Subbania is complete – Two years of work for one HTML5 game

**UPDATE: The below online versions are out of date. Either get the Chrome Web Store version, or play it here.

Get it from the Chrome Web Store: Click here

+Play online now (works best on Chrome)
+Here’s a downloadable version
.

————————

Five word summary: Nazis in Hell fighting demons.

Five more words: It’s pure Javascript and HTML5.

Today’s the day I finally decided to release Subbania to the public. Countless times I wanted to drop the project and even give up game development entirely. Many frustrations came from unexpected bugs introduced in Chrome updates, poor testing of my old code that resulted in game-breaking bugs months down the road, and my own poor work ethic. It’s a game I should’ve finished a year ago, but I let it stew.

I’m glad I did.

Most of my greatest ideas were conceived in the last 4-5 months of production. If I’d given up and simply released it when I’d thought it merely felt “good enough”, the game would’ve lacked a cutscene system, most of its object interactions, many of its bosses and enemies, and the current plot. It would’ve lacked little graphical refinements and the soundtrack it has now. All of these came together in the last days and left me with a work that I’m not only satisfied with, but proud of.

A somewhat dated screenshot

So what’s the end result?

118 levels, 25 songs, around 20000 lines of code, so many enemies and entities that I’m not even going to bother counting them, and a few solid hours of content. I’d estimate that a typical playthrough will take a good 3-5 hours, with most leaning towards the longer side.

As for my frustrations that led me to consider quitting, what was the biggest? Chrome, probably.

Two-thirds of the way through development, a small update was released for Chrome. This update yielded one hell of a strange bug: if no wall tiles were visible, the game would slow down. Frustrating, yes, and my frustration was compounded by the fact that this slowdown would continue to worsen even after walls came into view. The only solution was to restart. The only “fix” was to plop small, essentially worthless walls in open spaces.

Problem solved, right? Not exactly. In rooms with no shadows enabled, this same error would occur. Obviously it was an issue with shadows not being cast off walls. The problem only existed when a function wasn’t being called, and this function’s sole purpose was to draw a polygon.

It gets worse: this issue only seemed to exist on my laptop, which was running OS X Lion at the time (which is a disaster in many other ways), and my desktop had zero issues entirely. Clearing out all browser-related data did nothing to fix it, and the only full solution was installing Mountain Lion, which unexpectedly fixed everything. If anybody out there is still running Lion, then I’m sorry—any slowdown can safely be pushed onto Apple.

Yet another annoyance from Google, but mostly a consequence of my own negligence, was discovering that Chrome store apps need to be packed into 10 MB zips. Subbania was 90 MB of content at the dawn of my realization, resulting in an assload of fat being trimmed by compressing my audio all to hell. As somewhat of an audiophile it pained me, but it was the only way to cut size without cutting content. Simply converting my MP3s to OGG of similar quality reduced my file size by about 40%. Still, this clearly wasn’t enough and I had to settle for Q1 for most files, and Q0 for a small number of larger files that didn’t have any majorly audible drop in fidelity.

In the end, I managed to pack all of my assets into a 13.5 MB folder. I feared the worst—cutting content. The music couldn’t be compressed any further and nothing else could possibly be shrunk.

Then I zipped up the folder.

9.8 MB. Disaster narrowly avoided.

Other aggravations of note included some versions of Chrome killing audio; the one that pushed manifest version 2, which as a byproduct made me push even the smallest snippets of code out of my HTML files and throw them in a JS file, and having to use this file to reinsert these functions into the HTML file (this was more of a headache for one afternoon, but it does result in some sloppier code); and a couple other less-notable bugs. One side effect of Google’s “security measures” was me having to push my init() function that executed at the onload of the body, which sometimes wouldn’t be recognized in the javascript file, which resulted in what looked more like a symptom of save corruption since clearing out save data seemed to fix it. When I encountered this bug again after a thousand “fixes”, I decided to just execute init() directly in my code, ignoring the body, and it seemed to fix it. At least, I think it did and all tests seem to indicate so.

My only remaining hope is that no major update with game-breaking “features” is released immediately before or after Subbania, killing it at launch.

Saving

Now, why am I asking for money for “just” a browser-based game? Because it’s more than “just” a browser game. It’s a full game that happens to be played through a browser. HTML5 up to this point has been nothing but Pacman clones and 40 second minigames made to test the technology. I want to push this with games that have a little more meat and story. Just thirty minutes would be a pretty damn good length for any browser-based game. Subbania is eight times that.

