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Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar Update Sun 26th Oct 2008 12:29am

Category: MARDEK

I should start writing these news article things regularly... So, uh, here is one!

Over the last few days, I've been getting a LOT done on MARDEK!
As I may have said elsewhere, I've been remaking the engine for chapter 3, because the code for the old one was just annoying to work with, and I got various complaints from Flash about lack of memory when trying to export the game as an swf since it was so poorly put together... I'd been using a version of the same engine which I'd written when I was first learning ActionScript YEARS ago, then used for Fig Hunter, then changed a bit for use in a 'Yalortian Game' which never got finished and which most of you have never seen, then changed a bit more for Deliverance (though the graphics were entirely different to Fig Hunter, the underlying code was much the same), and changed some more for MARDEK... So I was using this patched-up, old code which was originally written when I was completely inexperienced anyway.

So yes, that was difficult to work with, so I decided that the best thing for me to do was remake everything almost from scratch.
This only includes the code and menus though, mainly. The aspects of the game which you SEE and play are the same; just built more neatly 'behind the scenes'. But it's taken a long time to make all these changes which won't be readily apparent to most players, anyway...
But I just finished 'remaking' chapters 1 and 2 yesterday!
This is great, because the thought of "ugh, I have to go over stuff I've already done and remake it" was off-putting for months, preventing me from working on MARDEK 3 at all (whenever I opened it to work on it, I saw what I had to do before even getting to working on the Chapter 3 stuff, and just procrastinated...)

Now I'm back to working on Chapter 3 content, so it might not be long before I'm done!
I'm aiming for a release date of sometime before the end of the year, but there's still a LOT to do, so I don't know how much I'll miss that date by.
But just know that it's not taken more than a year so far while I've been WORKING on it; definitely not! It's taken that long because I've NOT been working on it... Other chapters after this one will have the new, neat engine for me to work with, so I won't take anywhere near this long to make them.
(I've made half of the content of chapter 3 already, but I made all of that within a month after finishing chapter 2 and haven't made much, if any, progress since...)

Anyway, there are some 'minor' changes that I've been working into this new version of the engine, such as:
- New look for menus; they should hopefully be smoother, more user-friendly, and less buggy.
- SAVE POINTS. Apparently I don't care so much about what people voted for on the poll; gamers do not make good designers from what I have heard. I would assume that most people also assume that the placement of save points would be irritating or something; it would not be. They'd be wisely placed, like at the start of a dungeon, in the middle - usually at a crossroads - and before a boss. They also serve as Healing Crystals, so this is probably a change for the better; you'd no longer die after playing for ages only to discover that you hadn't saved in ages because you'd forgotten to; Save Points placed conspicuously in your path would remind you. You'd also be warned of things like the Saviours Battle by the presence of a Save Point.
- Damage and HP formulae are significantly changed. Characters have almost twice as much HP now, and the damage that they deal is now modified by level; it wasn't before (which is why as Level 50 Heroes, Mardek and Deugan still did such small amounts of damage).
- I've added three new music tracks to chapter 2...
- And I've also changed some bosses somewhat, which might make them more or less challenging... Some bosses can summon allies now, for example. (Such as Moric, the Necromancer, summoning undead minions in battle, which is something I wanted to add in the initial version but didn't have the motivation or time or something.)

There are also more changes that I plan on adding, like switching party members in battle, but I've yet to get around to that.

There may be issues with saving, however... The new code stored data differently, so it couldn't load old files. I'll try to make a thing which, when you first play the game, converts your saves from the old version into new version saves, but it still might be recommended that you play through chapters 1 and 2 again anyway. It will NOT be necessary though! Just recommended... Especially since there are some changes to them.

In all future releases, the game will include all chapters up until that point. It's a lot easier to make things this way. So eventually, the game will be one single 70+ hour long RPG thing, which you could play from start to finish in the same file, probably... o_O
(I wonder how many years away that'll be though? TWO at most, I hope!)

I'm going to try to focus my attentions on MARDEK for the time being, ignoring any other projects, until chapter 3 is finished. It's been far too long since I've released anything that I've been able to get MONEY for... o_O
So, uh, this is bad news for people who are waiting for Beast Signer or FHO updates, I suppose... But knowing me, I'll likely change my mind about this in a week anyway and get back to those. I really cannot predict the future!
I'll try to stick with this though. I REALLY want to get MARDEK 3 finished so then it doesn't look like I'm abandoning the series.

Oh, and there are still a lot of things I need to change or add on this site... Browser compatibility, for one thing. Oh how I hate that people use obsolete hardware or awkward software!
I've got to change the Games page a bit too, and, uh... something else, I think...

But anyway, if there is anything that you really want to see added or changed in MARDEK for the later chapters, it would be interesting to hear it! Even though I likely will not consider it because most GAMERS do not seem to realise that their ideas are not in the game already for technical or balancing reasons, or because they don't fit or make sense or they're stolen or they're genre changes or, uh... et cetera.
"Change the battle system to something else entirely" is not a viable suggestion, by the way, because it would be too drastic a change.
33 comments

 

33 Commentson 33 roots

comment person`s Avatar
Rating Orb comment person 0 1C 0F
8 years ago | (1)
saving didnt work on mardek 2 for me it was really annoying cause i liked the game so can you make sure that works
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
9 years ago | (0)
You must have misread... I've certainly not removed ally attacking and would find it very annoying if someone suggested that I should...

