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Metroid: Coven


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#1 EchoJerichoX

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 05:38 AM

Metroid%20Coven%20Title.png

 

Top-down Metroid

 

You can also find information on joining the development team here: http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=468874.
 
=====================================================
 
Downloads...
 
Revamped engine...
 
Coming soon...
 
Legacy engine...
 
AI Demo v2.0 - CANCELED as of 1/30/2014 in lieu of new engine in development.
 
 
AI Demo v1.11 - 10/18/2010.
AI Demo v1.1 - 10/18/2010.
AI Demo v1.0 - 10/13/2010.
 
Tech Demo v1.1 - 4/12/2010.
Tech Demo v1.0 - 4/11/2010.
 
=====================================================
 
About the project...
 
When I was around 13 years old, I started playing around with Game Maker. This was 2001, so I believe it was version 3. I made a terribly clunky engine with keyboard-only movement and aiming involving Samus walking around on a space station, finding powerups. Being that I was young, my attention left it quickly and the engine was long-forgotten until I was probably 16 years old. It was then that I realized I had come up with something potentially great...
 
After digging through my old game library, I found an engine titled "Metroid: Coven". By now, my skills in GML had been sharpened and I changed Samus' mechanics. She now aimed with the mouse, moved with the keyboard, was able to use various weapons, could use the Morph Ball and much more. Then I went and posted about the game on the GMC forums. Before I knew it, I had 4 or 5 people working alongside me, churning out content like crazy. I had a free website through an awesome host, a primitive tech demo to play, and even since then, the project has grown immensely.
 
After several failed development cycles and well over a decade of beating my head into a wall, I have new friends, teammates, and resources to start from scratch. The entire old engine is being scrapped and a newer, more up-to-date and clean engine is in the works. This development phase should go very fast and we will have playable content out much more quickly. With new life and motivation being breathed into the project, who knows what we are capable of?
 
With that, below are some content previews that I am sure you want to see more than a lot of text and links.
- Echo
 
=====================================================
 
Screenshots and videos...
 
My%20Title.png
 
Revamped engine...
 
Coming soon...
 
Legacy engine...
 
screenshot109.png
 
screenshot110-1.png
 
Most recent news update:
 
 
Feb. 8, 2014 update...
 
 

Getting much closer to the video quality bar I want... But anyway, here are the main points!

- The new engine is coming along very quickly and beautifully!
- New method of designing levels and handling movement and collisions is far more fun and efficient.
- The new and updated features are already stunning.
- Hope to have a tech demo ready sometime soon.

Enjoy!
 
=====================================================
 
Current Team Members...
 
EchoJerichoX - Project lead/creator.
Salvakiya - Lead programmer.
Veni Mortem - Lead artist.
Nightswim - Lead composer.
Compel-X - Website administrator.
 
=====================================================
 
Joining the development team...
 

All inquiries about joining the Metroid: Coven development team should be directed here: http://www.metroidco....php?page_id=18.

 
=====================================================
 
Contact me...
 
If you are even remotely interested in working on this project with me, I am very approachable. I don't bite. Not really. More like... gnaw. Anyway, you can contact me on Skype as EchoJerichoX, on Twitter under @EchoJerichoX, or email at echojerichox@gmail.com.
 
Thank you for looking!
- EchoJerichoX, and the Metroid: Coven development team.
 
=====================================================
 
Last thread update: February 8, 2014.

Edited by EchoJerichoX, 09 February 2014 - 01:24 AM.

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#2 ash47

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 07:48 AM

Wow, can't say I've seen anything like this before...
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#3 creativebunch

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 07:57 AM

Wow you finally made a new topic nice! I'm going to download and play thoroughly ^_^

And you still have me in the team member section :D

Edited by creativebunch, 17 June 2011 - 08:01 AM.

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#4 EchoJerichoX

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 05:26 PM

Thanks guys! And you were the only loyal programmer I've ever had, CB :P
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#5 SimplySeth

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 12:29 AM

This is awesome.

