Ah, back in the saddle again. Or something like that. I did post a bit of a necro-update in this old thread about a game I had started working on in my senior year of High School. It was going to be a grandiose third entry in the Metroid fangame series that myself and Dream of Omnimaga had been working on. However as ambitions soared, and my days in school coming to an end, life changes sort of upheaved it. I did put forth a bit of effort in the late aughts and early 2010s but sadly what was a game that was about half done became lost to the sands of time and the crashes of hard drive heads.

Now is not the time for lamenting, now is the time for me trying to accomplish some huge project yet again. However I am posting this here, and not in a forum more appropriate for calculator games, and that dear reader is because I have finally gotten down to the grindstone and started learning how to use a development environment called GB Studio! It's a relatively easy to approach game creator for the Game Boy, and can be leveraged with surprising results. "What sort of results?", you may be asking.

Right now it's a couple of testing maps, and only the one enemy. But I have the ship that is awaiting adventures. Doors that work! A morph ball that functions SIMILAR to that of Metroid games, but not quite the same. Shooting in 3 directions! And a whole slew of rather nice animation frames for our protagonist. I think this is the first she has been updated in thirteen years!

Now a project like this would not be complete without a list of goals in mind. And I have a fair few.

  1. Missiles and an otherwise upgraded weapon.
  2. A power up system to help guard against environmental hazards.
  3. An expansive map that has you visiting varied worlds in your ship.
  4. Numerous bosses of varied scales
  5. Ambient music, and sound effects

Now each of these things have their own challenges, and the whole game is up against some interesting obstacles because of my choice of how to develop it. But I find that challenge to be part of the fun, and honestly I feel like I could put together a big map with what I have now, add in some enemies, and still have a fun game. But what are the big things I am facing?

Most notably is that the morph ball can *bounce*, and in theory I could have that damage immediately adjacent enemies or objects, the precisely timed bomb jumping from the official games is not to be found here. There also lies another more strange challenge, because I am using this development environment I am beholden to some of it's quirks, one of which is that you cannot really change a collision map on the fly.. which almost rules destructible environments out. UNLESS I use a bit of a hackey work around, which I do plan on doing if I can't get it working the way I initially wanted. But that is fine, this is a game drawing inspiration from the Metroid series, and does not have to be part and parcel the same.

Short of figuring out exactly which tiling map editor will be the most effective for me to use, and creating more assets, I am well on my way to making something legitimately playable. And as if those videos above weren't solid enough proof that it's at least SOMETHING, you can try it for yourself here, just load it into your favorite Game Boy emulator and go wild.

I will note, there may be some debugging bleeps and boops left in there as I was sussing out some iffy scripts, ignore those!

But that is where I am with this! Oh and one last thing, I know they recently finished up the Game Boy Color tactical RPG "Infinity", but I still think that "Infinite" is a fitting name for this project, what do you think?
I'm glad to see you back and to see this revived. I can't wait to see what's in store next. Smile What kind of enemies did you have in mind to add?

(Posfed from teh other foam threat)
DJ Omnimaga wrote:
I'm glad to see you back and to see this revived. I can't wait to see what's in store next. Smile What kind of enemies did you have in mind to add?

Believe it or not, one of the first enemies I was trying to sort out was the titular Metroid itself, and it poses some... unique challenges and slowdowns.

I would like to have a few varied types though!

  1. Ones like the one in the game now, that just go back and forth ( aka Rippers )
  2. Ones that follow the perimeter of the room/map/etc ( aka Zoomers )
  3. Ones that wait until you are near and attack from underground ( similar to Zebs, but not the same )
  4. Ones that drop down from above ( a lot like Skrees )
  5. And if I can make it work, ones that hunt you down to attack but are slow. ( kinda like Metroids )
Whoa! So this will work on GB ... and therefore TI-BOy?

So you really ARE making it to play on the calculator too!
tr1p1ea wrote:
Whoa! So this will work on GB ... and therefore TI-BOy?

So you really ARE making it to play on the calculator too!

Ahhhh ya caught me! In fact community legend calc84 already put that to task!

In update news, I have been keeping a sort of daily log over on the Discord in a thread under the general channel. I figured once I make progress in chunks I can come over here and fill everyone in.

So what is the state of the game?

I have been working diligently on a tile map, with a decent chunk complete! Now just about anyone could notice that huge swath of non-repeating tiles in the top half, which DO look cool as heck when assembled into levels. However a pattern that takes a 5x5 chunk to tile is likely too impractical. We'll see. I need to also make slight alterations to the tiles used for outdoor/cave sections as moving one pixel or so on some tiles would make them redundant and thus save important space!

