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Part One Release

Hey all! It's been quite a while, but after being nudged by various folks over the years, I've decided to put out a release of Everlasting Journey. It contains Part One, and the opening chapter of Part Two.

It's certainly had problems, but I would consider what's at least in there now to be "complete" - with the exception of some existing rips I was honestly too tired to replace in my latest pass/playthrough. I'll be adding some guides for it, but here are some immediate things that come to mind:

1. Controller suppport - currently, it's just XInput, so any Xbox controller will work out of the box. Other controllers (PS4, etc) will need to be mapped using some other utility.

2. Achievements / Game Jolt Integration - Make a Game Jolt account & jot down your "Game Token". Hit Shift+Tab in-game, or hit the Guide button on the Xbox controller, sign in with your account name & token, and it should just work from there.

3. Treasure / Pots & Barrels - Treasure chests found are tallied by the end, pots & barrels are not.

I hope y'all can get some enjoyment out of it! It's been tested pretty thoroughly, but let me know if there's any weird bugs.


Progress Report

New world map & some shake-ups -- download still on my radar

Alright, so I did a scary thing over the weekend that I've thought a lot about since implementing Mode-7, but think it's for the best... I updated the world map. It was kind of cool going back to it after all these years with the hindsight of knowing what works, what doesn't, and how certain things need to be laid out because I could make all kinds of improvements.

So far, I have 95% of the thing mapped, reduced the amount of tiles needed on the chipset (there were a lot of weird mountain tile variations before), and streamlined some of the mode-7 stuff. As for the story, I'm still figuring some stuff out, but here are my justifications/how I can still sleep at night:

  • It's now 256x256 tiles, changed from the previous 100x100. For reference, it's the same size that FF6 used. In vehicles, it just feels right.

  • Large mountains are a little more strategic in placement so that they don't require so many weird tiles.

  • All ice continents are now at the top/bottom of the map and wrap around like you would expect from a SNES-era RPG (doughnut style).

  • All other continents are basically scaled up to reflect the new size, but are shaped a little more naturally, so you can almost imagine them having separated at a time in the world's existence.

  • The Southern Winds as a whole are probably getting cut, or reduced to a specific area, but the plot will need some reworking to reflect that (some details below).

  • I want more emphasis on the ship you get from Duke, so I might make that the main mode of travel at the end of part 1, and make the airship the only way to get into the Sriole area, but have it basically driven for you until you pay off its cost (still figuring that out).

  • Ghandek (continent for part 2) will still be a largely unexplored place by the world, due to harsh waters one would have to sail through. This is to make the stuff with Jerry work without the southern winds.

  • Updated the mode-7 plugin some more so that it now renders vehicles. Heroes/vehicles can now be hidden as you'd expect. This is great because it eliminates some processing overhead, and the need for my wonky workaround for getting vehicles to draw. Still trying to fix an evil invalid floating point operation error that has something to do with map events though. It's been the bane of my existence ever since adding Mode-7. It's something related to pointers/dividing by zero/fuck knows.(fixed!)

  • I'll actually probably rename the Isis continent due to the negative connotation it might have thanks to those ISIS twats...

As for the demo I promised... I kind of got side-tracked with a new project of updating DynRPG with a ton of new classes (which is almost done), so between that, the world map stuff above, and probably some plugin optimization, it'll probably be another month or two. I've basically been working on that stuff every chance I can get, so have faith!

Progress Report

New version is coming very soon!

The new version of part one is just about done! I've taken down all of the old downloads for now while I try to get music permissions from the 11 or so midi composers used (63 tracks). If any of them say no, I'm gonna be up shit's creek and there will be further delays. :/

Here's the new changelog for the upcoming version (1.4)... it's a doozy...