Just for the concept I give you 10/10
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#6 halo2 fan345

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 05:31 AM

Very professional. Had this been on the Super Nintendo as an official Metroid game I guarantee you would of made millions. 10/100,000,000.
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#7 EchoJerichoX

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 06:20 AM

Thanks guys, your compliments are really important to me. Part of me wonders why this sort of thing was never thought of before, or if it was thought of, why it wasn't produced.

Again, thank you all so much for the positive words :)
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#8 SimplySeth

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 05:54 AM

The music in this game is going to be awesome ;)

And probably the best top-down game I've ever seen on the GMC.
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#9 EchoJerichoX

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 10:23 PM

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.

Thank you!

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.

Posted Image

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.

Posted Image

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...
- Echo

Edited by EchoJerichoX, 03 September 2011 - 10:40 PM.

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#10 EchoJerichoX

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 05:23 AM

Happy holidays everyone!

As I have mentioned many times before, the development of Metroid Coven goes through many highs and lows. Most recently, I went through a huge development high - I was cranking out features and fixing bugs like crazy, and was certainly on a roll for a while there. However, as usual, I lose contact with many of my developers and most of the work falls on my shoulders. It is merely a compensation for the high - a huge low. No biggie though, and I'll respond to that last sentence by saying that the game isn't dead and never will be. It will always be a hobby of mine, so no worries there.

Part of what demotivates me is lack of attention to the project, MIA team members and just plain boredom. I realize now that all of the work should ultimately fall on my shoulders and I should not rely on my "team" as much as I do.

That aside, I can say that I have done a TINY bit of work on the game. I did some playtesting which went well - after coming back from a break I always find things to make the game more fun to play and such. I keep a new log of things I need to change down the road, and I am trying my best to implement the advice that was given to me as posted in my last news post. I did some new spriting for the turrets and adjusted their AI to be a little more realistic. I think these sprites I chose are still a little bulky, and will no doubt change soon, but they look quite nice.

Finally, I see sparks of motivation here and there as I play other games and I try to take advantage of them as I go. If I work on the game much these days I am trying to force the game into a releasable state, so take comfort in that.

Thanks everyone!
- Echo

Edited by EchoJerichoX, 21 December 2011 - 05:26 AM.

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#11 wakeskater_X

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 12:47 AM

This looks real cool, but I can't unzip .rar files on this computer... do you have a .zip version perhaps? :D

Im a huge fan of metroid, I'd like to try this out as I'm not a huge TDS fan usually, and would like to see how it is :)
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#12 EchoJerichoX

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 06:42 AM

This looks real cool, but I can't unzip .rar files on this computer... do you have a .zip version perhaps? :D

Im a huge fan of metroid, I'd like to try this out as I'm not a huge TDS fan usually, and would like to see how it is :)


I would recommend downloading something like 7-zip (It is the most basic un-RAR utility, supporting many filetypes, being lightweight and most of all - free!) to open .RAR files. I used to use WinRAR and I will never go back.
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#13 EchoJerichoX

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 08:31 PM

Long-time no update, eh? Well, I have a few things for you all.

Obviously, as the front page states, I consider this game a highly-glorified hobby now. That does not mean I can't promise you all some great content and an eventual release. This game will be finished someday. So, let's get down to business.

Lately I HAVE done some work on the .GMK! While the work times are sporadic, I have managed to get some pretty neat features completed and many more bugs detected and squashed, so let's get started with those.

I have added quite a few things to the change log, most notably are the massive controls-scheme change regarding secondary weapons. The way it works is just as described in previous updates: You scroll though secondary weapons by pressing <CTRL> and you turn them on by pressing and holding <SHIFT>. In Morph Ball Mode, your Power Bombs are used by simply right-clicking, while <CTRL> still swaps between Power Bombs and Screw Bombs. This scheme has proven to be EXTREMELY useful. It simplifies the controls a LOT. Also, as part of the change, I have removed mouse-wheel weapon scrolling. The reason being that it is just too clumsy and while many people may thing that it works very well, not everyone has a scroller ON their mouse. While this is odd to people like me who have gaming mice, it remains a fact and I fully plan to make this game equally playable for everyone.

