Author Archives: Matt Roszak

Play Expo & Classic Foes

Hey guys, me and Ronja will be exhibiting Epic Battle Fantasy 5 and Bullet Heaven 2 at the Play Expo in Glasgow this weekend. This time I’ve got the full version of EBF5 – not just a demo, and we’ll also try to get some 4 player games of BH2 going. It’s not a big event but it’s still lots of fun.

In other news, I’ve finished updating the animations for the classic foes that are coming back to EBF5. The animations haven’t changed much, but I’ve balanced the sound volume, added flee animations, and fixed other little things. I’ve already spoiled a lot about the update, so I’d like to keep which foes are coming back as a secret. But so that you don’t get your hopes up, I’ll tell you that there’s no final bosses. If you really want to see the full details, they’re up on my Patreon.

So that’s 23 new foes and 27 classic foes confirmed for the EBF5 version 2 update, with many of those being bosses or minibosses.
expo photo 1

EBF Instagram

Hey guys, me and Ronja have made an official Instagram account for Epic Battle Fantasy!

I don’t like anything owned by Facebook, but apparently Instagram is the cool new social network that everyone’s using, so we’ll give it a try. Maybe some of you will find it more convenient to follow us there, especially if you’re a mobile user.

For a while we will be reposting lots of fanart that you may have missed, but eventually the Instagram will simply show the same content as my other social media accounts. So if you think this is a good move, please give us a follow and tell your friends. And if you think we’re just selling out, then feel free to curse Facebook.

insta

EBF5: Blast from the Past

That last post was by Ronja btw. I’m still at home.

I’m working on an area in EBF5 where you can fight monsters from the previous games. The monsters will be as authentic as possible – sticking to the animations and mechanics from those games. The EBF1 monsters don’t even have evade and accuracy. Oh, and you can only use 2 or 3 players at a time against them. All those debuff attacks they used back then are going to be a lot more devastating in EBF5′s buff system…

There’s going to be 6 or so foes from each game, including 2 bosses from each.

I was going to put them all into a “Temple of Time” where you can visit different dimensions, but I’ve dropped that idea as it would be hard to explain why the graphics and mechanics are different. So I’ve got a different location planned, one that should explain the premise better.
behold

EBF5: Monster Cards

So it turns out that I’m cursed, and I can’t do any creative stuff for fun anymore.
I’m turning my Fakemon art into collectable cards in EBF5. They’ll give small permanent perks, like Steroids do, but should be more fun to collect.

This also means that I should stop spoiling all the art, and I’ll keep the rest of the Fakemon a secret.
monster cards

Slimes

Here’s some more Fakemon. I started off doing these for fun, but I’ve figured out a way to use them in EBF5. Fakemon aren’t real, so you can’t battle them. But there may be a way to collect them…
slimes

Gloops

Hey guys, here’s some more fakemon.

Looks like I’m drawing for fun again. Which is kinda nice, but you’ll probably never get any games out of this stuff.
rockies

Bushes

I wanted to try the Pokemon GBA art style, so here’s some bushes.
I think I got pretty close – the main difference is that my sprites have higher contrast than the official ones. I may or may not do more of these later.
bushboys

EBF5 Speedrunning

Hey guys, here’s an EBF5 speedrun video that shows off some glitches in EBF5. You can glitch your way to different parts of the map if you change your save file at the right time. I think preparing multiple saved games in advance may be cheating though…

Here’s a speedrun of the first area without any glitches.
I do wonder if EBF5 will be as much fun to speedrun as EBF4 was, as that one had some really fun glitches.

In other news, I’ve been tinkering with my mobile gaming setup.
Pokemon Clover is a fantastic ROM hack – I grin like an idiot when playing it – but I can only recommend it to people who love edgy meme humour. I’m looking forward to trying more creative Pokemon hacks.
428260b1-fda8-46d0-a6a3-fd765dfe21f9

Fanart: EBF Video

Hey guys, here’s a funny meme video about EBF.

In other news, I’m playing Crosscode and Pokemon Clover.
I’m going to attach a PS4 controller to my phone and turn it into an emulation machine.
Better than browsing through the app store for rare gems.

About the EBF Discord

Hey guys, I’ve got a lot of thoughts about the EBF Discord that I’d like to share.

