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Medium News!05:21 PM -- Wed May 30, 2012

First, a public service announcement: The "It" for which you are waiting is still in waiting, because I am relying on art from a 3rd party, who is busy with other projects, which is fine because I have no end of projects of my own to do! So with that said, let me tell you what I am working on today!

I made the silly move of throwing $99 to Apple to be allowed to make iPhone games, which puts me in the position of needing to make an iPhone game. I've been experimenting this week with just how I can do that (especially given my Mac lack, but don't give me flack, Jack, just because I lack a Mac). I have managed to make a Flash game run on the iPod. The framerate is disappointing (in fact, putting Scouts Vs. Aliens on there unoptimized resulted in a whopping 1FPS), so I had to adjust my methods and expectations. At first I scoured the web for all the non-flash ways of making games on it, but none of them could quite meet all my needs. Why hasn't anybody made a simple C++esque tool where you can write code once and then compile it for PC, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS (other platforms would be nice too!)? I don't know. Lots of people have come about halfway there with various combinations of the above, and very silly languages (Basic? Really?) and custom IDEs and huge prices and whatever noise, but still, my utopia of throwing games together willy-nilly remains distant and hazy. Maybe someday I'll dig into Unity again, that one's pretty cool.

So back to Flash it is, the platform that can at least in theory produce games for PC, Mac, Linux, Web, Android, and iOS (and Blackberry and whatever else you want to name). But I needed a Flash project that didn't require hundreds of fast-moving sprites if I want to be able to put it on the iPhone. So I'm embarking on another fun project I've wanted to do for years that's short and sweet! Behold...

NPC QUEST 2 IS COMING.


I have no screenshots to show. More info as it develops. Like the it you are waiting for, this project is subject to swapping back/front burner with others at many times. Things are very fluxy around here. I would still like to get Witch Game done too, but it's entirely un-iPhone-able and I kind of backed myself into a corner with my ridiculous Apple developer license purchase (it only lasts a year, I gotta make some use of it!).
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Supreme With Cheese On Sale!09:09 PM -- Wed May 23, 2012

Big news x2!

Dr. Lunatic Supreme With Cheese is on sale until June 1st for only $9.95! That's 66% off! BUY IT NOW!!!

Why so cheap? Why right now? The answer is simple: Because We May. Also, May 24th is Sol Hunt's birthday.

In other news, if you already own Supreme With Cheese (or you buy it now!!), you are able to download the all-new, and all-amazing, Version 8.0! It's still being tested and we're asking for your help with that, that's why it's not the thing people get when they buy the game, but it's available to you if you own it. Just visit your My Downloads page to grab it.

What does Version 8.0 bring you? Well, somebody has created the most definitive and easy to view guide to the new features right here: SpaceManiac's photo album. That somebody is in fact the person who developed this update, SpaceManiac (the clue is in the name), so big thanks to him for pulling this off. The most important thing with Version 8.0 though is this: you won't have color problems with it! That's been our number one FAQ for a long time, and SpaceManiac fixed up Dr. Lunatic to solve it, and now he's done Supreme as well. There are also a bunch of really funky new editor features, and that link above will give you an idea of what they are.
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Hamumu Revue: Diablo 307:40 PM -- Mon May 21, 2012

Well, it's sucked up the last week of my life, and I'd like to discuss it briefly. I have hundreds of pages worth of things I could say, so let's see how small I can boil that down... A bullet list usually helps! And I won't be spoiling anything at all, so read on.
  • Info you need. If you don't know Diablo, let me give you a super-quick rundown of some info to make sense of the rest of my comments. A "boss pack" is a group of specially enhanced enemies with a random bonus power and more life and damage than normal enemies. They show up at random throughout the game, just spicing it up funwise. Secondly, the game has a story that you play through, in four acts. When that is finished, you start the story over in Nightmare mode, continuing from the level you were at, with all your gear and all. So the "whole game" actually only carries you up to character level 30 (out of 60). You play Nightmare until approximately level 50, then you start again in Happy Pony* mode and play to 60. At 60, all that remains is Inferno mode, which is the "end-game" you can repeat all you want. Diablo is all about smashing enemies in hopes of getting good random loot, so Inferno is the above-max-level hard stuff you do to get the very best items in the game. Any time you want, you can exit the game and start it over at any point you've reached, like if you want to slay the same boss over and over, or join your friend who's in another part of the story. And that's about it! It's a game of grinding, and that really bothers some people, but it's great for me.

  • It's awesome. Super fun, super addictive. The story's perfectly decent for a video game, though it's told via really lame dialogue. The art is mind-bogglingly, shockingly incredible, better than any game I've ever seen (the background art that is, not so much the characters). Sound is amazing too. Gameplay is so very fun and sucks you in to never stop playing. For the first time since I was in college, I sat and played a game nonstop for entire days (many entire days in a row), stopping only for food and bathroom breaks and maybe a walk or two. It was very unhealthy. And I want to still be doing it.

  • Super-noobified. Blizzard seems to have changed their whole operation to be absolutely terrified of anybody not figuring something out or getting stuck in some way. This has been significantly detrimental to their games, and it shows in this game and in the newest WoW expansion. They're taking out all the fun customization you can do in favor of making sure nobody customizes wrong. That is probably good for the majority of people, who are indeed new to the game in question, but for an old pro like me, you're tearing out the heart of what I have loved. The game is still amazing (and the next WoW expansion looks to be also), but it's missing a lot of little touches that both add to the fun and depth, and create the replay value. There is literally no value at all in creating more than one character of a given class in Diablo 3, they've sucked out every possible reason. Well, they then added one reason - an achievement for leveling 2 of a given class. Very artificial and uncool.

