VGMaps
November 19, 2017, 05:31:42 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 [3]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: 2009/04: Metroid Dread (DS) - JonLeung  (Read 44363 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
JeodCripto
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 12


« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2009, 04:34:31 PM »

Whoa...dude, if only I knew how Metroid worked. I'd be so ON THIS ONE! Good maps. By the way, I've gotten a team together for Oracle of Hours. You wanna walk through your overworld? Only have the day one set so far..
Logged
JonLeung
Administrator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3129


« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2009, 06:07:52 PM »

As I've said to several game makers, I'm very uninterested in other people using my maps for their fan games.  I don't think it's a good sign when a fan game maker isn't able to come up with their own ideas.  I don't slave over this for a few hundred hours for my own web site just to hand it over on a silver platter to game makers who don't want to try using their own imagination.



The many requests to make them are flattering, but please...I'm tired of telling fan game makers that I don't really need to see the ongoing progress on a game they'll never actually finish.



And if they do finish, wouldn't they be more proud of their work if they just made their own game?
Logged
JeodCripto
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 12


« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2009, 06:20:28 PM »

Uhm...I talked to you before about it. I actually have been making my own maps. (See Spirit Blade topic in MIP) But let's not go off-topic here.



Thumbs up on the Metroid maps!
Logged
JonLeung
Administrator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3129


« Reply #33 on: April 19, 2009, 06:58:40 PM »

Oops.  Your name does look familiar now.  And I do feel better that you're not using my maps verbatim.



Sorry about that outburst (if you can call it that).  But man, I'm still getting a lot of requests about Oracle Of Hours, and my impatience is quick to surface when some people contact me saying they've already started work on making Oracle Of Hours before asking for permission.  Thank you for asking earlier, and respecting my wishes not to rip it off as it is.  There are others who don't do either.  The nerve!  Can you blame me for getting so uptight?  Tongue



I'm guessing Metroid won't have as many fan game requests...it's more complex than Zelda, I would think.  And probably doesn't have as many fans...



But thank you for checking out my Metroid maps, Jeod.  Smiley
Logged
JeodCripto
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 12


« Reply #34 on: April 19, 2009, 07:23:03 PM »

No problem! I came here to learn how to make good maps. Still waiting for some tips.
Logged
JonLeung
Administrator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3129


« Reply #35 on: May 12, 2009, 01:37:14 PM »

Thanks for clearing up some things in this topic, Peardian.  Smiley
Logged
JonLeung
Administrator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3129


« Reply #36 on: September 13, 2009, 01:18:01 PM »

WHOA WHOA WHOA!

What happened to the huge "The Making Of Metroid Dread" post?  Was it lost in the hack?  Am I going to have to repost it (assuming anyone might care anymore)?

I'm sure I have it as a Facebook Note but it's a pain to have to convert from Facebook formatting into this forum's formatting.  >_<
« Last Edit: September 13, 2009, 01:18:38 PM by JonLeung » Logged
JonLeung
Administrator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3129


« Reply #37 on: September 13, 2009, 01:43:19 PM »

THE MAKING OF METROID DREAD

I decided to write a bit about the making of Metroid Dread, the April Fools' Day joke for VGMaps.com this year.  For those of you who may be unfamiliar, my site hosts a number of video game maps, most of them being screenshot maps, i.e. maps constructed from actual in-game graphics.  Every month, a well-made and complete map set from a particular game is chosen to be featured as the "Maps Of The Month".  However, as an April Fools' joke, April's Maps Of The Month features a complete map set of a non-existent game, meant to confuse and amuse fellow gamers.  This year's joke is a map set of the (still?) non-existent Metroid Dread.

See the joke HERE.

(I will mention the jokes for the previous four years at the end of this article.)

Basically, "Metroid Dread" is the supposed name of a often-rumoured DS game in Nintendo's Metroid series.  Despite rumours that have continued on since as early as June 2005, Nintendo has denied its existence.  For whatever reason, the rumour hasn't died, and each year, fans expect to see Metroid Dread unveiled at video game trade shows such as E3.  Fuel was certainly added to the fire with a "clue" in the 2007 Wii game Metroid Prime 3: Corruption that reads "Experiment status report update.  Metroid project "Dread" is nearing the final stages of completion."  Retro Studios has officially stated that this was a coincidence and denied that this refers to a Metroid Dread game, but this hasn't stopped Metroid fans from continuing to speculate.  Since "Metroid Dread" has become rather infamous despite not actually existing, it became a viable for a joke.  (As it turns out, a rather elaborate joke, probably between 250-300 hours in the making!)

