Monday, December 16, 2013

Side Project: Castle Pinkiestein [aka: Project Pink Nightmare]

I'm sure you guys remember back when I was talking about the mini-games that were planned to be in Spikes Quest. Just recently I had reluctantly decided to do away with the mini-game project because it was brought to my attention that they may cause Spikes Quest to be a bit unbalanced in some way.

That doesnt mean that all the mini-games planned for Spikes Quest are scrapped though. They will eventually be made into entire projects all their own!

The first project is obviously Castle Pinkiestein, the first mini-game I had started work on back when the mini-games were being announced (the screenshot above showcases that project as it was being developed). I had a basic map system set up for the mini-game and despite some terrible rendering problems (that ultimately caused me to scrap the old system) it actually did look promising!

Castle Pinkiestein will be a side project that I'll be working on bi-daily (I'll work on Spikes Quest one day, and then Castle Pinkiestein the next and so on). This, I hope will keep things interesting and also should help me avoid potential burn-out on either project.

For those of you interested, I've created the official dev blog for Castle Pinkiestein, which you can find here:

On another note, I know things here on the SQ blog have been quiet lately. I'm slowly getting myself back into a work routine so I should start posting more in the coming weeks.

More soonish!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

11-10-13 - I'm back from the mountains!

I've been home for two whole days now, and I'm just now getting back to my work routine. I may post some really awesome nature images that I took while up in the Smokeys (believe me, some are actually wallpaper worthy for you scenic/nature lovers). I captured some wild life, including some closeup of deer and an actual bear! (in the wild, not in some silly petting zoo)

Anywho, for now I'll be trying to get my mind back on Spikes Quest. I literally took a vacation from the project while I was away. Time I cracked my knuckles and got back to coding. Yay.

Friday, November 1, 2013

11-1-13 - Grappling Hook Mechanics hurt my brain. '''e.o

Been busy trying to get the mechanics of the grappling hook item to work. So far you can latch on to objects and be pulled over towards them / pull them towards you

And right now, I'm trying to apply swinging mechanics to it.

Plenty of maths to consider in this situation. Everything from angles, speed, distance, etc

yes, my brain really does hurt right now... :P

Not much to show on this mechanic atm, but I'm hoping very soonish!

On another note, I'll be going on a six night vacation to Gatlinburg with my family. I might not get much work done on the game during that time. facts to be, I might end up taking that vacation time as a much needed break from it. of course, I'm a bit unpredictable and I may end up doing a few small bits of code here and there when not much else is going on.

This is my first time going to the mountains though, so chances are, I might be out and about with my 3D fujifilm camera taking pictures of all the major sites.

I dont leave util the 3rd, so I'll use these next two days to get some work done ^^;

Friday, October 25, 2013

Atlas Preview

Well, here's what the map screen looks like. I may add more functionality to it before the final game is released, but this is what I have for now, and it may just have to do for Demo #5

Another functionality I'm having to consider is the use of doors. If you recall the doors from Demo #4, they're not exactly vertical/horizontal, but rather directly into the background walls.

What I've been figuring on this is that the game's atlas may need to have the use of two layers instead of just the one. I may or may not implement this in Demo #5. We shall see :P

edit: Another thing I'm considering is the ability to add notes to the map. You select an area of the map and simply type in a note for it. You'd also be able to set multiple colored markers for these notes.

10/25/13 - finally some images... :P

Figured I'd finally treat y'all to some early images. The big showcase here just being the mini-map that I had talked about earlier. Its not much to look at at this moment,but its something I'm quiet proud of, despite it currently causing the graphics to spazz out for some odd reason....

the map system on the other hand is currently fully functionable. I'd show the map screen itself, but it needs some major graphical work done to it. its not much to look at atm. :P

And one more image, this time displaying a nearly finished inventory screen.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

10-24-13 - Deadline Extended!

This is perhaps really good news for me, but not so great for you guys.

The deadline for Demo 5 has been extended, meaning the demo has bee delayed. As to what date this extension has moved it to, I havent yet decided.

The reason for this deadline was to originally have the demo ready for the Nightmare Nights Con this coming month, but I've decided that there simply was no way in heck that I'd have it ready by then. the guy who I've been talking to about showcasing it said  it was no biggie and that I can skip this event if I feel it necessary. So instead, I'll actually have my project showcased at the Everfree convention sometimes next year.

Of course, that doesnt mean I'll wait that long to release the next demo.  I've decided not to set a hard deadline for it but I'll go ahead and estimate that it could be released anytime within or after this next month.

I'll keep you guys posted!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

10/23/13 - Map Linking Made Easy

I've finally managed to get the map system where it works with the game (somewhat)

I can now link maps through the atlas system. When Spike exits one map he enters another! and the atlas system pretty much does all the work for me so no more having to do this manually in the code :)

still actually needs a bit of work, but its something...

More to come soon... I might update periodically throughout the day. there may even be some images here and there of the atlas system as it progresses!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I'll probably use this music for Demo #5

And yeah, I did my research, its royalty free (as long as the project doesn't go commercial or something) I'll still ask for permission just to be sure. :)

Also, I support this artist. with a name like Adrian Von Ziegler, one should not expect anything less than epic. Check his channel for more greatness!

Oh, and I'd like some opinions on the music choice. I can actually picture it being used in some beautifully elaborate labyrinth!

10/22/13 - SQ Map Navigation System Update

Got a nifty chunk of the game's navigation system done yesterday/last night. So far nothing working in-game as of yet, but I have an nearly functionable atlas editor built into the game's map editor (that may actually sound sound redundant. :P )

The system was quiet a head scratcher. At first I was studying the navigation system of the Castlevania games. I was trying to figure out the white bordering and door placement between the rooms. The borders were each a single pixel in width and the areas within the rooms, three pixels width & height. I was trying to dissect this system and learn its math but for reasons too complicated for me to explain here (I'm too lazy to recollect it all), I couldnt quiet wrap my head around it.

I eventually adopted the Metroid method which allowed the borders to be 2 pixels in width and it made the system not so complicated. This of course lengthened the visual size of the map, but thankfully it was still manageable within a 320 x 240 space.

