Stuff Under the Header


Prototype Post (Ver.

Edit: I can never not use a solid state drive again. Everything runs so much better.

This patch is simply a few small things like fixing the HUD. The main reason I'm sending this update out now is that this hard-drive is failing. (Or I just need to do a clean install of windows on it.) Luckily if it is truly dying, I just got a solid state drive that I've yet to install, so the timing on that is pretty great.

No worries, I always back up my project files. I just want to make sure that, in case I don't get around to reinstalling GM8.1 on the new drive any time soon, that those little things were addressed for any new players. (Because most of you reading this have probably already played through most of the game by now.)

GM:Studio is great and definitely would have alleviated some of the issues that were in DT3, or more specifically would have made development easier and smoother. Things like setting up customizable gamepad controls would have been as straight forward as the keyboard counterpart, but in GM8.1, its gamepad support, while there, isn't as well done as Studio. As for the next project, I'm still not quite sure what I'm doing next. Prototyping various ideas has been most of what I've been doing in game stuff. It's getting narrowed down though.

Some of you may have caught me streaming an old game I had made roughly 10 years ago and I have gotten the question about why I don't host it as a download here. To be honest, because I feel it's overall, very shitty, and I don't feel it's worth anyone's play time. Its been entertaining streaming it though. I'll start posting on twitter when I begin a stream of the game. We're getting close to the end on stream, and there should only be about 3 or 4 more streams, depending on the length of time I go.


Strangeness (Ver

Edit: Yes, I'm aware that the new HUD element is placed behind the water doobally-do HUD thing in the desert, that'll be corrected in the next patch, whenever that is.

Patch Notes (Version
Quite a few changes and additions this time. And a new play mode!

- When the following locations are completed, you can teleport to their starting room.
  - Mountain Temple
  - Displaced Construction Site
  - Magical Castle

- You will now start with full ammo for all weapons upon dying... because I'm merciful.

- There is now a new HUD element displaying which Ability Set each character currently has equip. This will not display unless both characters can equip at least 1 of their 2 main abilities. (And does not display during the Ch.16 event.)

- The boss at the end of the Magical Castle now has a sound effect for his large laser attack. (See note below.)

- The equipment items [Mystic Dagger] and [Blessed Vessel] had their debuff effect reduced from 50% to 20%. (This was actually in the previous version, but I did not note it, so I decided to arbitrarily note it now.)

- There is now a new mode called [One Hit Kill Mode] where you die in one hit from everything. This can be paired with Nightmare mode if you really don't like yourself. The game will inform you on how to unlock it the same way it does with Nightmare mode. If you've beaten the game once, then you'll have this displayed the same as nightmare mode already.

- There is now a new record that counts how many birds you have seen on screen.

- And of course, more birds! (And a new pointless map on the north-west side of Central City.)

Other notes: There were 2 new sound effects added for this version, so an extra link is provided that has these 2 new sound files. They will be hosted on my dropbox only, as I'm not going to clutter up the host's ftp with these sorts of things. Just place these in the Sounds folder and boom, you're ready to go. (I also included the updated air bubble sound, which you can replace if you'd like.) These new sounds are not necessary, but for extra clarity on a late game boss, I recommend them.

Non-DT Stuff
We got up to 75F here and it's December.


On Time (Ver 1.09)

Patch notes for Version
- Mario stomping now has consistent rules across all enemies. (A few of them you'd fall through if you had taken damage.)
- You can now turn around while in the ducking state.
- Taking damage and/or changing characters/abilities will no longer remove your charge level.
- You can teleport out of completed Gates. (Gates 1 - 5 anyway)
- Jerry's Fuse Bomb explosion range upgrade change: 3% -> 4% blast radius increase per level
- Claire's Morph Bomb explosion range upgrade change: 5% -> 7% (same as above)
- Claire's Hair Whip now starts with 5 more power and a bit more extra stun time.
- Note: There is no need to start a new save for any changes. Everything carries over.

- MORE BIRDS!! There's even a new bird type on a few maps. (Purely aesthetic.)


Up Next and (Ver 1.07)

Edit: There was another change in this update that I forgot to mention. Achievements now have clues, but the game has to have been beaten for those clues to show up. Starting a new game or reloading your save after completing the game are both valid options.

Its been a few days past the one month anniversary of the DT3 release. I figured wait a few days after the anniversary considering how long it took for the game to come out after my first projected release date.

With the anniversary comes a small patch that doesn't really do much. Yay!
- It makes a few minor level design adjustments for quality of life purposes, but nothing really gameplay changing.
- CV Heart pickups (the heart energy restore ones) now recover 5 hearts instead of 3.
- Actually here's a bug fix. I found a piece of ground that had no collision... It has collision now. If you saw the stream where I was playing Gate 3, then you saw that bug and saw it fixed on camera. OH MAN!
- Birds, so many birds. Like lots of birds now. SO MANY OF THEM!!

What is Zephyr Doing Now
Mainly playing video games and trying not to open the DT3 project anymore. I've been prototyping lots of things. I've messed around with making physics work in GM:Studio. I got a multiplayer network test that works. I might combine the two and see if I can reliably sync multiple clients with a bazillion physics objects everywhere. It'll succeed, but there's a 99.9% chance it won't be used for anything other than personal amusement and experimentation, especially considering the next thing I want to do has nothing to do with physics based gameplay. Multiplayer stuff, yes. Even though right now it may not be THE next thing, but I am experimenting a lot with getting multiple clients to sync up.

If I do go the multiplayer route, a bit about that. I've mentioned this before, but I'm a huge fan of asymmetrical gameplay, wherein multiple players (in my case, two) have differing play styles and are working together toward the same goal. The game Evolve does this really well. Planetside of course is another. (Which is totally free to play... you just need a fairly decent computer to run it. By the way, play on the Emerald server.) I've had a few ideas on multiplayer games using the above thing for quite some time. One of them involves a bird. I'll just stop there.

