If you’re unfamiliar with Ludum Dare, it consists of a 48-hour game-making competition and a more relaxed 72-hour game jam. Every game must be based around the chosen theme; Ludum Dare 30′s theme was “Connected Worlds.” You can learn more about the rules on the Ludum Dare website.
The Image API lets you create, modify and manipulate image data in your game. This opens up the door to entirely new kinds of games that were previously impossible or difficult to achieve.
Import bitmap fonts from images created in other applications such as Photoshop or AngelCode. This enables fonts with visual effects and character sets that our current system does not support.
Actors that incur no penalty for existing. Great for non-physics games, particles, environmental props and non-interactive eye candy.
Lifted Limits on Animations
Previously, long animations would show up as white squares showing up inside mobile games due to an image-size limit. We’ve altered the way we store animations, so this limit is up to 4x higher.
Fixes to Sound Playback
Sound playback no longer leaks memory on desktop and mobile targets. Delayed playback on Android devices has been fixed.
And Much More
Nearly 100 other features, enhancements or bug fixes. (Full Changelist)
Mibibli’s Quest started out as an impressive but short demo posted to our forums a few years ago. Since then, Ryan’s been working on and off on the game.
Without a doubt, the wait has been well worth it.
It’s wacky. It’s brutally hard. The writing’s off the wall. But most importantly, it’s a ton of fun to play. It’s easily one of the funnest (and undoubtedly impressive) Stencyl games completed to date.
Do yourself a favor and play Mibibli’s Quest today. It’s donationware, so you can play for free and donate any amount you’d like if you enjoyed the game.
Ghost Song bills itself as a “beautiful 2D sci-fi metroidvania about love, hope, and redemption.” It’s the most visually rich and engrossing Stencyl game yet and went into full swing today with the release of a 10-minute gameplay trailer and the start of a Steam Greenlight campaign. The game can be preordered for $15.
Last year, Ghost Song successfully raised $54,000 from 3,000 backers in its Kickstarter campaign but rebased the game on Unity. Earlier this year, Matt moved Ghost Song back to Stencyl, citing a need to have full artistic freedom and control over the game and finding Stencyl 3.0 and 3.1′s improved performance and functionality to meet his game’s needs.
With Ghost Song’s re-adoption of Stencyl and the recent launch of Mibibli’s Quest, we’ve been making a concerted push to make Stencyl more suitable for large, serious indie games while retaining the ease of use we’re best known for. We’ll be improving the workflow, adding more ways to incorporate eye candy (particle effects, shaders, etc.) and filling gaps in functionality that games like Ghost Song will need, such as proper gamepad support, Steam API integration and more.
Congratulations to all who took part in Ludum Dare 29! The theme of Beneath the Surface pushed many of our participants outside their comfort zone. Whether or not they finished, it’s always a pleasure to see what they came up with.
As with previous Ludum Dares, we’ve put together a page collecting up all (to our knowledge) Stencyl-made entries.
If you’re unfamiliar with Ludum Dare, it consists of a 48-hour game-making competition and a more relaxed 72-hour game jam. Every game must be based around the chosen theme; Ludum Dare 29′s theme was “Beneath the Surface.” You can learn more about the rules on the Ludum Dare website.
Continuing with our series on Stencyl 3.1, we’ll now cover the most exciting addition, the Image API.
The Image API lets you create, modify and draw arbitrary images to the screen, rather than accomplishing this using actors, a pitfall that would often lead to low framerates. What can you do with the Image API?
1) Create images from a variety of sources. (blank, actors, the current screen, external file, website)
2) Modify those images in all the usual, expected ways. (draw, clear, mask, pixel ops, color swap, blend modes, filters)
3) Attach those images to actors or layers and further manipulate those *instances*. For example, you can tween them, attach effects, set their blend modes, and more.
We encourage you to harness this new flexibility to create new kinds of games that were previously too difficult or cumbersome to achieve.
The deadline for Stencyl Jam 14 just passed on Friday. Judging will be completed by the Newgrounds staff, with input from the community. Winners will be announced in April, and the top three games will be awarded a combined total of $1,000.
We’d like to extend a big thanks to everyone who participated and made this our biggest game jam yet. We’ll experiment with a short, themed format for our next jam before we return to a traditional one this summer.
Last week, we kicked off our series on Stencyl 3.1 with the Bitmap Font Editor. This week, we’ll cover a solution to a common pain point – animation sizes.
Mobile devices place a cap on the size of images that can be used due to hardware limitations. Although this cap varies, it’s generally agreed that it’s 1024 x 1024 for a standard resolution device (480 x 320). Higher resolution devices have higher caps, but this is offset by the need to use double (2x) or quadruple (4x) resolution graphics.
In the past, Stencyl stored animation data in long strips like this.
What’s wrong this this approach? It was easy for some animations to reach the 1024 pixel limit. Users would be baffled when they saw a white square in place of the expected graphic. This was a common complaint during the 3.0 beta. The workaround was a hokey approach of defining a second (and more) animation that would play immediately after the first, then loop back. Clumsy, but it worked.
We now store animation data in squares. The 1024 x 1024 limit still exists, but you can store up to quadruple the amount of image data as before. For most cases, this is good enough.
To take advantage of this (in the upcoming 3.1), you’ll need to update your Actors by opening them up and saving the game.
With the launch of 3.0 behind us, we’ve been working hard on the next set of releases. Whereas 3.0 was heavily based on our engine, 3.1 and following releases will return our focus to our toolset.
The first feature we’ll announce is a dedicated Bitmap Font Editor that addresses limitations with our current font editor. Instead of TrueType fonts, the Bitmap Font Editor works with imported images created by hand or in other editors such as AngelCode.