Stuff Under the Header


End of the World

Edit: (December 27, 2012) Thought I forgot about the patch to DT1? ... ... ... I did. Anyway, all the patch does is correct the bug with the S Rank. The title screen will now display something new if any of your save files have been completed with an S Rank. (You don't need to beat the final level again, it will remember.)

It's rather underwhelming. I was expecting better, but maybe it's good that it didn't end considering the weekend just started. Would be a cruel joke for the world to end at the end of a work week. Oh wait, I work on the weekends too...

Flocks come and go a lot this time of year, so not many up close bird moments have occured lately. There was one that was nifty the other day though. I passed out some food to a random bird and out from around the corner comes another. She looked over to me and curiously tilted her head. From that distance, I wasn't sure if it was a bird I had seen before. She took a step forward and did another curious head tilt, then tilted the other way. She then repeated the process. I spoke (can't remember what I said) and suddenly she comes running over to me. At that distance, I saw that it was the bird that I had hand fed a few weeks back. I hadn't seen the bird for quite some time, so I figured her flock had moved on. It was interesting seeing her look at me knowing she knew who I was, but just couldn't quite remember. It could have also been that I had a big jacket on, some gloves, and part of my face was concealed.

MLP Hate
Don't let the section title fool you. There's something I noticed after watching the season 3 premiere. In every episode that Cadence shows up in, (only 2, technically 4) she is always beaten and battered, or tired and overworked. The first shot is from the season 2 finale, the next is from the season 3 premiere. In almost every moment she's around, she's overwhelmed and just feels so pathetic and sad. I've decided the writers must hate her.

Borderlands Thing
In both Borderlands games, I noticed a nifty thing. Every human character that you can shoot; Their face is concealed or partially so. The bandits have hockey masks, (or that's what I call them) the Crimson Lance had full on helmets that hid all of their facial features. This is consistent throughout the series thus far except for very specific characters, who I won't name for spoiler purposes. To me, I feel like it's a way to disconnect the player from what they're shooting at. We have tons of war games and other violent massacre games that don't do this and mowing down dude after dude is ingrained in our mind that a disconnect wouldn't be necessary, but the design choice is an interesting one to me. It was definitely something that didn't happen in the series by accident seeing how consistent it always is with it. Considering the subject matter and how the game goes about making death and killing comical, it's a good choice I feel. While the second game's plot got a bit more on the dramatic side at times, the face covering of humanoid enemies can keep that sense of "wtf am I doing" at bay and help keep things on a light-hearted comical scale. Just an observation and opinion.

DT3 Progress
Holy dang is it slow lately. I have a schedule of when I wanted content playable. Even with the content cut a few months back, I'm about 1 1/2 months behind my projected schedule. I'm in the middle of fleshing out chapter 10 content right now and I was supposed to be finishing up chapter 11. I'll be remaking that schedule sometime, especially now that plans have changed. As said in the previous post, the full release date will probably be early 2014. We're currently in chapter 10 out of 19. Two of those chapters are fairly short and one being kinda lengthy. I'm thinking I'll be done with the content by earl 2014, but a lot of work will still need to be done. That's when all the polish and minor details will make their way in as well as squashing all the bugs. The last 10% can take awhile. Of course, if I had tons of time to work on the game and never ever played other games, I'd be easily done by summer's end... that's not gonna happen. I just need to win the lottery that I don't play so I can do away with my day job. Luckily working on DT is fun and enjoyable and full of zany learning experiences.


Lots of Views

I saw the bird in the store do something that I probably shouldn't find funny, but meh. I was around the produce section late at night when I spotted her above it, which is fairly normal. A moment later, she flew down into the lettace and sat in it. So I did what any good employee should do... I watched her. At first I thought she was going to eat some of it, but she was drinking the water that was on it. After she had a few drinks, she flew up for a few seconds and then came back down, sat in the lettace again, and made herself comfortable. She got another drink, gave herself a quick bath in it, and then flew back up.

The blog has over 50,000 views now. (It had reached it earlier this month, I just missed it.)

Planetside 2... Again
There are certain games that, instead of having a set story you play through, it lets you craft your own story through your experiences. Planetside allows you to do this on many occasions. In one instance when my faction was defending the Crown, I had noticed the base next to us had turrets bombing us, and at times my faction would pointlessly fire back over to them. I was busy sniping people trying to get across the bridge or sniping their snipers and this was starting to bother me. I figured my little mission would fail, but I decided I was going to sneak over and hack the turret and turn it on whatever I could, which would also cause them to have to turn their own guns on it. So I made my way over to it, foiling a poor sniper who had an unfortunate position on top of a hill. He should have had cover when he shot at me. I then successfully made it to the base and recharged my cloak, then snuck to the turret and hacked it while someone was in it. A moment later, I was in. Success! Immediately I scanned for targets and blew someone away, then something even more interesting caught my attention. I took out an active Sunderer and bailed out of the turret just before they destroyed it. I didn't make it far before I had a few hundred bullets in my back. It took them awhile to get that turret back for some reason, but I decided to wrecklessly try it again. Same result, I blew up another Sunderer of theirs, and bailed before they blew up the turret. This time however, I managed to make it away successfully. If you know the area around the Crown, then you probably know about the bridge to the south-west that leads up to it. While the opposing faction had occupied this bridge and were busy with my team at the front, I found a vantage point that left their team with nearly zero cover.

