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Announcement

Change of Focus

Hello everyone, it has been quite some time since I've posted something for this and I'm terribly sorry for the information drought and all. With some things changing and looking up, I decided to go into detail about why certain things happened and why there was such a long period of time with no updates.

Just to make things clear, I am not trying to justify what I've done or make excuses, nor is this for a pity party of sorts. I'm here to be upfront, honest, and transparent with you all so not only can the game get back on track and better than before, but so there is a better understanding of the whole situation. That being said, let's dig into this.

Why was another break taken from the project?

When the game had reached a certain state, things began to be incredibly deep and to be honest, I was tired and didn't know what to do with the project anymore. The amount of resources was simply overwhelming(over 5000)to work with and had began to think that the project was way too ambitious.

To make matters worse, almost no one in the entire sprite-ripping community had sprites from the series with the exception of a few that had a small, but helpful amount. Other than those, I had to literally play through all the games in the series myself and get about every NPC, character, item, tile set, sound effect, and much more(and there are 8 games to get content from!).

Too many ideas

When we play games and see something we like, we get inspired and often times want to implement something akin to those systems in our projects. My biggest issue was that I was infinitely thinking of new ideas and systems to cram into the game and that is very dangerous behavior when being a developer of any sort because you'll never get things done and by the time you're ready to implement them all, you're kind of tired.

Before this blog was made, I took a long look at some of the prior ones refresh myself on things that were said or mentioned and that was one of the issues. The more things introduced, the longer that game takes to create and the more stressed/ burned out I got. So in order to make more significant progress and reduce the workload, a lot of those ideas and concepts were scrapped for future or other projects.

Too Much Unnecessary Content

When any type of game is made(especially fan games), we all get the tendency to fill them with Easter eggs, and references that can often break the fourth wall. Like the topic above concerning too many ideas, there was a large tendency to add so many Easter eggs and bonus content, that I had completely lost focus on the main game itself. This included things like playable characters, cameos, and all that good stuff.

In order to gain a strict focus and make it purely a Monster World game, most(if not all) of this content was removed altogether. Not only does this lift a heavy burden off my back, but they no longer pose a threat of taking the spotlight away from the core game.

Lack of decent/ less stressful coding skills

Lately I've been looking through the code of the game and realized that the game is a complete and utter mess. The whole time the game was on hiatus, I was thinking "What could be done better?" or "There has got to be a simpler way to do this!". It turns out, I was making it a LOT more stressful by not learning the core functions of Game Maker and experimenting with code enough, thus making it a hassle to program and deal with. What was once doable with 5 or 6 lines of code is now done with just 2 or 3. This allows for rapid creation of things like skills, equipment, and logs.

Another thing I did terribly was the text engine. Instead of looking for a decent way to do it, I simply went with the old coding that is incredibly inferior to the one that could be created now. Before, it displayed 6 lines of text and could only handle "Yes and No" choices. Now it's decided to show 3 lines of text and handle 4 options at a time. The list goes on and on about what could be done better with coding, but I believe you all get the gist of what I mean.

So what's the plan?

The plan now is simple and many of it's phases are already underway or have been for quite some time. Let's recap on what is being removed...

  • Removal of extreme Easter Egg usage

  • Scrapping of extra ideas that aren't needed

  • Removal of most cameo content

  • Bad coding that makes the project harder to deal with


A lot of scrapped or saved ideas have already been implemented into another project I'm working on and that one is almost done. It can be said that the game itself had so much put into it, that it had to be split up in order to make things more manageable.

With these gone, I strongly believe the game will come to fruition sooner rather than later and not only increase the game's quality overall, but puts a powerful focus on creating a new Monster world game rather than making a cluster of stuff that has nothing to do with the franchise.

Closing Words

With all of that said, I honestly don't know what else there is to discuss at this time. If I missed something or you have any questions, concerns, or quarrels, I'm all ears; whether it is through PM or commentary. Again, I take full responsibility for everything regarding the game and I can't blame you if you've moved on or lost interest at this point.

