Computer, menus, extras and editor

Sorry for the gap in updates. After dealing with the HDD crash mention in my last post, it became apparent that I was in need of upgrading my computer. So, I did quite a bit of researching as to what I could use/need, and with money saved up (along with my tax return), I purchased items and built a new computer. This dug into my time that I usually spend with this project, but I have done some work nonetheless. No more “terminal” interface appearance. Now the menu system has been implemented for going from one part the program to another. With that, extras have been included, such as the Audio Player and even the Credits. Using methods meant for the menus, I am also incorporating them into the editor so the method of displaying information doesn’t look so plain.

The robot master AI has been put on hold for the moment because I have to decide how I am to deal with them in custom rooms, much in the same way I had to alter/add AI routines for some enemies because they can be placed anywhere that are not normally allowed in the original game.

Desktop HDD out of commission, project still moving forward

Had the unfortunate incident of my desktop going out because the main drive stopped working. Thankfully, I had long since used DropBox to store all data and backup versions of my work, so nothing regarding this project has been lost. I can’t say the same for some of my own stuff like pictures and some documents. Drive won’t rev-up during the boot sequence, and so doesn’t get recognized by the system at all. Had someone tell me to try a “freezer-fix” because it might be the grease inside has become tar-ish, but I gotta find some silica gel first (packets usually placed with clothing, shoes, and electronics to absorb moisture). So, there’s a chance of at least getting the drive to run long enough to get some important things, but its general use is over. I’m currently using my laptop for everything now and not just for on-the-go.

As for the project, I’m working on the 8 robot masters right now. Haven’t gotten to the individual AI yet, but the general execution across all of the masters is about done, such as engagement, general hitboxes and responses, exploding and “level cleared” execution. I’m designing them to be usable in the editor (with some restrictions, of course). Some of the restrictions are as follows, to which a robot master will not appear if:

  • The sublevel they are placed in is longer than 1 screen segment.
  • Another robot master is already designated in the room.

They won’t necessarily be what ends the level, so technically, you could link 8 rooms together, and fight each of them sequentially. Transitions from room to room will be disabled during a boss fight, but will become enabled once they are dead.

A December Update

Sorry for the lack of updates. Been going against a bunch of hurdles with the program, but most have been dealt with. As of right now, all enemies and sub-bosses have been completed with their AI improved and adjusted. Dealing with the sub-bosses was a bit of a chore because they didn’t deal with just sprites, but also messed with the background as part of their visuals. Also, because of being able to place them anywhere with the editor, I also had to make numerous code adjustments (to prevent overlapping) as well as numerous palette execution changes with regard to them because of how they may use palette animations (so by doing a palette animation to one, it would have affected all others of the same type in visual range).

I’ve also been refining the code that deals with transition data (that allows moving from one sub level to the next) as I added gate placements. This did cause me to require changing map collision data so now, there will be a 1 tile invisible wall on either side. While this makes Megaman react correctly like the original did in this instance, it will affect how enemies will react to this wall, which are supposed to act differently. Shouldn’t cause much of a problem though. The transitions can either be activated by touching any open portion of the sides, or just one open portion. The gates can be placed on any open section on the left/right sides. The original game does not have gates leading up/down, but I wouldn’t cross that off the list just yet. It won’t be a focus atm.

Before I begin work on the bosses, I will be going through a stabilization session, to ensure that what can be created with the editor would not result in errors that stops the program.

Still around…

I’ve been sick for the past couple of days, so I’ll make this brief. Been working on numerous things, most involving the remaining regular entity/enemy AI, so the blocks that phase in and out, lazer beams and even lighting changes in Quickman’s stage are all functioning (the lighting, however, restricted to that stage). I have yet to begin AI work on the sub-bosses and regular bosses. Also found numerous bugs in the editor which began to pop up when I began working on the Entity subcategory.

