Thursday, May 10, 2018

Skyrim Modding and how to reduce load order nicely on Skyrim SE

It's been awhile since I wrote a post here, so I'd like to cover a few tricks for reducing one's load order on Skyrim Special Edition.

There is a program written for merging plugins I used to use, but I have since discontinued use, it tends to bug out quite a bit despite Skyrim SE native support.

Instead, I recommend the following:

1. Turn small mods in ESL files in the Creation Kit: The ESL limit is far higher than the ESP limit, and if the mod is under 4000 lines of content, this should work quite nicely.

2. Merge Plugins xEdit Script; While written for Oldrim, it works fine for Skyrim SE, but I have some caveats I must mention.

A. Refrain from use on mods with BSA archives: The BSA structure is bit different on SE, and while merging many non BSA mods into one mod that uses a BSA and replacing the name of the merge mod with the name of the mod needing the BSA should generally work, the other way round tends to cause a lot of issues.

B. Save the original mods in case things break: This goes without explanation.

C. Make sure the mods don't have too many overlapping conflicts: While inevitable for leveled list mods and the like and thus generally benign save any edits that wind up the loser of the conflicts, this can cause issues if things like facegen data clashes, resulting in black faces and and other anomalies

D. Patches are generally safe to merge: So long as they have small changes and the above stricture on overlapping conflicts is kept to a minimum, mods with a ton of patches like Legacy of the Dragonborn can have their patches shrunk down to one file.

E. DON'T merge ESMs or master mods: Just don't if they have subordinate mods that require them. If this is not the case, you can still do this, but mind the above caveats.

F. ESLs don't merge: You will crash xEDIT.

G: Use LOOT to reorder mod order after you are done, Wrye Bash is also useful for making sure mod order is proper.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Have turned over the keys of DQ1 Remake, or rather given a copy of them to another

I have put my DQ1 Remake project on hold for now, or rather, I have given developer access to Jaimas of the Kiwi Farms to examine it and make any improvements he deems fit.

Jaimas has proven to be an exemplary beta tester, having pointed out many flaws and imperfections that needed addressed, and since he has a copy of RPG Maker and the associated material needed to work on it when he has the time to devote himself to doing so, I have since provided him access to a developer build of the current project.

This means any further progress will be on hold until he gets back to me, but I consider this important to do since he is someone whom I trust to do a good job shaping up the rough edges of this project, and it is my hope this collaboration results in an exemplary production.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

DQ1 Remake 2.25 Beta Release

Jaimas of the Kiwi Farms has been playtesting my game of late, and noted many issues with graphics, sound effects, music, game balance, and some other minor concerns that have necessitated a new game update, with will be 2.25, which will replace Beta 2.20.

It has the following:

1. Redid translations of many items, weapons, armor, enemies, and so on to match later DQ game translations.

2. Lots more musical variety.

3. Additional sound effects.

4. Many enemy graphics redone and retouched for better fidelity.

5. Several balance changes to make bosses less a joke at some points.

6. Several minor bugs and a few crashes fixed.

It can be downloaded here:!ZQcTGQ4C!DDFiIrVXYwohZr4FCNSp3A4WTo5Mq8S67t0Otf7BPKY

Thursday, August 24, 2017

DQ1 Remake Beta 2.30 in progress

I'm writing this post to give a progress report on Beta 2.30 of DQ1 Remake.

Thankfully, this build won't force me to add too much more content, but it has presented a new problem that forced me to take my time.

The main new area I have to complete is Charlock Castle, and while I generally made my own versions of DQ1 locations out of whole cloth while maybe taking some minor inspiration from the level design of the originals at best, I wanted to do a nigh perfect homage to the original level design of Charlock Castle since I plan to reuse this in any possible sequels, but I had an issue.

The level design of this Castle between DQ 1, 2, and 3 was VERY inconsistent.

DQ1 was the worst offender. On top of being oddly small and cramped, the bottom floor had a tileset that looked like it belonged on the surface, so I decided not to use that one.

DQ2 was simply a slightly expanded version of the DQ1 version, and it wasn't much better.

DQ3 had the best and most logical floor plan and a tileset design that made actual sense from top to bottom, so I'm going with that.

However, even though I'm trying to mimic the original floor plans as well as I can within the VX Ace engine limits, that means I'm having to make some design alterations, mostly to account for having better tiles and tiling methods at my disposal. I'm also having to make a custom tileset for this area, but thankfully I have all the pieces I need, I just need to put them all together in GIMP.

As for custom character graphics, good news is that I'm completely covered on this front, and I commissioned some special art from Fumirei awhile back for the Dragonlord that looks just like the original artwork while not running into any copyright issues (though the original design is still based off that by Enix and it's artists and will be credited appropriately).

As for events and scripting, again, this won't be an issue.

I do plan to alter how the sequence of events plays out in the next build, so the dialogue tree for when the Dragonlord is encountered will be subject to change by next build.

Progress is mostly done on the maps for now, more as I continue development.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Beta 2.20 of DQ1 Remake is finally live

I have finally released Beta 2.20 of DQ1 Remake on my MEGA account, after a long time in closed beta.