So here’s my game. It started as a simple test of HTML5 tech back around June of 2010. By July it was decided that it’d be a short, simple game about pirates with a submarine. Around November was when I decided that it’d be a game about Nazis in Hell, and now, over two years since I started, it’s a full adventure with more content than any other native HTML5 game I know of.

Since I’m sure players would like to know what they’re getting, here’s a more thorough description: Subbania’s an action-adventure game with a considerable degree of focus on exploring and dialogue between characters. The player comes to face countless demons, many aggressive, some with mitigating backstories, and some who only want the player to succeed. The player takes up the role of a Nazi captain and his crew assigned a mission to lead a silent invasion against the American fleet on the east coast.

I’m shit at describing my own work, so just watch the video or play it. 30 seconds of video says more than a dozen paragraphs ever could. It’s a game with shooting, Nazis, Hell, some light puzzle solving—not a brain-busting overabundance of “How the hell was I supposed to figure that out?” puzzles that most indie games these days have—and loads of action and bosses with some dialogue in between to make you want to play even more. If this sounds like your kind of game, then it’s probably worth the price or more.

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106 Responses to Subbania is complete – Two years of work for one HTML5 game

  1. chris says:

    This game could not get any cheaper. I just hope that what I pay for is worth it.

  2. Jacob says:

    I’m really interested in the game, but dont want to support paypal. Is there any other method of purchase?

    • fiblye says:

      The only easy way for me to distribute through my own site was with Paypal. I did have Amazon Payments, but Amazon randomly locked down my account for reasons unbeknownst to me and they only gave me generic automated responses.

      Buying through the Chrome store lets you use Google Wallet/Checkout/whatever they’re calling it these days.

      • Dubious Frog says:

        You should look into Stripe.com – it’s really easy to integrate into sites with the “Stripe Button” thingy

        Game looks awesome btw, have you thought about putting it on like the Chrome App store or similar html5 app store things?

      • Satoshi Nakamoto says:

        Check out Bitcoin brother, this is what it has been created for. No middleman, no company to lock your account, ridiculously low or no transaction fees. Feels good, man.

  3. Schoening says:

    Quick Question.. Controls?

    Any manual?

    Love the game so far ^^

    • fiblye says:

      Arrows control movement, Z activates boost, X shoots, C changes the weapon type, and Enter pauses. ZXC correspond to 123, if one prefers.

      • Schoening says:

        Thanks, I slowly figured it out hehe.

        The game is great ^^ I looked into the js files.
        Great game and now I can also learn a bit more about level creation in javascript ^^

  4. james says:

    This trailer is pretty dope, looking forward to purchasing . Especially interested in listening to some more of the music, enjoyed the bit in the demo.

    Solid effort dude. Keep banging.

  5. Ivan Reese says:

    This looks absolutely amazing, and I can recognize that a tremendous amount of work went into it. For me, it’s an immediate purchase with no hesitation. I am an HTML/JS dev and am excited to see your source (for me, that alone would be worth so much more than your listed price), and I love the atmosphere you’ve created and the style of gameplay. Very Metroid, very classic B&W Mac, yet very distinct. The art, the music, the in-game effects — gorgeous. You should feel proud of yourself for having taken this through to completion, and I hope you continue making such awesome projects in the future.

  6. 6124j50n says:

    If we buy it straight from you and not through the chrome store do we get the game with full quality audio?

    • fiblye says:

      Not yet, but you will soon. The high-quality version would be 100 MB a download and my server’s already taking a beating. Once it dies down I can put together the “true” version and send it out to everybody who bought it.

  7. Jeroen Ransijn says:

    Very promising, and very inspiring!

    Check this out https://github.com/rogerwang/node-webkit (I am in no way affiliated with this platform, I just think it’s awesome)
    Basically it allows you to wrap webkit and node inside an executable for the big three platforms (windows, mac and linux). This avoids the inhumane task of developing for ever evolving web platforms, because you can ship webkit with your app. Also it opens a whole lot of potential, because of you have the ability to run node through your client side js, think about node packages, file access, setting gui window dimensions, fullscreen etc.

    node-webkit is still very new, but I would rather buy this game as an app, through a paypal purchase from your site (or even on the Apple App Store), than just an index.html I have to open in a compatible browsers with all the distractions. I feel a true .app (or .exe) with an icon, is more inline with other games. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the tech stack, but to a more general audience a true app might be somewhat more preferable. Although I do realize your audience might mainly be tech people. But that is just my two cents.