I also decided to use the Metroid style mini-navigator. Basically an active mini map that floats alongside the game's hud. (something I've always felt the Castlevania games were severely lacking). I'll post images when I have this ready. ;)

Anywho, back to work I go!
wish me luck, I'll need it...

Monday, October 21, 2013

10/21/13 [/hiatus] :p

Bout time I ended the hiatus on the blog here.

I've been home for quiet some time now and yes, I've been busy working on the project too.

Quiet a bit has been accomplished (or so, it feels like it)

I've actually got to a point with the inventory screen where I feel its good enough for the 5th demo, and now currently I'm working on the game's map system. I've added more features to the game's map editor in the process, making map making easier and quicker.

But aside from those few things, I have not gotten around to much else on the game. It kinda has me stressed about my deadline. I know for a fact that I wont be able to get this thing finished before Nov 1st.

I've just been told though that the Nightmare Nights con is still a little ways off. But even then, I cant help but stress over completion of this demo by then. :P

Not about to throw in my gauntlet though. Work! Work! Work!

To the dev mobile! *cue cheesy 1960's superhero  music*

Monday, October 7, 2013

10-7-13 - Blog Hiatus

I wont be able to update this blog until the weekend. But I'll stay busy on the game. I'm hoping to have a nice big update for Saturday/Sunday :)

see you guys soonish!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

10-5-13 - Still Going, just like the Energizer Bunny. it keep going & going & ....

just now got back from that funeral. still at my relatives place and i seems I'll be here until Monday

but of course, then I'l be spending a few days at my sisters for my birthday (she has no internet, so no updates then).

but, listen, guys, I promise this will be the only slow time on this project for this month. In fact, I'm still managing to get some work done here and there. This morning I managed to get a few things done, and I'm hoping to get more done later this evening sometimes.

right now, I'm a bit drained, physically and emotionally (funerals tend to do that to a person, even if you barely knew the person it was for :P ) so for now, I'm going for a nap.

I'm just asking y'all to be patient with me here. things will pick back up again, I promise! :)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Crunch Day #4: Visiting Relatives

As mentioned yesterday, today I'm visiting relatives and getting ready for a funeral :P

I did manage to get some coding done, but its going to probably be a bit slow going until I get back home.

That being said, there's not much else to report on.

I'll work more on the game when things calm down around here.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Logo Rework Preview #4

Inking has been completed. I decided to include the old Demo #4 logo for comparison in the pic. That's all I'll be able to do with the logo for today. Got a personal errand to run and then I need to get back to work on the code.

Also I need to add that tomorrow I'm going out of town  for a funeral (a depressing note, I know, so I wont burden you guys down with the details) I'll still do a bit of work, but it probably wont be much. I'm hoping to resume full production Saturday evening or Sunday morning.

There's also another obstacle with me having to leave home again possibly this coming monday, I'll be visiting my sister for my birthday and I may be out that way for a few days. That wont hender production much, but it will hender the updates. This also unfortunately puts a stopper on the project's reveal that was originally scheduled for that day (my birthday, on the 8th) but we can always reschedule. :P

I'm also expected to help my uncle with work on his new home. Painting walls, hanging sheet-rock, applying and sanding mud to the sheet-rock and then more painting, laying floor tiles, and possibly helping with the plumbing.... Yeah, those things are really going to hurt me with this project this month. Fortunately, my uncle is being very lenient with my schedule, but I'm still expected to give about three to four hours for a few days each week. We shall see how that works out for the game. :P

Once those life related obstacles are out of the way, I should be able to resume work for the remainder of the month.

There's still plenty of time to get things done, but I wont use that as an excuse to be lazy with this. I shall work each day on this project as if the deadline were tomorrow!

Logo Rework Preview #3

Inking in progress. Looks pretty sharp, so far. will need some touching up when finished though.

Crunch Day #3: Sweet Celestia, where's mah #$%@ coffee?!?

No, seriously, where the heck is my coffee? Oh, right, Wal-Mart stopped carrying the filters I need for my coffee-maker... Well @#$#@ you Wal-Mart! $@#$@# you! D:<


Anyway, moving along.

First, I'd like to start today's blog post with a shoutout to Anomonous from this link: [clickie-here!] . whoever you are, thanks to you my views have seemingly shot through the roof! Just, well,  lookit!:

80 views may not seem like much to some folk out there, but for such a low profile blog as mine, its a nice number. It doesnt beat the days of Demo 4's release (I believe it got close to a thousand views that day) but its a good number and its very encouraging.

Sure, though, this shouldn't be about view counts or comments. Its about the development of the game. But to me, personally, these numbers do mean allot. They push me along in this development. They tell me " hey, people are watching. Get your ass to work before you disappoint them... again!"

So, again, thank you Mr. Anomonous, I give you this special fortune cookie, made of solid gold. Careful now, it'll chip your teeth!

Now, moving along to work related things. Yesterday I got a good chunk of coding done on the inventory screen (yeah, I'm still on that). This screen is almost entirely a seperate project all its own! I've spent over a week working on all the functionalities... I worked on the graphics, the items (collecting them in-game; linking them in the inventory screen ; applying them to the selection system ; etc). Its become a bit of a headache trying to figure out how to make this thing work, and so far its nearly completely functional! But soon there will come the tedious task of adding in all the items' functionalities to the game itself *groan*

For now though, I've decided to start this day off by working more on the logo. As explained in yesterday's post, I now just need to ink the outline out, scan it and then begin work on the final few stages.

I've got my work cut out for me today, so wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Logo Rework Preview #2

Shaded it in to make it look purdy. But this is nowhere near what the final product will look like! I'll be be doing a final ink trace of it hopefully tomorrow and then scan it to begin work on the final phase.

There may be multiple versions of the logo aside from the logo as it will apear in the game. There will also be versions of the logo as documentation/promotional artwork.

Anyway, that's all for the graphics work for today. On to the coding!

Logo Rework Preview #1

Currently reworking the logo... There's a pretty cool reason why I'm using my tracing pad to trace an outline of the logo. Ya'll will find out soon enough ;)

Crunch Day #2: Diving right in! + Help needed.