v1.4 (Upgrade to DynRPG):
-TECH: Implemented DynRPG, BetterAEP, and CustomSaveLoad patches
-TECH: Added numerous DynRPG plugins, most noteably FASTER BATTLES
-TECH: Added custom SAVE MENU supporting up to 99 saves instead of 15
-TECH: Added custom HERO NAME MENU, so you can now rename everyone for lulz!
-TECH: Added objects that give random loot (DynRPG plugin based)
-TECH: removed lag in Party Select menu code (now runs on netbooks!) & made completely picture driven
-TECH: Party can now be swapped via the main menu (escape key) if you have more than 4 party memebers. Certain character oriented sidequests will disable party swapping
-TECH: Added SYSTEM menu that allows you to change run/walk settings, battle speed settings, active/wait settings, battle layout, and text speed
-TECH: if a party member is not in the party, they will level up to the average party's level minus 2. If the average is 26, and a party member not in the party is at 21, they will be bumped up to 24 (similar to chrono trigger)
-TECH: fixed an issue with insurance bets in blackjack minigame. Winning insurance bets will now make you break even, since you get both the insurance bet back and your original bet. Originally, you only won 2x the insurance bet, but lost the money from the original bet (which is wrong as you'd lose money overall)
-TECH: Added full XInput support (Xbox 360 Controllers), including force feedback--rumbling occurs in battles and certain scenes. Avalanche scene is a lot more immersive :D. To use, simply plug in a Wired 360 controller, or Wireless Controller w/Adapter--Anything that supports XInput should work. When the 1-player light turns on, Xinput is detected, and you'll have access to the force feedback option. CONTROLS menu options show specific controls for the 360 controller (and some sweet pixel art I made!)
-MAP: Added a new cave area between duke's shack and a hidden passage in the hiram library, making multiple blue marsh visits optional. This affect some chest placement, so I moved one of the blue marsh chests outside of duke's shack, and the purple chest originally in duke's shack got moved to the new cave location (with an added puzzle!)
-MAP: Ranaan Village, Toran & Borland have updated chipsets so they look consistent with the rest of the areas.
-MAP: Map after the Avalanche scene now has a seamless transition
-MAP: Flogle/Ancient's Nest sidequest is now available BEFORE getting the airship. Just visiting Flogle with Sueto in the party will prompt the sidequest.
-MAP: Tons of Prita Tower updates. Ice now makes you slide forward until you hit a block that isn't ice. Chests are now encased in ice and must be melted before they can be opened
-MAP: Miles' "shortcut" in the Isis Jungle has been mapped
-MUSIC: All midi music has been converted to mp3 using soundfonts (better quality music at the cost of larger game filesize)
-MUSIC: All non-original music has been replaced except for 2 tracks: "Dry Dry Outpost" from Paper Mario used in the drug trip sequence, and "Panic Puppet Zone 2" from Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis) used for the decisive battle theme. I haven't found anything better yet that matches the tone of those two... but will be actively looking.
-ensured above changes do not affect existing (1.3x) saves
-Hiram trader in Orxler Harbor now sells Ethers & Caffeine
-New symbols that are consistent to the size of the magic symbols
-Fixed a game-breaking bug in Prita Tower - If you left the final floor after pressing the two switches, but before talking to Roger, the gate will be closed upon re-entering the map with the switches pressed, preventing you from talking to Roger! Yikes!
-Some graphic tweaks
-Misc dialogue tweaks affecting flow of conversations, typo fixes
-misc bug fixes

Occasionally, when flying the airship through the Mode-7 world map, there's an "Invalid floating point Operation" error that will boot you back to the main menu, causing a loss of progress. For now, just save before flying around in the airship until I can figure out what's causing it. It's a very random bug. Sometimes you can play and load various saves on the world map for hours and not come across it...

Minimum: Intel Atom processors & above. Pentium4 is a maybe (untested). 90% of the game runs fine on Atom processors, but the Mode-7 world map will be very slow. Sorry for any inconvenience!

I haven't decided whether to add in a tease for part two yet. Everything for that is still a WIP, and there's some mind-blowing stuff early on that I could easily tease but kind of don't want to until it's all done. :)

I can probably do another beta test if anyone wants to check it out early! Just shoot me a comment or PM.



Live streaming? OH BOY!!

I've been doing some live-streaming today in preparation for my charity event next month. As I'm inbetween coding DynRPG plugins, I've been working on some mapping for EJ Part 2.

If you're bored this evening and want to see what I've been up to, check out the stream & join the chat!


As a side note, I have a staycation next week, so a lot of that time will hopefully be devoted to gam making, and finishing up this area I've been working on (for far too long).

Progress Report

A couple new additions

I've added a couple minor additions to Part 1, to basically tie up some loose ends that have been on my mind for a while. The first being the addition of frozen chests in Prita Tower:

They were directly inspired by the ice blocks in the Ice Cap Zone of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and should make this dungeon at least a little more interesting! I haven't decided if I want to do any remapping or anything else to it yet.

