First, let's talk about what the next release actually is. Max and I knew that we would get feedback from our wider player audience once we released Demo 5. We'd also knew we would be doing at least 1 follow-up release for bug-fixes and the like. As such, we sort of agreed to do a release right after Demo 5 called...Demo 5.1 as a codename. 5.1 was going to be our way of iterating on the experience and directly address most concerns/feedback. Anything that wasn't considered crucial to the release at the time (like RequestBBS) was automatically tabled for our follow-up update.
2x damage from Break-element whilst frozen. Ouch.
Forgive the slightly older gif, but I'm using it to demonstrate what transpired: scope creep. Not only was Demo 5.1 going to be the true experience content-wise, but then we went way, way further than we expected. Max has done an impeccable job rewriting the entire Netcode system and even some major gameplay elements
. Why? Because there were cool features you guys wanted. Take a look at it: the freezing mechanic from Battle Network 6 has been brought to Chrono X, and that needed a rewrite. But that rewrite came with a LOT of positives.
Fans: We want TFC! Us: you got it.
People have begged, and they now shall soon receive. We brought back the fabled "TFC" mechanic from Battle Network 4 and beyond to our multiplayer. What is TFC? Time-Freeze Counter, or "Cut-in" as the official term is dubbed, is when a player is able to interrupt an opponent's Timestop chip with one of their own. So if someone were to use an Areagrab, a time-stop, you could interject with a NaviChip or something else that stops time to get yours in first!
It took months of testing and re-writing to undo our original Netcode structure and build it from the ground up once again. A lot of that isn't exactly interesting to show until we present the fruits of our labor! This will also clear up most or all of Demo 5.0's original issues with Netcode, and allow us to implement cooler and cooler PvP-centric aspects and features. Moreover, adding/changing components of chips has now never been easier thanks to the incredible work Max has done. He deserves all of your praise and more.
Is it ready to ship, you ask? No, remember what I mentioned about scope creep? Well...I won't lie to you, we(me) sort of went a little crazy with things we could squeeze into this next release. This will be our best work yet, trumped by only the full-game. Let's get down and see some details, shall we?
Each area will look unique going forward into the full game.
I am completely in love with our new Internet. And it was a lot of work making each area look unique. You know how in most games the tiles are the same with palette swaps? Not here. Each Net Area will have its own unique design, its own unique aesthetic. You see how Central Area is advertising Gregar? That will different than from something like ACDC which will have trees everywhere. Which will be different than SciLab and their theme. Also, yes, those are SubChip icons in the style of Mega Man Starforce. Neat, right? Massive shoutout to the art team for making long chip-collecting sessions on the net a visually pleasant experience.
Fully integrated in all versions of the game.
This is something I'm happy about. While Chrono X always had a config tool, it was separate from the application, and some people definitely did not notice it right away. With it being fully integrated with the game, your settings changes will now be seamless. It's the little things that make the experience. And we have a passion that can't be quenched.
Remember when I said you guys were getting massive buffs? We ain't joking.
Are you starting to get the idea of what 5.1 will be? We have buffed almost every chip for the next release in some kind of way. If you can name it, odds are it got buffed. The player avatar has undergone a massive boost in power. Of course, this means some other parts of the game can be tweaked to compensate...
Get ready for a fight!
We're also addressing a bit of a sore point for Demo 5, whilst also giving people still playing some kind of endgame challenge, prepare yourselves for super tough SP bosses. Do they have new moves? Yes. You will be able to earn SP-level MegaChips, too, provided you've decked yourself out with power options.
That's not even close to what the next release will bring. The changelog will be massive. We went back and altered many aspects, like shortening Amp Area, enhancing GhostMan's dungeon, adding new chips to find and more QoL changes. If I started listing everything out, you'd get lost in it. And honestly, we're probably going to add a bit more content in some form or another, so be prepared for that.
Take your save with you on the go!
Guess what this is? It's the Android version. One of our system rewrites will allow you to now fully transfer your 5.1.x saves from one machine to the next. No need to restart, folks!
Best of all: Your saves will be fully interchangeable between PC and Android-Mobile. You want to send your save to your phone and continue on the go? You can do that, A massive, amazing development. We have not forgotten about the Android-Mobile crowd, but the PC version is still the priority. Any rewrites, fixes or changes done to PC will also happen on mobile. Thus, mobile will come after the PC version is out. We can still only focus on one version at a time, after all.
The Android version will of course share similar settings and features as the PC version but there will be a few things specific to it like haptic feedback. We'll be carefully reviewing what other differences that the mobile port may have and update you on that as needed.
The most important area in the whole game. Farming it with a Fish Navi-Customizer program, of course.
This...this is far beyond the scope of the demo. We have multiple work streams going on. We're building out content that will be relevant at much later parts in the story, whilst also making Demo 5.1 a kickass release and working on the mobile port. Again, mad props to the art. It looks so gorgeous. Hm... Chrono...just like the title screen. Huh.
And that's it! We're all excited to show off the fruits of our labor soon, but we're in testing right now. And after that testing we'll go back and make some more improvements to the next release. Just you wait. Sorry it took us a while. First it was the pandemic which impacted some of our real-life jobs, and then it was the challenges we were presented with when we started doing the rewrites. We have a handle on the latter and are somewhat managing with the former.
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As always, thank you for your interest. Thank you for your love. And thank you for your support.