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.

79 comments:

Zach Hixson said...

Yeah, touch controls are next to impossible for metroid games. I've tried playing them with GBA emulators and they just don't work. Best way to do it is to just ignore touch controls, and just rely on the people who own small portable Bluetooth controllers. Still would be awesome to see the android port released, as most of these controllers are less than $20

Jean Montiel said...

Well, I have an idea to solve your problem with the metroid fights.
I think you could apply an auto target system, well, it's just an idea that i have.
Tanks for reading Doctor M64.

Nicholas Evans said...

Since you're going the Android route, I'd highly recommend adding HID controller support. I agree with the auto targeting (or auto-aiming) when touch controls are all that you have, but having external controller support would allow you to keep almost everything the same with minimal changes to the outstanding quality that this game already is. Either way, excellent work. I can't wait to see the finished product!

SPTX said...

There is support for multi touch right? Try using something like this (link) rather than plain button. Then you may also have to automate some things.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwMHQoM0N8EfQnRQOE96YUxwdlE
Anyway you shouldn't even bother with things that cannot work to begin with, but clearly you're not doing that out of obligation so have fun.

Paul Castellanos said...

I probaby wouldnt get it on anrdroid, unless you simplify controls. Maybe i might get it. Also can't wait for area 5/ 1.5

iamli3 said...

im still eagerly awaiting the finishing of this , do be sure to get it done before all life on the planet is exterminated in less than 10 years :l .....

Randy Lenhart said...

some things aren't meant for mobile. id gladly play this game, dare I say (old school) within the comforts of home. seems like most people would rather play things on mobile. I say its difficult for the most part to play a lot of the mobile games, especially on a device with a somewhat small screen. Still looking for the final project. Remember all good things come to those who wait. Don't release the final version until it is well polished and runs like a well oiled machine. All the big game developers wait sometimes years before releasing the final result. No sense in rushing your project just to please a few. Make sure its right.
As always thanks for the updates and keep up the great work.
I look forward to the finished product.

Johnson Li (ME) said...

Really, a bluetooth controller is the way to go, I think no one would complain on getting one for this game anyway =).

Christos Chatzikonstandinos said...

I think that it will rely on a Bluetooth controller of some sort, like the MOGA to be playable.

WhatNintendon't said...

Please, please, please don't dumb down this game for mobile. If it isn't compatible with the control scheme, don't force it - this is one lesson the entire industry should've learned from Deus Ex: Invisible War.

That being said, there now exist Android consoles such as the nVidia Shield and controllers such as the Moga Pro, so if you could add support for them in the app, you've found your middle ground. That's what Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath did for its Android port and it worked pretty well.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, ignore touch completely and set it for controller if anything.
Implementing touch controls seems far more work than it's worth for a subpar result. Not many games can work with it.


That said, there is probably something to say about it being portable, since it's a remake of Metroid II heavily based on Zero Mission

Some Guy said...

It would be nice to just be able to use a bluetooth controller, and I think that's really the only way to go with this. I wish that could be added, and I think a lot of other people would too.

GringoHisopo1993 said...

No te preocupes por los controles, yo personalmente usare un control bluetooth, uno de ps3 específicamente, y supongo que la mayoría harán lo mismo, por favor espero que subas un demo para probar si nuestros dispositivos soportan ese juego, espero leas el comentario y mucha suerte y gracias por el proyecto.

Tsukiyomaru said...

If you need another Android tester, ping me. I've an Xperia E3.

creXALBO said...

I'd personally rather have an amazing desktop experience than any sort of mobile one. I might get a controller, if you decide to make it compatible... but why would i, when i can just wait and play on desktop?

Please, *please*, do not add an auto-targeting feature. It is only a bandaid on the real problem, which is quite simply that a game this rich simply cannot be played on a mobile device without some sort of controller. In addition, auto-targeting defeats the purpose of the entire original Metroid series -- it's supposed to be a hard game, and i personally think auto-targeting makes shooting too easy. (Yes, i was *that guy* who enables Lock On Free Aim in Prime 3, and it came in extremely handy.)

Anonymous said...

Just configure it for Bluetooth or USBGO connected controller, a game like this should never be played on a touchscreen.

