I'm thrilled to announce that 8-Bit Adventures 2 is participating in Steam's latest Next Fest event - and to celebrate this, the 8-Bit Adventures 2 Demo has received a big update! What does it do? Let's dive in!
For anyone who's already played the previous demo, this latest version features all of the same content. You can once again choose between playing through the game's Prologue, battling your way through an exciting Dungeon, and exploring a Town with a hidden boss battle.
However, this latest update includes a TON of changes, fixes, and improvements. Simply put, this update makes the demo run and play like the final, release-level product! But how about some specifics?
What's New in the Demo?
- A massive performance boost, bringing the game up to near rock-solid 60fps performance (this boost accounts for most of the increase in file size, in case anyone was curious!)
- Dozens and dozens (and dozens) of bug fixes which make battles run smoother and ensure everything works as intended. And the game's balance has been improved too!
- Enhanced UI elements, such as indicating to the player what percentage their HP/MP is currently at through the use of colour, displaying a character's Max HP/MP when you go to use a restorative item in battle, as well as the addition of an icon which indicates which enemies have rare steal-able items which you don't currently possess!
- Improved support for high refresh-rate monitors.
- A Quick Menu button which allows the player to bring up a specific menu with just one press. The exact menu that's brought up can be customised in the Options menu.
- The Tutorial sub-menu, which details the game's mechanics, offering an easy refresher if the player ever forgets something. More tutorials are unlocked as you progress through the game.
- A new Sprint Mode option that allows the player to choose between Holding a button down to sprint, or Toggling running/walking speed with the press of a button. I'm a Hold mode kind of guy myself, but options are all about figuring out what works best for you!
- A Battle Status menu that can be brought up during combat to display a complete summary of the player's party (detailing Equipment, Augments, & Statuses), designed to be a handy reference.
- Improved Ability/Item descriptions (and animations in a handful of cases) which clarify details which may have been more obtuse or poorly handled in past releases.
- Scrolling text in battle! The text displayed at the top of the screen during battle now scrolls as player/enemy actions play out, providing more relevant details. For example, say that there's an attack which deals damage and poisons an enemy. Some flavour text will appear about the attack, followed by a description of the damage dealt. But then the text will scroll down to also state that the enemy was poisoned. This is much more elegant than before.
- The Equipment and Augment menus now display character portraits, making the currently selected character easier to discern at a glance. Additionally, Shop menus now also feature character graphics for the same reason.
- The game will now pop up "Immune" text if an enemy (or ally) is unable to be inflicted by a particular Status Ailment.
If you get a Game Over, you can now choose to Open the Menu before retrying a battle, allowing you to change up your Equipment/Augments, or heal a character with low HP/MP. This way, you don't have to reload & re-watch any cutscenes if you want to change up your approach to combat.
Honestly, I could go on forever - like how the Warrior's Strong Attack now has an increased Critical Hit chance, the Exit Game menu now allows you to load a save file without returning to the main menu, the healing sub-menu now takes up less space and leaves the currently selected column of the Item menu visible, if an enemy has two damaging Status Ailments affecting them at once the damage numbers will no longer overlap, etc. Truth be told, I doubt I could even remember *everything* that's been fixed or changed haha.
So while on the surface this will seem like a very familiar demo to long-time fans, the goal was to raise the overall polish and quality-of-life features to the standard of the full, release-level game.
Development Progress Update!
On that note, while I can't give as much of an update as I wanted to (and I know you all want), I *can* talk about where the game is at!
I probably have a little under a month of work left on the game myself (although I naturally won't stop testing until release). 8-Bit Adventures 2 is playable from beginning to end - with every battle fully functional and all the gameplay content tested and polished. I've just got to finish up on some cutscene work for the end-game side quests and epilogue, as well as put together the hidden Developer Room (that's been left 'till last as it's extraneous to the core experience).
In case you missed it, while I originally thought that 8-Bit Adventures 2 would be a 20 hour game during development, it's turned out to be a jam-packed 30+ hour adventure (including side quests). And none of that time is spent on filler or grinding; I've tried to make the game wall-to-wall content, so it's been a really big project.
So despite how quiet I've been recently, things have been going really well! I'm at the point where a lot of things are beyond my direct control, so please bear with me; because I'll be delivering every bit of news to you the moment I'm allowed to deliver it!
Some BIG Thank Yous
First of all, I'd like to give a MASSIVE thank you to Sufyan Noor, our wonderful programmer who's implemented all of the above ideas with me. He's done an AMAZING job, and I'm really grateful for all the work he's put in. No matter how hard the challenge I pose to him, he always finds a way to pull it off!
Secondly, a TON of gratitude to Peter Ruibal, otherwise known as fmoo on the Something Classic Discord server. He helped me with a last-minute Steam issue that threatened to derail this demo, completely out of the kindness of his heart. So thank you very much Pete! He's working on an upcoming JRPG called Quartet, which I *highly* recommend you check out because the team behind it are some of the nicest, smartest, most talented developers I've ever met!
Finally, I wanted to thank everyone who's played the demo in previous years. And especially those who gave feedback! There are several items on the list above which I added to the game *specifically* because of player feedback. Even if something doesn't end up being implemented, I do take everything on-board, so thank you all for taking the time to share your thoughts with me! We're at such a late stage now that not much else will be able to change, but I'll definitely be updating the game post-launch so please do feel free to offer feedback if anything stands out to you =D
If you've played the demo before, this update might not seem like a big deal - for which I apologise. I didn't want to spoil any more of the game than I've already put out there. And I also know a lot of people haven't played the demo before, so I didn't want to take development time away from the main game to build a whole new demo (which would've probably taken 3 weeks to a month).
However, everything that's been added in this new update demonstrates a giant step forward for 8-Bit Adventures 2. We're at the point now where the game plays like a final, release-level product - even better than I originally envisioned - and that's incredibly exciting to me!
And don't forget to check out all the other amazing demos included in Steam Next Fest! If you're interested in 8-Bit Adventures 2, I'd say games like For a Vast Future, Jack Move, and Absinthia might be right up your alley =)
Anyway, my journey nears its end, and yours is soon to begin - so please keep your eyes peeled for news. I'll probably give everyone an update on porting progress next time I post (just to keep you all in the loop), and then the one after that will be the release date announcement - followed by the actual release! =D
P.S. I'd sincerely appreciate it if you could add 8-Bit Adventures 2 to your wishlist, as this genuinely helps us out (particularly during Steam Next Fest and at launch)! Our most adorable enemy - a puffball named Eek - *really* wants you to do it =P
For more information and updates, please: