Thursday, September 29, 2011

9-29-11 - Nuthin' but a buncha tweaks

Development Log for yesterday and today (so far):

- Added new collisions for active bombs
- you can now manually fall through the moving platforms (down button + jump)
- coins now bounce
- fixed slope collisions
- ceiling detection bug fixed (kinda)

for the rest of this day I'll be working on:

- finishing up coin collisions
- top status bar
- custom counter system

No video today as there's not much to show off...

stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

9-27-11 - Solving the Shademap Puzzle

Posting a late blog post tonight as there's not much to update on (but I should try to keep y'all updated regardless) At the moment I'm trying to figure out a way that I can apply a shademap to each of the in game maps. If I somehow succeed in doing this I could add a whole new layer of atmosphere to the game. But right now I'm stumped on how to get this thing to work how I want it to...

For it to function properly, I need to somehow mask out the background so that the shademap would only affect over the foreground objects. BlitzMax does have some pretty advanced masking commands but I'm just not sure how to apply them properly.  So currently I'm seeking help with this from the Blitz Community. Its all very slow going atm :P

I hope to get more things done tomorrow! So stay tuned.

Monday, September 26, 2011

9-26-11 - BOMBS! / I've recovered!

Today's video showcases the bomb and the bomb blocks which I think looks totally cool while in action! 
I may even make a few little Zelda style secret doorways that you have to bomb to gain access to. Just putting that thought out there for opinions, of course. :)

And in other (good) news, I've recovered from my little shame spell yesterday. The guy who hosts my web storage thought my brony explanation was pretty dang funny (in a good kind of way) and told me to think nothing of it! And with that bit of news I can feel rest assured about continuing to host the test demo downloads at that domain!

I is a happy brony! :D

Sunday, September 25, 2011

9-25-11 - My Bronydom and the game at Risk

> Web service used to store test demos exceeds bandwidth limits
> Contacts the guy who hosts service requesting bandwidth upgrade
> He obliges and then finds out the cause of Bandwidth limit break
> Asks me about the license of the content and feels it could put his service at risk
> I explain to him that the franchise and the company it belongs to doesn't mind
> feels somewhat embarrassed about the game's content and feels obligated to explain the fandom
> writes a huge block of text explaining the fandom and why I'm in the 'herd'
> still waiting for a response with huge knot in stomach
> also hopes he doesn't go blab to my sister or outside friends about it

Is it wrong for me to feel so... ashamed to be a brony right now? :(

In other news I've got more work done on the game and was going to put up a video but the current circumstances has me questioning my bronydom... I hope this feeling fades before morning!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

9-24-11 - Procrastination Can Be Productive!

Ha! This weeks Pony episode was EPIC!

but let's get on with the news...

As you can probably tell by the title, I've been procrastinating since yesterday. Spending some time rearranging my apartment a bit and making some purchases online.

To be fair, the online purchasing was kind of to help me with the production of Spike's Quest, so I was being productive by procrastinating! Go figure :3

So what did I buy? (not that you'd be interested)

This here is a portable desk! I can move it anywhere and use it sitting or lying down which makes production all the more relaxed! (and gives me more reasons to be a complete lazy ass) I can set it up on my bed, my couch, on a nice rug, outdoors, anywhere! Which makes this purchase a very fine investment indeed! Of course, I still cant work on Spike's Quest hanging upside down or under the kitchen sink, but that would just be silly!

For one to develope good games one must PLAY good games! Some may argue with me on this one though. Castlevania Lament of Innocence for the Playstation 2 has been a subject for heavy criticism since its release back in 2003. From what I've seen of the game on an LP a while back, I'd have to say that it looks just perfect as a 3D Castlevania game! Let's see... huge explorable areas? check. Mythical monsters from the underworld? check! Vampires and the vampire killer? check! Yep, its definitely a Castlevania game!

For the most part, while developing Spike's Quest one of the games I've been playing the most was Castlevania Harmony of Dissonance for the Gameboy Advance and the other 2D sidescrolling Castlevania games with the Metroid feel (the graphics on all of them are something to be admired!) But after a while I feel I need a new field of inspiration so I went and purchased Lament of Innocence thinking that it just might help boast my inspiration meter for the game! Can you really blame me?