I actually spent the whole day yesterday setting up not only just my work space, but my apartment as a whole, trying to make it the ideal 'studio' environment for this project. One could say that it was a method of procrastination (and you'd be sorta correct. :P )

But a good work environment is key here. I must feel comfortable with my surroundings, and focused. I needed to get rid of certain distractions (the internet is a terrible distraction, so I'm also working on distancing myself from that as well)

today I'm attempting to just dive right in to the project itself! I've decided to work on the project in multiple segments each day, sdtarting the day off by working on bits of graphics. And then diving into the code about mid-day (after lunch) and maybe ending the day by fixing certain bugs or touching things up.

I'll do what I can to update everyone here on the progress...

Also, yeah, I really need some help on getting things out to the brony public about this project. I'm hardly giving myself any room on searching out popular brony comunities to post about the project. If you'd like to help me out, then feel free to post around on certain websites/forums/blogs/whatever, or you can send me a link or two for me to do the postings myself!

I already have a few places in mind such as Ponychan, and the Canterlot forums. But I think I should hold off on major news blogs such as Equestria Daily until I have something good to show (I'd advise any helpers in that as well, but if you think it worthy to do otherwise, then who am I to hold you back?)

If you do make any posts about the project, please let me know so I can check it out! :)

Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

10-1-13 - Crunch Month... it begins!

Like being on the brink of a storm, the month of October looms over this project. A perfect deadline waiting at the far end of it all. This is it, folks, the one month where I literally work my fingers to the bone and/or until my brain shrivils to a prune from the copeous amounts of problem solving / planning and thinking needed to piece together this fifth (and last) major test demo of Spikes Quest.

I call this month Crunch Month. Labelled as such because of all the work that I'm going to have to squeeze into this one project. This month will be like a long and torturous journey filled with 4 hour sleep nights. Several gallons  of really strong iced tea / coffee. Several trips to the sink to wash the sleep from my eyes, several broken keyboards (from being repeatedly bashed into my skull out of frustration) frequent changes to my work station(s). Almost an endless stream of blog updates to document it all, and me growing as pale as a vampire from the lack of sun (mark my word, I shall not sparkle the next time I see daylight!).

Yes, it will be just like old times. Remember those weeks following Demo 4? take that and possibly multiply it by 2.

And despite how terrible it all sounds, I'm actually looking forward to it! I remember how well Demo 4 paid off, and I have good faith that demo 5 will be ten-fold in that reward!

So here it begins, my friends. Go forth, tell the world (or just the Brony Community), project Spikes Quest is about to make a huge, ambitious and very epic return!

Fly, my minions, FLY!

note: there will be a halfway point for a small reveal this month (originally planned for the 8th (my birthday) but that's  not completely absolute...)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

9/22/13 - Rings Defined

I finally figured out what sort of rings Spike will be able to acquire throughout the game. Below are eight different rings each with their own magical properties. There may or may not be a ninth mystery ring [a quest item], but I wont go into detail about that one ;)

Rings described from left to right / top to bottom:

Heart Ring:
Slowly reginerates your health, at the expense of your magic meter.

Green Orb Ring:
Slowly reginerates your magic.

Blue Orb Ring:
Reduces the use of your air meter by 1/2, enabling you to swim beneath water or lava twice as long.

Silver Diamond Ring:
Increases your luck in finding bombs / arrows / health hearts / and magic jars

Shield Ring:
Decreases the damage you receive from enemies by 1/2 (not effective on spikes, drowning, or roasting in lava (when you dont have the fire charm)

Morning Star Ring:
Decreases your magic usage by 1/2

Mirror Ring:
Reveals hidden paths and ghost blocks [at the expense of your magic meter.]

Gold Diamond Ring:
Increases your luck in finding coinage (money)


Again, let me remind you all, you can only have one ring equipped at a time. So there's no mixing of the varying powers.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

9-12-13 - Inventory Screen Preview

Its high time that I should post another update. And show off some progress :P

Its still a bit early in development and its the reason I havent posted any updates in the past week. This has been one tedious bit of the game to work on, having to integrate an actual inventory screen to the game. And while it looks good now, its still missing quiet a few important elements which I may start updating on since I've revealed it here just now.

A few things to go over here...

The top bar is the actual in-game hud bar which I've also added to the inventory screen (perhaps the laziest thing I've done in the game so far instead of just adding a proper stats panel :P ) Here you can view your HP which is displayed in the visual form of hearts. Then you can view your current fire breathing power (first little window next to the hearts) and then eventually your current item-in-use in the second little window (not yet properly integrated) After the item and power windows you see your current MP useage. I've explained how this works in another blog post, with the use of a proper magic meter and then the magic container jars which acts as your max-magic increase system (you collect these magic jars throughout the game each one increasing your maximum magic usage)

Moving away from the game's hud bar and to the Fire Power panel, you see your five major fire powers that your able to select here on the inventory screen (as well as toggle through them on the game via the L and R trigger buttons and the keyboard buttons 1 through 5). This panel is pretty self explanatory and is currently the most functioning of the current three panels.

Moving down to the next panel, this is your Items panel.  Here you can see all the major equipment type items that you'll be able to collect and use throughout the entire game. I'll go over this more in depth in another update (but I suppose you can guess what most of these items are and maybe even have a vague idea on how they work). There are five jars that you can collect, used to store certain potions and other things (I left one jar out just to show what the empty jar slot looks like... simple cosmetics, that.). The question Mark item is a placeholder for your quest items, which will not be function-able in Demo #5 (quest items as in the items that you collect from certain npc's, take them to other npcs to collect the next item and so on... Ex: most Zelda games, Donkey Kong Country 3, etc)

That last little panel just displays the Ability Charms that you've collected. I've explained how these little charms worked in another blog post and I think I've also explained that you dont have to equip them. Once you've collected them, they auto equip themselves and your able to use their functions instantly.

That's all I've got for now. I'll post more updates on this development in later days. As always, stay tuned!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

9-1-13 - Magic Rings

Three rings for the Alicorns in their great halls.
Seven for the Earthly Ones in their wooden barns.
Nine for the Pegasi in their cloudy lofts.
Four for the Unicorns in their Magic Circles.
One Ring for the Dark Lord on his Evil Throne.
In the world beneath Equestria where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all. One Ring to find them.
One Ring to bring them all and in the darknmess bind them.
In the world beneath Equestria where the shadows lie.

lol, just kidding. None of that has anything at all to do with this game. 9_9;

But there are a few different magic rings to collect and each one has its particular use.

