Update 8/22/17: I’m not dead.

Yup. There’s your update people.
Related image
………….. lol, no seriously. I’ve still been working hard on the engine, in the free time I have. I have a ton of stuff I’d love to share…. but no time to do it now. My new job has been keeping me EXTREMELY busy. While it’s good because now I have WAY more funds to invest into spriting….. since it’s a new and professional level job, it is also a lot of work. Which equals less free time UNTIL, much like with my old job, I get good enough to have down time at work and can then mess with the engine there as well. Which seems to be getting very close after almost 3 months there.

So…. I’ll just leave this here: one of the new pop up animations that many enemies now have.
Also, I WILL be needing to hire 2 new artists: a spriter to do enemy sprites and various environmental objects and one to do backgrounds/foregrounds/tilesets. Anyone interested can feel free to message me here with an example of his/her work.

So that’s it for now. Hopefully soon I can put up a much more full update. I know everyone has been waiting a while and I really do appreciate the fans I have and all the patience they show me.

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Posted in General | 26 Comments

The Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Hacked Blog – F.A.Q. & important information

Welcome to my blog for the Casltevania: SOTN – Hacked project. Seeing as how I seem to get asked the SAME questions, over and over again, I figured I would create this quick little FAQ to answer the most common ones about what my goal is with my project, as well as addressing many of the commonly asked questions about it.
I AM NOW TAKING DONATIONS TO HELP PAY FOR SPRITE WORK! They can be made to my paypal account under esco1979@cfl.rr.com. Here is a post with some demo vids up of 2 new bosses I have already had sprited for me! These cost over $500 total which is why I can now use all the donations I can get: https://sotnhacked.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/donations-now-open-also-a-video-of-pazuzu-cyclops-and-the-color-rotationpalette-shader-in-use/
First off some useful links:
  1. The latest release of the engine (just an old demo done in GameMaker) is here: http://www.mediafire.com/?b4v9r67c9lyiydi
  2. Here is the source for it: http://www.mediafire.com/?emc312szkft54y2
  3. Here is the blog post with info about the release: https://sotnhacked.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/release-a14-r2-of-the-castlevania-sotn-hacked-engine-is-out/
  4. And here is where bug reports go: https://sotnhacked.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/place-all-bug-reports-here/
  5. For a LONG and detailed post on what I have planned for the engine, please look here: https://sotnhacked.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-the-hackengine/
  6. For the deviant art page, look here: http://esco1979.deviantart.com/

Please be sure to read this before asking any questions because anyone who asks one of the questions that is located and answered in this faq, runs the risk of basically being ignored on here.

ALSO PLEASE NOTE: this 2D project has been moved to the Unity3D engine!

First some quick rules:

  1. Do not put up more than one post in a row on any topic UNLESS the post is over 3 days old; if you have something extra to add please edit your old post rather than double posting. The first time this is done, I will merely delete the post. The second time you will be called out on it, the third time you get blocked. Please do not spam me; nice and simple.
  2. Do not say things about me losing interest in the hack and dropping it, or the project getting shut down, blocked, taken over by aliens, etc. That is my problem not yours, and the negativity is not welcome.
  3. Do not ask for updates or demos for the hack….. PERIOD! You will get them when everyone else does.
  4. Do not try to add me on MSN, Yahoo, AIM, Facebook, Myspcace, etc. without speaking to me first. Unless you are assisting with the hack, or you are a personal friend to me I will not even consider doing so. You can communicate with me on here; that is what the blog is for. If you attempt to add me anywhere else and you do not fit into the criteria I mentioned above, you will be blocked on the spot without warning. Sorry if this sounds negative, but it is what it is. 🙂

Now on to the questions:

