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Author Topic: Something like a sequel mod  (Read 91979 times)
False.Genesis
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« on: July 08, 2012, 08:31:07 PM »

** Update 29th Nov 2015: First chapter Update 1 released: Link to post **

** EDIT: Scroll down for some screenshots! **
** (this post is vastly outdated, too. Just read on.) **

Hey, I thought I'd better share this before it rots away on my disk.

I had originally started another mod before helping out FrancesF with Labyrinth and later doing meatymod within 4 months.
This mod was started around august 2011, and I've shared it only with a few people.

It's intended as a possible sequel that starts directly after the end of the original Aquaria's secret ending.
-- I wasn't so fond of the ending so I decided to do something about it, especially after reading many Aquaria2 topics and finding out that the chances for a sequel are *VERY* low Smiley

The story will branch depending on your actions (first occurance of this is if you stay in bed/go sleep again, or try to escape. You'll know what i mean once you've reached this point.)

I haven't worked on it since January because of Labyrinth, Meatymod, university stuff, and a general lack of time.
So I'm publishing this now because I can see I won't have time to work on it until autumn/winter, and even then I'm not sure if I really want to continue with it or not.
I can see that it'll be a lot of work; less than 10% is done and I'll have to redo half of it anyways...
First a few words of warning:
- This is completely WIP. Things on the way are missing, unpolished, and totally subject to change.
- The playable part is quite short, about 30 minutes, and still lacking lots of stuff.
- I worked in completely random order. Some scripting here, some maps there. Right now there's many maps but they are unconnected to the playable part, and largely unfinished.
- I learned Aquaria scripting and Lua in general with this mod, so the code quality isn't so nice.
- I haven't finished thinking about the story. I had cool ideas, but decided to develop the story as i mod along. Again, subject to change. (Most  of the story already developed is in dev docs or in my head, so not accessible.)

But if you're willing to try and poke around, feel free. Just mind the rough edges. There's a message in game once the playable part ends.
There's more to see then what's instantly accessible. I mostly worked in debug mode, which is disabled unless you enter the map "crtest" via the editor; this will unlock a debug menu that can be accessed by double-clicking on Naija. There's a few "?" tiles on that map that explain the menu.
If you're interested and want to know more about the "secret features" already made, ask. I might make a preview video showing off some stuff if there is interest - let me know.

Snapshot download here: [Link removed. The old thing was far too outdated to keep around.]

Feedback is welcome and increses the chances that I'll continue with it.
Have fun.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 03:24:39 PM by False.Genesis » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2012, 08:50:36 PM »

This is certainly an interesting concept, and I really do want to see what you do with it - but as I've said before, I'm really not into how dark and depressing the secret ending is, so if your mod, finished, were to allow things to still keep the upbeat, happy tone that the original ending does - I'd be all over it.
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False.Genesis
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2012, 02:04:31 AM »

I've decided to finish this.
With story help and graphics by FrancesF -- will still be a big chunk of work, but we're a good team. (And the always entertaining moral support by Daxar/MOM4Evr on IRC)

I was in a creative rush the last 2 days so I made a bunch of maps and took screenshots from these and older maps made over half a year ago.

I've added some hopefully spoiler-free annotations, and might extend the list from time to time. It's all in-development stuff, roughly ordered by the time the particular place or situation on the screenshot was made - not story order. I hope this way the story will stay my secret, and you can guess a bit in the meantime Smiley


Picture time:
(Click the thumbnails to see a larger version)


^ That's where the story continues.
Remember this place from the extended ending?


^ How and why did Naija's spirit end up in that crystal?
It'll be explained... and much more.


^ Not much to say about this one. A passage towards a new veil map.


^ Optimized for mega-widescreen Smiley


^ If you can read this, guess which zone this leads into... (spoiler: hot!)


^ Remember this dude? He's using so much twitter nowadays,
and has other things in his mind. Aww.


^ You'll laugh about how weak the original energy form was.
Naija will get a lot stronger, but keep in mind,
Absolute power corrupts absolutely...


^ For debugging purposes it's okay, but otherwise
this zone is deadly if not entered in a submarine.


^ If you can't see anything, use your environment.


^ Any idea what Mia is doing there?
We had red and blue crystals, now there's also green ones.


