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Shang Mu Architect (Coming Soon™)

Discussion in 'Fangaming Discussion' started by Lilly, Aug 2, 2020.

  1. Lilly

    Lilly

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    Shang Mu Architect
    Hello, everyone! I never thought I'd see the day where I had something to post in this subforum, but here we are! :V

    I'm posting here today, to talk about a Freedom Planet fan game I've been working on for the past three to four years, called Shang Mu Architect! Freedom Planet's engine has been rebuilt from scratch in Game Maker, so I could put a level editor on top of it. It is a mixture of ideas I had for an abandoned Sonic fan game project's level editor, and ideas from Strife's level editor for FP1 that didn't make it into the final game.

    I even made my own wacky tile-based collision system for the project! (And let me tell you: The hindsight from my first attempt at Sonic physics is just :psyduck:)

    Here is the trailer:



    (Forgive the potato quality, I was throttled to 2G data at the time. Now, I'm living in a place with fiber-optic Internet.)

    People have wanted to make their own levels for Freedom Planet for years. Some of the smartest people in the community tried to hack the game, so it could support mods, but it proved so impenetrably difficult a task, it was said that it'd be easier to just rebuild the game from scratch. That's when the lights flicked on in my head. :V

    Here is a short showcase of some of the editor's tools:


    The editor itself is certainly more rudimentary in scope than Lapper's Sonic Studio, but most of the time was spent on researching/poking at the game with Fladvervy's speedrunning trainer, and recreating many of its mechanics with some degree of frame-accuracy. (You would be amazed at how painstakingly intricate the game's design work is!) To say that was a monumental task would be an understatement.

    There's a slew of new art I made for SMA, as well! I wanted the game to feel a little fresher by making new assets where I could, instead of relying too heavily on rips.

    Have a closer look at the assets you're seeing in the trailer:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    As a solo project, I bit off way more than I could chew, honestly, but I kept on going anyway. I'm a platformer fanatic, and have played so many of them since I was old enough to hold a controller, but Freedom Planet stole my heart in a way so few have. That game, and the people behind its creation, inspired me to change the course of my life in a very big way; I never forgot that whenever I felt like giving up.

    ---

    Now, you might be wondering, when can everyone get their itchy Chaser mitts on this game? :V Well, the project finally hit its 1.0 milestone recently, so as soon as we're done squishing all of the known bugs, it should be ready- for all of you to give me even more bug reports, and quality-of-life suggestions! :specialed: It's the nature of game development, embrace it!

    More is planned for 1.1, so feature-creep doesn't hold back 1.0's release, so if the eventual release seems like it could be more expansive, don't worry. I have many so ideas already.
     
  2. Lilly

    Lilly

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    Double-posting to give y'all an update on what's all been going on with the game, since I last posted!

    We have a quick look at speedrunning tech from Freedom Planet preserved in Shang Mu Architect. It also shows off one of the newest tracks our lead composer, stringtunes, has finished! (He's been knocking it out of the park with the game's OST!)



    stringtunes also posted a preview video of the game's tracks!

    https://twitter.com/benjistring/status/1293963025448185856

    I also posted a video on Twitter showcasing the finalized water for 1.0; for later versions, I plan on updating the water backgrounds, so that they're sub-backgrounds to the main background. (Such as sewers below Shang Mu City West, and an underwater cave system for Shang Mu lake!)

    https://twitter.com/WhiteLilyDragon/status/1290414229804265474

    The game's titlescreen has also been updated by troopsushi! And WizToad updated all of Savvy's sprites, which are a great improvement over my versions of the sprites! You'll get to see them all in future updates to the game, where I'll have an in-game tutorial screen for how to play the game, ala Super Mario Maker 2. (Savvy is basically the tutorial lady, possibly with an assistant I might design at some point.)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As for the game itself, I've been crushing bugs nightly, more and more as I can after my shifts at work. (The PS4's been looking a little dusty lately! :specialed:) Given the game's scope, as a level builder for a fairly complex, slope-based combat platformer like FP, there's so many bugs and little things to polish, that we won't be able to make it to SAGE, unfortunately; I can't compress an entire month of beta testing and pack-in example level building into two weeks. You only get that first impression once, so I want to handle the game's 1.0 release right.

    We will be widening our beta testing group as we get closer to that polished state, to help weed out weirder edge cases that a smaller group could never catch, so if any Retro-ites want in on the closer-to-final phases of testing, let me know in DMs and I'll get you the game's Discord server link, so you can be notified immediately when RC builds are released. (We're keeping the server link private until 1.0 is released proper.)