[img width= height=]http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/491/photo1e.jpg[/img]

On May 16, 2008, a hidden topic on the VGMaps.com forums was made, with which only a few selected regulars had access to, and the brainstorming process began for what the 2009 April Fools' joke should be.  A user by the name of marioman made the first suggestion, which was for maps of Metroid Dread.  A few other suggestions followed, but to me, the idea of Metroid Dread always seemed to be the most enticing, due to the infamy it had garnered over the years.  The problem was that, at the time, we did not yet have maps of Super Metroid (Super NES), Metroid Fusion (GBA), or Metroid: Zero Mission (GBA).  Considering that it was believed Metroid Dread would be in the classic 2D style and on the DS, it was likely that it should somewhat resemble any or all of those particular Metroid games.  If only we had maps of them, we could, as I have described in simple terms, "cut them up into little pieces, recolour or modify them, and Frankenstein them back together into another game."

On June 7, 2008, mappers named rocktyt and zerofighter contributed full map sets of Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission, further increasing the likeliness that a believable Metroid Dread might be possible.  Eventually it was clear that this was the project to do.  But we all knew it wouldn't be easy.  For the sake of consistency, only one person would work on it, and as I profit the most from such a venture, and like three of the past four April Fools' jokes, it would all come down to me.  Which was fine, as I wanted to do it, but it was by no means going to be a walk in the park.

On December 1, 2008, it was time to get serious, seeing as how there were only four months to go.  I played around with the title logo of Metroid Fusion (and despite an extremely minor touch-up done on the final day) I pretty much had the Metroid Dread logo done by the second day.  A title is typically a good place to start, with the story being the logical next step, however, I didn't actually have a story at this point.  Considering the colour scheme I used in the recolouring of the Fusion title to make the Dread title, I figured it would mean a return of the eponymous Metroids.  But I figured I would work out the story details as I go.

[img width= height=]http://img177.imageshack.us/img177/2961/photo2qh.jpg[/img]

Before I bore anyone with the specific details of the individual areas, I'd like to at least show you the general construction process.  Here's an animation showing an area being constructed from start to finish:

[img width= height=]http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/880/erisspacecolonyconstruc.gif[/img]

What I stared at for most of those four months were essentially bright green squares against a pink background.  The construction consisted of two phases per area, which I called the "tiling phase" and the "texturing phase".

The tiling phase was where I laid out "rooms" (which were rectangles of pink empty space bordered with green tiles) and then hand-placed individual green tiles to fill each room.  Since I was making this all up as I went, there was no real overall design I meant to follow.  Sometimes I stared at the green-and-pink canvas, contemplating what sorts of obstacles would have to be placed, and what would be feasible keeping in mind what equipment Samus should have, especially upon the first time she would be in that room.  Considering the "retraversal" gameplay of the series, where Samus's exploration is limited by the tools she has on hand, and the obtaining of new items meant being able to access new areas, even from previously visited ones, I was constantly thinking about the expected route she would have to take if this was a real game that was meant to be played.  It just wouldn't be believable otherwise.  By the end of the tiling phase, I would have a green-tiled maze, that structurally, but not visually, resembled cavern tunnels.

[img width= height=]http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/2599/photo3vp.jpg[/img]

The texturing phase involved taking tiles from the other Metroid games, recolouring and/or modifying them (or sometimes not), and then placing the tiles, often by hand, on top of all the green squares.  Occasionally, perhaps due to the nature of the tileset I was using, curves, slopes and corners might not look right, or I would just encounter other oddities, so I would have to tweak the "blueprint" along the way.  (Texturing certainly required a different thought process than the initial tiling; I had to select a good tileset, colour it correctly, and fit it properly.  If tiling is about function/shape, then texturing is about fashion/style, in a way.)  Texturing sometimes took a long time; even after preparing the tiles to use, it would still take a long time to manually hand-place every tile, since there was considerable variety unlike the tiling phase which only dealt with underlying green tiles.  In some areas, under the floor or above the ceiling, there would be random tiles, and though they were chosen and placed by hand in the first two areas, I would use the method suggested by user Maxim, to make an image with random noise, then reduce the number of colours to the number of tiles I wanted in the random pool, and then I would increase the image by 16 times in both height and width, and then use the Tile Slicer/Splicer program created by Revned to replace the tiles with the chosen tileset.  (Revned's Slicer/Splicer comes in handy as a tile replacer, which was actually created in response to the first April Fools' joke, after he learned I did the tile replacement solely by hand.)  Anyway, at the end of the texturing phase, I would have something that more resembled a Metroidish area, just without a real background.