^ The "seaweed forest". Not quite finished, but polishing comes later.
Also new entities and stuff.
(That was the time before Frances started helping out with graphics.
You may recoginize the mithalas flesh texture, recolored to green.
It makes an awesome jungle-ish growth!)


^ A bigger view on a part of the upper seaweed forest.


^ At least there are some peaceful nooks there.


^ Going deeper from there, you'll end up
in the lower seaweed forest, which gets darker.


^ The lower parts of the seaweed forest lack light,
and the vegetation is slowly rotting away.


^ And the seaweed forest leads into... the seaweed veil!


^ The seaweed weil has a connection to an even larger surface area,
the open veil. Beware, these sharks are huge and hungry!


^ Even spirit form doesn't help anymore if you end up
in this situation. If they bite you, you're dead.


^ With the return of the Krotites, the old temple is back
to life and expanded. The map is subtly changed and
will play differently than the temple you used to know.


^ Below the new add-ons to the temple, there's a large cave network.


^ A statue room in the temple extension, but no-one else is there.


^ And there's Li, alone in the temple. But where's Naija?


^ Unfortunately he forgot to bring a flashlight with him,
so the spare light has to suffice.


^ A ceremony of some sorts. I think that won't be in the final version,
but have to see what we'll come up with.


** At this point in time, FrancesF started making graphics -- and the map quality instantly increased by over 9000. Grin


^ Remember the river from the ultrawidescreen-picture above?
It leads to a savannah. Dry, but bearable.


^ Going further, things get worse -- the desert, dry, hot, deadly.
Debug mode is a good thing for screenshots!


^ Zooming out. This is one desert map, the other one is twice as big.
No place to stay for water creatures.


^ Luckily, there's an oasis between savannah and desert.


^ It's full of life and really nice to stay there.
(But no entites yet. Some unused graphics from labyrinth mod)


^ There's also a cave network beneath the desert,
that has some water and unusual vegetation in it.


-----------------------[ Update 18th Aug 2012 ]------------------------


^ Due to the lack of light, white fish without eyes
and other albinos live in the lower parts.


^ The only place where light comes in in these caves -
- directly above this place is the desert (as seen above).


^ These parts of the seaweed forst are completely dark,
and most of the vegetation is dead, or close to.


^ Old friends from the abyss live there now.


^ Going down even further, there's life again...


^ There will be a miniboss here, but no idea what it will be. Suggestions?


-----------------------[ To be extended ]------------------------



It's not apparent on the pictures, but there's a lot of parallax layering everywhere -- feels like much more depth compared to the original game.

(I've also been experimenting with real fake 3D, see here. But it was already used in meatymod so it's nothing new, really, and the stuff in the video rather sucks.)

Alright, that's it for now. Comments appreciated.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 07:27:56 PM by False.Genesis » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2012, 02:01:38 PM »

Sweeeet. I think you've shown me some of these before, but it's cool to see them actually being used someplace. And everybody loves some nifty parallax. IIRC there was some nice parallax in some areas (like the beginning of the game, in Mithalas, etc), but not as much as there could've been in some areas (Energy form temple; even the Veil seemed fairly empty to me). Good job on all the awesome-looking maps and such you have so far, and hopefully some more fun brainstorming times to come on IRC, wot wot?
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2012, 05:23:38 PM »

 Grin Wow this is so fantastic - oooh happy happy!

I'll be watching this thread... can hardly wait to play!

Thanks!
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False.Genesis
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2012, 06:30:36 PM »

Little update:

[[ Added more images to the third post: http://www.bit-blot.com/forum/index.php?topic=4349.msg33175#msg33175 ]]

Some misc devshots which I don't want to add to the nice images in the post above:


^ Preliminary map layout, not final and will definitely be expanded.
The rightmost area is Home Waters, left of that is the Energy temple, and from there everything else is new.
The old area will also be partially accessible, but to which extent is not yet decided.
Green areas are finished, and the more yellow/red they are the more work still needs to be done. Grey is undecided but planned.


^ Work on an unfinished map ("Fingers", in the diagram above the large orange box on the right)


^ Work-in-progress entity/boss. That one will be a pain to animate Tongue

The story is still a mess and very unfinished, but we started simplifying some parts that were way too convoluted and hard to understand. I'm now organizing it the same way as the map above, so it should evolve to something clearer over time.