    One last thing, an experiment for a bit of fun:

    [​IMG]

    I made sprites of FP2's cast shrunk down into their Sonic-like FP1 proportions, and the result is- interesting. I discovered through that process that Carol's FP1 sprites lack the level of shading that Lilac and Milla have, (deadlines for FP1 were insane, as far as I understand it) so I may update the shading on Carol's sprites in SMA, at the very least. She is a wonderful character and deserves that level of attention; I want Carol to feel well represented in Shang Mu Architect.

    If I had infinite time, I probably would redraw all of FP1's sprites to look like the cast's FP2 appearances like this, (because SMA is set at a time that's post-FP1's story) but I don't, so- a girl can daydream, can't she? :V
     
  3. Lilly

    Lilly

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    Double-posting to say that, yes, I did go over Carol's sprites and adding another layer of shading! I expected that it would be a controversial change, because it's a surprisingly radical difference in Carol's appearance, but thus far, responses on Twitter have been very positive, so there's that. :V

    Here's some footage of her modified sprites in action:



    Milla also has a puppy float meter, now! While it is a simple cosmetic change, it makes a big difference in risk assessment when performing her puppy float. I'm trying to keep "backported" QoL features from Freedom Planet 2 at a minimum, but, I didn't think there was any harm in "backporting" this feature.



    And, if anyone doesn't mind my nerdy lady voice, I made a video presentation some time ago that explains why Shang Mu Architect can't be 100% frame-accurate to Freedom Planet. I don't suspect most people will even notice where SMA deviates from Freedom Planet, but it will be nice to have this video handy in advance, for anyone who might ask the question. A video link to share is much faster than explaining the same thing over and over again. :V



    As for a metaphorical progress bar on the game? Still squishing bugs nightly, as I can, but progress was slowed for a few days while I went over Carol's sprites. I had almost considered giving Milla the same treatment, but her sprites' shading are perfect as-is, and attempting to add more colors just muddied the appreciably hard, lineless separation between clothes and limbs. (This is my theory for why Milla's clothes have limited colors, anyway, besides FP1's whole retro vibe!)

    I'm holding off on any more visual additions to the game until after 1.0's release. There needs to be a functioning video game worth prettying up in the first place, after all! :ruby:

    We definitely missed the mark with SAGE, but considering the progress on bug fixes thus far, and the fact that SMA is not even remotely within the realm of Sonic Studio's complexity/scope, I'm speculating a late September release, we'll see how it goes. (So, if any Retroites want in on release candidate testing, now is a good time to get in touch with me!) Game development is anything but predictable! You didn't hear this from me, shhhhhhhhhhhhhh :ssh: *bricked*

    I will end this post on a torturous level of my own devising: This one might get packed in with the 1.0 build.

     
  4. You will probably not appreciate me posting here. ^^;
    But yeah, redoing it from scratch was honestly the best decision you could've made. Even with Clickteam Fusion 2.5+, it's still needlessly complicated. Even with most Qualifer limitations out of the way, I will always feel paranoid about having to check 70+ rooms for consistency.
    Got to learn GML and C# and truly realized how much more powerful GML alone is.

    Those Carol sprites; I'd first need to see the clean versions of them but oof, I kinda dig the soft style they appear to have now. Carol also appears slightly more angry during her attack frames, like, more it's easier to see that she actually is having more of an angry expression.

    First large-scale FP fan game that actually appears to be coming out someday; congrats on that! ^^
     
  5. Lilly

    Lilly

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    Here's a cleaner look at the sprites! I wanted to upload the whole strip straight from Game Maker Studio, but Imgur was, uh- not having it. It's 22,000 pixels wide, after all :V

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The main thing I did was add anti-aliasing, used two brighter colors, and upped the contrast elsewhere on her sprites with the pre-existing palette's dark colors. This was mainly so that Carol would have as much shading as Lilac and Milla does. (Also modified her eyes, I still don't know why, could be some internal artistic bias I don't know how to articulate.)

    We'll see if it was worth the effort of three days to go over all of her sprites that SMA uses; I have no idea how the greater fandom is going to react to that change. Everyone seems easy to please, but I like to maintain reserved expectations about public reception.

