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While I'm still working on the MV version, I'm releasing a patch for the current version. This fixes some of the bugs that were reported.

Changelog:

 

Game:

-Animations are set to higher speed.

-Tweaked Gus' agility.

-Graphical Fixes.

-Bug fixes. List here: http://northbridgemantis.azurewebsites.net/changelog_page.php?version_id=2

 

Northbridge:

-Default Bug Reporting is set to the Northbridge Mantis server.

-Enabled User Guide.

 

Known Issues:

-DP Bar may show garbage numbers during combat. It's not known what caused the issue at the moment.

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Well... this thread is pretty silent...
Anyway, here's all of the progress reports in a mega cut:
Bi-Weekly Update #50
 
 
 
The latest installment has arrived!
Preparation of Northbridge:
As I am preparing the MV version for a tech demo release, Northbridge could use some additions. First off, the launcher will now run as a 64-bit program (if you have a compatible computer). The reason is that the launcher not only picks the best version of the renderer, but it has some additional features as well. Making it compatible with 64-bit systems will improve the launcher's performance. There is slightly higher use of memory, but the performance makes up for it. I’ve also removed some unnecessary code on that launcher as well. It’s quite easy to see when the launcher is running as a 64-bit program via the Task Manager (see below).
![]()
Under the hood stuff:
I’ll cover this section in a lightning round:
- Prepared the folder structure of the game engine, so it can house 32 and 64 bit versions of the renderer.
- Implemented Action Icons.
- Under the hood tweaks to improve the game engine’s performance.
- Tweaking the lighting.
- Transferred the code of the launcher to C# 7.0.
That is all for now. See you on the next post.
 
The road ahead:
 
4
 
 
 
So, I get all of my tools back to my new laptop and recovered my files of the game (along with the launcher and installer script). I am slowly getting back developing the game. So, while I'll be busy with university stuff for a while, I'll talk about a few thing that I'm working on.
Remaking the launcher:
While I was working on improvements on the launcher, I noticed that the tech underneath the launcher started to show it's age (at least with the current display scaling and what I want to add on the launcher). The program is written in C#, but the GUI was made with Windows Forms. While it's easy to develop the GUI, the tech uses GDI+, which doesn't use hardware acceleration, and it wasn't well designed for newer systems where they have 1080p screens or larger. This not only slows down the launcher when I add more graphical stuff, it also looks blurry on higher dpi displays. So, new tech is needed so I can continue developing the launcher. I am transitioning over to Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). The new tech is a vast improvement over Windows Forms, as it allows full customization of the UI with the help of XML. It also uses DirectX out of the box, making the launcher more responsive. And it looks nicer on big displays. Here's a comparison:
-euepjyqc.png
-3gsk78hp.png
*I am nailing down the design. It will take a while.*
Remaking the combat system:
As I was working on the MV version, I have some issues with setting up Active Attack. Due to technical issues, it caused a big unbalance in combat. At best, I may be able to get it functioning with the new ATB script. At worst, I may have to re-design the combat system. There are two ways:
- Keep QTE and make the game turn-based.
- Or keep ATB, and throw different mechanics in place of Active Attack.
I'd like to ask you this: Did you like the current combat system? I'm asking because I heard mixed feelings about it. Some liked it, others didn't. I'd like some feedback on it.
Now, back to ironing out the bugs. I'll see you guys and gals in next post.
 
A rather quick post:
 
 

 

 
 
Hello everyone.
Here's a quick post on what's going on with Immortal Sins. I'm pretty sure some of you are wondering what's going on with the project (since there was quite the long silence). Here's a quick overview:
- Northbridge is halfway converted to a Windows Presentation Foundation app. The GUI is pretty much ready, but the code needs a lot of re-writing. Alongside with adjusting some areas of the code, it has its own way of doing some things (like showing a dialog). The good news is that I was able to improve the design of the launcher in some areas (mainly the Diagnostics part). It will take a while, but I do hope that it's worth the effort overall.
- The MV version of Immortal Sins is postponed until further notice. I couldn't find a replacement battle system that would fit. So... I may have to re-write the battle system from scratch. And it will pretty different than on the current version. So, I continue development on the current engine until I find a new battle system that I'm happy with.
- Speaking of which, I am planning to release a minor update for the game. This fixes quite a lot of bugs and adds some enhancements. The only issue at the moment (apart from Northbridge being re-written) is finding a new Installation system. Flexera hasn't released a new version of Installshield (at least a version that is compatible with Visual Studio). I'm looking for a new program to generate the installer (hopefully one that will also make patches). It will take some time to arrive.
That is all for now. See you in the next post.
 
