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A new engine and proposition; "A new challenger approaches..."
Topic Started: Jul 6 2015, 10:06 PM (2,134 Views)
Megahurtz
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Hello MP2D team,

My name is Kyle, and I'm a 23 year old IT Professional and programmer from Wisconsin. For the past 8 or 9 years, I've been a huge fan of the MP2D project, and I've followed it fairly religiously, downloading the demos when they were released, and following your work since the golden days of the project. For the past year and a half I've been working on my own project called Marooned, a block-based adventure game that employs a tile-based animation system. In the game, you can explore a 4 million block map that has randomly generated terrain and tunnels throughout, fight enemies, create and find new items, and so on.

About a year ago it had crossed my mind that I should contact you folks to see if I could help with the project at all. And as far as I've seen, you guys are still without a proper game engine to put all of your work into. Reportedly, Troid92 has been working on the NetMission engine for some time, but the Flaahgra test video I found on YouTube is the most recent one and is two years old, plus there don't seem to be any real dedicated (or recent) threads on here for it. I have always been a huge fan of the Metroid series, and in my frustration with Nintendo for them seemingly not-knowing what to do with their own beloved franchise at the moment, I've decided to just make an account on here and give my two cents to see what happens.

When I look at the MP2D community now compared to what it was, I see a lot of people with game-ready assets that are ready to be implemented into a game engine, but nowhere to go with them. I see a lot of people wondering when someone is going to come along and revive the project to its former glory. And to someone on the outside looking in, like me, the project looks very stagnant at the moment, if not dying or already dead. Guys, I really want to help with this, and I firmly believe that I can help to revive this and get the ball rolling again.

So here's what I can offer: Marooned is built in a game engine called DarkBasic Professional, which for those of you who haven't heard of it, is a tool and language that allows for rapid development of 2D and 3D games. I am very well-versed in the 2D development side of DBPro and know the language inside and out. I have many ideas to help the development of MP2D, and I am a very capable programmer and would love to be able to finally help out in this project that I've been following for so long... I also don't want to see this project fail; as Rewrite said in his thread, it's been alive for 10 years after all, and most of the main contributors in the project have all but left.

Here's a couple of finer points:
- I have plans to build a centralized map creation system that allows for easy drag and drop asset testing into individual rooms, including enemies, environment sprites, effects, triggered events, etc.
- My plan for implementing this tool enables all asset creators to choose individual rooms to work on, which can all later be stitched together and put into the game engine.
- DBPro utilizes DirectX 9 and compiles projects into exe's that are compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and the 10 Pro technical preview.
- Unlike GameMaker 6 (which I also have experience in), which I think was being used in this project before, there is no drag and drop UI for creating projects; it's strictly code-based.
- DBPro applications do not have multi-threading support and only see a single CPU core, but this shouldn't pose a problem unless there are more than 1000 separate sprites on-screen at once; and while it is certainly an older engine (it's been around since MP2D's conception), it is a very capable platform and not at all antiquated in my opinion.

Anyways, here's Marooned's page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/maroonedgame There are some videos and screenshots on there for you all to take a look at. Please know that I don't want to step on any toes around here, since I'm the new guy and have yet to earn any trust in this community. But I feel that the community could be of extreme benefit of me and my burning passion, and not to mention free time that I can throw at this project. So let me know what you all think, and I hope to hear back soon!

- Kyle / Megahurtz

NOTE: I originally posted this in Rewrite's thread "10 years", and decided to move it into it's own thread to ensure that more people would notice.
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Phlakes
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I think at this point everyone's kinda given up, to be honest. We all had no idea what we were doing back in the day (even the people who got those demos out couldn't manage the entire project), and now we've all sort of moved on to our own less MP2D focused lives.

I mean I ended up working on games for a living so it's not completely out of the question for me, but if it ever does get revived it's long overdue for a 100% fresh start. I don't know if Troid is building his engine specifically for MP2D but even with that, I doubt many of the few people left have the time/ability to go at it again.