Anonymous said...

emmm esto... aun está en pie el proyecto en su versión español?... el inglés no se me da mucho y me gustaría saber que es lo que dicen cuando te encuentras con un enemigo o entras en una nueva zona 7_7

Dan Blanco said...

Bluetooth controllers or even USB controllers are the way to go, for sure. My tablet natively supports Dualshock 3 controllers via USB, so as with other suggestions, I would advise that trying to make touch controls work is not worth the effort, since that would largely mean changing the game itself, or making an android-specific version with completely different AI and level design.

netsendjoe said...

Agreeing with Zach, touch controls for most emulators that run on Android seem to allow any game to be playable, but not easily. Having controls appearing over top of parts of the screen takes away from the playability. I like the idea of supporting bluetooth keyboards and gamepads though. I would definitely buy one if I knew it was supported by various emulators as well as AM2R. I do think that Android support should be placed on the back burner. You can always implement this support after the initial release while other bugs get fixed. I would be interested in testing an Android port though.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I hate to be that guy, but can you just focus on releasing the game already and stop getting side-tracked like this. All the scrapping and starting over, constantly going back to tweak things, and now wasting time on a mobile version no one really wants? This is getting very grating to those of us who have been following this game for what feels like an eternity, desperately wanting to play something resembling a finished product.

All the tweaking and porting can be done after V1.0, just try and finish something for pc and polish it up from there. It doesn't have to be perfect from the start. Everyone would be happier with a pretty good game now that get's improved overtime than a amazing game a decade or more away.

Damn, I've been fighting cancer for this for God's sake! At this rate, I'll be dead with this still on my bucket list.

Justin said...

seeing this is awesome but it makes me wonder could we see AM2R on the Raspberry pi B+ or 2 in the future? I have been wanting to make a arcade table to unit for a while using the RPi B+ I have and to be able to put AM2R on it would be amazing!

Anonymous said...

DoctorM64 thank you so much for what you've done. I've been following your website for many years now ever since you released that small demo game... I've lost all my faith in Nintendo as we all know by now they will never deliver us the Metroid we want... But that's fine because we are getting an amazing one from you DoctorM64, Can't thank you enough!

Ridley said...

I'm not interested in playing the game on a smartphone...I can play the demo on my laptop with my good old N64 controller (one of the rare times using the D-pad... ;) ) via an adapter and it works perfect. Why should I play it on a very small screen with (bad) touch controls? This is meant to be an oldschool 16-bit 2D sidescroller like Super Metroid and the both Advance games.

I would also want this game rather to be finished earlier for PC and after that you can experiment with smartphones etc. Of course it's your project but after that many years and Nintendo probably not releasing a proper Metroid game anytime soon, it would be really great to see AM2R to be finished by 2016 or so...then we have at least one great "new" game to celebrate the 30th anniversary. ;)

Jer Swoopla said...

I wouldn't worry about making your guys' fan game on the android, I have been following this project for a few years now and I can say this without a doubt that everyone who has waited patiently is both impressed and proud of all the love and hard work you and your team has put into this project!

Also on a side note, and this might make me sound like a critic for saying this. When I last played the latest demo I had an enjoyable experience, but I did notice that every other Area Boss except for Arachnus happens to be giant security/prototype robots, now why is that the case? I was hoping that there would be a fight with a new kind of alien that wasn't a metroid, wither it be a familiar face from Metroid Fusion or a brand new kind of alien, like a large centipede gecko with thick smoldering skin in a volcanic habitat. (And that is something I did imagine up myself!) If you either decide to or not to bring a new alien boss fight into the project, that is totally up to you and your team, in the end it's the presentation of the game as a whole that makes a difference.

Keep up the fantastic work!

jorge said...

sounds good but again be careful with nintendo doc

The Arkwelder said...

Just a thought, but you might want to keep a Android port of this on the down low since Nintendo is also entering the mobile space and this would be a good way to get yourself a C&D letter, thus making your years of work all for naught.

Wesley Robb said...

It would be awsome to be able to play AM2R on a gameboy advance or a ds lite.

Matt said...

Mobile is the worst thing to ever happen to serious gaming. Designing around a control scheme with no tactile feedback, and a tiny screen 30% covered with thumbs is an exercise in futility for anything other than the most simplistic of game experiences. Don't try and force it. Dev houses with millions of R&D dollars can't figure it out, you'll just burn yourself out trying to solve an impossible problem.

