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Ascension (MV) Alpha 6.0

Back within a week for another update and release! I am now forging ahead into territory I never made it to, two years ago when I started adapting Ascension from VX Ace to MV. Which is to say, I've completely recovered from my computer crash that corrupted my project files. So that's good news.

With this release I am featuring the adaptation of Chapter 8 - Sodom & Gomorrah. This is a fun level, that really adds a lot of color to the world I've constructed in this game. Another change I've made to the game with this release is that I've added a "story completion" percentage that will display on the continue/map screen. This will give you a general feel of how much of the story you've experienced as you work your way through the game, with the idea that when you reach a sufficient percentage, an extra scene will be unlocked during the ending credits.

I plan to provide a brief explanation within the readme file when the final game is released, but the …

Ascension (MV) Alpha 5.0

And, after a two year intermission, we pick up right where we left off - almost to the day* (how weird is that?), with the very next update I would have published, featuring the completed level that I was working on (Chaos - The Yawning Chasm) when my program crashed and my files were corrupted, and before my home life turned into a chaotic whirlwind that has since mercifully stabilized.

*Which also happens to be Valentine's Day - because nothing says love like the impending doom of crushing darkness, leading to the ultimate destruction of the universe!

I'm about as tired of making promises now as you are no doubt tired of hearing them, so from here on out, it's what you see is what you get. I am determined, however, to complete this project. I've given up on the pipe dream of making this game "everything it could be". I don't need this game to be perfect, I just want a finished product I can share with the world, that can be played start to finish, that br…

Doom Update

As today is the last day of February, I'm a little bit surprised that my SIGIL box hasn't come in the mail yet. (According to this update, production has been pushed back to April). I haven't been terribly concerned by the delay, not because I'm not eager to play these new levels, but because it's taken me this long just to go back through all the original levels again - from Ultimate Doom's four 9-level episodes, to Doom II's 32 levels, and including Final Doom (which consists of two separate Doom II-size mission packs [two of the most memorable and inspired levels being Wormhole, and Hunted]) - which I'd wanted to do before I played the new ones. Now I guess I still have twenty-five years of the best fan-produced levels according to Doomworld's Cacowards (for which I've been toying with the idea of writing some reviews) to keep me company until that time comes. In between working on my own level, of course - because playing other people's …

Resurrecting Doom

So far, I've only used this blog to talk about my RPG Maker projects. But I recently learned that original Doom titan John Romero is set to release (in February) an all-new chapter to the original Doom in celebration of the game's 25th anniversary. It's titled SIGIL, and will be considered episode 5, to take place between Ultimate Doom's episode 4, and Doom II. I've been going back and playing through all the old Doom levels in anticipation.

Romero mentions in an official interview that he used Doom Builder 2 to create these new levels - the same level generator fans can use to create their own custom Doom levels. It's a perfect example of how, ever since id Software released Doom's source code, the game has been placed into the hands of its fan community, which has kept it alive with continually new user-generated content over the past 25 years and counting.

SIGIL isn't even an official product by the company helming the modern Doom franchise (which I mu…

Revisiting the Tower of Bab-il

You probably know by now that I enjoy recreating maps from older games. Partly for nostalgia, partly for rote experience in putting maps together (to hone my skills for when I create my own maps), and partly just because it's hypnotic, and I tend to "fall into it" easily, and it's a good way to log hours working in RPG Maker when my creative juices aren't flowing so freely. Suffice to say, it's monotonous work, but I do enjoy it.

Anyway, I worked out a makeshift floor plan for the Tower of Zot from Final Fantasy IV a while ago, but that was just an appetizer. What I think I really wanted to work on was the even greater Tower of Bab-il from the same game. I love this dungeon for so many reasons. It's so epic. Not only is it a tower tall enough to bridge two worlds - the Overworld and the Underworld - but it actually forms two mostly separate dungeons that you encounter at different points in the game. So the first time, you think to yourself, "this pla…

A Crash Course

I just had quite a fright. I was actually started thinking about releasing the next stage of Ascension (after the one I posted just this past Friday). I was finishing some stuff up tonight, and while working on it, my computer crashed. Don't know why. Wasn't doing anything I'd expect would cause my computer to crash. But I restarted, and re-opened RPG Maker MV, and when I went to open up my project, it wouldn't open. Said it couldn't read some of the data files. Apparently, they'd been corrupted (whether by the crash itself or whatever caused the crash, I don't know). That's when I started to get scared.

I replaced each corrupted file in succession (determined by trying to open the project after each one and seeing what other file the program couldn't read) - which included all of the JSON files in the data folder (minus the specific maps), as well as plugins.js - from my last backup, which I copied before I renewed work on this project at the start …

Ascension (MV) Alpha 4.0

Shortly after my last release, I posted an update in the sidebar quietly, without any fanfare, featuring the next stage (now with a full library!). And I'm glad I did, because the one after that has been taking a long time. I've had to rework the torture sequence a bit, hopefully to improve it a little. The new mechanism was inspired by the torture sequence in Metal Gear Solid, because I remember how nerve-wracking that was. (Call me a sadist, but remember that the very premise of this game is that you're in Hell! :-p).

Ascension (MV) Alpha 4.0 (incl. all stages up to Pandaemonium & Nastrond)
Download (~82 MB): Windows | Mac [see sidebar for latest release]

Next up is Chaos - another one of the stages that testers have told me is among the most challenging in the game. Although I don't know yet if that means it will take a long time or not. Depends on whether and how much I decide to tweak it.