Not to shoot down your enthusiasm, though, it's just that after 10 years of iteration in a hundred different directions MP2D is an undead nightmare creature that needs to be put out of its misery. If I had to be in charge of a new MP2D my game plan would be to scrap everything (literally everything), switch over to Unity, get 2-3 experienced full time programmers, 3-4 experienced full time artists, and run it through a proper dev cycle with an actual hierarchy of people who know how to manage a team. I know I wouldn't be comfortable committing to it if it had anything less than that. And even then it would probably get C&D'd by Nintendo after half a year.

I've actually been thinking about the future of MP2D recently and I don't think it's unrealistic for whoever has the aforementioned time/ability to come together in a couple more years and put something like that into action, but that's still a long shot.
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Megahurtz
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PHLAKES! :) Thank you for the detailed response. Yours and my thinking is somewhat along the same lines I believe. I also feel that MP2D has become an unrecognizable mess as of late and will need to be taken in a completely different direction if we want it to survive and someday be completed. What I think the problem faced now stems from was that the overall assembly of the game was put into too few of hands (again, on the outside looking in). Sure all the spriters were able to submit their work to the forums for implementation. But what if they could implement everything on their own?

My way of fixing this problem is by building a modularized game engine, allowing people to collaborate on the forums, exchange game resources, and choose different rooms to build up by using a special tool built specifically for this project. Then when all the objectives for a certain phase in construction are completed, all the completed areas are sent to someone to quickly stitch everything together (connect all the doors from room to room) to be compiled into a test bed and distributed in the community.

When I started work on Marooned, I had never built a game before, and I had no idea how I was going to accomplish what I wanted to do. Now here I am, 18 months later. The game is stable and in tech demo form. Every problem that I had thought insurmountable, I've just taken my time on and worked on until I got it just right. Instead of focusing on the project as a whole (but still being mindful of it), I focused on what my current objective was and made sure to make it the best I could. And then I would move onto the next objective. I say this less for you, Phlakes, and more for everyone else; I know that you know how to make a game given that you do it professionally now. :P And I know that my methods are a little unorthodox for this day and age of game development.

I also agree about Unity and having a proper dedicated dev team, but I think that there's some oversight when it comes to what this game should actually be programmed in. I've seen in some threads that there's a focus on shaders, reflections, shadows, and many other kinds of effects that are cool to have, but not really necessary to focus on at the moment when an actual functional game engine is still needed! I think that the gun is being jumped a lot in this regard.

How about this: Give me a few days to put something together to show you what I mean. I sat down with my pen and a legal pad last night to outline my plan, and I have some time to throw some code together over the next few days to show you guys what I'm talking about. Is there any chance that you could point me in the direction of a good Samus sprite sheet to use? There were some cool custom ones floating around here that I've seen in the past, although I'm not sure if they still exist.
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Troid92
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Hi Kyle!

This is quite a refreshing topic and I'm really glad to see so much energy, thought, and reflection on MP2D popping up all of a sudden.

I am indeed still working on the NetMission game engine. It has come a long way since that Defend Your Flaahgra demo (which is still hosted here if you're interested in playing it!). Lately I gave my engine to some trusted close friends of mine to see if they can build a game with it, which has been incredibly useful for discovering all the usability issues and prioritizing what to work on next.

I'm definitely a few months overdue for another progress report (there are new things to share!) but the topic for my engine is sort of hijacked into the "Metroid: Net Mission" topic since, long story short, the goal is primarily to make that fangame, as well as tons of other games, including MP2D if there's really no better option by then. Here's an update from last year.

And speaking of that update...
Quote:
 
I have plans to build a centralized map creation system that allows for easy drag and drop asset testing into individual rooms, including enemies, environment sprites, effects, triggered events, etc.

This concept sounds a lot like the Tiled Map Editor which is free and already being used to build the worlds of some great games out there (like Shovel Knight). Or if you want a setup that is customized specifically for MP2D, it sounds a lot like Tallon IV Navigator (TIVNav) and its editor.