  1. I want to contribute: is there some way that I can assist with the hack?
    ANSWER: There absolutely is: I need people to rip sounds, make shaders, and I could always use anyone who has artistic skills, or is really good with unity or coding in C# in general. I don’t want people to code for me (I am the only one who will be coding the game, since besides myself only the developers of the game have all of the extensive knowledge necessary to duplicate all of the stuff in SOTN) but if you have a lot of C# coding skill you can contact me, and I am sure that there would be many things we could come up with together.
    If you want to contribute and are SERIOUS about it, feel free to send me a message here. Not to sound rude, because I appreciate any help that I get (I am actually a very gracious man) but if you volunteer and do not produce, you will no longer be asked for assistance. I have just had too many people offer to help, and then never even finish a single thing and just have excuses
  2. How is this hack being made?
    ANSWER: Initially I was utilizing memhack to find and change things in ram for the PSX version of the game . I graduated to also making ASM changes, and changing things directly in the ISO file from there. However, after over 4 years of working on the thing, it had become apparent that I wasn’t making much ground and that it could take YEARS before the hack could be done.
    This was obviously unacceptable; so I began searching for alternatives and found one: recreating the game in Unity3D. This would not only make it possible for me to do WHATEVER I want, but it would also speed things up enormously, greatly improve compatibility and use less resources. This was initially being done in GameMaker; but that proved WAY too buggy and slow for my tastes.
  3. But Esco, I thought Unity#d was too limited for 2D to do a game like this?
    ANSWER: absolute rubbish; it has joystick support, can do 3d models, has much butter particle control, as well as better collision possibilities, scaling, rotation, transparencies, can use mp3’s, etc. etc. And with its new native 2D features, I just couldn’t say no!
  4. Will I be redoing/using any of the Saturn things?
    ANSWER: I will be redoing the garden to be a totally different area in a difference place. The same with the cursed prison. I will not be using Richter’s sprite from the game; it is god awful. As for Maria, she will include all of her stuff from the PSP version, and some stuff from the Saturn version. I will not be including any of the new enemies from the Saturn except the wraith; 99% of them are god awful and the port sucked in general.
  5. Will Maria be included in the game?
    ANSWER: Yes
  6. Will there be Japanese voice overs in the game in addition to English ones, or will you use the voices from the PSP game?
    ANSWER: At first no. I am really not concerned with this, and many fans just didn’t seem to care if we had dual language support. And I plan on using the PSP voice clips for the English dialogue.
  7. Will I be able to play the “hack” on **insert system name here?**
    ANSWER: if your system can run a normal PC exe file… then yes. I do not know if there will be a mac version at this time.
  8. Will you be providing bug fixes/updates after the hack is released?
    ANSWER: Definitely! Although I will try my best to find all the bugs that I can, I am not perfect and I recognize that people will probably find stuff that I missed. I see no point in releasing a game if I am not going to be responsible and maintain it.
  9. Will there be any new areas in the castle?
    ANSWER: Yes.
  10. Will there be any new items/weapons/bosses?
    ANSWER: Yes
  11. Will Richter and Maria have a whole playable game?
    ANSWER: Yes; they will both have an inventory, equipables, relics, and their own unique abilities and spells. They will also be able to fight all of the same bosses that Alucard can fight.
  12. When will the hack be released?
    ANSWER: as I have always said: when it is done
  13. Can I have an update on **insert something here**
    ANSWER: asking for updates, mentioning my project being shutdown by whatever or whoever, or being a troll in general will get you automatically blocked!!!!! All updates are put up on here, and if you are a personal friend then you know of other more private ways to ask me stuff. 🙂
  14. Esco, can you put **insert item here* into your game? I think it would be sooooo cool and I would love you forever, LOLOLOL!
    ANSWER: I only take suggestions and requests from people who have contributed to the project and will assist me with making it. If you are not one of them, then the answer is hell no. lol
  15. Can I be a bugtester for you?
    ANSWER: NO…… HELL NO….. HELL MOTHERFUCK NO!!!! Lol. I say this because the majority of you who ask me this are just hoping to get your hands on the game before everyone else, and will not provide me any real play testing data.
    In the future, when I do need bug testers, they will only be provided the portion of the game that they are testing. And that will be all, to ensure that they focus on actual TESTING and not on just PLAYING! 😉
More questions to come as I get them and deem it necessary to place them up here. Thanks for reading.
Posted in General | 83 Comments

Fan input & ideas wanted for the first NEW stage!