I've recently gotten into Life is Strange, which is super great. It centers around this girl that gets the ability to reverse time. It's primarily a story based game where you reverse time to change the outcome of events to your liking. So far, changing things has certainly had an impact on future events. The other game is Yoshi's Woolie World, because I like the yoshi games. (Though some of the recent ones have been less than... decent.) Woolie World is super adorable. I play it whenever Jeremy is around so we co-op it.

I just mentioned 4 games to you guys, go play one of them, preferably Life is Strange, because it's great.


Fixes For Everyone (v1.06)

This one came a bit quicker than I said it would since I had time last night to address the issues brought up recently that I wanted fixed up.
- The function for jumping out of morph ball is no longer on-hold, that was an assident, meant to have that for on-press.
- The boss gallery should no longer lag when you get to later parts of the game.
- Jerry should no longer get blown away after jumping off a grapple point, even after wind effects have stopped.
- An input bug that has been present since DT1 is now fixed. Most people may have not known it was even there. (This is the one I wanted to put in the previous update, but didn't get the time to test it before I had to be out of town.)
- You may have seen that I added 3 pointless Recognitions (achievements) in the last update. There are now 3 even more pointless ones on that page to fill it up. None of these new ones are able to be missed, though maybe like 0.00000001% of you will figure out the "Overcoming Yourself" one, for those that are achievement hunters, even in a game like this.
- Most importantly, there are more birds in the game. In every new update in the game, there will be more birds.

I have a question for you guys. After the game tags your file as 'beaten'. You know what it does (on the title screen) when you do. Would you guys like clues given for the achievements that haven't been obtained, if you cursor over them.

Now it's time to start prototyping other things.


A little patch & away for a few days (v1.05)

Zephyr skipped a version! What's that about?

The new version fixes some bugs found by many people here and there. Some big, some small. It also adds a few more pointless achievements because yes. I'd have held this update back a little bit, but I'm going to be away for the rest of the week (out of town) and this version has some fixes I'd like out before I'm gone. There's only one other thing I may do to the game at this point, but it isn't content.

While I'm away, I can still look at emails and such, but I probably won't respond unless it's like 1 or 2 sentences that I respond with. (I hate typing on the phone.) So... responses will be limited during these next few days. I may also be busy next week as well, but I'll at least be able to respond to things.

Also, as of this version, it may not be a good idea to pop someone's balloon. (Shh, no spoilers.)

I also have a very good idea of what I'm doing next as far as game development goes. I may prototype something next week.


Suddenly Another Post

I tweeted that I'm gonna start my stream playthrough thingie of DT1 tomorrow. (tonight for me and some people at this point) That'll be at 11:30pm (central US time (-6 gmt)) on the 20th. Why so late? It probably won't be a super long start, just gonna get things going, but we'll see. However, on Wednesday, we'll pick up where we left off at 7pm, which was changed so more people have a chance to show up.

Oh right, what is Zephyr's twitch? Oh man, that entire sentence is the link to it!

I'll tweet any time I start streaming.

A friend's comic
A friend of mine, who we will call, Dylan, has been writing a comic book called Old Man Dog. What's it about?
Synopsis is:
"An old man dies. Miles away a dog wakes up in a ditch, but something has changed. The old man and the dog have become one."

For more info on that, go check out the kickstarter page. Why is there a kickstarter though? Dylan has the first issue written and the first few pages inked and colored. However, to continue to finish the rest of issue 1, he's gotta pay those great artists, Fabio GuimarĂ£es and Jessica Jimerson, for their time and work. That's where you guys come in. Go check out his kickstarter page as well as the facebook doobalydo linked above if you'd like and help him out. If not, spread the news to your comic loving friends. Every little bit helps him out. Dylan explains more and certainly much better than I do on his kickstarter.

Here's one page of the comic shown on the kickstarter.

I don't make that sound enticing do I... or maybe I do? This is why I will never go into marketing. Dylan is a writer and filmmaker here in Austin, TX. He's a fun guy who has no idea that a certain ghost in DT3 was named after him... at least until he gets to that part.


Another Patch (1.03)

This one is definitely a good one to get. It fixes up a game breaking bug later in the game, a crash bug (not easy to do, but it's there), and if you were unfortunate (and/or silly/brave) enough to do a certain thing in the Barrens, you could get stuck and it is fairly difficult to get yourself out of said mess. Someone did this and I've responded by making fun of him with a sign in said map. He knows who he is, he'll be reading this soon. It takes some patience to get yourself into that, perhaps it's more an acknowledgement of that.

It also adds quite a few more of those little messages after a set number of deaths on certain maps.

A few typos missed as well were corrected.

This will be the last update for awhile most likely. Also I will be away for a good part of this week, so responses during this time will probably be nonexistent.

Also people have finished the game. Good job you guys, I know it's not easy. Glad you guys enjoyed the game enough to play all of it too.

DT3 Hosting
Ah yes, one other thing! Alice from the Talkhaus has been awesome and is hosting the downloads for DT3. Actually she's been doing it from the start, but I just wasn't linking to it... because... I have no idea why. But that will be the home download for the full game now. I've left a second download option in my dropbox for the exe only as a secondary for that though. A big thanks to Alice for giving it a home.

Playing my own game (DT1)
This is a thing that people have been wanting to see for awhile. I've been thinking of how to do it. I suppose I'll definitely upload it to youtube in an LP format. But I was thinking that while playing, I'd stream it on twitch so everyone could make fun of me as I'm playing my own game badly. For that would inquire, I'd play it on hard mode. Not playing on Distorted, I know the game enough to know I'm not going there again. :P Not sure when I'd do this.


A Patch to the Game (1.02)

A new version is out on the side there.
This one I do recommend getting. Not because it fixes broken things, but because it fixes up a few minor grievances that people have had, some of which are in some later chapters. (Though most are early things.)

A feature specifically for Lets Players out there. (Though anyone may use it.) Two actually. One is the ability to turn off the static that occurs when you game over. This should help cut down on those file sizes and your bitrate going all over the place. It replaces that with a nice fade to black instead.

