The new website is launched!!! From now on, I will copy the contents of each update I post on the site, onto the GMC topic (Here) to keep people posted.
With that aside, I now have 3 people working on music for the game and I cannot WAIT to hear it all. 3 people who really understand the series, and really know how Metroid games should sound and feel BASED ON that sound. So far, we have a lot of great tracks to look at and work with.
With that aside, here is the new update!
Hey everyone. I figure it is time for a little explaining, and an update!
First off, how do you all like the new site? I really love the new look. It looks much more sleek and colors don't explode in your face. Also, the theme is a little more detailed than the last one. A lot of improvements in the software were implemented and everything in general is easier to find, organize, edit and so on. I really just love the way it looks and feels and all of the pages were looked over a few more times in the process of creating it.
Lately, there has been a lot of excellent progress in the game. We have finally fixed the long-standing transition problem that caused HUD elements to flicker while between rooms. The solution - when I finally got it - was stupidly simple... All I do is take a screenshot of the screen right before the room fades out, then use that screenshot as a foreground image at the start of every room. After a few frames, the foreground disappears and the game continues. The transitions look utterly perfect now. This was a huge motivator for me to keep working. On top of that... Good lord, the Change Log has become insanely long. The list of changes is CONSTANTLY growing and it really makes me feel pretty accomplished.
Right now, I am working on rounding off the last few features of the new site and doing some more debugging on the game. A few testers have found a MOUNTAIN of bugs and glitches for me to fix, of course right when I thought I was ready to just finish this up and release it already... Anyway!
One of the changes I still need to make is to rewrite the awful Space Pirate AI. I still hold a grudge for SandCat leaving the project at the time he did and the way he did, so I don't feel any qualms about having someone write improved, more readable code. Other than that, the beams need re-balancing, and I am tossing around some ideas to change the way secondary weapons are fired. It seems practical to me to make use of the right-click while in Morph Ball mode. That would be easy. My idea was to have left-click drop bombs, right-click drop Power Bombs, and <SHIFT>+right-click drop Screw Bombs. It would be super easy to code and easy for the player to access and use. As for being outside of Morph Ball mode, I think a system similar to Zero Mission would be ideal. Hold <SHIFT> to fire a secondary weapon, and some other button to select them separately. <CTRL> would still be the key to reset the secondary weapon selection.
As always (At least, from now on) I want to leave you with some visual, so here you go. These are some more preview screens of the game with some new obstructions added: Ice barriers and formations. When destroyed, they shatter into many icy fragments and typically drop a fair amount of energy and ammo. I still need to make some tweaks to them and then they will be good to go.
Also, here is a screenshot of the new Space Pirate Turret in action. One is attacking and the 2 on the other side of the construct are idle.
They do not behave too much differently, other than that they fire in 2-shot bursts. They also have had their code entirely rewritten to clean out bugs and inconsistencies. They are still in their early phases of development, but they should be pretty cool when they are done. I have also organized and prepped these in the project file in such a way that there will be many different kinds of turrets, like in the Prime games.
Moving on, please welcome some new people to the development team! Alex will be our new digital artist. Right now, he is working on a new, original title screen. Bitbomb will be one of our new composers. Already, he is working on some new music for the game, as well as making some original "item acquired" and "puzzle solved" type themes to replace the ones we are using now (From Metroid Prime). And lastly, we have SimplySeth, as of yet not formally introduced. He is another composer AS WELL AS an experienced programmer. So far he has contributed the new music that I will be using for the 2.0 AI Demo and some code that helps fix how the player turns and faces the mouse. On a side note, CreativeBunch is actively working on things for the project again! This is good, as he has created a lot of code that only he knows how to read and fix. He already has fixed some outstanding menu issues.
Right now, I am just chugging through ideas and working out bugs, like I said before. I need help to fix some of them, which actually takes longer to do, but they will be done. In the process, I have weeded out a lot of bugs. I can't wait to release this to the public!
This is shaping up to be one of the biggest text updates in some time... So let's not stop here. There is HUGE news! I have contacted a copyright lawyer concering receiving donations for a project involving copyrighted ideas. This is what I asked him:
EchoJerichoX: "Hello. I am designing a Metroid fan-game. I know that the use of their ideas is not infringement, but would it still be legal if I were to accept donations to fund the progress of the game? For example, to pay for better design software, better equipment, online storage, backup, etc... No profit is being made from my game. I am doing it as a hobby and I am finding that hobbies cost money (Obviously). My intentions are pure.
The website I would be posting my game at would be www.8bitfunding.com. I tried contacting them but they said to contact a copyright lawyer, which is why I am here. My project's website is www.metroidcoven.com. I am in the process of getting a new site up and running, probably within a day or two, but anywho...
Thanks for any help. I appreciate it."
The response I received was rather shocking. I did not expect this at all. From MShore (Alex Reese from JustAnswer.com, an accomplished copyright lawyer):
Alex: "Thank you for the post, I am happy to assist you by answering your questions. No it would not be considered illegal to solicit or accept donations to fund the progress of the game, so long as you disclose how the funds will be used as part of the solicitation. Please let me know if you need additional guidance."
So basically what this means is that I can help pay for the website, get some extra online storage for backup, get some newer, better software and other things. In short... legally I can accept donations and contributions. I will probably put a donate button on the site somewhere soon. Not to mention, I will put the project up on 8bitfunding.com to help get us some extra help. This was a big game-changer (Metaphorically speaking) and I cannot wait to move forward with it.
My god, this was a huge and awesome update. I hope you all at least read through the whole thing! Coming soon are some updated sound effects (Finally, no more Halo sounds!), new control schemes for the secondary weapons as mentioned before, and much more...
Edited by EchoJerichoX, 03 September 2011 - 10:54 PM.