[img width= height=]http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/2995/photo4nl.jpg[/img]

For whatever reason I didn't really set aside individual "background phases" as I worked through the areas roughly chronologically, but instead left it all for the end - like the last weekend of March.  I figured that shouldn't take too long - it did take a while but not as long as the tiling or texturing phases by far.  I made copies of each of the fully textured areas with reduced palettes, then pasted the extracted and recoloured backgrounds from the GBA Metroid games directly on top.  What I ended up with was an image of just a bunch of backgrounds, which looks rather disjointed when the room boundaries disappear.

[img width= height=]http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/4734/photo5de.jpg[/img]

When everything was finalized, I would take the foreground, copy it (excluding the pink colour which signified empty space), then paste it on top of the background.  The later areas had either water or lava so a third layer of half-transparent water or lava tiles was then pasted on top of that.  Oddly, I used Paint Shop Pro for most of the tiling and texturing phases, then I used GIMP to copy and paste the foreground, then I used Photoshop to copy and paste the semi-transparent water and lava.

[img width= height=]http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/2561/photo6g.jpg[/img]

As you can see, with seven areas totalling 789 rooms, all that tiling and texturing would be a lot of work.  When it got toward the end of January, and I only had the first two areas done, I knew I had to pick up the pace, so I made this schedule.  (And yes, I know I spelled "February" incorrectly...)

[img width= height=]http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/628/photo7q.jpg[/img]

Since the first area, the "Eris Space Colony", wasn't meant to be revisitable in my vision of the game, I referred to it as "Area 0".  So when I started trying to follow this timetable, I was working on Area 2, which was really the third area.  So as you can see, I intended it to go up to eight areas, but that didn't last very long as I didn't see any point in one-upping Super Metroid's seven.  But I intended to stick to the schedule since I figured I could use the ten days allocated for Area 7 to instead be catch-up days or to have more time for the final touches.  With only five days for each tiling or texturing phase, I soon fell behind more and more, so it became more of a reminder to work harder than the actually rigid timetable it originally meant to be.  I also made this image hung up near my computer, which you might get a kick out of:

[img width= height=]http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/593/photo8ra.jpg[/img]

So yes, it required quite some dedication.  I hope that whether you "get" the joke or not, that you can see the effort involved in it.

And now for the individual areas' details - this will either be the least interesting or the most interesting part, depending on your familiarity with Metroid or games in general.  (Most of you non-gamers should maybe just skip down to the "Past April Fools' Jokes" or "Special Thanks To" section.)
Logged
JonLeung
Administrator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3129


« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2009, 01:45:16 PM »

THE STORY
"The Galactic Fedration comes across Space Pirate activity on the planet Ilpstra I.  It turns out that the Space Pirates have uncovered Chozo ruins there, and have undertaken an excavation operation to recover lost Chozo artifacts.  Not for any noble archaelogical purpose, but rather to reverse-engineer the technology to create weapons of war.  Samus Aran, due to her familiarity with the Space Pirates and the Chozo, is called upon to investigate, and she explores Ilpstra I to stop the misuse of the relics of the Chozo.

Towards the end of her adventure, she makes her way to the depths of Nethjust, where she finds a recently-destroyed Chozo statue, where the Final Suit was forcibly taken by the Space Pirates.  The spirit of a Chozo appears before Samus, bestowing her with another Final Suit, to be able to survive in the Space Pirate's new lair in an area called Geddon.  Once there, she discovers that the Space Pirates are once again under the command of her nemesis Ridley - or rather, Kaiser Ridley, a mechanized version of himself that first appears as a mere statue.  The Space Pirates had equipped him with the Final Suit stolen from the depths of Nethjust, and Samus and Ridley have another duel.  Since the Final Suit was not meant for Ridley, and Samus also has the Final Beam, she manages to defeat him again, but the planet is set for destruction, leaving Samus mere minutes to return to her ship and escape.  The loss of another Chozo planet is regrettable, but - at least for now - the threat of the Space Pirates is no longer a concern."