Everything up to the Cave To Charlock Castle is finished (there is a monument that tells you you need to save for the next build, which will be removed in the next version). The Catilin area is fully fleshed out, as are any remaining overworld areas, save for one or two on the Charlock Castle landmass (these will be fleshed out in the next few builds).

The next build will have the normal ending implemented, the build after will implement the bonus ending, and the build after is planned to be the final build.

Unlike the original Dragon Quest, my game does not have a "bad ending" option, but it may be added in some manner by the final build.

A few bugs have been fixed in this build, including a UI bug, and a lot of legacy code and crash issues were finally dealt with. Most of this is thanks to the extremely dedicated bugtesting done by Stagefright.

And, for the following websites and groups, I have added the following characters:

Encyclopedia Dramatica: Lulzkiller (as King Kunt) (his character works in one of the banks as a LFG representative in Rimuldar)

Kiwi Farms: (Archmage) Jaimas, Lord Cipher Luna (aka Joshua "Null" Moon) and Aeterna Concordia (aka Peace and Harmony) - all can be found in Catilin, where I even tossed in some references to some Kiwi Farms memes and events.

r/KotakuInAction: HandOfBane (say hi to "The Legendary Bane" in the Catilin bank/League For Gamers branch office store)

Beta 2.20 can be downloaded here:!VM8iGYzL!pc8SDIOJ7H-aoPqDdQ3hEw

You can also find the latest copy of the game readme at the same.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

DQ1 Remake 2.20 is getting some further balance changes before stable release

I'm now almost done with getting DQ1 Remake Beta 2.20 out of closed beta and ready for stable release, but before I do that, some issues need to be fixed as mentioned in my previous blog post. Also, the following changes for balance will be done.

1. Many more spells will have accuracy fluctuations. The original Dragon Quest games had this to prevent them from being too OP for enemies or players, and the more powerful spells and skills will have lower accuracy than their initial versions, especially multi-hit skills and spells.

2. On top of redoing the scripting for my bonus dungeon quest, the cursed and uncursed items you can get doing this will be rebalanced. Also, they will have actual gold values assigned to them to make them sellable, should the player opt to do so. I also will eliminate some items that were cloned to normalize game balance, as I was unsure where to put a few of these items several times during development, and this will be corrected for the final time before 2.20 releases in a stable form.

3. A few skills have been modified to be more useful or to fix issues with bad coding.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Nearly done with DQ1 Beta 2.20 beta testing, and some commentary on another game dev's project

This is an update for those who are following my DQ1 Remake project. The 2.20 beta has been through about ten revisions now, and in each one tons of bugs have been fixed, as I want to leave all the engine issues behind me so they do not plague me in future builds, and I want to thank beta tester Stagefright in particular.

His efforts to find and document all my numerous screwups so I could fix them have been nothing less than Herculean, and I just want to say, "Semper Fidelis" to him for all his fine work at unearthing all the fail in my project so I could fix it.

Due to his tireless efforts, the following is now no longer an issue.

1. More legacy broken code is now removed.
2. The last remaining shards of my old dialogue code should be gone.
3. A longstanding UI glitch when displaying skill data is now fixed.
4. Skills in general have received numerous fixes to damage, calculation of effect, and other fixes.
5. Tons of game crashing issues now no longer a problem.

The following needs to be fixed though:

1. Some broken transfer triggers in various areas towards the end of the game.
2. The event coding for my bonus dungeon unlock is jacked up. It was ancient code I set up in one of the earliest builds of my game, and I finally discovered it's obsolete and buggy, and due to a oversight Stagefright discovered, is prone to screwing the player out of the bonus dungeon key by mistake very easily, and thus that event sequence will be rewritten in its entirety to avoid this.

Once I have fixed all this and Stagefright confirms I've no longer fucked anything else up (won't lie, I screwed up a LOT), I will release the official 2.20 build of my game, which I plan to dedicate to the Kiwi Farms, because those guys are awesome and I even threw in a lot of shoutouts to them in the town of Catilin to show my appreciation.

And on that note, I want to mention another game dev I'm aware of named Alex Mahan, the guy who does the Yandere Simulator game, which, as I understand it, is a crippled POS he does very little work on and has numerous issues which the Kiwis have pointed out in this thread:

From what I've seen, he's a lazy asshole with some messed up fetishes, but more importantly, as a game dev, his project is an abysmal garbage heap of bad coding, bad game design, and it has been stalled in terms of actually being playable for the longest time now because it's developer is shiftless, easily butthurt over any criticism, no matter how reasonable, and refuses to humble himself and admit when his coding skills can't do what he promises and when what he has produced is frankly subpar work.

It is this I want to address him on:

Alex, as a game dev, I'll be blunt: When you get called out for producing a piece of shit, and people present good reason based on the objective quality of your work to call it shit, fall on your sword, admit it, and work your ass off. If you fuck up, own up to it and work on it, and learn to treat your beta testers with respect. Mine are a gift from God himself, and when they tell you what you screwed up, show some damned pride in your craft and fix it instead of dragging ass and getting asshurt over being told you aren't perfect.

In fact, I'm just going to be harsh: Your godawful project has inspired me to work harder on mine, and unlike you, I definitely plan to have mine fully released as a finished game before the end of this year unlike yours, and if you have any self respect, you will prove me wrong.