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AceOfAces_Mod last won the day on August 7

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About AceOfAces_Mod

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    White Belt .NET Framework Programmer
  • Birthday 02/19/1996

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    Haidari, Greece

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  1. afzYYqz.png Experimenting with particle effects.

  2. AceOfAces_Mod

    Immortal Sins

    I’ve uploaded a new beta build for Immortal Sins SE. This fixes a small error where the dialogue skip button was mapped to W instead of Q (RB instead of LB on Xbox 360/One controllers). Also, this updates the renderer to version 0.33.3 which fixes a regression with the Gamepad API.
  3. It's been a while typing here. I thought to write something different and write up thoughts about various things. To start the series, I thought to write my experience on the Solid State Hybrid Drives almost a month after I purchased it. A quick summary of what they are: SSHDs are hard drives that come with a small SSD working as a cache. The cache's job is to store anything that is frequently loaded. The firmware takes the task to duplicate the files that are frequently used to the cache (with some Operating Systems (such as Windows 8.1 (and newer) and Linux distros that have a package like bcache installed) can give hints to the firmware of what to cache). For most tasks, it's just a hard drive. I bought the 2TB Seagate Firecuda at the start of September. The things I did was to install a clean copy of Windows 10 and all of my tools (which are GIMP, Visual Studio 2017, WiX Toolset, RPG Maker MV, Game Character Hub, Nimble Writer, and LibreOffice) and a few games to play when I'm bored. I haven't tested a lot of games since the stock hard drive was puny in size (500GB) but I have enough to see how it goes. Installation on my laptop was pretty easy: unscrew a few bolts and use a plastic prying tool. All I needed was to take out the SATA connector and the hard drive and swap the drive. Bon Appetit! Weirdly, the installation went pretty quick (I used a burned DVD disc to install Windows since I didn't have a USB drive ready) and most of my tools were installed by the time I went to bed (I finished setting up the laptop within two days, believe it or not. I think I became an expert in installing OSes. xD). After a few restarts (since the firmware was caching system files on each boot), Windows is pretty quick to respond (mainly since it learned what it loaded). Boot times were quick, there was almost no delay and the system didn't lock up. It's almost like having an SSD installed. Of course, other tasks such as File History making backups takes as much time as a standard hard drive does, but compared to the stock one (which was an older generation Seagate Laptop Slim HDD) it was faster. Microsoft Edge (I use it since it syncs up with my Windows Phone) works better than on the older hard drive as well. In fact, most of the basic tasks are done faster. The only annoyance is that the Disk Defrag takes a long time. I have a habit to have the laptop defrag every time I leave it for a long time. Over to software and game development. Most of my tools didn't see much of performance improvements. Except for Visual Studio. That saw quite the improvement. It loaded within a minute (rather than five minutes) and the lockups have been reduced. It still locks up at times (Resharper says hello) but for the most part it a lot more usable. Build times have improved as well. Normally, building the Northbridge Platform and pack the game into an MSI file (with a GUI on the package) it would take about 3-5 minutes. On the SSHD, it almost halves the time. That is mostly thanks to the hard drive's design (the model I have is one of the first to use a new manufacturing process and it has two disk platters) but part of the build tool's files have been cached as well. In games (not just RPG Maker), things are a bit confusing. I don't play games as often as I used to since I am focusing on developing my game (and other projects) alongside studying for Computer Science at a university. But I have caught some interesting cases: - Hyperdimension Neptunia ReBirth 1 (the GOG version to be exact) started up almost instantly (as in, as soon as I clicked on Play on the Galaxy client). After that, it took the same time to load levels (compared to the old HDD). I never noticed the "Now Loading" message on the old one, I didn't see that either. My laptop ain't exactly a potato, but it ain't a powerhouse either. I even started the game multiple times and it still didn't improve the load times. I guess being a PlayStation Vita game before being ported to the PC may have a relation as to how the assets are loaded. *shrugs* - Burnout Paradise saw the same effect with Neptunia. It did make the music flow a bit better. It could be due to Remastered employing Denuvo Anti-Tamper. Metal Gear Rising saw fewer improvements. Ditto for Phantom Dust, but the version of the game I played was a UWP port of an Xbox game so old games have pretty quick load times on new systems. So, my thoughts are pretty positive so far. It won't be a replacement for an SSD, but if you don't have space or connectors for an extra drive, SSHD is pretty good. The hard drive portion is good as well and the firmware working with the OS is pretty helpful. Granted, I didn't do sophisticated benchmarks to give an objective review, but I knew what I was getting performance wise. The only weird quirk I noticed was that the hard drive can get warm at times. I don't know exactly why. Possibly due to the laptop's subpar cooling. I think I'll do this again after six months of use, see how it stacks up. That is all for now. See you in the next post.
  4. AceOfAces_Mod