But, I will work as hard as I can to make the game as good as it can possibly be no matter what it takes and I can't do that without all of you; the ones who helped the project make it this far in the first place with your commentary, advice, and overall honesty with me as a whole. Thank you all and I'll see you again soon.

-XBuster

Progress Report

Behind The Scenes:October 2017 Update

Hey everyone, just wanted to give you guys a huge update based on what's been going on with the game regardless of the Hiatus status. It will include things that are planned as well as things that are secretly complete or in the works. Without further ado, let's get started!

What is in the works?
The Structure: For quite some time now, I had plans on making the game solely stage based with some open elements. However, while that was nice and all, it would force the game to be a little too linear if you simply hopped from world to world without anything in between. Thus, the game is now an open-world hybrid of stages and world map segments similar to games like Super Mario 64 and Sonic Adventure. I was also inspired by Zelda:BOTW's shrines. Once a certain event in the game takes place, you will be able to freely choose how you take on the game. The world is divided into several worlds across the Monster World history as well as a wealth of completely new areas.

The Prototype: With the help of a new prototype engine, I was able to develop how the game's world would be structured. Before, I was upset that the teleport engine could not do what RPG Maker could do. Now the game has a complex room engine that while it is a lot of work to keep track of, it works perfectly. The prototype engine also helped me improve skills that I had lacked earlier in the year such as adding a Legend Of Zelda inspired mini map and coding that allowed me to finally be able to make more complex gimmicks such as a ferris wheel platform.


A screen of the prototype engine


Game Play/To Do List/Etc.:This is where things have gotten a bit deeper, but at times questionable. Here is a list of things that are going on that are either complete,in the works, or an idea.

  • Although each character has their own combat style, they also need a stage gimmick that allows them to travel the world. Returning characters will play like their respective origins.

  • When special attacks are done,a notification will appear to warn the player of upcoming danger or their own special skills as well.


Something like this would be good, but will be in a place that won't get in the way.

  • Kiki's play style now uses the power ups from Wonder Boy 3:Monster Lair, but with some new shots such as bounce and homing.

  • Bai's play style is an all-out close range combat style similar to Zero from Mega Man X. With the help of a magic orb, she can use magic, but like most people in Monster World, she has no natural magical abilities.

  • Ferkin is similar to Lydia, but his focus is greater on Magic. Lately, I've been playing Popful Mail(Sega CD version)to get a feel for how he should be thanks to Tatto.


  • Lydia is the first character in MW to be a Fencer.I've been thinking about giving her a shield as it is tradition for main characters in MW to have one.

  • Separate character HP into their own values and blend it with the Global HP.

  • Development Point System:This is built to develop characters individually. It is not to be confused with the Skill Point System that develops the global skills that everyone can use. Skill Points however, are used for both.

  • Let the player control how much recovery they use in the sub-tank item

  • Knockback:Implement it. A power up will be available that gets rid of it though.

  • Implement each character's Final Attacks

  • Kiki should be able to aim upwards and vertically while airborne

  • Auto-item setup

  • Add an Exp bar in the HUD or menu

  • Sprite system for main characters; this will enable costume changes

  • Battle Zones in between stage segments.

  • Collector’s Book

  • Branch out Item Menu to: Recovery,Food,and Key

  • Wing Boots Relic:Float Downward

  • Lydia’s Charge Sound:Make it stop after fully charged

  • Experience text when enemy defeated

  • Real time dark/light transition as you ascend and descend into areas

  • Add an enemy drop system(Specific)

  • Allow Lydia's Boomerang to collect items

  • Characters say different things depending on who you are in boss and NPC encounters.

  • Add a cooking system

  • Improve parallax scrolling

  • Add a red HP bar behind HP,MP,and AP, similar to how the old semi-final release was

  • Day/Night system that effects parts of stages

  • Voice on/off Setting

  • Removal of HP +10% in skill grid, instead it will be an equippable item

  • Flash Guard: If a guard is activated at the right time, it will give a brief invincibility period and gain a small HP/MP/AP Bonus

  • Pit Riser: Rise out of pits once. It works only once per try and resets itself once you land on safe ground.