So since the last update, I have been hard at work coding in more of the animations for Alucard and making various revisions to existing code in the hopes of finalizing everything that I have done already so that I can move onto the phase of trying to get some kind of demo out. I have also been updating the cost sheet for Alucard with 3 new animations that have been done for him (special thanks to Jake W. for his work) and a $50 donation I received recently (special thanks to Philip B. for this second one from him). I will be putting the updated cost sheet up on my next post once the last 2-3 animations I need are done for Alucard. The 3 animations that were done just done are:
  1. an overhead sword/club swing (similar to the great swords from POR)
  2. an aerial version of this same move, and
  3. another aerial attack that is a spear/2handed sword stab that drops straight down.
Other than that, the next thing I have planned is to have someone continue working on redoing classic Richter’s sprites from the Prologue and Rondo of Blood. If anyone feels they are up to this task, please contact me ASAP.
But, the other big thing I have been thinking about is what I’d like to release within a demo. Yeah, I could release just the Prologue stage. But that just sounds………….. lame. I already did that when I made the GameMaker version and I really don’t want to just do that again. I really want to release something where you can play as Alucard. So that you can test a good number of his moves, controls, and gameplay out. I would like to see how people feel about all the new stuff and get a chance to see for themselves that this is all a reality.
The BIG problem there? The Castle Entrance is no longer planned to be the first area after the Prologue. I plan to have 2 areas before it, so I have no intent of releasing a demo with the entrance. The first area I had in mind being a sort of graveyard and ruined town area. I would really like it to start off with a quick scene of Alucard breaking out of his tomb in this graveyard, then starting the stage making his way thru the graveyard, with graves both in the foreground and all over the place in the background as well. Then up some kind of mausoleum/church (similar to CV3’s first stage), and then have him go thru a ruined town of some kind. Ending with a boss battle back in the graveyard on the far edge of town (again similar to CV3) with Malphas.
I even had an idea in mind where Alucard would have to save a few hostages here and there from cultists intent on sacrificing them. The town I had in mind specifically, would be what’s left of the town of Jova/Aljiba from the beginning of Dracula X. I would imagine that after Dracula was beaten, that in the past few years maybe some hermits or cultists would have moved into what is left of it, and possibly even fixed up a bit of it. But that’s as far as I get with this conceptualization.
So that’s what this thread is for: concepts to elaborate on that idea. And not just WRITTEN IDEAS for areas, traps, decorations etc….. but for anyone who would like to do some kind of concept art or sketches or drawings of any kind about it. I would really like to hear what kind of stuff you guys would like to see in this first area. What should Alucard’s tomb look like inside AND outside? What about the graveyard? How should the remains of the town look and the building he ascends? What should be in there? What about scenery, enemies, etc. What else could we throw in to be creative and spice it up?
Fan feedback is really wanted here. I think this would be an excellent opportunity to involve more of the community in this project as well, which I have wanted to do for quite some time. I have seen some AMAZING works created by Castlevania fans out there from sprites, to fan fiction, to drawings…. the list goes on and on. So here’s your chance to see your stuff be in the game. Feel free to post all your ideas, drawing, etc. in the comments below. If this thread is successful, I could see myself doing quite a few more of these. If I use anyone’s ideas/work I’ll be happy to credit them for it of course.
Let those creative juices flow people and spread the word about this too. It all helps. And as always, thanks for the support. 🙂
Posted in General | 62 Comments

Update 12/24: Merry Christmas everyone! Video and Cost Sheet inside!