...And now for the story behind the story.  Originally, there was a weak story, probably about to mirror Super Metroid's (more on that in the next section).  I just knew I wanted Kaiser Ridley.  And why "Kaiser Ridley", and why a statue?  One of the things common to most (but not all) Metroid games is an encounter with Ridley.  Originally a "miniboss" (as referred to in the original Metroid manual), Ridley has been retconned (in Metroid: Zero Mission) to be the leader of the Space Pirates, or at least a high-ranked one, reducing the Mother Brain (the final boss of Metroid and Super Metroid) as just being a biological supercomputer.  Ridley has taken many forms - he has been known as Ridley, "Mecha Ridley", Meta-Ridley, Omega Ridley, and Ridley-X.  But I would've liked to think that he can't keep coming back to life, and I figure he's only really "died" twice.  In Metroid, the first game, I figured they didn't think he would come back, so he just kind of exploded into bits as the relatively crude NES graphics would suggest.  In his next appearance in Super Metroid, he clearly dies, as his body falls apart upon death.  In Metroid Fusion, the Ridley-X is really just a parasite that mimics him after invading his preserved body, so it doesn't count as Ridley, really (though how his body was recovered in a short amount of time before Zebes was destroyed is a mystery).  And in the Prime games, you don't actually confirm Meta-Ridley or Omega Ridley's deaths, so I'd like to think that he hasn't died.  In Metroid: Zero Mission, the final boss, "Mecha Ridley", looks like a robot that despite its Ridleyesque appearance doesn't actually integrate Ridley himself, but Ridley does appear earlier in the game.  I had hoped Zero Mission, being a remake of the original Metroid, would've retconned Ridley's death into a retreat, meaning that his only true death would come in Super Metroid, but as it is, he's died twice at minimum.  Perhaps I just didn't like the idea of someone coming back to life too often, especially in a sci-fi series (even if ghosts have been present, with Phantoon from Super Metroid being the most notable).  I wasn't going to create "Phantom Ridley".  Not knowing if the Space Pirates might have revered Ridley enough (though with at least one resurrection, why not?) I planned on them having a statue of Ridley somewhere, perhaps out of respect or worship, which would, either by mechanical or (gulp) supernatural means, become mobile and able to fight Samus.

Since I didn't handle boss sprites until March 30th (no kidding), I was almost banging my head against the keyboard when I couldn't come up with a way to make a decent-looking Kaiser Ridley that evening.  Surprisingly, there aren't a whole lot of dragon sprites that can be found on Google's ImageSearch that I could use.  Many of them that came up were from RPGs like the Super NES Final Fantasy games, but because they didn't move in those games, the artwork looked really static,  and since they were more often the big dinosaur-like dragon types, I figured that Ridley's more pteranodon-like head wouldn't look right if I tried to paste it on them.  (Wikipedia reminded me that pteranodons are not technically dinosaurs.)  So I eventually resorted to a plan I actually had all along, that is, to take Ridley's head and paste it onto the Chozo statue (the one that gives Samus the Power Grip in Zero Mission) and tack on some wings, but then I needed to explain why Ridley looked so much like the Chozo statue since I used the same one in Nethjust to give Samus the Final Suit.  I decided to sleep on it as it was just about bedtime by the time I finalized the Kaiser Ridley look.  On the morning of March 31st, I literally woke up with the idea that Kaiser Ridley has a Final Suit of his own, so the story as it is, with the Space Pirates taking Chozo relics, was literally conceived on the final day that I had to work on this project.  And all I had to do to accomodate that was to change the Final Suit Chozo statue in Nethjust to a broken one with a transparent unbroken one overlaid on top for the "ghost/essence/vision" that Samus would encounter.

Oh, and despite the recolouring of the Fusion title to a very Metroid-inspired colour scheme, I didn't see a way to fit Metroids into this game.  Just think of it as some of The Legend Of Zelda games that don't actually feature Princess Zelda.

ERIS SPACE COLONY
With the exception of Fusion, Metroid games take place on a particular planet (or planets).  But taking a cue from the two most popular Metroid games, Super Metroid and Metroid Prime, as well as Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, I figured a good start would be for Samus to begin on a human-made space colony/station/ship of some sort.  Super Metroid's Ceres Space Colony prompted me to research Ceres, which is the name of a dwarf planet in our solar system, hiding among the asteroids in the asteroid field between Mars and Juipter.  I then read that there are at least four other known and named dwarf planets - Makemake, Haumea, the recently-demoted Pluto, and Eris.  Liking the similarity to Ceres, I chose to name this short area the Eris Space Colony.  (Unlike the names of most of the other areas, this was fairly early in the process; on December 6th I posted a cryptic post in the hidden topic in my forums simply saying "Pluto...Makemake...Haumea..." to see if anyone would get it.)  Up until the late evening of March 31st (which will become a common occurence, as you will see), the placeholder ship was the exact sprite of Samus's gunship from Super Metroid.  Though it was her most used ship, Samus has been shown to fly different ships in Metroid: Zero Mission, Metroid Fusion, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, so I figured I would edit it later.  Since my editing skills were not in good shape by the time I got around to it on March 31st, I ended up taking the ship from Metroid Fusion, which I had recoloured a few different ways in the first week of this whole undertaking, and cropped off the clunky parts.  I always believed Samus should have a slightly sleeker ship, and this was kind of a step in the right direction.  Plus, when it comes to sprite editing, it's always easier to take away than to add parts.

