Hey folks, it's been a long while once again.
In case if you haven't been staying up to date on Game Jolt, Steam, etc... Stramedia got delayed a few years back, so I could actually focus on the full game release development, primarily shortening up the game design scope by getting rid of some unnecessary concepts and (once again) rewrite it's plot/story/whatnot, so it could be even better than what it is.
And honestly, I've been really happy about doing that - I don't have to stress over something for an actual good while now, so that's good, I guess! And so from this point forward, things are just gonna get better and better.
1. Switching to Construct 3 (and ranting as to why)
(no offense, Clickteam, I am sorry, please don't burn bridges--)
Yep. After an actual long while of considering, Stramedia: my_MISADVENTURE will finally be using a different engine that (surprisingly) is eerily similar to Clickteam Fusion 2.5: Construct 3.
Now, you might be saying that probably should've waited for Fusion 3 to come out, because apparently one of the social media manager's been hinting out at something... Well, I tried waiting as I still went along with Fusion 2.5, but loss of patience during the long wait since the last update blog of the engine's development (dating back in May of 2018), however, is not the main reason why I am finally making a change just now. Now keep in mind that what I will be talking about is about the software that is currently available at it's current state as of me writing this, and considering that Fusion 3 may have that fixed (at an unknown time of it's "eventual(?)" release), please take what I say with a tiny grain of salt.
And before I start listing the aforementioned reasons: No, don't get me wrong! Clickteam Fusion 2.5 is kind of a decent game engine! It's easy to pick up, it's standard version has enough features for a hobbyist game developer or literally anybody looking forward to try out creating their first (preferably small) game with little programming knowledge, it's a game engine that's good enough for prototypes, certain game jam entries, fangames or just small projects in general focusing on the release for a short range of platforms (i.e. Windows, browsers and maybe some mobile devices), both commercial and non-commercial stuff alike.
But if one would focus on making a large scaled project, Clickteam Fusion 2.5 is...eh, I mean, may not be the best choice. And Stramedia may be considered to be a game of a somewhat larger scope at this point. Here's my personal perspective (so don't quote me on this) on as to why Clickteam Fusion 2.5 may not be exactly the best choice for huge-ass projects such as Stramedia by listing some of the issues I've been personally having:
One of the issues I've been having - Stramedia, while half of the graphics are being made by hand/pen and mouse, has been utilizing certain aspects of Fusion 2.5 that are being powered by DirectX Graphics Library for the most part... It does infact make the game look insanely pretty fairly well, but the fact that the engine relies on DirectX mostly creates a big problem with porting the game to other currently available to the public runtimes that don't support DirectX; not all image effects are made to support OpenGL graphics, sadly, and because of that there's a choice to waste more time making alternative sprites for the lighting or getting rid of it entirely so it doesn't show a blank eye straining screen of white.
The other issue is that some certain helpful features that usually come with other engines from the getgo aren't quite available. Or at least not from the start, nor for free in some cases.
You see, there are things like profilers, plugins and certain libraries (you know, the programming essentials) that are usually first available and can be insanely useful for developing software, whenever it's a videogame or not; they let developers add certain features and support for various stuff and other devices, help optimize softwares' performances and compiling speeds, you know the stuff. It would be fine if these were made by someone else, being humble and stuff, sure, but some of that stuff I am talking about are official add-ons for the engine that are being sold separately on the Asset Stores and Steam; hell, some other plugins (i.e. Google Play Games Services, Android TV Controllers,
and even BEING ABLE TO LET THE APP READJUST THE SCREEN RATIOS-- WHAT- etc.) don't even come with the Android Export Module, but rather sold separately AND require the Module to be used; basically you have to pay even more cash to get everything that (by common sense) should have come in a single package. Considering that these are the products "available for use as is", it feels inconvenient that it's somewhat becoming annoying, but don't get me started on paying actual money for another module only for it to get deprecated and delisted from Steam without any warning whatsoever, but more on the stolen-unrefundable-money-woes later.
And another thing is that with the software has been stupid limited (like being unable to go fully nuts with some condition line codes, cannot create any more object families), it's user interface sometimes can feel somewhat bloated to work with at times, and not to mention that sometimes (even if you do one tiny little oopsie in the Expression Editor), the entire engine crashes. I mean, this is bound to occur, the software I've been using is literally a mildly fancied up version of an engine that originally released back in 2006...
To put it in the nutshell:
It's actually LITERALLY OLD, LIKE HOLY S#%&, I- WHY AM I STILL USING IT? IT'S LIKE STILL USING WINDOWS 98, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME--!?;
For something as big as Stramedia, CTF2.5 just doesn't have enough proper features and support for other runtime modules and focuses on DirectX for it's entirety, which is kind of a problem for developing the Android port of the game in that engine;
I literally cannot create any new family groups. I am stuck with just with a limited amount of 'em. Help me.
I lost money on stuff that either work partially or straight up silently discontinued some time later and/or what should have already come straight in the base package by the general programming software standards (or made available free in an update);
Also forgot to mention the elephant in the room that is Gradle Build Tool. I don't even want to talk about it, actually, but apparently CTF2.5 still utilizes it to this day.
Well, I think I am sure you get the idea now. Technical complications, ridiculous rules, dreadful technical limits, blah blah blah.
