since DT2 got a few visual effects on its spells, I figured I'd pass those on to DT1 as well. Oh yeah, a few of those 1 tile wide platforms in 'Think & Act Fast' have been extended to 2. The return teleport door after the fall has been removed as there's no reason to come back. Some of you may have caught on to a challenge by a player asking me to play that map without taking damage. When I can get to a computer that can screen-capture, I will be using the original version. Still not sure if I'm going to voice that or not.

For DT2, the visual effect above is there. As I said before, most of the changes were done to the final level. Every boss in the game had its power reduced by 1. It is, in every way, to make them easier. The difficulty comes in from trying to get the optional time requirements... which are now slightly easier due to a change with spell costs in DT2. If you haven't used more than 4 bars of spell energy, then that element will only cost 2 instead of 3. For most of the game, it has you using all of your elements, so this is to help motivate that.

Claire can now dash off walls just like you can in DT3's Gate 4. Which means you can do the ever broken parallel wall dashing, though that eats dash energy fast...

The pew pew level also got changed. The full charge doesn't take as long to reach, but its been slightly powered down. The biggest change comes from the helper bots that follow you. Play the level and you'll see what I mean. :3 To balance the change, the bosses have had their HP counts slightly boosted. The rule of losing one helper when you die and continue is still in effect.

ano0maly and a mysterious email guy has wondered about DT2 getting more levels made for it. That is a fun thought. More could definitely be done with it. I'd like to ask what people would want from it. An extra world of 4 levels put between 1 and 3? Or something else. One thought I had, which would be immensely easier to add for the scoreboard, is small 'challenge' levels along with each world. Much like the Spire in DT1, but not done in sets of 5. No more that. They wouldn't be on the main scoreboard, but would track your best time.

Submit your ideas! It may be possible that I'll go back and add in a little more content to DT2. As I've said in the past though, I'd like to focus my efforts on DT3, so I can't promise anything. DT2 has much smaller levels, so it could be a thing I add in little bits at a time. ano0maly has said DT2 feels incomplete, anyone sharing that thought, what do you feel would fix that?
Also online leaderboards was an idea back in the day for it. Which reminds me, I thought about letting players opt in at the beginning of the DT3 demo if they wanted the game to send their game data to me periodically for data mining purposes. Seeing things like the average AP level at specific times, deaths per room, when people stopped playing, etc.

Oh yeah, it has an 'exe only' download now.

Development is continuing again after my play-test through all the content. Lots of stuff changed. Seeing some of these old levels again for the first time in a long time gives a new perspective on them. A nifty change to the Link set is the player can now press the bomb button while a bomb is active to reduce the detonation time down to when it begins flashing, or just before anyway. (1.16 seconds before it explodes.) Which made its use in combat much better. I found even myself neglecting it aside from very few scenarios. Of course certain things changed slightly to accommodate that. This change may not stay in, it's in a trial period right now, but so far I like it much better.


NegativeZeroZ said...

A minor thing for DT1, but it's something I noticed while re-fighting the Shroud Lord in the boss room (the one you unlock after beating the game). It seems pressing E to switch physical techniques doesn't work in the boss room, you're forced to use the menu instead. For some reason, it's only physical techniques, pressing E to switch spells still works as normal. Also, after each retry, it defaults back to Mental Insurrection every time. Again, this seems to be an exception for physical techniques, since the last-selected elemental spells are remembered. This only occurs in the boss room, but it seems to happen in every fight, not just the Shroud Lord.

Also, while not really a bug, this is kind of silly:

Somehow, I doubt standing idly on those platforms was meant to be safe (but I could be wrong).

Anonymous said...

For DT 2, I'll throw my idea in to have a bonus level in each world, perhaps accessed upon gathering all the "stars" in each level. As it stands, there really doesn't seem to be much to motivate players to get every star in the game. I'd think that having a bonus upon not just gathering all the stars from the game, but also giving a bonus level when gathering all stars in each world, would be a good motivator to keep people wanting to beat their best times and scores so that they can see what the next bonus level has in store for them.

Shade said...