The story was rather weak when I first worked on this; I figured Samus would come to Eris and be talking to NPCs, probably scientists of the Galactic Federation, and then make her way to the upper right room, where maybe she would be shown something, or since it might have been designed like a vault, maybe she would luckily be protected by a Space Pirate attack (though it would be kind of ridiculous to have a protected vault in a space station or spaceship that wasn't similarly armored against the emptiness of space, not to mention attacks from enemies).  In any case I knew there would be trouble, and Samus would have to reopen the hangar bays to be able to escape in her ship, hence the two switches in the upper corners of the main hangar.  Time constraints prevented me from making a red-hued version with dead NPCs and damaged doors which would have been seen during this introductory escape sequence that games like Super Metroid and Metroid Prime had.  As mentioned earlier, the finalized story almost didn't require the Eris Space Colony as much as it might have earlier, but I think it's always good to start off a Metroid game with a little excitement.

EPISURFA
This area is the only other one with a working name that wasn't made up on March 31st.  The name "Episurfa" came from the prefix "epi-", Greek for "on top of", and "surfa", a truncated "surface".  Since the region was inspired by the Crateria region of Zebes as seen in Super Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission, I also thought this area needed a name that sounded like it was also descriptive.  I then realized that "EPIS(-S)URFA(CE)" looked eerily close to "ERIS-SPACE" but I figured I could change the name at any time.  But as I referred to it as Episurfa for so long, I decided to keep its name, even despite its ridiculous similarity to the name of the first area.

For most of its in-progress life, the area was not purple, but rather green.  I decided the four main areas should be red, yellow, green, and blue, and since Episurfa was not a main area, I later decided to recolour it purple.  On the leftmost side you can see the elevator to the final area, with lights in the colours of the four main areas.  This was intended to be the "boss lock" as seen in Super Metroid; gold statues of the four major bosses with coloured eyes representing the region they oversaw, and the statues would lose colour and their gem eyes shatter as they were defeated, until all four were defeated to allow access to the final area.  However, I was struggling with the boss sprites at 10 PM on March 31st, so I threw the whole thing out in favour of just having lights.  It's one of several things I regret not having time to do, but one of the few that I think is okay to mention since Metroid fans probably would've noticed this lackluster lock anyway.

GEODYS
"Geodys" was the last area to be named; its working name was simply "Someplace".  It would take its inspiration from the Brinstar region of Metroid, Super Metroid, and Metroid: Zero Mission in being a mostly rocky, blue area.  I know, not very original, right?  There are some tiles here that aren't even modified or recoloured from Metroid: Zero Mission, which I planned on replacing later with Revned's Slicer/Splicer program but regrettably never got around to it.  I wanted to name it something related to "Brinstar", so I thought I would derive it from the words that made up its name, but I didn't know what a "brin" was.  I figured it was like "brim", as in "brimstone", so I thought I could take the "stone" from that and combine it with something related to the "star", like maybe "sun" or "moon".  But "Sunstone" or "Moonstone" didn't sound like a good names for an area...maybe good as names of evolution-inducing rocks in the Pokémon series, but not for a Brinstaresque area.  Speaking of Pokémon, the name "Geodys" looks a lot like the final third-generation Pokémon, Deoxys, but I came up with it while thinking of rock terminology and came across "geo-" or "geode".  "Geodys" is certainly better than the short-lived "Epesy", which I came up with from the remaining letters after subtracting "Brinstar" from "Britney Spears", who is in town next week, but has zilch to do with Metroid.

I was frustrated with Samus's poor jumping skills, since I was basing it off of Metroid Fusion where Samus can only jump up four blocks high, which is only twice her height and not multiple times more like in Super Metroid.  Constantly thinking about how high Samus could jump affected tile placement, so I decided that Hi-Jump Boots would be a relatively early item which is why it appears here.  It was partway through working on Geodys that I decided I'd better keep track of the items I placed down so that I could be sure it totalled 100 by the end.  It was actually about now that I figured out what all the items should actually be.
Logged
JonLeung
Administrator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3129


« Reply #39 on: September 13, 2009, 01:45:57 PM »

NETHJUST
I didn't intend on ripping off Super Metroid indefinitely, but I figured there should at least be a Norfair-like area.  The working name for Nethjust was "Another", though I had come up with "Nethjust" a long time before seriously working on this.  I figured "Norfair" might be used in a phrase like "neither just nor fair" so I thought it would be neat to come up with an area name using the first half of that phrase.  But "Neitherjust" seemed clunky and maybe a bit too obvious, so I shortened it to "Nethjust".  I figured "neth" was probably also a prefix - as in "netherworld" - which Norfair and this fiery cavern might appear to be.