Posted Image
I threw this together back in August 2007, and the 2nd version of the navigator was even going to include a working Samus so that we could get a feel for things like jump height which directly impacts the level design. The idea was that team members could then work on individual rooms on their own, putting their assets into them, and then post new versions of these maps here, where other members could collect them all and watch as the rooms stitch together in their navigator. Sound familiar? ;)

I don't mean to criticize your efforts here because I'm actually delighted by what you have to say right now and definitely I hope we can stir up some more activity. I just want to help direct the energy to more effective endeavors, based on past experience. TIVNav didn't catch on. It's difficult to post files on here or keep track of which versions are the newest. Plus developing maps in isolation is difficult when so many factors matter (Samus jump height, latest tile set versions, etc.). Nobody wants to put time into something when there's a good chance their work will have to be completely redone each time some external factor changes. So I just want to save you the time of making and maintaining your own editor -- Tiled Map Editor is a very worthy tool that already exists, and it's pretty easy to make large changes in it with its features like custom brushes and whatnot (which would take quite some time to program in an adhoc editor for MP2D).

One other thing -- I have a massive collection of all of MP2D's resources that I could get ahold of over the years, most of which are well documented (author, timestamp, comments, etc.), and backed up in multiple places around the US. I'm not necessarily a fan of scrapping everything if we're gonna have another fresh go at making this MP2D beast, because there are some real treasures from the past that would be a waste to throw out. I've gotta get to bed soon or I'd dig up some Samus sheets for you -- maybe I can get back here this weekend.

Anyway, I still think about MP2D a lot (perhaps sometimes a bit too obsessively for my own good) and actually what brought me here tonight were similar thoughts to yours: we need a medium for team members to build stuff together, rather than relying on specific people as bottlenecks or single points of failure. I was just doing some web research trying to find if there are any decent collaborative project services that meet some requirements for us: private (for team members to view only, so this rules out most Wiki hosts), secure (can trust that the service will still exist in 10 years, provides an easy backup download, etc.), allows image/file hosting (much more than 50MB), and free (which is the killer).

A few years ago I actually brainstormed up a site that would be great for us and spoke about it with my brother (a professional web app whiz), so I was going to reach out to him soon. He's a busy guy but maybe with some persuading he would whip something together for us. Basically just an organized Wiki tree of all our resources, which people could add to, with a newsfeed of changes, and so on. The first thing I'd want to do of course is import the entire collection I have of MP2D stuff, so that everyone on the team could see the full rich history of what this project went through, here and back on those three iterations of SCU. Plus, manually updating the sprite list and documenting/archiving new resources all the time was such a pain, haha, so I'd really want to see that automated in some kind of web app.

More people out there than we think still want to play MP2D someday. The idea is fantastic and immediately triggers one's imagination of what it could be like, and every so often a new spark of activity shows up here and people do something crazy awesome, like design a new Samus for a week, or try to put together a Frigate demo in three months, or just make some more obscure environment graphics for fun. Old folks from the past who seem like they've forgotten the place still for some reason seem to hop over and make a post here maybe once a year, and we're still sitting on a secret giant resource dump that could in theory be used to construct most of Tallon IV, even if most of it could use some touch-ups. I think if we had had some easy place for people to see exactly what's missing and finished, upload their sprite experiments or map files, keep track of different versions of things as they're modified by different people, etc., that didn't need constant oversight by administrators, then the ball would have stayed rolling on its own, as fresh eyes could come in any time and actually contribute something right away.

Anyway, as a fellow 23-year-old Wisconsinite programmer, I welcome you to the boards and hope you can help us get the ball rolling again. :cool:
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Megahurtz
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Heya Troid! :) I was wondering when you were going to log in and see my post. And I'm glad that you weren't upset with me at all for bashing the workflow system of MP2D's past; I had no idea you had gotten so far in your engine and your TIVNav map tool! Your progress from back then looks great, and I am now more eager than ever to get the ball rolling on this project again. I'm glad that some people around here still have the passion and love that I do for this project.

I like the idea about the private member area for sharing resources; I agree that the sharing here on the forums would get a bit messy in a hurry, and with outside projects possibly taking our work; my feelings mirror yours in that it should be a members-only area. And I'm glad we're on the same page regarding community collaborative assembly and design of the game. I think that kind of cohesion is something that was missing from this project towards the end when everything fizzled out a few years ago.

