Monday, January 4, 2016

Battle High 2 A+ Updates: January 2016

So it's 2016; Battle High 2 A+ was released on December 16, so I thought I'd write about it!  That's not the real reason, but I thought I'd write about some of the possible changes to come -- hopefully sooner rather than later.


OUYA and Razer Cortex Update?!

If you haven't heard, OUYA was recently bought by Razer who have their own Android Microconsole, Forge TV.  I made a minor update a few months ago, around October, and was told that because I made the game for OUYA -- and performed a minor update -- the new build would work on the Razer Forge TV.  I think everything still is, but someone on twitter informed me the game's iconography was amiss, so I made a quick update fixing it as well as a small minor bug.
However, still unfixed is an issue where I'm using the Forge TV's home button as a pause button.  On the OUYA, last I checked, this is okay because you can just press it once and it's fine, only double-tapping returns you to the main menu.  Unfortunately, this is not the case on the Forge TV.  Essentially I would need to remap pause to a different button on the Forge TV, but this might mess up the OUYA version, so it's something I can't really take care of at this time.


Xbox One Updates 

Anyway, the Xbox version hasn't even been out for a month, but I've already been thinking about changing I'd like to make.


Minor Changes and Fixes

Soon after launch, someone found a rather minor yet annoying bug.  I fixed it almost immediately, but -- so people don't try and find it -- I've decided to just confidentially say that it is fixed locally.
Another minor change that I'll implement involves the reversal mechanic!  Did you even know there is a reversal mechanic?  Well if you don't, it's because I A.) don't really show it that well and B.) it's broken for some characters in the getting up state.  I'll either tutorialize or do a better job indicating its existence in the first content update I do.



I've heard you, and first, let me apologize.  This is my first Xbox One game, so when implementing the achievements, I was just excited to get them working.  I realize now that making them mimic the journal entries in Battle High 2 A+ is superfluous and they are difficult to achieve.
I've inquired about changing them, but it seems like it may not be a possibility; however, in the future, I may be able to add achievements!  I promise that I will try and make some (if not all) additional achievements easier -- but not too easy -- to achieve.



Another apology I'd like to issue is that apparently some fight sticks such as the Hori Real Arcade Pro V for Xbox One and Xbox 360 just do not work with the game.  I did some research trying to find a solution to this problem, but I believe it is due to the engine I used as I am not the only Xbox One game made in Unity with this problem (though I'm probably one of the few where it matters).  I've informed people at Unity3D; however, because it is such a niche problem, I can't say if / when there will be a solution, but I'm going to try and do a build with Unity 5.3 (the game is currently in 5.2) and see if this fixes the issue.
Currently, there is a plugin for XInput to interact with Unity.  XInput is an input library used for Xbox 360; however, Xbox One apparently uses something else, so if someone makes a plugin that allows Unity to communicate with that, it may work.  I, however, do not have the time or expertise to create such a plugin myself.  Again, I apologize and will keep you informed as this develops.


Artwork:  3D Backgrounds

This isn't a huge deal, but based on a lot of the reviews I read mention that one of the weakest aspects to Battle High 2 A+ is the 3D backgrounds.  From the reviews I received -- and thanks to anyone I gave a review code to who sent me back a review -- the 3D backgrounds, which again, I'm rather proud of, seem to be a "one-step forward, two step back" sort of thing.  They clash against the sprites and overall are rather boring.  Like achievements, I was excited to get them working, but they could have probably used a bit more polished and tender loving care.  In a future update, I would like to do some polish to these.


New Characters 

In a previous post I mentioned that there are two characters -- possibly three but the one character has very little work done -- that I have yet to implement into Battle High 2 A+.  I'd like to implement these two new characters in the future.  This, however, does require a lot of work:
  • Voice over
  • Music
  • Ending artwork
  • Background art
  • Design, testing, and balancing
Also, as to whether they or not they will be free DLC is another question.  I'd like to, but it'll depend on the cost of the previously mentioned bullet points.


Release Outside the US 

This is a question I didn't get a lot, but a rather unfortunate one when I do.  Battle High 2 A+ has only been rated by the ESRB so the game is only allowed to be officially released in the US, Mexico, and Canada.  Originally, I thought it was only allowed in the US.  I thought this because I thought I would have to localize the entire game into Spanish and French to release in those regions.  I was told, however, that I really only needed to do this localization to the marketplace data. 
To release in Europe, however, in addition to translating my marketplace info into other languages such as German and Portuguese, I apparently would need to get the game rated by a different rating board, and unlike the ESRB for digitial downloads, it is not free.
So to those asking about a release outside of the US, I sadly can't guarantee a time.  I'd love to do it sometime this year -- if at all -- though.  Again, I apologize, and hope to avoid this mistake with future titles.


Estimated Schedule

If I were to throw out a rough schedule for what I think updates for Battle High 2 A+ would look like in 2016, this is the best I can do:
  • Mid Jan. to Early Februrary
    • Fixes
    • Balance
    • Two secret features (just two small things adjustable in the options menu)
    • Possibly updated achievements
  • March to May
    • New Character One
    • Updated Background Art
      • Since I'd be adding some for the new character, I'd probably tackle fixing it all
    • Some new single player content
  • June to August
    • Second new character
    • New single player content
  • August to January
    • Make the PC, OUYA (Android Microconsole), and Xbox One versions identical (or as close as possible)
    • Release outside the US
  • ???
    • Online multiplayer
    • Fightstick patch
Besides the two secret features, you'll notice I put new single player content and put online under question marks.  I did this because I'm at a realization.  As much as I like fighting games, I'm not really equipped to work on them.  I'm essentially a one man team, so multiplayer games of any kind are a huge challenge.  I could try and spend time implementing online, but at this stage, I'd rather start on a new game, and if that is a fighter, then try online at the beginning. 
In addition, I appreciate everyone who has played and enjoyed Battle High 2 A+ so far, but it's not going to have a competitive scene -- or a real serious one like Street Fighter V -- not without a publisher or major sponsor behind it.  Because of this, I think I'd rather just add additional single player content to the game.  It's too early to tell what this would really be, but I've been thinking of a few things.  The biggest question is simply "Why?"  What rewards, if not achievements, would there be to gain from new single player content? 
Then the question of "Should I even bother?" comes up about the game as a whole.  In my mind though, almost all modern games can have characteristics of services, so, unless it doesn't make sense or can't be be afforded, not doing updates or new contents are almost a disservice to the games and its fans.  Though I should probably look at sales of the game to see if updates are even worth it, but I'll be honest about one thing.  I didn't really make and release Battle High 2 A+ with making a huge profit (or even a small one) in mind, so a part of me doesn't even care to look -- though another part of me is definitely curious.  In addition, there is a new game(s) I want to work on as well, so I don't want the entirety of 2016 to focus on Battle High 2 A+.
Anyway, I'll update again when I know more answers about achievements and as release for the first update comes out!  Thanks for playing!