Eth3rn1a Log 11: Electric Boogaloo 2: With a Vengeance by Aus7r4lia (NPGD)

For the past month chaos has reigned in Eth3rn1a.  Oh sure, it’s been fun chaos where we (by which I mean ‘I’) replaced the headings on our task board with bizarre and annoying words, and used naughty pictures as placeholder art – but it’s been chaos nonetheless.

Fortunately, as of tomorrow (or today, or yesterday, depending on where you are in the world), the second version of Episode 1 Level 1 is coming out, updated with player feedback in mind.  The game itself is cleaner and more intuitive, while the code backing it has grown exponentially more complex.

Which I guess is where I want this reflection to go.  The two most important things I’ve learned so far are:

1. Stencyl sucks

It’s unsupported, not updated, and its user interface is abysmal.  It’s an extremely useful tool, and I think we’ve done well with it – I remember one of our first reviews on Newgrounds saying that after they saw the Stencyl logo on the game, they expected ‘a giant green marshmallow thing’ and were pleasantly surprised.  But really, there are so many small and frustrating issues with the program.  We’re currently on the hunt for a new platform, so we’ll let you know the ins and outs of that once we find it!

2.Creative problem solving

Seriously.  It’s partly a programming thing, and partly a ‘Stencyl can’t do this right so we need a work-around’ thing, but having to come up with creative – and sometimes round-about ways to make something happen in-game has been one of the most valuable bits of this part of the project.

Unlike the period before our last release, most of us (and again, I mean ‘I’) have been getting decent amounts of sleep instead of the 72-hour development marathon right before New Years.  Strangely enough, it’s actually managed to be more chaotic at a more relaxed pace.

Anyway, it’s over now.  This will hopefully be the final edition of Episode 1, Level 1, so it’s time to look ahead to Level 2, as well as our next side-episode, creatively named Episode 2.  That’s all for now.  Stay clear of dangerous animals.