And for my last purchase of the night I purchased a PSP AV cable for the soul purpose of linking my PSP to a TV. How is this productive? Well as stated already I play games to help me develop games. This would simply just let me play my hacked PSP on a larger screen. The small screen can get a little tiring after a while :P.

Yeah... okay, that doesn't effect much production-wise...

but still!

As far as apartment rearrangements go, I did move my workstation again. This time to my room. Everything's nicely setup once again with all three of my computers placed where I can access them with such ease. I do this to keep things interesting, of course!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Game Boss Log: Phantom Discord

Boss Name: Phantom Discord
Location: Ancient Labyrinth

Inspiration: Inspired from the concept of Phantom Ganon for The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time

Description: Mechanics of this boss fight are still in the brainstorming department. But pretty much this is just a Phantom replica of the sinister troublemaker, Discord. He's a ghostly green in color (and equally, ghostly transparent.) AND he can reverse gravity while shooting spark balls in multiple directions

that's all I have for now...

edit: Oh, and even though it may not be of importance, this will be one of the few elements in the game where I'd use actual recorded sound bytes, borrowing his deep grumbling laugh from the cartoons and the quality cut short so it'd sound as if it were coming from a Gameboy sound card.

9-23-11 - Bending Brigde!/Originality Check

Today's update is a short and simple showcase of a functioning bending bridge system. Not only do the bridges bend but you can also manually fall through them like you can the blue platforms. It may not seem like much but I've spent several hours trying to figure this darn thing out! So enjoy this short video of me bouncing around on the things as if they were trampolines!

In other news, I've decided that once Spike's Quest is finished I plan on taking the engine and using it to make something entirely original! So all yee naysayers out there who criticize me for not being original with this game go boil yer heads! :D (this could also mean I could somehow profit with this engine if used properly.(and by original, I mean not a fan game based off a certain franchise... My OWN ideas dawgs!))

edit: I was kidding about the profiting bit. Y'all can relax! I totally like making freeware stuff ;3 Honestly!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

9-22-11 - Smoothed Jump&fall mechanics/bendy bridge mechanics

Progress so far includes a smoother jump/fall engine and an almost functioning bendy bridge (coded entirely from scratch). The jump bit may not seem evident in the video but now when the jump variable reaches 0, instead of the abrupt fall speed the fall variable now increases from 0 to the max fall speed which makes a perfect jumping arc. also Spike's in the air longer. As for the animation, it may not also seem evident in the video but its there, smoothing the transition from jump to fall :)

the bendy bridge as you could probably tell is still a work in progress and has been so far the biggest headache in development. I hope to get it smoothed out soon and applied to the main engine.
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

9-21-11 - Youtube Channel

I've quickly thrown together a simple YouTube channel for the purpose of showing off development work and an occasional trailer! Now to install cam studio and tinker with that for a few hours :P

Be sure to subscribe if you dont mind the occasional boring development videos :P

Nothing much new on production as I've been kinda side tracked by some personal things. Expect something cool soon though!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Inspiration - Area: Cave Entrance

Several years ago, back before the internet was popular and I was still in middle school I remember playing a game for the SNES. The Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Rings Part 1 was its label and I both hated and loved it. I loved it only for its brilliant music, its beautiful yet nostalgic graphics and the overall atmosphere of the first couple of areas.One of the major settings was the caves, and it was this setting that intrigued me the most! They were dark, dank and the sounds were distant and echeoy with the occasional distant thud and dripity drops of water. They actually made me feel like I was exploring a mysterious cave system. I especially loved how the lighting system worked in these caves. the closer you got to the big central torches the brighter your player's sprite became! It looked as if you truly were stepping out of the shadows! Oh, if only the game were so graceful in every other element of its existence. But the massive flaws of this game is not why I'm writting this post.

I've always wanted to recreate that feeling of mystery and brilliant nature in my own game, and here comes along Spike's Quest, a game I've come a long way in developing, and thus comes my chance to do work some magic!