I have a very very rough engine together at the moment for a tile-based map editor (it doesn't even spit out map data yet), and it's very primitive at the moment, at least compared to TIVNav. I know that your intentions were to somewhat dissuade me from continuing work on my tool, but I think I will continue it for at least the time being.

On a different note, for as good as Tiled Map Editor looks, I think it's important for us to have a specialized tool for building MP2D; something like TIVNav. I also think that scrapping the entire project and starting completely from scratch is a bad idea. Since you still have all the assets from before, why not use and adapt them for the new engine? = We agree on another point.

The only part that I am not too fond of in TIVNav (relating to the the Tallon IV demo of MP2D, I know TIVNav isn't the game engine), and didn't really like in the original MP2D demos, was the scale of things. Here's a screenshot of what I threw together in paint to establish a scale to go off of for block size and screen scaling in the game engine. I think that something more-so like this (if not exactly this) would be more suitable for the project. I don't think it would be a very good idea to set the screen size too small either, so I've got it at 640x480 for now.

Posted Image

All in all, I'm still looking through your information regarding your game engine at the link you provided above, and pondering many different things. There's a wealth of information to pick through and consider. I think it's a little early to set anything in stone yet, so I'm just going to continue working on my map tool for now. But I think we are really on to something here. :)

Also, Wisconsinites unite! :D That's awesome that you're also here in WI. I think it would be cool to get together in person sometime to collaborate and get some things down on paper once we're a little further along. What do you think?
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Candy Man Criminal
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good to see things happening here again
Timmeh
 
troid is jesus on stilts

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The Illustrative Man
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I'm still interested in contributing as well - and as I've gotten a LOT of experience in color, shading, and all that good stuff over the past year, I could probably swing back into spriting some sweet stuff.

The catch is I work 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will continue to do so for the next 2 years. So I can't actually help much. :(
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Troid92
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@The Illustrative Man: Just curious. Is your busy schedule due to academia? Or did you found a startup? Or something else? Good luck to you though! Hopefully MP2D will become organized enough that there's no friction when you want to stop by and contribute. A pixel a day goes a long way, but if it's still unclear which sprites are up for grabs (like in the past) then it becomes a question a day and we are wasting your time, haha.

@Megahurtz: While we're on the topic of resolutions and tiles... In the past we've always done MP2D resolution = 320/240 pixels = 20x15 tiles = 1 map block. We should definitely open this for discussion because it impacts everything. I think that in today's day and age we should aim for widescreen (as DestroyerF did in his later demos), and I'm guessing that the 3DS's resolution of 400x240 would be a good upgrade. (I think you can tell which game I played most recently).

Tile size? Hmm.. Well it has to be the same size of the morph ball, like your image shows, or else pipes wouldn't work. The ZM morph ball to standing Samus ratio is a lot different from MP2D's though: MP2D's morph ball is 16x16 like our tiles and I always thought it's looked pretty small compared to Samus... But of course this would mean redoing a lot of the morph ball-related graphics that we've already made, and every single tile set that we've ever made. But honestly I think we've been planning to do that anyway, and a lot of the morph ball mechanisms like bomb slots could be stretched out a bit without much trouble. At the same time, many games have done really well with 16x16 tiles (Super Metroid, Zero Mission, Fusion, WarioLand 4) and the original point of Metroid Prime 2D is to create Metroid Prime as a classic 2D style Metroid game........ What does everyone else think?

Oh by the way here are some Samuses for ya:
Posted Image
And
http://z3.invisionfree.com/MP2D/index.php?...post&p=22006033
Which one do we go with? MetroidHandler/Stover (MH) has full sheets of all suits, and 072 has a full sheet of Varia, and the new ones only have basic idle poses. We'd need our artists to get back on top of this :P

We really need something like Slack, but the free version only lets us have 10,000 archived messages, which is nothing if you consider that this place has 60,000+ posts and these are big posts compared to the instant-messaging we'd be doing over there. Our history is important! Even Workflowy Teams would be crazy-good for organizing ourselves, but since we're not a business and we can't legally make any money from this, those options are pretty darn expensive for our slow pace. I should really just ask my brother to whip something up for us... I'll do it soon. No guarantee that he'll be on board at all. But if anyone has any other suggestions for team project services within our requirements (free or cheap, secure, backups, private, image/file hosting) that'd be great.