I love the Metroid Prime 3: Corruption battle early on in the game while on Norion where Meta-Ridley and Samus are falling down a shaft and a counter shows the remaining distance until reaching the bottom of the shaft.  Having attended E3 2006, I remember being quite impressed while walking about a donut enclosure in the huge Nintendo booth that not only hid the ridiculous line (despite being more than halfway through it at that point) but focussed attention on a rotating platform with three screens where Nintendo demonstrators played and showed off Wii games.  I cared little for the conducting in Wii Music, but won't ever forget the initial excitement of seeing Samus take on Ridley while falling down that shaft.  But, I digress.  I wanted to recreate another falling boss sequence, and so once Samus made it through the four main areas, she would return to Episurfa to obtain the Final Beam (one of the all-new items), and come to the depths of Nethjust to claim the Final Suit (the other one of the all-new items).  I almost posted Gaibon (a gargoylesque boss creature from the Castlevania games) as the boss, but my brother thought it was one of the more recognizeable boss sprites from among the ones I selected, so I opted out of that.  Another Castlevania boss, the moth which ended up guarding the Super Missile back in Geodys, was almost going to be here, but I swapped it since I thought the moth would work well with the "boss lock" statue though that never came out as I planned.  Still, I imagine it would be pretty cool to see that huge mechanical ball thing come crashing through the ceiling of the room that leads to the shaft.  Samus would then defeat it, and splash down into the water, since I figured that would be the easiest way to explain her survival from such a fall.  Then, she would make her way to the Final Suit.  As I mentioned earlier, the concept of the Final Suit led to the whole story being made up on March 31st.  I always imagined the Final Suit to be what I had hoped the Light Suit in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes would have been, as I didn't like the organic look of the Light Suit.  The Final Suit would've been in the same design as the Varia Suit and Gravity Suit, but would have been almost all white with blue highlights, and would have a blue visor.  Basically, the opposite of the black-and-red Phazon Suit from Metroid Prime.  The colour scheme of the Final Suit would give it that "holy" look, being more of a blasphemy when the somewhat gargoylish Ridley tries to use it in the final battle in Geddon.

ARBOREALIS
Simply called "More!" while in progress, I wanted to break away from Super Metroid's areas so I wasn't going to do something resembling the Wrecked Ship or Maridia.  But I figured it was time for some water, and a more organic place, so that's how this area came to be.  It had to be green, and I didn't need more than one green area, so this is about where I went back and recoloured Episurfa to be purple.  The name "Arborealis" is another March 31st evening revelation.  Originally I was thinking something like "borealis" because I thought it had something to do with "boreal forests".  Looking up the term on the Internet, I learned that "boreal" meant "northern" and not "trees", hence "aurora borealis".  I tried to come up with a name around "botanica" but then remembered the tree-related term "arbor", and combined it with "borealis" (which I still liked the sound of) and came up with "Arborealis".  Sounded good, so I moved on.  Since naming this area was about 9 PM on March 31st I also figured I'd better keep moving without thinking more than necessary about things, but in any case I like this name.

I intended for the player to be able to take the first elevator up to get a preview of the next area, Paraqua, while obtaining the Ice Beam before returning to explore this area proper.  But then I figured I should stop having the areas be so linear and so decided to put the Speed Booster back in Nethjust rather than here, after obtaining the Seeker Missiles.  The Seeker Missiles and the Plasma Beam I intended to have DS Touch Screen interactivity while in use when combined with the Scan Visor (for opening doors by hitting multiple targets using the Seeker Missiles, or doing some welding/soldering with the Plasma Beam like in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption) and I was going to make screenshots showing those segments, but it was clear I wouldn't have time for them.  So instead I ended up writing item descriptions for everything, which ended up taking longer than I expected, but probably still less time than it would've taken to fudge some sloppy first-person Scan Visor screens.  Thanks to the regulars on my forums who responded to my panicked question on March 30th when I needed to quickly learn transparencies to properly paste the water onto this area, especially Revned whose Photoshop suggestion worked.

PARAQUA
The working name for this region was "Even More!"  Yet another of the "quick-I-gotta-name-this-place-there's-only-a-few-hours-until-April-1" monikers, I looked at it and thought it resembled a sewer (come to think of it, the recoloured Craterian rock, which appears brown here, does look like fecal matter...gross).  I thought about water systems like aqueducts and thought of "Aquedol".  But I didn't want another name beginning with "A" since I came up with Arborealis moments earlier, so it was almost "Taquedol".  But since it probably looked like it would be pronounced "tack-dol" rather than "tack-kwe-dol" it killed the "aqua" part which is what I wanted to use.  I soon settled on "Paraqua", not remembering or caring what the "par-" or "para-" prefix means, because I thought it sounded pretty good.  So I went with that.