I imagine the game starting out with Spike falling through a large hole in the cavern roof and landing with a splash in a small lake. In this one large room there are several pathways but only one you can access as the others would require special items or upgrades to advance through. There would be a couple of large stone lanterns to light certain portions of the cave (and an outside light from the hole in the roof) Also in this particular room there is no music, just the distant creepy echoes of drip drops and the occasional thud. There'd also be a couple of pesky bats waiting to swoop and attack our hapless baby dragon their annoyed squeeks actually echoe along with Spike's movement. Oh, and Pinkie Pie is caged here too which she'll clue you in on some things, but that's getting off topic... anyway, once you leave this area and head into the next, the music actually starts to fade in with a nice brilliant haunting theme.

Yes, I want this game to have an actual atmosphere in music, sound and visuals.

Doesnt that just sound glorious?

Monday, September 19, 2011

9-20-11 - Work Begins Again / The Brony Show

I'm posting this update rather early (before bed) so I wont be so forgetful about things if I were to post it sometimes tomorrow.

First up, The Brony Show!

Test Demo 4 had a nice little short segment of the show last night. Short and sweet, Circuit Mane had some nice words to say about it and I rather enjoyed the humor of the stream's chat while he played it :3 I sorta wish there was more of it on the show but they had plenty of other news and a stream of this weeks MLP. Still, I give them my greatest of gratitude by promoting them on my blog and the Ponychan thread. Thanks guys!

If somepony has never seen their show then I highly recommend you go check it out! they host their shows every Monday at 6pm pacific, 9pm eastern. and if you've missed out you can always watch the recorded streams whenever they're released.

Now on to the maine news.

Me being the CRAZY pony that I am (according to Circuit Mane himself) shall resume work on the project tomorrow! First order of business: to piece together the config file for the game. It wasn't included with Demo 4 because after the switch from Blitz 3D to Blitz Max I had to completely redo it and I honestly have not given myself the time to even do that yet. The config system will allow you to set the control buttons (via keyboard or gamepad) set the screen size and maybe even adjust music and sound volumns. Once I have that working then I shall begin working on the bendie bridge mechanics.

So much to do! And I can hardly wait to do it!

Stay tuned! 

Production Start-Up Log for 9-19-2011

I have been soooo tempted to cut my little break time short and get back to coding! There's so many new things I want to add to the engine, that and newer graphics and some other really awesome things :3

For one, I anticipate working out the working mechanics of a simple bending bridge!  I almost had it figured out once upon a time but I never really applied it to a platformer. This is my big chance!

I'm only continuing my break because later this evening The Brony Show will be hosting a live LP of Demo 4 ( and I decided I'd wait until after that moment to resume work on the game.

So indeed, yeah. Production will resume tomorrow!

PS. It seems they did something on Demo #3 a couple months back too.. I've been meaning to check it out.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Production Start-Up Log for 9-18-2011

I've been enjoying my time off. Spent much of that time frequently checking forums, websites and youtube for anything related to the project. so far not much aside from the couple of simple LP's of the demo (which I've documented here)

I'll have to admit, I'm a tad disappointing about the response. true I did enjoy the attention that it did get (and I am very thankful to all of you for sticking with me through the making of it) but I guess I got my hopes up way too high.

For one thing my biggest dissapointment was the EqD post. Dont get me wrong, I love and respect Seth and Cerial for posting my stuff (when I request it).. the disappointment really comes from the timing of the post. the 100th Nightly Roundup of EqDaily got flooded with comments about the latest episode of My Little Pony and the excitement about episode 2 as a whole. All the projects (including Spike's Quest) in the roundup were simply ignored. Overshadowed by our beloved Ponies. I would had gladly joined in with the celebrations if not for my utter disappointment...

But it made me thankful that I didnt wait to release the demo right at that time. or else the demo would had probably been left in the pit of forgetfulness where nopony would had cared to touch it as much as they'd prefer to celebrate the second coming of Ponies.

Despite my disappointments I still feel the urge to keep moving forward with the project. The fandom is still strong and so the purpose of this project is equally just as strong! The few comments I did get about it were all positive comments with good critiques and bug reports. And its that type of attention that urges me on. That and how far the project has come!