We're looking for entitiy, boss, zone, and story ideas, if you have any, please post!
Also spread the word if you can (although it will still take a long time until this beast will be finished).  Azn
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2012, 02:09:54 PM »

Wow, this looks really promising.

^ Optimized for mega-widescreen Smiley

Is that a debug mode screenshot, or is it really possible to play the game on such a big resolution?
And won't that make it much easier, since you can see enemies from far away?

We're looking for entitiy, boss, zone, and story ideas, if you have any, please post!

This really depends on the general "setting" / "world" in which the story plays. Can you post some more info about that? In what major ways will it be different from the original Aquaria world?

If the various humanoid civilizations (Krotites, ...) are back to life, it would be possible to have a group of "people" as a boss fight, rather than only animal-like monsters or gods.

Another boss fight that I would find interesting, would be against a copy of Naija herself.
I.e. the anti-Naija would have the same energy form / beast form / shield song / etc. available as the protagonist and use them effectively (if this is even possible from a scripting point of view).
If time travel fits in with the story line, it could be a past or future version of Naija. Otherwise it could be part of a "dream" or something, or an "illusion", or whatever. Cool

I also have some (not yet fully thought-out) ideas for classic Aquaria-like god/monster boss-fights. But sharing them would mean giving away the "trick" how to win the fight (i.e. it would contain SPOILERS in case they will actually make it into the mod), so maybe there is a less public channel more suitable for such discussions?
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False.Genesis
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2012, 02:31:18 PM »

Is that a debug mode screenshot, or is it really possible to play the game on such a big resolution?
And won't that make it much easier, since you can see enemies from far away?
No, and yes. Not debug mode, just a disabled check that triggered when the resolution was too wide. I'll eventually put this in an update after fixing a few bugs this causes.
Yes, entities are easier to see, and currently a major problem is that they never react when they are too far away, i.e. you can simply snipe them from a distance.

This really depends on the general "setting" / "world" in which the story plays. Can you post some more info about that? In what major ways will it be different from the original Aquaria world?

Same world, just many new maps. Some of the old maps also exist, but are changed to some extent (has low priority right now). You will play as Naija in the beginning, then Li, and later also as Lucien.
One big part will be Naija, as Mia's sidekick, and the other big part will be Lucien, about 15 years later returning in search for his mother.
(If that doesn't answer it please ask more specifically!)

If the various humanoid civilizations (Krotites, ...) are back to life, it would be possible to have a group of "people" as a boss fight, rather than only animal-like monsters or gods.

Another boss fight that I would find interesting, would be against a copy of Naija herself.

Have yet to see which role the Krotites will play (good, evil, or both, or whatever), but a fight against self is definitely planned Smiley

I.e. the anti-Naija would have the same energy form / beast form / shield song / etc. available as the protagonist and use them effectively (if this is even possible from a scripting point of view).
If time travel fits in with the story line, it could be a past or future version of Naija. Otherwise it could be part of a "dream" or something, or an "illusion", or whatever. Cool

Nope, time travel is intentionally left out. The big time jump of 15 years somewhere in the middle is necessary to get Lucien to an age where it actually makes sense to send him to an adventure, and give the world enough time to change. However, considering Mia has full control about Naija's memories, you can imagine what this leads to Wink

Scripting-wise i usually say everything can be considered possible unless proven otherwise. It just tends to get *very* ugly sometimes..

I also have some (not yet fully thought-out) ideas for classic Aquaria-like god/monster boss-fights. But sharing them would mean giving away the "trick" how to win the fight (i.e. it would contain SPOILERS in case they will actually make it into the mod), so maybe there is a less public channel more suitable for such discussions?

IRC.  Afro


EDIT: Btw, just you guys can have some confidence, whatever we do here isn't going to be lost. There's a few people (FrancesF, KS-10) who I'm sharing a dev dropbox with, and I regularly push updates into the git mirror linked in the first post. Feel free to download and backup locally (but don't look into it to prevent spoilers!). As I keep stressing, so many mods were allegedly started but never finished because the authors just disappeared. Made me unhappy.

EDIT2: And of course we're trying to use every bit of info that can be found on this forum, to keep the story as closely as possible tied to the original. Some things are our own interpretations but it should be able to sustain lots of nitpicking. We'll see.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 02:50:08 PM by False.Genesis » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2012, 07:00:02 PM »

When you say that you want to "fix that" in regards to the ending, do you mean that you're changing the ending? I mean, not just adding the sequel material but retroactively modifying Aquaria's original ending?

Otherwise, good job! I wish I were farther along in school (Comp Sci degree) so I could help out more, but I'm excited to see the final product. What are y'all doing for voiceovers?
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« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2012, 07:17:28 PM »

Not touching the original ending in any way. We take it as given and work with it, adding additional stuff that's (considering the hints given in the game, on the forum, ...) likely to happen, and adding misc. madness just for the lulz.
The goal is to have a satisfactory ending (ie. not another cliffhanger) at the end, unless the player has successfully screwed up beyond repair.

There won't be voiceovers, as that wouldn't come close enough to the original and most likely ruin it. The story will be told via subtitles; although one could just add .ogg files with actual content (using silence instead, otherwise the subs won't show).
Also most likely no new music unless someone pops up and makes some. (But this isn't a priority anyway, for now) -- There might be some CC stuff that we can use and that's good, but haven't looked into that yet.

Please don't talk about "final" yet. I'd post when I'm sure that a quarter or half is done, but currently I have no idea how far we really are. Below 1/4 for sure.  Shocked

EDIT: Hey, Comp Sci, nice. We're subject neighbors (bioinformatics here) Tongue
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 07:56:46 PM by False.Genesis » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2012, 01:04:23 PM »

There won't be voiceovers
Of course, you can always clip the OGGs to sound like there's new dialog...
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/31816885/eric_FoolIAmACanvas.ogg For the win. Cheesy
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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2012, 02:04:11 AM »

Quick note: I haven't even finished the game yet [not even to the abyss, and it's in strong contention for my #1 game of all time] so I didn't read anything past the first half of your first post. But I have read/heard some things from Alec, and understand that the likelihood of a sequel is low. As Derek said in a podcast, he decided to put "to be continued" at the end of the true ending, knowing that the sequel might not happen because it can always be continued within a player's imagination or by the community at-large. I love the notion that someone might be taking up that role and continuing to develop this amazing game in this amazing world. With a game this good and a community this small, everything we can get matters, and I would be stoked to see any attempt at a pseudosequel from a passionate designer. I am unfortunately in no position to work on such a project in way, but I sure am going to appreciate any efforts from anyone who is.
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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2012, 03:23:09 AM »

Sorry that there hasn't been any update for the last 2 months, but I've been in university crunch mode since then constantly.
There hasn't been much progress, but I'll show a little excerpt of what we have done in the meantime:


^ Tests for logic puzzles. Please ignore the programmer's art and move along, nothing to see here.


^ A few new veil-type maps: Lucien's starting area.


^ That place will be important in the very beginning, but it's not quite done yet.


^ Caves, caves, caves.


^ Remember the ending? Lucien has a girlfriend, this is her home area.


^ And this is inside the home (work-in-progress).

FrancesF and I have worked more on ideas related to story, puzzles, bosses, etc. as well. It's getting more and more, and it's slighly amusing that I have to start thinking about what to actually use and what to throw out again. Frances made many more graphics/map tiles and updated skins for Lucien (only one is shown below):





I've also switched to 2:1 widescreen mode, just in case (so the screenshots are wider as of now). Making sure it looks good on high resolutions -- especially getting the parallax backgrounds right for wide resolutions is a bit tricky, as it's easy to add floating objects that don't look right.

Anyway, as soon as crunch time is over (1-2 more weeks) I'll have more time to work on this mod and will try to post updates regularly.
Hope there's still interest despite everything taking so long.
(No, I can't estimate when we've reached the 50% milestone, no way Smiley )
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 09:13:49 AM by False.Genesis » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2012, 05:14:28 PM »

It's looking fantastic and, rest assured, I'm always interested in Aquaria mods  Wink
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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2012, 01:45:13 AM »

I am most interested! Can't wait to take a swim!
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