Also a side note: If people want to get started on building maps, regardless of which editor you use, definitely take the sketch approach first, meaning grab a minimalist tileset with 2-3 colors that each have some corners, and just draw out a shape for each room, sort of like sketching with pencil and paper. Like this level of detail (click for source):
Posted Image
The maps topic has some old area maps to use as a starting place (I've found that certain rooms need some size adjustment but...). This way we can get a sense of essential gameplay paths and shapes, but when external factors change (like tile size, Samus's speed and jump height, etc.) it's not really a bother because your nearly-black-and-white map is essentially unchanged and would be a piece of cake to adjust. Details can wait.
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The Illustrative Man
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Troid92,Jul 14 2015
03:42 AM
@The Illustrative Man: Just curious. Is your busy schedule due to academia? Or did you found a startup? Or something else? Good luck to you though! Hopefully MP2D will become organized enough that there's no friction when you want to stop by and contribute. A pixel a day goes a long way, but if it's still unclear which sprites are up for grabs (like in the past) then it becomes a question a day and we are wasting your time, haha.

Working extra-full-time to save money for school. Hence the 2 year thing - that's when I'll have the cash.

After that and school I should have a regular schedule that allows regular contribution, and let's face it, there is very little chance this project gets done by then.

But this brings up a point I thought about yesterday. When we all were starting out in this endeavor we were middle schoolers or high schoolers with wildly fluctuating schedules. We only contributed whenever we felt like it. We did this because we liked playing games, and we viewed making one as the same thing.

We're now mostly grown men. We (mostly) have fixed work schedules. We know what goes into making a game. We understand powering through rough times. We are in a significantly better position when it comes to organizing and making this a reality.

Because of our age, most of the people who worked on our sprites were transient. They worked on 1-5 things and then left. We have a ton of random sprites done by random people with different scales, styles of shading, lighting directions, color palettes, and levels of detail. While most of them stand solidly when held against their own merits, a large number will not fit together to make a cohesive whole. We need to take a step back, define a strict art style and universal palette, and take a serious look at culling and/or editing existing resources.

We also need to revisit the topic of how closely we want to stick to the source material. Prime, like any good 2D -> 3D transition, bent and broke a ton of elements that make a 2D Metroid, and was a better game for it. We need to take a really good look at modifying these things as well. This is a GAME we are making, not a work of art. Gameplay needs to be the first priority. There is no use in taking 15 years to produce an accurate 2D Prime if it's no fun to play.

And let's be honest - the tech demos were never any fun to play. This was probably largely due to the extremely floaty controls, but other things, like the scan visor, completely broke the flow.

But to end on a positive note: Most of us who are still around know what we're doing at this point. We either work in games or have spent a lot of time learning so that we can work in games. We can get this project moving again, and probably much more efficiently. Once that happens? This board will see a revival. Many people coming to pitch in. We've just gotta get it rolling.

(Typed on mobile - my thumb hates me)

Edit:
Oh, and when it comes to restructuring our database, Tortoise SVN + Trello could be worth looking at - it's what a different project I was on uses.
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Troid92
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I'd have to dig it up, but there is an old interview about MP2D in which Dazzy says something along the lines of a recognizable but fresh experience for people who have played Metroid Prime. I totally agree that mapping 3D to 2D requires rethinking, and being as literal as possible would be a boring letdown.

I think we can all agree on certain things that should be directly copied: rooms (no more, no less, same names), creatures (no more, no less, same names), upgrades (no more, no less, same names), with the grand exception of easter eggs and other possible add-ons, hehe.

But within our framework of things-that-shall-not-budge, I hope we can be a lot more creative. The dead-simple bomb slot "puzzles"? All they did was force inexperienced players to conceptualize and navigate the 3D space better. In 2D they are trivial and would go by much faster -- let's design better puzzles. The huge camera zoom-around when you walk into Phendrana? It's amazing in 3D and kinda stupid to do that in 2D. "Welp, here is the room that you're about to walk through, have fun." Think about the emotions of the player at that point, stepping out of the path of hell into a vast cold safe silence, and maybe we can represent this moment with something else, like super-reflective ice walls and funny snow effects (like sinking a little after every time Samus walks) that invite players to feel liberated with a new environment that says "hey, the floor doesn't kill you now, play around in it!". Or something.