When I first posted about the project in Ponychan it was nothing more than a concept. a Metroidvania style game involving our beloved baby dragon, Spike who sets out on a quest to rescue his pony friends. And in the duration of a whole three months that concept evolved into an actual reality! The 4th test demo so far was one of my most greatest accomplishments in game design! And I guess I can say that its one of my first successful games ever created (yes, I'm counting this demo as a completed game ... in a way)

And now my attention has shifted to the sequel of that 'game'. Test Demo #5 I imagine will take the engine several steps further to the actual real game! I see in the future of my hard work: wall sliding and jumping, monkeybars, Donkey Kong style barrel canons, bending bridges, Zelda type items, keys and locked doors, more brilliant puzzles and so much more!

We may even be seeing the end of the old beta tileset (the sci-fi dungeon scenery used in these past four demos) as I plan to begin working on the actual in game tilesets, setting sceneries for the caverns, Ponyville, the forests and other things to be named. And when those tilesets are good and ready I'll launch a sub project that other people can contribute to. And that would be the in game music.

Anyway, that's all the ramblings I have here. As always, stick around and I'll keep updating as I have always been doing! :) These next few weeks are going to be exciting ones!

PS. if you make a play through of any of the demos I ask that you please send me a link so I can add them to the LP list here in the blog! Much thanks! :D

Saturday, September 17, 2011

VerendumGames LP's Demo #4

Another nice little play-through with funny ramblings! Check t out!

SWFlash LP's Test Demo#4

A VERY special thanks and shoutout to SWFlash here for this wonderful playthrough! A warning though, if nopony has played the demo yet, this thing will spoil the heart locations. just a slight warning if you'd rather find them yourself!

Enjoy the demo either way! All playthroughs I know of will get special mentions here! :D

Production Start-Up Log for 9-17-2011

Since the release of Demo #4 I've taken the time off to try and just enjoy myself. Yesterday I spent the free time treating myself to the China buffet across the street from my apartments (my fortune cookie said I looked 'pretty'... lolwat?!?) and then I went for a short little nature walk and then the rest of the day I continued marathoning the complete series of Kevin Sorbo's Hercules while periodically checking every website that I submitted the demo to (so far the most comments on it have come from here and Ponychan, elsewhere it hasn't been very popular) :P

There have been quiet a few bug reports. thankfully not as many as Demo#3 last month. (one person reported that he thinks the file is infected and he cant seem to delete it... but there's only been one report of that... rest assured!)

And the feedback so far has been 100% positive from bronies and none-bronies alike ;) Many people have played it and got the best ending too which pleases me! (I was worried that I might had made the heart piece search a bit too tough in some areas)

The demo will have a spot in Equestria Daily's 'Nightly Roundup' and there will be a Let's Play of it on in Monday's Brony Show ( so I still have hope that it'll attract some kind of attention. :)

but the demo being popular or not... the game will continue to progress! I swear to all my fellow bronies that I will continue to work hard on this game and I will make sure it meets completion!

So... for today?

More time off! It is Pony day after all! :D Season 2 is here y'all!

I'll begin work again come Tuesday. I've already got quiet a todo list developed for test demo #5.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Y'all at least deserve a nice little screenshot ;)

so much has been accomplished. I almost regret to think that its not even done yet!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

On second thought...

Okay, guys, you may hate me for this or you may respect me for it.

I've decided this whole deadline thing is really just killing me

how about I just release the darn thing when I feel its good and ready?

it may take a day or two but at least it will relieve the pressure off me and I can work in total freedom

now this wont mean that I'll be getting lazy on you guys. I'll be working hard at it. but these all nighters are just stressful and I'm sick of worrying about it.


One more day please?

I need one more day, guys. Just one more...

I'll be pulling another all nighter (plus the rest of this day) to get it done and I hope to have it ready in the very early morning hours. like around 1 in the morning... yeah.