For those of you who don’t know, the EBF Discord is a bunch of chatrooms where you can talk about EBF, gaming, fanart, and almost anything else. I set it up 2 years ago, and since then the number of members has gradually increased to over 11,000. Only a small portion of those users are regularly active, but it’s still a lot of users, and the server is experiencing some growing pains lately.

The server is moderated by volunteers from regular users. They’re people who already spend a lot of time on the server, and I trust them to help keep it clean.

Originally I wanted to have quite relaxed rules: Keep it PG13. You can swear, but not too much. You can poke fun at people, but not too much. You can talk in all caps, but not too much. Etc. Bans would mainly be reserved for obvious trolls and spam bots. Minor offences would be sorted out by the community without mods getting involved. Common sense would prevail, I hoped. And this worked fine while the server was quite small and managable. But enforcing those sort of loose rules became near impossible as the server grew – it’s unfeasible for mods to keep track of which users are breaking a “reasonable” amount of rules, and which ones are going too far.

Context matters, but it’s also a pain to take into account. In normal interactions, friends can trash talk each other without any ill will. They can call each other rude names, and it’s harmless. However, that’s nearly impossible to moderate in a busy chatroom, unless you read a few walls of text of history between the users. So gradually we’ve had to get stricter and cut down on the banter. You can’t trashtalk other users anymore – even mildly – because it’s impossible to tell at a glance if it’s harmless, or if it’s part of a long series of bullying comments.

Additionally, there’s a lot of trouble makers intentionally trying to see how far they can push the rules, which really forces me and the mods to think about where we should draw different lines. And I don’t like drawing lines, because real social interactions don’t work like that. But I guess when you’re managing a large group of people you really have to keep the rules as simple as possible and you can’t leave any grey areas.

One tough question we have is: Questioning the mods’ decisions should be allowed, but how pushy can you be about it before it’s not allowed anymore? When do reasonable disagreements turn into feuds? Into arguments? And it makes things even harder when you consider that different mods have different levels of sensitivity to arguments, and may be stricter on some days than others. Stricter on more annoying users than on well behaved ones. It’s really hard to keep things fair.

I don’t like that Discord currently has no “temporary ban” feature. All bans are permanent unless manually reversed. I believe that temporary bans would be a convenient solution to these “grey area” offences. A user would know they went to far, but also know that they’re still welcome back in a month or so.

At the moment we have some general-purpose channels on the server, where you can talk about just about anything. These obviously cause a lot of problems – because everyone has a different opinion about everything, and some people always have to be right! Keeping the server strictly to discussions about my games would keep things simpler. There would be much less disagreement – if you’re on the server you obviously share that hobby with everyone! But it would be quite restrictive, which is a bit of a shame. And a “you can talk about other things, but not for too long” rule would be really hard to enforce.

The server previously had a “spam” channel, where you could post whatever low quality content you wanted, images included, as long as it’s still PG13. A lot of users liked that, and so did I. But moderating it was too difficult – it moved incredibly fast, and deciding which images should be allowed was a nightmare. Is a dead rat too far? Is flag burning allowed? Can Hitler make an appearance? The spam channel had to go. That amount of fun was a step too far.

I’m a big advocate for freedom of speech online and all that. I grew up on Newgrounds and 4chan. But it’s much easier to avoid things you don’t like on forums and image boards. Everyone’s practically anonymous, and nothing is personal. There’s many different discussion threads to choose from.

A chatroom feels so much more claustrophobic. Everyone is trapped closer together – for months and maybe years! You can’t have a conversation while simply ignoring the people you don’t like. Users get to know each other, and some of them just can’t get along. Personalities clash. And every time they do we have to make the rules stricter to stop it from happening again.

I just can’t figure out a good balance between fun and safety.
It really sucks.

But so that we don’t end on a downer, I’d like to say that the EBF Discord has been great for me interacting with fans and getting feedback on my work. The regular users really appreciate the community, and a lot of cool fan projects have came out of it, such as game mods, translation fixes, and fan art. I guess it’s got those things going for it.

So here’s some questions for you, dear readers:
If you’ve visited the EBF server, what did you think of the level of moderation?
Should we even bother with general-purpose channels, or just keep the server strictly EBF related?
What should a ban review process for lesser offences look like? When should banned users be allowed back?
If you’re part of other Discord servers, what features do they have that you like?

Please discuss.