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-----Dragonball Z: Evolution Post-mortem----------

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During my winter 2008 quarter at school I had a 2D game class that was mostly advance ActionScript and Flash, but the instructor said we could use any game engine to build a working 2D game. So I decided to use the freeware game engine known as M.U.G.E.N to create my game. Back in I would like to say 2002 or maybe 2003, the M.U.G.E.N engine was very popular. I mean the internet was flooded with homebrewed 2D side-scrolling fighting games using the M.U.G.E.N game engine. Dragonball Z was the most popular of the games next to like DC Comics vs. Marvel.

DBZ is my favorite Japanese Anime show and I always wanted to create my own DBZ game. Back in the day (2003-2005) I was always finding new DBZ MUGEN games/mods to play on the internet. My friend Joe and I loved the DBZ MUGEN games and even the Bid for Power DBZ Quake III Arena Mod as well. Both styles of DBZ kicked ass!! But in my mind something was always lacking in the DBZ MUGEN games. But by 2006, MUGEN went the way of the Virtual Boy. The MUGEN websites shut down and copies of the games and even the editor went offline forever lost. But thanks to someone on Moddb, you can download a Windows MUGEN file and make some MUGEN games with it. So after doing a small mini-game on Flash for the last class, I decided to relive the glory that is the MUGEN DBZ genre and finally build my own DBZ MUGEN game.

I had 6 weeks to build the game and have it working by the end of the last scheduled class. So in the first two weeks I downloaded the engine and by a stroke of luck I found the MUGEN Engine editor called Fighter Factory. Then I searched and searched the web for characters and stages to modify within FF and I started to create a custom soundtrack by ripping the tracks off my favorite CDs. By the end of week three I now had a bunch of DBZ MUGEN characters and stages, I had my own custom soundtrack ready to go, and now I had custom menu screens and controls. In the fourth week I tested over and over again the characters and stages to see which ones were 100% bug free and were completely compatible with the engine and code.

By the end of the fourth week I had my 60 characters for the game as well as a large group of stages ready for the game. I then took those characters and stages into FF and started to rebuild their graphics, sounds, and animations. I also added in effects to each character and stage (e.g. different color auras around the character). Some stages featured crumbling rocks and crashing waves in the background as the characters fought. The game was running smoothly even with all those upgrades.

When the final week hit, I had the game 95% completed. All that needed to be done was to add in the music files to each individual stage and code the characters fighting order. When coding the characters for the game I decided to keep it simple. I had every character spawn in at a random map rather going through each character and stage and assign them to one another. Of course when the player fights in his/her first few matches they would fight weaker DBZ characters like Tien and Krillin. Then like in Mortal Kombat they would face stronger and faster opponents as the game levels progress.

Before the day of the final class I posted up the Moddb page and uploaded the entire game to the website. My friend Joe loves the game and cannot get enough of it. I always wanted to build a MUGEN game and using the DBZ universe was just too sweet. So I hope the community liked the game and I hope newcomers will love the game too, even if you're not a fan of the show or of 2D fighting games.

The good:
-Creating a custom soundtrack
-Creating custom effects
-Upgrading characters and stages
-Fighter Factory was real easy to use
-The MUGEN Engine was not too hard to code
-Finally, got to create my own DBZ game

The Bad:
-Some kick ass characters and stages were not compatible with the engine version
-Lack of tutorials (useful ones at least)
-Music not loading up on the first run (seems to be an engine glitch)
-MUGEN is pretty much dead

All in all I had fun developing this game and I hope people enjoyed the work I put into the game. Thank you, for taking the time to read my article and for playing my game.

-Evan M. Salas

77Dan777 - - 9 comments


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