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Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar Weekly Update Sun 10th Jul 2011 9:16am

Category: Weekly Updates

Well, time to get THIS thing out of the way!

I sort of started working on the new version of the site a few days ago, but I encountered database issues and had to stop and contact my webhost's customer support people via email, which is a slow process by its nature but also because I'm always scared of replying to emails or something...

Actually, maybe I could mention something about it here; maybe some of you know of this problem. I only want to hear what you know, though, if you actually have experience with this; I don't want you giving me fragments of facts that you sort of know, or doing Google searches for the problem as if I haven't done that myself already. I know how eager people are to help even if they don't actually know anything (years of hearing "I don't know the first thing about games, but I want to help you work on yours" makes me aware of this), but such, uh, 'help' is often not exactly appreciated since while the good intentions are there, it's not actually very, well, helpful. It's also a bit patronising if you assume that despite my experience, you can solve the issue that I can't despite you lacking any experience in this field... or something.

But anyway!

If you have experience with a thing called 'phpMyAdmin', then keep reading; if not, skip to the next paragraph or something, please.
I've been using phpMyAdmin for years now to monitor and manually edit my databases; my hosts have always provided it for that purpose. It's been fine for all those years, until relatively recently... Now, for whatever reason, it isn't showing the latest entries anymore. Like, say, if the most recent account is #9400 or something, then I can check the members table and it only shows up to about #9240, and if I run an SQL query directly to fetch row #9333 or something, it tells me that the row doesn't exist. It affects every table; it's like looking into a version from the past.
If I try to edit the data in this database, it doesn't affect it properly; I tried editing someone's username, and it showed up as changed in phpMyAdmin, but when I look on their page, it ISN'T change, which again feels like I'm working with an archived version. However, it only affects phpyMyAdmin; obviously submitting data using the on-site forms works just fine, so they're being stored *somewhere*. I think that I also created a new database for the new site, but when I tried to access that database with code, it acted like it didn't exist.
So if you have any direct experience with this issue and know how to fix it, then any help would be appreciated, thank you.

Because of that, I've been unable to make much progress with the site, but I've stopped for some other reasons too.

Firstly, for a while now - months, years, maybe - I've been considering working with my girlfriend... I mean, it is one of the most obvious things in the world; I struggle with the visual aspects of my games, she's great at art, she wants a use for her art, making games alone is slow, we both make games... So we've talked about it before and sort of planned things, but nothing's really ever come of it.
It's due to personality issues, like neither of us being great at working in a team, or wanting to be assertive or something like that.

One thing that bothers her, it seems, is contributing ideas to projects that I've basically designed and asked her to contribute to, because then it'd feel like she was intruding, even if I tell her that I *want* her ideas... So a better solution would be to plan ideas together from the start.
Based on this line of thinking, and for various practical reasons as well, rather than just having a site of my own to showcase my games, perhaps we'll start a new site together that belongs to us both, and which can show off our shared projects as well as our own personal things like my music and her art.

We still need to talk more about it and decide on things, but it's a bit pointless to work on the site until I've decided what to do.

I've been using my not-working-on-the-site-time wisely, though! I've done loads of work on Miasmon.

Mainly I've just been doing sprites for the monsters... I wonder how much work people assume goes into sprites? I mean, they're *just pixels*, so that's basically like doing no work at all, right? You can just spend a minute or two in Paint and then you're done, right!?
But no... As I mentioned on Twitter a few days ago, I worked from morning until night one day and managed to make about ten monster sprites.
Most of that time wasn't actually doing the pixel art; that took maybe between half an hour and an hour for each one. *Designing* the monsters, though, took a while, because I'm trying to come up with actually mildly interesting designs rather than just things like palette swaps or, well, boring things. I'm probably putting more effort in than I did with Beast Signer's monsters, anyway. I don't know if the designs actually ARE interesting, since I'm not exactly a professional designer or anything, but I am trying!

There'll be about 68 monsters in the first part (as you may remember or might not actually know, Miasmon will be divided into three instalments); maybe I'll add 2 more to make the number up to 70, though. I've done the sprites and designs for about 42 of them, maybe, leaving quite a few still left to do.
And then I've got to do sprites for the trainer types, too, hmm...
Most of the monsters are evolved forms, and many of those won't actually be possible to get in the first chapter thing because I might use a level cap (just so then I don't need to do the particle effects for high-level moves). You won't really have as much choice about what to train as in Pokemon, but I am just one person making this.
I'll obviously add more monsters in subsequent chapters.

I've also been redoing the battle system's GUI... or 'Graphical User Interface', for those of you who don't know what that means but would probably pretend you did anyway. o_O
It was originally essentially a copy of the Pokemon style of GUI; all the battle stuff was reported at the bottom in a box thing using text, and when you did damage, no numbers were explicitly shown.
However, I kept finding it annoying during testing; for some reason, I'm fine with Pokemon battles, but it felt very clunky and unsatisfying in what I'd managed to design. The code was also less elegant than I'd prefer.
So I've been trying to redo it to be more like MARDEK, where things that you do are shown visually rather than reported with text; when you deal damage, the floaty numbers come up, and they're coloured differently depending on whether the enemy is weak or resistant to that element, etc...