  • Attract:Attract certain collectibles to you

  • Implement Story


There are a lot of other tasks that are kept hidden for surprise purposes and there are others that may be scrapped for future projects. Hope this brings you all out of the dark with this project. Don't let the hiatus status scare you because even if I'm not working directly on the project, there is always something being worked on for it's sake; whether it be a design document, prototype engine,sprites, or artwork.

For those of you who are interested, there is also an extremely short and experimental prototype demo that was mentioned earlier. It was built to simply test out what the teleport engine could be like and test out other various skills. You can download it here...

Monster World Prototype

Are there any questions or concerns that you may have? If you have any feedback of any kind, be sure to post it as I have no doubt it will be helpful in one way or another. Till' next time!

Announcement

Development Hell/Not Dead/News

Hello everyone, just wanted to let you all know that the Monster World Legends project is still alive and its going through some tough times. So many things are going through some tough decision making and to be honest, I think its for the absolute best.

I apologize for not releasing any updates about anything. Its been a dry year sort of for this project, and its best to keep some things a secret. Not only that, but I've done some things that a developer or person in general should never do; and that is to neglect themselves for the sake of (insert thing here). I recently read a great article about this topic and its changed how I view things. Nothing is worth your well-being.

As for the project, I have some things to discuss about the changes.
  • Worlds now vary in design

In previous builds, levels were built in large rooms with lots of stuff around and all, but with the feedback of several people here on RMN, levels are now less clustered and some levels will take place in several rooms. For example, you could be in a beach area for a bit, then you would enter an underwater cavern, then on the other side of the beach. Not only does this keep some levels fresh, but it does wonders for FPS.

  • Story is being touched upon/deciphering good storytelling

Since this game has so many characters in it, the story has potential to become big.Monster World games have always had a good chunk of story in their games, but the only characters that would talk were NPCs. For this entry, every character talks. They all have their own lives, doubts, fears,likes, and dislikes. There aren't many platform games with deep,RPG like stories out there. But, is it really necessary? I'm having issues with this point.

  • Learning more about advanced techniques

Lately, I've realized that Game Maker is a very powerful program. With a huge encyclopedia of possible things it can do, I've been diving into learning more about how these codes and effects that could advance MWL to its fullest potential;of course this is extra fluff rather than something game-changing.I want the game to not only play good, but look good as well.

Well, that's all I have for you all at the moment. The feedback I've received with MWL has been a huge help and I'm thankful to have people that are completely honest and want nothing more than to see the project be the best it can possibly be. I hope that you continue to stick with me in such troubling times. Till next time!

Announcement

Back on production!

Hello everyone, Good news. Recently, I posted a blog talking about a hard drive crash that prevented me from working on my project. I knew that after seeing the black screen of death, it was toast. However, regardless of how dark things looked, I left it on for days. All of a sudden, it boots into the recovery drive and all is saved!!

Words cannot describe how happy I am right now. After losing a whole week of precious development, I am finally able to push ever forward. Thank you all who helped and supported me through this and I am happy to say its good to be back in the game:) Nothing but death itself will stop me from working on this project. We will see this through!

Updated information on the game is planned this week, so stay tuned! Cheers!

Announcement

Premature Break

Hello everyone, I have some bad news. But before I get to that, i'd like to say that the development for MWL is going smoothly,however, due to a recent hard drive crash,the game is going on hiatus. I've been blessed enough for the computer to run as long as it has. However, I just...ran out of luck this time. Don't get me wrong, all the development tools for the game are on a flash drive, but all my memories and data of 2015 and 2016 and the first quarter of 2017 are gone. To be honest I don't feel all that well right now. I'm simply devastated.

Until I get a new computer or it magically fixes itself somehow, I have to unwillingly place the game on hiatus. I am truly sorry. Until next time.

Progress Report

MWL News Update

Hello everyone, didn't want to keep you in the dark for too long. Here are a few updates that may grip your interest in what's been going on behind the scenes. Although, I won't spoil too much here.

First off, I'd like to show off a slight HUD update that gets rid of those bulky hearts. This allowed more space for other important information that would also take from the bottom as well. Instead of showing if you have an Elixir, it will show exactly how much you have. Since the numbers were so big for HP and MP, your status could not correctly display if your HP was 1000 or more, it would blend into another HUD segment. That problem is fixed now.