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  9. Legend says:

    Tried to start your trailer video. All I get is “This video is unavailable”.

  10. Anders says:

    You really should have the demo playable on your site.
    If hosting is a problem, use a combination of CloudFlare and/or CoralCDN. Both are free, and reduce requests/load a lot!
    Heck, I’ll host it for you if you’d like.

  11. Daniel Landau says:

    Thank you for the game, it’s amazing so far and I’d gladly pay more for it! At least for me, with Firefox 16 it didn’t work at all (got stuck in the USA map), but on Chromium 20 with the provided istructions it works perfectly.

  12. God likes the Beattles best. He requested Octopus’ Garden.

    God says…

    6:2 Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my
    bones are vexed.

    6:3 My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long?

    6:4 Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake.

    6:5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who
    shall give thee thanks?

    6:6 I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim;
    I water my couch with my tears.

    6:7 Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of
    all mine enemies.

    6:8 Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath
    heard the voice of my weeping.

    —–

    I saw Yellow Submarine when I was a kid.

  13. Innergnome says:

    I just got propelled 20 years back in time! And that’s a very good thing. Your game has an amazing feel to it. From the retro bw style and chipsound music to the cut scenes. I’m blown away. Very well edited dialogues. One of the best retro games in ages. And it’s HTML 5!

    Too bad I have to work right now, I’d rather spend the day with this game

  14. David says:

    From the trailer, I’d pay you $3 for the music alone.

  15. Mark Lakewood says:

    Hey,

    Talking about alternatives for distribution have you had a look at https://gumroad.com/ , basically sell a digital asset through a link, its all hosted on their servers.

    Just an alternative to Paypal and thrashing your server with the 100MB file :)

  16. T. Mättig says:

    The art style reminds me of “Hero Core”. Seems you missed the opportunity of PNG compression. With a few passes using the PNGOUT tool (but there are several others) your images folder changed from about 1 MB to 0.3 MB.

    • fiblye says:

      I actually started on Subbania as it looks today about two weeks before I discovered Hero Core, so it was a funny coincidence. Hero Core didn’t have any influence on the graphical style, but it did have a little on the gameplay.

      And I had tried a different application which I’d thought had slimmed down my images quite a bit, but I suppose there are even better tools out there.

  17. Robert says:

    Hi.
    Your HTML5 game looks great.
    With CocoonJS you can build your game for Android Market and Apple Appstore. Near native performance. No Java or Objective-C needed. I would love to play it on my phone.
    Link: http://ludei.com/about

    Take care.

  18. Pingback: Aquatic webgame Subbania is Das Boot reimagined as a Metroidvania « iPad Gamerscope

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  20. iron77 says:

    Have you heard of Bitcoin? Would you consider adding it as a payment option? :)

  21. Joshua Stauter says:

    Hi there. I purchased your game via PayPal and did not see how to download it. I’m sure you’re inundated but I’d love to play your game. PayPal account is same as my email. Thanks and kudos on shipping!

    Joshua

  22. Pingback: Aquatic webgame Subbania is Das Boot reimagined as a Metroidvania | YourGameTube.com

  23. Chris says:

    I just bought the game through your site, how long is it supposed to take to receive the game?

    • fiblye says:

      Most people are getting it immediately, but one person emailed me saying it took 25 minutes.

      I sent you an email with a link.

      • Chris says:

        Cool, thanks for the quick resolution! I am looking forward to putting in a serious amount of time with your game!

        • Chris says:

          Just thought I’d come back for a minute and say how great I think this game is. I love the eerie atmosphere it has, and they way the lighting doesn’t let you see what’s very far ahead of you and around corners. The music is top notch and compliments the look and atmosphere of the game. Thanks for making this!

  24. csn says:

    Just bough your game because I had some fun with the source code of your demo – it was really cool to see how you coded and developed this game. I will definitely play it also – for now I reached the first boss (the giant octopus) but it is so boring to die, so I changed the gameover state to be always false ;) ). Just wanted to say I congratulate you for your work; I can see you worked a lot for this – not only for the actual engine and gameplay but for all the levels. I played it in Opera – it works ok here too – you can loose the “just for firefox” html name.
    Only one negative things I noticed so far: that “talk” sound – or beep at every line is absolutely annoying – had to remove it.

