Monday, November 29, 2021

Another month of complete devotion

Hello friends! Thank you all for being around and supporting MoGi Origins with your presence, suggestions, opinions, feedback and any other way possible. It means more than you can imagine.

This month I managed to finish all of Alice's animations for every outfit she was supposed to have. It was a huge challenge but she is now fully programmed and tested as a playable character. Alice has a new Backdash ability, even on the air. Also she has a Special and a Super move that consumes energy. Alice showed up a few bugs but seemingly everything is now fixed and I'm very pleased with the final result. Her Super move is so cool as it shakes the screen and hits all visible enemies!


Titan worked with me for the second time, since our new arrangement. I'm very proud of the number of things we added and fixed this month. Here's most of the tasks Titan had to deal with, during his 20 days of work. Most notably, Slimegirl Red needed a big update and Succogi is now completed as a boss fight. The work speed was hectic and some details may be missing from the following list, but that's a good chunk of the problems we addressed.


Titan will work on the programming of the game for another 20 days in January. Until then I have to finish the underwear version of Ucogi, and revamp and populate as many levels as possible. The level design is tricky in many ways and every guy we hired to help, found it to be a big chore. I need to familiarize with GameMaker and its kinks, as there are no obvious shortcuts to tile each area. But for me is more time consuming than challenging. For example, just to test each level's parallax scrolling, I have to compile the game every damn time.

My main concern is making the levels interesting (especially if they need backtracking) and work well with all 6 playable characters. Moreover, I need to worry about the pacing of the game, which is tied to the level design. Thankfully I have worked on many plans and drafts, but if something is off, I would need to reconsider and correct it. 

Even thought all the levels exist in the game, many of them were left empty, to be populated by objects that I would design later on. These objects are now completed, many levels have Hostage puzzles (an idea that came to me only a few months ago), some art is updated and even the parallax scrolling has been updated to be both horizontal and vertical. Furthermore, the game due to it's semi-realistic setting, it appears to have many flat levels and it does need more verticality. So, I really need to rework and polish most of the areas.


I wish I could have something tangible to show you, especially after all the hard work we have done in the game, but most probably I won't have something ready, until the early months of 2022. To some of you, this might sound disappointing, but please consider that I'm doing my very best. Not only I came up with a viable production plan that works, but I have also been working non-stop (pretty much since September) in an effort to redeem the whole project. 

During November I only went out 5 times (to get food supplies from a supermarket), and I haven't had any other contact with the outside world. The sheer amount of this month's work is a testament to that. I might take a break during the Christmas vacations, because I'm showing symptoms of burnout, and I do need to clear my head, if not for my health, then for the level design's sake.

 
~Veins



Monday, November 1, 2021

Ucogi and Alice updates

I have been working non stop for the past few months, and that should show from my posts here. I do hope that you can all experience soon all the hard work that has been put into this game.

A lot of progress has been made on my part, and Titan has already started working on the game once more. He will be working for another 20 days during November, as per our agreement. I'm not sure how many things we can finish up, but we will do out very best.

In the last 10 days I completed Alice's run animation. I had to draw her naked and put clothes on top, just like I did with Ucogi. Picking fitting shoes for Alice was a challenge, but I'm glad I got her to run with her bouncing boob in that loose top she wears all the time, without looking like a complete bimbo!

 

Also, I updated Rudy's runcycle. Rudy's weapons are balanced and her roll move has different controls and a shading effect. Her runcycle has been worked over and over the past few years and from what I could find I have worked on it for about 6 times. There's always something that bugged me in that animation, but yes, it's time to let it be..

same frame, different versions

When I don't work, I usually research and think of ways to improve the game. In my Youtube channel I added a couple of Rudy test videos, to check and avoid the mistakes of Castlevania SOTN and Zelda64, where the protagonist runs faster by rolling and backdashing.

The plans for this month is to fix any small bugs we come across. Add Ucogi and Alice if I can manage to finish their sprites. Complete the programming for Red (she needs to be harder as a Boss), Succubus 2 and Stheno. We need to finish Succogi and Succalice as well. And as many cutscenes as possible. And test it all.

 

Then, during December, I got to deal with a few more animations (like Stheno's scene, ending etc) and the final level design, which would be a huge task. And also I got to do the dialogues for over 80 NPCs and many e-panels. And many other things that must escape me right now. We are so close now and everything falls into place nicely!


