Thursday, July 25, 2013

8-Bit Dimension Release!

The download for 8-Bit Dimension can be found here.

8-Bit Dimension is finally complete! This game took a lot longer than I originally expected it would take, especially with all the progress I made with the initial stages of building the game. Really, looking back at things, I can really only chalk it up to the increased demand on my schedule from school. When I made ManaClash, much of my progress was made when I only had to concern myself with work during the week. Making sure I had time for 8-Bit Dimension was probably the most challenging part of this project.

That's not to say it was the only challenge. With this project, I wanted to work on collision detection, and lightweight game physics, as well as the ability to load files for my levels. In addition tot he mechanics, I wanted to implement sound in this game as ManaClash was left relatively silent. I had a lot of trouble finding someone to do the sound for the game, and even once I thought I had, that individual was unable to commit the time to do it. In the end, I wound up doing all the sound myself, though not without help. The sound effects were all made with this handy online tool: and all of the music I made myself with the program FamiTracker. If you thought my art was bad, wait till you hear my sound design!

There were a few other features I wound up cutting just to move on from this project. For example, I wanted to do a little more as far as aesthetics goes by animating the various enemies, and having different backgrounds and enemies for different stages. In addition, I wanted there to be a "Final Boss" to this game, but all of these things would have taken far more time than I have available, especially since I'm in the middle of working on a commercial project with two others that has much more of my attention at the moment. Is that to say I won't return to 8-Bit Dimension? Of course not. Maybe one day in the future, much like ManaClash, I'll tinker around with the game, clean it up, and add some more features. For now, this is what I'm presenting to you.

As for what's changed between Beta and release? Here's the rundown!
- Added roaming enemies. These enemies can get in the way and cause unpredictable results when your spell collides with them, but you will be awarded points for the trouble.
- Added Sound to the game. Now you have sound effects for nearly everything imaginable, in addition to two nifty songs. "Level Start" and "Game Over"!
- Added three new levels, all of which are much more difficult than the original two. It wouldn't be a retro game if the difficulty weren't cranked up to 11, now would it?
- Fixed a bug that prevented the window from being closed after getting game over. This bug is apparently also present in ManaClash, and will be included in the list of fixes with it's first update.

That's game number two under my belt. Of course, I'm not the type of person to rest for long. I'm giving myself the weekend off to enjoy myself and relax for the first time in months, then I'm going to hit the grindstone once more. What will my next solo project be? Honestly, I'm not sure, but I will say this: I bought RPG Maker VXAce when it was on sale a few weeks ago and I've been dying to dive in and make something. I used to love RPG Maker for the Playstation, and made quite a few games I made my friends suffer through. RPG Maker VXAce seems to fix all of the issues I had with the original for Playstation, and I have a few RPG ideas I would love to prototype in RPG Maker. For example, I think I would like to remake The Ring of Fire in RPG Maker format. We'll see though.

Whether it's an RPG in RPG maker, or if I decide to tackle another game in Python, I'm unlikely to stop in my pursuit to improve my skills. With university right around the corner as well, I have a feeling that as difficult, stressful, and busy as the next few years are going to be... I'm going to see my skills as a programmer and a Game Designer improve manifold. I hope you enjoy the game, and let me know what you think! Until next time, enjoy the rest of your summer!

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