Magic rings in this game are used to increase luck, whether it be for collecting certain objects such as magic crystals (used to replentish your MP) or heart crystals (for replentishing your HP)

Or they can be used as a regen item (health or magic slowly regenerates)

You can only have one ring equiped at a time and as to hows many types of rings there are and how they will all work, its a system I'm still working on.

I like the idea of having a ring that increases your luck as well as having other rings used for regeneration and other things, but its a system that needs to be perfectly balanced for this sort of game. Perhaps I should study up more on such things from the Castlevania games. :P

If anybody has any suggestions for this system, please let me know something! I'll actually be making another such post once this system is all figured out. So stay tuned!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

8-26-13 - Magic Meter Usage and Fire Power Select

In today's this morning's update I'd like to go over the usage of the magic meter and the three ways you will be able to select your fire breath powers.

The magic meter functions like most magic meters resembling that of the ones from Zelda but with a slight difference.

throughout the game you will be able to collect four magic upgrade jars each one increasing your magic ammount by a whole bar. These four jars will be displayed above your magic meter and according to how much magic you still have, the jars will show either full or empty (this would resemble the health meter from the metroid prime series)

The meter has already been put in place and it already also has its usage. currently certain fire breathing powers use the magic meter such as Magic Breath, Ice Breath and Spark Breath . And there may be some items that may put your magic meter to use too.

Speaking of fire breath powers, I've added the convient feature where you can toggle which fire breathing power you want by tapping the secondary left and right shoulder buttons on your gamepad (or the left and right alt buttons on your keyboard)

You can also select your power by tapping numbers 1 through 5 on your keyboard (1 is for your default fire breath, 2 is for ice breath, 3 is for magic breath, 4 is for spark breath and five is for the dragon blade) think classic Doom here with the gun selection method. ;)

Cureently I am in the process of building an inventory screen where you will be able to also select your fire power as well as your in game items as well as a few other things you'd normally see in an inventory screen. Also, I must brag, the in game's hud looks rather spiffy! Wish I could show you guys what this stuff looks like, but I already swore to not reveal anything until my birthday on October the 8th... So I ask that you be patient. I'm at least updating the blog here about the progress. so be happy with that ;)

Anyway, that's all I've got for this update. We just finished having a birthday party here at my apartment for my cousin... the place is a disaster and I'm sleepy as all heck. :P I'll post more for you guys later so keep checking in!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

8-21-13 - Multi-Directional Control and Different Types of Firebreath

I've just finished applying the mechanics for multi-directional aiming, no longer will you be limited to the default left/right fire scheme of old.

I've borrowed this new system from the Metroid series (Super Metroid and the two GBA Metroid games) where you press and hold the left shoulder button to aim diagonal (up and down and in the direction that your looking) or aim directly up while standing still. This should make killing certain enemies or destroying certain objects from a certain angle much easier.

The aiming system does kind of vary depending on what the situation is:

When crouching:
- if left shoulder is being pressed and according to the direction the player sprite is facing you automatically aim at  diagonal up direction (when facing left you face upLeft ; when facing right you face upRight)
- when the left shoulder button is not being pressed you default to left and right directions.

When climbing a grate or a ladder:
 - if left shoulder is being pressed, climbing is halted and the player engages in aiming mode enabling you to aim before firing. In this mode you are able to aim in six different directions: (left, right, Diagnal:(up-Left, down-Left, up-Right, down-Right))
 - if the left shoulder button is not being pressed, directions are defaulted to left and right only. And also you cant shoot while in the process of climbing

When climbing/sliding on walls or hanging on ledges:
- depending on which way the wall is facing (left or right) the player would be limited to 3 different aiming angles. Example: if the wall is facing right then you'd be limited to aiming left or when the left shoulder button is being pressed, you may select left or diagonal(upLeft, downLeft). If the wall was facing right, it would be the same, only with it being in the 'right' direction

When moving across monkey bars:
- while not pressing the left shoulder button, the directions default to standard left and right
- while pressing the left shoulder button and depending on the direction the sprite is facing you automatically aim at a diagonal down direction (if facing left, you face downLeft ; If facing right you face downRight)

When swimming in water or in lava:
 - When the left shoulder button is pressed you will be able to aim diagonal (upLeft, downLeft, upRight, downRight)
- when the left shoulder button is not being pressed then you default to left and right directions


I'm still in the process of applying fire breath to this new aiming system. And since I'm in the process of doing that, I've taken the opportunity to work on different types of fire breath (Spike will learn new fire breathing techniques throughout the game. You will have five different types of fire powers to collect which would come in the form of a magic scroll (or Fire Scolls as I call them) or in the final weapons's case, an actual sword) Here's what I have in mind so far... (keep in mind, I'm still brainstorming on these and nothing is yet final. Feel free to give me your input on these.)

Fire Breath [default]
This is the fire power that you start the game out with. And its Spike's average green fire breath which acts as a standard weapon in the game. Also it would be used to light torches in dark rooms and destroy item blocks.

Ice Breath
With this fire power you would be able to turn certain enemies or objects into ice cubes which you then could use them as platforms or carry them around the current map area and place them wherever convenience. Ice breath would also be used as a weapon that would instantly kill certain fire based enemies (they wont become ice-cubes, but rather just explode upon impact). Ice breath does require the use of your magic meter though, so use sparingly.

Magic Breath
Magic breath does twice the damage on enemies as your standard fire breath. It also travels farther (as far as the edge of the screen) and it can destroy certain 'magic' blocks. Also, like fire breath it can be used to light lanterns in dark areas but with an added bonus: in some rooms, hidden 'ghost' platforms are revealed when lanterns are lit with the magic flame. And when this fire collides with a wall or other types of obstacles, it splits into four smaller projectiles and fly out in four seperate ways. But like the ice breath, magic flame also requires the use of your magic meter. Again, use this sparingly!