The other is the option to have those map headers appear at the bottom of the screen when you go into a new map. (Off by default.) This is useful for those that play in fullscreen and still want to see the map headers.

The forest level in Gate 2 had no level alterations, but the clues for the last puzzle have better clarity. Nobody really got stuck here, at least no reports of it, but some better info to the player wouldn't hurt for that part.

A new feature (that was supposed to be in version 1.0) where in certain maps, if you die a certain number of times... you might be made fun of more. Or something else may happen. No, it's not assistance in any way, just a little extra fun bit. You'll know what I mean if you happen to trigger one of them. More of those may come in future patches, should they happen.

Also wow, I didn't expect to update the game this much by now. I'd have had this update out sooner, but I was (during 2 days off of work) playing Undertale... for 18 hours. (That's what Steam says anyway.) Also I'm gonna play more of it.


Oh man, LetsPlays and Game Patches

There are already quite a few LetsPlays of DT3. I'd like to feature the ones I've found so far. On the side, there is a link labeled 'DT Playthroughs' that has links to all 3 game's LPs. (That I've found.)

So far for DT3, there's: (Oh yeah, they're all voice commentary as they play)

This is slit08's playthrough (and his friend, Steve) of the game. This was started a few weeks before the game had its full release, so you can see some things that were changed. They speak mostly in German for the LP. They have silly antics throughout. Slit also has a very good understanding of the game. I saw Slit as somewhat of an average player at first (years ago), but he's proven that wrong many times. Not just with DT, but overall. It also feels like his gaming skills have improved over the last 3 years. Slit's biggest thing that he monitored were the visuals and was usually on me about that. He's part of the reason why some areas look better than what I would have left some of them at.

He got a beta version of the game back in early July so he could make the teasers and trailer. This LP is his edited footage of all that. It shows the game in an even earlier state that slit's playthrough, well at the start anyway. Hadriex had a constant barrage (as he'll mention in the first video) of updates. He has a certain personality he likes to display for his LPs. Something nifty that I noticed while watching his videos is it's clear that he's played a ton of games. (I, and the testers, had access to mostly unedited videos of his playthrough for feedback) There are times when I'd see him get stuck on something and I'd think, 'Hadriex, come on now buddy, why are you getting hung up on this?' and then there would be lots of times where I'd think, 'Oh yeah, this part will stump him for a bit.' and he'd just get it... instantly. This happened quite often. He tended to understand the more abstract video gamey things, which DT3 has a lot of.

Another of the testers that wanted to do an LP of the game. He started with the same version all of you got, and he's new to making LPs. There's also a reveal on his first video... I uh, I wouldn't do the thing that you see on the title screen in his video. Koishi didn't focus on anything in particular during the years of playtesting DT3, but he did often have insightful things to say. I think he found the most crash bugs. Maybe he just likes breaking things. No really, he found the weirdest crash bugs at times. (All of which were fixed.)

This guy is always so calm sounding. Click this link and listen to this guy's soothing voice. No matter what, he's always so happy and calm about things. Why do you not have more than 1 video up yet? (At the time of typing this.) We demand more of your voice, Robin! His catch phrase is, "Sadness."

Suitcoat Guy
I don't know who this is, but I found him while searching for LPs of the game. He does bite-sized videos typically ranging around 12-16 minutes. There's this vibe of determination when he speaks. When he gets through a particularly challenging bit or on a part that he lost to a few times, he gets that 'moment' of victory. You'll know when it happens because you'll feel it alongside him.

Oh this guy.

Patches to the Game
You'll see patches to the game linked on the side from time to time. I may list off the notable changes when they do happen. They're not super duper important to get unless I have some message of "OMGZ, GET THIS!" (Though I do recommend having the most up to date version because... reasons?)
The most notable thing of the v1.01 update was the extra option for Chao and the heart drop in the second boss.
There will be a v1.02 soonish. The big thing (that most of you are already past) is better clarification of the final puzzle in the forest level of Gate 2 and some little typos fixed here and there. The biggest thing coming for v1.02 that NZZ reminded me to have is the ability to turn off what he calls the:

Static Bitrate Explosion

It's the static that appears every time you die. For LPers, you probably want to keep all that more controlled, so there will be an option to turn off the static on death if you want. (It will essentially use the quick game over method that you see when you use the 'Force Game Over' option in the menu.)

Also there hasn't been a pony on here in awhile, I'll fix this.

If you don't think she's the best, then you're a liar.
Also, holy dicks you guys, play Undertale, seriously. Like right now. Put DT3 to the side for a bit (or after DT3 if that's your thing) and play this game, it's amazing.


Slow down issues

Edit 1: Well that happened fast, I've got a patch for the game, don't get used to this though. On the sidebar are a set of new links. If you're downloading the game for the first time, you'll want to grab the full game download. If you're just patching, then you can grab the exe-only link. What's new for version 1.01? Chao has a new option you can set that's under the gameplay portion of the options menu. The first boss in Gate 3 has its jittery animation fixed. I decided to be nice and have the Gate 1 final boss drop a heart on the third time she's hit. I'm not down for changing boss fights at this point, but since she's a super early boss, I find this okay.

For some of you, the game is running incredibly slow. After doing some research based on what you guys are running on your end, here's what is going on, and this isn't going to be very good... for some anyway.

It seems games compiled in GameMaker 8.1 have issues with Windows 8, and specifically Windows 8.1, and even more specifically, if you're running Windows 8 - 64 bit. If you happen to be using that OS, there's a chance that the game will run slow for you. (It's not a for sure thing, some people running Windows 8 with 64 bit are unaffected.)

I did some more digging to see if there was a way to fix it. There are a few things that are possible that MIGHT work for you. One user posted here that he turned off V-Sync in DT3's option menu.
-Pause the game to open the pause menu.
-Go to Options.
-Set V-Sync off.

This worked for someone, but only made things slightly better for another user.