    Oh, there's no way I would have attempted hacking the original game to restore/expand upon its lost level editor- or decompiling it to make mods, which is unquestionably not-legal. A professional software engineer gave up on the task of modding the game, (In part because that's, well- not very legal.) what would my odds have been

    Recreating the engine was strangely a more sane task. I only made it harder on myself by making my own collisions- oops :V
     
  6. SuperSnoopy

    SuperSnoopy

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    Slice of life visual novel, coming soon...?
    Great looking sprites.
    Just so we're clear, the one you modified is the middle one, right? I'm not familiar with the one on the right, is it her sprite from FP2? I remember her being way taller in this game.
     
  7. Lilly

    Lilly

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    Yeah, the middle one is the modified sprite, while the left one is the original. I forgot to clarify, forgive me!

    The sprite on the right is also a modified sprite. I edited Carol's sprite to look like her FP2 counterpart, to see how well the new design would translate to Freedom Planet 1's character proportions. It's certainly a testament to FP2's distinct character designs, that they still look nice even at lower resolutions for sprites. (GalaxyTrail's artists wouldn't have much room to draw so many wonderfully expressive facial expressions for FP2, if they had stuck to FP1's resolution, though.)

    A lot of people liked it, as far as I can tell. :V It was part of this group shot:

    [​IMG]

    Another reason is that I was speculating what the girls would look like, if I had infinite time and created modified mid-quel sprites for the characters, (SMA is set at a time post-FP1) to show how their appearances are changing as they grow up into their FP2 appearances. All while including some, but not all, of their new moves from FP2.

    But I don't have time for that, unfortunately. I've got two other original projects lined up after SMA, including a third that I have the story of on the backburner, so- Carol's updated sprites are all I'm able to manage for SMA. At most, I might make new sprites for Milla so that she can aim straight up and down, like in FP2, and that's just two new frames. :specialed:

    A lot of effort largely went into new backgrounds for this fan game, as well. Each of the new backgrounds I have were two to three week projects of their own. (I currently lack the skill to belt these out as quickly as some people can.) There's still another coming in future updates, so there's very little time for sprite overhauls.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
  8. First we had Sonic Maker, of which was redone and renamed to Sonic Studio. Now we have a Freedom Planet editor? Didn't expect to see something along these lines, but life will always continue to surprise.
    I do have a somewhat cosmic question. — Would the editor allow for any kind of custom asset creation? Not mandatory, clearly, but something worth asking.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
  9. Lilly

    Lilly

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    A Freedom Planet maker is something the GalaxyTrail community has been wanting/dreaming of for quite some time. While I worked on the project in secret, many of my friends would smirk in private whenever someone on the GalaxyTrail Discord daydreamed about wanting a Freedom Maker. I'm still amazed at the response to the fan game, nobody saw this coming. :specialed:

    As for custom asset creation, you're not the first to ask! Everybody wants that, I feel, but unfortunately that's out of the scope for the 1.0 release. If I can manage it in future updates, we'll see, but for now, I can't promise anything until I can come up with an intuitive way to make custom texture pages, that people can load into memory from an external file with an INI attached. (Which has all of the assets' coordinates accounted for.)

    It would be neat if I could create an algorithm that automatically sorted texture pages for people, but that's also something I don't know how to do yet. (And I would need a new tool for generating collision masks for slopes- that's a project in of itself.) Allowing custom assets in general would be a little tricky. Custom tilesets aren't be too bad to speculate, however; its custom characters/enemies/backgrounds with logical scripting where my abstract thinking falls apart. Anybody know how to plug Lua scripting into Game Maker Studio? :V

    For now, at least, I do have custom drawing tools for the editor, so you can make little unique details throughout a stage, if you liked:

    [​IMG]

    Currently, these tools *barely* work, they're a huge work-in-progress, but they are slated for the 1.0 release. And, if they turn out well enough, I'll expand on each GUI item's palette, so that people have a total of 104 colors to play with! (And I will need a palette bar toggle for the sidebar, so people don't go insane with tabbing back into the tile menu each time they want to select a new color.)

    [​IMG]

    I don't think many people will take this feature seriously until there's a multi-select tool for Shang Mu Architect, (that way, they can copy "patches" throughout a level) but if I can get it to work, it might be a fun novelty for people to play around with! The idea started as an MSPaint meme; we'll have to see if it goes beyond that meme status.
     
  10. Lilly

    Lilly

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    I haven't posted in a while, but it's not like I haven't been busy! My crazy work schedule slowed development to a crawl at times, up until recently, when my boss decided to give me a more stable schedule after hiring more employees, and learning that I want to study/practice for Microsoft's C# certifications. (She saw that I was behaving more anxiously than usual behind the line, so we had a talk about my struggles to balance my future career building and my work schedule.)

