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Blog Entries posted by bulldozerman185

  1. bulldozerman185
    HELLO, FOLKS! It's time for another development update!

    PHEW... I've been hard at work adding various new systems to the game in order to make it more enjoyable, as well as polishing up some other things that needed bugfixing for some time now. And I'm glad to say: Demo V0.2.0 has finally been released!
    There is A LOT to unpack in this new release, so I'll make it very brief ( I am writing this at midnight, after all; I need to go to bed soon! ):

    *** NEW IN THIS UPDATE ***
    - Removed the music from the previous release and replaced it with the enhanced Golden Sun soundtrack from the games alpha, due to our composer having left the project.
    - Re-balanced the EXP system.
    - Added the alchemy system!
    - Added an "Options" menu with various settings to adjust!
    - Added the first handful of Equestria zones, including the first part of the San Palomino Desert and the Equality Shrine!
    - Added Lightning Storm as a party member!
    - Added the Power Orb system!
    - Added 2 additional equipment slots: One extra Accessory slot and a special slot for Power Orbs!
    - Added the "Special" and "Summon" tabs to the Magic menu.
    - Reworked the Ember Pony into a melee-based damage class.
    - Readjusted the stats of the seven player classes and the monsters to fix a few issues found in the previous demo build.
    - Fixed a few glitches related to skills.
    - Rewrote the descriptions of the seven classes on the startup menu.
    - Several other changes and minor bug fixes.
    Always remember, if you encounter any bugs in the newest build of the game, let me know right away so I can patch them out!

    This will very likely be the FINAL demo release before the full game comes out. So enjoy all the new stuff!

    See you on the flip side, everypony!
  2. bulldozerman185
    Hello, everyone. It's been awhile, hasn't it? Well, there's some new stuff in the game I wanted to tell you about, so I figured I may as well put up another development update.

    Now, I know I promised you that Nature Hills would be joining the team, and Ponyville would be in the game with the next update, but sadly, this didn't happen. I don't have the assets I need to add them into the game yet. So your going to have to wait a little while longer for that. Sorry, everyone.

    Luckily, I have found some new stuff to include that will help pass the time until I'm able to continue with the main story.
    *** ALCHEMY ***
    This feature was hinted at several times in the past, but as of now, it's finally in the game: ALCHEMY.

    The player is now able to collect raw materials in the world and use them to craft and upgrade various items to aid them in their journey. While a handful of items are sold at a vendor, the majority of them will be found in the world, either found in the environment, dropped from monsters, or awarded for completing a side quest. The Playing Manual has also been updated with an explanation of the Alchemy system, just in case you need a refresher course on how it works.

    There's many things you can do in Alchemy, including:
    Crafting and upgrading HP, MP, and status restoring items Forging new equipment ( there's 8 weapons and 1 accessory to make right now; More recipes may be added later ) Processing raw materials found in the world Exciting stuff, am I right? I can't wait to see how it's used in Let's Plays and the like. Especially when the player is going for a certain ultra powerful weapons, which may or may not be a reference to my primary character in The Lord of the Rings Online. But I'll leave it up to you to figure out how to get that monster on your own.
    *** CLASSES ***
    The Ember Pony has seen a HUGE overhaul for this update. No longer focusing on damage over time, they now concentrate on physical DPS using their equipped weapons. While they still have a handful of magic attacks for crowd control and the like, they definitely have the strongest physical ATK of the group. There's a couple of enemies that have high resistance to magic attacks, so having a powerful physical attacker will be very handy.

    On a related note, the ATK stat of all the classes was changed to better reflect this change. Darkness Ponies no longer have equal ATK to Ember Ponies, but their PWR was beefed up a little to compensate.

    Also, all the classes accuracy has been boosted to %100, meaning that barring any debuffs or special effects some enemies have, your melee attacks will always connect a hit. The enemies can still miss with physical attacks.
    *** MENUS ***
    The inventory menu was changed to reflect the Alchemy update. There is now a 6th category for items: "Materials", where all those items you use for alchemy are kept, separate from the items you use in battle to heal HP and the like. So when you get a material, don't wig out when you can't find it in the "Items" menu; Just look in "Materials" and it should be there.
    *** WHAT'S NEXT? ***
    There's a couple of features I want to work on next before I make anymore progress on the main story. If nothing else, it gives me something to do while I wait on the tilesets I need to add Ponyville and the rest of Equestria to the game. I'll let you guys know when it's FINALLY time for that update to come out.

    Until then, take care!

