Metanet Hunter Battle: Day 1

I’m gonna go into detail about our newest project now. It’s called Metanet Hunter Battle. Since a new version of the framework we use came out recently, and since I really wanted a more dynamic system for the game, I did a total recode of the old Metanet Hunter Battle. We’re also giving Shaun Williams a break from the old game, because quite frankly, he deserves it.

Instead, I’m making Stephen Gygi take the wheel on the new Metanet Hunter Battle. This time, it’s going to follow some more modern design practices, and yet again, I’ve done a total recode on the Metanet Hunter Engine.

What’s new? Or… What can I brag about?

  • It’s more component-based. Meaning, there’s some easier to work with code, and it takes less effort to create more beautiful objects.
  • There’s a new Dynamic Armor System, which means adding armors to the game isn’t as big of a pain in the ass any more.
  • Unlike Metanet Hunter 2, this engine supports HD GRAPHICS!
  • The game’s gonna be resolution independent, meaning it’ll look great on anything. Hopefully.
  • I’m most likely going to release this game to mobile devices if it’s plausible, and maybe in the future, it’ll get an OUYA release.
  • Binary Cocoa is also helping out with this game, so hopefully expect a Greenlight release or a Humble Store release. I really want the new game to be out to as many people as possible, that way as many people as possible actually play it.
  • I’m going to be including multiplayer elements in the new game.

Those are just some of the new features and things to brag about that are coming.

Now you’re probably wondering what the new game looks like. Well, here it is:

Voila, Metanet Hunter Battle! Now we’re using the new Metanet Hunter Engine, and it’s beginning to show. I got all of this done in a single night, and it was more than functional.

What can you expect out of the new game?

  • As you can tell, glorious HD!
  • A much more arcade-influenced, replay-focused game. Replay value is gonna be something you’ll be drooling out upon playing this title, since there’ll be tons to unlock, tons to do, and tons of fun.
  • Many more Armors! Metanet Hunter 2 had the Ninja’s Armor, and the Soap Armor. This game has all sorts of Armors. You can get some from Sacrifice Rooms, some from killing bosses, some found during Roam Mode, and the list goes on. Hopefully, there’ll be at least 20 Armors in the first version of the game, if not more.
  • Much more amazing boss fights! Metanet Hunter 2 had some pretty neat boss battles, but with the new engine, we can make the battles even better! This game also features… Legendary Bosses! Find that boss too boring? Well, in the higher Rounds, you might encounter a legendary version of that Boss! And trust us, it’ll change the way you fight that monster.
  • Did you just read “Rounds?” Yes, you did! The game focuses on a Round-based system, which means the game gets harder as you go! As the rounds get higher, the risk gets higher. However, the rewards also get higher!
  • Multiplayer! We’re gonna be supporting local multiplayer in the first release, so you can definitely play it with your friends!

And that’s only a taste of things to come. Like we mentioned before, this is one of the bigger projects we’ve got planned, and you’ll hopefully get this game by the beginning of May. I can assure you that there’s more than 35 reasons to be excited to battle.

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Metanet Hunter Battle: Day 4

I’ve gotten really good with routines. Kind of. Not really. Did I mention I don’t have school tomorrow?

Anyways, this time I’m actually on time for Day 4’s post.

Lots of random additions today. Meet the Tourist Rizaruu. They’re not very smart. They also seem to like walls.

SWIGGITY SWOOGITY I’M COMING FOR THAT BOOTY

They now finally glow to show they’re angry. This is not the final Arukuno design. I swear.

Meet another returning enemy: Flybots. They’re gonna be even better in Battle.

The Trash Can Monster now actually shoots out trash. Plus, there’s a Boss HUD in the works. Each boss also gets their own boss portrait. And yes, in the Player’s HUD, we’ll have icons for what armor you currently have. Do not worry.

 

But yeah, I think those images summarize today’s fixes and features. I haven’t added TOO much into the game today, but we did manage to get quite a bit done. Ace is also working diligently on the music as we speak.

I’m gonna be heading to sleep shortly, though.

Metanet Hunter Battle: Day 3

I’m keeping a decent enough track record when it comes to consistency. I think.

Anyways, what does Day 3 bring us?

These guys! They’re a breed of Arukuno.

Powerup blocks! You can hit them for Armors. That one has the Gel Armor.

Slippery terrain!

A Beach Ball! You can kick it, too.

And here’s a final shot of the game, to wrap up today’s progress.