Spark Breath
This is a more electrified version of fire breath. That being said, this fire power can be used to stun certain enemies, or turn on power to certain electric powered devices in the game. This fire power also uses the magic meter... And I'm still thinking of other uses for this power, if you have any suggestions, let me know :)

The Dragon Blade
I've mentioned this final weapon in other blog posts before (specifically the mini-game posts from several months back) and I've been brain storming on how such a weapon could be used. I rather liked the sword weapon in Cave story, and I also liked how in most Zelda games, you throw a magical mimic of the master sword while at full health. So I've decided to use the dragon blade accordingly... This is the most powerful fire power in the game, in that it literally makes the other fire powers a bit useless. It does not require the use of the magic meter, and it does four times the damage as the standard fire breath. When equipped, it still takes the form of a sort of fire breath, but with a mimic image of a dagger within the flames (the way I visualize this, it looks kinda cool, so trust me on this...) This weapon will not be showing up in demo 5 however. It is strictly reserved for the final game. It still deserves a mention here though. :P


That's all I have for now. I'll keep updating as things progress! Also, I'm still looking for more volunteer testers. It wont be long for the first engine test release, so sign up while you still have a chance!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Update: 8-16-13 - Blocks and other VERY Important News!!!

For the past couple of days I've been busy revamping the code for item blocks (those blocks that you shoot and they occasionally drop items and stuff). they look better graphically, and they have a few slight improvements as far as their existence goes. Recently I thought it would be an interesting idea to include the mechanic of head bumping these blocks [Mario-style] as well as ground pounding them [also Mario-ish] which would also get you the items inside them. Its not a neccesary mechanic, but it kinda does look neat.

Also I've been adding the functionality of other types of blocks. As mentioned in recent blog posts there are some blocks that you'd need certain ability charms to get past. So far there are only three of these types of blocks.

 - bomb block: when a bomb explodes in its vicinity it too would explode, and if there are other bomb nearby they too would activate causing a chain reaction of sorts. [this was actually featured in the old engine before I quit on it]
 - lizard block: You can only get past these tiles by performing a crouching slide. They will vanish temporarily and then reappear when the player sprite isn't overlapping it.
- anvil block: Performing a ground pound on these blocks would have the same affect as a crouching slide would have on the lizard blocks.

Of course, getting past these blocks would require having certain items in your inventory. Bombs for the bomb blocks, the lizard charm for the lizard block, the anvil charm for the anvil block and so on...

Last (but probably not least) of the block types are the boxes.

There are two types of boxes and both of them take the visual appearance of wooden crates. there's the small box and the large box.

the small box, you can pick up and carry around in the current map [this also introduces the new mechanic of being able to carry certain items/baby ponies/etc]. You will also be able to push it when not carrying it and then when need be, you can use it as a platform.

the large box would obviously be too heavy to carry around and therefor could only be pushed. And like the small box, it can be used as a platform.

Both box types can be destroyed and in a few different ways:
 - if they fall in lava
 - if they fall on spikes
 - if they fall from a long distance
 - exploding a bomb in their vicinity 
 - they cant however be destroyed by your fire breath (yeah, I know, screw logic. this is a vidyagame!)

Destroying boxes can also result in them dropping certain items. So its not all a total loss.

Other News:

Ive recently been in contact with someone who wants to help me get my game featured in an upcoming convention [I wont go into full details without their permission]. Because of this recent achievement I've been set with an actual deadline for Demo #5.

The demo will need to be finished by the first of November (giving me plenty of time to get things done) and will be released on the same day as the convention.

Because of how important this event will be for the project I would like to make the engine as bug free as humanly possible. This would of course require some help.

For those of you who recently volunteered to bug test on the mini-games. I'd like to enlist you into the testing team for Demo 5 [with your permission of course]

I would also like to enlist new help for testing. So if your interested please e-mail me: with the header: "Demo 5 tester"

I will be releasing bug test demos periodically to everyone on the testers list right up to the final release of Demo #5

Also, for everyone not involved with the testing: I will launch a production stream sometimes around my birthday [October 8th] to showcase most of the accomplishments so far and give you a preview of what to expect from Demo #5

More news to come. Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

8-11-13 - Engine Reboot Update: Ability Charms and Lava

Got some more accomplishments over the past few days that I'll be touching up on in this update:

For a start, I have added functionality (and visuals) for lava pools in the game. Its not just a fall in and get hurt/death scheme here. As mentioned before, Spike has the ability to swim around in it and when he's acquired a certain item, he has full control and movement in it like he would with water.

However, a bit different than the water mechanics here.. While without the item for water, Spike can swim unharmed at the water's surface, Spike when without the item for lava will rapidly lose health while swimming at the lava's surface.

Once you've gained the item for lava Spike would be able to hop into the lava harm free and swim in it with full control. Also the lava will turn slightly translucent revealing hidden paths that  Spike can go to as he pleases. I thought this was a nice little touch to the game's engine and it looks pretty cool too! :)

Concerning items themselves:

I've set it up where Spike will need to collect Ability Charms throughout his quest in order to be able to do certain physical acrobatics and stuff. There's just five different charms here:

  - Lizard Charm
This charm will allow you to slide (and kick off of walls) as well as the ability to perform a slide kick while crouching on the ground. The slide kick could be used as an attack on certain enemies, and its also used to temporarily remove special tiles with the lizard icon on it (some of these tiles may be hidden in the main tileset via Metroid style)

  - Pegasi Charm
With this charm, you will be able to perform a double jump. Useful for reaching high and hard to reach places. Or transcend nasty death-pits that are too wide to cross with just a regular jump.

  - Anvil Charm
This charm will enable you to do a ground pound while in the air. While in 'flight' simply tap the down button and Spike will quickly pound the ground. I've considered using this also to temporarily reveal hovering ghost tiles when the  ground is pounded. The ground pound can also temporarily remove special tiles with the anvil icon on it (also potentially hidden like in Metroid)

 - Water Charm
As explained before, this charm will enable Spike to submerge himself into the depths of lakes. He can swim freely, up, down, left and right (with the ability to perform a swimming thrust in either of those directions). But while doing this your air meter will come into view and Spike will start to lose breath. So be sure to return to the surface asap!

