Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy upcoming New Year, Comrades!

Dear reader,
This holyday season I was able to do fuck-all related to the Legend of Iya project. However - I did get hooked on a game that has become a digital equivalent of crack to me - Minecraft! I must soon shake this addiction, as I get nothing done because of it.
Oh - and I also did this:(the skin file can be downloaded here)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Minor update.

Since this Game Maker version of Legend of Iya was initially conceived as nothing more but a guideline to since discontinued DS version, its fundamental code basis was never particularly thought out. As a result, the features kept being added to an engine that had some serious flaws at its core. This week I finally went into the game's dark smelly basement to fix several annoying, and to be honest - noobish bugs that have been plaguing the game all along. Most of the fixes centered around the controls, which on certain machines (such as, once again - my netbook) had severe issues with key polling. Other fixed issues dealt with some basic animation handling and collision. Even though I'm pretty happy with the improvements, I'm sure this isn't the last time I have to screw around with LOI's shaky foundation.
Other progress:
* Added tile tint control to the background scrollers - now I can add even more color variation to the areas with the same tileset... I am physically restraining myself from adding some sort of a weather/day-night system to the game now.
* Finally added functional game saving and loading. Still need to make the feature more robust, but the basic file handling is there. At the moment the game saves its data in plain text with a file footprint of only 3k.
* Designed another enemy. Must animate him still.
* Close to be done with the second boss fight. Needs more animations and visual effects. Also - cleaner scripting.
* Worked more on the start area screen (which is a giant pixel painting)
* Started several new Iya animations - such as one for climbing onto knee-high steps, and one for hopping over small obstacles. The animation for looking up had to be temporarily disabled, as it messed up some of the attacks.
* Did more room texturing.
* Started another set-piece room near the beginning of the game.
...Gahh - too many holes to plug for one person: )

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Defeated the Lag Monster!

Not much in terms of asset updates, however, over the last two days I have solved a large-ish issue with the game. You see - Game Maker is a slow, high-level script. Its math computations are laggy, and its asset management is rather inefficient. But hey! I'm not really complaining there. My biggest issue with it, however, its abysmal handling of tiles. Not only that the built-in tile editor is completely worthless, and doesn't allow to utilize even a fraction of GM's own tile manipulation abilities, but the output algorithm is incredibly inefficient. It appears it blits every tile in the room on each redraw - with larger tiles most people use - it's not really a problem, but since I had to use DS-compatible tilesets of 8x8 elements the game ran like crap on lower-end computers.
From the day I got my netbook I've been frustrated with the game's awful performance on it. Even on "high power" mode the game ran at barely 20 fps. I tried to solve the problem several times before, but could never pinpoint the fps sink, always suspecting my own code as the culprit. A couple days ago I have finally discovered the tile issue, and have quickly devised a solution.
A short script was added to the hud object. At the start of each room a global surface is created, views are turned off and the entire room's tilemap is blitted to that surface once. The tilemap is then deleted from memory, and replaced with an object that draws only the part of the surface currently visible on screen... BAM! - 30% speed-up!
I couldn't be happier: )

Oh - and other news - I have dug up issues 2 and 3 of the old LOI "comic" I drew when I was 11 years old... Not even sure I should make that travesty public, as it is a genie of infinite shame: )

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Damn Troll!

I know publicly posting any kind of information about my game was potentially dangerous. A youtube troll has accused me of "recoloring Lady Sia sprites".... I'm this close to just taking the project back offline, but I guess it's inevitable that some fucktard will pull shit like this now and then.
Just to settle it: (click to enlarge)
There certainly is some similarity, but it ends with "hero girl with a ponytail".

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hate being an attention whore...

...but it's been forever since my last post, and I really have no time at the moment for a full-fledged update, so instead here is a youtube video:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A small update for the sake of updating.

Free time has been ridiculously sparse lately, and I didn't even have my daily commutes to fall back on last week. I am getting closer and closer to finishing the *first* boss fight, but somehow the closer I get - more and more tiny new details become vital to address. As of right now - the whole battle is playeble from start to finish, although I'm not sure just how well, since I didn't have anyone other than myself play it yet. Things I still need to add are a more spectacular boss death effect, better boss announcement, ability to punch the boss into non-vital parts with "ineffective" message popping up, tweak the bosses punch range - it's a bit too short, a powerup drop after the boss is defeated, a finished power-up-get animation and effect, and more and better sound effects - but that's pretty true of the game on the whole. I need to start working on the event flag and save systems, so the boss battle and puzzles don't reset every time I leave a room, as it's becoming annoying.
Also started working on a new "cave" tileset - hopefully this will turn out pretty.
My last post got a whopping 1 reply, and the one before that I think got none. Now that there is almost zero interest in the project - I might want to keep it that way for a while: )

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

No, I'm not asleep at the wheel...

