Yeah Slack is awesome – but the biggest drawback for me is that it only archives the most recent 10,000 messages for free accounts, and I’m assuming they’ll just disappear after that. We have 65,927 posts on this InvisionFree board alone, not counting our original SCU pages, and from what I’ve seen Slack messages tend to be smaller in size than our forum posts, though maybe I’m mistaken. Either way, I don’t think we want our precious work history disappearing in a few years…
Anyway I’ve added most of you guys to the Trello thingy now. It does have discussion stuff, so I guess we’ll find out soon enough whether or not it’ll suffice.
Everyone here has their own opinions, but I’ll post my two cents. First, regarding a centralized website/service from where we can all work.
Regarding this, I don’t see why we necessarily need it to be private. Github is an extremely useful server for hosting files and different versions of the same project. I’ve used it in the past, and the repository system is pretty easy to use. It seems like it has everything we need. I think the only requirement they have (if you want a FREE repo) is open source. If you can point out some negatives to open-sourcing, I’m all ears, but otherwise, I’m a huge fan of open-sourcing. We don’t expect to sell this game in the future, as it would infringe copyright, and open-sourcing allows many others to contribute to the project, preventing the “bottle-necking” you mention.
Second, regarding a game engine. I recognize Troid has been working on a game engine for quite some time (well, that’s a bit of an understatement). What I’ve noticed, however, is that it seems like every detail has to be perfect before Troid releases it. He’s been working on it a lot, and as Megahurtz mentioned, there has been a lot of work on seemingly little things, like shaders and the like, which, when finished, could add a lot of cool flair to the project, but it’s not necessarily what we need right now. A modular design, like what Megahurtz is suggesting, would help a lot, so we can focus in getting the basic game up and running, then maybe adding special effects later. I’m not trying to bash Troid here. His work has been great. What I am concerned about, though, is that while all this development was/is going on, a lot of people have lost interest. This kinda gets back to the “bottle-necking” situation before, and open sourcing could be a huge boon to alleviate this. It gets people in on the action and makes them excited to contribute.
With open sourcing, however, we have a different problem. How do we stick with an engine that people can easily understand and contribute too? This is one of the issues I see with the Dark Basic engine that Megahurtz is suggesting. I’ve used Dark Basic previously in the past, and while it can be good for getting quick results, as it’s a language specifically designed for making games, but it is still Basic. Basic is a good idea for small projects and it’s a great starter language, but there are much better alternatives for making games. (And personally, Basic is very hard to read because of the syntax delimiters it uses like BEGIN and END and such.) I’ve been doing a lot of research recently on different engines to get up and running making games (mainly for myself and my own projects), and I’ve come up with a couple alternatives that I think would fit the project well. The first one is libGDX. libGDX is a cross-platform game development framework built on top of the Java programming language and has OpenGL bindings. It has been successfully used in many first-party and third-party games. It’s well-established with fairly good documentation. It uses a well-established and stable programming language. (Everyone and their mother knows Java.) As an added bonus, if we decide to target other platforms, you write the libGDX game once, and you can target any number of platforms, like HTML5 for web games and Android for mobile. It’s also fairly light-weight compared to Unity, Unreal, and those alternatives. (As a side note, I’ve heard that Unity’s 2D engine is not as well-developed as its 3D engine; it was more of an afterthought.) The other alternative I found is called MonoGame. MonoGame took Microsoft’s old XNA API, revamped it, and open-sourced it. It’s cross-platform and built on top of the C# language. Since Linux now has a .NET bytecode interpreter in the Mono package, MonoGame can be run on Windows and Linux (and probably Mac, but I’m not sure).
I’m actually really interested to hear what Phlakes has to say about this, since he’s the only one among us, to my knowledge, that has actually shipped a game and made money on it. Phlakes, I’m curious what engine/framework you used for your rail shooter.
Thoughts on scan visor:
How about when there’s a scan node nearby, we flash up a message “New scan node nearby! Press x to scan!” Pressing x would then point the character towards the node while they scanned. This would keep the interaction, but get around the clunkyness we were having before. I don’t completely remember how the scan visor worked in previous demos, but I think it had some angle associated with it (similar to 360 degree mouse aiming) and was inconsistent with the 8-directional style of pointing for shooting.
On 3D -> 2D transition:
I speak for myself when I say this, but I haven’t played Prime in many years. I’m willing to bet that this is the case with many people who eventually play the game (if it gets released). Hell, you even went on to say:
Even if we kept things relatively similar to how Prime was in 3D, for me, since I’ve likely forgot many, MANY things from the original game, it would be like rediscovering it, with that “sense of mystery” you mention.