SeniorJohnDude said...

I would love to give this a test run on my nvidia shield (portable). Touch controls for all of the extra buttons you have for this might be a bit...troublesome. But hey, if you can do it, you can do it.

I still await the completed project one way or another.

George Radosavljevic said...

I freaking mastered the controls on the gba emulator on my phone with metroid zero mission. Having a mobile version of the game is a great idea!

Dennis De Schutter said...

Although I think it is nice to have this game on portable devices, maybe it's somewhat low priority? Do not forget the rest of the development needs double work and you will have to do regression tests for the touch controls anyway as the game development progresses.

Anonymous said...

Like some have said here, some games aren't made for mobile. Please don't waste time making mobile versions. Finish the PC version first. I am very excited about this project but sometimes it feels like Nintendo might actually make an official remake before you're done, making all your hard work basically worthless. Also, no one wants to play with virtual buttons.

Alberto Russell said...

solo espero que los controles sean parecidos a los del emulador myboy ya que yo jugue metroid zero mission y fusión en ese emulador y venían bien adaptados para smarthphone

Volo No said...

Please publish Android build without touch controls. There are a lot of people who would be eager play it with gamepads: owners of TV boxes, OUYA, Xperia Play, GPD and JXD devices... well OTG and Bluetooth offer gamepad connectivity.

I would be eager to the first one to report bugs (if any) using my JXD s7800b.

Thanks!

SAC/Black_Yoshi said...

As long as there's external controller support (and probably ONLY that), I'm OK. Metroid, being a somewhat fast-paced platformer, is not really the type of game that should be playable on a phone (Then again, I did play the flip-phone port of Mega Man 1 eight years ago...)

(If you need another handy outlet for Bluetooth controllers on Android, see if you can get any notes from the Snes9X EX+ crew, since they were able to pair the phone with the Wii controllers.)

In all seriousness, get the game finished first, THEN worry about the port.

Benji said...

Dont bother with touch controls, let ppl play with a bluetooth controller instead.

Great work!

GAVITRAX MZ said...

You're doing a great job. I have not had a computer for a few months, so I have been restricted from trying your new update till now. I've gotta say, it took awhile for the update to come out, but I completely understand. All the great devices, enemies, level design, and coding would've taken anyone a crapload of time to get done on their own. I especially liked the escape sequence at the end. It gave the game one of those exciting, adrenaline pumping moments that make up a Metroid games immersive story. Anyways, thanks and great job. I also wouldn't worry about the mobile port. It would be cool if you could get it working but the extensive controls would make it not a very easy game to get used to. I would give your priority to finishing and fine tuning the game, and then kind of branch off with ports and other little projects.

Anonymous said...

This game is amazing! The only thing missing for me are hints to the x parasites population slowly growing as the metroids are being exterminated. Honestly with all the attention to detail, music, secrets, mini games, and speed run tricks this looks like an official licensed game made by Nintendo. I wish I could make something so great in my spare time.

Kris G said...

Excellent update, still can't wait for the finish project.

Forget the touch controls - this game isn't meant to be overly simplified as others have mentioned. A bluetooth controller or bust lol.

This is the one project I'm waiting for most out of everything I follow, keep at it Doc! :D -cheers-

Anonymous said...

Great, but honestly, FINISH THE GAME before dicking around with other platform development!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't get too hung up on mobile. I spent months upon months getting used to the controls to play fusion and zero mission on myboy and I only felt about half as good on my phone as I did using a controller.
Then I got a new phone that was only slightly bigger and the most minute change of the position of my fingers made the months of work I'd done feel like a total waste.

Mauricio Guaura said...

I say forget about the mobile port for now, focus on the game! Nobody wants to play on their tiny ass phone anyway.

Seriously though, why not use the gyroscope for diagonal aiming?

Rockman Trigger said...

Cada dia me emociono mas por la salida de este gran juego es mas completas el area submarina mas las otras 2 cuevas anteriores y listo ya que el area de la reina esta completa :D (al menos el chequeo de bugs y ya)

Anonymous said...