Here's what the old version looked like:


And here's the new version:


I personally think it looks a lot more open, modern, 'sleek', and other such things, but I'm sure that due to the nature of human preferences, some people would prefer the first one... I'll go with what I feel best anyway, since I've already done most of it now.

That's all for this week, I think. I'm hoping that Miasmon will be very close to completion in a week or two, so expect to see it in maybe three or four years!!1 : D


50 Commentson 29 roots

Acer rubrum fox`s Avatar
Rating Orb Acer rubrum fox 12 United States PhlegmaticSanguine 14C 1F
7 years ago | (4)
I was wondering if miasmon would have the berry growing in it or if you'd be able to make the secret hideouts like in some of the pokemon games?
rosate`s Avatar
Rating Orb rosate 13 United States PhlegmaticCholeric 13C 5F
7 years ago | (1)
I know how you feel about the sprites taking long. I have a hobby called pokemon fusions, and it takes me about 2 hours for most, and that's using pre-made parts.
I also understand how lonely you are without your girlfriend. Yesterday, when I first read this, I didn't, but now... now I'm pretty sure I lost my last 2 friends.
Oh, and good luck with the phpMyAdmin.
myperson54`s Avatar
Rating Orb myperson54 14 Canada CholericSanguine 59C 11F
7 years ago | (2)
I agree with you on the spriting comment. It's hard, even with a template! I've tried it before and the best I could do was a recolour ( with a pallette custom made for me. )
Dratino`s Avatar
Rating Orb Dratino 17 Canada SanguinePhlegmatic 5C 0F
7 years ago | (4)
About your phpMyAdmin thing, I'd suggest getting a VPS or something. Those are more versatile, and usually cheaper.
Dratino`s Avatar
Rating Orb Dratino 17 Canada SanguinePhlegmatic 5C 0F
7 years ago | (3)
Screw that, they're only cheaper if you look hard enough for one, it seems. Don't buy any "Cloud VPS" solutions unless you're sure you need all the fault tolerance.
Griffrez`s Avatar
Rating Orb Griffrez 14 Portugal 2C 0F
7 years ago | (6)
I'll say that the new layout doesn't look as Pokémon-ish as the first one. Looks a new thing. Not saying you're a natural ripoff, but it indeed looked like more Pokémon than anything else before, now it looks cool. Good job.
Griffrez`s Avatar
Rating Orb Griffrez 14 Portugal 2C 0F
7 years ago | (4)
Sorry for the double post, but I just realized that I just said exactly what you (Pseudolonewolf), did in the blog entry. Oh well, my first comment was a no-brainer, I guess. Still, good job, keep it up. Love your games. :)
momento`s Avatar
Rating Orb momento 12 Canada 14C 0F
7 years ago | (11)
i like the both of the battle thing and i hope you and your girl freind macke a website
Kobiwan97`s Avatar
Rating Orb Kobiwan97 100 Canada PhlegmaticMelancholic 35C 46F
7 years ago | (8)
I like the second one a lot better! The first one was kind of boring and gave off an "old" (in a bad way) feeling. The second one seems, in a way, more "modern" yet it still feels nostalgic.

Are the 4 different colored numbers next to your Miasmons health its stats? If they are, where does it say your Miasmons elemental/type weaknesses? Will you have to click on something to see it, and can you look at the enemies resistances? If I remember correctly, you said that, unlike Mardek, the Miasmon will either take 100% damage, 150% if weak to it and 50% if strong against it, but nothing in between.

Also, when you select "Skills", "Switch", "Items" or "Flee", where will the sub-menu show up? I would imagine it would be the same as one of the previous screenshots which showed it where the enemy Miasmon was, but it would be nice to know if you changed it or are planning to change it.

maddog2`s Avatar
Rating Orb maddog2 16 Netherlands CholericPhlegmatic 7C 0F
7 years ago | (13)
please keepusing the second one, ik like that one the most
it looks a lot better
vaati500`s Avatar
Rating Orb vaati500 15 United States SanguineMelancholic 57C 13F
7 years ago | (7)
Hey Pseudo, I actually prefer the new layout with it being more streamlined and because of the art styles that you normally use, I feel that the first picture looks somewhat less aesthetically pleasing than the second one. Also, I noticed the apparent lack of any sort of experience bar that shows your progress, as it does with the first one, since the first screen shows a LOT of similarities with the Pokemon battle screen. You've probably already noticed this, but I'm just noting it in case you didn't. And are we going to be seeing any screens showing the overworld and if so, is the overworld style going to be identical to Pokemon or might it be similar to having a "Fly" screen from Pokemon available from the start but with the same restrictions; being that you can only fast travel to places you've already been? I'm looking forward to Miasmon!
megabdi`s Avatar
Rating Orb megabdi 14 United Kingdom PhlegmaticCholeric 379C 47F
7 years ago | (9)

I like the new GUI that you have made. When I compare it with the old one, the old one seems bulky and unnecessary. But the new one looks easy and appealing.
And since you are seeking help from experienced people, and since I am not one. All I can do is just give support, I guess. Since you've made it clear that people trying to help you by giving out suggestions that you would have thought of already annoys you.
Also, the Gruul in the screenshot looks like a savage pigeon.

Hope your plans go well, Pseudo. Since hoping is all I got.
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