Remix Polish Update, Huge Performance Fix

[small update: new double backflip in now, mouse is mostly fixed and back in, just needs some new animations]

Hey guys, I’m trying to finish the Remix soon as I can, so I’m afraid you’ll only be getting boring updates until that’s out.

Got a few new animations and features in this build, here’s a boring list!

- new backflip animation
- new hurt animation
- new get up animation
- new heavy land to run animation

More useful is the interface polish: an actual pause (click or space), volume slider, fullscreen button, hide UI (for screenshots I guess?), but the interface itself isn’t final yet. Some feedback on the level load progress there so you’re not just looking at debug text or a white screen, way better!

I did a polish pass on the levels in the alpha, moving blocks should be behaving properly now, please hammer away and tell me if there’s anything new acting up!

Performance Fix / Flash Ranting

So I was going to do an update post a few days ago but ran into a nasty, soul crushing bug in Flash. I was getting a huge CPU spike for doing nothing but turning around repeatedly! I’m still not exactly sure what was causing it, but here’s as much as I can figure out:

Fancy Pants Man has a big timeline with a huge amount of animations on it (nothing compared to World 3′s, but still more than usual I’m sure). It seemed like whenever you changed animations, every single animation on the timeline that it was skipping over was loading up and being processed, every single time, until garbage collection kicked in and wiped them clean. If you turned around repeatedly, that would cause the giant walking clip and all the nested animations there (walking legs, then either walk, pencil sheathing, pencil carrying, or landing torso) to load up over and over and over again. So apparently Flash can’t navigate timelines properly (you had one job, Flash!), and I can’t find anything about this online because I’m convinced that I’m the last developer alive who actually uses Flash like it’s Flash.

Anyway, to get around it, I just load the animations as their needed, and disable them instead of destroying them on animation switch. Even with all the animations loaded at once, CPU and memory usage are both lower than they were before. I had to change how some of the player loading code works, which caused a huge amount of bugs yesterday, so sorry about that!

Everything looks like it’s solid now, which is way more excited than it sounds. Before, after a few levels, the CPU usage would pile up and the game would come to a crawl until I reloaded the level and forced garbage collect to kick in. Had the game running for an hour or so yesterday and it remained at 60 the entire time (with some stuttering, but meh).

If you’re still getting poor performance, try lowering the quality to medium (but not low, that messes with the ground collision) for now, but I’ll have some options to turn down other settings, right now it’s running with basically maximum image quality (which is probably a huge no no in Flash, lawlz).

Oh, right, I also tried some new animation caching for the smoke dust puff, though Flash can’t rotate bitmaps to save it’s life, so it looks pretty terrible. Not sure if it even makes much of a different in the browser, but I’ll play around with it.

Have At It!

If you want to help, please just play through a few times and let me know if performance stays solid. If you want to go through and look for any remaining bugs in single player in the alpha, that would help me out a ton, I’m trying to get the first few levels ‘release worthy’ as far as bugs and polish goes.

Introducing: World 1 Remix

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 8.57.47 AM

Update: Happy Mardi Gras, here’s some sound!

Hey everyone! The next Fancy Pants Adventures will officially be the World 1 Remix. It’ll be a re-release of the first world Fancy Pants Adventures, plus new levels, new items, new secrets, and of course, new pants!

I’ve updated the level 1 in the AS3 alpha that’s been playable online with a sample of what will be new in the Remix, I don’t want to spoil anything, so just go check it out yourself!

World 1 Remix Alpha

Parse, Hats, and ScaleForm

wait what

I’ve been working on some crazy things since the last update, and I have a cool surprise coming up, but I wanted to make another summary post about all the things I’ve been adding to the engine in the meantime.

Parse

From Googling around, I seem to be the only person who’s actually gotten Parse working in Flash ever, which is just nuts because it’s exactly what every Flash developer needs: an easy way to save player data online. If it would be worth it for anyone for me to make a post solely on how to get that working, shoot me an email or leave a comment.

To test this out, I have a handful of hats in the build online and a race level (you must be registered and logged in to this site for it to work, I’ve added a Facebook login to make this even easier. And no I’ll never spam your Facebook wall, yuck). There’s also scoreboards for the fastest times there and the highest juggling combos. Which leads me to the next thing…

Hats

Yep! Future FPA online games will have collectible hats (and maybe other accessories?), and with Parse, all unlockables will carry over to all future games! Load up the alpha, click anywhere on the screen, and select a hat to check out the networked saving and loading.