Now you probably may wonder how Construct 3 is any different than Clickteam Fusion 2.5 (technically speaking, aside from somewhat identical game coding things going on with some minor differences that make the engine more comfortable to use)? Or you already know what it is and gonna wonder if I am actually gonna end up losing more money to something with a subscription fee.
Well, the only money that will be lost are my birthday gift cash, so nothing is too lost! lol (after all, to be fairly honest, this is literally better than having to pay for features that really should be available from it's core and not like they're some cheaply made yet overpriced Unity Assets.)
When I first tried out Construct 3, it's SURPRISINGLY COMFORTABLE interface really blew me away that I finally realized that I've been ignoring it for god knows how long and I immediately have regret that.
So, in short: I just needed a bit more horse power and proper tools that can help make Stramedia somewhat more accessible and support more platforms and whatnot, so due to Clickteam Fusion 2.5's barriers, I have to leave it for Construct 3. I don't really feel that many regrets, personally. Yes, I feel okay now. Keep that straitjacket away from me.
2. What could this all mean? What technical stuff will be changed?
Positive Changes and Additions
Speaking of bringing things to the table, who wants to play the game in 21:9 widescreen ratio? Or the classic 4:3? Better touchscreen input?? 'Cos I will totally be able to bring that! Improved audio engine? Actual gamepad controls on mobile?? And maybe proper mod support at some point??? LOL WHO KNOWS, REALLY? And I may also feel like adding some new game mechanics that kind of could be considered to be... mean.
I may keep that optional though.
The only possible negative change...
...is having to temporarily deprecate the Steam Leaderboards feature I've originally planned to have until it's support gets added into Construct 3's Steamworks plugin. Oh yeah, I probably forgot to mention that this engine is still new and actually improving fast enough.
...But eh, it's not like anyone really cares about Steam Leaderboards, right? ...Right?
...OH WELL! MOVING ON!~
3. Speaking of changes...
With the sudden change of directions, I've been working on Stramedia's more proper Game Design Document that will help me make the game have a more proper, cleaner identity without being all over the place with what it wants to be, and of course, some core elements are going to be rewritten for the better ones.
And yeah, some things and peeps are going through a little redesign, but that's to be shown off for another day.~ 😉
4. Expanding to some more platforms now!
Desktop and Mobile
Originally I've settled to develop Stramedia for Windows PCs and Android phones, but with the recent engine change I will be able to develop Stramedia for Linux / SteamOS machines aswell (and provide proper support for Windows computers running on either of both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, even enhance the Android build to run on Tablets and even TVs even better)!
Now, someone has also asked me if macOS version would also happen. There are...two ways I can respond to that question.
The first way, being the shortest as heck:
The second, bullet-pointed and nerdy way:
The macOS version is, or, has been in consideration (for reals), but...
I can't really afford the latest (expensive as hell) macOS equipment to get the port development even further (which is the first roadblock it would cause);
I am literally too stupid to understand how Virtual Machines work (another roadblock);
Apple has been restricting programs that don't have the certificate from launching on the latest OS's and their latest builds;
I'll have to annually pay $100 dollars to have and renew that certificate;
And speaking of, the Mac OS version would be available only on the 64-bit/modern macOS computers (and it's currently the only exporting option), so...
...Yeah, I don't really see it happening any time soon, but I may get back to it at some point, but... not too soon. I am really sorry. Blame it all on Tim Cook.
And no, I am definitely not gonna port the game to iOS yet for the same reasons as for the Mac OS port. Don't even ask.
One More Thing
Yep! It's actually true! It's actual real news, no B.S.! It's all now set in stone after considerations and eventual discussion and the engine change.
I am really happy, excited, NERVOUS and proud to announce that Stramedia: my_MISADVENTURE is now a part of the ID@Xbox and is now in development for Xbox One and the new Xbox Series X|S consoles! And I can't believe I get to say it, but when the game hits gold you'll finally be able to observe the chaotic tragedy-comedy on the bigger screen!
And I am sure you're no stranger to the depths of Windows 10 Metro either, because Stramedia will be opening up it's own station there aswell! (terrible pun absolutely intended.)
And since I will be delivering the game to Xbox aswell, I may have to keep quiet about certain things until I am allowed to show some things off to the public.
But what I can say is that both Xbox and Windows 10 releases of Stramedia are bound to support Xbox Live Rich Presence and let you collect Xbox Live Achievements!
And another thing is that I will be sure to do my best to properly optimize the game for both Xbox One X and Series X|S consoles for as much as possible. I promise, this may or may not be finally worth the long wait!
I can't quite say if Stramedia would release on other consoles aswell (i.e. Nintendo Switch), but all that I can say is that only time, demand, interest and finances will tell...
Alright, whoooooooh! Now that's a lot of words for tonight! Let's have a quick TL;DR breakdown on what the hell was any of that about:
From this point forward, Stramedia will be powered by Construct 3;
Stramedia is getting a new and improved game design, aswell as some redesigns;
The game is now in development for Windows, Linux, Android, Windows 10 Metro and Xbox Console Family;
iOS, macOS and other console development is in consideration, but at the moment is unlikely to start.
So really, this year is finally a start of something even greater! And while I can't tell when we will finally pull this through, I definitely know that we are actually going somewhere this time!
As always, thank you for sticking by and I will see you once again...eventually!
Stay safe now!~