  25. Björn says:

    Some kind of instructions would be good. I’m sorry to say I returned it on the Chrome store because I couldn’t figure out how to skip the intro sequence.

    • fiblye says:

      Sorry about that. I’ll add a skip button and mention of controls in an update soon. The skip version is currently in the demo, but I want to iron out the issues it can cause.

  26. Fernando says:

    Hey, I don’t know where you’re supposed to report bugs and stuff. I’m running it in Chrome, I uploaded with “load unpackaged” just as the instructions suggest.

    The bug is that there’s a frame rate drop at this part:

    In the Chrome console it says “Player not yet defined”.

    The game is great so far, I’m really enjoying it.

  27. Fernando says:

    Ok the image was not posted with my comment here’s the link: http://snag.gy/IDgCI.jpg

    • fiblye says:

      That’s actually a consequence of directly manipulating the canvas’s pixel array to invert the colors. When the canvas is scaled, the game needs to invert exponentially more pixels. For these places, you can scale the game to the default size and it’ll run smoothly. Hopefully Google will work on making these operations a little more efficient in the future.

      And I’m glad you’re enjoying it! I hope you share it with others.

  28. Harry Moreno says:

    I purchased the game through the chrome store. But I’m getting a “manifest is invalid” error.
    I’m running chrome Version 22.0.1229.94 Ubuntu 12.10 (161065)

    • fiblye says:

      When did you purchase it? I recently updated it and I hope that isn’t the issue.

      Just checked and it seems you bought it around the time I updated. Try uninstalling and reinstalling, and if that doesn’t work, I’ll have a copy emailed to you in about an hour.

  29. C Zamudio says:

    Is there any reason i cant buy it from mexico?

  30. Greg Babula says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous, can’t wait to try it out.

  31. Pingback: Weekly Oddities for October 27, 2012 | Christopher Ogilvie >> Blog

  32. Pingback: Nazis In A Submarine Fighting Demons, Subbania Is Your Weird Game Of The Week | Kotaku Australia

  33. Fernando says:

    Hey I think there’s a bug in here:
    http://snag.gy/I3FPB.jpg

    I already talked to that… thing. But when I go to that part again I get trapped in that screen.

    • fiblye says:

      Yep, a friend of mine also reported the issue.

      I forgot to prevent the screen from locking if you decide to visit a second time. Dumb little mistake, but at least it’s not along any crucial path. If it’s bugging you, I could release a small patch soon. It’s just one little snippet of code.

      And thanks for reporting bugs!

  34. Mongrel says:

    I would love it if I could get the soundtrack

  35. Theo says:

    Seriously dude I would love a copy of the full soundtrack in decent quality

  36. Ian says:

    What do I do after I get the auto-targeting shots?
    I’m stuck in a room with statues that breath fire and there are vines blocking the exit so I think I need to use the fire to burn the vines but I can’t figure out how.

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  40. Humming says:

    Just finished the game & I found some bugs, mostly pretty minor. I used the downloadable Firefox version.
    -issue with reentering the whale thing’s room, already noted above
    -you can leave the boundaries of room 65 (one of the areas with the poster/painting things in the background) by burning away leaves cleverly
    -there’s a hole in the wall in room 109 that lets you leave the boundaries of the room (could be intentional)
    -the magnet area can be entered from the wrong side (and the boss can be fought from behind, if you’re clever, though you can’t win)
    -the homing gun seems pretty buggy in general and tends to home in on things that don’t exist

    Plus a couple of things that might be specific to my version:
    -after pressing the scale button, sometimes switching between the pause menu and the main game also begins switching scalings. subsequent presses of the scale button don’t fix this
    -in the ship area, in the long room near the beginning that branches off (didn’t check the room number, sorry) going to the rightmost end of the room glitches the graphics severely

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  42. Ike says:

    I’m enjoying the game a lot but I’m stuck — can’t figure out how to “clear my own heart” a second time to pass through the “artery” (after the friendly rum dealer creature with the eyeball in his giant mouth). I somehow missed the auto-targeting weapon (and maybe some other things) so maybe I need that in order to pass through this artery? But the game won’t let me backtrack that far. I only have two weapons.

    Also, @Ian, if you haven’t figured it out yet, just let the dragons burn the vines for you. Hover near the vines and then dodge the fireballs.