Stuff like that. Sprite consistency is important, too. Many of us are a lot more experienced now, but also we have better tools in general. Back in 2004 we had online forums, MS Paint, Photoshop CS1, Game Maker 6, Multimedia Fusion, Fruity Loops, MIDI software, ImageShack (ewwwwwwwwww), 56k modem connections, and a much younger internet in general (nobody had heard of Facebook, and there was no YouTube!). I remember it being a point of discussion that MP2D should try not to be more than 100MB so that most people could actually download it. How things have changed.

I'm looking into Trello and it looks great as handling one half of our team organization! Basically free and unlimited, right? Not sure why I've passed it up so many times before. Any good hosting sites for private file repos? Bitbucket looks good but maximum 5 team members for the free service.
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Troid92,Jul 18 2015
10:26 PM
I'd have to dig it up, but there is an old interview about MP2D in which Dazzy says something along the lines of a recognizable but fresh experience for people who have played Metroid Prime. I totally agree that mapping 3D to 2D requires rethinking, and being as literal as possible would be a boring letdown.

I think we can all agree on certain things that should be directly copied: rooms (no more, no less, same names), creatures (no more, no less, same names), upgrades (no more, no less, same names), with the grand exception of easter eggs and other possible add-ons, hehe.

I'm actually worried about how quite a few things will make the transition. Notably:
-Boost Ball (especially the half-pipe things)
-Scan Visor (this, as it currently exists, is extremely clunky)
-Probably more but I can't brain right now.

Quote:
 

But within our framework of things-that-shall-not-budge, I hope we can be a lot more creative. The dead-simple bomb slot "puzzles"? All they did was force inexperienced players to conceptualize and navigate the 3D space better. In 2D they are trivial and would go by much faster -- let's design better puzzles.

On this note the shoot-the-targets-to-kill-the-shields thing on Orpheon.

Quote:
 
Stuff like that. Sprite consistency is important, too. Many of us are a lot more experienced now, but also we have better tools in general. Back in 2004 we had online forums, MS Paint, Photoshop CS1, Game Maker 6, Multimedia Fusion, Fruity Loops, MIDI software, ImageShack (ewwwwwwwwww), 56k modem connections, and a much younger internet in general (nobody had heard of Facebook, and there was no YouTube!).

(Old) Paint is still the shit for sprites though.

Widescreen is also an important development that has occurred - I think we should target a 16:9 aspect ratio as the vast majority of people will play this on such a screen.

Quote:
 
I remember it being a point of discussion that MP2D should try not to be more than 100MB so that most people could actually download it. How things have changed.

I don't see 100MB for a sprite-driven game being too unrealistic though.

Then again, I have entertained the notion of a hand-drawn MP2DHD a few times - I can draw, Liks can draw, and I know at least 3 other people that would probably get on-board for something awesome. Something like Ghost Song:
Click Here

Quote:
 
I'm looking into Trello and it looks great as handling one half of our team organization! Basically free and unlimited, right? Not sure why I've passed it up so many times before. Any good hosting sites for private file repos? Bitbucket looks good but maximum 5 team members for the free service.

That does seem to be the gist. As for repos I have no idea. I can poke around the LoA team and see what they recommend there - if anything. They're using Unreal and I'm pretty sure it handles it for them.
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Troid92
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Good questions. We should open a discussion on this. What is everyone's Trello account? If you don't have one, set one up, because then I can invite you to MP2D's Trello organization (so far it's just me).

- Boost Ball: It will take some prototyping experiments for sure, and we might have to modify the way it's used, but I'm optimistic that we can find a way to make it work. I'm hoping that we use a physics simulation like Box2D for this game, because that would help boost ball out a lot. Half-pipe collision would probably toggle on and off depending on whether Samus is in morph ball, and then you get stuck in them sort of like some of those old Sonic loop-de-loops. I'm not going to rule this upgrade out yet.