Also, can you add me to the trello board? I’m Simon (originalname667).
I used GM Studio because I’m a terrible person, although everything else I’ve worked on has been Unity and Unreal and I’m transitioning over to those for my own stuff as soon as I finish SGS EX.
The thing about that is that’s it’s still redundant. I don’t mean to say that it would be a bad thing to do, I just think it would be better to have two similar games that are still pretty unique experiences than to have two of the same game with some changes. Prime still exists for people who want to replay Prime, and people who want something moderately different would have that too. Compared to those two groups I feel like there are a lot less people who specifically want to replay Prime in 2D. Assuming this game gets finished and is actually good, we (people in general) would come out of it with two good games that share a lot of DNA rather than one good game that can be played in two ways.
I hadn’t thought of this until now, but it would also speak to our skills a lot more going forward, for any of us (myself included) who are going to keep working on games. To be able to say to a potential employer “here’s how we took this classic game and made it our own equally great thing” would go way further than a straight translation.
Anyway, this is an idea I’ve been playing around with for scanning-
I put a thing about it in Trello, but the concept is that everything the pulse hits will automatically be added to the logbook, and those boxes in the corner (which would say “Creature: Shriekbat” or whatever) could be directly opened if something catches your eye, or you could ignore them and look through the logbook later. If you scan a vital object like an elevator then that box would automatically stay at the top of the queue and would give you a “Press X to activate elevator” prompt. And if we still want there to be some challenge to scanning things (especially bosses), then maybe the pulse would be continuous and you would have to keep things in it for a short time. Plus with some fancy art and sound, the pulse of light in a dark corridor would be a really cool thing on its own.
I think we’re just having a slight disconnect on what constitutes “different enough.” From my standpoint, we are translating Metroid Prime into a 2D paradigm. That’s a whole, totally different paradigm which demands a totally different play-style. Even if we don’t change the elements of the game, like items, bosses, etc, the game is going to FEEL very different. In addition, I’m a little wary about increasing the size of the project, which would inevitably happen if we start thinking about how to change things to make the game more unique.
I like the scanner idea. It’s similar to the idea I had, but without the prompt “New scan node nearby! Press x to scan!” Without the prompt, it adds some level and feeling of exploration in the game rather than hand a scan node on a silver platter to a player.
That’s kinda my point in a way. The game is going to be different either way so it might be easier and better to let ourselves build some things from the ground up rather than trying to take them as is and force them into the new mold.
Things like the Hive Mecha fight are going to need a lot of changes to work in 2D (I don’t think it worked in 3D tbh), and we could stretch the original ideas until we find a way, but why do that when we can take the fundamentals behind them, plus some specifics, and create new things that wholly serve the 2D gameplay? I’d rather have a well-designed, completely deliberate, narratively consistent boss fight that has nothing to do with the Hive Mecha than a decent fight with the Hive Mecha just because that’s what’s supposed to be there. In some cases the original things would probably work great with just a little tuning, but definitely not all cases.
The scanning issue is actually a perfect example of how every choice we make ripples out- we’re pretty much agreed on getting rid of the Scan Visor in favor of something more streamlined, so what does that mean for the other visors? They don’t serve much purpose other than to reveal hidden things, so could we use a similar mechanic for that and get rid of visor switching entirely? And in that case, how would Chozo Ghosts and the Omega Pirate and cloaked pirates have to change to fit? And depending on those changes, Chozo Ghosts are fucking fascinating and maybe we could use them for something other than standard enemy encounters? I’m sure there’s dozens of other things that would pop up down the road, all just from making scanning work in 2D.
Like no matter what we do P2D isn’t going to be straight up Metroid Prime in 2D, and there’s endless amounts of potential in that freedom.
Alright, I think I see what you’re saying now. I originally thought that just taking the 3D enemies, items, zones, etc and translating them to 2D would be less work than starting from scratch (less brainstorming, designing, etc), but if we have to deal with trying to make everything fit, even if it doesn’t work well mechanically, it can be more effort than if we had just started from scratch. Now that I think about it, that does make a lot of sense. I would still like to keep iconic fights and enemies though, but maybe design them from the ground up rather than trying to fit the 3D fight in 2D. Like, maybe we still have the “mecha hive” but the fight has different mechanics that are fresh and work well in 2D.