NOBODY WANTS MOBILE. WE WANT A FINISHED PRODUCT FOR PC. THAT'S IT.

Sorry for coming off as a rude spoiled jackass, but this is honestly anyone who cares about this project thinks.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, I would much rather you focused on finishing the PC version before considering another platform. From my experience with a gba emulator for my tablet, touch controls only really work for very simple games (aka not metroid) or turn based games (again, not metroid).

Anonymous said...

Im not sure where to post bug reports so i'm placing it here.
Basically when I encounter the first gamma metroid (the alpha the transforms into it) The metroid count goes up by 1. Meaning that it is impossible for me to continue on.
Strangely this did not occur on my first playthrough but rather on a second playthrough.

Anonymous said...

Ignore my previous comment, I was being stupid

Ben Warner said...

I would totally pay for an android port of this. Also please enable real controller support and nvidia shield support. Can't wait

POLESMOKE said...

If you ask me, any kind of touch screen version of this game is a waste of time. NVIDIA Shield? THE BEST USE EVER.

Android version with proper gamepad controls would be great. Touch screen implementation sounds like it's keeping the game from being finished and it's something that would be more frustrating than fun to try and play with.

Anonymous said...

i believe that as a game designer, you should learn all you can and experiment wisely with the tools set before you. while have this game at your finger tips where ever you go would be ideal, i also want to point out the problem of the input. unless your player is going to buy a separate input device the game is borderline unplayable

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that and android version wouldn't play well. Touch screens just don't work with anything that isn't slow paced, and the metroid franchise is not that. I'd prefer to see a release version on pc than time spent on a device that's likely not workable and (I'd assume) only played by a small portion of the people looking forward to the game.

Mitch said...

There are many controllers via OTG cable for android. It would be a good idea to try mapping those buttons on a controller so we can play it portable :)

Anonymous said...

Can we please finish the PC version before porting to the phone? No one is actually going to play it on the phone.

Anonymous said...

The export tool takes what he has already put in and ports it to Android for him, as he said the only thing to do would be controls (the port tool doesn't do it for him).

That being said, I can agree with others that we would certainly love to see your finished project, if possible tinker with the droid ports later, we count the days for a big beautiful "All Done" post from you sometime late this year or early 16'.

Martin Blancas said...

I am , to be honest I'm happy it's going to be on the phone. So I can take it on the go.

Anonymous said...

No offense, but this kind of game doesn't work on touch screens, period. It's not a matter of adapting the interface. If you port to Android you should be looking at Ouya type devices or devices that allow controllers to be used. Porting for touchscreen is a waste of time and energy.

zoonyboy said...

I wouldn't say ignore it completely, as it would still be nice to have menus and stuff

zoonyboy said...

I agree, its really risky. Wait until the actual game is out before releasing the android port

Anonymous said...

I know I'm a bit of a strange case, but I'd love an Android port since I use a small android device I plug into my Projector, and I can plug an USB gamepad into it, so touch controls are irrelevant (the device doesn't even have a touch screen, it is a small black box).

If porting the game out to Android is so easy as clicking a button, how about experimental android builds just for the heck of it? :P

souturus said...

hello there, im still thinking the project is great moving it to android, first off and i think its better for anyone, first off end the project in computer mode, then focus on android, i prefer it entirely

Snu said...

Well, I at least am very excited about the android port! For all those people saying 'some games arent meant for mobile', uh, you do realize this is a remake of a game that was on gameboy, right? :p

For nostalgia sake, I love the idea of playing this on my phone with a gamepad, it just wouldn't feel right on a computer...

Don't be afraid to make the android port gamepad-only, touch controls just don't work very well for action games.

Also, the wallpaper looks fantastic! I'm hoping for a remake of the original Metroid 2 poster tho (ya know, the one with Samus kneeling in an awesome pose with her gun smoking), that would look awesome in the style of the new poster.

CMSC said...

I finished Metroid Fusin on my Asus 7" tablet. It was real pain to properly press all the buttons, but it was possible.

Any way... I think that it is better to concentrate on one platform - that is PC. And when final version is released it can be ported more easily.

Sir_Poeta said...