Right-click the exe and set it to compatibility mode with Windows 7, or even Windows 8 if you're running 8.1. So far only one person (so far) has reported that the game does indeed have a slow down issue with Windows 10, but he said none of the compatibility options were working.

I'll be looking around for more possible ways to address this issue, as well as keeping up with what people are reporting. Note, if you have slow down and are commenting here or emailing me, let me know what version of windows you're using and your cpu.

Other weird slowdown issues that people have had with GM8.1 games in general. Unplugging or plugging in a usb controller may cause the game to lag intensely until you either restart the game (or in some cases, your pc.)

I have read that unfortunately some people (in similar issues with other games made with GM8.1) that there's nothing that could be done. There is one fix that is pretty much a fix it all solution. That would be porting the game over to GM Studio. About a year ago, I imported it into that and it was a huge mess. I won't be doing that, at least not right now. If I do decide to go that route and don't cross your fingers for this, it isn't a quick fix. That's quite a bit of work to port, as DT3 does use some of the depreciated functions. I'd also have to recode the sound system, or rather find a new way of doing sound since the thing I was using is not compatible with GM Studio and no one has remade that for it.

Game Release: Distorted Travesty 3

Some new download locations available now after the dropbox issue. Alice from the Talkhaus was awesome enough to host it where it'll have no bandwidth issues. Someone also uploaded it to mediafire, so you can also use that. The megafileupload site only keeps things for a week, so these are both welcome.

Alice's Link
Mediafire Link
Megafileupload Link

Oh man, it's that time finally! Time to delay the game just a bit longer...

Yep, there's a few things I gotta do to the game before I'm happy with it so I'm delaying about... 2 weeks or so.

But actually, the above is a lie, it's ALL a lie. The game is out and you can download it here or from the link on the side! You could even go to the DT3 page and download it there! Three whole ways to get it, all going in the same direction. Choices!

Its been a fun time making it. I could keep going, but after having the project this long, definitely much longer than I wanted, it's time to let it go and move to something else. As said before, this is my departure from sprite rip stuff and on to other things that aren't so intentionally derivative. I have a bazillion ideas and things I want to do now. I'll be playing around with some prototyping, and who knows, maybe I'll work with some other people this time. For at least a week though, I don't know if I'm going to touch any game tools. I'm gonna play some games, like more Planetside again, and this Undertale game that people have been raving out.

Some other random bits of things, but not so random. I definitely started to tire of the project after some time. I really wanted it finished last year, at the latest, April this year, but other priorities saw to that not being a thing. The game also became a bigger beast than I initially imagined. The last 3 months have been nothing but finishing touches, tweaks, a few other missing features, etc. I won't lie, sometimes it felt like it dragged on too much, and really, there are still things I could tweak on the game, but I'm just done. After 3 years of the game on and off, actually more than that, I just want to put it down and move onto something else. I love the project though and wanted to get it to a state that I was happy with, and it has reached that. I could tweak and tweak and fix up minor things for who knows how long, but it's just time to put it down. It's why I abruptly announced a release date for the game. I knew that if I gave it one in the state that it was in, I'd make sure to focus on the things that really needed to be tweaked and then be done with it.

So how did it turn out though? To me, the project came out great. Definitely my favorite of the three games. You'll certainly run into a mishap here and there, the game is HUGE, so you're bound to run into something less than perfect. That said, it's very stable and in a really good place, which came about largely due to the testers being on top of things. They did a good job, especially these last 3 months trying to find as much wrong with it as possible. This last week though, I just said to stop cause I was done. I love the project, but it needs to be done and out to people who are waiting on it. I'm very lucky that they care about the project so much. A big thanks to them again, and for putting up with me, especially this last week with me telling one in particular that I just didn't want to work on the project any longer.

Don't think that this means I won't patch bugs and such, but if you remember the first game's release, those patches will be until I am presented with crash bugs or super bad things. Anyway, enough rambling, you guys have waited for me to finish this long enough. Have fun and thanks for waiting. It was a fun time making it and lots of stuff was learned for future endeavors.


Release Date

Hype Build Up
09/25: Teaser 1
09/26: Teaser 2
09/27: Teaser 3
09/28: Teaser 4
09/29: Teaser 5
09/30: Teaser 6
10/01: Teaser 7

10/02: Hadriex Trailer

10/04: NZZ Trailer

About the Release Date
If you saw the tweet the other day then you already know when the game is being released. To state again, it is October 6th! That date is not changing this time.

So here's what happening. Hadriex got a hold of the beta back in early July. The game was been 'complete' since June 30th and up to this point, its been just fixing everything and putting in the last bits at the end of the game that I left out at first. I gave Hadriex the beta so he could get footage to make a trailer for the game. (And so he could be my guinea pig as well, little does he know, but don't tell him, HE CAN NEVER KNOW!)

But little did I know, that he was putting together not just a trailer, but a few teaser like trailers based on different parts of the game. NZZ, one of the testers that was on the project for most of its development time also made a trailer. I had an idea that I dropped by both of them (which Hadriex had already been thinking as well) that I'd release one of Hadriex's teasers per day, then NZZ's trailer, then the game after that. Hadriex already has the teasers scheduled to be posted on youtube at 3:00am central US time every day they are to be released. I doubt I'll be up at that time to put up a link, but the morning of, usually around 9am-10am, I will edit this message with another link to a teaser/trailer at the top.

OR you can subscribe to Hadriex's youtube channel here and you don't need to go through my shenanigans. If you're a crazy person that's up at 3am central time like I am (sometimes) you'll get the video right away. So here's the release schedule:

Sept 25 - Oct 2: Hadriex teasers (There are 7 + 1 thing)
Oct 4: NZZ trailer
Oct 6: GAME RELEASED!! (At midnight)

On the 6th because while I'll be away that day, I will be around during the 7th and 8th should anything weird, like the game ending the world or something, and only I can fix it by patching a bug... just as long as it doesn't happen before 10pm on the 6th.

