Well, most of the work we’re doing on the game isn’t really innovation at the moment. We’re trying to piece together a level so we can make a demo of sorts. I’m mainly trying to make the assets we yet require for this, and there is a lot of them. Fortunately, it’s mainly sprites and landscapes, which are probably the components I have the least trouble with. I’m trying to do one ‘thing’ per day. Sometimes it’s just a bullet, or sometimes it’s a whole new enemy. The big task at the moment is to finish drawing Brianne in her entirety. This is scary.
Nonetheless, in a time when I’m fairly busy I think I’m getting a fair bit done, which is nice. I’m still playing some games though. Mainly, at the moment, Gradius Gaiden, Streets of Rage 2, Mimipan and Melty Blood Re-Act.
I’m finding more and more appreciation for games that have cleverly, and beautifully drawn sprites, and all of these are examples of that kind of game. Also, they’re all ridiculously good fun, and have a lovely spirit.
The guys at insani are hosting al|together, a visual novel translation festival. They’re savvy enough to have provided Mac OS X versions of these originally Windows-only games; that got me more interested in NScripter and its free conterparts, ONScripter and CCScripter. As it turns out, with a little bit of effort one can play the original Japanese versions on Mac OS X as well, even ones that come packaged as Windows executables. Once again I’m stunned at the lovely things people give away on the internet. Playing Tsukihime or Yukihana on a Mac was an impossibility, but now thanks to someone’s hard work, it’s quite easy.
This reminds me that it’s confounding how anyone could be content to release a homemade game on Windows only, when it’s not that much effort anymore to make things available on multiple platforms. That’s especially true for things like visual novels, for which cross-platform systems (ONScripter, Java, Flash, Python, SDL, OpenGL) are available, and for which the utmost resolution and framerate isn’t necessary. Creative, quirky, nerdy people, with sophisticated aesthetic senses, use Macs. That’s your target audience, guys.
Tonight my coworker Troy, who’s an expert audio engineer, sat down with me and talked about music. I’ve been struggling for months to make any kind of pleasant music for this game, and it’s never come to anything. I showed him my process, in which I naively try piecing together loops of drums and bass until I run out of confidence and quit GarageBand in self-disgust. He gave me a lot of excellent advice and ideas, and offered to experiment some on his own and send me his results. Could it be possible that Soft Landing will have good music, and soon?
I just worked for about three hours to arrive at the following line of Python:
oneGuy.positionCorner([ oneGuy.screenOrigin - (oneGuy.screenOrigin - (oneGuy.origin - theGame.scrollX)) * oneGuy.z , oneGuy.screenOrigin - (oneGuy.screenOrigin - (oneGuy.origin - theGame.scrollY)) * oneGuy.z ])
This is the heart of the new scrolling system, which makes on-screen scenery position itself much more precisely, and lets us do vertical parallax without misaligning the seams between tiled background images. I ended up making this because I was working on the demo script, and I realized that when Laurent and Brianne start talking about the planet they’re descending upon, the ship should actually be descending. Now that it works, maybe I can get back to the script…
I just took this screen shot and I was going to tell them about the new bug!! >:O
Here is a kind of.. MK II version of the main “popcorn bug” enemy I made ages ago. I like how this one turned out. I’ll probably be making some more enemies soon.
Yesterday I started playing Elysion: Eien no Sanctuary, on the Dreamcast. It’s surprisingly enjoyable. Yokota Mamoru’s art is so distinctive that it was hard for me to separate this game from Kaen Seibo in my mind, even though they were made by completely different companies. So far Elysion feels a lot more pleasant than Kaen Seibo, with a pace that’s slow enough to be relaxing, but fast enough to be entertaining. Of course, the character designs were the primary attraction.
Expect more about this game as I get further into it.
We have a new design for this diary, because we are about ready to turn it into a proper web site. The design was conceived and assembled by Zinc, and crammed into WordPress by me. It’s not perfect yet, but we’re on our way to having something more stable than a blog.