fredag 7 juni 2013

Megaman 42


Welcome to the blog for my video game development projects. I was going to hijack my old blog ->, but sadly Google ate that one up. Or rather, made it impossible for me to access it anymore. So here we are at a new address.

Playing video games has always been a big part of my life, minus some periods where I couldn't afford to buy new consoles or I did other things. One of the game franchises I played the most as a kid and have replayed countless times as an adult are the Megaman games. Sometime around 2001 one of my friends came up with the idea that the two of us and another pal of ours would make our own Megaman game. He also came up with a number of names for the Robot masters in said game. The names were mostly puns like Mad Man etc. I was up for this, but even at the time I kind of knew nothing would come of it because that's usually what ends up happening with this kind of stuff. Anyways, among the three of us I am the 'art' guy since I've always liked drawing. Hence I was going to do the graphics and leave the programming to the second childhood friend of mine who is very good at those things.

So I did some concept drawings, and pixel art for the Robot Masters. But that was basicly it. We had a few discussions about it on icq, but like I had expected in the back of my mind all along, the whole project never materialized. Many years later I got the itch again and drew seven Robot Masters from the initial ideas, colored them and uploaded them to my deviantart account -> The game has always been in the back of my mind but I was convinced it would never happen since I just don't know programming well enough to do any of this.

Flashback to about two months ago. I've been browsing 4chan since late 2007 and early this year m00t released a few additional boards, one of them being /vr/ about retro games. The nostalgia rush I got from the discussions on there was unreal and our fan Megaman game came into my mind once again. I had this game sitting on my hard drive that I hadn't played - Megaman x Street Fighter. Someone on a stream I watch mentioned the game which made me finally play it. I kind of enjoyed it for what it was, but when I read that it had been made in GameMaker, that blew my mind. You could do that in GameMaker??? I had tried GM but I could just do horrendously crappy games in which the animations didn't work and the player got stuck everywhere. So I booted up GM and tried making a Mega Man engine. Three long hard days later I had a working engine - made almost completely with the built-in functions in GM 8.1 (minimal coding) which is insane to me now.

The last two months I've spent making graphics and coding the stages, enemies and Robot Masters. Currently all RM stages are done including the RM's themselves. The game is actually like 75% complete at this point, I have the Wily Stage bosses left to go but they shouldn't be too much hassle. The menu stuff is really easy compared to everything else and shouldn't be any problem at all. Note though that I know absolutely nothing about the Megaman fan game community if there is such a thing. If Capcom get their lawyers on my ass for doing this, so be it, I mostly did it for myself anyway and I've learned so much about game development in this short time. I just know that in 2001 we got this idea and it has now become reality thanks to me. That was obviously long before even Megaman 9 or 10 were released.

Here is a video of a now outdated version of the game, most of the graphical glitches in this video have been fixed now:

This is already long for a blog post but I wanted to make a mini-FAQ so here goes:

Q: Why didn't you just make a rom-hack?

A: Firstly I have absolutely no idea how to do a rom-hack and I think learning it would just not have been worth it. Also I want this to be its own game as much as it can be, I don't want to build upon another MM game. Extremely few sprites in the game now have been taken straight from another Megaman game, besides good ol' Rocky himself obviously.

Q: Is Rush, the ability to slide or the charge-up megabuster in the game?

A: No. I have based the game on Megaman 1, my favorite game of all time in fact, not just in the franchise of classic MM games. And of course that game has none of those things. Personally I think all of these additions don't add anything to the game play. MM9 and 10 didn't include the slide or the charge-up buster and there is a reason for that. There are no items in this game, be it Magnet Beam or MM2-style items, but you will be able to use one of the weapons as an item...

Q: How come you don't use the palette limitation for the NES?

A: When I started making the graphics I thought the palette limitation was 256 colors for the NES so I just didn't bother to look it up. As I understand now it's something along the line of 56 colors(?), but converting all the sprites would just not be worth it at this point. A rough estimate of the number of sprites in the game currently is 700 plus backgrounds. Also if this would have been a big consideration for me I would've made sure to stay true to the hardware limitations regarding that. Megaman 42 is intended to be a game that pokes fun at the whole Megaman franchise, so this purist stuff is rather besides the point. You can make damn sure that I've used all sorts of mathematical calculations that the NES could never do as well. You just have to draw the line somewhere when it comes to this stuff, and I've intentionally been generous. Also MMxSF obviously didn't use the limitation and I've never read any complaints about that. The fact that I'm color blind doesn't help either. In the future I will make sure to use the correct colors though because I do plan on making at least one more NES-style retro game after this one.

That's it for now I think. I will update the blog when some more progress on the game is made.


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