  3. bulldozerman185
    HEY HEY HEY! It's been a while, hasn't it? But it looks like some new stuff is being added to the game, as well as some exciting new changes! And there's a few things here I can't WAIT to tell you about!
    *** NEW AREAS ***
    With the completion of the San Palomino Desert area, I've managed to incorporate a proper world map into the game, using an actual map of Equestria I picked up offline! Different colored markers on the map will lead you to different places:

    - Green Markers: Towns, settlements.
    - Yellow Markers: Passages to other maps.
    - Red Markers: Dangerous areas with monsters.
    - Blue Markers: Revealed secret areas.
    ( And yes, I am aware that the map screen in the screenshot below doesn't have the colored markers. I literally took that RIGHT BEFORE I colored them all. They'll be color coded in the final game, don't worry! )
    As much as I would have loved to include an actual overworld map of Equestria, much like with Maradice Isle itself, this was just impossible to do. I do hope everyone understands.
    In addition to this: Several new areas have been added, chief among them being the Ghastly Gorge Pass you must pass through to get to Ponyville. Due to the original overworld map being removed, Frostbite was moved to this location so he can once again teach you all about Power Orbs. In addition, there's a special event that happens here the first time you pass through. What is it, you ask? You'll have to find that out for yourself.
    *** NEW SPELLS ***
    More spells have been added for the Mystery, Darkness, and Equality Ponies. I estimate that every class now has %50 of the spells they will have by the end of the game.
    *** SPELL CHANGES ***
    Due to a few complaints about balancing I have received, several changes have been made to the spells across all 7 classes, as well as for monsters.
    - Spells can no longer score critical hits. Criticals now only apply to physical based attacks, such as the Ember Pony's "Sword Dance" and the Equality Pony's "Cross-Slash".
    - The MP cost for many spells was increased.
    - The SP gain of all the spells was reduced heavily.
    - The spell "Spark" has been nerfed to only strike 2 enemies instead of 4. However, it's damage multiplier was buffed back to the same number as the rest of the Thunder spells in order to compensate.
    All of these changes are helping to better balance the gameplay, prevent classes with group attacks from going on mass killing sprees, prevent Thunder Ponies from easily cheesing bosses with 4 critical hits from Spark, and to prevent cheap deaths from a monster scoring a lucky critical with Sandstorm, Meteor Blast, or worse yet, Spark. ( Something that cost me my fair share of games on Lava Mountain ).
    *** SOUNDTRACK ***
    Alas, our wonderful composer who handled the games music since Day 1 has stepped down and left the project in order to pursue a career in the military. While we're sad to see her go, we're forever grateful for all the help he/she gave us, and we wish them only the best.
    I can already tell that finding a composer equal to her to take her place will be next to impossible with no budget, so that's why I'm not even going to try. Instead, the game will be using a remastered version of the Golden Sun 1 and 2: The Lost Age coundtrack, complete with the GameBoy Advance tones removed and with much better clarity. I've already replaced all the original tracks with these updated songs, and along with that, the menu sound effects have been replaced as well.

    For those of you who loved our composers beautiful musical tracks, fear not. The song she composed for the cinematic that plays right before you arrive in Equestria will be staying in the game, and all of her songs will be boxed in with the final game for your listening pleasure. Keep an eye out for that whenever that comes.
    *** POWER ORBS ***
    More Power Orbs are being added into the game, including one that'll allow for quick MP recovery when used in a tense battle! Be on the lookout for them as your exploring the world!
    *** WHAT'S NEXT? ***
    As of right now, I cannot continue development until I get some tilesets I'm waiting for. But while I wait on those, I am getting some other things done that I needed to get done for a very long time, including the re-balancing I mentioned above. I'm also getting the sprites for Princess Celestia and Princess Luna ready, so they can make their big debut when the time comes.
    Next time I pop in to give you guys a development update, Nature Hills joins the party, and we just might get to visit Princess Celestia! Until then, everyone! Take care!
    *** IMPORTANT NOTICE!! ***
    As of now, the project has reached a point where the story can no longer be spoiled, so as not to ruin the experience for new players. As such, from this day onward, Bulldozer Studios will be enforcing a "ZERO TOLERANCE FOR SPOILERS" policy in regards to Maradice Isle's story. Any spoilers towards the games story must be marked with an appropriate tag so others know to avoid them. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action being carried out. Nobody likes it when a games plot is ruined for them before they even get to play the darn thing!

