MechScape- "EARLY BIRD PRICE" IN EFFECT-ONLY $4.99!| DLC IN DEVELOPMENT

MechScapeZH

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UPDATE!
Hi everyone, hope you're all doing well.

I have a small update for the Virus Select Screen I posted last time-


The noise effect on the screen represents the interference that prevents you from selecting most of the viruses at the beginning of the game- as you gather more of them, the interference- and thus the noise- gradually clears up.

More to come!
 

MechScapeZH

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Hi everyone,

I'm going to have to take a bit of a break due to... everything. I'm sure I'll resume working on the game soon- I really do love doing so.
 

MechScapeZH

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Hi everyone,

Don't have a formal update, but development has kinda-sorta-resumed. The DLC's script is complete & I'm working on level design.

I can't promise an update schedule as consistent as before, but things are being done. :)

Since I don't have any new screenshots, I'll instead summarize dev progress at this point:

DONE:
-Enemy animations
-Enemy stats/skills (Needs testing, though)
-Actor animations/portraits
-Actor stats/skills
-Character select
-Platform map system implementation
-Main character graphics

TO BE DONE:
-Cinematics/cutscenes
-Some incidental dialogue
-Stage/map design
-Logo design
-Some incidental character graphics/designs
-Background graphics

That's where it stands at this point.

Hope everyone's doing well!
 

Biestmann

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That's intriguing! Enabling this kind of gameplay in this engine must be a considerable amount of work. This DLC is shaping up to be more of a sequel at this rate.

As an aside, your recordings always seem quite laggy, so I was wondering if you have tried to reduce the quality to make them more fluid?
 

MechScapeZH

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That's intriguing! Enabling this kind of gameplay in this engine must be a considerable amount of work. This DLC is shaping up to be more of a sequel at this rate.

As an aside, your recordings always seem quite laggy, so I was wondering if you have tried to reduce the quality to make them more fluid?
Actually, you'd be surprised! I'm using Tomoaky's Jump Action Plugin to accomplish this- it's actually totally plug-and-play. All you have to do is load it into your project, set up a few region tiles, and bam! Instant platformer. It plays really well with other plugins too- I definitely recommend it.

It is a kind of a sequel, gameplay-wise- but I decided not to call it that since it's more of a side story narrative-wise. As you know, I'm a big comic book fan & the bit of training writing-wise that I do have is in the comic book medium- I see this as something akin to the "villain books" Marvel puts out- a side story starring the antagonist of the original story that sheds light on their character & motives. (From the perspective of the Fantastic Four, Doctor Doom is an evil king- but when we focus on him, we can see that he actually cares quite a bit for his subjects.)

Regarding the recordings- I'm aware that they are very laggy, but I... haven't bothered to fix them yet since this footage is just a demo and won't be used for the trailer, haha. I've been using the default Windows Recorder (Windows key + G), which I believe doesn't have a quality option- which software would you recommend using?

Thanks so much for your feedback as always!
 

Biestmann

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A plugin, huh. It's incredible what this community puts out all the time.

I understand your approach to the DLC and how it relates narratively to the medium of comic books, but I think that the vastly different gameplay style is a bit of a concern from the perspective of a potential player. Are you still planning on charging for this expansion?

For example, someone enjoying the main campaign of your game might be disappointed by the gameplay in the DLC, and, vice versa, someone who would have enjoyed the DLC might not give it a try after a main campaign they found lackluster.

I don't mean to sound preachy, so I apologize if I do, I'd just like this DLC to reach an audience as wide as possible given how much time and effort you are putting into its development. I think it is shaping up greatly and deserves to be played.

As for video recordings, both OBS Studio and VClip are both free and recommended.
 

MechScapeZH

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A plugin, huh. It's incredible what this community puts out all the time.

I understand your approach to the DLC and how it relates narratively to the medium of comic books, but I think that the vastly different gameplay style is a bit of a concern from the perspective of a potential player. Are you still planning on charging for this expansion?

For example, someone enjoying the main campaign of your game might be disappointed by the gameplay in the DLC, and, vice versa, someone who would have enjoyed the DLC might not give it a try after a main campaign they found lackluster.

I don't mean to sound preachy, so I apologize if I do, I'd just like this DLC to reach an audience as wide as possible given how much time and effort you are putting into its development. I think it is shaping up greatly and deserves to be played.

As for video recordings, both OBS Studio and VClip are both free and recommended.
You are 100% correct and... I have sort of thought about that? I suppose I didn't as much as I should've. I've strove to keep the combat somewhat the same, besides there being other party members to keep the gameplay loop somewhat consistent. Honestly- the platformer plugin is a very new thing- I understand it existed in Japanese and has recently been translated to English- and if it existed when I was developing the base game, I certainly would've used it. (I briefly toyed with the idea of re-doing the base game to include it, but... It wouldn't be a good use of my time, yes? Or maybe so, for consistency, thinking about the advice you just gave me?) MechScape, in its initial design stages that I did circa 2012, actually did have a platforming overworld- but I quickly abolished it when I actually started development since I couldn't figure out how to make it happen in RPG Maker.