    She fully understands that I have career aspirations beyond the food service industry and wants to help foster that, which I greatly appreciate! (It also gives me more time for game dev.) Ever since then, I've been able to carve out more time throughout the week for Shang Mu Architect, so development continues at about the same pace as it did before COVID hit.

    The project is basically hitting all of its one 1.0 milestones, now. The current stretch of development is fixing all of the bugs, and broadening the test group, before release!

    ***

    All of that said, Carol's sprites got redone again. This time, I had taken a closer look at TroopSushi's version of Carol, in the Shang Mu Architect logo he illustrated, and I really, really liked how he shaded Carol's eyes. They have a much more obvious sense of focus and depth to them than my attempt at reshading Carol, so, I updated all of Carol's sprites to mirror this interpretation of her.

    Thanks to TroopSushi, I feel like now, we have a fully-shaded version of Carol that reflects the spirit of the original sprites, while adding definition to them that I felt they deserved. Carol has only grown on me, more and more as I work on this fan game, so I wanted her to feel as well-represented in SMA as Lilac and Milla.

    [​IMG]



    Drawing tools are now complete, but in a completely different form than I imagined they would be! It made more sense to make it a separate, dedicated sidebar, with all of its own tools and menu elements, instead of an invocation from the tile menu itself; most people would have missed that anyway!

    Its potential uses are still limited, but it's there, so you can do little things like paint your own benches, add your own details to certain scenes, etc

    [​IMG]

    Twitter video: https://twitter.com/WhiteLilyDragon/status/1319182629720252416

    There's a new feature that lets you drag the edges of tiles, to repeat them over a selected area! It's not as fast-and-snappy as Super Mario Maker 2, (nor can it be, given how much this fan game relies on sloped surfaces) but it's a decent compromise. Thanks to Strife for suggesting it on a test stream of the fan game!

    The editor feels so much better for it, I don't know how I had gone this long without implementing that! Much of the tedium that playtesters complained about disappeared overnight. :specialed:

    Twitter video: https://twitter.com/WhiteLilyDragon/status/1317281431559802880

    Enemy interactions have improved a lot! It's now possible to "give" enemies certain objects, such as targets. (I eventually want to expand this into a modchip system that lets you modify certain parameters of enemies!) All non-floating enemies can also interact with springs! This creates room for all kinds of interesting scenarios, like the videos below:

    https://twitter.com/WhiteLilyDragon/status/1313543994341822464
    https://twitter.com/WhiteLilyDragon/status/1314409935577534466

    Underwater enemies interact with dry land differently!

    https://twitter.com/WhiteLilyDragon/status/1310720234022674438

    Enemies can also be attached to moving platforms!

    https://twitter.com/WhiteLilyDragon/status/1306766901595471873

    The 16 target limit was "removed', and upgraded with a limitless target placement/logging system! Now, it's possible to do silly things like this:

    https://twitter.com/WhiteLilyDragon/status/1309692102717177856

    Double-sided collisions also got a revamp! It was easily the biggest problem with the engine previously, but now, with a new method for handling this system, it's so much more reliable! Still working out the kinks that came with it for non-loop piece tiles, but things are looking up for the quality of the project's collision physics!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Twitter video: https://twitter.com/WhiteLilyDragon/status/1324227911294083077

    That's it for now! Back to work for me :specialed:
     
  11. Lilly

    Lilly

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    So, it's literally been a few years since I last updated y'all on this project! :V

    And a lot has changed! Sabrina authorized me to run a Patreon for the fan game. We have multiple composers and artists contributing assets. (Including one of FP2's composers!) The fan game now have six playable characters, a story mode demo, (with a classic mode option!) improved physics and accuracy to FP1's behavior, a complex NPC system with 62+ NPCs (at present) 4 original bosses, 4 tile sets with 2 more new sets left to make, 21+ BGs with 1 left to finish- it's hard to summarize 3 years of game development in a single paragraph!

    Shang Mu Architect has now evolved closer towards its goals: An all-new Freedom Planet midquel fan game with a story mode campaign, and a stage editor based (partly) on the scrapped stage editor for FP1. For the sake of brevity, I will let the trailer below speak for itself!

