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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:15 pm 



Joined: 26 Jan 2005
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bob wrote:
You know that you have to pay fees if you use mp3 music and your game gets downloaded 5000 times or more?

http://www.mp3licensing.com/royalty/games.html

You might say your game isn't downloaded that often or there ist no way to proof how many people downloaded it.

But the easiest thing would be if the licence holders just download it 5000 times themselfes. Then the limit is hit and they have proof for it.


You do realize that that licensing fee pertains to MP3PRO, which is a codec, not the MP3 format itself? It stipulates if you use MP3PRO to encode your mp3s, you have to pay a licensing fee if your product gets downloaded over 5000 times.

The MP3 format is a standard; no one company can claim royalties for it. However, certain codecs do require royalty if you use them. That's why I use free mp3 codecs like LAMEMP3.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:34 pm 


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Alluro wrote:
You do realize that that licensing fee pertains to MP3PRO, which is a codec, not the MP3 format itself? It stipulates if you use MP3PRO to encode your mp3s, you have to pay a licensing fee if your product gets downloaded over 5000 times.

The MP3 format is a standard; no one company can claim royalties for it. However, certain codecs do require royalty if you use them. That's why I use free mp3 codecs like LAMEMP3.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mp3#Licens ... ent_issues

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:09 pm 



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I seriously would not worry about this whole silly thing about MP3 licensing. Th format is in such widespread use.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:03 am 



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Alluro wrote:
I seriously would not worry about this whole silly thing about MP3 licensing. Th format is in such widespread use.

You should worry. Corporations hate everybody, especially when patent royalties are their main source of revenue and when financial collapse makes their managers even less rational than normal.
But can't you use other music formats with Game Maker? For example, Ogg Vorbis, if available, would be a perfect solution (similar to MP3, but unencumbered).


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:58 am 



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Ixmucane2 wrote:
Alluro wrote:
I seriously would not worry about this whole silly thing about MP3 licensing. Th format is in such widespread use.

You should worry. Corporations hate everybody and are greedy, especially when patent royalties are their main source of revenue and when financial collapse makes their managers even less rational than normal.
But can't you use other music formats with Game Maker? For example, Ogg Vorbis, if available, would be a perfect solution (similar to MP3, but unencumbered).


Added a bit of info for you in bold. In all reality, the big legal fiascoes you hear about MP3 patent violation usually occurs between the big corporations with deep pockets, like when they add MP3 support to their products (MP3 players) without authorization. I find it very suspicious that these patent holders, who never manufactured, distributed, or otherwise made available the technologies themselves, suddenly make huge extortionary demands against large companies when 1) MP3 format had been used widespread for nearly a decade and 2) their patents are only a few years from expiring. These entities are known pejoratively as "patent trolls."

Natively, Game Maker only supports MIDIs, WAVs, and MP3's. Other formats like Ogg Vorbis need extensions. The big reason why I stick with MP3's is because almost everybody knows what an MP3 file is. Therefore, customizing the soundtrack is a simple matter of one taking his/her existing mp3's and renaming them to the names used by the game.

I'm using an FMOD sound system extension for XF-EX, which DOES support OGG, and the following formats:
1. AIFF - (Audio Interchange File Format)
2. ASF - (Advanced Streaming format, includes support for the audio tracks in video streams)
3. ASX - (playlist format - contains links to other audio files. To access contents, the FMOD Ex tag API is used)
4. DLS - (DownLoadable Sound format for midi playback. Can also be used as a stand alone container format in FMOD)
5. FLAC - (Lossless compression codec)
6. FSB - (FMOD sample bank format generated by FSBank and FMOD designer tool)
7. IT - (Impulse tracker sequenced mod format. FMOD Ex also fully supports resonant filters in .IT files, and the per channel or per instrument echo effect send, that can be enabled in ModPlug Tracker. This is cross platform effect support and does not require DirectX like other libraries do.)
8. M3U - (playlist format - contains links to other audio files. To access contents, the FMOD Ex tag API is used)
9. MID - MIDI using operating system or custom DLS patches.
10. MOD - (Protracker / Fasttracker and others sequenced mod format)
11. MP2 - (MPEG I/II Layer 2)
12. MP3 - (MPEG I/II Layer 3, including VBR support)
13. OGG - (Ogg Vorbis format)
14. PLS - (playlist format - contains links to other audio files. To access contents, the FMOD Ex tag API is used)
15. RAW - (Raw file format support. The user can specify the number of channels, bitdepth, format etc)
16. S3M - (ScreamTracker 3 sequenced mod format)
17. VAG - (PS2 / PSP format, playable on all platforms!)
18. WAV - (Microsoft Wave files, inlcluding compressed wavs. PCM, MP3 and IMA ADPCM compressed wav files are supported across all platforms in FMOD Ex, and other compression formats are supported via windows codecs on that platform).
19. WAX - (playlist format - contains links to other audio files. To access contents, the FMOD Ex tag API is used)
20. WMA - (Windows Media Audio format)
21. XM - (FastTracker 2 sequenced format)
22. XMA - (Xbox 360 only)
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:29 am 