When I was tiling the area, it was about then that I figured that I should probably map out how the other regions actually fit together, since it was about time I tied this back to Episurfa and Geodys, having earlier made passageways in them that led to another region which until now hadn't actually gone anywhere.  Hence, the rather wide left-right reach of Paraqua.  Of interesting note is the upper-right area for the Power Bomb; I thought it just might be possible if - and you can follow along if you know your Speed Booster physics - Samus might run left on the long pipe platform in the room below the Power Bomb, then crouch to store the inertial energy, and carefully jump up into the next room, and then right into the next, and then release the Speed Booster to fly upwards, thereby accessing the Power Bomb without having to obtain the Space Jump first.  In gaming terminology, especially used in games like Metroid, doing tricky maneuvers to change or skip the intended order of events is known as "sequence breaking", which I tried hard to prevent in this "game".  So the floating platform that gets in the way was a later addition, but then towards the end of this whole project I decided it might not be enough (using the technique I was concerned about above, one could add a couple flip-jumps before Speed Boosting up either side of the platform, so I added another locked door and the computer to scan to access the code was placed way on the left, near where one would get the Space Jump anyway.  Did I mention the computers that had to be scanned to obtain door codes?  Unfortunately I never got around to including the DS Touch Screen screenshots, featuring keycodes with an entry interface like those in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.

GEDDON
Aptly called "Final Area" while in development, for a while I had a feeling I would call it "Guidese".  Wondering what "Tourian" (the final area in Metroid, Super Metroid, and Metroid: Zero Mission) meant, I broke it down to its component parts: "tour" and "ian".  Well, if you have a "tour", then you need a "guide".  And I thought "ian" was like the suffix denoting one's nationality, ie. Canadian or Transylvanian, etc.  But one could also be Chinese or Taiwanese or Japanese.  Hence, "guide-ese", or "Guidese".  Then I realized how stupid that sounded and went for a truncated "Armageddon" which came out to "Geddon".  I probably didn't realize until much later that the G and D consonant sounds from "Guidese" might have influenced that.

It pretty much looks like Tourian.  This was the quickest area to tile, as I didn't have to think about item placement since it was intended that Samus could be fully equipped before the final showdown with the Space Pirates.  The challenge was, of course, the expected escape sequence after the final boss was defeated, like in most Metroid games.  I may have been a bit sadistic with a false dead end in that one large room.  It was not indicated, but I intended for the lava to flow upwards in each of the rooms that had them in the escape route.  Note that this escape continues on through Episurfa, where in the second room back in that area, a well-launched Speed Boost takes Samus through the ceiling into the route which initially led Samus to the Morph Ball.  Missing that chance means having to spend valuable time running almost all the way to the right before climbing back up and left again to get to Samus's ship.  Either way, if Samus makes it on time, her mission is accomplished.

And with that, now you know most of what I had to go through to create this "joke".
Logged
JonLeung
Administrator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3129


« Reply #40 on: September 13, 2009, 01:46:31 PM »

FUN FACTS
-Estimated time: 250-300 hours to make.
-There are 789 rooms total (including elevator shafts):
22 for Eris Space Colony
91 for Episurfa
153 for Geodys
156 for Nethjust
152 for Arborealis
153 for Paraqua
62 for Geddon
-The similar room counts for the four "main" areas was a coincidence, as I didn't start counting the rooms until I was almost done tiling work on Paraqua.
-The in-game area is 789 rooms = 151,488 tiles = 38,780,928 pixels.
-The backgrounds were done on the last weekend of March; the boss sprites were hunted for on March 30 (but not yet placed); Kaiser Ridley's design was completed the night of March 30; the story, based around Kaiser Ridley's appearance, was conceived the morning of March 31; the mini-maps were done in the afternoon; the touch-ups were done in the evening; the names of most of the areas were decided upon at about 9 PM; the bosses actually chosen and placed at about 10 PM; and the final assembly phase lasting until 11 PM local time on March 31.  And then it was finally uploaded at 11:20 PM.  I almost defined "down to the wire".
-The name of the planet, "Ilpstra I", is an anagram of "April 1st" (at least if you take the Roman numeral I and change it to a 1).  The name was actually decided upon early on, but totally forgotten about until 11:15 PM when I decided I'd better include the full in-game map but realized I hadn't finalized the planet's name yet.
-I (mostly) gave up video games during this time period.  I left behind an unfinished Tomb Raider: Underworld (PC), Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive People (PC), Retro Game Challenge (DS), Mother 3 (Translated) (GBA), and probably more that I can't remember.  I didn't rent games at all after Christmas.  I didn't yet start the latest Prince Of Persia (PC) and didn't touch Kingdom Hearts II (PS2) which I was going to return to and complete the Missions.  But it's not as if I didn't game at all; I made exceptions for Wii Fit (Wii) and Animal Crossing: City Folk (Wii) since those games are dependent on daily gameplay.  And I also replayed all of Metroid: Zero Mission during this time, as it helped with ideas.

