March 2020 Progress Update (of sorts)

by | 2020-03-29

March has been an eventful month. I’ve had plenty of opportunity to stay shut in and work on projects, but the whole situation has kind of thrown me for a loop and because of that it’s been a mixed bag as far as projects go.

I managed to get some work done on Ascension III and CommonCore, though more the latter than the former. I didn’t feel like I got much done, but looking back I realize that I’ve actually implemented several major features I’ve wanted for a while.

The big one was supporting 2D and 2.5D graphics so I can build games in the vein of Firefighter Simulator or Tactical Weapons and Tactics. Using images for weapons graphics is now implemented, along with billboard and facing sprites for actors and other objects.

In-game resolution settings and more graphics options are in, along with remappable keyboard/mouse input. I overhauled the config menu while I was at it. Of course, there were plenty of fixes and small additions, like save/load indicators and no longer sliding off flat surfaces.

I also ported Bang Ouch to Xbox One via UWP!

It seems rather pointless- especially since you need an Xbox in Dev Mode to play it- but it was a useful experience to try porting a CommonCore-based game to a new platform, especially one that I’ve never tried before. I had to fix some compatibility issues with IL2CPP and UWP, as well as rework the menus to work with only a controller. All of that has been merged upstream. You can grab Bang Ouch Definitive Edition from its project page.

CommonCore 2.0.0 Preview 9 is released, along with an updated set of extra (optional) modules. I’ve started documenting things in a semi-formal manner but this document isn’t public yet. All of this is on or will be on my Github.

I have gone all-in on my consolized Neo Geo MVS project. I started ordering the parts late last month and they started coming in this month. So far, I’ve built the world’s sketchiest supergun and tested my MVS board, playing some Puzzle Bobble. (Metal Slug is my favourite, but that cartridge hasn’t arrived yet)

There’s still some board modifications to do, as well as a ton of wiring and building a case for the whole thing, but it’s progressing well. I really do enjoy working with hardware and apart from a few frustrations, it’s nice to dip my toes in console modding again.

There are, however, a few things I didn’t work on in March, including some that I talked about rather excitedly in the last post. I said I’d picked up a test system for WARP, but I don’t actually have access to it right now and haven’t for a while, so any plans to do new videos on WARP are put off indefinitely.

The new game project I mentioned, the one that was supposed to be done this month, has also been shelved. I don’t want to reveal what it would have been exactly, because I might get back to it next year, but I can say the premise just doesn’t work in the middle of a real-life pandemic.

I started the month with grand plans, but newip didn’t get a lot of love. I worked on it a little bit during the first week of March, but it then got put aside as other things took priority. I’m not really any closer to the grand reveal than I was last month, unfortunately, but I will try my best to get back to it in April. Again, it’s not that I don’t want to work on newip, it’s just that there’s been a lot going on.

April is still very much in the air. I’m going to keep working on that Neo Geo project, and I’m going to try to do more on newip than I did last month. I will do some sort of CommonCore-related game dev, but I’m not sure if that’s going to be some work on Ascension III or another new project.

We certainly live in interesting times. Stay safe out there.

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