I am pretty sure this is going to be the near final sprite sheet for the player. A pretty good array of running, jumping, shooting while doing both, and a feature I have wanted since day one of Metroid 83+, shooting UPWARD. These were in the last update but I wanted to point them out specifically here. It's also fun to think about how this is the first real update this sprite has seen in the better part of thirteen years, I am still fond of it. ( I think I mentioned this before, but I am so jazzed for it )

I am working on adding enemy types already. I am really happy with this one. The image here goes into a bit of behind the scenes of what makes this game, the "scene" can be seen here with the red collision map drawn atop it, and orange trigger boxes that will activate the 4 enemies shown with purple.

The work flow for adding a "scene" now consists of mapping it out on graph paper for general flow, then opening up a program called "Tiled" which makes it easier to arrange the tilemap into an actual background. Then I export that as a PNG, which gets added to the game files for what is being called "inf2x" for now. Then I can add a new scene in GB Studio, and start drawing on the collision map, adding in doors, enemies, triggers for transitions and the like. And even upgrades.

This update includes the ball upgrade AND the bounce upgrade! Both are just little trophy sprites sitting on the ground, but they are out of the way a bit, which means you'll have to go looking through the 4 demo areas to find them.

As with the last update, here's a demo to try for yourself! I am not sure how long I am going to keep posting those demos for all, but for right now I am just kinda nailing down the basics here, and nothing too terribly exciting.

I have been reading up a lo about what GB Studio does behind the scenes, so things like the platforming mechanics might be getting tweaked soon as well, unless they feel somehow spot on to anyone. Let me know! Feedback is what I crave!

( also, I am still chuffed about the concept of using the original crescent door incorporated logo in something, I entirely blame tr1p for posting this in chat the other day..

..now granted that was in response to a BASIC program I wrote for fun, but still! )
Whoa awesome update! So glad this game is getting a spiritual revival - it looks amazing so far 😀
CDI wrote:
However a pattern that takes a 5x5 chunk to tile is likely too impractical.

I had hopes, but as soon as I designed a pretty neat level to take advantage of this look, the impracticalities of this pattern reared it's head. The level I was putting together looked something like this...

Which is pretty rad if you ask me! But if you notice how many boxes are larger than 1x1, but smaller than 7x7? With the way the pattern I have works, boxes need to be at least 7 to at least one of the two dimensions. And I mean yeah I can make it work, but do I wanna burn that many background tiles on this?

I separated out just the background tiles for this area, and started sorting them ( still a lot of work to do on them, even to make that 7 to a side thing work ) and... it'll just be so many. Each tile is actually made of 4 smaller tiles and that is just chewing through allocations.

Such is life. And if we are being honest, I like the way the level looks more than I like this pattern I put together, and think maybe I can put together something that repeats every 3 tiles instead of every 5 maybe? That way it's still visually interesting without taking up my assets.
Man oh man has there been an update since the last one! Where do I even begin?

I spent a few hours working on a way to retain the vibe I was going for with the pattern I had to scrap, and after plenty of iterations...

...I settled on the last one, which when you put it all together it looks really neat. Especially when framed with something as small as the view the player gets on the Game Boy. And since I made that decision I have ROCKED on some levels!

I am using a program called Tiled which is pretty much perfect for what I am doing, I can go from graph paper to level in about three or four hours with playtesting.

And if you were curious what that looked like, I already posted the graph paper layout I worked on, I do most of my rough draft sketching there for layout. And then I open a new map in Tiled and layout the background and passages to give me something like this.

And then I can go through along the borders and whatnot to add decoration and structure to the level, make it nice to look at and make some sense to be running through.

This particular level has a few exits, which is fun! The size of each area is limited to just under 1.05 million pixels, however you want to slice it ( as long as one axis does not end up smaller than the corresponding resolution of the Game Boy )

And when I say these sections are not small, this image I took before I added the newest section really should drive home how large they are in comparison to an area from DJ Omnimaga's Metroid II, these new places to explore are no joke.

What about new enemies for this area?

Ah... well about that. I need to figure out the intricacies of enemy movement with this game. There'll be a link to download it and you can see how enemies kind of tank the game speed, but I suspect that is on me and not the game itself. But it also got me thinking about gearing this more towards exploration and platforming, light puzzles, etc. And then also have bosses for each area. What do you think?

With all of that being said, I would really love it if you took some time to run around the game, maybe take notes of what seems right or wrong, explore some and let me know if you uncover any secrets or oddities!

The current version is RIGHT HERE! http://ijuln.net/111923.gb
I imagine some players will climb to the top, only to fall all the way down Razz

For enemies, something I noticed is that Metroid games, starting with Super Metroid at least, tend to be kinda low on enemies compared to other games, and it becomes even more true in Gamecube games, so it's fine if the maps aren't overloaded with enemies or if they're mostly extra obstacles.

What about Kraid, though? Shock
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