After I got frustrated with 3-2 about a year ago and ended up quitting, I now finally gave DT2 another try and completed it. As such, have some feedback / bug reports:

- If you press M to skip the dialogue right before the first boss, the screen won't follow Claire during the fight, making it nigh impossible to beat. Selecting [Restart Level] fixes this, but yeah. Didn't test this with other bosses.
- Sometimes when you take damage right while using a spell, Claire will use the spell one more time than you actually pressed the button.

Possible problems:
- I feel that the chaser section after the final boss is too hard, for the wrong reasons - getting caught by the chaser might as well be an instant death, as the fact that it will stay right inside you unless you manage to find the right spell to hit it in all the panic makes it almost impossible to recover from a hit. It already deals a lot of damage per hit, so in my opinion, it would be fairer if it backed off a bit after hitting you once, to give you a chance to recover.

Normal feedback:
Something inside me died when the game told me that I'll need to get 100% completion to view more... Because just beating the levels is fairly doable with some persistance, but what the game asks of you for 100% completion is just insane. Let my break it down into more detail.
For 100% completion, you have to collect all diamonds, beat all target scores and all target times.
The latter two are the main problem - collecting the diamonds is not that much more difficult than simply beating the levels, as the game is fair enough to let you keep them even if you die if you choose to "restart from the last checkpoint". However, both the target score and the target time require you to beat the level with no deaths whatsoever while at the same time fulfilling a much more difficult task than collecting the diamonds. Considering the difficulty of every level beyond the first world, this seems much harsher than needed, really.
- For the target time problem, a possible solution would be to make it so that selecting to [Restart from last checkpoint] after death sets you back to the time you had when you reached the checkpoint, rather than whatever time you had at your point of death. This would at least take away the pressure of not only having the beat the target time, but also having to beat the entire level in one go.
- The target score problem could probably be tackled the same way as the target time problem. I can see why dying would reset your score to 0, it's a very common penalty for death in video games - but personally, I don't think it works very well for DT2.

As for the feeling of "incompleteness" people were talking about, I can see what they mean. Compared to the immense size of the final level and especially the amount of dialogue in it, the "normal" levels in the worlds before it seem a bit insignificant and meaningless. The boss fights on the other hand are great and easily my favorite part of the game.
I'm not sure if just adding more levels would really make it feel more complete... Although I was kind of surprised of getting desert-themed levels when not only Claire was talking about a bog just a minute before, but the world map also clearly shows the level dots in the bog area.

ano0maly said...


I see your point about the game's difficulty, but beating the level without dying is kind of the point. Crash Bandicoot games had the same kind of challenge with the time relics. Don't jump to the challenges; first practice beating the levels comfortably/confidently and work from there.

The point challenges generally aren't that bad, and they can be fun. Here are some tips:
1) While not required, the gems add to the score. Each gem you get is worth more points. Try getting both the 5 gems and the high score.
2) Take advantage of the two combos - defeating multiple enemies w/o taking damage and chaining enemies in a row. The bonus points from these make a big difference. You also get up to 500 bonus at the end if you beat the level without taking too many hits.
3) Going over the required time does penalize you, but I believe the penalty is capped at 1000. So you can afford to take your time if you get a high enough score.

NegativeZeroZ said...

Found a couple more oddities.

I seem to have found an invisible platform in the Spire:

Also, immediately after defeating a boss (but before leaving the room) Jerry is immune to traps:

This one seems more like it might be intentional rather than a bug, to let the player save in peace or something, but I figured I'd include it regardless since I'd already taken the screenshot anyway. This also occurs after the breakout boss, and I'm assuming it also happens with the traps on Distorted.

Shade said...

@ano0maly: Yeah, I already knew about the ways to get more points; the bigger problem is beating the level in one go, really.
Nevertheless, I succeeded in achieving 100% completion now. I thought there'd be additional scenes in the ending like in DT1, but what I instead got is admittedly a perfectly reasonable reward for 100% completion and probably justifies the difficulty. However, the wording "extra ending" made it seem more important than it actually was, so I blame that.

I still think that at least saving the player's time when reaching a checkpoint would be nice, but in the end that's just my opinion.