But yeah. I didn’t have too much time to work on the game today. Neither did Stephen. At least we got that background in, though. I think it looks pretty good.

There’s Day 3 for you guys. Stay tuned for Day 4.

Metanet Hunter Battle: Day 2

Yes, a second day post! I’m going to try to be as consistent as I can with these blog posts, but I can’t make any promises.

Anyways, what was changed in Day 2?

Behold, a brand new Boss! That’s also the new Gel Armor.

Lots of stuff. I’ve been polishing the base engine to make content easier and more dynamic to create, which means we’ll definitely be able to add lots of stuff to Battle.

I also added in a new Armor, and it’s called the Gel Armor. What does it do? Well, you can perform the Gel Jump! It’s a basic wall jump, so you can use it to scale walls and the like. In the future, it’ll also provide +10% defense, since it’s only a Tier 1 Armor. Yes, Armors are separated in Tiers, that way in later rounds we try to avoid giving you low-tier armors or items. The Gelatto Ball is also in this game, which is essentially a projectile that’ll bounce 3 times, slowly gaining a damage boost every time it bounces. As a result, it dies after 3 bounces.

There’s a new boss in this game, as well. It’s a giant trash can monster that spits things out at you, kind of similar to Dumb Drum in Donkey Kong Country. We have zero idea what we’re going to do with its Legendary Counterpart. Expect new bosses in Battle, and expect each one to require a different type of strategy, or something unique about the fight. My main goal is to make Metanet Hunter Battle an experience for everybody, and an interesting one at that.

Stats are also as dynamic as you’d think they are, and every armor’s free to modify them at their disposal. My main focus for this week will indeed be content addition, and catching up with the old codebase. So far, so good. I haven’t added dynamic difficulty just yet or round systems, but those parts won’t be all too difficult.

Metanet Hunter 3: The Great Slumber

Now we’re getting into new territory. The first two blog posts were about both Metanet Hunter 1 and Metanet Hunter 2, but let’s fast forward to modern day.

I’ve been trying to create a third game to the Metanet Hunter series for quite a while now. It started as a simple extension to Metanet Hunter 2, and featured a brand new engine. This allowed it to do many more things that it previously couldn’t, and all in all, it was a much smoother product.

However, that third game suffered a problem which killed it: We lost the artist. To this day, I still don’t know why he left, and ultimately, that choice might have been for the better. I wouldn’t have eventually become somewhat affiliated with Binary Cocoa if that hadn’t happened.

Here’s some images of the old Metanet Hunter 3:

Here's one of the original levels: Grassland Groove. Notice the foreground grass, and new Arukuno design.

Here’s one of the original levels: Grassland Groove. Notice the foreground grass, and new Arukuno design.

Here's Seashell Shores, one of the more famous levels of Metanet Hunter 3. It got completed the most before it was canceled.

Here’s Seashell Shores, one of the more famous levels of Metanet Hunter 3. It got completed the most before it was canceled.

Now that that game got canceled, what did I do? Well, I eventually came into contact with Binary Cocoa and we’ve started working on something awesome. I will show you that very soon, and I’m going to start blogging more information about it.

Stay tuned, guys. There’s a lot more to come. I just gave you guys a glimpse of what the old Metanet Hunter 3 was going to be. Just like how Metanet Hunter II (Canceled) tried to stay true to Metanet Hunter, Metanet Hunter 3 tried to stay true to the roots of Metanet Hunter 2.

It was going to have 3 world maps, a more non-linear design, and finally showcase the Izuka Team, the guys who were responsible for the boss monsters in Metanet Hunter 2.

Now, this game isn’t canceled. Rather, it’s going to be on hold for quite a while. We’ve got a project in mind at the moment, and I’m going to start talking about it next.

That’s all the files for this post, everybody.

Metanet Hunter REMIX: Nekuzen Team Rises

I’m gonna keep this one short, but let’s talk about Metanet Hunter 2, or Metanet Hunter: REMIX.

I viewed (and still view) Metanet Hunter as a success, so I obviously wanted to make a second game. It started out as a different game that was quite similar to the original, before a huge transformation, and the pit of Development Hell.

Here’s what the ORIGINAL Metanet Hunter II was supposed to be. It tried to stay like Metanet Hunter 1 in its roots, but ultimately, it had to die. Ironically, the same artist who did stuff for this left, and then came back to finish the final Metanet Hunter: REMIX.

