Mogi Origins Dev Journal

Mogi Origins Dev Journal

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Aftermath of Titan's trip

Veins here.
Once more, Titan returned home and he is no longer living with me. As usual, I will try to get straight to the point and go through our progress and process. Our main plan and focus was to finish Voms' timeline. Sadly we didn't manage to do that but we are VERY close. "How close?" you might ask.

We kept track of our progress through those notes.
The last 2 weeks were reserved for playtesting.

Titan has pretty much programmed everything, but there are a few details here and there that need to be addressed, like add a few cutscenes and finalize the level linking, puzzles and hazards and the last 4 Queens of the game. Titan stayed for 2 months at my place. I want to believe that if we had 2 more weeks, his part in the game would be over, but that's unlikely. We worked so much and so hard during his time here that we were both in the brink of burnout.

As about me... I got a lot on my plate. I have to finish 2 sex scenes (Blue and Stheno) and finalize a few animations (Ucogi, Alice etc). Also, there a few things I need to revisit. I was considering going back to some older animations and improving them, but I haven't made up my mind about that yet. I want to update some older background art and level design. When I was doing the level design, I left a few areas kind of empty, in hopes of populating them with platforms and hazards later on. I need to get into that now, while also correcting levels that weren't done properly by the various people who got paid to tile the game. 
I managed to learn GameMaker during Titan's time here and don't find this procedure to be much of a chore. So, right now, I have the freedom and power to polish many of the levels. The game may feel quite flat, as it doesn't have a lot of verticality, so I want to try and change that. Other than that, I have to create a few animated cutscenes, and I also need to worry about the sound effects, the whole presentation and execution of the game. 
I do know that I would need at least 2-3 months of hard work to finish with the art and leveling, but at the moment, we need a small break to rest, reflect and plan for the near future. In the main time, Titan has his fair share of work to do. We have created the foundation for all the playable characters during our playthroughs, fixing everything we could before Titan's departure. 

Programming such a big game is a huge task for just one guy.
Titan managed to fix every issue the game had.
With the game so close to completion, me and Titan discussed if we are pleased with what we made so far. We created an easy going protagonist, that he'd rather talk his way out of a situation rather than use violence. We wanted the MoGi to be memorable, instead of being generic enemies. There was also a lot of research: how to have a 3 story arc, what makes a good Metroidvania game, how to have interesting backtracking and interesting Hostage placement (as incentive to make the players explore) to name a few.

So, many things have changed over the development time. Thanks to the feedback we got, we added a lot more than we originally planned: tool upgrades, secondary moves, sub-weapons powerups and energy canisters to name a few. The sub-weapons enhance the action but can also unlock doors. The tool upgrades give additional moves. Magazines and Hostages reward the exploration. The map with every objective and teleport was a colossal new addition. The unique NPCs are now over 60 and their speech bubble has one of three colors, depending on their importance. All these new additions are fully functional in the game.

With the game so close to completion, we can't release a new Beta. I compiled a video with our progress and the difficulties we faced. The video is full of bloopers and glitches, but everything you see in it, is now fixed. It is important to know that even though the game crashed a lot and many unpredictable glitches occurred, we kept working and supporting each other. This is the hardest part of the development and we are both exhausted.

We hope you enjoy the sneakpeek from our video. All we ask for is a little more patience and some productive feedback. If there is something that you don't like or if you think that something is missing from the game, now it's your best chance to say something!

Monday, March 2, 2020

Development madness!

Hello everyone!

We have been working almost non-stop for the past 2 months, trying to finish as many things as possible. Some old ideas were discarded, some new emerged, but the game keeps going with undivided attention!

Titan has finished programming all of Voms' boss-fights and Veins is trying to provide all the potential art for Titan to work with. The following video shows testing of the playable character Alice and the Queen Stheno among other things, in various stages of development. The art still needs to be finalized.