ScaleForm

I’m still baffled by how incredible ScaleForm is, and how few people seem to know about it. Plays Flash games on mobile, hardware accelerated, ridiculously fast, with full touch support, it’s nuts. ‘Flash doesn’t play on mobile so it’s clearly teh doomed!’ is an even sillier thing to say now.

This is the main reason this update is so late, I’ve been getting the current build running on my phone (no Adobe Air, no nasty spritesheets, no piles of external level bitmaps), and get the Flash game running at 60fps with some trickery.

This is actually a pretty huge thing for the online game also, it’ll run at 60 fps if your computer is fast enough, 15 fps if it’s too slow, and anywhere in between. Even if the game stutters, the code will take that into account and updates properly, so it’ll control more smoothly than before.

Changing the movement system introduced a bunch of new bugs (of course, ugh), but I think most of them are taken care of now. Let me know if you find anything, though!

We’ll see if this means I can actually launch future FPA games on mobile myself (the core FPA games are really demanding and uses Flash in ways that it usually isn’t). In the very least, I’ll be able to make smaller mobile games myself in the future.

That’s it for now! Stay tuned, though, I’m working on a cool surprise for the Level 1 from World 1 that’s in the engine right now, and I’ll have some more info on future plans!

- Brad

First Update of 2014!

It’s a new year and The Fancy Pants Adventures has an entirely new engine! I spent most of last year learning AS3 and building some Fancy Pants with it, which is the main reason I had even less to post about than usual.

I tried to start that year off with a video, but then everyone in the house got sick and I only got halfway through recording it. Until I can get back to that, though, I wanted to make a summary post of what’s going on at the moment.

New engine, new feel

Moving to AS3 lets me do some pretty cool new stuff, but my first priority is to make sure FPA feels and controls better than ever before. I worked on having a weightier jump and more consistent acceleration, as well as better control over steep slopes. Nearly everything has been rewritten and rethought from the ground up, though, so I hope you can feel the difference!

New features for future FPA

Now for the cool stuff! I’ve expanded moving platforms to moving walls and moving ground pieces. Organic, hand drawn ground are a big part of FPA’s identity, so now parts of that ground can move, rotate, rock, stretch, and spring.

Enough talk, give us something to play!

Yes, yes, here it is!

Fancy Pants Moving Grounds Test

And One More!

I’ve also been working on some crazy networking stuff (crazy for me, at least). It’s in there if you want to register on BorneGames.com to check it out, but I’ll save most of that for its own post.

Christmas ’13 Update!

Update 1-5: I thought it was about time the Spiders got some animation love. How’s that look?

Update 1-4: Fixes to the camera, that running animation is finally in (have to be going pretty fast now), half of a new kick animation, minor collision fixes. Fixed a problem with predicting the ground, which messes up only one background changing jumppad? Ugh… Oh well :pants:

Edit: So I was making a video for some of the new features and my hard drive and video card both decided to die at the same time. I’m back up and running now (with an old laptop drive instead of an SSD, boo), but the video’s going to take a bit longer now.

Another post, another apology for not posting in awhile! Things have been extra crazy over here lately, but I think it’s time to start talking about the next step for The Fancy Pants Adventures.

I’ve been rebuilding FPA from the ground up in ActionScript 3 (yep, finally made the jump), and focusing on the very core of the Fancy Pants games. I’ve been polishing and rethinking the movement and controls, along with adding a few new features that AS3 allows, and I finally have something to show off.

This is pretty quickly thrown together (no preloader or sound, sorry!) but I think you’ll be able to get a feel for the new handling on Fancy Pants Man there, as well as check out a few new features for the engine.

The focus for me now is refining older features and better utilizing those features without piling more on, as I tend to do with each new game. But, I’ll be talking more about the future after the holidays!

I threw level 1 of World 1 in there too for comparison, though there’s one new hidden level in there, also (was actually supposed to be something there in the first place, but I guess I forgot?).

Play the FPA AS3 preview!

And of course:

Merry Christmas!

Surprise New Game: Tokyo Fury!

Wolverine Runs on the Rooftops of Tokyo Slicing Up Ninjas and Yakuza

If you don’t think that sounds like the most amazing thing ever, I don’t know what to tell you.

Check the game out and let me know if I’ve done the concept justice!

Ninjas!

E3 2013! (Xbox, Go Home!)

I may not be posting often nowadays, but I couldn’t let an E3 go by without a bit of discussion, so here we are.