Have mercy! D:

Production Start-Up Log for 9-14-2011

I'll just say it flat out... I really, truly dont know when this thing will be ready. believe me when I say I've been awake since 9:00am yesterday morning working on it (and before that I only had an hour or two of sleep)

I'm groggy as heck... I've got plenty done no doubt but I still cant shake the feeling that it wont be ready before this evening. ... one thing... there's a problem with it slowing down gradually while playing it and I don't know if its a memory leak in the code or what...

I'm just asking y'all to bear with me on this... you will get this demo one way or another, even if I have to publish it unfinished...

I'm gonna go get some sleep now. I'll start working on it again whenever the heck I wake up. :P

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Delay Cancelled

Disregard the last post. Due to some popular opinions I've decided to release the demo right on schedule... Tommorrow.

Now to double the effort to get it ready!

Production Start-Up Log for 9-13-2011

So a nice brony over on Ponychan suggested that it would be awesome for me to release the demo on the day MLP Season 2 airs... it would in a sense... make that day 20% more cooler

and so I've decided that it was a good idea.

I now have two extra days to cram as much into this demo that I possibly can.

For those of you who might be a bit disappointing by this little delay be of good cheer! I'll be releasing a video with a short preview of what's to be expected :) and the extra time means a great deal.. trust me!

anyway, its 4:03 in the morning... I'm only going to allow myself just a few hours of sleep before starting back up work again

if anypony is worried about my well being here.. worry not. I'm only pushing myself this hard just for this demo release. I want it to be exceptionally good to everypony here since y'all had to wait so long.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Production Start-Up Log for 9-12-2011

Oh, RockStar Sugar Free Energy Drink™ dont fail me now! Your my only hope against the ongoing wearyness that beckons me to stop working! The project must go forward! Coffee is losing its touch and green tea has become like normal water to me... Push me onward RockStar Sugar Free Energy Drink™ and help me to finish the task at hand!

Curse you Star Fox 3D with your fantastic 3D graphics on my 3DS for being so tempting. You tempt me to stop my work so I can play with you for hours no end. But I have defeated your cunning! I MUST ENDURE!


Oh great. Now I'm talking to inanimate objects. Have I become Pinkamina? God forbid.

The demo is coming along just fine though :) I have two days to get everything functioning, get the packages built for all three of the os's and set up promotional stuff to e-mail EqD and post on random forums

this is going to be one hell of a week... at least until the 14th which then I hope to just be sitting at my computer repeatedly hitting the f5 button to read comments.

Onwards I must go!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Production Start-Up Log for 9-11-2011

I've actually been working almost nonestop on this demo. Its already pretty dang huge and I'm not even half done with it yet... :P

Is it normal for a game's test demo to become an actual game itself? 'cause that seems to be the actual  case here... I actually have high hopes that somepony might even do a LP of the darn thing. Yeah, its that big. Or I'm just over exaggerating my hard work here :P

But indeed... working nonestop here with the occasional hourly break where I sit down to my Netflix to watch Kevin Sorbo beat the living stew out of mythological creatures.

I wont be updating much between now and release day. Let me point out that even though it is scheduled to be released on the 14th I actually aim to have it finished and ready the day before (the 13th for those who cant count) I want to see this thing released early in the day and hopefully get an early spot on EqD with it.

There's also rumor that it might get played on the Brony Show. not sure about the specifics on that (one of the nice chaps posted in this thread earlier a few days back about it. but that's all I know...)

Anyway, it's 2:36 in the morning and I've been up since 7 yesterday morning coding and putting together graphics.

yeah. my brain hurts.

Friday, September 9, 2011



Production Start-Up Log for 9-9-2011

I wanted to play the new Star Fox 3D today but it seems my local Wal Mart wont have it til Monday... :(

oh well, On to the news!!!111one

Progress progress progress and MOAR progress :3

Yesterday was a very eventful day. Moving platforms, and the such.

If I keep going at this rate then the demo should totally be ready to meet its deadline.

I'd tell y'all more but I dont want to spoil much.

Let me just say that Demo #4 might be huge when its ready.