    Y'all can grab the campaign demo, featuring 3 stages, 6 cut-scenes, and 4 hubs, here at our GitHub page:

    https://github.com/whitelilydragon/ShangMuArchitect/releases

    Campaign demo trailer on YouTube:



    Patreon link: If I can reach my goal of $300/m, I can afford to go part-time at my housekeeping job at Erlanger hospital, (working a lot of nights in the ER!) and finish the campaign sooner, rather than later. The Patreon is just ~$100 shy of that goal, at the time of this posting

    https://www.patreon.com/whitelilydragon

    So, how have y'all been? :V
     
  12. Nice to see SMA get updated here again!
     
  13. SpaceyBat

    SpaceyBat

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    Chiming in to reiterate my authorization for the project. Cheers!

    I played through the new demo today and it's pretty sweet! My only critique is that the main campaign levels feel cramped and don't seem to follow a coherent theme with their gimmicks - I think if the stages were more open to give the characters breathing room to use their moves, and focused on just 1-2 gimmicks each as their central mechanics, then they'll give a good impression of what's possible in the editor. Physics are spot on, the new moves fit the characters nicely (particularly Carol who benefits greatly from the inclusion of her up/down kicks from FP2), and I quite like how you polished Spade's moveset so that he feels like a complete character (in contrast to his scrapped appearance in FP1 which I wasn't happy with personally). Well done!
     
  14. Lilly

    Lilly

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    I apologize for not posting here in a while, I've been busy with addressing the feedback I received after the demo's release. And I have so many items on the to-do list, still- phew

    Just pushed a new stable build with a deluge of changes last night! Stage 1 has been remade from scratch, the City tile set was refactored and consolidated, I have an all-new tile set for Stage 2's upcoming remake, the editor's menus have been improved, and more gimmicks + bugfixes are here for the ride:

    https://github.com/whitelilydragon/ShangMuArchitect/releases/tag/v1.1.6.2

    The levels were indeed too cramped and lacking cohesion, like an early ROM hack. I have to admit, after the live stream, I slipped into a depressive spiral after I realized that I let this happen. I felt so much shame for letting this game's sea of code, and the software side of it, (the editor) take precedent over prioritizing the main component of the game that players will interface with themselves. (The levels)

    Without fun levels, there's no business case for pretty much any other component of an attached game existing. I had to search my soul, and re-evaluate what I was doing as a hopeful game developer. If I truly care about what I do, I can't let this happen again.

    That spiral was no fault of anyone who gave me their honest and useful feedback. I felt like I wasted the time of everyone who sincerely gave their spotlight to my work, when I had consciously neglected 4 files, out of 20,000, that mattered the most out of all of them.

    So, two months later, Baozhu Road should now be my most sincere attempt at Freedom Planet's stage design thus far. I threw out most of the previous map, and what few parts I wanted to keep, I made them more spacious and clutter-free.

    Here are the things I've learned about FP stage design over the months, in no particular order of importance. (Because they're all important!) Feel free to let me know where my understanding might drift from yours
    • Sonic 3's sprawling labyrinth stage design doesn't seem to work for FP
      • While Sonic can move faster than the FP girls, he is often slower and deliberate, which is reflected in the size of each "room" in the classics. The FP girls can change their direction (almost) instantly, and accelerate/decelerate roughly 3 to 5 times faster than Sonic, so they need more room to move around
      • The amount of time I spent making spaghetti labyrinths of alt paths consumed too much time anyway :( Is this (part of) why Sonic fan games are so hard to finish?
    • Ideally, no scenery pieces should be directly behind gimmicks or items
      • Gimmicks, springs, and items, need compositional room to stand out to the player, especially at high speeds
      • This issue also made NPCs and crystal gems/petals harder to parse from the environment, even while exploring at a slower pace
    • Freedom Planet doesn't need to be afraid of letting the player "hold right"
      • The girls have enough movement options, their input choices can always change it up for "hold right" sections
      • Adding detours and secret paths with little goodies, inside of the "hold right" sections, can help break it down into smaller chunks, for people who prefer to explore
      • One of the reasons my stages were cramped, was being *too* afraid to let the player hold right for more than two seconds at a time :(
    • Freedom Planet's stages trend from top to bottom
      • Because of how Freedom Planet's camera works, (if not most platformers, generally) the camera is biased towards downward visibility at any given time. (Isn't it nice to very-clearly see pits and enemies you'd prefer to avoid?)
      • Because of this, going down in Freedom Planet is often more satisfying than going upwards. This made the latter half of Stage 2 in SMA awkward to navigate, because it's all about going up. This can result in hitting your head on obstacles, hazards, and enemies, you couldn't see coming in time
    • Upwards vertical sections can also work, if done cautiously
      • Because of the camera's downwards bias, platforming is more fun when platforms are placed at half-screen heights, instead of walls going above the screen
      • Springs and ladders help reset the camera's vertical position, which helps maintain upwards visibility while scaling taller walls!
      • Crystal gems and petals, can also help entice players upwards, for those edge cases where you might want to put detours or secrets above a taller wall
      • Enemies should be placed well "inside" of platforms, so players can see and react to them in time, once the camera's vertical position has caught up to the player's
    • Freedom Planet 2's zoom in/zoom out needs a lot of terrain
      • While the zoom in/zoom out gimmick from Freedom Planet 2 is fun to play around with, the game feels like it's moving slower while zoomed out, so you need to put down even longer stretches of terrain for zoomed out sections; this helps players get their "fill" of speed before zooming back into normal-zoomed sections
      • Freedom Planet 2 very prominently has long stretches of "roller-coaster"-like terrain and/or grind rails, for those sections that are zoomed out, likely for this exact reason
    Another issue my stages had, was that the city tile set was the oldest in the entire project, and it showed. Lots of odd-resolution pieces that didn't fit neatly into anything, and the color theming was all over the place. It was so far behind the quality standard of tile sets I've made for later stages. This fact made the original Stage 1 look little different from early ROM hacks of any game. (i.e, a chaotic mess of tiles that don't mesh well together)