- Scan Visor: Maybe I am wrong, but I think I read a long time ago that CoreFusionX's planned version of the scan visor would just automatically scan everything around you and put it in the logbook (coincidentally it looks like this is how AM2R's logbook works now). That way when your suit is done scanning something you can just select it with the visor. A big problem in earlier MP2D demos was that if a scan point was up high, you'd have to keep jumping up and down to scan it (no lock on). If we go for mouse aiming it would be a piece of cake no matter what. If we go for ZM or SM controls we'll have to get creative, and I'm all for bending the rules on this one. In MP it felt seamless to scan something and then start shooting at it, but in 2D it's gonna be clunky and distracting if we're not careful.

- Shoot-the-Targets-to-Kill-the-Shields-Thing-on-Orpheon: Yeah I consider this a tutorial. I am sure they came up with the idea because of play testing. Metroid Prime followed old-school Doom controls with a targeting system and scanning added, which I'm sure confused people at first, and they needed a way to familiarize players without breaking the flow. You're stuck until you figure it out, and there are instructions. While we make MP2D we'll figure out which aspects of the control people have the most difficulty with, and then we can design our own tutorial. :)

Aww yeah old MS Paint.

I see that 400x320 isn't 16:9 unfortunately. Closer than 320x240 though. Maybe 640x360? We can make bigger rooms that way! Which is kinda what we need to help out with the 3D->2D since Tallon IV is larger than appears in the mirror.

The 100MB cap was most brutal on the soundtrack -- it's why we were going with straight-up raw MIDIs as the bg music, blasting out whatever MIDI samples your computer has. Yikes.
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Troid92,Jul 18 2015
04:26 PM
I think we can all agree on certain things that should be directly copied: rooms (no more, no less, same names), creatures (no more, no less, same names), upgrades (no more, no less, same names), with the grand exception of easter eggs and other possible add-ons, hehe.


IIRC I brought this up like two years ago or something, but I think it might be best not to rule anything out until we see how things go in practice. Even with improved puzzles and boss fights, etc., I feel like the closer we stick to 3D Prime, the more it's just a novelty rather than a proper game of its own. Not that it should be unrecognizable, but thinking as a player, I'd be a lot more interested in something that nails the feeling but still has a sense of mystery to it. I mean that's like 80% of what makes Metroid games so good, and having the same exact map with the same exact progression means anyone who's played Prime won't be discovering anything, even if some of the smaller details are changed. For us and people like us that's not that big a deal, but anyone who isn't interested in replaying 3D Prime probably wouldn't be interested in replaying it in 2D either (as opposed to something like it that still feels like a new experience). I can imagine a lot of people downloading it, playing through half of Orpheon until they get the general idea and never touching it again.

And the audience is a huge thing to think about, especially in the modern indie scene. If this game actually gets finished (assuming it flies under Ninty's radar) and gets a reasonable amount of coverage, the vast majority of people who play it are going to be average internet-savvy PC gamers rather than hardcore Metroid (+ Prime) fans like us, and because of that the "this is just like Prime" novelty has even less value. Unless we want to make it specifically for the hardcore fans, then none of this is really an issue.

This is a much smaller thing, but recently it seems like there's a bit of indirect backlash toward pure nostalgia, now that games like Shovel Knight and Axiom Verge are showing how to evoke games that people already love while still having their own identities. Obviously we're in a different boat since we're not making an original game, but there's probably still something there to consider.

Anyway, I think instead of "how do we take X and make it work in 2D", the best way to go about it would be "how do we take what made X work in 3D and use that idea to create something with the same effect in 2D, which may or may not end up being a recreation of X". Because X itself isn't really important (whether it's an upgrade or an enemy or an arrangement of platforms or whatever else), how X serves the experience overall is what's important, and in some cases it might be better accomplished with something other than X.