Overall, I don't know how much of an impact this had in that fight, a lot of times it's hard to gauge just how helpful your actions are, but that end result is not my concern. The actions themselves were satisfying and it left a fun story. Playing with friends also makes this game much better. On another note, I've changed my faction to VS.

DT3 Progression
Development has been really slow the past few months due to work (which will die down in January) and my more active social life. Development is not going to stop though, the project is getting better all the time. The target release date, if the pace keeps at what it is now, will not be met though. It's looking to be early 2014 now.

Boss Fight Video in DT3
NegativeZeroZ has a video of a duel in DT3. A very late Demo_2.1 boss fight, so if you haven't played the demo... it spoils a later boss fight. It's so weird to see the old damage colors now.


Lots of Video Games

I went on twitter for the first time in forever and figured out there was the @Connect button at the top. Yep.
Also I watched a bird stretch her legs, and then stretch her wings. I don't know why it looked interesting to me. I'd get a picture, but I can't just ask her to do it again.

DT3 Thingie
On an unrelated topic, I've found the hardest thing for me when making complex things in DT is just starting them. The Death encounter, for example, I knew what I wanted to do and all the elements that would need to go into it, but where to start had me puzzled. Thinking about the end result when starting from almost nothing is a headache. At the start of things like that, I usually take baby steps with it, setting up very simple things. The process isn't always the same.

For example, with Death, his sprite wasn't his hitbox, (it was for damaging you) so making sure that was where it needed to be was first. Next up was his animation speeds and zoning. After that, I kept him stationary and made sure each of his attacks were positioned right. The telegraph before each swing was part of that step. Next up, his 3 consecutive swings were implemented and his movement was given back. The swing size increase as the fight goes on was made after that. His projectile deflect was added in just after. This without anything else was tested for awhile so all the minor adjustments could be made to make sure it was perfect. This aspect of the encounter was the most important part, so most of my attention was on that. His periodic scythes were added in after that. This was actually where it was originally going to stop, but it felt like there needed to be one other interruption to the player. That's when I added the multiple scythe summons. (Not the mid-battle sequence, that was always planned, but those are done last.) After the timing and adjustments were made to those, it was time for all the finishing touches, like figuring out what was a fair HP count. It needed to be enough that kept the player from brute forcing in any scenario, but not so much that the fight would drag on. I wanted the fight no longer than roughly 90 seconds. The outcome needed to be fairly quick, it would either be you or him going very fast.

Not really sure of what my original point was, other than I'm currently making something puzzling on my end for Chapter 10. It's pretty nifty to see this sequence in action though, probably the most cinematic DT has ever gotten.

DT3 Changes
DT3 has had lots of changes after the demo (2.1) release and it will continue to do so, some minor and some very big. The biggest change that isn't in the game yet is Gate 6 and 7 being merged into one and its ability not able to be moved outside of it. (Not completely anyway, there are certain passive elements taken from it that will apply to both characters.) Here's a list of some of changes in the game now, some based on feedback. (That would be visible to anyone that played the demo, a few have been mentioned before.)
- The max bottles is 2 instead of 3. (Technically not in the game, but a 3rd will not be available later.)
- Ammo, such as arrows and heart energy, will be set to 20% if it was below that when respawning after choosing 'Retry from checkpoint'.
- Movement speed is no longer affected when charging attacks.
- Inactive abilities recover energy at 1/4 their normal speed.
- Claire's control was tightened up to match Jerry, but her dash has remained the same. DT3 is going to require more precision and Claire's floaty control didn't work for it.
- Everything causes knockback, including stationary traps like spikes. No more sliding around everywhere uncontrollably. There are a few non-knockback damage objects in the game, they do not interupt your attack state, but you do not get invincibility frames. Like the undashables (red outline), these are also clearly marked.
- Wolf Heads don't shoot through walls and Tektiles don't glitch through walls.
- Jerry's Sword Master skill and Claire's Cool Whip skill no longer affect attack speed. That is now static and set to the equivalent of Lv.3. The skills instead boost the stun time of their respective abilities.
- Jerry's Bomb can be remotely set off. (To its flashing point.)
- Claire's Holy Water loses 25% of its power when entering its Explosion state.
- There is a limit on the amount of projectiles you can fire from one ability at a time. Example, Jerry can only have 2 arrows on screen at a time, same with Claire's Dagger and Holy Water.
- Salem Witches deactivate sooner and a witch's projeciles are destroyed when the witch that fired them is defeated.
- In Gate 4, Jerry can fire off walls at any time instead of when only having downward velocity.

AP and item costs probably won't be finalized till just before the game goes beta.

Something under the hood changed that made particles about 3x more efficient when spawning in. It had the side affect of breaking some of the places that particles spawned, but most of those have been fixed. Maybe all of them by now. One tester found quite a few places in Gate 4 that I had missed.

