SoulBlade, a custom game

This is a nostalgia project. I have been designing this game on my phone.

The story behind this game starts around a year ago.. I didn’t have access to my computer… so i was looking for something fun to do on my phone.. and then i actually found this application that is for game deign that works directly on your iPhone. The app “Hopscotch” is marketed at kids.. but it is really sophisticated. For a long time I wanted to design a computer or video game.. and now i finally had the means. it wasn’t easy.. this game is basically a series of hundreds of simple math equations.. telling images or objects to move by the “pixels” or “coordinates” on the screen. Telling them where to go relative to what the player is doing. Still it’s a lot of fun. It’s just a long series of simple equations, like “you move 20 pixels when button 1 is down” type thing. Also something about the program makes it hard to control the “sizes” of objects. you have to keep adjusting it in the blind with percentages until it happens to be right. lots of blind mental calculations. often objects appear way to big and you have to use code to shrink them. this also creates lag.

I’ve put the visuals in from many of my favorite classic games form the 1990’s and 2000’s. It’s basically a mixture of “Youshi’s Island, Castlevania, and Donkeykong” the combination is intended to be a bit comedic. And Castlevania is the primary inspiration. Castlevania is a game about using swords and whips to explore a vast castle and fight Dracula the demon king. This is like a fan game, and not technically my “own game” because it is a combination of others games. But sometimes even as a gamer I notice that I enjoy playing fan made expansions of my favorite games even more then I enjoy new or original games. So maybe it’s not a sin to remodel what is already existing as long as you don’t sell it. If it’s not broke don’t fix it.

So my game is basically Castlevania but with a kinds of goofy “Super Mario” esque elements scattered throughout it. I may have to recreate the game one day in a different application to make it available to more people. Years ago I was creating this same game in Adobe Flash, but my subscription ran out! So i can’t even use flash any more. The goal is to create a casual adventure that is more for fun and an excuse to relax then anything else. the game has a lot of randomized elements so you can have a different experience each time. Even if you can’t play it is fun to watch it, also because i can add music to the video that would be in the actual game.

Sadly it isn’t that easy to access for the public, I can’t sell it or even make it available to people in an easy way. If you download the iPhone app “Hopstotch” you should be able to play it, but it won’t have sound or music, and it may try to charge you 7 dollars after a month for the app. According to the creators of the app, they were able to play my game even though it uses outside images that sometimes don’t appear.

This project hit a wall when i found out it would be so hard to share it with others, not have it’s own sound and music, etc. So that’s why there isn’t a lot of motivation to really “polish” and finish this project. I have wanted to design games for a long time. Maybe one day I can continue this project on a different platform like GamesSalad or “Unity”. I am also considering trying out something called “Ocarina Sharp” that is fan made and lets you make 3D Zelda games, but I have a feeling it will be complex.

the Zelda Randomizer is amazing

I’ve been playing this Zelda Randomizer recently. It really amazes me. Specifically it is “Zelda a Link to the Past”, the game from 1991. Over the last 10 or so years I have seen many amazing “Zelda hacks” and game hacks… aka fan made games that hack into the code of a classic original game and adjust it a bit … or remake it over completely. It has brought back much childhood joy. I use an emulator on my computer and plug in an “8bido” SNES controller. I can even use it to play Nintendo 64 games. I never expected a “randomizer” to be that exciting. but it really has been on of the most exciting Zelda fan games aka Zelda “hacks” I have played. They give you like 100 different characters to choice from. Like Shantae, Medley, or random anime characters, you can even play as Batman, a bomb, a treasure chest, some really goofy stuff. It randomizes items.. entrances.. and even the color of the background. It feels like having 100 new games to play. The randomizer is great. It’s what I’ve been looking for. because it gives you a new experience every time. They were very through. Even though the items are in random locations.. the game is still “beatable”. but it does get very hard sometimes.. you will need something very specific to progress the game.. and it could be anywhere. I’ve started 5 files already all of them have gotten stuck at one point, where you just can’t find the item you need, even for a pro like me who has already beaten the original version of this game like 30 times, who is obsessed with every little cave and secret room in the game. But i was able to get at least half way into most of them, it is worth it for the new experience. It gives you lots of customizable options so you take control of what you want. you can make it random.. but not too random.. hard.. but not too hard. you know.

https://alttpr.com/en/randomizer

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The problem with many of these fan games is that they are way too hard, and mostly I play for casual enjoyment. Sometimes when you are an excited fan creating your own video-game, you have time to play it over and over, and because you are the creator, it feels easier for you to beat it then it would be for someone else.. so you keep increasing the difficulty without even realizing how hard you are making it.  however that is not the case with this, because it’s just the original game on hyper randomizer overload. Often I play games for enjoyment, the goal isn’t even always to win.

I find out about most of these games through youtube. It’s really much better then the original game from 1991… which is already really good. In most Zelda games you go from one thing to the next. one quest to the next. What is innovative about Zelda is that the quest can take you anywhere on the map and you often return to places you have already been to uncover something new you couldn’t access before, it’s about exploration and adventure, it isn’t linear. (like Skyward Sword LOL!) But this is even better because you often have to keep track of like 3 different quests at the same time. I’m beating this dungeon over on the mountain.. and this one in the swamp.. and in think a cave near the village has items I need.. there isn’t a specific order the way there was before. You may have to enter a dungeon.. knowing you don’t have the items you need to beat it, but you still have to because it may have items you need to access a different dungeon on the other side of the game. It gets crazy. I opened on file and cut down a bush that had a hole underneath it. It was one of the first things i did.. and the hole dropped me down right to the final boss, Gannon. And he was like “you can’t beat me yet.” Which is kind of the way the newest Zelda game, breath of the wild, is set up. It give you a sense of freedom… anything can happen. Another time I made the choice to do this dungeon backwards because i realized it might lead to a different area of the game.. and it did.. it got me on top of the mountain, a later area, it was like the 9th dungeon, but I had to do it first, and it gave me access to the mountain from an usual angle, so I then had to use the hook shot to get onto the primary part of the mountain, thanks to the randomizer I also had this item way ahead of time, but there were other items I didn’t have. Like i didn’t have the lamp, a more basic item, so I had to explore some areas totally in the dark. It just gives you a very different expreice of a classic game.

https://alttpr.com/en/randomizer

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