5 January 2015

Project Plasma Development On Hold

So happy new year to you all. Hope you've all had a good 2014 and that 2015 has kicked off nicely.

That being said, 2015 hasn't kicked off all that great for me at all. My computer was recently upgraded which sounds good right? Well yes it is good, great even. However it came with a pretty nasty side effect that has hindered game development of Project Plasma v0.9.7 greatly.

Project Plasma was made in GameMaker 8.1, a now outdated and you could say obsolete version of GameMaker, however I still opted to use it due to the fact that GameMaker Studio (at the time at least) lacked some of the functionality that I needed that was in GameMaker 8.1, the best example I can give there would be the Execute Code function in the software's debugger which I felt was one of the most useful tools in GameMaker 8.1 when it came to debugging. (I mean seriously why would you get rid of that, go home YYG you're drunk.)

However, I soon began to witness GM 8.1's age and many of its downfalls which might not have been a problem a few years ago come into play. The very first issue being the fact that there were a large number of wav files stored in the executable itself which bloated its size considerably, resulting in massive RAM usage which was too much for the setup I had at the time to cope (I had 2GB RAM back then, I then upgraded to 8GB with Win7 and now I'm on 16GB with the latest upgrade.) As a result I had to figure out how to use external files for the audio.

Then there was the Windows 8 issue where Win8's half-arsed sound system couldn't cope when more than 3 or 4 sounds were played simultaneously in-game and when such a situation did arise, the game crashed. As a result I had to find another audio DLL. At first I tried one called Saudio which fixed the issue and worked well for a while, but then Windows 7 decided it didn't like it and decided to not play any sound (including music) that was dependent on the Saudio DLL. I then began making a switch to FMOD until I read up that you needed a license to use it (what the fuck seriously.) The last one I tried was SGAudio which works brilliantly and that's the DLL that ended the whole sound issue crisis.

There was also the pixel interpolation issue with Windows Vista onwards where the pixels didn't interpolate on any operating system besides Windows XP, however I didn't mention up there as it really isn't a big deal. It just makes the graphics look all pixelated when playing in fullscreen. Apart from that it really didn't bring any serious issues along with it so I left it out.

Anyway, I think the point here is, I need GM 8.1 to proceed with the game's development and I am currently having issues reinstalling it. GM:Studio has installed fine though so work on Project Plasma Mobile can go ahead, but the main version of the game has hit a standstill in terms of development so far.

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