Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Balance

During the last couple of weeks I was able to observe a couple of playtesters going through the current version of area 4. Luckily, this time the area miniboss isn't as unbalanced as Arachnus and Torizo were in their earlier versions.
In fact, quite the oposite happened with the overall battle difficulty with normal enemies. Samus has access to Plasma Beam and the Screw Attack in this area, like in the original. After getting these Samus is pretty much invincible, and enemies need to be very tricky or have annoying traits to pose at least some challenge.
I even added a new, original enemy. But I can't seem to find a middle ground between it being cheap and just being a moving target.
So, there's the posibility of moving one of those major items to be found on area 5. This might require the redesign of some rooms, and more testing.

By this time, in the original game, once you cleared the tower and chose your beam, you went directly to the Omega nest. It made sense to be fully prepared by that time.
Now, this is where I need to depart the most from the original level design, specifically with item placement.

In the meantime, Area 5 was redesigned from the ground up. It will have some unique events, like all the other areas do. The layout is on paper right now, and it will need to house the item moved from Area 4 too. But I was able to give the existing rooms a new location and functionality, so production of this area won't take that much, level design wise.

Things are going a bit slow, but any progress is good.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Things are going pretty smooth in Area 4.
The scripted events are becoming a bit more complex and awesome than the original plan, but the extra effort is going to pay off.
There's still some balancing to be done to the miniboss, and music production is a bit behind schedule for that particular area. But the place is starting to have its own personality and atmosphere.

Area 5, on the other hand, is very likely to receive a complete overhaul (trying to reuse the existing rooms as much as possible), to make room for the new planned features that are exclusive to that location.

I wish you have a great celebration, close to your loved ones. One of my wishes for this next year is to be able to play AM2R complete, as a full game. I'll do my best to make it happen. May your personal goals for this year be fulfilled, and most importantly, be safe and be happy.

Happy holidays!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Areas 4 and 5

The year is almost over, again. As usual, preparations for the celebrations, gift shopping and those kind of things are taking most of my free time. But there's been some solid progress lately for both areas 4 and 5.
I'll just let the pics do the talking:






Area 4 now uses a brand new custom tile set, giving the place a lot more personality, compared to the older revision. There will be some interaction with some machinery, as you might expect.
The outside part of the tower was also given an original tile set, custom made for this huge structure.
And last, but not least, I started revamping the old Power Bomb animation. Up to last week, the power bomb looked like in the first trailer, with coarse polygon edges as the explosion expanded.
Now it looks a lot smoother and pretty devastating in-game.

Most of Area 5 doesn't have proper backgrounds yet, so I guess I'll be showing you those places in a later update.

There were also some small optimizations here and there, thanks to the new sound functions included in the latest version of Game Maker Studio.

Well, I guess I'll be posting again before Christmas to wish you happy holidays.
Until then!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Back into Production

After the last update, no critical bugs have appeared. Looks like the transition to Game Maker Studio was a success.

I switched my focus to contents production again. Both work and some personal things have consumed most of my free time this month, but I managed to get some progress going on Area 4. Some features and assets in that area are being revamped. It's not going to be as complex or big as Area 3, but it has it's own unique moments. I'll be posting some screenshots once I have the new tiles and backgrounds in place.

Area 5 (the new, original area) is also under progress. In collaboration with the sprite artists, we are in the process of turning the place from a barely functional place where you find items, to a location with the purpose and personality that other areas have. This is mostly planning new features and special game mechanics, under the limits of what can be done with the engine.

I would like to thank all the awesome people who provided feedback during the last couple of demo releases. The game is very stable now, and it runs very well on Linux also. Your feedback helped a lot to finish the transition to the new engine.
BTW, people having trouble running the game on Windows XP, try making a shortcut to the executable, and add "-software" at the end of the target field. It helped in some cases.

I'll be posting some screencaps of new contents soon.
Have a good week!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

AM2R Demo Update - v1.34

One of the benefits of working with Game Maker Studio, compared to older versions, is that I can build updates much more easily. This means I can do bug fixes and release updates more often than before.
This is the first update, tackling some issues you reported these last couple of days:


NEW IN THIS VERSION
- Built without the YoYo Compiler to ensure WinXP compatibility
- Music files are now available in the package for customization
- Updated health pickup sprites
- Fixed music crossfades playing part of the wrong track
- Fixed collisions of spiked plants in Area 3
- Fixed missing keycodes on the keyboard settings screen
- Fixed music not being played if you enter the sound options with volume 0
- Fixed very low music volume resulting in glitchy playback

If you had trouble getting the demo to run in Windows XP, you should give this update a try.
As always, feel free to report any bugs or make any suggestions here or at the forums.