The main reason I've added save points at all is because it's far, far neater to code, to keep track of variables, to avoid certain bugs, and to stop people from saving in places that would cause all sorts of weirdness to occur when loading a game...
Though saving anywhere is convenient for the *player*, I learned while developing chapters 1 and 2 that it's inconvenient for me as the designer.
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
9 years ago | (0)
Yes, it sort of bothered me that people who donated might not feel like their contribution was appreciated enough, but I honestly never thought to send emails to everyone who donated because, uh... I don't even know if I'd have the kind of social confidence to do that... o_O
I'm not the sort of person who says "thank you" and stuff in person though... I appreciate things, definitely, but find the actual thanks bit to be really awkward for some reason... Because of this, I actually request that people don't get me gifts for birthdays and things... honestly. Just because the expected reaction is so difficult for me... o_O

So I was thinking that maybe I could make something to GIVE to people who donate, like some sites I've seen which give out wallpapers or things like that... But I can't really think of anything, and I'm too busy working on games or being in hindering emotional states to actually spend time coming up with something...

Uh, I really do appreciate when people donate though, so I should do SOMETHING about it, yes...!
L4m3ness`s Avatar
Rating Orb L4m3ness 21 SanguineMelancholic 1C 2F
9 years ago | (0)
Horray, nice to see that at least one longer lasting flash game will appear soon :) And I also think it's nice that you code stuff to please yourself, not others - because you're probably your worst critic :D But concerning sponsoring - wouldn't it be a step in the direction "making games for others"?

Having played Geo Land a few days ago, I noticed again what I appreciate(d) about Mardek: It doesn't feel like you have to farm enemies to accomplish anything (unlike in Geo Land with it's ridicilous exp/gold drops and high prices/requirements) and there is no stupid story gap - ok, I think the sewers were a bit of a longer chapter in which little happened but it still felt like if you get forward (In Geo Land: Farm the same enemies till you get a higher rank/money for items for a quest, so you can continue :(). Also all the fancy details like dialogues, books and such that help to fill the void. Mardek managed to enthrall me like a good book or non-flash game and even though this state game be kinda time consuming, I still love it.

I think a save point system causes fear because you lose control about when you want to save - ok, I also ran into the world saviour trap and got horribly beaten up (without a nearby savegame), in this situation I would have appreciated a savepoint system. Having seen such a system in e.g. Mastermind: World Conquerer or Far Cry I think it's fine, as long as there is still the possibility to "jump back" and correct a mistake or bad choice.

There is something that really bugged me though - the donating system. When I donated a few months ago, there was no kind of "thank you"-mail or something like that, only the impersonal "you are a good person"-text on the donating page which I could read even before donating. It was quite like a black box, there was no feedback and I didn't really felt appreciated as a fan and donator which made me kinda sad. So I dunno what you think or did about that, pseudo, but I'd suggest that you might write a small (standard?) email to people that donated or make a list of donators or anything - getting no feedback made me wondere whether donating was a good idea, while some sort of positive feedback possibly would have encouraged/saved another donation.

So, well, keep up the good work Pseudo and don't let Google spy on you via Crome :)
yummymelon`s Avatar
Rating Orb yummymelon 14 United Kingdom MelancholicSanguine 27C 3F
9 years ago | (0)
Well, good job. I still don't know why you're emphasizing on chrome and firefox. I use IE and it's good for me. Which is why I request you remove that annoying popup everytime I visit the site.. *sigh*

As for Mardek 3, I was very happy that you got back working on it, YAY!!!. Now I don't really like the ideas of savepoints being set on one area. It is quite annoying in my opinion. Also, you already have autosaves which should make people be able regain their lost time in a reassonable period. Unless they were in the dungeons like the catacombs. Now THAT was annoying. Maybe you can just put save points like part of autosaves? That could be a good way so you can just get back again. Also, I object to having a healing crystal every 5 minutes. It takes the challenge out of it! (Although I don't HAVE to use it, logic always forces me to take that free crystal for healing.. *sigh*) So just make save crystals in another colout, like maghony for exampe. Anyways, please allow the option of being able to save anywhere, anytime.
Now will the 'remade' versions of chapter 1&2 be overrided as an update to the current ones or will they be released seperately of the original version? I'm currently believe that you will tkae the first choice, but I want to make sure.
Also, you described FHO for us. So the code for Mardek is going to come from the FHO code or is it just going to be modified in a different manner>?
barry20`s Avatar
Rating Orb ! barry20 9 United States 11C 4F
9 years ago | (0)
goodluck on ur work pusedo i am looking foward to mardek 3 i havebennsincelast yr when mardek 2 cae out u make the best games
Armun Sul`s Avatar
Rating Orb Armun Sul 14 United States PhlegmaticMelancholic 117C 124F
9 years ago | (0)
The way you describe Chapter 8 sounds a little like the third disk of Final Fantasy VII. Was that intentional?
monkeylemur`s Avatar
Rating Orb monkeylemur 18 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic 132C 7F
9 years ago | (0)
oh~ pretty cool then, now that you mention it, there are a lot of strategies involving attacking your own allies. alritey, i'm juss gonna let u carry on with your life nao
SManDMan`s Avatar
Rating Orb SManDMan 0 Canada 21C 27F
9 years ago | (0)
I typed this in on IE, but I downloaded FireFox to play a RPG on a different site, so I support you fixing the IE problems and at the same time don't care. Anyway, Mardek 3 well be the greatest, and save points sound good enough. Also (because of the side comments) Beast Signer should be the next one you work on.
Yanti`s Avatar
Rating Orb Yanti 12 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic 108C 53F
9 years ago | (0)
WOOT!! Thank YALORT you finally updated MARDEK!!
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