I don't mean we should make it different just for the sake of being different, but any step where we don't at least give ourselves the option could be problematic, or at least wasting some potential. That said, as much as I like Prime I would honestly probably be part of that half-of-Orpheon group, but if it threw in something crazy that told me the game wasn't going to play by the rules I expected, I would be 300% on board. Because from that point on I would be pulled along by the thought of "holy shit, how else is this game gonna shake things up?" rather than just breezing through the same things I've played a dozen times. I feel like that could be the difference between making something that a few people think is cool and making something that people get thoroughly excited about. A completely faithful MP2D would probably get a few casual news posts and a couple days of internet presence, but an MP2D that goes beyond people's expectations could make real lasting waves, as a good Metroidvania on its own and as something that people who like Prime will be curious about and want to share and talk about.

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Then again, I have entertained the notion of a hand-drawn MP2DHD a few times - I can draw, Liks can draw, and I know at least 3 other people that would probably get on-board for something awesome.


I'd be super up for that but it could be difficult without some god tier direction (because it would be giving more work with a higher skill ceiling to less artists) and programming (since pixels are easier to handle in pretty much every way, especially with precision platforming)

Man I'm not trying to be devil's advocate but it seems like I can't make a post without sounding like I'm down on this whole thing. Rest assured my hype thrusters are at full impulse, I've just been on enough failed projects that whenever there are any red flags I want to knock them out as quickly as possible
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Hey Phlakes and Illustrative Man and Megahurtz -- what are your Trello accounts? I want to invite you guys into MP2D's official Trello organization! That way we can continue these points of discussion in a neater format rather than clustered together in megaposts.

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Also -- thank you Phlakes for providing a counter-argument to my assumption. I don't find myself disagreeing with anything you're saying as possibilities for MP2D. Keep in mind it's a slight departure from what MP2D originally set off to do, which was just to recreate MP in classic 2D Metroid style, room by room, creature by creature, upgrade by upgrade. But given that we're in a much different gaming and gamedeving era compared to 2004 I think we should match the times and I'm pretty convinced by your points. Anyone have objections? If I'm understanding correctly it's not necessarily that we want a full "reimagination" or "reinterpretation", but rather we want a quality 2D gaming experience and should feel free to sway from Metroid Prime as needed to make this possible. It's gonna lead to a lot of debate over a lot of details, but hopefully we can keep a healthy executive-decision-making hammer swinging around.

Since we're breaking down the design structure a bit, we need a new starting point. Where do we draw the initial line on what to take from Metroid Prime? I now propose that all areas (Phendrana Drifts, Magmoor Caverns, Chozo Ruins, Tallon Overworld, Phazon Mines, Impact Crater, Frigate Orpheon) will be included in some form, and maybe we can also agree on anything iconic (like all the bosses and the significant rooms, and most enemies), and also the major story events (phazon experiments go wild in Orpheon, distress signal reaches Samus, Meta Ridley escapes to Tallon IV, Chozo lore stuff, Pirate lore stuff, collect all the artifacts, fight MR, destroy MP, lose Phazon suit to make Dark Samus).

But we should continue this in the Trello :D
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I don't have a Trello account, but I can make one! I'll let you know. Also, I've been looking at the overall discussion being had as I've had time. I can also concur that we should keep the same room names, enemies, bosses, etc. I also think that a format and size for everything should be discussed and decided upon, and preferably very soon. Personally, with my tech demo I've been working on, and when looking at other Metroid fan projects on the interwebs, I really like the look of more pixelated/enlarged assets. To me, it's just one of those touches that makes a Metroid fan game "feel" like it just belongs in the series.

Reflecting back on the old MP2D demos, everything was in a much smaller window, and for the most part everything looked very Metroid-esque. The only problem I have with the looks of things is the intricate details that went into everything. I personally feel that those details would look and feel so much better if they were enlarged a bit and weren't put on such a small screen.

On a completely different note, since I last posted I've ordered and am now studying out of a book about in programming C# in Unity Engine. :) It's pretty neat! Although, I must say that we most likely would not have to use Unity Engine. While Unity does allow for multithreading utilization, with a game like this we won't NEED it. This is just my personal opinion; I've seen the code, I've compared it to DBPro, and I still believe that DBPro is the much better option for this specific instance.

Just some jumbled thoughts I wanted to get out there. I also wanted to post just some kind of response since I haven't in awhile. I could also be way far out in left field on all of this; I'm sure if I am that you all will let me know.
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