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Spyro: The Eternal Night (GBA version) - 2D action platformer

ZauronZauron Registered User regular
edited August 2008 in Games and Technology
So a new 2D platformer/beat-em-up game I worked on, and my first traditional retail game as a full-time game developer, is coming out on the GBA (yes, you read right, the GBA!) on October 2nd. It is available for only $19.99 (or $14.99 with a coupon from Wendy's!). It is called "The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night."

At first, you may not think a Spyro game on the GBA is worth your time given the history of the series on the platform, but please check out the trailer and read what I and the others in this thread have to say about it before you pass judgement. We put a lot of effort and passion into trying to make this one of the best GBA games on the platform. Its been compared to games like Astro Boy and Devil May Cry (but in 2D).

NOTE: I am only talking about the GBA version here, the DS and console versions are different games with their own unique feature sets, and I had nothing to do with them.


Here is some links to a nifty trailer I made for it:

Here is some of the reviews for it:

http://www.dsfanboy.com/2007/11/13/ds-fanboy-review-the-legend-of-spyro-the-eternal-night-gba/
http://www.4colorrebellion.com/archives/2007/10/24/4cr-review-spyro-the-eternal-night-gba/
http://www.acegamez.co.uk/reviews_gba/The_Legend_of_Spyro_The_Eternal_Night_GBA.htm
http://www.racketboy.com/retro/nintendo/gba/2007/10/legend-of-spyro-eternal-night-gba-impressive-combo-filled-action.html

For anyone curious: I was responsible for coding the combat system, controls, physics/collisions, special effects, all of Spyro's moves, and the enemy AI. I also did much of the design work on the combat/combo system and Spyro's moves. I did not work on things like background art, animation, sound, menus, cutscenes, scripting, story (text), engine code, or stage design.

- Zauron
Author of Minebot Arena and some other stuff
Zauron on
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    bruinbruin Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    That looks pretty great. I'm always looking for an excuse to crack out the old GBA Micro. What's the release date?

    bruin on
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    KatoKato Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Well...Minebot was awesome. I still have it on my computer at home.

    I'm not one for Spyro and never played them...but this looks like a good little GBA title. I like the combos and the way they flow and it looks like you can mix and match some of them as well. I might actually consider getting this for my kids, but it might still be a slight bit difficult for them still.

    Kato on
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    MeizMeiz Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Are you looking for critique here or are just proud that you saw this project through?

    Congrats on the job by the by.

    Meiz on
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    infofcerinfofcer Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I too was wondering about the release date. I will purchase this for sure!

    infofcer on
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    AccualtAccualt Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Before anyone screams site whoring, I'm fine with this thread.

    Accualt on
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    ZephyrZephyr Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    if this is even close to as good as the PSX ones i'll love it, i'll check it out if i have the money.

    Zephyr on
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    vegeta_666vegeta_666 CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Looks actually quite good. Good little platformer. What's the price of it though?

    Oh yeah, nice going on the job.

    Edit: I agree Zephyr, the PSX ones are the games for me of that era. The Insomniac guys are awesome.

    Then Enter the Dragonfly came on the PS2...

    vegeta_666 on
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    Steam: abunchofdaftpunk | PSN: noautomobilesgo | Lastfm: sjchszeppelin | Backloggery: colincummings | 3DS FC: 1392-6019-0219 |
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    AccualtAccualt Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Oh, hey, Zauron; how about you regal us with tales of epic publisher verse developer struggles and the relentless all nighters required to be a creator of games?

    Accualt on
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    MeizMeiz Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I don't know. I'm not to impressed with the sprite work nor the idea of a dragon doing swift flip kicks, acrobatics and massive combos.

    Meiz on
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    ZauronZauron Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    It comes out in October, but I have no idea how much it will cost. Whatever GBA games go for by the time it comes out I guess.

    Accualt - I can't talk about the details of development of the game, but I don't think anyone would mind if I say that the publisher (VUG/Sierra) were great to work with and I'd love to do more games with them.

    Thanks for commenting :).

    Zauron on
    - Zauron
    Author of Minebot Arena and some other stuff
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    schmadsschmads Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I have no experience with Spyro or even the GBA, but it looks like a lot of fun. Fast-paced and apparently very reactive to the player, it looks great.

    Congratulations on getting to be a large part of it all, and best of luck on continuing in the industry!

    schmads on
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    KarfKarf The Past Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Oh man, you stole so many hours from me with Minebot.

    STOLE!

    Karf on
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    projectmayhemprojectmayhem Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    This...this looks really fun to my surprise. Any idea on what the price will be?

    Also, what is this minebot and where does one get it?

    projectmayhem on
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    FireflashFireflash Montreal, QCRegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I'm not a big fan of the 3d Spyro games but this one looks pretty fun! I gotta say not a lot of gba games had animations as smooth as this game.

    Fireflash on
    PSN: PatParadize
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    KatoKato Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    This...this looks really fun to my surprise. Any idea on what the price will be?

    Also, what is this minebot and where does one get it?

    http://www.minebotarena.com/

    Kato on
    Signature??
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    RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Wasn't too impressed with the visuals or sound, but it looked like it'd be a lot of fun to play. How are the controls (I'm trying to figure out how Devil May Cry style combat would work with as few buttons as the GBA has)?