A (mini) progress report:
 
Edited by AceOfAces_Mod

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The next major overhaul has arrived (coming in a few days to the Microsoft Store)! This update comes with improvements and overhauled parts. So, what's new?
 
New installer
immortalsins_beta_setup_2017-12-09_16-01-48-dpbkvqry.png

The installer is completely re-done. Moving it from Installshield to WiX Toolset and xeam Visual Installer provides a quicker and sleeker installation experience and improving the repair function.
 
NOTE: You'll need to uninstall the old version before installing the new one. Having both the old and the new version may damage both of them, making them hard to remove.
 
Overhauled Northbridge Platform
northbridgelauncher_2017-12-09_16-13-40-br6yxsju.png

Northbridge Platform (Launcher, Save Manager, and the PDF Reader) was re-written from the ground up to the Windows Presentation Foundation. The new version utilizes DirectX instead of GDI, providing a lightning fast response to the GUI. There are under the hood changes to improve performance as well and making the launcher easier to maintain. In addition, some areas of the launcher use native dialogs for picking files and folders. And of course, it supports high DPI displays, so no blurry fonts. Did I mention that supports 64bit systems natively?
 
Improved performance
When I moved the battle system to the new one, there were some things that need to be ironed out. One of those things was the performance. In low-end systems, the game ran slowly during battles. It took me a long time to figure it out, but after moving around things, tweaking and doing some modifications, the game runs much faster. During exploration, the rendering was improved, using smarter calls to render and tweaking the garbage collection system in the engine. In battles, some of the scripts were removed, as they were causing severe slowdown. The result: vastly improved performance. Almost 60 frames per second.
Performance, performance, performance! (Sorry, I couldn't resist).
 
And the minor stuff:
  • Journal now records all side-missions.
  • Some balancing changes.
  • Celtia got a makeover.
  • Some tweaks on some maps.
  • New icons for the spears.
 
That is all for now. See you in the next post.

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This is a great game!  I've been playing a few hours now off and on.  Not sure if I'm getting the most out of the battle system just yet, but I'm enjoying the gameplay so far.  I'm at the part after you defeat Zero on the bridge before the castle and she and Gus join the party.  I like when the party's shaken up in RPGs.  It always throws a wrench in the player's system and makes them develop a new strategy.    The game feels alive and ultimately that's what player's want.  They don't want to know what's coming, where the story is heading and following a precise direction.  Freedom is what makes them feel like they are part of something and not just watching a movie.  (At least that's they way it has always felt with me!)  

I like the custom facesets too.  They have a unique art style, and it's better than looking at re-hashing faces and poses the player has seen a hundred times over the years.  I know artwork takes time and I am not very good at it, so it's easy to appreciate the dedication it takes to render facesets and character sprites--especially good ones.

As a programmer, I'm also a sucker for great menu systems, new layouts, and new scenes.  It doesn't always have to be a huge makeover, as long as the alterations are in key spots, you know?   Like the one in Immortal Sins.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to battling with Zero and figuring out why everyone is asking where all the children have gone.
 

Just wanted to stop in and let you know I was enjoying it.  Keep at it.

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@ixfuru, good to hear that you like my game so far.
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
And I've released an update to the game. Changelog:
 

Game:
-Tweaked the garbage collection system to improve stability. This may fix most crashes.
-Added more notifications for missions.

 

Northbridge:
-Translated (again) into Greek.
-Added back the option to select the save slot when you import files.
-Added a few more links to the Jump List.

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And released a patch! This is mainly quality of life improvements and fixes.