Oh, and the game looks awesome on Linux :3

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Production Start-Up Log for 9-8-2011

BEHOLD! my crappy attempt to combine two images together...

from left to right:
1. EeePC Netbook running BlitzMax in Ubuntu
2. behind the netbook:
   - two gamepads
   - empty Lipton Green Tea bottles
   - a fake PSP that runs emulators (hidden)
3. My 12th cup of coffee and three boxes of mint gum
4. Acer 5000 Laptop running Blitz Max on Windows XP
5. A wireless keyboard sitting on top of the Acer
6. Wireless mouse and behind it a real PSP and Nintendo 3DS
7. a 3rd generation PowerPC running BlitzMax on Mac 10.3.9 "Panther"
8. sitting on top of PowerPC is a Wacom Bamboo tablet (best tablet at a cheap price! :D )

you are looking at the new and complete work station being used to work on Spike's Quest.

All three major platforms just now got 20% cooler in 10 hours flat.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Production Start-Up Log for 9-7-2011

I'm feeling a tab bit grumpy... and for good reason.

I'm still stuck trying to get BMax to function correctly on Ubuntu. I've worked with it for hours installing packages through a terminal and I finally had it working only to find out that because I was forced to use a dated none-Intel version of BMax that it wasn't going to build the game for testing for some very complicated reasons...

That's when I glanced over and saw that my little Eee Pc Netbook has Intel Atom. So now I'm working on installing Ubuntu to that laptop and then I'll try my hands at the more up to date BMax on that partition.

I'm grumpy because I've spent all that time trying to get the dratted software to run while I could had been coding the game... -.-

I really just want to have the demo ready for Mac and Linux when its launched next Wednesday... why does it have to be so gosh darn complicated?!?

well hopefully I'll get some code in tonight when all this nightmare is done and over with. :P

Have a sad Pinkie Pie for my suffering.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Production Start-Up Log for 9-6-2011

Made it home yesterday. was a bit tired from the long drive so I took the day off.

today I'm spending a few hours trying to get Blitz Max to work on my mac and I'm trying to install Ubuntu to work on an old laptop so that I can have the demo ready for those platforms come next Wednesday :)

So far I do have the mac version up and running though the code seems to be having problems with the player x and y position at start-up. I'll have to tinker with it when the demo is ready for porting

Ubuntu is honestly being a pain when it comes to installing it on an old laptop but I hope to have it working within the next few hours

once those tasks are done I can then finally get back to working on the game full time!

Its great to be home again. n_n

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Production Start-Up Log for 9-4-2011

I haven't forgot about you guys. I just really haven't had anything to report on.

Progress is still progress and I've been getting things done but nothing really noteworthy :P

As far as news goes:

Due to popular opinion I will be delaying the 4th demo until the 14th. this will be the official release and the last ever delay. I promise. :P

And tomorrow I'm going home! If only this horrid weather from Tropical Storm Lee doesn't mess things up and we dont end up on the side of the road from hydroplaning (however the heck you spell it). :P any of y'all good christian bronies out there set me out a good prayer, k? thx

Friday, September 2, 2011

Production Start-Up Log for 9-2-2011

Today is payday! [/flutteryay] and that means that today I can purchase my official license for BlitzMax. That makes things for this project all the more official and I can feel more at ease about it when posting up the test demos :)

On to other news!

My late night coding is slowly starting to pay off! slowly and surely I'm getting closer and closer to my goal for demo #4. But indeed it is very slow going which brings me to the sour part of today's post...


Would it disappoint any of you if I said that I may delay the test demo for one more week? I could probably get it out on time, but I cant help but feel that it'll be far from perfect. Crunch time here is making me miserable with worry. One more week would probably be more than enough time to get everything perfect for this release.

If I do delay it, that would move the release date from the 7th of this month to the 14th.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Production Start-Up Log for 9-1-2011

Its 3 in the morning and its also the first day of September. I have six days to have that demo ready and I still have a ton of work that needs to be done...

aside from that headache I can happily report that things have been as productive on the game as usual. I spent all of yesterday (and up to now) reorganizing code, cleaning the code up and adding a few little new things here and there.

Check the picture for an animated take on the heart container. Yea, I spent 3 hours working on that image :P

And now I'm going to bed... ;;c_c