Happy New Year and welcome to a new part of the development of the new 2D precision platformer maker DASH: Dash Danger Action Speed Heroes by Copenhagen-based game studio Baby Duka currently consisting of Jake (art, programming, sound, producer) and Philip (web, programming, user data). Concerned is back in Cairo and is still ready for DASHing, just in another continent! Welcome to another round of work!
During January and February we are putting a lot of effort into spreading the word about DASH. If you like the project and have thought "I want to support this", a great way to do so, would be to share this article, follow on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube! It's a great way to stay in touch and get all the news of the production. And why not go wishlist the game if you're planning on getting it on Steam
Editor's Choice: Most Anticipated Game 2018 on IndieDB:
At the end of last month we received a mail from the awesome editors of the IndieDB awards, saying "Congrats! Your game has won the Most Anticipated-award - editors' choice!" This is great timing just as we are about to launch the Early Access build in a couple of months! Thank you editors and everyone else for the price and hope you will enjoy what is to come!
Due to the space needed for proper DASH-development we are about to move to a slightly larger place more fitting for gamedev which is great for the game! This is a bit tricky with all the stuff we need to do, but things will settle. We're taking one day at the time. This has meant that the Discord bot on our server has been a bit sleepy. But everything is good, we promise.
Monday Jake went from Game Maker 1.x to Game Maker 2 which is both a huge relief but also an upgrade to both DASH and the game engine!! It was simple and easy and nothing is broken (it seems...).
New compression code and updated data bases:
One huge issue in the DASH alpha builds was the fact the system took way too long to compress the levels (during Save As function) as well as when winning a world record where the game will save your "ghost run" as a replay in the data base. Any run over 3 seconds would make the player feel that the game was broken as it was saving - when in fact it was just slow at compressing the string. Jake even tried putting in a "Compressing file" sprite which made players go "why is it taking such a long time?".
The fix was simple once Game Maker 2 was working. There is a built in zlib compression tool* which is a hundred times faster and compresses the files to 3-10% of the previous attempt. This means we can allow for bigger levels and longer runs to be performed, and much more fun features!
We made it to #gamemaker2!!🎆🍾 w a smooth import of the gm1.x project. Lots of crazy scripts and functions still working! Feels amazing 😃🎮🖥Have a great Friday! #FridayFeeling #gamedev #indiedev @YoYoGames pic.twitter.com/Fyp1Cy9Sxq— Baby Duka (@BabyDukaCPH) 11. januar 2019
* buffer_compress() and buffer_decompress(). Simple and slick when used with other buffer functions to store strings in memory, compress them in buffer and write new file as fast as lightning.
Philip did a ton of work this week to fix, enhance, replace and clean the user-level-database to make it fit with the new compression system which will be used in the next live build and onward. He managed all those hundreds of runs and replays just fine and everything seems to be just right and ready for a new compression system with almost 0 load time anywhere and more limitless creations. Very exciting!
This is something a lot of players have been waiting for: the replay of the World Record holder! If you wondered why the game was saving the record (compressing) as you broke a level's world record, it was simply your replay which was being compressed and sent to the server to be stored among the other records. Now that there is 0 to little save time it feels slick, save and really neat. It also allows us to use the replays as backgrounds for menus etc which we are super excited about. This will become a nice way to instantly put you into the game as a replay is running in the Main Menu and other larger menus.
There will be a feature implemented where you are able to switch on your own and/or the world record ghost as you attempt to run and break a level's record. It looks a little something like this so far:
Early Access Release & New implementations:
Yes, believe it or not but with the speed we are going at and with the support we are getting, DASH is set to launch Early Access early March 2019. Because we have worked so hard with the entire community during 2018 to make DASH super solid it will be safe to say that the game is perfect for an Early Access release. We are aiming to launch on Discord Store and Steam. During the x months of EA development several new features and toys will be added to the service and the community will be growing. This list is currently our main focus gameplay-wise. We consider these points important since they all relate to the direct player experience. Our dream is to make it fun to come back and watch how things are going and enjoyable to be inventive, competitive and sharing!
For the Early Access launch build we are aiming to implement to following (after demand from players):
- A flying enemy, moving horizontally in air
- Use 'alter' button to choose if enemies are sleeping or containing a magic orb.
- Trap door/crumbling tile (platform)
- Slope tiles (diagonal tiles)
- Decorative tiles
- Completely new World menu to connect more easily to other players
- New World menu design where you see the Hero on a map to illustrate the World you are playing
- Updated DASH World level hub: more tools and UI graphics!
- New in-game notification system to keep you up to date with your levels rating, plays etc.
- New Training/tutorial system
- New general text font
- New tournament system: compete in specific curated levels to become the best runner and creator to win unique content and DASH gems!
- New Hero and tilesets
- Updated sound effects and soundtrack
We are currently collecting all data of desired new features and we will save a lot of them for the work during EA.
- The collision_line scripts need to be 100% precise (bullets imprecise)
- The Hero needs to be able to dash crates downward without having to jump
- Resolution and window issues
- Rooftop tileset will be polished
- Minor compatibility issues with GM 1.x build in GM2
- ... and much more
The best way to follow the progress is here and our dedicated Discord server!
In case you missed all the early development, here's a video which sums up the features and the state of the game from about a month ago:
See you next week for another update!
- The DASH team