  4. bulldozerman185
    I've been avoiding posting any more updates to the games progress mainly because of a serious issue I ran into some time ago, and that still hasn't been fixed for a long time now.
    The problem is: I can't find anyone to work on the tilesets for the game. It's really been halting the games progress.
    I've handled the problem myself alright thus far, but now that we're in the main part of Equestria itself, I just can't handle it on my own anymore. I really need help here.
    If I can't find anyone to work on the tilesets, I may ultimately end up canceling the game, simply because I won't be able to get any further in it's development.
    If you think you've got what it takes to help out in bringing the game to life, please let me know right away.
  5. bulldozerman185
    Time for another development update!
    The game's development over this past month has been... awfully slow. Sure, we're getting the sprites we so desperately need to populate the game world now, but there's one more thing we SORELY need before we can progress any further:
    Back when the game was still on Maradice Isle itself, I could get away with doing all the tilesets myself because I was creating each area as I went along. However, now that we've moved on to Equestria, well... it's getting a little harder to do the tilesets in such a way that they do the TV show justice. I don't think I'm up to the task.
    We really need more folks over here to help with the tilesets. If you think your up to the task, please let me know, and feel free to join the project's development Discord server using this invite code: "VabKgSC". We need help badly if this project is ever going to get any further.
    *** 2. A.I. ***
    I've added an Auto-Battle function into the game. This will allow you to tell the game to do the battles for you while you go make a sandwich or something. Be warned though: It's not perfect, and it does tend to use random skills whenever it wants, so if your getting into trouble, make sure to hit the "CANCEL" button to stop the A.I. and retake control of the game yourself.
    *** 3. IN CONCLUSION ***
    I'm really sorry that I couldn't provide more information for you in this post, but without the needed tilesets for the next area, we can't make anymore progress. So if you know anyone who could help with the tilesets, or if you think your able to do it, then let me know right away.
    Thanks for your time, and have a great day!
  6. bulldozerman185
    Hello, folks! After careful consideration, I've decided to start this special blog specifically for the purpose of following Maradice Isle's ongoing development! The game's come quite a ways since it all began, but it's still got a LOOOOOONG way to go! Here's to hoping we can have it done before 2021 arrives! But with an RPG of this scale... that's pretty unlikely.

    Anywho, before I go off on a tangent, I would like to detail some of the things that have been accomplished with the game recently. There's a lot to cover here, so settle in.

    ** 1. UPDATED MENUS **

    A lot of changes have been made to how the menus handle. The one change you'll notice right off the bat is that the option to quit the game was replaced with a new "OPTIONS" menu. This is something that doesn't come naturally with RPG Maker VX Ace, so scripts had to be used to get this to work.

    The options menu handles pretty much how you'd expect: You can adjust the window color, change the music, background sounds, or sound effect volume levels, and even turn on "Auto-Dash", eliminating the need to hold down the run button to move quicker. Also, an option to have text boxes load instantly, or one letter at a time, as well as an option to skip battle animations during battle is in there, too, for those who want to speed up the game during those grind-heavy moments.

    Another change that was made was changing how character equipment handles. Not only has the equipment menu been changed completely, there are now TWO extra equipment slots. One for another accessory, and one dedicated to Power Orbs, special collectables that grant you new abilities when you find them across Equestria. These alone will encourage you to explore every nook and cranny to try and get all 56 ( 8 for each of the 7 classes ).

    Speaking of Power Orbs...

    ** 2. POWER ORBS & SUMMONS **

    The Seven Seers had access to vast amounts of power thanks to the 56 Power Orbs they all carried during their adventures 5,000 years ago. However, when the big battle with Strange Tidings occurred, the Orbs got misplaced and eventually wound up in what would become Equestria, going into hibernation.

    With the arrival of the four player characters, and thanks in part to the Seers Awakening Call, the Orbs, and the Essences that live within them, are beginning to awaken again, and now it's up to the player, should they choose to do so, to explore all across the kingdom and find the 56 Power Orbs. And believe me, you WANT to go out of your way to find these babies!

    Each time you get one, you can equip it to one of your characters to give them some minor stat bonuses. But in addition to that, every time you find a Power Orb, you'll unlock a new "Summon" to add to your characters list of attacks. In addition to this, collecting a specific amount of Power Orbs ( for example, 1 Frost and 1 Ember ) will unlock some Special Summons of increased power. All of this is activated by using the "SP" meter, making it useful for more then just activating Ultimate's when it's full.

    Some Power Orb abilities inflict status conditions on the enemy, some can restore MP to the party when used. And there's even a couple that allow you to almost completely resist the damage dealt to the party on that turn! So for those of you playing along at home, FIND THOSE POWER ORBS!! You'll be kicking yourself later if you don't.

    Here's a little party favor for you: The moment you enter the main overworld of Equestria ( after leaving the San Palomino Desert ), you'll be stopped by the first Frost Power Orb, Frostbite, who's Essence will proceed to show you the ropes on how to use Power Orbs properly. So in case your worried that you'll be struggling to figure out how they work, worry not, because that's not the case here. And if you already do know how to handle them, there is an option to skip this tutorial. Those of you who need a refresher course on Power Orbs later down the road can always refer to the Playing Manual in the Key Items tab. Aren't you glad you got that thing at the start of the game?

    Oh, and for those of you with short-term memory issues, which I assume would be a fair amount of you, you can check out what Orb's you've found in the "Power Orbs" tab of the items menu.

    ** 3. THE FIRST SHRINE **

    Somewhere in the San Palomino Desert, you will come across the first of the seven shrine's that will be in the game. These shrines offer up unique equipment when you complete them, but be forewarned: They are not for the faint of heart.