One of the mechanics EJ has now (thanks to DynRPG) is party switching on the fly (when you have more than 4 party members unlocked). The idea is if you needed someone in particular who could interact with the world, you can now bring them in and out of your party easily. The first dungeon of part 2 uses this mechanic as well.

This is kind of a big change. I've had the Uwetnap fungus trip tileset for about 4 years now, and it was a little sloppy to say the least, so I decided to spruce it up a bit and completely remake the mushrooms. I also blurred the background so it's a little easier on the eyes now.

Here's the before and after:

Today, I'll be working on a ladder & rope climbing animation for Sparrow (which I've been meaning to get to for a while now) & more part 2 stuff. Woo!


Character art!

Phew! What a day. Someone posted about a blog (and got moved to the archives), which led me to this (interesting) japanese sprite site:

Not at all safe for work! Click at your own risk!

If you scroll down past the WTF material, there's a ton of brilliant (and less busty) sprites based off the RPG Maker 2000 RTP. So I was like "wow! I want to make EJ characters from that style!

12 episodes of Homeland later, I ended up with this:

(Character spoilers if you haven't played the game yet)

Wicked psyched at how they came out, but not sure how I'll use them yet. Probably for a trailer or something. I hope you guys enjoy!

Progress Report

New stuff!!

I officially love DynRPG now. I've basically replaced the need for the Power Mode 2oo3 patch, and converted everything I was using over to some kind of DynRPG plugin or hack. As an added bonus, DynRPG opens up a lot of new possibilities, like controlling the ATB mode via a switch, and making a dynamic Run/Walk key that can be swapped back and forth! I'm also trying to brush up on my C++ so I can eventually code stuff (mostly battle system changes if possible).

I felt it was time for a new title screen, and with those DynRPG plugins, I also made some simple systems to implement them in a user-friendly way. Check out the videos I posted to the Media page:

http://rpgmaker.net/games/20/media/773/ (Title screen)
http://rpgmaker.net/games/20/media/774/ (Help menu, faster battles)

Yeah, those are VX Ace battle backgrounds in the title screen, although they've been chopped up and bent to my will so that they look like Firam, Hiram & Prita. I'd like to do some kind of Isis one too but I need a backdrop that's a little more jungle-like. I also made a new logo in order to branch away from the final fantasyesque one.

Oh I think in my last update I mentioned a 1.4 update. I still plan on making that available to download soon, but with all of the new DynRPG stuff, I have to playthrough the game again to make sure nothing is broke. I also might do some tiny battle tweaks.

That's pretty much it so far. I'm still working on Part Two off and on, and I have a few locations in the works at the moment, so I'll be continuing to work on those next!


Goodbye midi! & quick poll

So as of Wednesday, I've been converting all of EJ's music over from midi to ogg (the Power Mode patch supports it) via the magic of SolMiRe. Unfortunately, this means a bigger download, so if you are one of the few people out there with 56k and it takes you a whole day/night to download 100mb... sorry! It's 2012!

You might wonder "Why bother?"

This is why:

How I hear the music:

How someone else might hear the same music track (NicoB for isntance):

And with the magic of soundfonts, it can sound like this!

The awesome thing about SolMiRe is that I can separate loud instrument tracks, edit them separately to lower the volume of that one instrument, and then add them back into the rest of the song.

Anyway, I'm almost done with this process, and plan on doing a Part 1 v1.4 update in a couple weeks. It'll contain the new music, a couple minor bugfixes, the new party select menu code (mentioned in my previous update), some graphic tweaks and some very minor dialog tweaks.

In Part 2 related stuffs, I have a Poll request:

For those of you that finished Part 1, what level did you finish at? I mainly want to find out the lowest possible level where you could start part 2. This is also an open challenge to anyone that wants to find out!

Progress Report


Alright, so this update is long overdue, but here goes!

EJ has kind of been on an unofficial hiatus since the 1.32 update, but I am back in the swing of things. It's kind of been an eventful year for me. I got sick with the flu after PAX East, got sick again with mono over the summer, and this past month I started a new job as a graphic designer! Everything in-between has been kind of a shitshow, so it's been tough to get things going in EJ.

