Category Archives: Epic Battle Fantasy 5

Play Expo Results

Hey guys, I’ve been without internet for over two weeks, but I’m back now. I guess I have to start off with a write-up of the Play Expo.

It went really well! Not a single thing went wrong!

Setting up was easy. I just brought in my computer, two monitors, a poster, an old pile of Kongregate stickers I got from Mochi London, some cute business cards to give out, and that was about it. The venue was conveniently 10 minutes away from my home. At first I didn’t have anywhere to put up my poster, but the guys next to us left very early so we essentially got a 2nd table just for that. Me and Ronja took turns manning the stall, so we didn’t tire ourselves out. (I also got to try some VR stuff on my break, woop!)
expo photo 1

EBF5 never crashed. Both days it ran non-stop for 8 hours without any problems, which was pretty cool, but also what I would have hoped for since the demo was just the most basic parts of the battle system. On the second monitor I had my YouTube videos of EBF5 running on loop forever.

The audience was a bit different from what I expected. EGX in England was mostly for gaming enthusiasts, but while this event still had some of those, it was generally much more casual and family oriented. There were a lot of really young kids, but also a lot of parents and grandparents who weren’t even into video games at all. I ended up showing off EBF5 to a huge variety of people, and it was a very educational social experience for me. I learned how to talk to kids, disabled people, and a lot of very socially-awkward people.

I’m glad I had EBF5 configured in work-safe mode, and I’m happy I made that option available in the first place. Bouncing anime breasts were not out of place at the event, but I think it would have been a bit awkward with the game’s default settings, especially when young girls came to play.

A related point that surprised me was the lack of PC gamers! I think EBF5 was one of the only mouse-controlled games there, and a lot of kids were confused when they couldn’t find the controller or keyboard. Quite a few people had trouble using the mouse accurately, and double-clicking when single-clicks were fine. But besides that people picked up the game very easily. I just told them to pick commands and hit the baddies, and that was all they needed to know really. I only intervened to tell them how to heal when their health got low.

expo photo 2Besides all that we also got to know some of the other exhibitors, including Mega Cat Studios, who make modern NES games, Wrench Games who make card games, and Oi Oi Games who are a store for retro games (their Mario Maker stall dominated the area at first and sort of overshadowed us – not fair!). I don’t think there was anyone particularly famous there – there wasn’t even any official presence from the big gaming companies. It was all quite local and modest. A reporter from The Sun talked to me briefly, but in the end I don’t think he actually wrote anything about me.

I had around 5 people tell me they were fans of the EBF games, and another 5 or so who said they’ve probably played them at some point in the past. So that’s not bad – I’m not a total nobody!

Anyway, it was all a lot of fun and I’d love to do it again if I get more chances to do it so cheaply. (Grand total spent on the event: £89 and around 3 days of preparation)

EBF5 at Play Expo Glasgow

Hey guys, me and Ronja will be exhibiting EBF5 at the Play Expo in Glasgow on the 9th and 10th of June! They’re nice enough to give free tables to small local game devs, so I have to take advantage of that. It’s our first time exhibiting, so we’ll probably embarrass ourselves. I wonder how many fans I have in Glasgow… probably enough for at least a few people to recognise me I hope. Mostly I’m expecting the kinds of comments I get on YouTube: “I remember EBF3, I didn’t know the series was still around!”

The timing is a bit unfortunate, as I’m in the middle of moving and would also need a bit more time to finish the EBF5 beta. I’ll probably just polish the Battle Demo a little bit and make it more presentable. It would have been nice to get feedback on the beta, but oh well!

Anyway, the Play Expo is pretty cool. It’s not as big as some of the events in England, but it’s got a lot of fun stuff to see like classic consoles, arcade games and pinball machines, and can easily keep you entertained for at least a day. If you live near Glasgow, you have no excuse not to go now.
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EBF5: Challenge Runs

Something a lot of people requested for Newgame+ was additional challenges, like perks for monsters or different upgrade options. I’m not going to lock content like that behind a 2nd playthrough. Instead an idea I’ve had for a while is “Challenge Run” settings that you can set at the start of the game and cannot change after that. Ideas I’ve got so far are:

Content Remixes: 
• Randomised locations of equipment.
• Alternative weather throughout the game.
• Different foes appearing in battles.

Added Difficulty:
• Perks for foes such as more resistances.
• Dead players lose their turn, additional cooldowns, or other handicaps.

Basically stuff that will make the game feel fresh if you want to play it again, but you won’t feel like you’re missing out if you only play through it once. It doesn’t involve any new content, just a bit of remixing.

This won’t be a feature at launch though. I’m saving it for a future update if sales are good.
(along with lots of other leftover ideas, such as bringing back old bosses and making some totally new enemies!) 