    Everytime you find a shrine, you'll likely be met with the following:
    Unique monsters not seen elsewhere in the game. Multiple trials to complete in order to reach the end. A Guardian that will challenge you to a VERY intense fight for possession of the shrine's treasure.
    Upon entering a Shrine and approaching the huge door that bars access to the central chamber, you'll notice a sign on the wall that reads as following:

    "If you do not wish to die here,
    your objective is quite clear.
    In order to secure this treasure's might,
    make each orb shine with a brilliant light.
    Take note, brave one, for though you are strong,
    you'll soon regret it if your answers are WRONG."

    Branching off the main hub of each shrine, you'll find four rooms, each containing a trial. Some will challenge your knowledge of the Seven Seers and their stories, while others will simply be gauntlets of enemies you must defeat to progress. One of my favorite ones is where your guiding a power sphere past red orbs to the other end of the room. It's certainly quite entertaining. And those who REALLY like this mechanic can look forward to getting to Ponyville, since there will be an arcade machine somewhere where you can play this little mini-game again.

    However, as the warning above might imply, some of these trials don't take kindly to incorrect answers. If you get the answer to some of these challenges wrong, you'll have to fight a battle in order to try again. And at lower levels, the enemies you'll face might just mop the floor with your tails.

    As you complete a shrine's trials, four orbs on either side of the large door in the main hub will light up. When all four have been lit, the door will open, and you'll be granted access to the final chamber, where the shrine Guardian awaits...

    In this first shrine, the Guardian just so happens to be a Tatzlwurm, armed with Equality spells that will keep you on your hooftips for the entire battle. These spells include, but are NOT limited too:
    Power Blade: Boosts the bosses attack power, allowing him to hit you even harder. Sandstorm: Deals damage to the entire party, on top of having a chance to blind them, wrecking havoc on their accuracy with physical attacks. This ability can throw the battle into even further chaos. Tower Shield: Technically a Frost spell, but the boss can use this to boost his defense. Mystery Ponies armed with "Force Opening" can easily carve through his defenses.
      Yeah, this guy's not exactly a picnic. On top of this, he actually gets STRONGER the more shrine's you've cleared. So for example, if this is the first shrine you've ever tackled, then his HP is only 2,900, and his attack power is pretty moderate. He can still be trouble, but he's manageable if you play it right.

    HOWEVER, if you waited until the very end to tackle this shrine, and you've finished all the other ones, this guys HP gets cranked up to a ridiculous 27,000, and his attack power is almost x7 what it was before, and all of a sudden, you've got a VERY intense fight on your hands! Add on the fact that he'll be granted more power Equality spells once I've programmed them in, and you will definitely need to bring your A-game in order to come out alive!

    All these stat values are subject to change in the future, but it goes without saying: Shrine Guardians get more powerful the more shrine's you've cleared. So before you go marching into that shrine you just found, try tor remember just how many shrine's you've already done, and consider the possibility that you may need to level up a little more before you can tackle that next one.

    So, what kind of loot are we talking about here? Well, aside from the few treasure chests you'll find scattered around the shrine as you explore it, there's also the items the boss might drop, which include stat-boosting items. But it's the treasure they were guarding that we're all here for. These unique items grant extra-powerful benefits to the player when equipped. One of these items enables dual-wielding of 2H weapons, allowing your Ember Ponies to do some serious damage with their physical attacks! One doubles magic damage power, but cuts physical attack power in half, which would work great on a Thunder Pony!

    But perhaps the best one out of them all: THE GOLDEN CHALICE, which eliminates random encounters altogether when equipped! It's unknown which shrine this beauty will be put in, but it's a safe bet that most players will skip over all the other shrines and go for this one first, because who doesn't want to be able to explore the world without random encounters getting in the way? GRANTED, it won't save you from Monster-In-A-Box's, or from boss fights, and whoever is holding it can't use the "FIGHT" command, but it's still the best one out of the bunch.

    ( Here's a little tip: Those of you who have beaten the demo version of the game can get the Golden Chalice right away by inputting the special code that was given at the end of the demo. )

    ** 4. IN CONCLUSION **

    Obviously, A LOT has been going on with the game lately. But now that the story has moved into Equestria, it's becoming more and more important that volunteers are brought in to help assist with creating the tilesets needed to bring these locations to life. If you've experience with sprite design and think your up to the task, please join the official development Discord server for the project. Invite code is right here: "VabKgSC". Please note that you must be placed under one of the actual "Roles" within the server in order to see and post messages, so if you see nothing when you join in for the first time, do not be surprised. This was done to keep the "UNDESIRABLES" out of the chat.

    Hope this blog post has helped to shed some light on what's been going on with the games development. Hope to see you again soon!

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