What is Demo 5?
Demo 5 will be Chrono X's newest, and biggest public release. It will contain Chapters 1,2 and 3, along with online multiplayer, in addition to any and all fixes we've made to the overall game. It can be expected to last 6-8 hours depending on how much time you spend doing the 10 optional quests. This isn't counting your time going online, of course. Demo 5? But what about Demo 4.1?
Demo 4.1's release will be replaced with Demo 5.Going by the video, you said online/multiplayer mode is done?
Essentially, yes, it is. If we were to release Demo 4.1, it would be out in under a month. Everything major that we wanted to put in is done, it would just need to be tested heavily.Why did multiplayer take so long?
That question is a bit more complicated. You see, during Chrono X's development, the fine folks at YoYoGames (creator of Game Maker) released a new version of their product: Game Maker Studio. During Demo 4's release, we were using Game Maker 8.x. YoYoGames would eventually stop supporting Game Maker 8.x and move onto Game Maker Studio. Switching over to Game Maker Studio would have meant a massive rewrite of the game's core engines and systems, so we decided to stick to 8.x
However, it was also found out that during Demo 4.1's development that Game Maker 8.x had serious...issues with regards to memory management and lots of errors left inside the software that made developing a full-fledged Battle Network game essentially impossible. I don't want to get too technical, but if you know how big these games actually are, then you would understand why poor memory management is a big deal. Max tried his best to work around them, but if the tool is broken, there's only so much that can be done. To add ANOTHER reason, Game Maker 8.x wasn't fully compatible with Windows 8, nor Windows 10.
So we dropped several hundred dollars and got Max the software he needed to continue the project. But like I said, switching over to Game Maker Studio forced a massive rewrite of the entire game. Yup. The whole game was rewritten from scratch by Max, and Max alone. I'm sure that'll eat time like nobody's business.
Max was also periodically dealing with health problems, too. In fact, as I type this, he's in bed with a fever. He'll bounce back, but it has come up more than its fair share.That sucks. Did multiplayer need a rewrite?
Yes. Several times, actually. It did have to get rewritten during the switch to Studio, so that was a huge setback right there. But it was a necessary setback, since now, the system can handle user connections at much higher speeds.
We decide to add online matchmaking as additional functionality to the game. There will still be a Battle Network Friend system where you can trade with your buddies like we revealed before. But now you'll also be able to play without needing to have a friend on. And you won't need Hamachi!
Here's a preview screenshot.So, when do you think Demo 5 will come out?
We will try to aim for a Fall release. However, everything will need to get tested heavily, particularly the online component. Expect to hear more information as Max works on that part of the game. Plus, there are still some things that we want to add to the game to make it a more complete experience for you guys. If we were to release Demo 4.1, it would be super soon, so please don't think we didn't do any work. How about the full game?
It's important to recognize that development on the full-game happens at the same time as development on the demos. You guys already have a healthy 4-6 hour experience right now, but I'm always thinking of the next step. I'm always thinking about the bigger picture. Working solely on the demos just serves to give you tunnel vision -- that's why you see us work on multiple aspects of the game at a time. In fact, take a look at this picture from Facebook:
A chip like this won't even come into play until late-game. We have a very open-ended approach to game development, so you don't need to worry if something is getting done. Something is always getting done, even if it doesn't affect you immediately.Will the development be stable?
It will be fine, don't worry about it. We're too stubborn to quit. Though it make take longer than we expect, it will get there. Just remember, if you guys want to speed up the development process, please send any and all excellent pixel artists our way. Art is usually the bottleneck, and with more skilled artists, we crank out parts of the game faster.What about the Android version?
The Android version has progressed much since you may have last heard of it. In fact, we will be releasing Demo 5 on Android as well as PC! However, the PC version will be released first, and after we iron out any potential issues, we'll roll out the Android version.What's so interesting about Chapter 3?
I'll just leave this here:
And now I'll take my leave. For those of you who still support the project, thank you so much! We'll be doing a HUGE marketing campaign when we release a teaser trailer, or when the next demo releases. I will be calling on you guys to help with that. Remember, a bigger fanbase means more players playing online, and that is a win for everyone.
Long live Chrono X!