Tuesday, March 17, 2020

SRB2Kart: Going forward

Alright, clearly I lied when I said I wanted to put aside working on this game in favor of doing other projects because I ended up coming back to it in what may be my biggest death wish ever. Especially while my area continues to be under the threat of the virus sweeping the nation, but that's a story for another day.

Since SRB2Kart Version 2.0 never happened and likely won't happen for quite a while, I figured I'd bite the bullet and do my "Character Refurbishment/Renovation" project alongside bringing two new, highly-detailed racers to the roster. That basically means every racer from the Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff duo to the Noid are getting some kind of alteration, either a full on remake in the case of Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff to simply making the legs and feet of the racers on-model.

These changes to the pack will be carried out in what I hope to be two, maybe three versions of the Super Justin Bros Character Pack. 2.0.1, 2.1, and 2.2.

2.0.1 along with some minor changes not worth mentioning (really, they're super-minor) will feature the Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff remakes as well as touchups to the Vinesauce duo, Scott Pilgrim, and The Noid while also putting in my Beat remake from last year as a bonus. 2.1 will be the debut of the Sunset Overdriver and a touchup to Slash Kamel with cleaned up hair and better two-tone support with the maroon color, and 2.2 will see the release of SRB2Kart's first pinball rep, Dr. Dude. From there the pack will very likely enter another period of dormancy so I can put some effort into other projects as I mentioned in my last post on SRB2Kart. I may dip back into the game every now and then to do light progress on more racers and fill out more stat blocks with little representation, but I'm not making any promises if I decide to go a while without working on a kart racer.

Two of the racers currently in the pack, Pipo Monkey and the Self-Propelled Bomb, will also be removed from the pack starting from 2.0.1 for various reasons. For the Pipo Monkey, his sprites feel outdated and have a certain ounce of "laziness" to them so I'm thinking of scrapping and coming back to the racer in the future. As for the Self-Propelled Bomb (aka the thing that chases after you in first place), the novelty of it wears off quickly and I feel the concept of a playable S.P.B. can be executed better with lua scripting, which I don't know. But if you are curious, here is a diagram showing how I'd like to revamp the SPB racer:

If the image is a bit hard to understand, I'll sum it up. Since I created the SPB racer, I always wanted it to better interact with the SPB item that when used chases after the leader of the race. In that the SPB itself jumps out of the kart when the item is used and makes a mad dash for the one currently leading the race (maybe with a "SPB cam" on-screen somewhere showing it trailing the leading racer) while a "SPB essence", a less-aggressive looking SPB with either a fully bare body or a smaller colorable ring continues to drive its Kart. When the SPB is either destroyed or collides with the leading racer, it remerges with its essence and returns to driving its Kart. Even if this full scope revamp of the SPB happens, it'll likely remain a separate racer from the pack as it already has two "sprite rip" racers in the form of Robo-hood and Gargoyle, both whom I'm waiting until Kart 2.0 before I start porting their redesigns from SRB2 2.2 over.

Anyways that's all I really have to say. I expected 2020 to be a year where I could take a nice break from Kart but after realizing all this stuff to do was piling up, I figured I'm jump back into action and finish what I had started.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

2020 Conventions

Yup, It's that time of the year again. A new year, a new lineup of anime, comic, and video game conventions. And this year it's not exactly much different from 2019 in terms of the lineup, with the same six major conventions that I attended since 2018.

The one major factor here however is, well, North America, in particular New York and New Jersey, is currently under the scare of the Coronavirus and politics clearly hyping it up to be some mega ultra deadly virus that will absolutely kill anyone who contracts it. And this month with cases flying around the locations of these cons among others, conventions have either had to cancel or continue on with less attendees. This graph, however, assumes none of the conventions are harshly impacted by the virus by the time May rolls around with Castle Point Anime Convention 2020, in which the rising temperatures will force the virus into dormant state.

But enough about some virus, let's get into the big meat of the post. Once again I pulled out some characters to represent the trips to the six big-name conventions I'm targeting this year (though I tried to make the image more stylized and detailed) and for the most part the cons are all as you remember them, two in New Jersey, two on my homeland of Long Island, and two deep in New York City. The change comes in what months two of the cons take place: Castle Point got the very early May slot (which is usually the slot it does get if it does not secure a late April timeframe like last year) and Eternal Con moved from late June to mid July. The rest of the conventions are still set in their typical timeframes: AnimeNEXT in mid June, Long Island Retro Gaming in early August, NYCC in early October, and AnimeNYC in mid-late November. With the timings being adjusted, that means I get four months straight of conventions followed by a break in September, then two more months straight of cons. It's honestly pretty crazy, but I've seen friends of mine that attend lots more conventions year-round. And while I would like to attend more cons myself, I'm... not exactly sure if I'm ready for venturing out further away.

You may have noticed that unlike last year, I did not pick out exact dates for the conventions as I did last year. There were multiple times last year where I had to change the date I was planning on attending a certain con (including changing the accompanying con timeline image) after pre-planning for that one day for months. So this year I will just go with announcing the date on social media but for the most part expect em to attend a convention on either Friday or Saturday (for three and four day cons) or Saturday only (for two-day cons). I still don't have it up to me to attend a con for two or more days straight as I always "exhaust" the con on the day I do visit (and not to mention even if hotels are getting steadily better if you pick the commercial ones, I don't have a laptop to game on or work on projects while I'm away). If you all remember, I spent 10 hours at AnimeNEXT last year and walked several thousand steps that day- I don't think my legs would be up for another day of what is effectively running a marathon across the convention centers.

(seriously where are the spare benches and seats in these cons? People just parking their butts on the concrete floor should have sent a message to con organizers by now).

Anyways I'll be back when I have more stuff that's worthy enough to stick in a blogpost.