Platforms all the Way

I’m overdue for more Turtles all the Way talk, aren’t I? It’s almost time for the next bi-weekly check with the rest of the team, so why not?

Most of my work on it lately has been more interface stuff. One particular issue that has been coming up a lot is making everything fit on any screen, no matter what their resolution is. At present, I have everything scaling and strecthing to fit people’s screens. Making it not stretch will be my next course of action, since having the aspect ratio screwed up will ruin any 2D art involved.

In order to ensure that the text would fit just fine on all computers, I used the longest name that needs to be displayed in the game, the longest player option in the game, and the longest single statement in the game. For those curious, they are(respectively):

  • President Bob
  • Wait, did he just have the balls to say it despite the warning?
  • (highlight to display the spoiler) “Now, now, no need to get angry. I’m just here to confirm Magnet’s findings for you. There’s no idealistic way out of this. Removing their “brainwashing” is impossible, because their so called “brainwashed” state is their default personality. I’ve messed with the heads of all 5 of those girls since the day they were born, so their only personalities are your ideal ones. But, you see, I added something else there, too. They aren’t just automatically attracted to people like you five. No, that would allow room for a loophole. They’re all attracted to you specifically. If they don’t have access to your love, the first thing on their mind will be thinking of a way to seduce you. You have no choice but to accept them, or acknowledge that you’re basically leaving those girls with nothing, and that’s one thing neither of us would benefit from.”

I felt “the longest I’ll need” would be the best metric.

Something else I’ve done, for the sake of making the whole thing more professional, is emulate the auto mode seen in series like Record of Agarest WarNeptunia and BlazBlue, as well as the whole dialogue history you see in at least the latter two. I succeeded at those. I’ll be sure to show it in a video or something after I get it to scale properly. Actually, no, wait – on a locked demo, for the sake of testing it on different screens I cannot try.

Another step I’ve taken is going and picking up a PC gamepad. In my case, I went for a wired 360 controller, since it seems to have become the standard.

Then I went and tried it on Mystical Chain. I think I can safely say that my performance was superior to my performance with a keyboard and mouse. While there are a few genres where a keyboard and mouse will always do a better job, I don’t think Mystical Chain is in one of them. In fact, the game’s interface seems to hint that it was designed for controllers all along.

I intend to try the controller on some free Steam games I have, like Portal and Team Fortress 2. All games for the Source engine support the 360 controller if you know how to turn the feature on.What I don’t understand is why it’s seen as taboo for a game for PC to work better with a controller over a keyboard and mouse. Honestly, people should just go with what works best, but that’s just my opinion.

And, if anything, the fact that I’m steering clear of the 360 despite the potential audience means that the PC supporting the 360 controller is the only way Xbox fans will be able to play my game as if it were on Xbox.

Oh yeah, I never went into what systems Turtles all the Way will be on, did I? If I could have my way, it would be on 3DS, Vita, PS3 and Wii U, as well as PC and Mac. Why not the 360? Because I believe that Microsoft is holding the industry back with some of its practices, but I’ll just keep my reasons brief until I find a reason to open up completely (Full disclosure: I own all of the systems in this paragraph except for the Vita, and I’ve done research into what happens with each from the developer side.)

I mean, sure, Nintendo is really strict, takes forever to approve games, and doesn’t give you any coverage. The people on PSN are used to games that repeatedly lower their prices to compete with shovelware, too.  Still better than Microsoft’s “you must release your games here first, or at the same time as the first release outside this system” policy, which affects everything not big enough to play around the rule. There’s also the “any versions you ever release for another system may not be superior” rule, which stopped the PS3 version of Tales of Vesperia from leaving Japan.

Not to mention that, while PSN and the Nintendo platforms are strict, it’s better than the flooded markets for smartphones and tablets, as well as Xbox Live Indie Games.

At the end of the day, however, Nintendo’s policies don’t allow people who use home offices from releasing games on their systems, so I’m locked out on that end, as well Sony’s systems if they use a similar restriction. The game’s controls are also far too complex for smartphones and tablets.

That leaves my only guaranteed platforms as PC and Mac. Not that Steam will be easy to impress, either. I mean, I’ll be sure to try and meet the guidelines that they themselves revealed recently, but that won’t necessarily be simple. Of course, seeing as they don’t have much time to let a game make an initial impression, it seems that my plan of “allow reviewers access to a save file that has the entire game 100%ed” will need to, indeed, be put into action.

I could go on for longer about my plans, but plans are all they are right now – plans. I need to get the rest of the game in gear, or it’s all for naught. So, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go back to having my brain explode from the algebra.

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