Other Things and Acknowledgements
The project has had a lot of input from the testers and they have all helped out tremendously, including sticking with the project despite my oddities. Some of them many of you may know, others, you may not recognize their Internet handles. Those guys are:
Amatsu Darkfyre
Koishi the Rock
NegativeZeroZ (NZZ)

They all had their things they tried to focus on during the project, which was helpful.

Hadriex of course was a big help there at the end due to his being used as a test subject, err, providing a completely blind playthrough of the game, as well as receiving a constant barrage of updates throughout. The guy probably has like 20 versions of the game, some of them having broken states here and there.

Alice from the Talkhaus provided useful suggestions from time to time.

WhattayaBrian was super helpful for providing suggestions on various game mechanics. He's a very knowledgeable person when it comes to code practices and gameplay concerns. Definitely someone I'd like to work with in the future.

Alrighty, that's all for now, and I'm sure I'm missing some people.  Anyway, the wait is almost over!


So Hey, Where's the Game?

Actually everyone has been super patient. You guys are awesome for that. So here's what's going on. Some might know that I work full time, some also know that I, at times, work overtime when asked. That's not necessarily the entire reason DT3 isn't out yet though. I like to keep up with my social life and the last half of August was fairly busy for me for various reasons, even when I was at my computer. DT3 didn't get a lot of my time.

Though now that it has taken this long, both Hadriex and NZZ have prepared trailers for the game, because they're awesome like that. Hadriex put together a few short ones in a sort of teaser trailer type of thing, while NZZ made a bit longer one in a more release trailer style.

Some ideas came out after seeing them all (some are still being worked on too, but almost done it appears.) What we're going to do is release one of Hadriex's trailers each day up to the game's release, and then on the day before (or 2 days before) DT3's release, NZZ's trailer will be posted. I'll be giving a date to this when I know for certain I can uphold a release date. I may have the first teaser posted the day I announce the release date.

Until then... Phantom Pain is out! I won't be playing it, at least not yet, but I will be watching Jerry play some of it. I've been crazy looking forward to MGS5 for a long time now.

On a high note for DT3. It will pick up again starting tomorrow. I'm nearly done with a thing, that once done, I'll know more of a closer date that the game can be released. It's close!! Also August had more blog views than any other month so far... well I did hype up August for a bit. My bad on that.


Where are we at now

My final playtest has finished and TONS of stuff has been reworked and fixed up. I still have a few more things to go through that the testers have sent me, which also shortens my own list of things that are still on it.

The big thing left is finishing up the final encounter with the actual final guy final final battle final. I left it unfinished when the project was 'finished' back late in late June. Both so I didn't simply go "IT'S DONE, RELEASE IT!" before it should be released and to screw with the testers.

There was definitely a lot to fix and I figured this final playtest would take at least a month, considering I knew there were a few things that would need to be completely reworked. Some of them being those early bosses. When everything is done, I'll be running through the game one more time, but don't fret, it's going to be primarily me debug mode'ing (what?) into all the events to make sure all the stuff triggers like it should and that I didn't break any of that last minute. Should only take an afternoon. There's a lot, but I'm not going to be checking dialogue or actually 'playing' the game, all that's been done. I'll just be checking to make sure it all works still, because I'm paranoid like that.

Of those two trailers I mentioned, one is nearly done, and the other is in the works now. I've seen one of them and it was pretty nice. Looking forward to what the other one shows and how it themes itself. (The only big rule was they couldn't show anything from the final level.)


We're Looking Good Here

I'm at the tail end of my final playthrough of the game. We (well the testers mostly) are nitpicking the balls out of the game and finding all those little nagging things. Not everything will be addressed of course. I'd like the game to be released this month and not in 5 years from now. I'd be (somewhat) happy with releasing the game right now. It's in so much better shape than it was even 2 weeks ago. However, there are still a few things that need to be addressed and I'm also awaiting on not one, but two trailers for the game that people are being super cool about making for it. Those will be announced when both have been shown to me. I'll also be making a thread on the talkhaus about the game when that time comes. I say there specifically since that's where the majority of the players come from.


I'm Still Here

No worries, things are still happening and DT3 is very close. Its been a strange month. Very stressful in a lot of ways, so I haven't been all 'here' lately. Things have been angering and disappointing as well. But luckily stuff is returning to normal.

DT has not been the source of any of this. Its been nice to see the project coming to a close actually and see all the pieces coming together. Still some work to do on it before it sees its way to you. It'll get there, very soon.


Nearly Release Time

The game is done, well has been done for a few weeks. I'm currently running through the game with a list of things that I want done before it's released. I've given a build to some people and seeing how a completely new player to DT3 plays it. Especially the first few chapters. Though they do all have that unfinished version from weeks ago. (Same version the testers currently have. (No Brian, you're getting the final one.)) :P

Even before I started watching them, there's been some substantial changes to the game, specifically early on. The problem areas seem to mostly be with how some elements of the game are presented in the beginning parts of the game, not necessarily with the content itself. Which is good for me, since I can easily fix that.

A lot of the changes are things like adding sound, which has helped quite a bit with making things just feel better. That's actually the biggest thing that needed changing. (Other than the beginning parts needing a bit more clarity for some of the game's mechanics.) There's a few bugs on the list, but they're not game breaking bugs. They will be fixed though.

Overall, the game is in a good place, not to the point where I want to release it just yet of course, but it really is looking good. Watching the new players fumble mostly over things that aren't explained too well is pretty hopeful for me.

Note for those that played the demo way back in the age of dinosaurs. It has been removed again, this time forever!! Anyway, the game is much different than what you may remember from the demo. The beginning areas are actually a bit more difficult, mostly the bosses. The early bosses were pretty forgettable and have been given a bit more bite.

So when is it going to be released? When I'm ready for it to be, is the most honest answer I can give. I'm shooting for late July. (Doubt it though, I don't think I'll be happy with the game by then.) So early August probably.


Fighting Myself

The best things (at least I feel) that I've made for DT3 have always come after I have internal battles with myself about it or a big decision regarding it.  I've typically found the harder decision to make to be the better one. I don't mean in terms of hard to execute, but something that has potential to be controversial. To go more in-depth with that word, I don't mean culturally or socially controversial, but simply within the game itself. (Though it does dive into a few harsh things from time to time, unlike its predecessors.)