 - Lava Charm
As already mentioned in this blog post, this charm will be that special item that Spike needs in order to swim harm free in the lava. the controls are similar to swimming in water and this charm allows Spike to see through the lava (as mentioned, the lava goes transparent while Spike is in it) revealing the secrets beneath the surface. But again, the air meter will also reveal itself and Spike will need to resurface to regain his breath.

currently the functionality of each of these charms are already hard coded into the engine. You cant yet collect them visually but I have a debug system that turns on and off their flags as I need them. I'm curently working on the visuals for these items and hopefully in the next day or so I'll have the system finished where you can collect them in the game instead of having to debug them into existence :P

More to come soon!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

8-8-13 - Engine Update #2: Swimming mechanics and weapon usage

So far so good! Work has been a steady flow for this project. I'm accomplishing something each night, whether it be the fixing of bugs or progression on the engine itself.

Since the last update I've added the swimming portion of the engine. Spike can now submerge himself in water!

The engine takes a likeness to that of Wario Land 4's swimming mechanics. The directional keys move Spike around in the water (up down left and right) and when he's not moving at all he simply floats back up towards the water's surface.

There are also currents that push Spike around when your in that general area.

As a notice, I should add that Spike wont have this full control under water until he acquires the water stone which would allow him to hold his breath underwater for a certain period of time. Without the stone, Spike would simply stay at the water's surface (for an example of what I'm going for, observe the water mechanics of Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow. When in the water you stay at the water's surface until you acquire a special item that would let you go completely under.)

This engine will also apply to lava. Only that when you don't have the fire stone, the lava would simply hurt Spike (yea, I know, in the show Spike can wade around in lava like its nothing. My excuse here is that this lava in the game is a bit special. as in enchanted. The fire stone would cloak Spike from the harmful magic that enables the lava to hurt him.)

Other things I'm thinking on at the momment, and I would like to get some opinions:
I've decided that instead of having Spike spit fire projectiles, I should actually give him a wand at the beginning of the game which would allow him to shoot magic projectiles. This would allow me to add certain weapon upgrades Metroid and Megaman style.

He could still use his fire breath, but I'm still debating on how to include it. Perhaps if you hold down the fire button for a short amount of time he'll stand in place while blowing forth a steady flame (see Kirby's Dream Land: flame power).

If anybody here has any ideas or opinions on the matter, please let me know. I'll keep you posted as things progress. And hopefully soon, I can start posting up some media. There's a few good reasons I'm not posting up any now. :P

Sunday, August 4, 2013

8/4/13 - Spikes Quest Reboot Update

despite the lack of updates here on the blog, I have actually been very busy working on the reboot engine.

the past couple of weeks have been a realprogression on the project. Not only is it as complete as the old engine, its a vast improvement!

You can now:
 - jump kick off walls
 - climb certain wall tiles
 - ground pound
 - slide while crouching
 - move along the ceilings (via monkeybars)

there's also new obstacle types for the tiles themselves, including new slope angles and the tiles needed for the new abilities listed above.

I'm still finishing up on the tile collisions (nearly finished) and I'll be moving along to other things such as swimming, enemies, new active platforms and a map navigation system similar to the 2d  Metroid games.

At the rate I've been going, I'm hoping to have Test Demo 5 (yes, I'm still calling it that despite the reboot) ready in a month from this posting.

Anyway, before ending this update, I'd like to ask everyone here. Are you guys still with me despite the lack of activity on this project in the past year? if you are, please let me know. It would totally boost my confidence if there are still people interested in this game. :)

Thanks in advance!

Monday, June 24, 2013

6-24-13 - SQ - Dev Quest II Starts Today!

As mentioned in my last blog post, I shall be starting the Spikes Quest development reboot today! This calls for a celebration, so gather all your Pinkie Pie plushies, blow up some balloons and sip fruit punch from a fancy wine glass. This aughta be fun!

I've decided that instead of just jumping right in and forcing myself to work (like I did last time) that I will take it easy. and by that I mean that I'll put together and focus on small bits at a time a day. This would not only give me more time to enjoy life and all its tasty fruits. But it would also garentee me no sudden burn-outs.

One step at a time.

Slow and easy wins the race.

I'm sure you're all familiar with all the cliche sayings :P

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Spikes Quest Game Dev Saga II: Starting over from Scratch

So I just got finished cleaning out my e-mail inbox. It was a massive archive of e-mails dating all the way back to late 2011. And in that archive I saw many a response to old blog posts going nearly all the way back to the beginning of this project.

It kinda got me to thinking about the project in general. How it seemed to progress from time to time and how it often failed. How I got totally hyped about the old Demos, going all the way up to Demo #4 and how those were the golden days of this project's development.

I've considered a number of times in recent months actually just canning the project because I have a hard time getting back into it. The code in the old files and some of the graphics seem overwhelming now, and its hard for me to even know where to begin.

So how does one save a project such as this from certain doom?

A reboot...

You heard right, I've decided that I should just start over. Try to recapture those golden days when I was releasing a demo every week.

Of course, going back to square one means that the game will look primitive and a bit 'early' again. But alas, its for the best. On the upside, I at least have a vast know-how. I've learned so much about coding and game development over the past couple of years, and just from this project alone...

Anywho, I shall begin work again this next week. And I'll try to have a basic platforming engine demo up and running by Friday.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

6/20/13 - An Update After 3 Months

Aparently, my last update was back in March. I've been completely absent from this project for three whole months.

Just letting you guys know I'm still alive and well, just been terribly busy with life in general.

I've also been absent from the fandom, and after looking back into it after all this time, I cant help but feel that its been dwindling... I'll miss the days of old, when being a Brony felt like something new and awesome. Now it just feels like a fading fad.

It makes me feel sad, really. :(

Rest assured, I've decided not to leave the fandom, so maybe there's a bit of hope for Spikes Quest.

I'll try to get back to updating more often too. Its a bit wrong that I've left you guys in the dark.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

3-28-13 - Busy busy busy and then busy.

Sorry for the lack of updates lately. I've been pretty busy helping family out on a new home (we're actually kinda building one entirely from scratch from the interior) :P

So while digging a new septic tank hole [manually with a shovel, mind you], moving large stacks of lumber around the yard piece by piece, and getting myself covered with insulation fuzzies, I've honestly have been feeling a bit sore and pretty much discouraged from working on any of my projects.

I'm still determined to work on Spikes Quest and all its side projects, but until I get more time and more room for focus on the project then things will eventually get back on track.