So what happened to this? The guy who was doing the art for it had stopped doing the art for it. Then Metanet Hunter 2 suffered through hell trying to find another artist. Ultimately, the same guy came back and did the art for the redone Metanet Hunter 2.

While Metanet Hunter 2 was going through development hell, I had to reprogram it (twice) to what it is today.

In the end, Kinzo gained arms and legs, the ability to shoot, multiple armors, and a slew of other changes. We call this Kinzo 2.0 in the game’s storyline, and Kinzo 2.0 in general.

The game featured 8 different boss fights, in 8 different worlds:

  • Bachibora: A security robot built by Izuka Team to kill intruders and protect the Chaos Orb embedded inside it. It’s the boss of the 1st World, Paradise Plains.
  • Silver Serpent: Another security worm built by Izuka Team, that stretches quite quite long. It was built from several Chaos Orbs, and can summon Silver Burudoza from the doors on its body. It’s the boss of the 2nd World, Catacomb Crisis.
  • Red Zeppelin: The air patrol Zeppelin built by Izuka Team, operating on hydro power. It controls the skyland, and the 3rd World, Paradise Plains.
  • Napalm Tree: A stationary security Device that’s able to control the flow of contaminated water, launches out explosive bombs from its tree, and can summon thunder in a type of Rain Dance. It controls Tropical Tower and it is the sole reason Tropical Tower’s water is poisonous.
  • Mammoth King: It’s the King of Space, and has to stay in a Space Pod to keep itself alive. It attacked Kinzo for invading its territory, and rules Absolute Atmosphere, the 5th World.
  • Mariachi Minecart: Yet another non-Izuka boss, it is simply a sentient minecart with a cactus, and a cannon that shoots exploding cacti. It controls Drainage Desert, the 6th World. Yeah, that boss was really lazy. It won’t be in Battle, however.
  • Maelstrom Mouse: A joke boss. It’s a Mouse with the ability to control fire and lash out at invaders, but in Metanet Hunter REMIX, the Mouse falls down into lava and kills itself when fought. It comes back in Metanet Hunter Battle, and is the “Boss” of Magma Madness, the 7th World. The boss is a warning that you’re not supposed to fight it, and instead, head on to Clockwork Chaos through the Ancient Shadow Realm.
  • Metanet Terminal: Finally, the main enemy of the Metanet Hunter Series. It’s located at the Heart of Clockwork Chaos, and it exists as a large, sentient Terminal created by a man named ROTH. It’s able to manipulate robotic data and summon viruses in order to destroy Kinzo, but in Metanet Hunter REMIX, its power was freshly activated, not making it as strong as its final potential could be. In Metanet Hunter 3, that true power shall be revealed! The Metanet Terminal is also the boss of Clockwork Chaos, and the final boss of Metanet Hunter 2.

Metanet Hunter REMIX is also the first commercial game our team made, and was made by three people: I do everything that’s not art or music, Ace did the music for this game as well, and then Deoxys made the art. Deoxys is no longer part of Nekuzen Team, however. Why? Couldn’t tell you. I actually couldn’t tell you, he kind of randomly left the team one day.

The game got a slight amount of press attention, and I hope the next game gets some more.love. It’s out for $2.00 nowadays, but it used to be $3.99. There’s a free demo available with the first level and first boss.

The second game!

If you want to check it out, check it out here.

Kawata’s thoughts: It’s a diamond in the rough. The shooting isn’t the worst, and it’s got 8 worlds instead of 6. However, in terms of content, when compared to Metanet Hunter 1, it’s kind of lacking. At least, in 1.0.5. It was supposed to get a 1.1 update if Deoxys hadn’t left, and it would’ve featured:

  • Hardmode. 8 more worlds, new enemy AI, new hardmode versions of the bosses, and some fun stuff. I actually introduced shaders in some of the levels, too.
  • Random Mode: Featuring a set of exclusive Random Mode stages, it would have been an improved version of Metanet Hunter 1’s Random Mode, with a score system!
  • Boss Rush: Fight all of the Normal Mode bosses, and then all of the Hard Mode Bosses! You’re timed depending on how well you would have done.

It has some more flavor than the original game, but when compared to other great games, it’s of course kind of lacking. It’s definitely an improved game and worthy of a sequel to the old game, so there’s that. The physics were improved in this game, making it easier to handle. The bosses are the best part, and while the music’s still great, it’s not Beethoven or the classic music that was Metanet Hunter 1’s soundtrack.