Not too much to talk about yet, for me, at least. Microsoft had a decent conference, but the move from video games as a product to video games as service is just completely at odds with how I want to play games. Nothing really looked amazing, and the Xbox (I refuse to call it The One, blech) and PS4 are so similar, other than the PS4′s power advantage, that I just found myself saying, ‘eh, it’ll just look better on PS4′ for every non-exclusive game shown. I think it says a lot that I spent most of the time playing Animal Crossing on my 3DS while MS dangled explosions, gunplay, and set pieces in front of my face, to no avail (I’m starting to think that Nintendo games are created primarily for adults, weird as that sounds).

But seriously, a serial code for every disk game? Can’t easily lend to a friend? Can’t bring a disk over to a friend’s house and quickly play a few rounds without logging in to your account and installing the entire game? Just, what the heck, Microsoft?? I already hated online passes, and I mostly hate DLC, but this is just one giant step even more terrible.

So, Sony’s conference. Not bad, not bad. I’m pretty excited for Second Son, The Order looks like it could be a ton of fun, oh, and Destiny actually looked much better than I though it would (figured it would be more MMO-y, but I like the current direction of ‘suddenly multiplayer’ during single player or co-op play).

I’m obviously writing this post because, once again, I’m stupidly hyped for Nintendo’s conference (er, Direct). Not many ways they can mess this one up, for once. New 3D Mario, NEW (best game series ever) SMASH BROS TRAILER! Even without new hardware launches, Nintendo could knock this out of the park for me by showing actual ‘next gen’ gameplay, which I still haven’t seen yet from the far beefier consoles.

Nintendo conference insta-wins:

- Smash Bros looks more Melee than Brawl (NO TRIPPING!!!)
- 3D Mario looks huge and epic and ‘feels’ new, like Galaxy did, but in larger levels, like Mario 64
- Retro shows a new IP and it looks amazing
- New Star Fox
- New F-Zero (please oh please oh please)
- 2.5D sidescrolling Metroid on 3DS
- Show something that uses the GPGPU to create new gameplay, like manipulating physics, new interactions, cool new stylus driven interactions, etc

Nintendo conference fails:

- More 3DS games than Wii U games
- Wii Sports U or Wii Fit U as main focus
- Mario Party U as main focus
- Wii Music U shown at all
- Any other minor Nintendo IPs given main focus on Wii U (Nintendogs, Brain Age, etc)

Can’t wait to see what Retro’s been working on, can’t wait to see if X looks as amazing as Xenoblade, AND DID I MENTION I WAS EXCITED FOR A NEW SMASH BROS?

Come on, Nintendo, don’t mess this up!

Will be back tomorrow to complain if Nintendo messes this up >:D

New Game Out! SCD of Re-Mission 2!

Yes, you read that right! I actually have a new game out! Re-Mission 2 has gone live from HopeLab, and it’s made up of collection of smaller games this time around.

I did Stem Cell Defender, it’s mostly inspired by Nuclear Eagle (I was even able to team up with Luka again, which was great), but plays differently and I think has a feel of its own.

Check it out!

(I actually prefer playing with ‘auto-fling’ turned on, it’s a bit faster)

Fancy Pants Sketches

Update, more posts!

FPA on consoles is 2 years old! I thought it would be fun to go back and take a peak at where World 3 first materialized. In a notebook, of course! Check out the Facebook Album, and Like / Share / Comment if you want to see more!

Click the images to view the full album.

Album 1:

Album 2:

baddies

Album 3:

NPCs

Album 4:

NPCs

- Brad

Road Redemption!

Hey guys, yep, its Brad here finally! Hope you enjoyed Fairly’s post monopoly for a bit, we spend a surprising amount of time discussing / complaining about games, so it’s fun sharing a bit of that with everyone.

Anyways, I had to show some love for a fellow Louisiana dev, who are attempting to make a lot of gamers’ dreams come true and build a new Road Rash styled game themselves.

Road Redemption

What I find mind blowing, though, is if you pay over 800 bucks, you get the ENTIRE SOURCE CODE AND RIGHTS TO DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO WITH IT. That’s almost as nuts as it is awesome.

Oh, yeah, they want to do a Wii U version, and the Wii U needs more games!

Gimme moar Wii U gamez!!

So at least check the Kickstarter page out, I’d love to see more going on locally, and the footage already looks great.

More hardcore old school games made is always a good thing!

Road Redemption on Kickstarter