Ok, so in my last update I promised an itemized sheet detailing the expenses related to Alucard’s new sprite set. And I am a man of my word so I have put that information into an Excel sheet here, INCLUDING any donations over $10 that I have received (For those curious, below that range I received one $10 donation and three $5 ones this year). NOTE: that this sheet does NOT include of the necessary new animations needed for the weapons themselves like spears, swords, etc., which are still being worked on now: sotn-cost-sheet
The bottom line after donations is that I am still down by over $2300. So donations are a HUGE need right now and can be made via paypal to esco1979@cfl.rr.com. Considering the costs, for any other characters, I WILL have to get some kind of fund raising going (the exception being Classic Intro Richter who is part done already) or they just won’t be getting made. Because it’s just not feasible for me to spend about $2000 each for New Richter, Maria’s full moveset and any other characters I try to put in (which I have concept info and full move sets for 3 more Castlevania characters besides them). Not to mention the new animations that will be needed for enemies, effects, weapons, etc.
The other issue of course is time. With more funds, I can afford to pay more artists at once, which equals much FASTER progress. Alucard’s sheet was scheduled to take 3-6 months. But took about 10 months instead since all I could afford was to have only a single artist working on it. Luckily I had one that was truly dedicated and who put his very soul into each animation he crafted.
I understand how before anyone dedicates any major funds that they, of course, want to see what they are getting. And I fully understand that. So my intention is to get all of the new animations for Alucard implemented ASAP, and show a working demo of the game so that people can truly see what I am trying to make a reality for the fans. Hopefully, that will stimulate others to want to help more in any way that they can. As they say: seeing is believing.
Anyway enough about money. Let’s talk about gameplay some! 😀 I decided to expand on Alucard quite a bit. I wanted to make the combat system quite a bit more in depth compared to the original game of basically slash/dodge/slash/dodge etc. I wanted to include things such as the ability to pop up some monsters, knock back others, dealing with enemies who have armor that reduces the damage done to them and being able to actually combo attacks into each other. I wanted you to feel like you had something to handle ANY scenario and for the controls to feel very free exciting.
At the moment, the combat system for Alucard works like this:
  • X (square on playstation controllers) is the normal button for each weapon set. B (circle on PS) is the strong button for each weapon. You switch between both weapon sets by hitting R1 (which can be done during attacks, allowing you to change weapons mid combo).
  • Pressing Up+X uses sub weapon 1. Up+B uses sub weapon 2. You get to choose these at the start of each stage and at menu checkpoints mid-stage if you want to change. There are currently 5 sub weapons: Hellfire, Summon Spirit, Stopwatch, Agnea and one final one. All of these can be used in the air and ground and have animations. The bat still has bat fire which is heavily improved and the wolf has a new howling sub weapon.
  • Blocking with a shield is done via L2, Mist form is set to R2. These both share a guard meter that refills slowly over time.
  • R1 is to do your chosen crash. At the moment there are 5 in human form: Tetra Spirit, a heavily modified Dark Inferno, Power of Sire, a very modified Soul Steal and one final one that I won’t spoil. But trust me when I say longtime fans of the series will get a serious thrill from it. Wolf form also has one: the old moon rod special has been modified into a new Crash called Crescent Moon.
  • Weapon Set 1: Swords & Clubs are designed to be faster, with less range, but allow you to chain attacks in mid-air. The video below demonstrates the basic 4 hit ground and 4 hit air combos for this weapon. They do overall the most DPS, but less damage per individual hit and less stun/knockback amounts than:
  • Weapon Set 2: Spears & 2 handed swords have more range, more damage PER hit, but overall DPS is lower than weapon set 1. These also do more damage to armored enemies than weapon set 1. However, these only have one attack in the air, so no aerial chains. On the ground, they both have a standing 3 attack combo.
  • Weapon set 1 has an attack that can launch enemies into the air, while weapon set 2 has a knockback move that can smack enemies back.
  • Attack priority goes from blocking with a shield, normal attacks, to sub weapons, to special moves, to crashes/mist. So as you see in the vid you can do 4 sword attacks in the air, cancel that into hellfire, cancelled into valmanway, then into mist form if you needed to dodge a counter attack. You could even start it by doing a 3 hit ground combo ending in a launcher, then go into the series above (assuming the enemy didn’t die halfway thru it).
  • Speaking of specials, Alucard has Valmanway, both form changes and the ability to summon a Demon Familiar. Has also has one or two more specials that I won’t be spoiling here. These take MP and generally have cool down. I was originally going to give Alucard a 2nd type of Shadow MP…. but after extensive testing it just felt like it was unnecessary.
  • Wolf Form: has a bite attack, a sub, a crash and a 2nd normal MP costing attack using the runesword. He still has a dash too though it does work different now.
  • Bat Form: has bat echo, a sub and a charging attack now. It also can summon bats to acts as drones to it and can hang from the roof.
I’ve attached a video here that shows off some of his animations as well as how fluid and more modern the attack system is. This includes being able to cancel attacks, more speed, more maneuverability, etc. The white object that you see getting hit is a dummy enemy used for testing purposes. For those with a keen eye, you will notice several combat nuances in addition to the many changes in this video. Please note that effects are missing from this video as are things like weapon attack animations. Some have yellow placeholders and others just aren’t there. That is because those are things that are all WIP and to come later. I also don’t show off a number of things that I may change later as the game is still HEAVILY in development like swimming.
But I wanted to put something out there for the longtime fans of this as all of you have been very supportive and patient. And I thank you for that. I know I haven’t updated a lot in the last few months. Believe me when I say that developing a game on your own that originally was designed and created by a team of professionals while still paying your bills and dealing with all the JOYS of real life is very, VERY time-consuming. But it’s something I am truly passionate about and enjoy doing. Sadly real life (and bills, lol) have to come first, and that causes lots of unexpected delays. But as always I keep plugging away. And gladly so.
Anyways, Merry Christmas everyone. I’m off to celebrate with my family. Stay tuned for more updates!

Posted in General | 6 Comments

10/28/16 ANOTHER quick update:

The engine isn’t dead and has made a TON of progress; Alucard’s sprite sheet has been completed….. blah blah blah, coding in swimming information for Alucard, blah blah blah, made the shaders I needed etc. etc. blah blah…. blah blah…. blah…. and… blah.