Was it worth $3.99? Probably not. Is it worth $2.00? Sure! That’s a pretty good price, and you do get a fair bit of content in the game. The multiple Armors spice thing up a bit, each with their own style of play. The Ninja’s Armor is good for offense, and the Soap Armor is pretty defensive. I don’t think it’s the best game out there, but it’s pretty solid.

Now when Battle comes out, that’ll be the day.

Kawata’s Grade: B

Metanet Hunter: The Original

Let’s talk about the first MAJOR project of Nekuzen Team, and probably the first public one that escaped the Internet. I view the original Metanet Hunter 1 (2013) as the start of Nekuzen Team’s entry into the world, but how did it start?

Well….

An image of Scrap Metal (2009-2011)

Here’s where it started, for better or worse…

Yep, that’s the game right there. It’s called Scrap Metal. It began quite a long time ago, back when I was first a “game” developer, and was released around 2011. Can you believe that date ago was about 3-4 years ago?

But yeah, it was a really simple platformer with midi music, some broken physics, and not a lot of flavor. Plus the backgrounds were stolen from Google Images. Can’t forget that part. However, it was the first complete game I’ve ever actually made. This game also led to Ace, the first member who’s not myself that joined Nekuzen Team. Also, if you ever play it, I don’t know what’s up with the fake credits list either. Ask my younger self.

For a fair bit of trivia, I used to refer to the game as Kinzoku Kuzu. Now, that’s slightly correct, since Kinzoku is the Japanese word for “metal,” but Kuzu? That’s a fucking flower! I guess this game’s real name is Metal Flower. You could take that metaphorically and view this game as the flower that would eventually become the Metanet Hunter series.

But yeah, 6 major worlds, about 25 or so levels, and platforming. Not much else.

 


 

Now let’s fast forward quite a long time to 2013. Now what the hell happened that took so long? Well, I kept trying to make a sequel to Scrap Metal. Technically, that sequel never happened, but it would transform. I’m getting to the transformation part, okay?

Here’s what was SUPPOSED to be the sequel to Scrap Metal.

Long story short, that game got scrapped and suffered through development hell anyways.

And this game was also supposed to happen. But it didn’t. It would have looked nice but I’m kind of glad it was scrapped. I’d like to remake that game one day.

Ever since, I’ve always wanted to improve the original Scrap Metal. After enough research, experimentation, and God knows what else, I eventually learned how to build a proper platformer.

So what did I do? I remade Scrap Metal. I needed a new name for it, and it became… Metanet Hunter. Why that name? I don’t remember exactly, I had a weird series of thoughts about a Metanet Terminal (which actually didn’t appear until Metanet Hunter 2!), so the name’s kinda stuck.

But yep. I redid the entire game, keeping only some of the core concepts: Chaos Orbs, Kinzo himself, some of the base enemies, and the world concepts. Obviously the system was redone, I did all of the graphics and made them Gameboy-tastic, and Ace did the music. To this day I still think it’s some of Ace’s best work.

And the end result… Metanet Hunter!

Here’s a link to Metanet Hunter (2013) if you’d like to try it out.


Kawata’s thoughts on Scrap Metal: I think it’s pretty rough around the edges. I can’t fairly judge it given that I was really young when I made it, but it still could have been a tad bit better. The music selection’s pretty okay, and that’s probably the best part about the game. There’s no real flavor to it, and the only reason you should really try it out is to see what inspired Metanet Hunter.

Grade: D+

Kawata’s thoughts on Metanet Hunter 1: This one’s a lot better, for obvious reasons. First off, it’s obviously more well made. Second off, the gameplay’s a bit smoother, but it still doesn’t have too much flavor. It was originally intended to be just a remake of Scrap Metal, and it does that quite well. Some of the level design is pretty cheap, but there’s also a lot of content in the game, too.

For example, you’ve got 27 levels in 6 worlds with the base game. There’s a hardmode that adds 27 more levels if you’re interested. There’s also a Plus Mode with 4 extra worlds (Mountain, Chasm, Ice, and Chaos Core) if you’re interested, but you’d have to complete the first 27 levels without dying. Plus, there’s Random Mode, which spices things up with any of 72 levels (not including the 8 Bonus levels). For those who downloaded the finished product when it was released, Bonus Mode added 8 additional levels as a kind of thank you present.

It definitely has a fair bit of content to it, and I’m glad it does. It’s still pretty rough as well, but I think it’s a pretty good start to the Metanet Hunter series.

Grade: C+