Next, I added a really cool effect for when you switch weapons. It is subtle and really, all it does is make the arm cannon flash when you change weapons but the visual actually delivers quite well. I ultimately wanted a similar effect to the way the Prime games switch weapons, but it involved way more work than would be worth it.

Moving on, I have changed the Missiles to fire at click-speed like the Nova Beam. I have adjust the damage they deal to compensate. The result is very nice and feels much more authentic to the feel of the games that were actually made by Nintendo.

Finally, I have put in a ton of bugfixes and such that really help the feel of the game. I don't know why I bother, honestly. The game is IN a testing phase. I need to just put out the next big build and be done for a while!

Well, 'till next time (Hopefully soon).
- Echo

P.S.: I have put that lawyer's advice to practice. I put the project on 8bitfunding.com! If you wish to donate, you can see us here: http://8bitfunding.c...ls.php?p_id=328
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#14 EchoJerichoX

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 04:31 AM

Goddamn, creating fangames is hard... I mean really, I always used to think, "Why do these amazing devs abandon their projects all the time? It can't be that hard." Even then, in the back of my mind, I thought it was a naive thought. Alas, I was right. And before you guys get any grim ideas... no, this is not the project-killer post. A lot of people are wondering what is going on, and I just wanted to share.

Basically, I got promoted to assistant manager at my video store and now I pretty much work full time (roughly 35 hrs./week) AND I work for a family friend packaging up smoked gourmet meats when I have some spare time on the side for extra cash. Now time constraints truly are a good excuse for not having done much on the game lately. However, I still cling to the honest thought that I have no motivation most of the time. It is at a stage of development where I start to brood over features that aren't polished yet and I HAVE to go fix things that I have put off for far too long. Thus, I need to find things to inspire me to work again. When it comes to times like these, I often turn to visual inspiration. In what form, you say? Well, those who are up on the Metroid fangame community have SURELY heard of the legendary spriter, Rundas45. He has created some truly unreal sprites lately - In bloody MS Paint no less! - and it was only recently that he decided he would start sharing his work with fangame creators. If you want to view his work, check this link out: http://am2r.freeforu...as45-t597.html.

I mention Rundas45 because he is making something for me as we speak which I have needed DIRELY since I first started this project! He will have done very shortly, I'm sure. When he is done, I will gladly share it here (With his permission, naturally).

In the meantime, I bust open some .GMKs today and I decided I wanted to re-do the snow tilesets. I realize now that I cannot hardly follow my own advice - I am falling victim to feature creep! And laziness... But surely feature creep as well. Anyway, I will post the new tilesets once I decide I am done with them.

Guys, I will try my best to just put a ****ing demo out as soon as I can. I think about the game every day when I get on the computer and I will never forget it. I have tons of backups of the game now, and I keep my entire resource library updated as well, so even if the worst shall happen, the game will NEVER be lost.

Thanks for sticking with me guys.
- Echo
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#15 SimplySeth

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 05:10 AM

Awww, congrats on your promotion though :D


It will all pan out in the end. Real life just gets in the way, the only way any project gets done within a deadline is if this is what you do for a living. We gotta keep on chuggin through!!

◔_◔

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#16 EchoJerichoX

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 11:10 PM

Thanks so much for the kind words, Seth! We need to catch up on Steam at some point :P
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#17 EchoJerichoX

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 01:35 PM

So I will preface this by saying that I will TRY to put an update out once a week. If you can help keep activity up in the following forum threads (Bumps = attention!), then that would help us get activity up a great deal!:

http://gmc.yoyogames...howtopic=510903
http://am2r.freeforu...coven-t444.html
http://metroidreviva...coven-t246.html
http://forum.starmen...e/1#post1755875

If you know of any other popular fangame forums or other places where we can get the word out about Metroid Coven, please email me at echojerichox@metroidcoven.com!