BEFORE

AFTER


New Abilities are being added consecutively and the equipment is so heavily expanded, I had to give each equipment piece its own menu such as Weapon/Armor/Shield/Ability/and Magic.Some abilities add a strategic combat structure to your play style such as the one seen below. Lets say that Lydia runs out of MP and she is facing a monster that is weak to "Fire". If she can no longer use fireballs, equip this ability with the fire element and it will shift her sword into a fire sword. However, it will lose its attack power and atribute to become a fire sword. In some cases, its best just to use your stronger weapons over an elemental one.


Characters are transforming day by day. In order to make them fun to play as, they have to look the part as well. Ferkin, Ryou, Bai, and Glaedr(Now known as Blade)are being updated on a regular basis. Here is Glaedr's transformation. He was originally made by TheRexion.

It literally took FOREVER to figure out a costume for Lydia that I really liked.She went from being similar to Asha with her baggy white pants to more of a warrior-princess look.


As for other areas of the game, not much is going to be said yet because the standards for stages, and story line are being updated. Many stages seen in the past are going to vanish simply because they don't fit today's standards for this project. Some of them have simply been recycled since the development of this project began. Sometimes, its just best to start over and remove anything that is otherwise bland, lifeless, or just not fun to play in or return to.

For story however, that part is going to be extremely fun to make! I cannot wait until they begin to interact with each other and have reasons for joining this fight rather than just being in a game play demo for show. Bringing in 6 new characters, and gathering several from various time periods is something that is going to be exciting and challenging to develop. Heck, if certain things go well, more characters from the series' history just may appear.

Well, this is as far as I'll go for now. Since this game's development is in full bloom, things can be made faster and more efficient than ever before:) I hope you'll all stand by me till the very end. Thank you!

Announcement

So what's next?

Hello everyone! As you all know, a conceptual demo of MWL was released last week demonstrating what the game has in store for its future. Many things were heavily limited such as the skill grid and equipment choices. In a nutshell, about a good 8% of the game was in that demo. So what is in store for the project as of now?

  • Equipment Expansion

Well, first off I'd like to say that now, the equipment system will now be branched off into their own menu segments to allow more equipment to be in the game. This means I can heavily expand on it while bringing every weapon from the franchise and even original equipment in. More game-changing abilities could be added such as something that increases the action meter speed or something of that nature.

  • Special Effect Outburst

Within the game are over 1000 sprites, over 50 of them belong to particle sprites. After playing a variety of games like Kingdom Hearts, Tales Of, Soul Calibur, and Star Ocean, I noticed all of these nice bursts of special effects when you cast spells or hit enemies with attacks.In order to have this game at its max potential, learning particles is a skill that is an absolute must.

  • Story Mode In Full Bloom

Most demos thus far have all been about game play. In games like these, its wise to solidify the game play first while having a story in mind. I read an article about Final Fantasy's Tetsuya Nomura about his experience with making Kingdom Hearts 3. He says that when making those games, they make a battle system they believe would work, then make a story revolving around that said system.

I'd say the battle system itself needs a bit more work, but things are expected to improve and change over time. The rest of the cast is being fleshed out and current cast improved on. In total, a cast of 18 party members are planned. There was an idea to play as Queen Eleanora and the Darkworld Prince from Monster World 3, but the idea was scrapped and they were changed into summons.

I believe people will become more smitten with this project if a story was added with dialogue so they can learn more about the character's personalities and reasons for joining the fight for peace. Expect more talk about the official storyline down the road.

  • World Map

In the manual of last weeks demo, it explains about types of stages in the game or will be featured in the game. Towns, Dungeons, Stages, Adventure/Overworld Maps,and more. Battle Zones are also planned in between segments that are similar to Beat-em-up type games. You will not be able to progress until all monsters are eliminated from the area. Monster World is only home to a handful of characters...with other characters...well, I'll leave that up to your imagination.