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Thinking about Stage 2 and its missile launch sequence, does that mean that missile storms will be more precise (as in Armed Police Batrider's Sky High level where a storm of missiles comes occasionally mid-level) instead of random missile spawning?
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:37 am 



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Aru-san wrote:
Thinking about Stage 2 and its missile launch sequence, does that mean that missile storms will be more precise (as in Armed Police Batrider's Sky High level where a storm of missiles comes occasionally mid-level) instead of random missile spawning?


Definitely. I am getting rid of the random spawns in all levels. For stage 2, I will meticulously plan out the missile appearances down to to the specific sizes and precise down to 1/60 of a second. This is done because now there's a deep scoring system meticulous players can abuse.

Casual players can simply blow through the game if they choose, but they cannot take advantage of high scoring opportunities that comes with chaining and leaving some big enemies alive to prolong chains.

I expect high scores in an ALL clear of the XF-EX remake to easily be in the hundreds of millions of points.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:48 am 



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Here's the first public demo of the Xeno Fighters remake (v0.1):

http://www.sendspace.com/file/042n39

If anyone would like to mirror this, feel free to.

This short demo has three selectable characters and two levels (one is 80% complete).

Installation is simply extracting everything in the ZIP file to a new folder, then running the game EXE. Press F1 at any time to pause the game and bring up the Help File.

NOTE: I've heard of instances where some people have trouble running Game Maker games in general. unfortunately, I cannot help you if the game cannot run on your computer, since I have no way to test it.

Let me know if you run into bugs, balance issues, or anything that you are uncertain of that is not explained in the Help file.

Have fun abusing the new scoring system!
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:41 pm 


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Is it possible to TATE the screen in this demo?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:46 pm 


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Tried it with Raiden MK II, got completely destroyed. Then tried it with Miyamoto .. had no problem 1lc'ing it. You need to bring that poor ship up to par. Most notably it's bomb takes forever to actually do anything, and the toothpaste laser sucks for hitting anything unless you're under it allready.

Also I still think Stage 3 scrolls too slowly. :P


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 6:54 pm 


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I like it but, if I may use a strange phrase, it doesn't feel 'weighty' enough to me - this is possibly down to a lack of frames of animation and a lack of 'meaty' sound effects.

Very hard to put it into words, but I don't get this when playing, for example, Raiden II.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:22 pm 


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Udderdude wrote:
Tried it with Raiden MK II, got completely destroyed. Then tried it with Miyamoto .. had no problem 1lc'ing it. You need to bring that poor ship up to par. Most notably it's bomb takes forever to actually do anything, and the toothpaste laser sucks for hitting anything unless you're under it allready.


Haha, exactly same with me. That poor mobility with slow bomb really own the MK II. In my opinion the Judge Spear is way too fast as well but I suppose that's how it's meant to be so I won't say anything more about that. I also got the feeling enemies die a bit too fast before they get a chance to properly even enter the screen.

As for the game itself it looks really much more polished than the original game. But when I play the remake it feels as if I'm playing Raiden Fighters 2 while the orignal game has a really unique feel to it, a little similiar to Battle Bakraid but not quite. I'm really looking forward to seeing this remake get finished and I don't mind if it took a while to get finished, take your time and keep up the good work ;)

By the way I really liked how the missiles worked in the original on stage 2, it's a lot more interesting when they come in randomly and you'll actually have to pay attention unlike how it's in Batrider for example.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:03 pm 



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Udderdude wrote:
Tried it with Raiden MK II, got completely destroyed. Then tried it with Miyamoto .. had no problem 1lc'ing it. You need to bring that poor ship up to par. Most notably it's bomb takes forever to actually do anything, and the toothpaste laser sucks for hitting anything unless you're under it allready.

Also I still think Stage 3 scrolls too slowly. :P


Hehe. It's just like the poor Raiden mk-II in Raiden Fighters. The bomb does have a horrible delay, so you have to use it as an offensive weapon. It's worthless as a defensive weapon. It's pretty much how hard it is to use the Raiden mk-II in Raiden Fighters Jet; it's meant to be a low-tier, hard-to-use ship. I'll post a run of the Raiden on YouTube in a while.

