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THE PLAN

The second SMBX collab!
Rixithechao
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by Rixithechao »

So I linked to this on a few discord servers last night, but the thread for the asset pack expansion is up now! It's got a package of all the NPC, block, BGO, etc graphics between the A2XT2 repo and the SMBX basegame, so if you're interested in making new sprites for the project why not pop over, claim a few, and grab the sprite sheets?

viewtopic.php?f=36&t=17774
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Hoeloe
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ON THE STATE OF A2XT2

Post by Hoeloe »

We'd previously announced during last year's Gifted Up raocow Party that A2XT2 would be released in 2018. As you've no doubt guessed, that's sadly not going to be happening. A lot of the development team have had unforseen events taking up this year that have prevented them working on A2XT2 nearly as much as they would have hoped, and it's meant we're having to delay the release of the development kit, and consequently, the game. We're just as annoyed as anyone about this, and it's super frustrating that this is what we're having to do.

However, please don't think the project is dead, it's still going, just slowly, and the dev kit is actually REALLY CLOSE to being ready. It's actually really just waiting on one thing, and for the sake of openness I'm gonna explain this.

The development kit just needs one thing that seems pretty mundane on the surface - text. A lot of the engine relies on more advanced text rendering than is available with the basic LunaLua text tools, but textblox proved to be unsuited to the task due to bloat and performance issues (to the point of sometimes freezing the game for upwards of 10 minutes, or outright crashing it). For a long while now, a replacement system known as textplus has been in the works that fixes these issues, and has only fairly recently got to a usable state. Unfortunately there's now the task of updating the development kit to utilise this instead of textblox, and cleaning up some of the workarounds needed to make textblox even at all functional. This is a fairly large task, and we were hoping to get it done by the end of the year. Alas, life gets in the way at the worst of times, and none of the development team has been able to really dig into these systems enough to finish this.

Which leads us to the current situation: The development kit is almost done. It's been almost done for a while, but progress IS STILL BEING MADE, and it will be released as soon as it is stable enough to be.

Once again, biggest apologies for this unfortunate turn of events, and we though ripping the bandage off now would be kinder than dragging things out for as long as possible.

It's a huge shame, and no-one is more disappointed than us, but we're going to get this done, we just need a bit more time.

Thanks.
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Kshaard
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by Kshaard »

Talkhaus sequels. They should have called this game A3XT, so that the double curse of the number two mightn't have fallen upon it. . . .

Can't wait for A2XT2 part 2 after this one comes out!
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Hoeloe
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by Hoeloe »

Kshaard wrote: ↑2 years ago Can't wait for A2XT2 part 2 after this one comes out!
You joke but this has been seriously considered because it's hilarious.
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SAJewers
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by SAJewers »

My one fear is that once all this finally is finished and out for people to see and the projectback up and running publicly, the interest will have dropped too much and there won't be enough people around to actually finish a2xt2. hopefully this isn't the case.
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Hoeloe
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by Hoeloe »

SAJewers wrote: ↑2 years ago My one fear is that once all this finally is finished and out for people to see and the projectback up and running publicly, the interest will have dropped too much and there won't be enough people around to actually finish a2xt2. hopefully this isn't the case.
I've been quietly contacting people to gague interest and see if the outstanding claims are still wanted. There's plenty enough to finish the project, don't you worry on that front.
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SAJewers
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by SAJewers »

Hoeloe wrote: ↑2 years ago
SAJewers wrote: ↑2 years ago My one fear is that once all this finally is finished and out for people to see and the projectback up and running publicly, the interest will have dropped too much and there won't be enough people around to actually finish a2xt2. hopefully this isn't the case.
I've been quietly contacting people to gague interest and see if the outstanding claims are still wanted. There's plenty enough to finish the project, don't you worry on that front.
How long ago was this?
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Hoeloe
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by Hoeloe »

It was spread out over a couple of months. I think the last person I spoke to was in October.
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SAJewers
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by SAJewers »

Then hopefully they're still interested a few months later. I guess we'll find out true interest when this stuff is done.
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by Leet »

The talkhaus will never finish anything ever again prove me wrong

e: sorry this is mean I don't mean to sound like I am blaming you guys for the problems you mentioned. I was speaking more generally, not about these specific roadblocks.