Just when you thought you knew what was in the package.

editor

A curve ball comes your way that you weren’t expecting……well, for most. Yes, your computer screen (or other display device) is not screwing with you. This is indeed an editor designed to make Megaman 2 levels, and it is the 2nd main feature of this project with will be built-in. I held off on saying anything for a while because I wanted to have something presentable and in a fashion that it wouldn’t be complicated for anyone to make levels using it, not to mention that it’s been almost a year since the first demo, so it was like an anniversary gift. This was indeed used for making the 3 levels of the last demo, with the exception of enemy/entity placement (that is currently in the works).

This will be in the final version of the game, but unfortunately, any demo releases from here on out will unlikely have it included. This is because I’m working on it alongside the game engine, and anything can change between releases. Anyone that were to make levels in older versions might find themselves unable to use those levels with newer versions. The video below shows a quick example of using it, though quality isn’t exactly the greatest. It also shows the sub weapons.

Get Equipped With……

  • Air Shooter
  • Crash Bomber
  • Time Stopper
  • Quick Bommerang
  • Metal Blade
  • Bubble Lead
  • Atomic Fire
  • Leaf Shield

I’ve been spending the past little while handling Megaman’s sub weapons, and with the exception of a few tweaks and a couple missing effects, they are all fully operational, including charging up and releasing Atomic Fire (which wasn’t as hard than I thought). The next thing on my list are the Item weapons (1, 2, 3) and platform rails (from Crashman and Wily Castle 4 stages) as they share a commonality of needing to interact with Megaman far more than anything else so far.

Back from vacation

Alright, it’s been over 2 weeks since I released v0.2 of this project, and I got back from my vacation this past Saturday. Tired and sore from a week-long camping trip in a little place called Patricks Point, off the coast of northern California. It’s a beautiful place where you just relax, or go adventuring as you trek to different amenities. There’s a few other places around that area, like Fern Canyon, which have become tradition to go to with my family.

Anyways, even though I am back, I have family from Idaho and Indiana visiting for the week, so my plans to get back into MM2′s development are going to have to wait a little longer. But, I was able to make a few changes before I left for vacation which will be available in v0.3, whenever that comes out. Those changes include no insta-death to spikes when in the invulnerable phase after getting hit, the Battons behaving more appropriately, and something else that I can’t remember now.

Fun Fact: Many people don’t know this (and I didn’t know until last year), but Patrick’s Point was one of the places where they filmed scenes for The Lost World: Jurassic Park, particularly the basecamp/cliff scenes and when the Gatherers watched the inGen Round-Up. The picture above showing “Wedding Rock” can be seen in The Lost World during the inGen fly-in. The area they are standing on is actually a parking lot they had to fill in with dirt.

JP_LW_Wedding Rock

Fern Canyon, as mentioned earlier, was also used for The Lost World, where Stark is killed by Compys.

Demo v0.2 available now!

   (Demo should run with all versions of Petit Computer now, but errors may crop up. If the QR code list still reads 99 on each code, then refresh the page. It should show 98 instead)

(click the image to go straight to the codes)

It is official. Demo #2, almost 11 months in the making after the first demo was released, is now available, either by the image, or through the website menu above. A lot of work was put into this version. The code was redone almost completely, resulting in more flexibility, and speed is very much improved when numerous objects are on the screen. All game assets are compressed and packed into GRPs that are packaged into the program file, so all the codes are set for a single file, unlike the last demo that had numerous files scattered all over.

Be aware that this demo contains custom-made levels. Because of this, the difficulty of each of them will vary, with some parts too easy, and some parts too hard. I did extensive testing to ensure that the areas are passable, but that will be up to you all to decide. The total QR code count is a whopping 98 codes, and this doesn’t even contain all the game assets. I’ve had requests to make the demo available in other ways, so not only can you scan the codes in from the website, but the codes themselves are available via TAR.GZ format, and even the PTC file that contains the demo is also available (for those that have trouble with scanning the low-error codes) so you can make the codes yourself at the Petit Computer website.