The end of the game, not the ending itself, but the entirety of the final sequences has been a fight for me since the project began. There has always been a specific way that I've wanted to end the trilogy. Both in gameplay and story. Now that I've been actually making these final bits and I see that original plan going through, I'll be honest and say I'm super happy with keeping with my first thoughts. There's been many times the past few years that I've thought to end the game another way because another idea would be more what's expected and better received. DT3's development has been more mindful of the end user than DT1 ever was, and that's not bad at all. But when it came to big decisions, and deciding to go with what could be better received, I preferred to go with my way.

While DT1 is super flawed in many respects, doing things my way worked out pretty well for the game in a lot of ways. Some of its more odd decisions had some of the best responses. That's not in itself a justification for it. I've found that if I'm happy with it, regardless of how it's received, I like it.

Something I did give in on, was including easy mode into DT3. And almost immediately after, I thought, 'I should disable easy mode for the Nightmare levels.' I've fought with that idea. Even some of the testers mentioned that could be a thing. I don't think the conversation itself needs to be cited, but I did turn it down, despite already thinking I should do that anyway to preserve what I initially had. Easy mode isn't something I really wanted to include in the game, however it is staying and I understand its utility. That said, it is going to be off-limits for the Nightmare gates in the final version, including what they lead up to.

In the decisions for the game when I was conflicted, nearly all of them came down to how I felt about it and no other metric. I made DT1 for fun and to be this thing that was mine, I've always felt my best stuff is when I go with that. The game is, in the end, something I want to make and nothing else.

I'd like to make a note that this isn't against my testers or critique/feedback from them. That's a whole separate thing from what this post is going on about. They've provided a countless amount of help. There's a TON of little things, nagging things that would annoy the player, that if the testers weren't around, would still be there. And in some cases, big things that have impacted the game in a huge way have come from them.


Worlds and Characters

Grackles. Okay cool, I got the bird thing out of the way for this post.

Wait no, I do have grackle things to post. Here's a video where I do the near-daily catch game with these three male grackles.

And here's another where a mother feeds her rather noisy offspring. Watch your volume, they get loud up close like this. (I'm a derp for not dropping the volume on the video.)

DT3 World and Characters
I may have mentioned it before, but I prefer character driven stories the most. And really, stories that have well developed characters over well developed worlds. I've been thinking more about this as I start to think on what I'm going to do next. (And I finally know what I'm making after DT3.) Distorted Travesty is weird to me in that sense because it develops the world more than it does the characters. Admittedly the third game does a lot more in developing its characters than DT1 did, with a bit more focus on Claire than the others, at least in my opinion. But I still find that it favors world building over characters. Especially now that the world is already set up prior to the game starting. I find it weird since I generally make what I enjoy most and I did the opposite when it comes to story telling.

When it comes to making games, I always start with a gameplay idea in mind and then think about some of its functions and nuances and how they can be used in possible game scenarios. From there, I write characters to fit that gameplay, which then leads to building the world around those characters. DT did things different, where it was: Gameplay -> World -> Characters. Thinking back on when I started the first DT game, a lot of things were simply to justify running through worlds of various video games and my odd take on them. I just needed characters to fill that world.

That's probably why I enjoyed the writing itself more in DT3 than in DT1. While there is a lot of world building, which I think is natural at the state of things when DT3 starts. I wrote DT3 with the characters in mind first. Such as giving the protagonists a bit more personality and SOME backstory. More importantly (well for me anyway) were the antagonists and what they mean in the story.

Future Things
I won't say exactly what I'm working on next, however the thing I've always really liked are asymmetrical multiplayer gameplay. Meaning, multiplayer games where each player has a different control scheme or play style. More specifically, taking those examples and each player is also working towards the same goal. I've played around with this sort of thing here and there, even over the course of developing DT3.

About a year ago, I linked a very rough example of something I made about 5 years ago. (and it hasn't gotten any love since then either) I linked a Breakout variation (which I will also link again) where all four sides are open and there is a paddle on each side. Up/Down controls the left/right paddles, and Left/Right controls the upper/lower paddles. There is also other things occurring that require the mouse to be used along with this. The idea being one player takes control of the paddles and the other uses the mouse. Eventually there was going to be something else the mouse user had to watch and react to as well, but you know, the game didn't get much love. It IS beatable. (though nothing happens when you clear the board) A friend of mine who helped me decide on power ups and mechanics beat it along with me.

I've been thinking a lot about really going into this sort of thing as it has always been an interest of mine. The idea of differing play-styles working toward a single goal specifically is what I have in mind.


DT3 Is Soon

DT3 will be done this month!

That doesn't mean it will be released this month. I still have some cleaning up and a bit of bugfixing to do. My estimation is somewhere between July 11 - 18, as I'd like to have time for the testers to give me their last bit of feedback and to be able to iterate on that, if necessary.

Of course I'll still be doing bugfixes and such after the game is released as I'm 100% sure things will slip through. I'd like to, of course, have as much of it as solid as I reasonably can before that.

So yeah, be looking forward to DT3 in the middle of July!


Very Short Break and Grackles

I'll be taking a break from DT3 for about 3-5 days while I work on a secret project for a friend. This will only delay DT3 for about 3-5 days, so no worries.

That final level is pretty sweet though.

So here's some videos of birds visiting me to hopefully tide you guys over till DT3 comes out. The Witcher 3 comes out like... tomorrow, play that, I've heard it's pretty good. And it has a 3 on the end of it!

Grackles 1
Grackles 2

Also to the comment made by Francois, 2 blog posts ago, I forgot to respond to you.
You said:
"Ah, magnifique, Monsieur le Burst!
Will there be another game similiar to DT with platforming and combat(but original sprites)?
Or a Zelda like top view game with your own sprites?"
I'm not exactly sure which idea of mine I want to do next. I may join a group of others and work on someone else's idea for a bit. I haven't done that in my own development time for awhile. At least that which wasn't small requests here and there.