…………… oh wait, you guys want more details? Lol, ok then. 😛 Let’s put it this way:

  • Alucard’s original sheet was a little under 300 sprites; mine is at 682. That isn’t counting wolf form or bat form of course. It took about 10 months to do and cost about $2265 (which is far more than I thought it would but the results are really amazing). A detailed cost sheet will be released soon with lots of cost details since I’m sure many of you are curious about why and would like to some details. SPECIAL THANKS GOES OUT TO LVLV & PHILIP BOYNE who each contributed $50 to this endeavor, for a total of $100. It definitely helps. 😀
  • Weapon animations are now being done for Alucard and should be completed within 2 months. I would love to go into more detail here, but a video would explain things much easier. Which I plan to put up in the next few weeks
  • Alucard now has an actual swimming animation along with attacks for it. These are limited to sword/club attacks and the Valmanway/Crissaegrim as a special. I am in the process of coding swimming in along with a new collision box for it. One limit will be that Alucard will NOT be able to change to wolf in the water now since I don’t plan to have sprites made for swimming in wolf form (which would be at extra cost and somewhat useless overall).
  • I taught myself CG shader in the last 2 months or so and managed to create the majority of the rest of the shaders I need. Which was a daunting task in itself. As it stands now, there are just 2 effects left that I may need help on: one is Olrox’s death in his 2nd form where pieces of skin fall off and then pieces of the skeleton revealed underneath blow away (which may need to be done manually piece by piece) and the other is the part of akmodan’s death where he disappears pixel by pixel as that same pixel blows away (which I have a few ideas on too).

In any event, I look forwarding to put up a video showcasing lots more stuff in the next few weeks. Since I know that seeing is believing. I actually meant to put one up for a while, but I always end up thinking “I’ll just do this one more thing and then throw one up.” Which then turns into another thing…. and another… and another…. etc. etc. ad infinitum.  Anyone else out there who programs, I’m sure knows EXACTLY what I mean. 😉

Donations as always can be made to esco1979@cfl.rr.com.

Thanks for the support everyone. And your patience.

Posted in General | 27 Comments

5/1/16 A very quick update:

Hi, everyone. I’m not dead and the engine is still constantly being worked on. Alucard’s sheet is about 70% done which has thus far cost about $1,100 (no that is not a typo; you get what you pay for and sprite work is EXPENSIVE) so any donations would really help speed things up here. I am also working on bat form right now. Just about everything else except wolf form for him is done coding wise.

I know how panicky people get when they don’t see updates for a while, but rest assured that a LOT has been done these last few months. I just have an extremely busy schedule so I haven’t had time to update the sites with a new vid. Any free time is instead spent on working on the engine.

Stay tuned for a much larger update soon! And thanks for all your support! 👍

DONATIONS TO HELP PAY FOR SPRITE WORK CAN BE MADE TO MY PAYPAL ACCOUNT: esco1979@cfl.rr.com. If you make one, please leave me a comment with your name and letting me know how much so I know who to thank.

Posted in Uncategorized | 54 Comments

Update 10/15: WIP sprites and some other small stuff.

The video can be found here:

Here are the 2 animations mentioned in the video:

Richter Iddle1.6 Richter walkz1.2

And here is an additional WIP concept sprite for Axe Armor Captain:

axelordarmor

Feedback is wanted on all of these sprites from fans and spriters alike, so feel free to leave a comment. I really want to know what people think of the animations thus far, and I could use some serious suggestions on how to redo Axe Armor. I will say to keep it civil if you want your comment approved as the artist who made these worked really hard on them. So let’s see some constructive criticism here guys. Enjoy.

I AM NOW TAKING DONATIONS TO HELP PAY FOR SPRITE WORK! They can be made to my paypal account to the email address of esco1979@cfl.rr.com. If you make one, please leave me a comment with your name and letting me know how much so I know who to thank.

Posted in General, Maria, Player Character Info (Alucard, Richter, Sprites (enemies | 39 Comments

UPDATE 8-3: the first of many video updates

Here is the newest update about the engine; sorry about the wait, I have been meaning to put this video up for a while. I also apologize for the length because it is about 4o minutes long, but I’ve been working on a LOT in the last 3-4 months. Future videos will be much shorter and more frequent.

Feel free to leave any comments below as usual. If you feel like you can do sprites for the game, or can code shaders in Unity (using CGshader and ShaderLab language) or are very experienced with Unity and C# in general and could assist as a subject matter expert please leave a comment below and I will get back to you ASAP.

All donations can be made to Esco1979@cfl.rr.com on paypal.com.

P.S. I missed mentioning two 3d objects in the video: the 3d coffin for the trio is done, and the mist still needs to be completed (it uses mesh distortion).

Posted in General | 26 Comments