Friday, October 22, 2021

Ucogi's clothes and Alice's pose

Hello everyone!
Usually I post near the end of the month, but I felt like sharing this month's progress a bit earlier.

I dressed up Ucogi. It took me over 10 days to draw her clothes. You can see most of the procedure in the following video. It might be only 5 hours long, but it shows the progress of over 40 hours of work and took 20 hours to get uploaded.



As you may know, Ucogi will be a playable character in the game MoGi Origins, and she will be losing her clothes as her life points decline. She has 205 frames, so to dress her up I had to draw 200 shirts, 200 skirts and 200 stockings. Now that she is all dressed up, I have to draw her 3rd and final state, her underwear.



I also worked a bit on Alice. Took me about 2 days to draw her new standing pose. Now her back is more straight and her arms are more distinct. And she looks more confident than in her older pose.



Titan managed to work for a couple of days as well, and he will work on the game for another 20 days during November. Regarding Titan's work, so far everything goes according to plan, and I'm happy about that. Here's what he worked on, this month:

• Several NPC have different dialogue after an event occurs (eg. when the MoGi appear)
• Rudy shows the idle animation after a few secs
• Rudy fires short range blue laser with lv1 weapon (she needs to start weak)
• Rudy fires with slower frequency (so that her transformations feel stronger)
• Shade when Rudy rolls (to imply that she cannot get hit)
• New lifebar for Ucogi and Alice (to show when they lose their clothes, at least for testing)
• Alice's moves and buttons are altered. Her special moves cost energy.
• Alice now has a backdash move (but I haven't tested it yet)
• Dressed Ucogi exists in the game



I just started working on this, but I hope you like how Ucogi looks like in her underwear! Just a few hundred drawings more, and she will be completed. Constructive criticism is very welcome.



Talk soon!



Saturday, October 2, 2021

Clear plans and direction

Veins here.

September was a tough but interesting month. Not only me and Titan made a ton of progress on the game (more on that later), but we also managed to solve a big internal problem we had. I hinted about it in my last post, but I needed some time before I felt ready to share it. Titan is no longer a part of Team Erogi, but he will continue working on the game, part time, until the game is completed.

So yeah, without getting into details, me and Titan made a new deal that doesn't hurt the game. The most important thing for me was always the release of MoGi Origins and that's my end goal. The current plan is that Titan will work for me, full time for 20 days during November and maybe even January. In the main time I have to do everything else: finish up all the art that I can, find bugs, re-edit and link most levels, add sfx and music and so on. Scary, but there was no other way. From now on, I am responsible for pretty much everything.


General progress:
Here's a video of the various tests we made for the game.
This video shows many things that I have presented in the past few entries (such as Voms' Swing, Succogi, Ucogi's animations, the Physics labs and the Toxic area) during the development. Most of it is work in progress, recorded for testing purposes. The video doesn't show the final results, but you can get a glimpse of the things we were working on. And most of them are finalized in the game's files. For example, Ucogi's many jumps and Voms' Swing look weird at first, but they improve greatly by the end of the video.



September's progress:
I was aiming to finish Voms' playthrough but that was unrealistic. Many issues and bugs came up, and many fixes caused even more bugs. We had to try over and over to solve many of these problems, but it was a very productive month! Here's a list of the things we accomplished:

• Survival and Time Attack are merged with the main game.
• New SFX for Bloostone, Mushrooms, Ucogi, Alice, Rudy, Chibi, Gold, Neko and more.
• New SFX for many hazards and objects.
• Bloodstone can now transform to 6 different MoGi.
• Lots of new art added, including new pushable carts for puzzles.
• Cutscenes for Rudy, Ucogi, Chibi and Alice.
• We completed Ucogi's moves and controls (very challenging).
• We completed Voms Swing move (took a while to make it feel good, see video)
• Floating water objects detect the character's weight (except Chibi's)
• Each Daisy can have her own stats (helping Elf reach different heights).
• Succogi boss redesign and Ai.
• Bug fixes (Blue falling on platforms, lifts, crouch animations, Rudy kicks boxes, hanging)
• Many details like SlimeGirls Black's bar and Amanita projectile frequency.
• New save system
• Completed all VS portraits.
• New objects, such as hazardous servers and falling platforms.
• Hazards: water, fire and electric floor, kill. Acid hits everyone except Gold. Flames, particle
beams, electricity and explosions hit everyone.