  • Insanely fast, super hard, compelling combat. Actually too fast, I think, as you can die as fast as you can blink. Even though they tried to make it super simple for a newbie, they still made it actually very hard to actually defeat the enemies. What I am saying here is probably going to make me look incompetent since everybody else on the internet is crying about how trivially easy the whole game is, but this is my experience. From the latter half of Act 1 onward, even Normal Mode got me killed over and over again. Now, it didn't happen often in Normal, but I died once or twice per Act, and Act 4 was just downright crazy.

  • Nightmare is a dream. The difficulty really picked up when I started Nightmare mode (as of this writing, I've beaten Act 2 of Nightmare). I am not kidding when I say that at least 2/3 of the boss packs I encountered in Nightmare mode killed me at least one time. But it was fun! The fact that I could get dropped in 2 seconds flat (also not exaggerating), and then tweak my skills a bit and go back in with smarter tactics and conquer them really left me feeling like I was learning things and improving constantly. I'm sure my next character will have an easy time with Nightmare, but starting from new, it's quite an experience. I couldn't help but smile as they splattered me on the floor. The boss of Act 2 was an especially rough experience, where I died about 5 times, and completely redesigned my character's skills twice before I found a way to pull it off. The boss pack system creates an elegant beauty of random challenge. The combination of which mods the bosses have, which monster they happen to be (an archer pack is a whole different experience than a big hulk pack), what other monsters are nearby, and what the terrain is like all combines to create a completely new challenge every 5 minutes or so that you play. Something really hard and really interesting. And that's just the first half of Nightmare mode. After the rest of Nightmare, things ramp up another notch in Happy Pony difficulty, and then there's Inferno, which is supposed to be virtually impossible in a kind of "We dare you, just try it" way. And it doesn't just get harder like more life and damage - boss packs gain one mod in every difficulty. So you might meet a Teleporting Zombie in Normal mode, but in Nightmare, it's a Teleporting Plagued Zombie. And so on up to Inferno, where you are facing 4 mods at once, including many new mods that get added in each difficulty. All that stuff honestly intrigues me, and I think I'll be getting a lot further in this game than I ever did in Diablo 2, which had much less interesting of an upgrade as it went along (same system, but not very many mods, and most of them were just "immune to X type of damage"). And I want to take them up on the Inferno dare, even though I doubt I have the skill.

  • No skill points. :( I want my skill points in a Diablo game. Diablo 2 had a totally broken skill system, I admit it (still one of the best games of all time!). But they could've fixed that without erasing skill points entirely. I have other thoughts on this, but I will spare you. Anyway, the lack of skill points and the total freedom to change your guy at the drop of a hat is a bad thing, RPG-wise. But what it does that is interesting is make this an entirely new game. It's some sort of weird action game, that requires a lot of skill and lots of thinking as you constantly tweak your build and tactics. I can't even really compare it to any other game, it's just unique. That's why I have a hard time complaining about the skill system and how it's failing me. Because while it's not the game I wanted or expected, it's a truly amazing game, unlike any other. They didn't just make another roguelike like Torchlight 2 will be (which should be awesome as well), they made a unique new kind of action game.

  • Polish. I guess it's worth also pointing out that the polish level is off the charts. The mouse control in this game puts every other roguelike completely to shame, with the way you can sweep the mouse over groups instead of clicking each guy individually and so many other little subtle tweaks to make the game understand what you want to do instead of simply responding to each click in basic fashion. And of course all the rest of the polish, with the cool lore system and the smooth UI and on and on. While the game design could've been improved (for me that is - it's quite debatable whether my "improvements" would've actually made it better for the majority of people), the interface and usability is better than any game you'll ever play. Until the next Blizzard game you play. They know how to do it!

Hamumu Rates It: 5 Yerfdogs (out of 4)

* They don't actually call it Happy Pony mode. But... ah, well, I said I wouldn't spoil anything.
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Pedro Power09:49 AM -- Tue May 15, 2012

Hey, if you were a beta tester for the last game, secret hint: there's been a beta test of Pedro going on in the Beta Test forum for a week or two! Go on in and play it and let me know what you think!

If you weren't/aren't in the testing and would like to be, let me know.

The game is done now! It's still being tested (see first paragraph), and it has no title screen yet because apparently there is some discussion over just what the release title will be, but everything else is in! Unless testers discover something I forgot to put in. I didn't quite make my deadline, but I came close! This past weekend has been a crazy crunch of 13+ hour days for real. Haven't done that in years. It's amazing what a deadline can do.

I'm not sure when done really counts because of all the testing and stuff, but I'm declaring now to be the time I'm allowed to go play Diablo!
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Breaking Radio Silence08:41 PM -- Thu May 3, 2012

Wow, it's been forever! I've been... distracted indeed. I did a bunch of medical tests for my stomach troubles that have been bothering me for upwards of 15 years (about time?), I played the Diablo 3 beta test, I started letting Titan Quest sink its vicious hooks back into me (out of desperation for Diablo 3 not coming out soon enough), I began playing Assassin's Creed 2 (It's a-me, Ezio!), I obsessed a bit into WoW again (never stopped, but the amount of obsession does vary), I spent a bunch of time dealing with artist considerations (gonna work with a couple soon, I think, but not on my current game!) and the main thing is:

I've been working on my next game! This ties back into Diablo 3. I've been working hard because I am not allowed to play Diablo 3 until it's done. So that's a big deadline. May 15. I don't know if I'm going to make it, but if not, well, no Diablo and no TV make Homer something something. Note: TV isn't disallowed. But the game is feeling really good. Lots of skill points and all that stuff I love, and what I think is turning out to be satisfying kung fu action. It's hard to tell since only the beginner parts are available, so you can't do amazing combos yet.

Wanna know what it is?
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