Saturday, May 4, 2013
Star Date: May the Fourth (Be With You)
Go.Oogly! A Maypril RARE weapon is almost ready for you! I worked VERY late (it's was 5:30 AM in the Undisclosed Location when I started writing this note to you) - and, among other things, modified an old weapon with some new graphical assets and sounds to create a new theme for it. Still need to tweak the specials - everything is functioning so the coding shouldn't take me too long. Oh, and still need to decide the levels, come up w/descriptions & names, and make the database entries - sounds like a lot, but goes quickly. My plan is to give you a Cinco de Mayo Shop. Ideally I'll have it ready to open on Sunday, May 5th - should be doable! Watch this space and the homepage for updates!
The Story Behind the Design: One of our players, known as #Kale on the forums, suggested that we make an O.ops version of one of the starting guns as a Maypril fool. I didn't want to just release a weapon that only players with 5,000,000 credits could get, so I decided to do something different with the o.O part of the theme.
o.O: Gibby recently linked me to a series of photos of googly eyes stuck onto store packaging, and that fed into the inspiration for the weapon. I remembered that we released a carrot weapon - a gun that shoots little carrot flechettes that stuck into the enemy & hung there before exploding. So I thought maybe I could figure out how to convert the existing animation. It was a little fiddly figuring out how it was done, but it's always fun when you get that "aha!" moment. Then I started recoloring and redecorating it. The really fun part was figuring out how to attach the sound effects! I think you'll find it amusing.
Maypril Mecha Delayed: I know that many of you are eager to get the traditional holiday super-RARE mecha and I do apologize for not having one ready for this Maypril. Everyone is working overtime on Finale assets and although we did talk about doing a mecha, the art and animation wasn't practical to schedule in, and had to be put on the back burner. I do still want to give you some kind of foolish, fun mecha this year, but I can't promise you a date.
Upcoming Installment of the Finale Quests - Rescue Jemini: We had hoped to have this ready by Friday - we still are in need of one background, but that gives Vivi more time to code the new enemy you'll be up against (and more time to test & balance). Blues also came up with specials for an SC Challenge version, so Vivi will code that after finishing the regular version. Korin has been building the quests in "bare bones" framework so I/we can add the art assets as they come in. J6 and Minar both made some BEAUTIFUL backgrounds for this mission. Ghost did the cutscenes, which are AMAZING. I really love the facial expressions in the first one - we can hardly wait for you to see them in game! He also has a wonderful new soundtrack, and I'll be making a stereo for those of you who are Star Captains to put in your Starships (along with a bunch of new Starship Items).
NPC Enemies: During some of the upcoming Finale missions, you'll be on foot battling more NEW enemies. I've been working on some new swordfighting monster AI - not a global revamp of the swordfighting engine, but a fresh approach to creating the enemy tactics. These individual enemies are getting unique attacks which should turn out to be fun, requiring a little strategy beyond just hitting Strong Attack (or Magic) with your strongest Energy Blade. I got the Casting animation to work in the monster file I was doing earlier this week, so there's a chance I/we can apply this to make other existing swordfighting enemies do some interesting things in the future as well.
I can't say too much about the NPC enemies because it's an ENORMOUS spoiler, but I can tell you that Alina sent me a WHOLE LOT of files this evening (er, I guess that's yesterday now) and one of them is an NPC I was eager to start working on! So I did get started on converting it to an MQ-style monster in the wee hours of the morning. I learned quite a lot about how the body parts are put together due to a sizing issue when attempting to replace an existing head with the new one. I'm looking forward to doing more with this! And the top-secret NPC whose casting animation now works is one who only had a front-facing view - Minar created a side view so that the battle wouldn't look weird.
Missions After This Next One: Plasma Charge made some backgrounds that will be in an upcoming mission, and he's working on art for a new mecha-battle enemy. He's in the midst of his Leaving Certificate so he's pretty swamped with school. Vivi, Practel, and Arklen are also quite busy at their schools, so I'll add more news about what they're up to when their schedules free up a bit!
Thank you for playing MechQuest! May the Fourth be with you (and I'll update with Cinco de Mayo news when I know