Over the past two weeks though, that's changed! I've finally figured out how the next act is going to play out for the most part, and finished about 3 different cutscenes that get Sparrow and company aquainted with the world south of the Southern Winds. Speaking of which, today I finished a nifty little animation for the winds (instead of the lame ass whirlpools I had before):

A few months ago I also did some more tweaking with the airship hull graphic I uploaded before:

One of the other huge technical improvements I worked on over the summer was with the party select menu. This was probably noticeably laggy for people playing on netbooks or older machines, so I completely rewrote the code so it's no longer sloppy, and it runs like a dream on a netbook (Asus eee 1005PE) and doesn't lag whatsoever.

Alright, so PART 2. I'm mainly going to talk about writing because with so many things going on at the end of Part 1, you might want to know what the hell is going to happen next! Spoilers start here, so don't read this shit if you haven't finished Part 1:

I've kind of alluded to what plot points of part 2 will be about via gamepage comments, but I hadn't actually connected the dots to them until a few weeks ago. Here's the questions that had to be answered:

- At the end of Part 1, Paul casts a Gravity spell that basically sends Sparrow & co. through the Southern Winds. "Gravity" magic will be a big deal, but how did Paul cast it?
- Paul has lost Athesis, his troops, and his sanity. What's next for him? How can I go darker while still retaining a comedic/ironic quality?
- How did the Southern Winds get there, and how will Sparrow & co. get to freely travel from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere?
- The obvious: Where does Sparrow & co. land and what's next for them?
- What's next for the Sparrow, Athesis & Miles love triangle?
- Is the airship okay??

I decided the smartest thing to do was to either answer or make the player start thinking about these questions within the first 15-20 minutes of Part 2, before going back into battles. The end of Part 1 had a lot of fighting, so at this point the player needs a break anyway to digest everything.

So for the obvious, the airship flat-out crashes. Roger clues you in on what needs to be fixed (and what Sparrow needs to find). He also has prior magic & worldly knowledge, so he can share his speculations to Sparrow about what the Southern Winds are. This is a fairly long cutscene that I rewrote several times over this past year. It was tough to get right, but I think I nailed it at this point. That answers two questions.

Next was Athesis. She has to patch things up with Sparrow, so there's a private 1-on-1 conversation on the airship for her to clear the air. This short little scene was a little hard to write since I didn't want it to be awkward, but it came out pretty clever. Sparrow actually comes out slightly ahead of Miles, and makes a good setup for stuff later on. That squares away the love triangle question for now.

At this point, the gang gets out of the airship and sees the Azure Coast. Years ago (back in like 07 when this game was still shitty), I had this blue forest/frog city idea, so this is a really exciting part to work on. The continent you land on is called Ghandek, which you learn from a couple thieves:

The section you land on is the western-most coast, which is supposedly the "birthplace of magic", according to the frog city of Ribt (might change this name. ^_^ ). Bren serves as kind of your guide to what's to see in Ghandek. you learn that the Azure Coast is where all the frogs who get exiled from Ribt are sent. Sparrow & co. tells him how they got there (passing through the Southern Winds via some kind of "powerful" spell). Bren speculates that it was Gravity, so this gives me a chance to explain what it is.

Gravity is an extension of Dark magic and kind of a legend. A mage must master the darkness before he can attempt what lies beyond (matter). Bren states "many dark mages have ripped their bodies apart trying to learn." This was kind of a cool idea, because that's basically what changes in gravity could potentially do. At this point the player knows that Paul cast a gravity spell, but at what cost?

This sparked one last cutscene, a "meanwhile" that shows what Paul is currently up to. I basically wrote the scene in one go and it's definitely one of my best to date. It's awesomely dark/intriguing and covers the Paul questions, but I won't say what happens. :)

At this point, the player is ready to get back into the swing of exploring/battling. Sparrow & co. have goals, the villain's ready to kick things up a notch, and the player has enough information to feel comfortable in the new surroundings. Great success!

This weekend, I've been doing a lot of mapping & the usual stuffs, in order to get the player to Ribt, since that's next!

So overall, I hope do get the player through numerous areas of Ghandek by Feb-March since I tend to get more work done in the winter months.

Until next time!


Version 1.32.... another bugfix. :(

Alright, so I basically need to stop breaking things that work, or pay more attention when I'm updating old events. In my last update, I added a "glow" effect to the front door of Paul's Mansion that should have only occurred at the end of Part 1, but because of the event's page placement, it showed up when you're there as Athesis instead of the guard. This meant that instead of going back to talk to Miles, you could have exited the building and gone to Isis Tower as just Athesis. Yikes!! Sorry about that. :(

Here's the fix (1.32):

As usual, the main download will be up shortly
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