Video Games
So many games. The first is this little game called Skrillex Quest. I don't really care for dupstep much, but this still got my attention. Some dust gets into an NES cartridge and messes up a game world and it's up to P1 (You) to fight through the glitches... and playing along with Skrillex' song, "Summit". I found the music enjoyable for this little game and I forgot I was listening to dubstep, in fact, I like the song.

Slaix showed me this one (and a friend posted it to me on Facebook) called Old Spice Saves the World. Sound ridiculous? It is, and its got some fun humor along with it involving current political silliness. The rest I won't spoil.

If you like stealth games, check out Mark of the Ninja on either Xbox Live or Steam. This game has no combat at all. If you're caught, you're probably dead. It respects the gun beats sword logic well. I actually got Jerry into it as it matches his view of ninjas. He doesn't like Ryu Hyabusa for that reason, which I like to call the action ninja. There's a demo available and I recommend playing if you love stealth games.

On the subject of stealth games, if you've been around my blog awhile, you might remember when I recommended Stealth Bastard, a game which Slaix had shown me. It was made in Game Maker and featured leaderboards and the works. This game is now on Steam with improvements. The old version was pretty sweet and while I haven't played the new one, I'm sure it's even better. Dust Force started as a Game Maker game as well before coming to Steam and saw many improvements for its final market version.


Games and Music

No big bird info today, though that bird mentioned in the last post is still around and happy to say hi when she sees me. She's always with the same small group of birds. (This post is a wall of text with no pictures.)

Planetside 2
I've been looking forward to Planetside 2 ever since the first one sadly died. Seeing the second go free to play was quite a nifty thing, so I picked it up for Steam. I started the game and dropped in immediately, took 3 steps, and was shot to death. Planetside 2 is an amazing game and I really think you should play it.

There's no sarcasm there, the game is actually tons of fun. There's a bit of a learning curve I found, even knowing the first game. My first hour was full of mistakes and deaths, but each time, I learned something that I should do, and usually, something I shouldn't do. The best way to learn the ins and outs is just to jump in and see how it all plays out. It's rough at first, but the end result is worth it... even if my KDR is always 0.6 or lower.

Out of my many deaths, I've found that I can be my own worst enemy. I decided to try a vehicle out after about an hour of running about and sniping... usually failing to do so. (3 headshots out of 7 deaths isn't TOO bad right?) So I spawned one and was immediately teleported in where it was already in flight. I realized I hadn't reviewed the controls at all. The mouse and WASD all seemed to be doing various things. By the time I figured out what I was actually doing, I was upside down and heading straight into a mountain. Lesson learned, review the flight controls before getting into aircraft.
I skimmed over them afterwards, then tried my hand at it again. This time, I was able to kinda sorta fly. I came out of an aerial battle alive and they didn't so I think I did something right. I did take some damage during the struggle however. I started to think what would happen if the vehicle hull was almost destroyed and I would need to bail out. I realized I hadn't looked at the controls closely. So I tried a button to see if I would jump out with landing gear. My assumption was correct as I dived face first from my craft, but I quickly realized I was missing something. I quickly pressed P, but all that did was bring up a menu that had nothing to do with parachutes. Lesson learned, don't jump out of vehicles that are 100+ meters in the air.
Running in the game is kinda weird and I wish it was like Borderlands. We're stuck with either hold to run, or toggle run on and off. I go with toggle. This sometimes leads to problems though. I ran up to an edge and saw that I could snipe. I thought I had turned run off when I wanted to get a bit closer to the edge, instead, I sprinted right off. Another lesson learned, press buttons better. On that same note, and different occasion, don't run off bridges when your health is low. Also look both ways...

Despite my bad playing, I've had a lot of fun with the game. I'm usually playing as an Infiltrator. The server I play on is Soldeck and I'm with the New Conglomerate. You know the name I go by. (ZephyrBurst) My roommates also play it on occasion. All of us are playing on the same server on different factions. (I shot Jerry at one point.) There's a lot to the game and it doesn't have a tutorial before throwing you in the game. The first hour of it can feel daunting, but if you look at it from an angle of you're learning how the game works, it goes much better. Take it slow, check the menu out when you get the chance, and see where everything is located. The site does have videos that may help you out if needed though.

Music from People
I like to browse the newgrounds audio portal from time to time. Stay there long enough and you'll come across some very skilled people. I recently came across one by the name of Fictionalhead. His music is a blend of instrumental and electronic and I think he's hit that very well. Out of the 29 tracks he has on his bandcamp, it was maybe 2 that I didn't really care for, but the rest were great. Check him out and give him some support if you can. I've been trying to keep in the habit of contacting everyone whose music I use, which I haven't been doing well on. I haven't used any of Fictionalhead's music, but I have contacted him about possibly using one of his tracks later. He said it would be fine and would like it if I did. That goes into the other reason I want to keep up with contacting the music creators is if they would rather their stuff not be used. Usually I try to go for the tracks that have 'Can be used in freeware' in the info.