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Unearthed Almanac: Sanctuaries

Unearthed Almanac will run once weekly until I finish up some of the more boring aspects of game development (item lists, back-end coding, etc…). Enjoy!

Overview

Sanctuaries are strange, unusually peaceful areas that can be found along commonly traveled routes in the Underworld. They are a welcome sight for weary travelers, offering a quiet and safe place to rest and tend to their wounds. Strange subterranean trees grow in these caverns, with small baubles of light clinging to their branches and filling the room with an eerie glow.

X5_sanctuaries

Local Flora

  • Sanctuary Tree: A welcome sight in the Underworld, this out-of-place plant gives off an eerie glow. Resting atop the roots of this tree is said to be good for the body and the soul.
    Heals HP and TP; just like a good night’s rest.

Local Fauna

talkingfrog

Frogs
Helpful critters, Frogs take great joy in listening to the stories of travelers and dispensing advice about nearby areas.

moles

Moles
Although not permanent residents of the Sanctuaries, the Underworld’s moles set up small shops there help out passing travelers (and make a bit of money too!).
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Unearthed Update: THUNDER!

This week’s update is brought to you by the extremely talented  Starmen.net hacker HS, who worked his buns off to add some great new content to Unearthed. HS is best known for his work on the Hallow’s End and Mother Remake EarthBound hacks.

What sort of work was completed? A complete overhaul of Thunder attacks within the EarthBound rom. Exciting!

pkthunder

In the original game, Thunder abilities were multi-hit, untargeted attacks that nullified an enemy’s shield and dealt non-elemental damage. Although really fun to use, this didn’t exactly fit into the combat system in Unearthed. I wanted to have a bit more balance between the three elements (fire, ice, thunder) and more predictability.

With HS’s revisions, the following changes have taken place:

  • Thunder attacks can now be targeted in the same way as any other ability (single, row, all, random).
  • Paralysis and Thunder now share the same resistance. Before Thunder did not have a resistance and simply dealt non-elemental damage.
  • Thunder does not have any special effect on enemy shields.
  • Damage for Thunder abilities is now four tiers: 120/240/360/480. This may change in time.

In addition to the Thunder revisions, HS also made it possible for enemies to inflict the Sunstroke condition with their attacks. Sunstroke is being changed to Irradiated in Unearthed, and will be used for areas such as the Testing Grounds and Toxic Ravine. It’s a neat little change!

That’s all for this week. I’ll probably put up another Unearthed Almanac post next week, and then let you know how the item/ability/enemy editing is going the week after.

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Unearthed Almanac: Rocky Slalom

Unearthed Almanac will run once weekly until I finish up some of the more boring aspects of game development (item lists, back-end coding, etc…). Enjoy!

Overview

The Rocky Slalom is a steep descent, leading Mitchell from the surface into the depths of the underworld. As Mitchell progresses down the series of ledges he will encounter strange creatures, and push farther into darkened caverns full of danger and wonder.

02_rockyslalom

Local Flora

  • Horsetail: Not what it sounds like! Horse tail is actually a type of long grass with medicinal properties.
    Heals basic status ailments.

Local Fauna

conniving-coon

Conniving Coon
A devious raccoon.

  • Bash (physical damage, single target)
  • Steal (steal item, single target)
 BullSnake

Bull Snake
An aggressive and stubborn serpent.

  • Bite (physical damage, single target)
  • Coil Around Target (solidification, single target)
 deep-raoch

Deep Roach
An agitated, insectoid menace.

  • Bash (physical damage, single target)
  • Edge Closer (nothing)
 bat

Cracked Bat
Mentally unstable flying mammal.

  • Bash (physical damage, single target)
  • Screeched Loudly (nothing)
  • Be Absentminded (nothing)
  • Leap Forward and Spread Wings (solidification, single target)
 morg-runt

Morg Runt
Cowardly subterranean skirmisher.