So moving on! I would like everyone to welcome our 2 newest members to the team: Kaizaran and DrevanZero! I am very pleased to see these 2 prominent fangame community members helping me out with Coven. They are both spriters and I plan on having them do some level design and dabble in a few other things down the road as well. Their profiles are up on the Development Team page.

I have made some great progress on parts of the game that really needed attention. I am talking of course about the rooms in the game. Until recently, I found the environments to be very empty and bland. Due to some rather frank comments from one of my new members, I have taken to sprucing them up a bit. This includes adding new ground tilesets (And wall tilesets for that matter), new scannabless and details in the environment, new design habits and a few more things. Here are some new screenshots:

Posted Image Posted Image

Posted Image Posted Image
- Click the thumbnails to enlarge. -

You can see most notably that... Well there isn't really any one thing that stands out in my opinion. That was the point. Before, it seemed as if you would walk through bland walls and ugly tiled backgrounds with no real visual "WOW" factor to speak of. Now it is more reminiscent of the Prime games where there are curious things in the environment that you can scan and what would seem like the bland monotony of a snow scene is broken into something visually stunning. As it is, I have about 1/5th of the rooms done like this (I am re-doing them all from scratch) and I must say: I love level design now! To me, level design used to be one of the most boring, breaking things I did. Now it is fun and interesting to use the new tilesets and make the environments look a little more inconsistent and natural-looking. In between the level work though, I am polishing old sprites and creating new ones, importing in a few from the new members and fixing and adding things as I go. This demo is going to be SUCH a giant's leap from the old demos. As long as I have some people pushing me along and keeping me motivated and feeling good about the game, I can guarantee I will have the AI Demo out in due time.

Still to do is to replace the Space Pirate AI (Still a maybe), add 1 or 2 new enemies and get a few more environment details added in for caves and ice zones. I have also -- and this is JUST an idea -- thrown the possibilty around of severely simplifying the weapons and items in the game. This would mean the removal of a lot of items and the addition of a few that may be a little less interesting but more sensible in order to keep the gameplay a little less complicated. As it is right now, I feel like the way the game starts, you have just a few things you need to worry about and then as the game goes on and there are more variables to consider, it gets more challenging. This was my original vision but at times it really erks me to see people criticizing certain aspects of the HUD and the number of items in the game. The more I think about it, the more I think I need to make another drastic change to the item list and in turn, the HUD. I really do not want to, but simplicity is often a big selling point. But back to the build-up in challenge comment... When I describe this mechanic, I often think of Super Meat Boy. When you see people doing the speedruns on YouTube you say, "Holy ****, this game looks IMPOSSIBLE." However, when you actually play it, you realize that it starts out very easy to build your skill and then by the time you get to the hard parts, they seem perfectly doable. For this reason, Super Meat Boy's sequence and difficulty flow will inspire much of the actual game when I get to that point.

Anyway, I feel like I have droned on long enough. Until next Monday (Hopefully)!
- Echo
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#18 EchoJerichoX

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 07:29 PM

Good news this week!

First off, I would like everyone to welcome another team member! Her name is Veni Mortem and she is an EXTREMELY talented jack of all trades when it comes to game design. She has amazing talents in music, spriting and tilesets and has been one a contributor for longer than almost anyone else. Here is a good example of her work, as well as a nice preview of the new death sequence...

Posted Image Posted Image

Pretty nice, eh? Well moving on, she is also doing some work on fixing the seams in some tilesets as well as making some new tracks for me. I look forward to seeing more work from her.

