Saturday, January 10, 2009

Back to work

These couple of weeks were refreshing, I rediscovered Cave Story (finally got to the Hell stage), I started another run of Soldexus, and played countless hours of Call of Duty 4 (it´s so fun I forgot completely about Unreal Torunament).

Anyway, here are my plans for this summer:
- Work on Area 4
- Do the map screen
- Finish the subscreen
- Redo the transitions and fade system
- Rework Samus´ physics and some moves
- Code Gamma Metroids AI

Area 4 is my primary goal. Since I´m revamping it almost completely, I´ll be able to make interesting layouts instead of the basic design of the original.

The map screen is working, I´ll just make it look good, and accessible from the subscreen.

I came up with an idea about making a better and faster method for the transitions and fade in/outs. Since now I have to link the subscreen with the map screen, I need more flexibility to make transitions look better. I hope I can pull it off.

I might change one or two things about Samus´ moves:
- Change the spiderball command to the Aim button (several people suggested this, I´ll try it out)
- Keep vertical speed when firing from spinjump. Stopping in the air when firing is part of the "heavy" physics of Zero Mission, but I found it makes air combat feel unnatural. The battle against Kraid in the second demo could have been much more fun if the jumps weren´t limited this way. This change will be applied only to firing states, NOT the mid air morph. You have Power Grip for those situations, and you get it early in the game.
- Add an "Auto Climb" state and animation for small ledges (1 block high), and a slower one for high ledges (2 blocks high). The idea is, when you run against a ledge, samus automatically climbs it if you´re pressing the upwards diagonal direction (this way you won´t climb it accidentally if you´re just looking for cover).
- Add an "Auto Morph" state, similar to the one above, but for small openings on walls. It could be triggered by using just the downwards diagonal direction while running against the opening.
These are just ideas right now, I´ll try them out and see if they fit the current engine without changing the "Metroidy" feel too much.

The Gammas. HyruleSwordsMan finished the sprites before christmas.
Right now they behave like Alphas (I´m using them as a template), I still have to add the new states, and animate them. I made a basic sprite limbs system, it saves a lot of static frames, but it´s really tedious to animate.

I don´t know if I´ll finish all of these within these months, but there will be a lot of progress.
As always, all your comments and suggestions are welcome. If you asked questions in the last post, take a look at the comments, I´ll answer them in a minute.

34 comments:

ronny14 said...

This is great Dr.!
I wish you good luck on area 4!

Dark Master said...

mmm ...
I commend him for his breakthrough.
That was good to rest for a
fresh mind to new ideas.
That means that you will play this year before Christmas (I hope).
I commend him and you have my support in your project.
Some questions:
Is it over to other areas, that is, you only need to zone 4?
Already programming sprites metroids of Zeta, Omega and Queen?

An_Artist said...

Wonderful, glad to see you plan on getting a lot done.

Well lets see.
Please dont "change" the spiderball to the diagonal button, just add it, please still keep the "down" button as its function, because that's what we're used to from the original.

the automatic climbing sounds great, but we'll have to try it out since its something completely new in metroid 2d, we may not get used to it. but we might.

Since you're working on the physics of her movements, how about you slow down the speed of her jump, and reduce the hight of the highjump boots like they should be. This has been requested before, we just think its too high/fast compared to the other metroids.

Its good you'll work on transitions, since it's really annoying to press the map button and it fades to it, i rather it just slide in (the first two metroid primes had that, but they killed it in prime 3 with the fade in)

I hope you post the sprites of the gamma metroids soon! Keep up the amazing work! I'm always in your support in case you didnt know.

Miles07 said...

Area 4... the Armory... Nice. What do you plan to do for this area, "theme"-wise?

Anonymous said...

Nice, I like how you give constant updates, unlike the other major Metroid project (SR388). They're great and all, but Von Richter seems to have fallen off the face of the earth. I give you lotsa credit for that and releasing a demo, all on your own. Something the other team couldn't do even though they have more people working on it. Not that I'm drawing comparisons, I like both projects, but you definitely seem more in tune with the community. Can't wait to see what else you come up with. I'll be playing your demo and trying to get 100% until then.

Jaap Rutten said...

good to hear you enjoyed the holidays Dr M64

I agree with An Artist that you should add the spider-ball to diagonal aim when in morph ball as there is no need to remove it from pressing down.

Now about the auto climb and morph ball, auto climb seems fine to me, although it might be a bit redundant. If you can climb a ledge of 2 high you could just as well use bomb jump, morphjump, spiderball or if it is just a ledge to another platform you could jump onto it as well. But I might have to see it happen before I can give any real judgement.

The automatic morphball might be less apealing, because when you are running for cover and aiming down to crouch or something you could go into morphball mode without wanting to. But it might come in handy if it works well.

Anyway I might want to see those moves in action before making my final decicion.

Yes said...

Nice ideas. Here are my thoughts and questions:

1. You should put auto-climb and auto-morph in the options menu, and allow us to turn them off if we want.

2. If you're putting in auto-morph in, I must insist on an auto-unmorph.

3. The idea of activating spiderball with the aim button... I don't see the point. It's not like you have to stop moving to press down, after all.

4. Can you post the spritesheet for gamma metroids? And while you're at it, the current map layout, too?

5. Does the auto-morph thing work for tunnels not on the ground?

Bugsey said...

Good to see you working again! I've always hated going through Area IV because of all the spikes and the Zeta metroids. It was the second longest area in the game, and by the time I finished it I got really board with the game and didn't play it in a long time (I DID finish it, though). Hopefully with your remake I won't get annoyed with it until after I beat it maybe, 10-20 times.

wayofthemetal said...

All of the ideas you have sound awsome man can't I can't wait for the next demo showing off some of these new ideas you are hatching. peace

eric said...