    Immortal Sins

    Took a long time to do it, but aside from polishing, the first public preview build of Immortal Sins Version D0.30 is now available. This update brings an overhauled engine, quality of life improvements and changes. In fact, once you start playing, you’ll see that the game is now named as Immortal Sins Second Edition. Yup, that big project I was talking about recently was remaking the game to a new engine. Let’s start with the small ones. Part 1: Northbridge Nothing much there. Mainly changes to support the new engine. But there are a few improvements. First of all, I’ve enabled .NET Framework’s multi-core Just-In-Time compiler, improving the startup times. I’ve also made some of the tasks faster on newer systems with multi-core processors. Not much but still helpful. Now, over to the meat of the update. Part 2: The game This is the part where most of the changes were done. As soon as you start playing you’ll notice the game starting in widescreen. This is mainly due to the game moving from RPG Maker VX Ace to MV. The new engine brings a lot of improvements from VX Ace. Aside from resolution, there are performance improvements (thanks to proper hardware acceleration support), Unicode support (no need for Compatibility Mode), real-time effects and a few graphical improvements. The maps received a few improvements thanks to layers used during mapping. There is a major switch up in the gameplay. While most of the mechanics have been kept from the original, it got re-designed. The battle system is switched from Active Time Battle to Charge Turn Battle system. Drive Arts were slightly tweaked, having 300DP instead of 100DP. A new damage calculation algorithm was implemented, introduced Row Formation, added a quick way to switch between squad members and more quality of life improvements. Upgrading and learning new skills have been tweaked as well. The rest of the changes are quality of life improvements. There are some quirks of the new engine though. Due to a new compression I’ve implemented, it will take some time to start the game up. Also, since MV is written to a different programming language (JavaScript, to be exact), the saves from the old version aren’t compatible. Northbridge settings will carry over, however. There are some things that need to be ironed out before releasing the stable version. I’m releasing a pre-release build to get feedback for the new version. And it’s currently available on some mirrors (Gamejolt and itch.io). And Windows only for now. I am planning to release it on the rest of my mirrors and other OSes once the version is polished enough. That is all for now. See you in the next post.
  5. AceOfAces_Mod

    Immortal Sins

    Hello everyone. It's been months of silence. I was working on a job and got enough cash to upgrade my laptop a bit. What upgrades did I do? First off, I got a new hard drive. Sort of. The drive you see in the picture (inside the ESD protective bag) is a Solid State Hybrid Drive. It's essentially a hard drive with a bit of an SSD working as a cache. In all essentials, it copies frequently used files to the SSD and loads them from it when they are loaded. This hard drive has 2 Terabyte space with 8GB SSD used as cache. So not only do I have a lot of space (since I only have a laptop at the moment. I need as much space as I can get), development will be more comfortable (Visual Studio takes a long time to load with extensions). The second this is getting a good quality thermal paste and putting it on the laptop. Mainly so the laptop runs well and keep it cool. Of course, replacing the hard drive has this annoyance: Yup. Reinstalling Windows. I don't need to explain why. I'm pretty sure everyone knows why. But I was able to recover the project files and my toolbox. There are still some things to do, but I'll be back developing soon. Possibly tomorrow. That is all for now. See you in the next post.
  6. Took some time to figure out, but I was able to add a functioning progress bar to the compiler tool. Just need to tweak the handling of the threads, though. DSfRzdE.png

  7. AceOfAces_Mod

    Immortal Sins

    Man... I said that I was going to be more active to the game's thread, but no! I had to leave it getting dusty. ack! Anyway, I am working on a big project that has a big relation to the game. I'm not unwrapping the mystery yet, but if you followed the game via my game dev blog, you might know what it is. So... keep an eye out. You'll never know when it's unwrapped.
  8. AceOfAces_Mod

    Hello everyone!! ^_^ Starmage here!

  9. OK. Compiling JavaScript files to binary (with nwjs' compiler) works with MV after doing some tweaks. I may release a tutorial and the alpha version of the tool I made to handle batch compiling.

  10. nUminhE.pngMy compiler tool (which makes binary versions of the JavaScript files) is coming along nice.

  11. Huh... Turns out that you can combine a few face graphic sheets to improve the loading times. And it works.Xw2jIP8.png

    1. Kayzee


      Hmmm.... Will that work in VX Ace too I wonder? Of course with Ace I use my cache script anyway witch helps a lot.

    2. Chaosian


      Makes sense, actually. Loading a single large asset versus loading many small assets.

    3. Kayzee


      Yeah, generally it's faster to load fewer big files rather then lots of little ones, but there are advantages to splitting up images too. It all depends on how you use them. I am just kinda surprised it works without needing any scripting/plugins.

  12. 80cik4w.pngNo party's wallet shall be safe! Muehehe! I'm making a plugin, btw.

    1. Asharonapaul


      thieving enemies?

    2. CyrusJazzberry
    3. Kayzee


      Final Fantasy IV did the same thing if I recall correctly? Just had you drop money when you flee to make sure fleeing had a bit of consequence. Interesting idea, but seems kinda pointless in a game where gold flows like water. :3


      You know, that reminds me of when I play Disgaea 5, there is a 'cheat shop' that lets you fiddle with how much exp/gold/other stuff you earn when you kill enemies at the cost of other values. I have my gold value set to 0% and put all my points in EXP, and I still earn more gold then I know what to do with from bonus stuff, chests, and selling items. I probably would set it negative if I could and still get enough gold.

  13. Experimenting with filters used during cutscenes... 


  14. Time to incorporate that mechanic...

  15. Updated my HP Color Controller plugin. Adds a new color (see picture).