I have put a new video up that shows what it takes to make a room in Metroid Coven. This is only about 1/4 of what it really takes, but may also be part 1 in a series of 4 videos to help my level designers understand better what they need to do. Here is the video: Metroid Coven Level Design Guide 1 - Basic Tiling. If you are interested in designing levels for the game, please email me at echojerichox@metroidcoven.com. If you were to send me a room or rooms at a stage of completion as shown in the video, it is certainly at a usable phase and you will earn in a spot in the credits if I have a place for it.

Moving on, I am making a few mechanics changes regarding firing. For one, the Wave Beam is now getting its 3rd or 4th revision. This time, the projectile will follow a true sine curve via programming rather than a fake method using rotating sprites. It uses new projectile sprites from Rundas45 as well. The main mechanic change will be charged shots. As it is, the charged beams look beautiful and are very powerful for their function. The reason for this is that there is a brief delay between releasing the mouse button and the projectile actually releasing. Looking more closely, I realize that it makes pretty much NO sense, since the whole point of holding the button down IS to charge the weapon. It should not have another gathering animation between events. This delay will be removed and the damage of charged attacks will be re-scaled in favor of balance and functionality.

On the topic of firing and projectiles, I am removing the oversaturated glows from nearly all projectiles in the game and using new sprites - mostly contributed by Rundas45. The reason for this is that it was a cheap way to cover up mistakes around the borders of the old sprites and help them blend better with whatever backdrop they are on. For the 4th or 5th time, all beam sprites are being changed again to favor ones that are both newer and favor the older games a little more. For the sake of relevance, here is the new Wave Beam:

Posted Image
Posted Image

While all these other things are going on, I am still working on re-tiling the rooms. It is sort of a pain in the ass and an eyesore at times since the new tilesets have a lot of ugly seams, but progress is creeping along. I have 4 of 18 rooms done right now and I am working on the 5th (Which is huge - 6x4 on the map).

Veni Mortem has sent me some mockups of re-arranging the HUD again to favor a more simplified layout down the road as well as possibly make an option for a 4:3 screen size HUD and a 16:9 widescreen one. This is a very good idea and provides a good chance for me to rewrite almost all code having to do with the HUD. If this goes through, the idea is to show all of the pertinent information in realtime (During actual gameplay) and move all of the HUD scans like the item lists and other gauges to detailed subscreens. Since I suck ass at making menus, this also provides a chance to learn something new as well as challenge myself. Here are some slap-together mockups of what the future HUD may look like:

Posted Image

The above resolution is 640x420. 420x420 is the current view size. I would end up expanding this to 640x480 since that is what the current resolution is as a 4:3 screen ratio. The 16:9 counterpart would be 640x360. I think that would entail making the side HUDs a little wider in order to keep the screen a square shape and the same size but still fit a screen properly of any ratio. This is something I will consider re-writing once 2.0 is complete.

I think that will be all for now. Thanks for reading!
- Echo

Edited by EchoJerichoX, 17 July 2012 - 04:14 PM.

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#19 EchoJerichoX

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 05:36 PM

Hello all!

This past week lots of progress has been made in the way of levels as well as a few mechanic changes. Let's start off with some visual treats...

First, I have redone the Wave Beam once again (This is now the 4th or 5th time, probably). The projectiles now use new code in order to follow a true sine curve along their path. All of the graphics were re-done again but there are a couple features within the beam that I am not sure will stay the same as time goes on.

Posted Image

Posted Image

You can also see on the left there that there are new suit images! They were posted by Rundas45 in the first post of his thread on the AM2R forums. I am still doing some tweaking to these images, but they look really nice so far.

Moving on, I am finally doing a little more coding as of late and I went back to remove the delay in the charge beam shots. It feels MUCH better and more functional now. I just need to go back and tweak the damage values for each beam for balance purposes.

As I mentioned in the ShoutBox not too long ago, I am in dire need of some more programmers. If anyone knows one then please let me know at echojerichox@metroidcoven.com. I am particularly favoring those with skills in AI to help program some of my enemies.