On the bright side, my uncle is paying me off with a brand new [and a very powerful] computer with a four core processor and a top of the line graphics card. A nice tool that may yet benefit Spikes Quest as well as a few other endeavors. :)

I'll try to update more often.

Friday, February 22, 2013

2-22-13 - Dragon Keys' Extra Function

While talking about the dragon keys a month or so ago, I forgot to mention their other major function in the game.

There will be some doorways throughout the game that you cant open unless you have the propper key to open them. Much like how in most games you have a red key for the red doors, a blue key for the blue doors and so on.

Considering the fact that getting these keys are not really needed to beat the game [unless you want 100% and best ending] I'm still a bit uncertain about how this function will be used. Perhaps gaining one or two of these keys can be essential for completing the game in some way, as you'd need them to access certain key areas.

I'll post more on this as soon as I get some ideas for it. Until then, feel free to post your own ideas/opinions.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

2-21-13 - Meh.

Please forgive the uncreative title.

Since I've been back home from my folks, things have been kinda shaky as far as being productive goes. I've been in the process of readjusting to my usual environments again as well as trying to get back to my daily routines.

As of now, I've finally got my bearings and I think I'm ready to start posting blog updates daily again.

Progress on the game will admittedly be slow for the next few weeks though. Reasons being related to real life life. I'll be helping my family here in town with some yard work and with the setup of their new home.

That, topped with a few other personal projects that I actually need to get done. But don't worry, Spikes Quest will be far from forgotten. I just need to figure out a proper schedule for working on it.

I'm hoping that with reviving the blog again, I can regain that lost hype that I've lost in the past month here. Wish me the best of luck!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

So I heard what happened to Fighting is Magic

Just saw an article on EqD bearing ill news about Fighting is Magic. And it has me a bit concerned for the sake of Spikes Quest.

Not that this game would had ever competed with the awesomeness that would had been Fighting is Magic, but I still had some pretty wild ambitions for this game. But if legal issues are a huge threat to such projects then I have to question the stability of the production path for SQ.

Should I be afraid of the potential Cease and Desist notices from Hasbro? Should I maybe discontinue the use of their IP and try something a bit more... original?

I'm a bit on the fence here.

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

More Game Purchases for Dev Study

So in the past two months or so I've spent a hefty lumpsum of my spoils budget on video-games for the sake of enjoyment and development study. Here's what I had in my Ebay Cart recently: [checkem after the break!]

2-5-13 - The Benefits of Making Spikes Quest

Obviously I cant <$>profit</$> from developing Spikes Quest, simply because its a fan game and I'd probably get into some kind of trouble for trying. But there are still benefits to be had here.

The engine behind Spikes Quest is purely of my own making, everything from the simple jump commands to the more complex things [if you can call a bending bridge 'complex']

this is an engine that I can take and use for something much more original, and I plan to do just that.

I'd like to someday develop a game all of my own design and of a world and fiction that are also entirely of my own making. And the Spikes Quest engine will go towards that endeavor.

Also, there is the benefit in SQ that I've accomplished an actual game complete with original artwork [no, I wont be including the older pixel traced pieces from Demo 4, I will be sketching my own pieces to replace those] and other things. Granted I might receive help from others throughout the production [and they will be credited accordingly] but I can still say that I've accomplished something once the project is actually finished.

So to the few who say I'm wasting my time working on this thing and that I'm stupid for doing so: I can simply just thumb my nose at them and go "Nyah nyah, what now ya silly trolls?" and then proceed to get trolled even more or something. 9_9

Friday, February 1, 2013

2-1-13 - Well I'm Back

I've been back home for the past week actually, just getting mysel situated back into my living space again and I'm just now getting my mind back on SQ.

I apologies for taking so long, but as of today I'll start updating daily again as well as doing some actual work.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

1-22-13 - Why I chose to do this project alone

I hear it all the time from friends or followers of this project that I really need to have a team for the development of Spikes Quest. But there are a number of reasons why I chose to do it alone. Some are personal, others are just logical thinking.

Growing up, I've always wanted to develop my own computer/video games. I wanted to develop the graphics, the world, the story, pretty much I wanted it to be entirely of my own making. Something I can be proud of, like a painter would be proud of his painting, or an author would be proud of his novel. This project shall be my own masterpiece. Or so, that was always the mindset I've had.

Other reasons [the logical thinking type of reasons] comes from some observations of certain group projects. I've observed groups that simply could not keep it together. There were usually huge disagreements, or other kinds of drama that eventually split the team up. I've witnessed group leaders being driven into a kind of madness and despair because certain parts of his team were not developing fast enough or were not following his/her vision of that project.

 Also, I'm just not a good leading type. A team under my leadership would probably collapse within a week. My ideas would easily be tossed out or warped beyond recognition. I also fear the idea of losing my project entirely to somebody else. I have actually witnessed such cases as the lead developer being kicked out of his own project or just him up and leaving it due to being overwhelmed by his own team. Believe me, its not a pretty sight.

I never want to put my vision through that sort of mess. That is why Spikes Quest will mostly be a one man effort.

I guess you can just call me an Apple Jack. :P I'm just stubborn like that. 

Dont get me wrong though, I will be requesting help when I need it. But for things that I cant handle on my own, such as music composition and beta testing. But as far as anything else goes? I prefer to do it on my own [unless I say otherwise]


Tomorrow I'll be heading out to my sisters. I'll be absent from this blog for a few days. When I do get back, I hope to have more updates on the project.

Until then, I'll see you guys around! :) Thanks for sticking with me on this project.

Monday, January 21, 2013

1-21-13 - Wont Be Updating Much This Week

I'll be prepairing to leave to my sisters this wednesday and from there until I get back to my apartment I wont have an internet connection.

That's not to say that I wont be working on the game, it just means that there may not be much of any Blog updates this week.

As soon as I return home (hopefully soonish) I'll begin updating here again. Who knows, maybe when that time comes I'll have a whole bunch of goodies or something :)

Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

1-20-13 - Things to do on a Sunday

Last week I said that Sundays will be my off-days on this project. Since then I've been contemplating on whether I should do something for the blog on those days.

I thought about maybe posting up reviews on MLP episodes. Or maybe just using those days to post about my other projects. Since I am going to start back on webcartoon in the coming month, I figured I could post about those.