What remains to be done:
In order to finish Voms' timeline, we need to finish the art of Ucogi, Alice and Ninja, program Succalice and Stheno and deal with many other details (cutscenes, unforeseeable bugs, new SFX, dialogue, polishing etc). Also I do want to revisit Red's bossfight and a few other things.

The full release may need at least 5 more months of hard work. If the project takes longer than my calculations, I may try to release a decent Beta around December. I'm not fluent with GameMaker, and there's a lot to deal with, but I know what is required of me and I'm trying to do the best I can.


Thank you all for your support!


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Light at the end of the tunnel


Veins here.

I took a break from the game during the last week of August. I haven't been on vacations in over 3 years and I needed some time off to rest, relax and reflect. There is no denial that MoGi Origins went through development hell and the delays have damaged the project in many ways. Without getting into details, I proposed a viable plan to Titan, he agreed to it and now we are back working on the game at full speed!


We are working like crazy for almost a week now. Some of the things we did include:
AI
Succogi's jump height, and how she moves. Jump and camera. VS portraits, Succogi stuck and double broom bug. Voms sex (Succogi) added. Alice spaceship movie. Toxic cloud splash sfx bug. Succogi's battle go faster as her health drops. Blue falling on platforms bug. Labs door links. Ucogi highjump fix. Ucogi has remnants of her old art in the game. Review the puzzles in the newlabs. Certain hazards kill the player. Blue sex scene added. Gold's fire. Mushrooms fruit delay. Particle beams. Many updates in Labs. Removed random hum audio bugs. Many bug fixes. 3d audio in fire and sprinklers. And Voms swing controls is now [Forward, Forward, Attack].


 


There's still a lot to be done, but if everything goes well, most of Voms' programming could be done during September. Then I can spend November finalizing some art, and during October, Titan could finish up the programming of the rest of the characters. Now, that's the best case scenario, as I would have to deal with a lot of art and animations, sfx, music, cutscenes, presentation, populate some levels and so on. So I will probably need another month or two to finish any remaining designs. But the main thing is that I would be working with Titan like the old days, without delays. And in the end, the game will be finally released!


Some of the things that remain to be done: Ucogi dressed, Alice's sprites, Alice Boss fight, Enforcers arrive cutscene, Gold and Okami sprite scenes, secret Ucogi sprite scenes, ending cutscene, puzzle levels, Stheno sex scene, a few bosses for playable characters other than Voms. Sfx, testing, presentation, bug fixes, better cheat menu.

 


There were plans to release a new Beta, but I decided to focus on the game's release. This might displease some, but due to personal issues, we need to rush and complete the game, with as few compromises as possible.

I hope I will have more good news soon! Take care!



Thursday, July 29, 2021

So much new stuff!

Last month I tested the game and there were many things I didn't like (see my last post). I tried to seek solutions to many of these problems, and it was indeed a very productive month. 

I don't get many suggestions or constructive criticism when it comes to art and design, so I have to rely on myself and be as subjective as I can. If we want to improve, then we should challenge any creative work, even our own. For example, when I was playing the game, I realized that Oak's background was just an uninteresting flat rock! Then I went to Forest B and I was like "wow this is boring! The graphics and the music changed but it's just another green forest with the same old platforms!". Forest C has also green trees (and some of them are wrong because they have trees from Forest A). And all these trees have zero parallax scrolling! Actually even now, the game doesn't have vertical parallax, only horizontal. (Titan was struggling with it but I recently found a tutorial, which hopefully will give us the gift of true parallax)

Old vs new Oak's stage sample


• New Art
Titan and the guys who did the level editing were struggling or they found that job to be a chore (Titan originally made the very first level using only code! I can't even fathom that). But now I know how the GameMaker works, and I can
level edit myself, in the quality that I want. I'd love to revamp the levels, even tho it may kill me - so much work!

I created/updated over 50 objects, that will hopefully breathe some new air into the game. These objects will replace some old ones, as they try to conserve game memory. This clean up is crucial, because many objects exist twice in the engine (a lot of early art exists as both normal and mirrored). In my updated art, Forest B has now orange trees and Forest C has snow near the mountain peak. And Oak has a lake in the background! (see image above)

A lot of art and plans that was made behind the scenes, got rejected and abandoned. And lots of older art is replaced. The containers for example, were used in every level, but they now appear only in Docks and Forest A. Other levels will have new kinds of platforms and obstacles, and you can see most of them in the following picture.  