This game has really ballooned in ambition though.
Well it is a decent hack but sometime its just too repetitif there no level that actually pop in your face and your like oh yeah that level they all ressemble themselves and just monster along the way.
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by Mabel »

We're still here.
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ztarwuff
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by ztarwuff »

I'm still waiting on a finalised list of levels for World 6. The removal of a certain someone's levels from World 6, not to mention improvements in graphics rendering, completely tanked my end of world level. Depending on the new list, I may need to redo the entire level from scratch.
Rixithechao
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by Rixithechao »

fuck it's been almost a year since we last posted an update in this thread

Okay, so, the last time we posted here the text engine was the big hold-up, right? That's done now.
Then we found out that willhart was involved in creating the Demo and Iris sprites, so they had to be redrawn. That's done now.
So what's the big hold-up now, and where's that ASMT series Discord server we announced?

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It exists.
But there's still a couple things we need to figure out with it so it's still not ready to go public.

We've almost entirely moved A2XT2 development over to this dedicated channel group, and in spite of life and other stuff still being a thing (including a side project that we occasionally chip away at for the sake of burnout recovery, that's what the blurred-out channel group is) work on the devkit is still chugging along. Most of the main systems are devkit-ready and now our main focus is documenting those systems: manuals for building towns, bosses, and cutscenes, and a message system guide complete with all of the markup language tags that allow for fancy text formatting and effects.

A couple of these guides are pretty much done and the others are getting there, but we can't finalize some of them until we know whether a partially-implemented editor feature will be finished.

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This is a screenshot from the message system guide. This is currently how you set a number of properties for NPCs. Seems kinda ugly and clunky, doesn't it? Surely there's a better way to implement extra NPC settings by now?

Well, those who've been keeping up with SMBX2's development will know that the latest versions of the engine actually do let you give NPCs additional settings as editor fields! Many of the new basegame NPCs already have their own extra settings defined, and a few of the A2XT2 devkit NPCs have some as well.

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But here's the catch: you can currently only define these on a per-ID basis. There's currently no way to define an episode-wide set of extra settings for all NPCs. If you want to give every NPC the same set of fields, you need, at minimum, an ini file for every single ID and a JSON file for every NPC with its own basegame extra settings. We're talking hundreds of files, likely over a thousand, and the bloated filecount is only one of the complications!

So while those of us in the core team are working on the guides, we're also waiting on Wohlstand to give the editor support for defining episode-wide extra settings with a single JSON file. We won't be waiting forever and if it comes down to it we'll launch the devkit with the message text property tables, but we'd really like to be able to offload that stuff to editor fields if possible because they're so much more user-friendly! And if we can include them that means we'll need to update the guides accordingly.

After the guides are done, the only other big tasks left for the devkit are
  • Making sure all the dev documentation (full story script doc, asset replacement spreadsheet, a bunch of misc. lists) is up-to-date and ready for public access
  • Splitting the game up into three downloads:
    • the base devkit with its own SMBX2 B4 preview build and a level-less episode package (thus no spoilers)
    • an example level package with a small guppy market world map
    • a collab levels package for the hub, world 8 castle, and

      world 9 castle

It's been a hell of a wait, and we're still not ready to give a new release window just yet, but aaaaaaaaaaaaa we're closer than ever to FINALLY releasing this dang thing so the full community can be involved again! Thanks to everyone for sticking with us all this time and being so understanding!

...

and also if anyone with community moderation experience wants to volunteer to join the Superb Discord Thing server staff and help us push that through the last stretch we would be extremely grateful because oh my god all of us on the GUrP game team (aka the New Superb Janked Up 3D Demo Sisters Thing VII + Bowser's Minions & Knuckles featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry series team aka NSJU3DDST7+BM&KfDftDMCs team) are already spreading ourselves so thin and the thought of us managing this place alone after it goes public in addition to codehaus is honestly extremely anxiety-inducing
:ehh:
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Rixithechao
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by Rixithechao »

As promised, let's start the year off by talking about A2XT2 and the ASMT server!