Or hey, maybe I could start live-streaming me working on my usual artwork.

What do you guys think?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

1-19-13 - Weekly Progress Report #2

It has been a busy week both project-wise and personal-wise.

Check after the break to see what's been going on.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

1-17-13 - Event Item: The Four Dragon Keys - Key #4

This post concerns an important event item and it may or may not contain spoilers [in this case the spoiler would be concerning game-play and not much on story]

Proceed at your own risk.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

1-16-13 - Event Item: The Four Dragon Keys - Key #3

This post concerns an important event item and it may or may not contain spoilers [in this case the spoiler would be concerning game-play and not much on story]

Proceed at your own risk.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

1-15-13 - Event Item: The Four Dragon Keys - Key #2

This post concerns an important event item and it may or may not contain spoilers [in this case the spoiler would be concerning gameplay and not much on story]

Proceed at your own risk.

Monday, January 14, 2013

1-14-13 - Event Item: The Four Dragon Keys - Key #1

This week we'll have a look at four event items. And on friday I'll reveal what those four event items will unlock.

These items are actual keys. And each key will take a certain kind of effort to acquire.

More after the break.
::may or may not contain spoilers::

Sunday, January 13, 2013

1-13-13 - Sundays are Off Days

I've decided that Sunday shall be my day of rest from the project and everything associated. We all need a off day after all, right?

While I'm at it, I should also note that one day this coming week I'll be leaving my folks house and heading to my sister's for a week or so. During this time I will not have any internet to post any updates.

So if I go on a short week hiatus, you'll all know why.

I'll be back at my apartment sometimes this month, and then I'll be going all out on this project with updates galore :)

stay tuned!

PS. The application for beta testers for the mini-games is still open. I have five volunteers on the list already. This application shall remain open til the end of this month. If your interested then go >>HERE<<

Saturday, January 12, 2013

1-12-13 - This Week's Progress Report

So, this past week has been somewhat exciting. The old demo's had been re-uploaded (and to a new server). There have been a couple of new LP videos made of Demo #4, and I've revealed all the planned mini-games for Spikes Quest.

This is one of many weekly updates that I'll be doing every Saturday [right up to completion]

More after the break!

Youtube: CrimsontheWolf1 plays Demo#4 Twice

Here's another play-through of the old Demo#4 by CrimsontheWolf1. He actually plays it twice!

Vidyas after the break...

Thursday, January 10, 2013

1-10-13 - Mini-Game Reveal #7 [final reveal!]

Nothing really spoilerific about today's reveal. Its the first game you'll be able to unlock it'll be playable from the start (after you rescue Pinkie Pie and access her shop in Ponyville), and its pretty basic

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Youtube: WhitehawkePAUNCH plays Demo #4

Havent seen one of these in a while (not that it could be helped while the downloads were down :P ) Video can be viewed after the break!

 Thanks Mr. PAUNCH! :)  and the added atmospheric sfx seem nice too xD

1-9-13 - Mini-Game Reveal #6

This post concerns a portion of the project that has not yet been in development. Any images or screenshots are simply for visual aid and are not official to this project (unless stated otherwise)

Also, there are spoilers in this post. Proceed at your own risk. :P

[also also note, there's one more mini game reveal after this one, I ended up deciding on having seven mini-games instead of six. If you've noticed I've been labeling the mini games themselves in a backwards order (#5,#4,#3, etc etc) this one is #1 and tomorrow's is #0 I'm just making this note to clear any future confusions :P ]

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

1-8-13 - Mini-Game Reveal #5

This post concerns a portion of the project that has not yet been in development. Any images or screenshots are simply for visual aid and are not official to this project (unless stated otherwise)

Also, there are spoilers in this post. Proceed at your own risk. :P

Monday, January 7, 2013

Demos #1 through 4 Updated Download Links

All the older demos have been reuploaded to a new server. Check after the break!
note: links are not working yet. working on it! they're all fixed now :) to stream Demo 4 Tonight

within the hour of this posting, will be hosting a gameplay stream of the old Demo #4 of Spikes Quest. If your available at this time come on in!

1-7-13 - Mini-Game Reveal #4

This post concerns a portion of the project that has not yet been in development. Any images or screenshots are simply for visual aid and are not official to this project (unless stated otherwise)

Also, there are spoilers in this post. Proceed at your own risk. :P

Sunday, January 6, 2013

1-6-13 - Mini-Game Reveal #3

This post concerns a portion of the project that has not yet been in development. Any images or screenshots are simply for visual aid and are not official to this project (unless stated otherwise)

Also, there are spoilers in this post. Proceed at your own risk. :P

Saturday, January 5, 2013

1-5-13 - Mini-Game Reveal #2

This post concerns a portion of the project that has not yet been in development. Any images or screenshots are simply for visual aid and are not official to this project (unless stated otherwise)

Also, there are spoilers in this post. Proceed at your own risk. :P

Thursday, January 3, 2013

1-3-13 - I'll be updating daily again.

I've decided just now that it would be very wise for me to start doing daily updates again for this project. It wont strictly be about progress though, but mostly of facts and ideas about the game in general.

Most of these updates may contain spoilers, and I will do my best to warn about these spoilers for those of you who'd like to remain surprised.

So what have I been so busy on for the past few weeks? I've started development on the six large mini-games that are hidden throughout the game world. One of these games is essential for the completion of Spikes Quest, and that game is my current project and is quiet a gem for just a mini game.

I've posted about these mini-games before, but I never specified how they work in Spikes Quest.

There are six game disks (or carts) scattered throughout the world. When you find one, you bring it back to the upper world into Ponyville where Pinkie Pie will have something resembling a mini-game arcade booth, here the game is revealed and unlocked to you in a mini-game selection menu of sorts.

The mini-games will be classic spin-offs of such nastalgic games of classic DOS and Gameboy origins and the majority of them are quiet literally a series of videogames within a videogame.

Tomorrows post will reveal the most current mini-game in development, and will certainly be spoilered for such obvious reasons.

So, if you dont mind being spoiled on Spikes Quest, feel free to check on in. I'll do my darnedest to keep this blog and all affiliated forum threads updated on a daily basis. :)

edit: I've got a good feeling that the year 2013 will be the year that this game sees completion. :)