Well I am very pleased to share this next piece. Veni Mortem is proving to be an INCREDIBLY great asset to the project. She has started composing some music for me and so far - between 4 or 5 tunes - she is just blowing me away. This bundle of talent is hard to come by. An incredibly good spriter, pixel artist, tileset artist, etc. that also has an incredible ear for making music. She is currently doing the pixel art for the new title screen but in the meantime, she has created this amazing track. It has bits of the original Metroid theme as well as a good touch of Metroid Prime in it and the result is absolutely enthralling. You can hear it here: https://dl.dropbox.c...troid Coven.mp3. I will be using this as the theme for the title screen.

Slightly off-topic now... I only have a few weeks left at my current job and then I will be moving over to the other side of the state. I am VERY excited to finally leave home and this should open up some great new opportunities for me. I will be going to school online for game design - an obvious choice as it is a passion that has been in my life since I was 11 years old. Why am I telling you all this? Just to let you know that my enthusiasm on the game will be higher than it ever was before but that I also may have even less time to work on it. I know I'm beating a dead horse here, but I WILL have something to show for all this work I'm doing very soon.

Now that that is off my chest, I will try to throw a new preview video together as soon as I can. Something to really grab the attention of the public once again.

Thanks for reading, as always.
- Echo
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#20 EchoJerichoX

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:13 PM

Most of my time was spent working at my video store (My last day is on Sunday!), packing up meat and having my going-away party. Therefore, not as much got done as I wanted, but there is still a lot to share.

The main attraction of this post is probably going to be the new Morph Balls. This was a subject of debate amongst myself and others as well as one of my longest-standing criticisms. For the longest time, I had it in my mind that the Morph Ball should always be less than half of Samus' size in any aspect - 3D, top-down and side-view. My reasoning was based heavily on my method of level design; how all of my tilesets are set to a 16x16 or 8x8 grid. In general, Samus is meant to fit in gaps no smaller than 13 pixels wide. As a result, I ended up making the Morph Ball insanely tiny, rather than making it the proper size and then using a 7x7 collision mask. I fought and fought for this to the point where I now feel silly about having fought it in the first place. Increasing the size of the sprite catered to three major things that I had in mind from the start when it came to the player sprites:

1: Simplifying the level design by making Morph Ball tunnels 8 pixels wide.
2: Upping the size of the player sprites allows room for more detail on the sprite itself.
3: Showing a sense of depth by having parts of the scenery overlap the player.

To explain better, look at the following sample:

Posted Image

The purple circles are Samus' actual collision masks. This gives you a sense of depth when you are brushing against walls by making parts of the walls overlap the player - particularly in exterior environments, like in these screenshots:

http://i116.photobuc...enshot100-6.png
http://i116.photobuc...enshot101-7.png

All this explanation is just postponing what you are all probably wanting to see, so here are the new sprites:

Posted Image

They look excellent, but I might do some more palette tweaking with the Gravity, Phazon and Corruption variations to help give a little more contrast to the edges, in particular. I also used some of Rundas45's side-view Morph Ball sprites for the HUD element. The Corruption one is a placeholder edit and will definitely change. Palettes are slightly different from the actual in-game Morph Balls, but not far. Also, realistically, the Morph Balls in the HUD element don't reflect the top-down sprites, which is something I will fix down the road. For now, these are very adequate placeholders.

Moving on, I have been experimenting a bit with a new tileset. I aptly named it, "Shrubbery" and its purpose is to further attempt to detail the environments with plants and the like. The only trouble is that basically all of the tiles are supposed to be placed on walls. Thankfully, I am in the process of having them converted into original top-down works. Here are a couple screenshots for you to look at so please leave a little feedback:

http://i116.photobuc...enshot100-5.png
http://i116.photobuc...enshot101-6.png
http://i116.photobuc...enshot102-6.png

You can see that I also made the lighting system a lot darker so the lights themselves serve a much better purpose and actually make a difference when you play. I am still tweaking it a little. Other than that, the main things you should be eyeing are the fern-looking plants on the walls and the vines on the walls inside caves.