PAST APRIL FOOLS' JOKES
2008: The Legend Of Zelda: Oracle Of Hours - based around the cancelled "third game" in the Zelda GBC "Triforce Trilogy" which includes Oracle Of Ages and Oracle Of Seasons
2007: Super Kid Icarus - a Super NES remake of the classic NES game that everyone seems to want a sequel of
2006: Mega Man Solid X: Guns Of The Mavericks - a Mega Man X-like game featuring FOXHOUND members from Metal Gear Solid, now represented as robotic animals derived from their codenames, as they are named in the same manner as the Mavericks in the Mega Man X series (it makes a lot of sense if you've played some games from both series) - check out bustin98's incredible artwork!
2005: The Legend Of Zelda: Link's Awakening Advance - just the overworld from Link's Awakening (GB/GBC) reconstructed with similar tiles from A Link To The Past (Super NES) to give it a GBA-remake look; based around the notion that Nintendo rereleases (and rerereleases) some of their games

SPECIAL THANKS TO
-King Charles IX of France for changing the start of the year from April 1 to January 1, which led to the origin of April Fools' Day, possibly
-marioman for suggesting Metroid Dread to be the joke in the first place
-Nintendo for all their great games, especially the Metroid series, and particularly for not unveiling Metroid Dread - if it even exists - during the past few months (though we would like it if you could unveil a new Metroid game one day, Dread or otherwise!)
-Retro Studios and the Nintendo fans who kept the Metroid Dread rumours alive
-rocktyt and zerofighter for their Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid Fusion maps, and also wileee and Edsword for their Norfair map from Super Metroid, without these resources, this would not have been possible
-Jonathan Wojcik and his web site Bogleech.com, especially his Videogame boss/enemy sprite galleries, without which I wouldn't've been able to find enough boss sprites in time
-a bunch of people I'll never meet for every piece of computer hardware or software that made this a reality
-Maxim for suggesting the technique for randomized tiles, which saved me a lot of time
-Revned for creating the Tile Slicer/Splicer program, with which I could perform the randomizing method, as well as using it for checking and fixing tiles; he also provided support and suggestions in the hidden brainstorming topic, and solved my 50% transarency dilemma
-RT(-)55J, Will (Mallia), DarkWolf, and TerraEsperZ, for also chiming in with suggestions and support as they also had access to the hidden brainstorming topic
-all the other VGMaps.com forum regulars for being a part of my "possible-OCD-fueled pixelated universe"...or something like that
-Jon Christian, my boss, for letting me go home early on March 31st, which turned out to be necessary
-Edwin Co and Karen Galinski, my co-workers, for encouraging me to get it done
-Brenda Leung, my mom, for letting me spend so much time on such a crazy project, and not telling me to go to bed on March 31st when I was working close to midnight
-Jason Leung, my brother, who gave me encouragement and suggestions whether or not I actually could use them (eg. though I didn't get around to naming the bosses, he suggested that one be named "Gobilo", after looking at a bottle of ginkgo biloba capsules)
-God, for the power outage and the computer breakdown, rare occurences I hadn't seen in ages, which reminded me to be more efficient with the time I do have, and then for the bout of sickness which gave me a legitimate reason to stay home, when I'd never taken a sick day in my life before this year, and for giving me the ability to be able to do this at all, and, well, for everything, really
-Nathaniel Wong, for encouragement, but especially for fixing my computer after it broke down (even though all it was was the fan coming loose), and for not charging me for your service
-Jason Chow, for encouragement, but also pestering me to get back to work, especially over Windows Live Messenger
-Edward Hsung, Emily Hsung, Evan Friesenhan, Lisa Friesenhan, Colin Longhurst, Karolyn Au, Linda Lam, Pat Setiono, and Bonnie Lin for words of encouragement whether or not you actually knew, cared, or "got" what this four-month project was all about
-every VGMaps.com visitor for visiting my site
-you for reading all of this, if you actually did
Logged
JonLeung
Administrator
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3129


« Reply #41 on: September 13, 2009, 01:47:35 PM »

Okay, reposting all that wasn't so bad.  Still not something I would want to do again.

Makes me fearful of what other large HTML-laden posts might have been lost.  >_<
Logged
Pages: 1 2 [3]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!