  • Mini Game Madness

Planned in the game are an assortment of mini games that utilize the engine's sprites to the best of their capabilities. The original plan was to make a separate game similar to Wario Ware or Mario Party. However, this game would only be based on Mini Games only. From games to a short platformer, space shooter, scrambling for items, and an assortment of other ideas.

  • How did you all feel about the last demo?

A friend of mine gave me some pointers on a few things that could be done, and a handful of users have been aiding me in making rather difficult decisions in the game's development. Thank you all who have been there for me when I was in need of advice. Without you all, I doubt certain things would have been realized or possible. If you have played the demo, feel free to post and let me know about things you did and didn't like. An artist cannot improve without critique, thus a game developer cannot either. Thank you:)

  • Future project ideas related to Monster World

Although MWL is still under heavy development, I still have some future ideas about games I want to make for the series such as...

  • Monster World IV-2:An expansion of MWIV showing the aftermath of what happens after the first game.

  • Asha&Shantae:A game that blends these two heroines together. However, I have to play more Shantae first before I do anything.

  • Monster World Extreme: A more mature and darker Monster World similar to the transition between Mega Man and Mega Man X


Well, that's about it for setting up an atmosphere for what is in store for MWL. As for all you Wonder Boy fans out there, I'll tell you the same thing the creator; Ryuichi Nishizawa told me. "If you enjoy Wonder Boy, then I am happy".Cheers!

Announcement

New demo out!!

After two days of absolutely NO SLEEP,the newest demo is out everyone! Here are a list of features that are in, that are planned, and features that were removed for certain reasons. A Manual was also added both here, and in the game package. Before playing, please take the time to read what you are about to play.

I keep seeing this quote up on the RMN page that says something like..."reading the manual was like foreplay, it got you in the mood for the real thing"

On the topic of the demo, here is what has been placed in the official description so far...


The best release yet!

A small, but powerful package that has the most variety and polish the game has ever seen before. Play through 12 demos featuring areas such as stages, adventure map samples, and even a couple of boss battles. It is highly recommended that you explore some of the stages, activate skills,equip some things, get items from Alsedo, and level up your characters first before trying to take on one of the two bosses.

Read the manual pages and learn how to play as you learn new skills, equip,customize,and explore. This version takes it a step further by adding a dual soundtrack. Both Midi and MP3s are supported and editable at long last. If the MP3 soundtrack is giving an issue, switch over to Midi.

Customize various features!

  • Customize the volume of sound effects and music(music volume only works with Midi)

  • Import your own soundtrack or leave it be, its totally up to you!

  • Choose from 4 difficulty levels

  • Change HUD theme,color, and text colors

  • Toggle sound effects on and off that would be irritable to some people such as real-time stepping sounds,atmospheric sounds, payroll, and text advancement.

  • Turing off vocals is planned for future releases.


Reap the rewards of trophies!

Trophies earn you rewards and there are a lot of them so far. Simply by playing as a certain character and using their skills will eventually level up a stat of theirs or gain another reward. You can also earn trophies by simply playing the game and doing a multitude of things such jumping a number of times, attacking, or even standing still or talking to a number of people. For example, Asha is able to train Pepe to come to her faster or increase his rescue speed.

Future plans

Several modes such as Adventure,History and Mini Games are locked and are currently under heavy development.They will be available in the next release later this year. Several characters have been removed in this demo for a multitude of reasons. They will be available in the next release as well.

Here is the link to the demo!
MWL 2017 Demo

This is literally going to be me the next day or so.

But, for now,Enjoy!

If there are any bugs or complaints whatsoever, don't hesitate to let me know so I can fix the bugs and see what I could do better. Thank you:)

Announcement

What to expect in 2017:MWL

Hello RMN! Its that time again. An update on what to expect for the new demo and the game as a whole for the year of 2017. Today, we will be discussing several concepts on the game's design as well as giving an overall progress report.

Battle System
First things first, lets talk about the battle system. In recent years, the battle system had a fixed set of battle content and you could not grow whatsoever. The only growth item you could receive was a temporary HP and MP doubling item. 2016 was all about experimenting with new concepts and fleshing out the battle system to a greater degree that the Monster World franchise has ever seen.In the long run, it was a great decision because so much was learned in the process.