Veni Mortem has made some nice animations for the ice barriers. One is a shattering animation and one is a melting animation. I have not fully implemented them in-game yet, but the animations are pretty much done. Here they are:

Posted Image
Posted Image

The above are crappy .GIF files, so the transparency is a little messed up and the animation speed is off, but there they are.

Finally, as of late I have been making some new destructible block sprites, such as the Bomb Blocks, Missile Blocks, etc. I will put those up when everything is done. I should have even more stuff to show since I will be re-doing the 8x8 blocks and then making new 16x16 ones.

Some other changes I have made lately include making secrets break more traditionally like in the original games (Breaking one tile to reveal an item under it), adding a different block-break animation and many other things. Other than that, almost all of the sprites for the beams have been redone once again. Here are a couple screenshots from some of the beams that underwent drastic changes:

http://i116.photobuc...enshot103-3.png
http://i116.photobuc...enshot107-2.png
http://i116.photobuc...enshot109-1.png

From left to right: Regular Plasma Beam, charged Nova Beam and charged Dark Beam.

In this next week, I intend to add the ability to draw in pickups by using the Charge Beam and perhaps adding some new mechanic to the Morph Balls to give the player more of a reason to use it outside of going through tunnels. I have tossed around the idea of removing the Screw Bomb and putting the Boost Ball in. Please send me your thoughts on this.

On the topic of sending things, I am no longer using the "metroidcoven.com" email. Please use echojerichox@gmail.com from now on.

That will be all for now... and wow, this update is probably up there with some of the longest I have done!
- Echo

===========

EDIT: Fixed linked images.

Edited by EchoJerichoX, 30 July 2012 - 08:16 PM.

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#21 EchoJerichoX

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 04:41 PM

New update up on new site!: http://www.metroidco...om/en/news2.php.

Going to be solely putting updates on the site now, since I would have to make forum posts on 6 other forums.

Edited by EchoJerichoX, 06 August 2012 - 04:42 PM.

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#22 EchoJerichoX

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:01 AM

Updated the main post! Big bump!
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#23 xxForgottenSoulxx

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:40 AM

This looks really cool im gonna test it out, are you still working on it?
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#24 EchoJerichoX

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:01 PM

Yes sir, the next demo preview should be ready by Friday :P
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#25 EchoJerichoX

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:19 PM

New playable preview is out! Check the OP for a download link!!!
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#26 EchoJerichoX

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 05:08 AM

Here are my three most recent updates, as of 11-20-2013, with the newest posts at the top.
Below each date is a quick summary of the update. Open the spoiler for the full story.
As always, updates can be found on my homepage and updates pages.

11-20-2013
- See Change Log for today's changes.
- More and more and more and more programming updates.
- Veni's current projects are highly anticipated.
- Power Suit ready to be added to the game very soon.
- New death sequence in progress and already in placeholder form.
Spoiler

11-13-2013
- See Change Log for today's changes.
- Official title screen is DONE!
- More visual goodies to come...
Spoiler

11-11-2013
- REAL work is being done for once.
- Everything has been totally re-organized.
- Optimizations left and right. More planned.
- Still removing components of old items in the game file.
- New controls changes breakdown.
- Playing with "RGB" and image blending for optimization.
- Will be looking at development inefficiencies once the HUD is done.
Spoiler

Enjoy!
- Echo

Edited by EchoJerichoX, 21 November 2013 - 05:10 AM.

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#27 EchoJerichoX

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 06:47 AM

Bump! I've got a Twitter now and am working on this project some more. Feel free to check out post #1 for all the new information.
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#28 3D2DGAMES

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 06:36 AM

This project is getting some motion now. I am the new Lead Programmer. We should have a new engine tech demo soon!


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