Project Conspieracy update – Initial Build

It has been almost a year since I started remaking this project with Game Maker Studio and damn, that was more challenging than I had done before and that includes the new features I’ve done for the first time as well as the workarounds I had for the first time due to major changes from Game Maker 8.1 to Game Maker Studio. Between GM8.1 and GMS, the asset name leaves underlines between numbers/letters in which no symbols are allowed. Not even a space is allowed as well as a space between numbers/letters is replaced with an underline. Also, an error may occur should two assets have the same exact name whether they belong to the same categories or not. One disadvantage of GMS is that your in-project resources are exposable and explorable via Windows Explorer similar to the feature in Unity. Modifiying anything there via Windows Explorer or any other file explorer tool may produce undesired results. For workarounds I had come up with, I had made a sprite that is for screen fading purpose with sprite scaling tool that fills the entire screen. It is so much better that way that the screen fading is smoother with other things being active but without affecting the Attract Mode/In-Game UI.

The new addition was the particle system which involved tons of coding but with the use of Particle Designer tool, I was able to produce particle effects with ease. This included the sphere and line based particles that occured when hitting enemies or enemy bullets. Unfortunately, I did more than producing standard particles like producing the glow and ring shaped effects, etc. I guess the usage of particle system might take up so much resources and my computer already has a hard time tolerating that amount of hardware resources. Needless to say, these effects are unspeakably pixellated.

The gameplay concept was unspeakably difficult and unfriendly for Game Maker Studio itself. The core concept was like based on Phantom Breaker Battle Grounds and Grief Syndrome in which everything took place on one layer along with some fighting game elements added to it. That included the usage of two levels of Super moves but instead of two levels, one of them happens during normal stages and the other happens during boss battle. The recommendation from you was that these Super moves should be available during normal stages and boss battles. There was also the Hyper/Overdrive mode called the Insanity Mode which should give you extra power for a limited time but the way I implemented it was for the defensive side rather than the offensive side. The offensive side of the Overdrive/Hyper mode should include more powerful weapons and magic but for now, my implementation of the Insanity Mode and the Super moves was at a serious disadvantage. Even the core gameplay was inaccurate too with controls being way too simple like it broke the purpose of the Beat-Em-Up genre. Sure, the genre isn’t quite friendly with Game Maker Studio but at least I tried anyway. Also, the original assets were done by various event team members of mine but everything else was redone by me alone.

Some of the common sound effects are hard to find but the sound effects I found from freesfx.co.uk and Pocket Se were all I could get. Music on the other hand is all the music arrangements I did of the songs from various games and certain songs don’t seem to fit the game quite well as I probably wanted the fantasy/gothic-style music in here. Also, the boss battle BGM is still missing from the list and at this rate, even at initial build stage, the game is still incomplete in terms of the amount of resources. Call it unstable if you want as I can imagine as it still takes up so much resources on my computer when I tested it.

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Note: This set of screenshots is from the development stage and the easiest way to take screenshot is unfortunately gone in Game Maker Studio.

The shadow effect is the most difficult to implement. There were some shadow effects implemented so far in some of the backgrounds but implement it for the sprites is the most difficult thing in this project so far.

Summary of development problem list:

  • Core gameplay concept is still inaccurate no matter how much improvements I can implement.
  • Different super moves are implemented in different locations.
  • Effects that use alpha blending are pixellated or blurry when Intepolate Colors Between Pixels is enabled.
  • Music list is incomplete with the lack of boss battle BGM and certain songs are out of place. Target genre is Fantasy/Gothic
  • Sound list is incomplete with the lack of certain common sound effects.
  • Shadow effect is difficult to implement on the sprite-side.
  • Original assets are incomplete for both the playable characters and enemy characters that they should be redone when possible but since they belong to other team members, contact is required.

There might be plans for a visual novel game instead of the one above but none of the common tools is suited for that and I don’t know if Unity supports Visual Novel genre or not. Unfortunately, I’ve never tried making a Visual Novel stuff before so I have no complete idea on how to develop one. Putting these two genres together in one game is equal to following what Arc System Works does for fighting games on consumer systems.

Other modes include Defense Mode and Distraction Buster Mode. In Distraction Buster Mode, you bust the troubles that are taking place in the kingdom after you’re called into action based on the situation the villagers have encountered. It ranges from busting the culprit behind the illegal events/workshops organized at the kingdom, to punishing villagers by attacking them for avoiding his events to even holding them hostage and taking them to the main kingdom you originate from. Unfortunately, I may recommend that this mode should be done as a team with approval as I fear that this kind of implementation will land me in trouble if these scenarios are not 100% fictionalized. Defense Mode on the other hand is basically that you’re tackling enemies that are taking place in your kingdom but forget about it as the mode I implemented is like shit anyway. Supposedly, it should be based on my teammates’ idea on implementing the final stage where there are nearly endless amounts of enemies coming at you until you die or they are all defeated. There should be two endings from that stage but then, this is pretty much what Defense Mode is all about when it is loosely based on my teammates’ idea.

So, the satisfactory to my team is not that big in the end. The Defense Mode is kind of boring and dull from the way I implemented it. The Distraction Buster Mode is supposed to be a bonus story mode that should have the visual novel elements. There might be scripts for some chapters but they bring me a bigger trouble since they’re not fictionalized so all you’ll get is the chapter description.

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