Monday, January 27, 2020

Karted Out

For pretty much the entirety of 2019, I was a frequent contributor to the game "Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart", an extensive mod of Sonic Robo Blast 2 that I've mentioned years ago on this blog (and I mean years ago). How did I contribute? Well, I crafted a good haul of custom racers featuring both well known and obscure characters, some of which were created for special collaboration packs. However, with my latest creation taking me literal months to complete (though that can be attributed to it being a quad character update) with progress running through several conventions in the latter half of 2019, I thought I'd take a break from doing more racers for the time being. And even when I tried to work on more racers when saw break was "up", I started having trouble keeping focused on one thing and not zoning out.

So what's happening? Well I figured it'd have to happen at some point but I'm going to be taking a hiatus from working on racers for the time being. I might squeeze some progress out once in a while but my priorities are elsewhere. To make a long story short I'll give you guys a brief summary on why this may be the best course of action:

  • Burnout. Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart character creation became the biggest priority of the year alongside sprite-ripping, and it became so frequent that I even had to call for a break from doing sprite sheets just so I could focus on SRB2Kart, and even after finishing up all my racers for the year, I still don't feel the audacity to resume ripping sprites. Pretty much every day I was doing one or the other and it was honestly getting less fun as I went, trying to shift back and fourth from project to project. And that's not even getting into the lesser racers that I worked on outside of the SJBCP.
  • Some physical condition crap. Since August of last year some things began popping up regarding my arms/shoulders as well as my neck, in addition to allergy and sinus problems. And since conventions are going to be starting up soon for me once again (and by soon I mean in early May) I need to try and prep myself and my form when the time comes.
  • Artwork. While I haven't started on anything major yet, there may be a point this year when I decide to whip out my art programs and make some art. Some of it will be available to the public, others may very well only be for a limited audience (and if you've seen my past project you'll likely know why). But my point stands that art still takes a while to do and I'd like to try and get some art worked on over the year if the problems under "Some Physical Condition crap" lessen up and I don't feel as terrible.
  • Custom levels in games. I'm part of the team for a friend's Pac-Man project and I've become the team's main level designer (so yeah I did manage to get into working on a Pac-Man related project after all) and I've been considering picking up my Mari0 map pack again and working on it some more since I kind of neglected it for most of last year (but that can mostly be attributed to newer Photoshop being slightly harder to make retro backgrounds on since I haven't figured out how to make the transparent background a 16x16 tiled pattern when zoomed in). There's also Otaku-Ball, but as I've had no contact from Mr. Block for quite a while, that project is pretty much on hiatus too.
  • Binging games. Oh yeah I play games too. Sonic Robo Blast 2 had a proper update, Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled is still having monthly "Grand Prix" events, I'm still collecting and strengthening Pokemon in Sword and Shield, and I recently got back into OpenRCT2.
  • Kart's 2.0 update still MIA. Since Kart hasn't had a major update in quite some time while the newer 2.0 build is worked on, it's also been a sort of contribution to the lack of motivation to work a good deal on more racers.
The SJBCP is currently at 25 racers, with some racers planned for a big overhaul of sorts as part of a "tuning update" to prep the pack for Kart 2.0. When I get motivation to work on more racers, the tuning update will be done alongside new racers, to the point where one update might be a new racer + a major tuning update or a new racer plus several minor tuning updates. These will tweak and fix colors and several other errors to update everyone up to current standards.

As for future racers...
  • Sunset Overdriver (9 speed 6 weight) and Springman (6 speed 5 weight) will likely be the next two racers to join the pack, in that order. Along with or sometime after Springman, Dr. Dude (9 speed 8 weight) will be worked on.
  • "MGS2" Solid Snake (2 speed 9 weight) and "MGR" Riden (9 speed 7 weight) from the Metal Gear Solid series will follow in the stead of the two/three racers. Snake will differ from the currently-released Snake racer in that this take will be based more closely around the Metal Gear Solid 2 version of the character. Both Snake and Raiden are intended to be worked on and released simultaneously but Snake may be released first/early if progress with Raiden is slow.
  • Tracer (9 speed 4 weight) will likely follow after the MGS duo, with Neku Sakuraba (8 speed 6 weight) not long after.
  • The "Ninjala Duo" consisting of Van (8 speed 4 weight) and Berecca (9 speed 3 weight), the main duo used for promoting the currently-Switch-exclusive Ninjala are on low priority as they're part of A) an upcoming game and B) two of SRB2Kart's most overused weight classes (fast lightweight and fast middleweight). We'll see if I feel motivated to work on them after the games get released.
  • The Mr. Driller duo, containing Susumu (4 speed 4 weight) and Taizo Hori (1 speed 8 weight), are also low priority. Partially since both racers already exist in Kart in some way; Susumu being based on his older look from the first Mr. Driller, while Taizo is based around his debut game: Dig Dug. The versions I will work on will use the "modern" versions of both, using the looks/artstyle of the characters from Mr. Driller A, Drill Land and Drill Spirits.
  • Other racers, which include the likes of Yuichiro Tomari, Coca-Cola Kid, the DMC Duo with DMC5 Dante and DMC5 Nero (as DMC3 Dante already exists), Mister Mosquito, and Asterix, are currently TBD.
  • Maybe a few joke racers similar to 7 Grand Dad, but don't hold your breath on those.
And with that I've made my case. Apologies for January not being as eventful as I had hoped but I'm currently stuck in some crap that I need to get sorted out, even if that's more to do with my form and being too lazy to do work. In the meantime you can experience what I've done so far for Kart if you haven't already here.