Interview and How Are You

The thing I mentioned on Twitter the other day is here. Actually it was yesterday, but I'm dumb. A friend of mine has a podcast where he does interviews with people. (And other things.) On his 4th episode, he features an interview with me, about me... and stuff.

You can find it by clicking on the green word here.
It went well and all done in one cut. I did a goof and had my mic right next to my mouth during the interview which upsets me because I know not to do this. Other than that, BAM, interview. Wow I had other things to say about it, but that's just... gone. Ah yes, the interview is not entirely about DT, but mostly about me. No worries, there's no spoilers aside from stuff that happens in the first game. Also yes, that's my name on there, I don't really care if it's out there. It's so incredibly generic, as there are a bazillion others with that exact name.

Also check out Dylan's episode 2 of his podcast, I rather enjoyed that one, as it has quite a crazy and true story. I had actually heard it directly from him before hearing it on the podcast itself.

And good news, I'm not nervous about the final level anymore. The tweet last week is now a lie. Seeing it play out exactly how I've envisioned it these last few years is pretty great. It has the right atmosphere and a really good difficulty level that I feel closes up the trilogy in a great way. (Spoilers, it's pretty difficult.)


Getting There

By tomorrow, the only content that will be left to fully implement will be the final level. So this week is when I'll be devoting all my dev time to that level. I was gonna work on a lot of the stuff I'm doing now after working on that final level, but I swapped around the order of things.

Just the level and 2 boss encounters left to fully implement. Well the ending too.


Game Progress: What's Left?

This is an update about what's left to create.

Currently I'm revamping Gate 6, which previously I was unhappy with. There was a heavy dialogue edit along with new encounters coded. It was pretty sparse before this. It's kinda hard to talk about it specifically, considering spoilers, and only the testers saw the previous version of it. So I'll leave it at that. It's almost done though, will probably have it done by tomorrow.

Next up is the encounter that occurs if the player completes all of the Nightmare Gates. That's not a spoiler, everyone knows SOMETHING happens.

After that is the final level and all its fun bits that go along with it. I'll code/script the ending during this as well.

And then, I need to return back to the world itself and finish up some loose ends. All the little secret/hidden areas in the game that aren't there now and finish placing all the optional items, like the remaining heart pieces, etc. This phase won't take very long.

When the above are all in, all the game's content is finished! THE GAME WILL BE RELEASED THEN... but not really. After that, I'm of course playing through the game again and heavily editing the game where it needs it. I'm guessing this phase will last about a month. There's a lot of feedback from the testers that I agree with and haven't actively addressed in the game yet. They're mostly small edits and tweaks, but those small things definitely address real issues, and it's during this last pass that I'll be going through those and iterating on them. No new content will have to be added during this phase, so overall, it should be quick comparatively.

When I'm happy with the game, it'll be released. Well no, that's a lie, I don't think I'll ever be fully happy with the game, but there will be a point during that last phase where I'm saying, "DONE, fuck it!" I'll be announcing a release date just before this phase hits though.

So this is where I'm at with the game. It really isn't all that much left.


DT3 Multiplayer Mode Confirmed

You may have noticed that DT3 has been taking me longer to finish up than I thought and said it was. This is partially due in part to life changes as mentioned recently, as well as just having a more social life outside of gaming. That's all good and true, but there's another reason the game has been delayed for this long. I've been working on something alongside the main project that is now integrated with the game. The testers have been working hard with me on it to make sure it runs great and its been awesome this last month.

DT3 now has a multiplayer mode. One player will control Jerry, while the other controls Claire. It's a mode independent from the main game, though a lot of it does use levels from the main game, but redone a bit to make use of multiplayer. It took some work, but it's all done through network play, though unfortunately I couldn't quite get local multiplayer to work. It's best done over a LAN, so I'll provide links to Hamachi and such when the time comes.

Below are a few screenshots that should show somewhat how it works.

As shown, you can see the other player's current energy (of their current active ability) next to yours. Both players have to be on the same map, but they aren't confined to the same view. Map exits work the same except both players must be near it for it to work. (Within half a screen.)

Both players share the same health pool. This also means that if one player plummets down a pit, it's game over for both players. The game over rules are the same, though it's the host player that has control of what happens in menus. Currently only the host player can control the pause menu as well, which means that player is also responsible for allocating skill points and equipment for both players. I'm looking to fix that before release.

I had thought about announcing this last month, but it wasn't as far along as I had wanted it. A gameplay video of how the multiplayer looks will be coming soon.

Actual progress on the game proper is still moving nicely as well, despite not having worked on it all that much the last 2 months.


Thought I'd Miss This Month

Yay, Winter is almost over, or I should say; Yay, the cold weather is almost over! Maybe, you never know with Texas. We can have 80F+ in February, which will continue for the next months and suddenly have snow in the middle of April.

The grackles have all come back from their travels and with the new batch of them this year, are a few that became super friendly in only a month and a half, and I'm not even working outside anymore. There's 4 of them now that will take food directly from my hand. Though one of them is the female grackle that I've known for 2 years. Another is a male with an injured right foot, who became friendly very fast. The others got that trusting after seeing the first two approach me that close a few times. I'll try to get a video of them all lined up about a foot in front of me. When I take my breaks and walk outside, it typically only takes up to 10 seconds for them to approach.

People are annoying with it, luckily it's rare though. Every so often there's that person that walks by and must inform me that what I'm doing is dangerous and I could get bitten, and that grackles should be shot. If someone walks by with the latter remark, my usual response is something along the lines of "I save my ammo for another type of biped." Oh I used to be such a nice and reserved person.

The first type of remark is another ignorance laden one, though that one doesn't really upset me. Wild animals can indeed be dangerous and birds carry diseases that we're susceptible to. I'm not too concerned with being bitten though. Not when I observe them being super careful with me. Not all of them are, and I take special care around those ones specifically. With grackles, I've noticed ways to tell if they're going to be careful with me or not based on body language. That and they're fairly consistent. The male grackle I mentioned above with the injured foot is always extra careful to not bite me. The smaller the piece of food I give him, the more careful he is, which is interesting to me.