Here's a partial list of the things we have these past few weeks:
  • New menu
  • Updated gallery
  • VS portaits
  • Survival and Time Attack levels
  • Level updates (redesigned outdated or glitchy areas of the game)
  • Map updates, legend, teleport points
  • Teleport rooms
  • Placing Magazines, hostages and NPCs
  • Adding pledged messages
  • Adding water-floating objects
  • Updating lifts and door mechanics
  • Cut scene updates
  • Correcting dialogues, tutorials and instructions
  • Correcting various glitches (such as objects not pausing during pause)
  • Correcting various mistakes (such as doors leading to wrong areas)
  • Correcting various areas (some areas of the city can be accessed by specific characters)
  • Adding additional objects such as Mr. Tremmors statue, spaceships and various items
  • Alice, Ucogi and Ninja are programmed (finalized art still pending)
  • Vor, Queens and other animations are programmed (finalized art still pending)
  • Story for Voms is 100% completed
  • NPC portraits, names, advanced programming and making additional NPCs (such as Dr. Nova, as seen in the following image)

We are at the hardest phase of the development. This is the phase were we are exhausted after years of devotion, as everything finally gets put together. Everything we worked for, hopefully fits together well. With Voms' story almost done, Veins and Titan will spend the next two weeks reviewing Voms' playthrough, trying to address any problem, glitch and oversight they may find. Many unpredictable things may happen at this phase, such as new objects not freeze during pause, gameplay or anything unpredictable that we could not foresee.

After that, Veins will finalize all the art assets, including sprites, sex scenes and level art. Veins has now a decent experience with GameMaker and he will deal with the enemy placement and any art glitches made by the several people who worked in the tiling of the game.

Once all that is done, Voms' game will be released. The rest of the characters will be released at a later date, once they are completed as well.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Hyped by the progress!

Ever since Titan went to stay with Veins for the second time, we've been working like madmen on Mogi Origins.

There are about 150 rooms in MoGi Origins and various aspects of those rooms need to be reviewed. We've been sitting next to each other reviewing each level, going through each minute detail as we attempt to finalize them. In some severe cases we have to re-do huge parts of a level. Here is an example of a  level that took about 5 hours to be completely revamped and you can watch the progress in the sped up video.

Veins has been thoroughly enjoying this process as he's a more detail orientated person. He's been able to add tons of new shading to the game so it feels less flat, while making older levels more consistent with the visual quality of some of the new ones.

Here are a few more example of level editing, tiling, coding and object placement. We managed to cover 2 room in 8 hours in this video. Spoilers for some of the later levels.

We've also been finalizing the puzzles in the game. Voms is a mechanic and it's important to his character that he solves problems. Almost all the puzzles are done. We have been keeping track of all the things we do and all the things we still need to do.

Currently we are just focusing on Voms and getting him out the door. Technically, you can walk around the entire game world in our development version and that's quite a large accomplishment.

Speaking of the other characters... Since Voms will encounter them, Veins has been working on animating them. Progress on that front has been good. We managed to make 2 more videos regarding art and testing the Ai of enemies. In these videos you will also get a glimpse of a half-finished naked Ucogi, so have fun!

Thank you so much for the constant support and positive thoughts!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Titan is back!

Veins here.

And yes, Titan is staying with me for the 2nd time, in order to complete MoGi Origins. He will stay for 2 months and so far we are working non-stop. A lot of progress has been made already and we are happy with how things go.

In the past few days we finished the Menus and the Gallery, updated a lot of art and we finished the design of additional levels for Survival mode and Time Attack. Titan is currently linking all levels together so that we can start placing MoGi, Hostages, Magazines and power ups in a way that would make sense progressing the game. We made plans regarding all that.

Many decisions are now finalized. The NSFW option wont hide the Gallery, but only hide the sex scenes during gameplay. Also only Voms (from he playable characters) will be able to find Hostages. There will be 3 Hostages per region (9 in total). Survival mode, Time Attack and Queen Replay will be unlockables.
In games like Castlevania, enemies appear only in their designated areas. In MoGi Origins however, we will be introducing a new MoGi every few screens. We hope to create an interesting dynamic between all the enemy MoGi, by having clever combinations of enemies for Voms to fight. 

We also plan to create 2 major events in the game, where white and black solders appear to make things harder (they can fly). These event will hopefully unite the stories of all the characters, provide a sense of progress and make some backtracking a bit more interesting.

As we are very close to finishing the game, our vision gets clearer as to what needs to be done. Small details will be added, such as a drowning sign near deadly lakes and hills so that the game won't appear to be to flat. All 'Versus Portraits' are done (the images that appear instead of sex when the NSFW option is on) and almost all the sex scenes are completed. 

We are doing our best to complete this long awaited game and we hope to complete it before Titan leaves. Wish us good luck and strength!