Just changing the scroll speed of stage 3 will require me to completely redesign the enemy waves, since I had set the enemy waves down to the 1/60 of a second in that stage.

As for the comment about the lack of animation frames and meaty sound effects:

*Animation frames pertaining to the enemies or the player ships?
*It's funny, because I had a discussion with several other people on IRC after they watched a video of the game in action, and they brought up the issue of sound balance, where small popcorn enemy explosions and player weapon fire overwhelm larger sound effects like Bombs and the music. I applied highpass and lowpass filters and equalizer functions to the lesser sound effects. I still have the original, unprocessed sound effects and I can return them to the originals if need be.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:09 pm 


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Alluro wrote:
As for the comment about the lack of animation frames and meaty sound effects:

*Animation frames pertaining to the enemies or the player ships?


Everything. As it is, and you'll excuse my daft phrase here, but it all feels very 'thin' and insubstantial which I'm assuming is down to a lack of animation frames.

Quote:
*It's funny, because I had a discussion with several other people on IRC after they watched a video of the game in action, and they brought up the issue of sound balance, where small popcorn enemy explosions and player weapon fire overwhelm larger sound effects like Bombs and the music. I applied highpass and lowpass filters and equalizer functions to the lesser sound effects. I still have the original, unprocessed sound effects and I can return them to the originals if need be.


Perhaps it's all down to a matter of taste, but a game which I feel has it perfect in terms of animation, 'feel' and meaty sound effects is Star Monkey:

http://www.smallrockets.com/pc/starmonkey/

Give it a go and see what you think.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:48 pm 



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R-Typer: It's clear that it's all a matter of tastes and personal bias, because Star Monkey is not the style of game I am going for.

I welcome criticisms, but please offer unbiased criticisms. When I criticize something, I always put aside my personal biases and look at it objectively.

On another note: I discovered a minor issue with the demo. In stage 3, the sniper tanks do not appear. I did some resource compression, and it appears that it affected the sniper tank spawn spots. If there are any other pressing issues that you notice in the demo, let me know and I'll release an update that fixes the sniper tanks and any other issues.[/b]
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:56 pm 


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Eh? How on earth is my opinion biased? If you're referring to personal taste then that's something that we all have and therefore everyone's opinion will differ, if only slightly.

You asked for feedback and I gave you what I thought was constructive criticism and even cited an example to make my point.

If you wanted unremitting praise and no criticism whatsoever then you should have made that clear.

You've obviously put in a lot of hard work on this and for that I commend you, but for ME it falls down on the points mentioned. Others will think I'm talking out of my arse which is fair enough.

I'll now bugger off and leave you in peace.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:58 pm 


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Alluro wrote:
R-Typer: It's clear that it's all a matter of tastes and personal bias, because Star Monkey is not the style of game I am going for.

I welcome criticisms, but please offer unbiased criticisms. When I criticize something, I always put aside my personal biases and look at it objectively.

On another note: I discovered a minor issue with the demo. In stage 3, the sniper tanks do not appear. I did some resource compression, and it appears that it affected the sniper tank spawn spots. If there are any other pressing issues that you notice in the demo, let me know and I'll release an update that fixes the sniper tanks and any other issues.[/b]


The first Miclus on Stage 1 appears underneath the crater. It's not too big of a deal, though it sort of threw me off when I saw that the Miclus was below the crater sprite.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:46 pm 



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Aru-san wrote:
The first Miclus on Stage 1 appears underneath the crater. It's not too big of a deal, though it sort of threw me off when I saw that the Miclus was below the crater sprite.


That's due to a priority issue I forgot to address. It's easily fixed.

Quote:
If you wanted unremitting praise and no criticism whatsoever then you should have made that clear.


If you recall, Udderdude and LtC gave criticisms about the game on this topic, but it's all objective and pertained to game balance and mechanics. Commenting about the art style of the game falls into nitpicking, not criticism. That's what annoyed me.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:10 pm 


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Udderdude wrote:
Tried it with Raiden MK II, got completely destroyed. Then tried it with Miyamoto .. had no problem 1lc'ing it. You need to bring that poor ship up to par. Most notably it's bomb takes forever to actually do anything, and the toothpaste laser sucks for hitting anything unless you're under it allready.

Also I still think Stage 3 scrolls too slowly. :P

Interesting. I had absolutely no problem with Raiden and got completely destroyed with Judge Spear and Miyamoto. I just play better with slow ships for some reason.
BTW it looks like bomb gives you invincibility even before it explodes, but i'm not sure about that.