DT3 Progress
Shit, this blog is about video games, not birds. Wait no, it's about whatever I want.

So DT3 is still going, though the last month or so was a bit slow. A THING DID GET DONE THOUGH.

The most recent level is a fair bit different and touches on things personal to me. It's short, and very simplistic gameplay, but I wanted to give something very different for DT a try.

I'm currently revamping a previous level, it's the last level I need to fix up before I work on the final one. I'd have done it later, but I know if I don't do it now, then I'll later say, "It's fine how it is." and I wasn't really all that satisfied. It isn't taking long though, the changes aren't super drastic, but they've had a good impact on the quality of the content.

Other Stuff
I know I've been quiet lately. There have been a few life changes the last few months that have kept me busy, as well as busy away from the game. I'm fairly certain I'd have the game done by now if not for everything going on, or at least all the content done.

Anyway, I'm not stopping the project for sure. It's almost done and the end is something I've wanted to work on for a long while. I think it's gonna be great.

Also the new Zelda for the WiiU is not coming out in 2015. Though I'm not bothered by that delay at all. I was expecting it.


What's Happening in DT Land

On the right side, you'll notice that a number of big tasks is shown. These are tasks that I need to complete for the game to be considered complete.
Without spoiling what they are, they are: (nonspoiler method)
-Gate H (The final optional gate)
-Redo the Gate D boss encounter (Cause he sucks)
-An optional, but not really optional, boss that I can't spoil
-Gate 6 needs touch ups based on some heavy suggestions (that were requested by me) from Slaix
-Cave Network (That mysterious one map hidden place-thing you all saw in the demo)
-Final Level
-The final pass through the game to fix/add all the stuff that isn't fixed/added. All the content is in the game by this point. It just needs a polish pass. I'll be announcing a release date when I get to this phase most likely.

Some of the above won't take very long so it'll get scratched off the list pretty fast.


A Short Post Based on Something

In DT1, the first shmup segment had the player flying over mountains. (There was also that shmup segment just before the final level.)

In DT2, the shmup segment has the player flying over mountains just before the final level.

DT3's shmup segment has the player flying... well, over mountains, just before... the final level...

Clearly not intentional.


Corrections But Not

I would like to note that the 2 levels tweet I had a few days ago is both accurate and inaccurate. What I mean is 2 non-optional levels left. There's still Nightmare Gate H to make and a few tidbits of side dealybobs to do. Some may remember the Cave Network (Gonna need to be renamed because its purpose has changed since its initial inception during pre-production.) that had a single uneventful map in the demo. I know a few people liked finding this side level. Had its own music and tileset and all that jazz.

It's not going away and there are a few other things like it that still need some attention. They've been started, but haven't gotten a lot of good dev time. This is mainly due to my desire to get all the main content in the game first and then look at what the game could need from there, then I'll decide how I want to go about those Cave Network levels. What they are is set up, it's just the execution of them. I have a million ideas in my head about how to go about them that will benefit the game the most, which I'll figure out when I get there.

There will also be a lot less blog posts till the project gets much closer to the end, which is getting really close. We're looking at about 1 post a month for now as a check up of; "Hey I'm not dead and the project still lives!" The current level I'm developing (the one before the final) is going pretty fast though, so yay!


Back In The Game

It happens every December. Life gets busier and hobby work gets put to the side. Since we're in January though, DT can come back into development again instead of an hour here and there.

I'm nearly done with one of the endgame levels and I've been developing it for the last 3 weeks, where normally a level like this would take about 3-4 days. (When I say days, I mean the evenings that I work on the game.)

There's one more major level/event in Chapter 19 and then it's onto the final segment of the game, which isn't very big.

Chapter 19 has been interesting to make like I thought it would. Videogame like stuff, I've done a lot of things with it that I normally don't do. I tend to stay away from 'points of no return', but it has them in quite a lot of places. (In comparison to what I normally do.) They're all temporary of course, but I tend to shy away from those.

In a very 'not in the spirit of the game', achievements are possible to miss completely as some of them are in one-time only events. They don't unlock anything and they're more of an odd acknowledgement of 'you did this goofy thing', so I'm cool with that. (They're hidden in a submenu anyway, signifying that they aren't that important. There's probably some unintentional message there, but probably not, and no one should really read into that.)

Other Stuff
I finally have a 3DS. (One that is mine instead of playing on other people's DSs.) Only game I've got is Fantasy Life, which reaffirms the very reason I don't play MMOs. (Aside from Planetside.) That is they tend to have addictive qualities that have you running about doing stupid shit. It's an interesting game that is actually quite fun though. I wouldn't play it as much as I do if Jeremy wasn't playing along with me. And having 3 people in a game doing random crap is humorous and feels rather game breaking.

We've put in a lot of time already and I'm 100% sure we could easily complete the rest of the story quests with our current gear. I don't really know what was the 'intended' method to play, but we play all the classes to nearly as far as they can go before we touch a story mission.
I don't care much for the plot itself, but the writing has humor word play the entire time. Which brings in this weird thing of putting up with the plot to get to more gameplay, but also reading it to see all the wonky writing. (Even if it is way too wordy sometimes.) I'm hoping Nintendo makes a Fantasy Life 2 in the future and does a ton more with the game, specifically putting more focus on multiplayer.

Gonna probably get that Link Between Worlds game next because I only played some of it. Definitely before 'The Legend of Zelda: Elder Scrolls Edition' is out in November. Oh man, and Konami says that Metal Gear 5 is out Quarter 1 this year. Maybe DT3 will be done before Mother 4 is finished... I have a huge list of games that I've put aside too.

If you read this thinking, 'What did I just read? Why is this constructed like this? Where is the word flow?' Then you're doing it right and I should probably go past a first draft with this.