Drew: Originally, we were going to have a slow-down after the incredible progress over the last two weeks of updates to Severed Chains. Turns out, the modding community came up with a lot of improvements both internal and apparent. Let’s dive in.
Monoxide: Disk unpacking and file pre-processing: we now unpack all game files the first time the game launches. This means no more disk swaps, easier modding, and faster loading since more of the work is done up front. In the future we’re also going to convert the game files into modern formats, such as PNGs for images, so players won’t need any special tools to make changes.
Rewritten bootstrap code: the initial loading code has been completely rewritten (and de-spaghettified). The game now loads in the background while the intro is playing, and it also loads fully in less than two seconds, even on low-end hardware. To get technical, the small amount of remaining PS1 kernel and BIOS code is gone, libcd and libds are gone, the CD drive emulator is gone, and the S_INIT overlay is gone. The title screen also no longer uses the memory emulation layer.
Drew: Since this isn’t a program that emulates the PS1, I decided we should have our own intro sequence. We’ve already been through a few iterations – this is what it looks like at the time of posting. Intro can be skipped by pressing a key on the keyboard (letters/spacebar/) or left-click. Monoxide coded it, Zychronix provided an upscaled FMV still, and I designed the composite image. #Teamwork!
SP Tracker / Dragoon EXP
It’s staggering how something so simple as a D’Level tracker feels so important to finally have, over 20 years after the game’s original release. This is a beginning implementation from Zychronix that shows SP or “Dragoon EXP” level progress right in line with base character levels at the post-battle screen. This will really help players track how close they are to D’Level-ups. Most importantly, note how it’s named D’Exp in the same vein as D’Level! I love that. Side note: this screenshot also shows that we fixed text color on the Gold/Exp/Items text area.
Rendering Bug Fixed
DooMMetaL managed to figure out one of the issues with how Dragoon characters are rendered on the screen. Before, the models would leave a sort of infinite trail, which we nicknamed Infini-Dart. That’s all fixed up now, so the models will look a bit better. There are still animation errors that make them look bad, which will also be fixed when possible.
Partial Mouse Support
It’s starting to feel more like a native PC game, right? It only works on the title screen so far, but mouse support will be expanded in the future!
Quit Game / Return to Title Screen
Yes, we’re insane.
That about does it for our improvements recap spanning the last week of Severed Chains development progress. While Monoxide has been the driving force of this project, there are now additional modders and coders stepping in to help. We’re not yet certain if we’ll do our usual stream this Friday, due to possible holiday arrangements. We’ll make a call by Wednesday. However, we are pretty certain we’ll do a livestream on December 30th the following Friday. Until next time!