Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Area 5 is getting big

While playing AM2R on the go sounds really cool in paper, I left the whole Android port for later.
It's very likely that this port will work with bluetooth controllers only at first. Touch controls are a science that requires a lot of research and experimentation. Right now I prefer to spend the few hours of free time I have on completing the game.

Progress was pretty steady this month. Area 5 is feeling a lot better, the new layout introduces the new mechanics and enemies gradually, and there are some tricky rooms to overcome, even with all the equipment you have at that point in the game.
For every revision the area gets, more rooms are being added. It's starting to be a pretty big place.
Also, there are going to be Metroid fights, making the area non-optional, as it was once planned. Some Metroid encounters are going to be very intense.

A sneak peek of how the main facility of Area 5 looks like now.

There's many small details to iron out before the testing phase can begin. There's still rooms that don't have their tile work complete, and the destructible blocks that have associated tiles are very time consuming to setup.
Also, there are changes that affect earlier areas, so testing will need to focus on the whole game, instead of just the new area.

Hopefully, if everything goes well, testing should start in a couple of weeks.
As always, suggestions and comments are welcome.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Android Experiments

Trying out the GMS Android export module was a very interesting process.
On the technical side, the game ran straight away without having to do any change to the code. I was, at that point however, unable to go past the title screen, since I didn't have any touch controls coded.
After some minor headaches with the scale and positioning, I was able to add a virtual dpad and some buttons.

The game is playable, but implementing touch controls for such a complex game is going to be a challenge. All the mobile games I played that have decent touch controls are extremely simple, 2 directions and 1 or 2 buttons.
AM2R not only has plenty of buttons, but one of the main features of the game, the Metroid fights, relies heavily on diagonal aiming. It took me 3 tries to beat the first Alpha with the improvised touch controls, so this feature will require a lot more work than I initially thought.
Besides the in-game controls, the menus should be touch enabled, and the map could use swipe mechanics to scroll around. That translates to a lot of time and effort, so I gave the mobile port a low priority for now.

Area 5 is changing constantly. While the revamped place has most of the contents (not yet properly tiled), the flow still doesn't feel right. I might be adding one or two new enemies, since the existing ones don't pose any threat to Samus with the plasma beam.

Also, a new Wallpaper Pack is available at the Downloads page:

Another fine piece of art by ZimK, who will be present in FanExpo Canada 2015. Be sure to drop by her booth and say hi if you attend.

Friday, July 24, 2015

More platforms, and wallpapers

I'm happy to announce that, thanks to a promotion in the YoYoGames store, I could afford a Game Maker Master Collection license for a decent price. This will allow me to experiment with several compile targets. AM2R could then, in theory, be ported to mobile.
I'll post here if I can manage to do anything cool.

One of the main mechanics to be used in Area 5 is working so far. This means I can now finish adjusting the layout of the overall area, so this new mechanic is used properly.
I recently shifted my attention to the Omega Metroid sprite. The animations of the Zeta ended up looking pretty nice, and now the Omega will be receiving a similar treatment.
New frames were drawn for some of the body parts, and the color pallette is being tweaked constantly, to match the environment of the Omega Nest.

And last but not least, the first official Wallpaper Pack is now available at the DOWNLOADS page, thanks to the awesome ZimK.

There's more coming soon, so stay tuned.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Soundtrack 1.41 Update!

Finally, the soundtrack received its official update. Now you can listen to the new, improved songs in either lossless or high bitrate mp3s.
Also, the soundtrack now features an awesome album cover, made by the talented Zim K. She'll be contributing with custom made promo art for the project.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Demo 1.41 update!

This time, it's a couple of small fixes, and some improvements to the soundtrack.


NEW IN 1.41
- Added new song for Zeta fights
- Made some adjustments to Alpha, Gamma, Area4A, Area4B songs
- Fixed the Tester exploit
- Changed the layout of one of the Zeta rooms, harder to exploit now
- Fixed Motos getting stuck in the jumping state

The updated soundtrack will be available by this weekend / early next week.
Have fun!