Hey guys, been reading through this topic and it got me thinking about the music. I dug out a track that I’d written a while ago gave it a bit off an overhaul. The track is my interpretation of Phendrena Drifts. It’s not finished obviously, more of a concept. Let me know what you think. If you’re still looking for contribution towards the soundtrack/sound design I’d love to be involved.
Another long post via mobile incoming - I’ll be posting and editing as I go.
Over the past week I’ve thought of a few ideas we could pursue.
1 - File size isn’t realistically an issue for us. Why don’t we experiment with unique room art, rather than tiles? This would allow us to keep more of the prime feel, along with looking awesome. AFAIK no 2D pixel game has done this, so it could be a great way to differentiate P2D.
2 - Before anything else, we need to sit down and go through the maps. Why are the rooms there? Are they filler or important? That answer should determine how much flexibility we have. Filler rooms can be removed/added/changed as needed, with iconic rooms being more rigid so we keep the Prime feel.
3 - Speaking of changing bosses for better play, what about the Parasite Queen? I know it was discussed we should make it a “Kraid-like” fight, but I don’t know if a decision was ever made on that.
4 - Power-Ups. Something about the Space Jump doesn’t feel right to me in 2D - why not replace it with the High Jump? Also on that note, I never liked the grapple beam in Super Metroid, and I don’t foresee our implementation being any better. Replacing that with the Spin Jump might be an option since it’s easy for us to keep players confined in rooms.
5 - Sequence-breaking. I propose we purposely work some of the more prominent sequence-breaks into P2D as speed run routes - kinda like Zero Mission.
6 - In regards to the discussed scan visor change, I like it. Here’s an idea to go with it - in Prime one of the primary uses of the visor was to see what weapon would destroy something. What if as that light pulse passes over destructibles they show their block type in its glow?
7 - How are we going to handle cutsceens? Specific examples:
Samus’ loss of suit upgrades
Exploding Orpheon and chase
I think ZM/Fusion esque panning over pixel-art would probably work. Thoughts?
8 - Basically everything in Prime was built around clunky controls. Most encounters were flat on the z-plane, missiles and enemies were slowed, etc. If we end up with mouse aiming (which I strongly support), P2D will be the opposite. We’ll have very precise, quick, and accurate controls. We need to take that into account when redesigning.
9 - Controller support. Because why not, and who doesn’t want to play this on the big screen?
10 - looks like HD is out, and pixel art is in. We going to keep GBA levels of fidelity, or do we want to give ourselves more pixels to work with? I vote a bump in res to at least 640x360, even if it involves a little more work.
11 - We need to stop the “work on random stuff” workflow. I assume we’re going to demo Orpheon again - if so, we should only work on stuff needed for that until it’s done.
I for one would be interested in seeing what you can contribute to P2D’s soundtrack, though I am concerned in that you would have to break away from your current style quite a bit to meet people’s expectations for a Metroid Prime soundtrack. Your works consistently develop a deep atmospheric sound, and from what I can tell the goal is to remain in stasis around this color, with supporting drum beats and voices and other effects as the main points of interest for the listener. I don’t mean to be critical because this is something a whole lot of people enjoy listening to, myself included, but Metroid Prime’s soundtrack has a lot of structural variety, faster tempos, and a huge emphasis on catchy melodies and motivic development. I would love to hear an example of your work that is a closer fit to this style.
That said, it seems like you would be particularly adept at one important task we might need done, which would be taking previous MIDI files and upping the quality in a modern sound studio, if that’s something you’d like doing. Anyway, an audio discussion just popped up on our Trello organization so please feel free to set up an account and help us out.
I remembered this project tonight and came here to see if there was any progress. I’ve read this post in its totality (and some others also) and I want to jump in to help out if there’s a chance. I’ve been followed this game progress since 2008 or so, but haven’t decided to contribute until now. If I can be of any help I’m a Software Engineer and Programmer. Right now I’m working on a metroidvania called Beyond-Human.
I’m interested to participate in this reboot and with the tools and skills we have today I don’t see why we wouldn’t be able to create a better Metroid game than Nintendo ever could.
Right now I can only work on this during the weekends and perhaps a few hours here and there during the weekdays.
One way to approach this is to build everything in 3D and just render it with an orthographic camera (without depth).
Good UV maps on all assets, sculpted outdoor areas and nice looking pixel art textures would most likely look awesome.
Currently using Slack at work and it works pretty good.
I’ve also heard good stuff about Bitrix24.
This project sucks, by the way. I don’t like this project. This is a project that I do not wish to see completed. I do not believe in this project, as this is not a good project to support because it is a bad project. I do not think this is a good project, as this project is very poor.
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