  • Scratches With Claws (physical, single target)
  • Bash (physical damage, single target)
  • Cower (nothing)
  • Scratches Head (nothing)
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Unearthed Almanac: Glensborough

Unearthed Almanac will run once weekly until I finish up some of the more boring aspects of game development (item lists, back-end coding, etc…). Enjoy!

Overview

Glensborough is a small farming community, tucked away in a region of rolling hills and scattered forests. Mitchell and Chase live with their parents on one of the many farms in Glensborough and spend their days avoiding chores while wandering through through the idealistic countryside.

01_glensborough

Local Flora

  • Red Apples: Sweet, crispy, and one of the most abundant crops cultivated in Glensborough.
    Heals 42 hit points of damage.

  • Lettuce: Green and leafy. Good in salads, but not as tasty in a standalone meal.
    Heals 36 hit points of damage.

  • Horsetail: Not what it sounds like! Horse tail is actually a type of long grass with medicinal properties.
    Heals basic status ailments.

  • Stinkweed: Saturated in pollen that can get into a creature’s eyes and nose, invoking a strong allergic reaction.
    Causes an enemy to cry.

Local Fauna

Oliver (local bully)
Chase’s chubby, rambunctious friend.

  • Threw A Punch (physical damage, single target)
  • Catches Breath (nothing)
  • Get’s Distracted (nothing)
  • Says Something Nasty (lowers guts, single target)
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State of the World 2013

cube

Brief Overview

Some things happened, but not as quickly as I would have liked.

Better Overview

2013 was an odd but productive year for the website, Unearthed, and myself.

I had some grand ideas for Unearthed when the year began, including aspirations for a playable demo to be release by the summertime. Obviously that didn’t pan out the way I wanted it too… but perhaps it worked out for the best in the long run. Instead of finishing up a sparse tech demo I worked with the SM.net community to make hundreds of new sprites for the game.

gelatinouscube

I also had the chance to polish up a lot of game’s static assets (items, abilities, etc…), finalize the enemy listings, and revise my asset lists. So when the tech demo finally does get released it should be a pretty robust little hack!

zineIn non-Unearthed news, I found out this April that HyperBound had been featured in the book Rise of the Videogame Zinesters by Anna Anthropy. This was a bit of a surprise for me! I had not received very much HyperBound press after the initial deluge in 2007/2008, and I was never contacted about my inclusion in the book. The fact that I didn’t find out until nearly a year after it was released is testament to that, and I was certainly thrilled to be included.

As for the website itself: Radiostorm and myself have been hard at work writing reviews, game design articles, and other miscellaneous tidbits to keep things active around here. I’ll always be putting up game project updates (Unearthed, HyperBound, etc…), but it is nice to have a little variety. Especially when I’m just making asset lists or fixing coding errors, and don’t have fun sprites/maps/videos to show-off.

unearthed1.2

And whats coming down the pipe for next year? Well, I don’t want to make empty promises or set unrealistic deadlines so I’ll just say this: I am going to get as much work down on Unearthed as I can. I can’t guarantee a tech demo or a finished game, but I can promise good quality progress throughout the entire year.

Expect a few more updates throughout the month December, followed by a brief Christmas hiatus by about the 21st or so. I generally get back up to speed by the first week of January, so look forward to more game updates and activity on the website then. Happy Holidays!

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Unearthed Update: Item Implementation

Work continues on Unearthed! I have been slowly integrating items into the game (all 150 of them) using EarthBound’s wacky and confusing item formatting codes. It is slow work but progress is steady. Luckily, I was very organized while putting together the game outline so finding data is relatively easy.

items

I’ll keep posting incremental progress updates on my Twitter, but I may not be as diligent with my weekly blogs. I’ll try to at least have a post up every Monday, so long as I have something interesting to share with the world.

Bonus content: I was recently gifted a lovely Pixel Craft activity set, so I decided to make a little Mitchell with it. Colours aren’t canon! His acne is much worse than usual due to “palette restrictions.”

mitchellpixelcraft

That’s all for this week!