Esas son buenas noticias. Yo creo que podría ser excelente como un proyecto a futuro. Sin embargo, yo pienso que esto es algo innecesario viendo que la verdadera prioridad (quizás), es terminar el proyecto lo más pronto posible. A mi forma de ver, estos detalles estarían bien siempre y cuando se trabaje en ellos después de finalizar el AM2R. Yo no desmerezco el enorme esfuerzo que se está haciendo, es solo que en las publicaciones pasadas yo creí haber leído de usted mismo Doc. que para terminar este proyecto más rápido usted iba a dejar de lado varios detalles secundarios... y bueno, a lo mejor debería ver que esto de adaptar el remake a android es algo secundario.
Le deseo suerte y le envío saludos desde Chile, que en estas fechas son fiestas patrias.
Saludos.

Anonymous said...

Update time?

Anonymous said...

When comes the update? Pls we cant wait :D

Anonymous said...

Update please. Want to conclude my metroid 2 re journey. But pls focus on android after pc completion.

Cloud92390 said...

Do you have to use a 360 controller or can you use any usb enabled gamepad?

Nicholas Evans said...

Ya know.. after thinking about this. I do have one idea. Samus is capable of aiming in 8 directions. So when utilizing touch controls, allow the player to touch the enemy they want to aim at. This will cause a target reticle to appear overy said enemy, allowing Samus to aim her cannon in it's general direction while freeing up the players fingers for dodging. The reticle goes away after the enemy is destroyed, or the player touches a non enemy object. Thoughts?

XinoGami said...

Si sacas una versión para Android, te la compro sin dudar.

Unknown said...

Really? I found metroid on GBA4iOS super easy to control after a tiny bit of getting used to, but other than that I found the game easy to play, he should just implement them the same way the emulators have it.

Fidel Gallardo said...

Which phone are you using for the test?

Anonymous said...

it would be really cool if you could just port it to android, assuming the user has a controller. I would love it if that would happen. I've tried to manually port it a while ago, but gamemaker gave me an error after opening the installed apk. please add basic support for android, assuming a controller will be used

Flat said...

There a a lot of Android gaming systems out there (for example nVidia Shield TV). It would be awesome to see the game running on such systems with bluetooth/HID support!

Kwnstantinos Nikolaidhs said...

Happy to hear the news, testing AM2R on the Android device, I hope for future release touch screen version.
I'm not argue with impossible control on touch screen, saying..
I'm using SNes Emulator + Super Metroid & SM Hacks years now on the Android devices, controlling the SM is kinda easy even the wall jump is piece of cake.
GB version is more easier cause has less buttons.

ewookie said...

This is the best Metroid game I've ever played! I don't like the Prime games. Before this, Zero Mission was my favorite. I would like to add my voice to those urging you to forget touch controls. Just support gamepads and please please port the finished game to Android. Nintendo should be offering to buy this Metroid game from you so they can release it! It is that solid! Thank you SO SO much for making this game!

Victor Gutierrez said...

I'd say screw the touch control, I have a Moga controller for my Samsung S6, but I'd gladly spend $50 to 60 for another controller with more buttons for this. You have the right idea doc just focus on pc and when you come back to tinker with the mobile aspect ad Bluetooth for a controller support hell make a specific controller if you want, name it and I'll buy it this game would be great to play at work on my breaks. I get so hyped when watching videos on YouTube of people playing this.

Unknown said...

This is not a good idea, it is a GREAT idea. I get that this with touch controls can be challenging, but you can connect any controller to almost any droid. For all haters, they will be able to play:
- Via touchscreen.
- With an external controller, via USB or bluetooth. For phones a gameklipper is a great idea.
- In android handhelds such as JXD, GPDs, Nvidia Shield Portable and so on. These are the best things to happen to gaming in the last 5 years. In this era of IAP, DLCs, patches and cinematic bullcrap the freedom they offer is refreshing and awesome. I just hope the minimum requirements are not insanely high :)

Unknown said...

I can test this on a plethora of android devices and controllers, including android consoles and handhelds. Plus I would be happy to help with this most laudable project, just contact me if you are interested :)

Anonymous said...

On my S5 I've beaten Super Metroid, Zero Mission, and Fusion. It's doable but I found myself using the Halo 2 claw grip at times. Never going to be able to speed run on a smartphone, but I'd still play it with touch controls.