    RainbowDespair on
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    ZephyrZephyr Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Wasn't too impressed with the visuals or sound, but it looked like it'd be a lot of fun to play. How are the controls (I'm trying to figure out how Devil May Cry style combat would work with as few buttons as the GBA has)?

    you're asking for impressive visuals on the game boy advanced?

    Zephyr on
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    ZauronZauron Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Wasn't too impressed with the visuals or sound, but it looked like it'd be a lot of fun to play. How are the controls (I'm trying to figure out how Devil May Cry style combat would work with as few buttons as the GBA has)?

    I'm not sure I can give details on the controls since the game isn't out yet, but lets think about DMC controls for a sec. For combat, specifically, you need:

    Directional movement
    Lock On
    Camera control
    Melee attack button
    Ranged attack button
    Jump button
    Devil Trigger activate button
    Switch melee weapon button
    Switch ranged weapon button

    Now, in 2D you don't need lock-on or camera controls. That leaves directional movement and 6 buttons. Spyro doesn't have multiple melee weapons to switch between, so the melee switch button isn't needed. The GBA has 6 buttons - Start, Select, A, B, L, and R. 5 of those could be used for the above (melee, ranged, switch ranged, jump, and Devil Trigger), the D-pad can be used for everything you'd use the left analog stick for in DMC, plus 1 button for pause/menu. Easily doable.

    I've been told by many testers that the controls are smooth, responsive, and easy to use.

    Zauron on
    - Zauron
    Author of Minebot Arena and some other stuff
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    mntorankusumntorankusu I'm not sure how to use this thing.... Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Zephyr wrote: »
    Wasn't too impressed with the visuals or sound, but it looked like it'd be a lot of fun to play. How are the controls (I'm trying to figure out how Devil May Cry style combat would work with as few buttons as the GBA has)?

    you're asking for impressive visuals on the game boy advanced?
    Believe it or not, some games on the GBA have good graphics!

    These graphics aren't particularly bad, but they lack anything to make them particularly good as well.

    mntorankusu on
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    ZauronZauron Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Are you judging the graphics based on the YouTube video? If so, you really should check out the real trailer from IGN. The YouTube compression destroyed a lot of the finer details.

    We have had many comments from others in the industry about the graphics level compared to other GBA games. What GBA game looks much better?

    Zauron on
    - Zauron
    Author of Minebot Arena and some other stuff
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    Hotlead JunkieHotlead Junkie Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I'm an absolute sucker for 2d sidescrolling beat-em ups and you just sold me on that Devil May Cry control comparison. Just hope it's a good, solid, fun combat system with challenge in there if the player wants it (high scores, mega juggle combos, etc, stuff that is hard to do but not necesearry).

    Looks great, don't suppose the other console games are scrolling beat em ups like this are they?

    Hotlead Junkie on
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    Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak is it because you were insulted when I insulted your hair?Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I have to say I'm mighty impressed. When I read that you were comparing the game to the GBA Castlevania titles and Devil May Cry, I rolled my eyes, but I have to admit that this game really gives me a strong Metroidvania vibe, and the combat system looks quite fun aswell.

    Alfred J. Kwak on
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    ZauronZauron Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Yes, there is a huge range of possible combos and various rewards for pulling off crazy combos (but, as you said, it is not necesssary to do them to beat the game). We had running competitions here for who could pull off the best combos. There's plenty of challenge there too, for those that care for it (although there's an easy mode if you aren't in to challenging games).

    The console versions are 3D, not side-scrolling.

    Zauron on
    - Zauron
    Author of Minebot Arena and some other stuff
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    jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Fireflash wrote: »
    I'm not a big fan of the 3d Spyro games but this one looks pretty fun! I gotta say not a lot of gba games had animations as smooth as this game.

    The thing to bear in mind is that the Legend of Spryo iterations (at least the first one, I haven't had a chance to check out the trailer here but I assume it's the same from the comments) is that they share pretty much almost nothing in common with any of the previous games. While the PS1 games and the first two PS2 games were collectathons, the Legend of Spyro is a total reboot, completely scrapping the previous storyline (what there was, anyway) and gameplay, instead becoming a GoW clone. The production values on the first game were absolutely absurd, though it was linear, pretty short, and had a tendency to throw waves of identical enemies at you to try to disguish those two facts. I assume all iterations of the sequel are maintaining the same degree of quality, and hopefully fixing the flaws of the previous game.

    Edit: Hmm, beat-em-up gameplay in 2d, been a while since I've seen that kind of thing. That's where it started, though, I suppose.

    jothki on
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    Hotlead JunkieHotlead Junkie Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Zauron wrote: »
    Yes, there is a huge range of possible combos and various rewards for pulling off crazy combos (but, as you said, it is not necesssary to do them to beat the game). We had running competitions here for who could pull off the best combos. There's plenty of challenge there too, for those that care for it (although there's an easy mode if you aren't in to challenging games).

    The console versions are 3D, not side-scrolling.