A2XT: Episode 2

We mentioned in the December Event announcement that the devkit would release with an example level package and some documents. To clarify, the main devkit won't come with any world map or levels, just the episode's folder structure and assets. A separate example package featuring a boss, a town, the game's full four-level prologue, and a small fishmarket ("guppy market") world map connecting them will be released as its own download.

The documents will consist of the following Google Docs, whose links will be shared on both the forums and the A2XT2 channel group in the server:
  • The game's full cutscene script, detailing the dialogue and "stage directions" for every story cutscene in the game
  • Manuals for the boss, town, and cutscene systems featured in the devkit, complete with screenshots and code examples
  • A settings guide that covers the in-game options, testing and debugging features
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We also noted that some content and materials won't be released immediately with the devkit; we originally wanted to have these things ready to use and work on right away, but in the end we decided it would be best to delay them for the sake of pacing the game's continued development and getting the devkit out sooner. The following things will come later in the first half of 2020:
  • A package for collab levels, including the hub town (with the exception of one relay level SAJewers is organizing)
  • A voice acting guide outlining our approach to the voice work in the game and how we plan to handle casting calls and auditions (the devkit will come with a fully functional voice clip system and placeholder clips for all the major characters)
  • The plans for the overworld maps (they can't be finalized until we have all of the level slots filled anyway)

The Superb Discord Thing server

The server has been coming along well, and we're pleased to say that we've gotten some responses to our previous request for volunteers to join the server staff! With a bit of luck we should be able to launch the server before Beta 4 and the devkit so folks will have some time to get comfortable in there and follow along with our final preparations in the A2XT2 channel group.

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Sorry for all of this stuff taking so long! We appreciate your patience and understanding, and we wish you all a Happy New Year!

Best regards,
The A2XT2/SMBX2 core team
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Holy
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by Holy »

I know dev for this is on discord now but... how's it goin? Wondered if it was dead or not.....
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SAJewers
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by SAJewers »

Annotation 2020-09-02 150613.png
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Holy
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by Holy »

Nice. Glad to know it's not completely dead! Thanks for the update.
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Hoeloe
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by Hoeloe »

Wow last year was a heck of a thing - there wasn't a huge deal of work done because of... <gestures at the everything>, but I for one am keen to push for the rest of the thing to be finished.

I've been following up on people's claims, and we're going to have to start being a bit stricter with it if we want this game to be finished by... ever, so while I'm fine to keep it fairly loose, it'd be good to see some work in progress stuff, because if people are silent for too long on their level claims, we'll have to open it up to someone else.

Right now we're most in need of town makers, as not many people have signed on for those. They will need a little Lua, but anyone on the core dev team can help with that to whatever extent is necessary.

The advent stuff gave a taste of this episode's tech, but I think a concerted push over the next few months can get things down into the polishing stages pretty fast as long as people are on board.
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by WestonSmith »

I'm always happy to help with levels (but not towns). However, I'm not even sure how to track progress or the best way to communicate on this project at this point. I assume work moved to discord, but I can't seem to join, so I'm not sure where anything actually stands.

Anyways, if there are level related things to help with, I'm be interested to help.
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Rednaxela
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by Rednaxela »

WestonSmith wrote: ↑2 weeks agoHowever, I'm not even sure how to track progress or the best way to communicate on this project at this point. I assume work moved to discord, but I can't seem to join, so I'm not sure where anything actually stands.
Yeah, most of the work has been going on on the discord server during the last year. It's been decently active the last few days. Any idea what's up with "can't seem to join"? Is there some particular error message?
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WestonSmith
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by WestonSmith »

Nothing technical like that. I apparently need to verify myself on discord using other website access and I have no interest in doing that. As a rule, I try not to cross-polinate my account information online. So until discord chills out and lets me do things without jumping through verification hoops, I'm not keen to join.
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Hoeloe
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by Hoeloe »

WestonSmith wrote: ↑2 weeks ago Nothing technical like that. I apparently need to verify myself on discord using other website access and I have no interest in doing that. As a rule, I try not to cross-polinate my account information online. So until discord chills out and lets me do things without jumping through verification hoops, I'm not keen to join.
That's not a Discord thing, that's specific to this server. It's set up that way because there are several people we absolutely do not want to join, and who will (and have in the past) use fake accounts to do so. The verification system exists simply so we can make sure new users are who they say they are, and aren't a certain creepy tiger in disguise.