Also here’s an unrelated video.

Brb, Moving

Hey guys, all the battles in EBF5 have been defined. Most of what’s left to do is stitching all of the parts together, the title menu, tons of testing and balancing, translations, and the final boss. Then after that there’s still some promotional stuff like trailers and store pages etc. But it’s getting there. People who have volunteered to translate are getting a bit impatient, but I’ll get round to contacting you soon-ish. Still need a month or so before I’m ready to organise that.

I was supposed to be buying a house, but the seller is having trouble moving, so that’s been delayed. I’m moving back in with my parents for now – hopefully not for too long, but who knows. Maybe it will be a chance to take a break from work.

But while that’s happening, you guys can tell me what you want from Newgame+ in EBF5. Like usual, I don’t want to put much work into it, but I do want it to be a fun way to replay the game. Did you prefer it in EBF3 where you could just rush through the game again with super powerful players? Or did you like EBF4′s version where monsters got much stronger and you could keep levelling up for longer? If I do that again I’ll have to balance it a bit better.

In other news, I’ve been suffering quite heavily from nostalgia lately, and have been playing lots of games on Kongregate and Newgrounds again – old stuff and new. I’m probably too young to feel this way, but it feels like a huge part of my life is over. Flash games and whatever replaces them will still be around, yet I feel that some of the magic is gone, now that they’re no longer the cutting-edge of the creative space. I feel like the old man who doesn’t like what kids these days are into, because I had better entertainment in my day. Oh well. Maybe I’ll just have to keep making games in my style and prove it.

I read through my EBF4 postmortem, and I really need to update that soon. Back when I wrote that I felt like EBF4 was a failure and that I didn’t have much future making PC games, but since then EBF4 came out and Steam and was hugely successful there. Now my problem is that EBF4 might have been the height of my career and I won’t manage to make another game that’s so successful. That’s a bit silly of thing to worry about, I suppose.

I really need to blog more. It’s very therapeutic and a nice way to connect with people. I’ve got a few long ones that I’ve been meaning to write for a while, so maybe while I’m stranded at my parents house I can write some of those. I know I’m not the best at replying to comments, but I do read them all and appreciate them.

EBF5: Boss Demo

Hey guys, the EBF5 Boss Demo is ready for Patreon supporters.
Throw any amount of money at me on there and you can test out all of the game’s bosses a bit early.
(but probably best to leave a few surprises for later)

Everyone else probably won’t have to wait too long to try the bosses, since the full beta might be only around 2 months away.

Also I’m sort of using Patreon for preorders, in the sense that people who have given me the game’s value on there in total will get a free Steam key later when the game is released. ($15)
But it’s turning out not to be the best platform for that sort of scheme, because while I can see how much everyone has given in total, I don’t think the patrons themselves have any easy way to see that information. So that’s a bit lame. :p

boss

Battle Demo Update

Hey guys, I updated the EBF5 Battle Demo with player dialogue, medals, and a bunch of bug fixes.
It’s all a bit hectic out of context. Medals haven’t really been tested, but dialogue has, and I’d like to know if you still see any dialogue triggering at inappropriate times.

Still a few bugs left, but I’m expecting the frequency of reports to be getting lower, or else kill me.

dialogue

Fanart: Anniversary

Here’s some fanart from Lost Pyromaniac to celebrate the EBF Discord‘s first birthday!
Running that place has been interesting. Mostly things go smoothly, but sometimes making people get along is tricky. It’s got over 4,000 members or something like that, but probably less than 100 regular users, so it’s managable.

It’s a useful platform for debugging and getting real time feedback while I work, and the EBF memes coming out of it are fun.

Anyway, EBF5 battle dialogue is done!
I’m fixing bugs now and soon I’ll have an updated battle demo up, which mostly just adds dialogue and achievements, which will drive you crazy because there’s no save system in there and you’ll keep seeing them over and over. A few days after that I’ll have the boss demo up for Patrons so they can test those out for me.

anniversary_by_lost_pyromaniac-dcac4jl

EBF5: Backgrounds 4

Here’s another bunch of backgrounds!

My trip to London and the Rezzed expo was cool.
I collected a lot of stickers and met a bunch of people, and saw some neat games – but will probably never play most of them due to my already huge wish list. The venue the event was hosted at was an old dock (it was pretty cool) and the event was largely focused on indie games. I’ll likely go again next year.

I ranted a lot about what happened to Flash, and a lot of other developers are in similar situations to mine: they started off making Flash games for fun but have since moved onto other types of work using newer tech, mostly Unity. (I’ll probably head that way after EBF5 too…)

I also visited the Imperial War Museum and the Tate Modern, with the former being a really cool historical collection of vehicles, weapons, and propaganda, and the latter being a lot of space wasted on crap modern art.
bgs4