    I've done my best to fix that, which allowed me to create better playing (and looking) stages in the first place. I hope the remade Stage 1 is fun now. I firmly believe that, for SMA's campaign stages to be fun, it needs to measure up to the bar that FP1 set for itself- which is very a tall order. Self-doubt eats at my soul like a vicious reptile, even now :(

    Hopefully, my understanding has improved since the last demo released. But I will need others to be the judge of that.

    Onward to Stage 2's remake :psyduck:

    I'm glad you think Spade feels complete and well-represented in the fan game! I've since patched him up a little, as well, since you last played as him on the stream. (It's fortunate you didn't stop moving; there were some animation bugs from the new sprites that I had missed at the time! :psyduck:)

    Part of me feared I was too creatively-bankrupt, in regards to Spade, to polish him as much as we have. (I genuinely have no new game play ideas for him!) But, where you left him on the cutting room floor in FP1 had so much potential, all that version of Spade needed was a little more TLC; I just polished what was already there. And now, everyone enjoys playing as him in the fan game!

    My only regret is that Spade's inclusion will demand a standalone story campaign of its own, if that's alright with you? (Much like the Plague Knight DLC for Shovel Knight; same game/assets, new character, story, central hub, and stage layouts!) The plan is to consider the fan game "done" after the girls' campaign is complete, then make Spade's campaign into a "final" post-release content update, as a fun side project while my next game is in pre-production.

    It's going to be a tall order, but if we do it right, and we have your blessing to go for that- it could be the closest thing to the cancelled Spade DLC that Spade fans can ask for :)
     
  15. Lilly

    Lilly

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    Today's the day! SAGE has opened, and this fan game is making its second appearance there. (Missed SAGE last year because of QA'ing for FP2)

    https://sonicfangameshq.com/forums/showcase/shang-mu-architect.1794/

    [​IMG]

    Stages 1 and 2 have been fullly remade after I studied Freedom Planet 1's stage design more closely, as well as FP2's. I also added new gimmicks, new and improved tile sets, made more improvements to the editor, and expanded on existing gimmicks, to accommodate these stages. (The changelog should be a mile long, when I compile the difference between this SAGE build and the prior stable build posted on GitHub.)

    Most of the hubs and train station hub have also been cleaned up and improved with clearer directions on how to navigate between stages, missions, and shopkeepers in Story Mode.

    I posted what I learned in detail with this Tumblr blog post here, about FP1's level structure, item placement patterns, and more:

    https://www.tumblr.com/vela-cosmos-dev/725866568231370752

    The remakes of those stages are putting these lessons into practice. I hope the campaign is a more authentic Freedom Planet experience for SAGE goers; I had to halt the brakes on producing mid-game story mode content until these issues were fully addressed. Hopefully up to a better standard.

    This release is still leaps and bounds beyond SMA's first-ever SAGE appearance, which was received understandably with disappointment. (Which I took it in stride, given that it was only a novel prototype/software toy at the time.) But, now that roughly 3/10 of the planned campaign is a material object that can be judged, I must quote Blaze the Cat: It's time!