If you send me your Discord information over DM and you join the server I can bypass the verification for you.


EDIT: As far as levels go, I think pretty much all of them are claimed, but if you make a level we can probably slot it into the game somewhere, even if it's just as a bonus thing.
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Hoeloe
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by Hoeloe »

BIG SPOILERS IN THIS POINT, PARTICULARLY AT THE END. NO RAOS OR COWS ALLOWED.

So, here's an update, and a call for help.

Rixi is gonna be muting the A2XT2 activity in the ASMT server while they switch focus back to finishing their part of Delightful Adventure: Enhanced (they are aiming for this to be the last time, though).

Things ended up progressing in a different order than we outlined on New Year's Eve 2019: I started making the overworld maps and Pieson and tangy are helping with the graphics and planning. Mainly I wanted to start packaging things into their game format so that we could start a real push towards completion. The first two maps are almost fully implemented, so the game is mostly playable from the start up to the world 2 "castle" level. With this in mind, we have a couple of immediate-term goals:
  • the WIP hub's integration (involves implementing a handful of cutscenes)
  • the world 2 town (we need someone to make this)
  • the world 2 boss fight (which Wasabi has returned to work on)
  • finishing the WIP world 3 boss fight (which is Rixi's job) or at the very least implementing the end of the fight (which can be done without Rixi)
Once we get to a point where the game is playable up to the end of World 3, I (and possibly Wasabi and/or Rixi, depending on availability at that point) will be assembling a new testing/level review/QA team who will be given periodic test builds of the game if not full repo access. The ASMT server already has a dedicated #a2xt2-testing channel set up for the testing team to report bugs, point out design issues, make suggestions, etc. but we can also start using the old Level Review thread again or set up a new one for folks who want to stick to this subforum.

The biggest thing we need right now is people to help finish up the last bits of actual game content we're missing. The biggest hole in this right now is towns, with 4 towns unclaimed, and 2 that people have expressed interest in but so far not produced anything for. We're really in need of people for this, and would rather not have to resort to having all the towns made by the same two or three people.

If you want to help out with a town, please PLEASE let one of the dev team know!

After we get the testing team set up, Rixi wants to start on the voicework stuff. They're not gonna give any timeframe estimates because Life and Society and Everything, but at least as of now it seems like things are really starting to pick up again, so everyone involved seems pretty excited.

Last but not least, two gjifs and a screenshot (please do not discuss the specifics of these without spoiler tags, as there's stuff in there we'd like to keep as a surprise):
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Rixi says hi, and they'll see y'all again when Delightful Enhanced is finished! :pal:

P.S. I would also like to call on everyone who has an outstanding claim (I contacted everyone who does recently) to please share updates as often as they can. I don't want to put hard deadlines on people, but unless we can see some form of progress we are going to have to open claims back up for the sake of getting the project finished.
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SAJewers
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Re: THE PLAN

Post by SAJewers »

Those OW screenshots give off a Pummel Party vibe to me; it looks nice.

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Re: THE PLAN

Post by GenesisJames »

Holy shit, these maps look GREAT. Big props to you guys; I think it's really gonna blow rao's mind.

If it's not too much to ask, would it be possible to have two tiny additions to my two levels? Now that SMBX2 is a thing and weather effects exist, I'd really like to add them in my stuff. It would be the sandstorm effect on Desert Dash: Goopa Brigade and the snowfall effect on the outside areas of Castle Climb During Wintertime. If they're already implemented and it would be a hassle, feel free to disregard this.

Again, super happy to see this progressing!!

EDIT: Depending on how involved they are, I might be able to help with towns; I have some free time these days. I'm not able to get into nitty-gritty coding though, so I dunno how helpful I would be. If you just want a simple, atmospheric town though, I could do that as long as I know what has to be in it!!
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