 

Game:
- Re-designed Aigina.
- Polished the Battle UI.
- The mission in the Crystal Cave will no longer result in Game Over when Maria dies.
- Tweaked the enemy AI in the Crystal Caves.
- Reduced the amount of Ice Spiders in battle.
- Fixed a bug where Jena couldn't equip Handgear.
- Fixed a bug that caused the counters in the States to not update properly.
- [Workaround]Adjusted the size of the DP counter to reduce the garbage numbers taking up the DP bar.

 

Northbridge:
- Fixed a bug where the Export option would crash the launcher and the standalone Save Manager, due to not accessing the strings stored in the Northbridge Core library.

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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.

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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?

 

wp_20180903_15_19_51_pro-u6xkxztf.jpg

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:

 

wp_20180903_20_49_52_pro-myuinhpu.jpg

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.


wp_20180904_20_25_04_pro-ifzw8fwk.jpg 

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.

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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

 

Q5kDiVz.png
3aSQ3t0.png

 

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.

 

1xJUN2g.png

 

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.

 

4PuCb5R.png

 

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.

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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.

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I've uploaded Beta Build 20181013 to itch.io, Gamejolt and Indiexpo. This is primarily a bug fixing build. This is also the first build available for Linux (as a native app).

 

Game:

- Enemies have a slight animation.

- Added a bit of code to show the exact part of the code that crashed.

- Updated renderer to version 0.33.4.

- Slight optimization.

- Fixed a bug in Celtia where the characters moved to an unintentional part of the map when the player tried to head to the castle before talking to Gus.

 

Northbridge (Windows only)

- Fixed bugs that prevented the Save Manager from working correctly.

 

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Beta Version D0.30 Update 1 is available on itch.io and Gamejolt (coming soon to Indiexpo as well). This does a big overhaul.

 

CAUTION! Due to an overhaul in the engine, the game will show an error that a file couldn't be loaded, when loading a save from an old version. Trying to retry loading will result in the same error. You have to start from the beginning. Apologies for the inconvenience.

 

Changelog:

 

 


Game:

- Overhauled the engine's rendering engine.

 - Reworked how layers are drawn to improve performance and memory usage.

 - Removed some particle effects to fix a crash when visiting some maps.

 - Replaced plugins that caused performance issues.

- Added new gameplay mechanics.

- Added the option to switch over to lightweight effects.

- New real-time godrays.

- Reduced the prices for the scrolls that unlock Mystic Arts.

- Added Action Icons.

- Bug fixes.

 

Northbridge (Windows only):

- The news tab will now use EdgeHTML instead of MSHTML when the game runs on Windows 10.

- Native Image is now included, improving performance and startup.

 - This results in dropping 32-bit support, due to this feature not supporting the AnyCPU configuration.

 - This also results in reduced space consumption.

- Fixed localization and graphical bugs.

 

Installer:

- The package is now a 64-bit MSI file. It will now install in the Program Files folder, rather than in the Program Files(x86) folder.
 

 

Edited by AceOfAces_Mod

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Released Second Edition Beta Version D0.30 Update 3. This update makes some additions and tweaks in preparation for the upcoming guild missions, alongside bringing in the .NET Core 3 version of Northbridge.

Changelog:

  • The weaknesses can now be seen during battles.
  • Hunter License can now grant discounts on shops.
  • Balancing changes:
    • Gus can now learn Elemental Shields by stealing the skills from enemies.
    • Elemental shields remove the previous one.
    • Balanced some of the enemies.
  • Added a new dungeon: Tomb of <redacted> (It will be accessible in a later update).
  • Sena’s Adnverturer’s Guild is now available.
  • Performance improvements and visual tweaks.
  • Bug fixes.
  • Vastly improved Northbridge:
    • Moved Northbridge to .NET Core 3:
      • Performance and startup improvements.
      • A copy of .NET Core 3 ships with the game. The game is completely separate from .NET Framework.
    • Improved error handling.
    • Technical improvements.
  • Re-wrote the installer to Advanced Installer.
    • Improved installer size.
  • Added a migration assistant for the Microsoft Store version.

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