This is a "dead man's switch" update, mainly to show that I'm still actively working on the project. My main area of focus at this particular point is the first boss battle. Since I'm going with heavily scripted and animated boss fights - it is taking me a while, but the fight in itself is done. All I'm left to do there is complete art and scripting for the intro and the outtro sequences. The first arena art is pretty much done as well, but I am struggling to prevent myself from trying to make it even prettier.
Also - the nearness of this milestone makes me so happy, I want to record a new video to show off my progress, though I realize it is a bad idea to show the game so far away from completion... nahh - not gonna do it. Posting new videos has a tendency to give people impressions that the game is close to be done, while it is far from that.
In other minor updates:
  • Added new elements to the first area of the game - now the background buildings have more architectural variety.
  • Continued working on new animations for Iya. Almost finished with 30+ frame cycle for Iya collecting a new powerup.
  • Started the overhaul of the magic system, though it is now more broken than "better".
  • More map areas added, but not skinned. The game still can't be circumnavigated: (

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

GunGanesh-arena progress.

It's gotten a little hectic lately, but I continued to work on the game in every spare moment I get.
Since the last update I have finished tiling the first large sewer area and began work on a puzzlette in that room - it's a simple "flip switch to turn on machinery, then use special moves to get through a set of smashers" kind of deal. The machinery graphics aren't done yet, though the preliminary smashers are already in the game.

Additionally, I have worked on visually distinguishing the first boss arena - I think I'm moving in the right direction with this.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Slugging through the sewers

Well - I started laying out the sewer portion of the map, and it's currently looking really, really nice. In order to get everything running on lower-end systems such as my netbook I attempted to optimize the sine-wave water routine, and stumbled upon a nasty bug that made things run slowly regardless whether or not the water was on screen or not.
My old slime enemies look very nice in the sewer, which might warrant their partial overhaul, as their current AI and attack pattern are quite terrible and somewhat unpredictable. Also - since I can populate the sewer by the slimes, I might as well recycle the huge slime boss, though, it needs to be redrawn to make it less cartoony-looking.
Now I need some alligators, sludge-cascades and rusty machinery - this is gonna be awesome.
I continued working on the game's map layout, as after some thinking I realized that Iya ends up getting her core moves way too late into the game, so I reshuffled the powerup order. Also, it was decided to reduce the number of magic attributes to three - each with 3 levels of upgrade (the third one is a single secret item that powers up all three magics).
Over the last two days I was playing Return of Egypt - an older indie metroidvania. Not a great game, but it made me think - with its map about a fraction of LOI's and only about three distinct environments it still provides several hours of moderately fun gameplay, Return of Egypt is just long enough for an indie project... is it possible I went overboard with LOI's ginormous world?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Here's a lesson kids: don't make big games all by yourself!

Well, damnit! I spent almost an entire day yesterday planning out the game's world. Previously I had a basic skeleton just to get me started, but now I actually have the whole thing more or less laid out from the beginning to the end, and guess what - it's HUGE!
For the later branches of exploration I didn't even bother to plot "explorable rooms", as it just got so complex - I'm sure this will bite me in the ass eventually - but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. Furthermore the area tileset coloring is subject to change, as I am now leaning toward dividing the game into distinct worlds ala Metroid's Norfair, Brinstar etc, and analogous Castlevania castle wings. The number of health and mana containers is also a subject to change, as I am now debating if I should find a way for the HUD to accomodate more than 5 of each container.

Friday, January 15, 2010

An unexpected leap forward.

Ok - small update - In one day I have added an entire tileset from scratch. This one is for the sewer system in the game. As all other tilesets it's only 16 colors and under 512 tiles (not that it matters, but I couldn't pass up an opportunity for an additional pat on the back: ) Now to add all sorts of decrepid machinery and as much terrifying water as possible.

The town tileset looks even nicer now - added more elements to it as well.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy New Year, and holy crap! It's been five months since my last update, and I really don't have any groundbreaking progress to report on account of me being horrendously busy all this time.
There has, however indeed been SOME progress.
  • For one thing - the starting "real world" city location - is closer to be done. It currently has only a small tilable building element, but now that I have a starting point it should go quicker.
  • Additionally - I came up with another cool effect just for this short area - fake-reflective windows. It actually looks pretty cool - you'll see: )
  • The Gun-Ganesha boss is almost done. His pattern is almost complete, as well as the animations, scripting and background elements, including a colossal Ganesha statue.
  • Metroid-like minimap as well as a full-sized map of the world have been added, and work perfectly.
  • Another boss has been partially added. This one should be awesome to animate and script.
  • A projectile-firing enemy has been added, codename Bazooka Fox.
  • A wall-crawling enemy ala Metroid Zoomers has been added, but has no finalized graphic.
  • A walking tank enemy has been designed, but isn't animated yet.
  • A rock golem sprite sheet is almost done.
  • A lot of the background foliage is now animated.
  • Dust floats in indoor sunbeams.
  • Breakable blocks to hide secret paths.
  • More tileset refinements.
  • Some screen filters added to make similar looking areas have slightly different flavor.
  • Much, much more, but probably too small to mention.

So, yeah - I guess some stuff happend in the last five months. The game isn't dead... just somewhat comatose.