Edit: There was a little bug in stage 3 when I played with Raiden. The missiles flied to the right when there were no enemies on the screen. In other stages they worked normally.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:33 pm 



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worstplayer wrote:
Edit: There was a little bug in stage 3 when I played with Raiden. The missiles flied to the right when there were no enemies on the screen. In other stages they worked normally.


That has something to do with the non-appearance of the sniper tanks in stage 3. They are spawned elsewhere in the level, and it causes the homing missiles to act strangely.

I found out the cause of this error. I defragged the resources in the game, and it caused some of the instance ID's of the sniper tank spawn points to change, while the code still referred to the older instance ID's. This caused the tanks to be spawned far off the screen, thereby causing the homing missiles to try to seek out these faraway tanks. I forgot that defragging the resources changes the instance ID's too.

I will release a new version of the demo with this error fixed. Thanks for the findings, everyone!
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:02 am 


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So, can it be TATE:d? Please?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:59 am 



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I've made a small update to v0.1a: http://www.sendspace.com/file/c5vgz2

This is the EXE only. Extract it into the same folder you have for Xeno Fighters EX remake.

It fixes an error in Stage 3, where tanks spawn far offscreen, causing homing weapons to behave strangely.

Emph: TATE will be implemented soon, when I create an options menu in a later version.

EDIT: v0.1a with all files (DLLs and music) here: http://www.sendspace.com/file/hwnrum
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:52 am 


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Played it, loved it!

I have very little criticism to offer. I think that the background in stage 3 and the ground enemies are a bit too dark, so they get a little hard to see, but maybe that's intentional? I had the same issues of ship balance as other people: I got nowhere with the Raiden ship, but blasted through the whole thing quite easily with Miyamoto. Other than that, I think your game is fantastic, really.

Where do the backgrounds come from, btw? They are noticeably different in style from the enemies and from each other. I suggest getting a good pixel artist on the project and make him remake everything (even the cameos) in the same style to form a coherent whole.

In fact, my main gripe with your game has much to do with the paragraph above, and it is a quite substantial one: I think that you have the skill to make a really outstanding game on your own and I feel that you're limiting yourself with your "fan"-game approach. I mean, it's nice enough to have all the cameos in the game, but in the end it just screams "fan project", which might cost your game a fair bit of acceptance despite its undeniable quality. That's probably exactly how you want it, but don't you ever feel the desire to create something truly original?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:48 am 



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Herr Schatten wrote:
Played it, loved it!

I have very little criticism to offer. I think that the background in stage 3 and the ground enemies are a bit too dark, so they get a little hard to see, but maybe that's intentional? I had the same issues of ship balance as other people: I got nowhere with the Raiden ship, but blasted through the whole thing quite easily with Miyamoto. Other than that, I think your game is fantastic, really.

Where do the backgrounds come from, btw? They are noticeably different in style from the enemies and from each other. I suggest getting a good pixel artist on the project and make him remake everything (even the cameos) in the same style to form a coherent whole.

In fact, my main gripe with your game has much to do with the paragraph above, and it is a quite substantial one: I think that you have the skill to make a really outstanding game on your own and I feel that you're limiting yourself with your "fan"-game approach. I mean, it's nice enough to have all the cameos in the game, but in the end it just screams "fan project", which might cost your game a fair bit of acceptance despite its undeniable quality. That's probably exactly how you want it, but don't you ever feel the desire to create something truly original?


I actually have little problems with the Raiden here. The Raiden is great if you're playing for survival, but it is extremely hard if you're trying to score attack the game with the Raiden.

I have created an original game before. It is Parallel Dimensions 99, which is a very strange horizontal shmup. It had Bill Gates as a final boss. Yep. Another original game I have done is an Arkanoid-style game that I never released to the public.

I understand that my fangame approach may not appeal to everyone. Like you said, that's the underlying purpose of this game. It is made as a homage and tribute to Raiden Fighters, Psikyo games, and a bit of Cave here and there. When I made the original Xeno Fighters, I did have four original ships in there, with the cameos as unlockables. Doing the remake, I did the cameo ships first, because their weapons programming were very complex (the Raiden toothpaste laser especially).

The backgrounds come from various games: 1944: The Loop Master for stage 1 and Raiden Fighters 2 for stage 3. The darkness of stage 3 was intentional. I can adjust the darkness amount easily if need be.

I wish I could work on my own graphics, but I'm extremely weak when it comes to making my own graphics. However, I can make use of existing graphics when I get them. I do not care much about style clashing as much as some people do. If the graphics work, then I'll use them. I focus more in making sure the game plays well.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:00 am 


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Alluro wrote:
I wish I could work on my own graphics, but I'm extremely weak when it comes to making my own graphics. However, I can make use of existing graphics when I get them. I do not care much about style clashing as much as some people do. If the graphics work, then I'll use them. I focus more in making sure the game plays well.