    Awesome, THANK YOU for working so damn hard on the combat system. 2d sidescrolling beat em ups are like crack for me, I love every one I play and the last ones I played were Viewtiful Joe/2 and TMNT for the GBA and I buy nearly every one I come across.

    Hotlead Junkie on
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    AroducAroduc regular
    edited July 2007
    I'm an absolute sucker for 2d sidescrolling beat-em ups and you just sold me on that Devil May Cry control comparison. Just hope it's a good, solid, fun combat system with challenge in there if the player wants it (high scores, mega juggle combos, etc, stuff that is hard to do but not necesearry).

    Looks great, don't suppose the other console games are scrolling beat em ups like this are they?

    The engine he's got there actually reminds me a lot of the Savior games geared a little more towards a platformer.

    Aroduc on
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    Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    If this is truly like DMC in a metroidvania universe, then you've got my purchase.

    Marty81 on
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    bruinbruin Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Maybe change the thread title to say something about a cool Spyro GBA game?

    bruin on
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    ZauronZauron Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Doesn't look like you can change the title of the thread. I suppose you could make a seperate thread focusing more on the game itself, but I'm not going to myself (don't want to look like a spammer).

    Besides, those that don't know about the new Spyro revival jothki mentioned may immediately assume the game is stupid without even looking at the thread, based only on the fact that its Spyro on the GBA. I was more trying to draw the attention of those that remembered me or were curious why a dev would be excited enough about a game they worked on to post about it here :).

    Zauron on
    - Zauron
    Author of Minebot Arena and some other stuff
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    thorgotthorgot there is special providence in the fall of a sparrowRegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Zauron wrote: »
    Doesn't look like you can change the title of the thread. I suppose you could make a seperate thread focusing more on the game itself, but I'm not going to myself (don't want to look like a spammer).

    Besides, those that don't know about the new Spyro revival jothki mentioned may immediately assume the game is stupid without even looking at the thread, based only on the fact that its Spyro on the GBA. I was more trying to draw the attention of those that remembered me or were curious why a dev would be excited enough about a game they worked on to post about it here :).

    If you double click on the topic name in the G&T index, you can change it.

    thorgot on
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    ZauronZauron Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Oh, sweet, thanks! Not sure what I'd want to change it to though, given my above comments.

    Edit: Okay, I changed it to be more specific that it is a GBA platformer/beat-em-up trailer instead of just saying "Trailer for my first retail game". Also rearranged the first post to make more sense with the topic title change.

    Zauron on
    - Zauron
    Author of Minebot Arena and some other stuff
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    RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Checked out the IGN trailer and I take back my earlier comment about the visuals. For a GBA game, it looks pretty nice.

    RainbowDespair on
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    turtleantturtleant Gunpla Dad is the best.Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Man, I'm a sucker for Spyro games, and this looks really fun. The breath weapons look like there actually helpful in the combos, and not just "I'm gonna shoot you from over here! Nyah Nyah!"
    Something else to add to my list of games to buy.

    turtleant on
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    naengwennaengwen Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Very nice, i'll look for it once it's out. 2 quick questions:

    1) How is the game length wise?
    2) Is the sound track decent? (I know it's GBA, but I always feel compelled to ask about this)

    naengwen on
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    ZauronZauron Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I'm not sure I can comment on specifics of the game that haven't been officially announced yet, like the expected game play time. It is an action platformer on the GBA, so you can probably guess the approximate length based on other similar games.

    The soundtrack is great, in my opinion. I actually have some of the tracks on my iPod now. Not every song is the greatest music out there, but there's a couple of real gems in there, and none of them are annoying or grating. I actually played through it with headphones on and was surprised at the music quality (I didn't have anything to do with sound direction so didn't really listen to it much at all during development).

    Zauron on
    - Zauron
    Author of Minebot Arena and some other stuff
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    DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Would you be willing to give us a crash course on GBA development?

    Like what language, what compilers, what art programs, let us know what you guys do to make a game because either this or the DS (well, the 360 now with XNA) is the best ground for hobby programmers.

    DoctorArch on
    Switch Friend Code: SW-6732-9515-9697
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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    That combat actually looks really nice.

    It kind of reminds me of the Megaman Zero games or Megaman ZX, except with a lot more varied attacks to use.

    BahamutZERO on
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    NickTheNewbieNickTheNewbie Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Who's doing the music for this game?

    NickTheNewbie on
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    Shooter McgavinShooter Mcgavin Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I doubt this will get answered, but I'm working on some Flash games, and a few of them are scrolling tile based games. I have the tile scrolling and everything done fine, but I'm confused as to how to keep track objects that aren't part of the tile array. I saw in your trailer how Spyro was fighting the boss with the big sheild, then got knocked back pretty far. I know the only tiles that are drawn are the ones on the screen, but how was that boss tracked? Do things like enemies and whatnot stay drawn, but are just off screen, or when the enemy goes off screen does he stop being drawn, and all of his properties are stored in memory (x,y loc, other things). Not sure if I'm being clear enough.

    Shooter Mcgavin on
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    FreddyDFreddyD Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    The game looks a lot better than I expected. It reminds me of a Treasure sidescroller.

    FreddyD on
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