This included adding a skill grid, adding equipment that gave you new physics and abilities, accessories that increased certain stats, and a wealth of characters to travel with in the massive land that is Monster World. As of 2017, here is the current status on the battle system...

  • An action bar was introduced

  • The skill grid is over halfway done

  • Equipment that can change your overall physics

  • Monsters that can block, hide, and much more

  • Enhanced Boss Battles that require concentration

  • Each character has their own abilities, block mechanics, and play styles



Boss Battle Encounters

Due to the heavy increase in advantages for the player, bosses have become a bit more challenging and strategic. Bosses now have the ability to block, heal, cast magic. However, they are vulnerable to things like being stunned or being weak to certain types of attacks. Weaknesses play a big role in killing certain bosses quickly as some of them are aggressive and won't go down without a fight.


Menus and new modes

New modes are being developed actively. To celebrate the 30 year mark of the franchise, all kinds of bonus contents are being added such as adventure mode, a library to read up on characters and events of Wonder Boy/Monster World, mini games that range from shooters to small 2D adventures, and even a trophy gallery to display your in-game achievements.


Stage Design Updates

In the past, most(if not all) levels took place in a single room. With the heavy advancement that took place last year, the game now allows you to backtrack between rooms. This is due to levels becoming much larger and more varied. This was a necessary step in order to take the game to its maximum potential. Levels can now consist of one or more rooms and may or may not allow you to backtrack. Usually, arrows will let you know if you can move between screens. In a nutshell, the stage system is a hybrid of Monster World 3 and 4.


New skills learned!

On my part, the overall development has taught me a lot on how to improve the game by being introduced to new ways of doing things such as...

  • Advanced Parallax Scrolling

  • Dealing with particles

  • Menu Creation

  • Background effects such as coloring and blending

  • Silhouette creation

  • Music and sound


A new demo is on its way!!

No, I am not kidding. A new demo is on its way soon due to a complete lack of one in 2016. I want ALL of you to get your hands on this brand new version with a complete design overhaul from the September 2015 demo that is currently holding the download button. This will be Semi-final demo 2 of 3. This may be the last demo before the the final game comes out, but for now, that's what we'll call it.
Cheers!

Progress Report

New Updates!

Hello everyone and Happy Thanksgiving! Its a special day, so I thought I'd share some new content and a series of brief videos that go in better depth than the one released earlier in the Media Section.

Enhanced Sound Engine

First order of business is the sound engine. The past couple of weeks has been strictly focused on the sound engine. MWL could not support MP3s and the sound effects were cutting off the music and had bad quality. Why? Well, because I had too many sound effects and music in the game causing it to run out of memory and cause glitches in sound.

The solution to this was to make all of the music and sound effects external in folders. What does this mean for the engine and the players? It means that the engine has shrunk down significantly; maximizing its optimization. For the players, it means you can edit both sound effects and music! And does that mean the game can support MP3s now? Well, take a look at this and it'll answer your question...


Next, there has been an update in the amount of platforms and gimmicks. There was one in the 30 minute video of the Media section, but this one is extended a bit by adding both a balance platform and piano keys. Can you guess the secret song played on the piano?


In the previous video, there was an item test, but there was so much going on that you couldn't depict what was what, so here is a better in-depth video of the items.


I always wanted to add this, but I found a way to make a custom day/night engine that is simply a special effect in certain areas. Here is the sample on Moonlight Castle.


Adventure Maps Return!!!

Over the course of development there have been some very difficult decisions on what kind of stage map to add. Should it be Mario Styled with simple blue and red buttons, or should it be a complete "walk everywhere" map. I chose the latter.


What's next on the to do list?

  • Complete and Polish the character roster

  • Remake/Enhance/Extend Stages

  • Add Story Mode

  • Add New Bosses and polish older ones

  • Finish the last few equipment to collect

  • Finish the next 4 sets of skills on the skill grid

  • Complete the soundtrack

  • Polish Coding

  • Get Final Version Testers

  • Release the Game

  • Release a Deluxe(DX)Version.

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