TI uploaded the second alpha version of the game today. As before you won’t be able to play for long until you run into limitations, mainly because of bugs in the map parser. Still, this version brings a couple of new features and news.
1. Complete world map
Thanks to the rom hacker Snarfblam over at MetroidConstruction.com the game now features the whole world map. The data was extracted from the actual rom-file and I’ve spent a lot of time parsing the json I got and inject the data into my map in Tiled format. The map now includes every single tile, enemy, item and stuff like secret passages. Since I haven’t added all enemies yet and other stuff missing you won’t be able to travel everywhere or battle all enemies anyway. You can bomb your way down in the room to the right of the first passage to find your way to Kraid’s hide-out though.
2. Save games
The Japanese version of Metroid featured save games. I made a save game screen using screenshots from the game, replacing Japanese with strings used in the save game screen in Zelda. The data is stored in localStorage.
I had to add it, because it would be kind of ridiculous to add all map data but still being unable to leave Brinstar. I added an optional “quick mode” because I find the elevators to slow in the original (possibly used instead of a loading screen while parsing the upcoming area).
4. dat.GUI integration
Why didn’t anyone tell me about dat.GUI before? With the help of dat.GUI you can now tweak stuff like Samus’ collected items and current energy level. I plan to add stuff like the possibility to warp between areas in the future.
5. Two player mode
I couldn’t resist. The box art claimed that Metroid has a two player mode, and now it has. The two player mode is highly experimental and the camera will ignore player two in vertical rooms, plus that player two are unable to enter doors. The second player is controlled by W,A,S,D-keys and V for jumping, C for shooting and B to toggle missiles. Yes, the keybindings are stupid but this is just an alpha. Let’s call it the hugging-version because you need to hug your friend to reach all of the keys. Two player mode is accessible from dat.GUI. I like the idea myself, and look forward trying to beat the game together with a friend. What do you think? (Read more about the two player mode in my previous post.)
6. 16-bit mode
This is another experimental feature to allow alternative graphics. It’s possible to toggle between 8-bit and 16-bit version of a few tiles in this version. Sprites and most tiles are unaffected. All tiles will occasionally go black, but hey it’s an experimental feature in an alpha version :-). I would love to find a pixel graphics talent to collaborate with. My preferred style would be to use the full NES-palette to add more colors to otherwise unchanged graphics, like it was done in this blog post (just look at Samus!) or the beautiful Shovel Knight.
This version is a bit slower than the previous one, which affects mainly mobiles. This is caused by the larger map size, and will be resolved by using Phaser Tiled Plugin (after making a PR adding Arcade physics) or splitting the map into one file per area (hope not).
In the next version, I hope to get the game up to speed again, fix the map parser bugs, add all enemies (except in Tourian), Kraid, Ridley and all items. Perhaps I’ll add gamepad support, 16:9-mode, minimap and a status screen. I might also upload minor updates with just some of these features.The development is quite straight forward at the moment, and my main challenge is to find time to work on the game.