Other than the custom-made levels and major rewriting of the code, the demo contains the following that were not present in the previous version…

  • More enemies.
  • Health bar (yay!)
  • Enemies drop items.
  • Health capsules that actually work.
  • Movement is more in-line with how Megaman should move.
  • Death animation and checkpoint refreshing implemented.
  • Runs smoother (just had to restate that again).
  • Intro scene

R.I.P. Molly – 2 weeks

Molly
1997 – August 1, 2013

Yep, the day after we took her to the vet, we went back again, and found out that she had a tumor near her liver/lungs, which is the likely reason why she wouldn’t eat or drink, and had a hard time breathing. Finding this out and the cost to do surgery, my mother and I had one option left. With as much care as we could give, we had her put down. I kept asking myself why we did this, but in the end, without drinking, her kidneys would have failed, and that would be more painful, not only for her, but for us as well. At her age, surgery might have only delayed the inevitable for just a little, not to mention she could have died during it. Like anyone that loses a loved one, I had myself a good cry. I’m much better now. She was never the kind of cat that would jump onto my bed and sleep with me, but the night before this, she continually requested that I be with her on the bed in the extra room she usually sleeps on, so for one night, I did. Perhaps she knew this was going to happen, I don’t know. All I know is that she’s in a better place now…..probably causing mischief. :P

So, what about the demo?

I wasn’t going to end this post in a sad way. Instead, I’m ending on a good note. As of this moment, the engine for the demo is complete, and all the enemies I plan to use are ready. I have made one custom level so far, and it seems to be in working order. The level itself took about an hour at most to make, but I need to manually add the enemies to it still. Shouldn’t be too hard as it is basically simple entries based on ID, and position within the level. Unlike the previous demo, this one has a few more things implemented that make it more Megaman-ish.

  • An actual health bar
  • Energy capsules increase health (finally). The rest aren’t implemented.
  • Enemies randomly drop items.
  • Death explosion and restart of the levels at designated check points.

So, I have about 2 weeks to get this all compiled together before I go on vacation, but honestly, I think I could manage it all within this week, giving myself some time to wind down (since preparing for vacation can be stressful).

Depressed

Before you question why, let me say that I’m not depressed because of the game/demo. I’m still attempting to get the demo out before I leave for vacation in mid-August, but my depression is hindering it a little. The reason why I’m depressed is because my pet cat, Molly, is going through a rather uncomfortable phase in her life. About a month ago, we noticed that when she would breath, it sounded a little rough. So, we took her to the vet, but according to the vet, they said she seemed pretty healthy for her age, which if I recount, is about 16 years of age at least, and that she may simply have allergies. So, we accepted that diagnosis and thought she would be all right.

These past few days, however, she seemed to get progressively worse. Her breathing is even more rough to the point of wheezing. I can’t even recall the last time she coughed up a hairball, because I’m beginning to believe she is unable to cough any up now, perhaps because she’s getting weak. She doesn’t seem to be taking in much food and water. Even her favorite treats and canned foods go mostly uneaten. When she does attempt to eat/drink, she seems to have a really hard time. I’m guessing that it’s due to whatever is making it hard for her to breath, so imo, she’s weak because she’s not taking anything in because she doesn’t have the strength to clear her throat and breath normally.

Last night I kept tossing and turning in my bed, because every little noise crept into my room, and I continually imagined it was her crying out, so I barely got any sleep. We’re going to take her to the vet again today. I’m hoping that maybe they can do something to treat her that doesn’t involve emptying the little money I have in my finances. I know that at some point, there won’t be anything we can do, but I’d rather see if there are options, and if whatever this is is something easily treatable. I don’t think I could coup with the thought of her dying and me standing by doing nothing if there was something I could do. If we can’t do anything, then at least I’ll have the peace of mind that I tried when she does pass, but even after that, it’s going to be rough for me for a while as her memory will continue to hit me hard. I don’t take the passing of loved ones well.

So that’s the situation right now. I know you all are looking forward to the demo, but be aware that while I’m attempting to stay on schedule, these things inevitably happen to slow the progress.