Those auto-climb and morph features sound fantastic!! Great idea, it'd make the gameplay a lot smoother.

mocktoid said...

I think the auto climb and auto morph ideas are excellent. :)

mocktoid again said...

Oh, and the removal of the heavy physics in relation to jumping and shooting: Also an awesome idea. (Reminds me of the Super Metroid engine.)

shutz said...

If, after implementing some of the physics and control changes you mention, you're still not 100% sure about them being an improvement, just "back-port" them to your last demo and let us play with them (maybe tweak a few parts of the levels to give us some representative ledges and such to try the new moves on...)

Other than that, it's great that you're going to keep working on this, and many thanks for keeping us all updated.

David said...

i'm looking forward to play the final release of this project!!!
i love metroid series on 2D , it is the way that a metroid game should be always made.
i just have an ideia/request, did you seen the new super mario brothers game for nintendo ds? well if you don't its kind of a remake of the super mario brothers for nes, with some new power ups and levels, but the most important thing is that they improved a lot the graphics, but remained the game in 2D !, if you could do that for metroid would be realy wonderfull!
well this is all, good luck and keep your good work ;)

Palamon said...

I think the auto-climb and auto-morph are good ideas.

The Auto-morph and un-morph features were nicely incorporated in ORN, a metroid remake for the GBA
http://www.cs.rit.edu/~tjh8300/Orn/

It was done very nicely, but you can also see where auto-morphing can get you into trouble like with low hanging platforms that you run against but don't want to morphball under.

The Gamepad optional control on the Demo is nice, but I have a Logitech Rumblepad that looks like a PS2 controller and I can't use the D-Pad to control Samus, I am forced to use the analog stick, which is annoying.

Palamon said...
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Palamon said...
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Octohunter said...

I really think that the Auto Morph state should be triggered by running against a wall and pressing Down. I tried Orn's auto-morph state, and when I was trying to push up against a wall for easier wall-jump, I was forced to auto-morph.

Palamon said...

Here's a function I made that is used just like keyboard_check that also incorporates Joystick input as well.


The forum topic on Gamemaker community


It handles the analog stick and D-Pad as the same input (just with one having priority over the other)
So if that's how you do inputs, it may be a quick fix to the analog/D-Pad situation

(PS: sorry about all the posting and deleting, I put the topic under the wrong forum heading and they deleted it)

Recker said...

If you do add those features make it so you can turn them off, like the moon walk function in super metroid.

MetroidMaker said...

I agree.

SpiderTECH said...

Great work so far. Any plans for another Demo?

Anonymous said...

I think that you should leave the down button as the activation for the spider ball, although you could add some way to change the button for it. Also, if you're going to add auto-climb and auto-morph features, could you add a way in the subscreen to turn them on/off?

Android-Music said...

Played your demo a couple months ago and enjoyed it much! Quality job indeed! Could you give me some advice about Game Maker? I'm eager to study it better! I'd like to contact you though skype or MSN if you don't mind. Android-Music is my nick name everywhere! You can also find me and my works on Negrounds.com! Was pleasant to play the demo! Looking forward to the complete game! Metroidy Cheers! ;)

Dudeman said...

Just posting to cheer you on!!!

cant wait to try it

Jefferson said...

man what a WONDERFULL work im just anxious to play it good luck

darkjak951 said...

Been looking at this project for a long time! Great work, I like that you don't drop your game like most inde game devs. Nice to see that motivation :)

Johan Lindgren said...

Hello Dr! I just read the comments to the last post and saw that someone suggested a level editor. I really like that idea, but then I saw your response and it kind of sadden me a bit.

After you have released the game, do you think that you could make a level editor and make the changes to how the levels are stored(+ the reworked engine)?

That would be awesome, not only creating rooms, objects, enemy placements, but also editing like 3 layers of backgrounds(transparent ones that moves in different speeds), music, adding your own cut scenes(images) and sound-recordings to that. Maybe even a sprite editor, a enemy(sprite + movement)editor? The wish list could go on, but you get the idea.

Then you(or someone else)could set up a site/community for hosting these games and sorting them by votes/ranking... maybe even hosting new sprites/enemies.

What I've seen, you are working on a really good engine and a great supply of sprites/music/sounds/art, it would be such a awesome thing if you could make the tools for people like myself(that has artistic abilities and visions but no coding skills what so ever) when you have such a fantastic engine to base it off.

All of us that visits your project blog are people who loves Metroid in 2D just as much as you do. If you do this, I think you'd get a lot of awesome and creative Metroid games in return.

Anonymous said...

9

ronny14 said...

@Johan Lindgren
the Dr. will say no, for that would lead to plaguerism and too many people over he internet will make spammy games.
Just lean to make games on your own people!

Daniel said...

ronny14 is right i mean lets keep it nice and simple so to avoid any complaints about the game.I have also been inspired to make a medievil fangame(medi-evil)and I am looking for sprite and background drawers to help me in drawing.Details on my Blog http://minebyright.blogspot.com/

Android-Music said...

Guys, a lot of people are already making a lot of spammy games! XD Btw Johan, I suppose he has only the engine that he can understand and use himself. Creating Level Editor is triple difficulty if we include that Doctor M64 began to work on a game first. So if you(I mean not you exactly) are a smart pogrammer, you must create a level editor first(engine, that most people can understand usually), only then he must work on a game. But I think Doctor M64 decided to make only a game because it's easier, than creating an engine first. Anyway Doctor M64 knows better. And one question to Doctor M64: why aren't you use your own sprites in your fan game, I think it would be more interesting, huh?

t.koessler said...

i jsut wanted to know if you talked to some wii homebrewers about a wii port :)

Very Melon said...

This project is very interesting, I just hope I could program Samus like in the first demos.

Good luck on Area 4 :)

-Very Melon