That's a very healthy approach. It's always important to get the gameplay down first, then worry about everything else.

However, I still think your game could benefit a lot if the graphics were remade in a coherent style. It would even stress the homage character in that it wouldn't look as much like copy & paste work. Like I said in the Z-Out remake thread, I'd love to offer my own skills, but I fear that it would just take me too long to get everything finished, as I could only dedicate a very small amount of my spare time to the project.

Two pages ago, Gungriffon Geona offered to do some graphics. He seems to know his stuff, so why not give it a try?

Enough with the nitpicking. Keep up the excellent work!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 11:20 am 



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Herr Schatten wrote:
Enough with the nitpicking. Keep up the excellent work!


It's a valid concern and I understand where you are coming from. The thing is that I have neither the resources or the talent to make my own graphics. I'll be sure to contact Gungriffon Geona about his offer for pixel art.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:59 pm 



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I've tried the demo wit all three ships (I fared better with the Viper one).

I share most of Herr Schatten's concerns about the graphics, but they are better than nothing and, in fact, well assembled. The obvious quality of the engine and of your game design, and your evident effort and dedication, should be enough to attract contributors of original pixel art: make it a priority.

Regarding the game itself, my only true criticism is that it needs autofire: with the fire button pressed the main weapon should shoot at the maximum possible rate instead of just once.
Since the main weapons have only a simple constant effect (instead of adding extras when the weapon starts firing, instead of behaving differently when tapping and when holding the button, and instead of charging mechanisms) forcing the player to mash the fire button is not useful.
You are going for the modern bullet spam style, there is no place for carefully timed attacks like in Galaga or Space Invaders.
Apart from pointless physical exertion, obviously repeating or continuous weapons that turn off on their own accord are irritating, particularly in the case of the beautifully executed toothpaste laser which loses its lock-on and flails around for a while instead of merely stuttering like the other weapons.

Second, the dragon ship's two little helpers and the two slaves are incompatible: they are stylistically incoherent (biological vs mechanical) and they want to fly in the same place.
Perhaps the slaves could be consolidated with the two little helpers or moved somewhere else (play Battle Garegga for ideas, but conservatively relocating them to the forward part of flanks would suffice).

Have you considered adding another button for fancy features? Changing the formation of the slaves or shooting alternate weapons and alternate bombs would be obvious choices.
How willing to depart from the obvious Raiden and Raiden Fighters roots of your game are you?
Specifically, will the numerous ships you are planning be fancy dresses for RF-like weapons or a more faithful mashup of nontrivial and truly different weapons and systems from different games? With a little creativity the existing powerups and three buttons can emulate lots of upgrades and complex weapons.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:30 pm 


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Ixmucane2 wrote:

Have you considered adding another button for fancy features? Changing the formation of the slaves or shooting alternate weapons and alternate bombs would be obvious choices.
How willing to depart from the obvious Raiden and Raiden Fighters roots of your game are you?
Specifically, will the numerous ships you are planning be fancy dresses for RF-like weapons or a more faithful mashup of nontrivial and truly different weapons and systems from different games? With a little creativity the existing powerups and three buttons can emulate lots of upgrades and complex weapons.


Maybe if Alluro put Garegga cameos in it, a button option switch would be beneficial. However, changing the formation of the slaves, as seen in the Raiden Fighters series, is normally done by grabbing more slave icons.

He does plan to put more ships on it. I'm pretty sure the Amada Vipros, Phyxius, Zaiva, and Xelcor will be in there eventually. Also, on the original version, he also did the Vic Viper and the Solvalou, so I'm pretty sure we'll be seeing some weapon diversity in this game eventually.

Speaking of ships...I hereby request a ship from Battle Garegga. Which of the four you'll want to pick, I'll leave that to you, however I'm not sure how bombing's going to work in Xeno Fighters EX. Full bombs only, I suppose?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:45 pm 


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Seconding Ixmucane2's ideas about autofire. Maybe some ships could have different attacks for tapping and holding the fire (like DDP). Raiden having both spread gun and toothpaste laser is most obvious use of this.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:59 pm 


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worstplayer wrote:
Seconding Ixmucane2's ideas about autofire. Maybe some ships could have different attacks for tapping and holding the fire (like DDP). Raiden having both spread gun and toothpaste laser is most obvious use of this.


I remember Alluro mentioning adding the green helicopter from DoDonpachi later on. Perhaps holding will trigger the lazer then? That would *complicate* adding full auto for all ships.
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