- Doom Guy now can get past boss doors.
- Doom Guy tweaks and weapon balancing.
- Plenty of other bug fixes.
Now if you enjoy reading developer ramblings, make sure to keep reading after the cut.
Some fun stuff
According to my notes, the last release of Bass Abyss was in 2013. Time sure flies and I don’t think I planned to have a hiatus this long. In my defense, I was doing a graduate course overseas between 2014 and 2015, and I also worked on other games, so I guess I just lost track of time having fun with Bad Box Over and Fall of 21XX.
But during that time there was some maintenance activity in Bass Abyss. I guess I just did not feel any of it deserved a release and I was waiting for a more substantial update to release everything in a single batch. During these years I mostly focused on improving the project build process and automation. Also, minimal graphic fixes, possibly alignment of sprites in animations. Most likely I just ported back workflow fixes learned from Bad Box Over and Fall of 21XX.
Anyway, for this release, I also did some script fixes in Mega Man X First Armor Intro. My bad for copying some of Dr. Light’s X8 dialogue as is.
This is the big one. Not only I fixed doors for Doom Guy. I pretty much reviewed every single character to make sure they get past them. Fire Man also had this problem to a lesser degree.
Checking this very blog, I added support for doors in 2011. No idea why I could not test this properly with all the characters. Looking back, I guess I was too excited converting Bass Abyss into what appears to be a Mega Man X engine. And if you think that was a long time ago, well, I introduced Doom Guy in 2007! I don’t remember any major changes in his gameplay since then, so probably I just did not bother to test those latter engine updates with him. Quite ironic since the Arch-vile is such an iconic Doom monster and any fan of the series would have loved to see how this duel panned out.
Rest assured that not only I have tested that Doom Guy can reach the Arch-vile but also defeat it. This required some balancing to make this duel interesting. Weapon and health balancing is yet another never-ending and long overdue task.
Another reason Doom Guy was not properly tested in Level 19 is that creating maps for him is difficult since long levels require ammo scattered for him to pick up. As a level designer, if you are only concerned about playing as Bass, Samus, or Mega Man X, you most likely won’t care to add ammo thorough the stage. As a player, when you try this kind of level with Doom Guy, you will run out of ammo and die. Adding ammo to the stage also requires balancing because if you give too much it becomes trivial to clear all the enemies. As a fix, I’ve been considering making enemies drop items when they die. Doom 2016 does this anyway.
Doom Guy fixes
BTW, I also restored the blood and smoke produced by Doom Guy’s weapons. Another feature that I have no idea about how I broke it. The bug was most likely the result of engine upgrades and enhancements in the gameplay of new characters, say Mega Man X, but to the detriment of others.
The thing is, engine upgrades can ripple everywhere. The consequences are hard and complex to test thoroughly. Way too many variables. But such is the desire to progress. If there is some reasonable level of playability, I just call it a day and let everyone join in the fun. That’s why I rely on you guys to report any bugs.
I could not fix everything. For instance, I could not kill the Arch-vile with Vile. If you can, you must be a very outstanding player, but at the moment the problem is that (spoilers) Vile cannot reach the safe zone above. His ride armor is too tall. The issue is captured in my bug tracker though, no worries.
So, is this the start of a new season of Bass Abyss? It is very difficult to resist after seeing the progress other projects are doing, like in Nintendo’s Super Mario Maker 2.
On the other hand, Flash is still scheduled to die by 2020. I am evaluating alternatives, but I am very far from anything concrete. For a hobby project, I can’t devote many resources to it regardless of how much fun I have with the development and the research involved. No, this game is not forgotten, and I do want to add the final level(s). Anyway, I had other site updates in progress before this bug was reported, so at least this got me back for a quick release.
Have fun and don’t hesitate to report any bugs!