I am planning on charging for this expansion, but not much- just a few dollars. (Of course, you and everyone else who took advantage, or takes advantage of before the expansion is released, the early bird price will get it for free.)

It is technically a separate file from the base game, so I could sell it separately as well as selling it as DLC... Would that be something you'd recommend? So people who are interested in the platforming system could buy it as a standalone? Maybe I could sell it as a standalone for a bit more than if it was purchased as a DLC, but give both options... I know some games do that- Shovel Knight comes to mind... I will certainly think greatly about this.

I definitely see what you mean and I believe I thought about it during the initial planning stages of the DLC- but since the only real difference is the overworld- the art style, combat, and music are all the same-, I thought it wouldn't matter.

You do not at all sound preachy- your advice is both sound & brought up an important issue that I didn't really think about. Thanks so much- I too hope it is played, of course!

Just downloaded OBS Studio and will try it out posthaste- as always, thank you so much for your continued support!
 

MechScapeZH

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UPDATE!
Another small update- I've been working on stage design...

1588709285490.png
LEGEND: b = block, e = enemy, k = key, G = guardian (strong enemy), sw= switch (need the key to open), do = door (opened by the switch), p = portal (to get from one room to another).

It doesn't look like much, but it's the first step in planning a stage- as you can see, I do my planning in Excel. I find it easier to realize a good map if I know what I'm doing beforehand.

More to come!
 

MechScapeZH

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UPDATE!
Nothing to show per se today (it'd look a lot like the image I posted last time), but preliminary stage design is finally complete.

As of now, there'll be 3 stages total, not counting optional challenges (which I believe I will have time to implement- no promises for now, unfortunately) and such.

More to come!
 

MechScapeZH

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UPDATE!
Hi everyone,

Work is progressing little by little. I have a short demo for you today which doubles as a test of the OBS Recorder program (thank you @Biestmann ! It works great!)- this is the very first room of the game, where the player starts.


You can see the virus select screen being called up from the sphere and the new "portal" effect in the bottom-right- you touch those to go to the next room.

My question for all of you is this: is the flashing portal effect hard on the eyes? I want to learn from my previous experiences and make sure all the SPX are good BEFORE I launch a demo.

More to come!

EDIT: So it seems once I put the video on YouTube there's severe slowdown. Very odd... Well, I'll keep at it. Leaving this here for now since it still shows the room and there doesn't seem to be a way to fix this... Oh well- I'll keep working. Sorry for the inconvenience!
 

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UPDATE!
Here's a room from the first stage with a simple moving platform section- nothing really new here, but... Progress is being made. :)

1589841103474.png

More to come!
 

MechScapeZH

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UPDATE!
Nothing to really show today, but the mapping for the first stage is complete. (The eventing isn't, but at least something's done :guffaw:).

More to come!
 

MechScapeZH

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UPDATE!
Here's a little screenshot from Stage 2-
1590787419573.png
The red boxes with the targets/bulls-eyes are sensor programs- if you trip one, an alarm will go off and alert the hostile creatures in the area to your location, starting a multiple-wave battle. The gold cubes are an HP recovery item- unlike in the base game, your health does not recover automatically- you must recover these items to heal. The robot to the right of the player is an enemy.

More to come!
 

MechScapeZH

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UPDATE!
Stage 2's mapping is complete! Everything's going smoothly thus far. :) No major bugs, at least as of now.

More to come!
 

MechScapeZH

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UPDATE!
Hi everyone,
Work on the 3rd and final stage's mapping is underway- this one's HUGE, so it'll take a while- but hopefully the final result will be worth the wait!

Here's a little preview for you...

1592162436400.png
As you can see, you're quite literally "in the dark" in this area- literally and figuratively, you'll find. The light programs (white & red spheres) illuminate this part of the area in a pale yellow glow- but what happens elsewhere, when they're not present...?

More to come! Thanks to everyone for their support!
 

MechScapeZH

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UPDATE!
1592774407099.png
Here's the primary mechanic for the third stage- Torch Programs. When there aren't any lights to illuminate the path, you'll have to find these items to light the way. What's that? You'd rather take your chances in the dark and forget searching for the Torch Programs?

1592774567009.png
Well, no can do! These Pedestal Programs are also in the stage- and they'll block your path until you complete their coding by combining them with the Torch Programs. So basically, it's the old locked door & key puzzle- but without collecting the "key"/Torch Program, you can't even see where you're going!

More to come!
 

MechScapeZH

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UPDATE!
Hi everyone,
Stage 3 is still being worked on- some more graphical updates today. I've updated two of the recurring sprites to be animated and 3D rather than crudely drawn 2D sigils-

1593123932263.png
Here's the multi-round battle-instigating sensors, now fully 3D spinning boxes.
1593124023661.png
And here's the Key graphic from Stage 1, now a spinning textured sphere.

More to come!
 

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