 

• New map details
So yeah, even though sometimes it's hard to be self-motivated, my muse spoke and made me stay home, not to talk to anyone, and just work work work! I updated the map and I wrote down in detail which character meets who, and where. These meetings must have a certain gravity to them. When Voms for example meets Ucogi, they need to talk about important story stuff, not about the weather.

yes, my maps are crazy
 

• Hostage Puzzles!
Most of the areas in the game were left empty until now, in hopes of populating them with platforms that I would make in the future. I'm happy to say that I finished with the platform designs and I know what goes where for the majority of the levels. Major factor was my decision to turn each Hostage scene into a puzzle. 

I'm proud of what I managed to do there. It was a huge task and challenge, as all 33 Hostage puzzles needed gradual difficulty and the chance of resetting them, if the player makes a wrong move. I love the fact that these puzzles are not mandatory. You can ignore them and continue with your quest! 

As an example, check the image below. That's Forest C11 and if you remember, there was just a building and a tower. But there's a new layer of depth now! You think you can reach the Hostage?


Hostage puzzle in the snow


• Ucogi Boss updates
Regarding Ucogi, me and Titan had many exchanges. I made a nude version, he added it in the game, it needed a few fixes. I updated Ucogi, he added it in the game, but it needed a few more fixes. I 
updated Ucogi again, but Titan was too busy with other things. Right now I'm waiting on Titan, so that I can check and make sure she's as awesome as she should be. And then finally dress her up!


I also made several storyboard pages, as to how the Ucogi Boss Fight should be. We thought it was finished but what Titan had done was the bare minimum, and we had to discuss and come up with a few cool ideas. Titan's next task is to finish this Boss battle.


Ucogi Boss fight storyboard


• Tool lv3 attack
What else, what else...  I changed Voms baseball-bat move. You get that move with Tool lv3. You are supposed to repel projectiles by pressing [Down, Forward + Attack]. Personally, I prefer if that attack was a charging move, because it would be easier to time and pull, and many players complain about button input in metroidvania games and they rarely use them. If you have an opinion about this, leave it in the comments.

The baseball-bat move was a good idea but it felt to me that something was missing (A). So after a lot of pondering, I made the Tool's effect cover 360 degrees (B), and even though I haven't tested it yet, it feels like a great addition to the game. 


A) original                   B) updated
 

Regarding the upcoming Beta... you will have to wait a bit. I need to finish Ucogi and apply the new designs to a few levels, while Titan checks his to-do list. And he has a lot to do until we are ready for a decent release.

Pheww.... I think I might need a break during August. I havent been on vacation in over 3 years.
Thank you for reading about our progress and for being around! It means a lot.

- Veins


 

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Ucogi & Beta progress

During the past few months we are working on several ends to release the new (and most likely) final Beta version before the release of MoGi Origins. Many decisions were made and a lot of work has been done, but we are not done quite yet.

Talking about the Beta and the release of MoGi Origins, we mean Voms' timeline. The other characters (Ucogi, Alice, Rudy, Chibi and Ninjuco) will be released as DLC, later on. Right now we want to Focus on Voms and the level design. The level design however is affected by other characters as well. So we had to finish Rudy and all 3 of her transformations back in March, and also finalize Ucogi this month. Their versatile moveset is crucial for the final design of many levels and they do appear as NPCs in Voms timeline.

Ucogi was a beast to make. She has about 200 frames, many unique moves and 3 states of undressing. And she has to look as good as possible! Right now Ucogi exists only naked for testing purposes. Once we are happy with the way she feels in the game, I would need about a week to dress her up, and make her presentable for Voms timeline. In total, Ucogi will have 600 frames!

All that said, Titan prepared a Beta for me to play and test, but there were many game braking errors and glitches that needed to be fixed. That's the cruel truth about gamedev... adding new things sometimes break old things... and many other things need to be updated or upgraded or corrected. 


I wrote over 7 pages of notes, for both me and Titan. Some are high priority, and some are low. But they all need to be addressed sooner or later, if not for this Beta, then at least for the final version of the game.

- Veins