    • fiblye says:

      After you exit the ship area, there’s a branching path. If you go down and right, you’ll end up at the second artery. If you go left and down, you’ll pass through a hall of paintings with a portal painting at the end–this is where you’ll find a boss and then the homing shot. After this, return to the save point, move to the right-up area with a magnet puzzle, face another boss, and then you can clear the second artery.

      Hope that helps.

      • Ian says:

        How do I get out of the boss room after collecting the homing shot?
        I can’t seem to move the statues, am I meant to have a magnet weapon?

        • fiblye says:

          You should. When I was testing the game I couldn’t even make it to the homing shot without the magnet beam, but I guess some more creative people have been finding ways. ;)

          If you’re absolutely stuck, you can open up the javascript console in your browser and run this: states.playerWeaponList.push("MagnetBeam")

          That’ll give you the magnet beam.

          • B says:

            I also managed to get to the paintings without the magnet beam. In my case, I manipulated the light puzzle to get to the rum captain before upgrading bombs. Subsequent visits to the rum captain left me stuck: the screen pans as if dialog is about to start, but the captain says nothing and I have to kill myself to leave the room.

          • B says:

            Actually, that JS snippet didn’t work:
            “ReferenceError: states is not defined”
            (Game is running in Chrome, OS X, from jayisgames.com)

          • Ian says:

            Thanks for helping, I feel both stupid and clever for managing to get myself stuck like this.
            I’d rather reset the game than miss out on content though.

          • fiblye says:

            I actually went and looked through my map editor–it doesn’t seem like you can become completely stuck. You’re just going to have to go back to the wooden ship area and get an upgrade to your bombs and then the magnet beam, and after that you’ll have to get the homing shot again.

            So you shouldn’t have to miss out on anything. ;)

  43. Steeny says:

    I’m having the same problem with getting to the second artery without the magnet beam or bomb upgrade. I found the bomb upgrade but can’t find the magnet beam. I tried opening the javascript console but got the same error message as B did. :-/

    • fiblye says:

      The solution works only when you’re not playing it on JayIsGames.

      Anyways, here’s a screenshot of where you’ll find the magnet beam:

      Get into the door marked 61, fight a boss, and then you’re ready to go.

      • Steeny says:

        How do you get past the beam? Have I missed another upgrade? lol

      • TwystNeko says:

        I’m actually stuck in this room. I’ve talked to the “friendly spar” creature in the next room, gotten the cutscene after that, and can’t get any further. I missed the bomb upgrade, so I can’t get to 61, and I can’t get past the lasers, as the carrier creature puts the spike ball too low to get through. Any suggestions short of restarting?

  44. Steeny says:

    The laser, I mean.

  45. Steeny says:

    Nevermind. Just figured it out. Whoops

  46. guest says:

    Playing in Firefox on Jayisgames, I ran into what looks like a game ending bug. After a lot of backtracking I finally figured out how to pass the vines to reach the insect boss. Then after even more backtracking I figured out how to get through the ceiling in the same room.

    I passed through the next room, saved the game, then destroyed a couple rocks to pass through the floor. I picked up a fire rate upgrade. I decided to use the bottom portal first and come back for the top one later. As I approached the bottom portal my ship and everything near it vanished. I backed away and the ship appeared again. I went on through the portal, saved the game, explored a little further past the giant crushing monster and found a dead end above a lava pit, where the only way forward appeared to be a cracked wall. I can’t pass cracked walls yet, so I went back to the save spot.

    When I went back through the portal, the whole screen blacked out. There were still sound effects but I couldn’t see what was happening, even if I kept moving away from the portal. Even the map screen was blacked out. Since the only way I can advance is back through the blackout, and my save is past the buggy spot, it looks like my save just became useless.

    • guest says:

      Same problem here.

    • fiblye says:

      I’m kind of uncertain as to where you are, but I think I have an idea.

      Could you provide screenshots of where you are? Also, below the screen should be a number telling you what room you’re in; if that’s there, can you tell me what it is?

      I can’t reproduce anything like this, but I’d like to find a way to fix it.

      • guest says:

        First guest here again. I can’t get a screenshot, because when I went back to the game the Load option was gone. Maybe they changed versions and lost the save.

        However, I updated Firefox recently, and now the same disappearing sub trick happens on the very first level. I used this link:
        http://ektomarch.com/games/SubFinal/Subbania/SubbaniaCombo.html

        All I did was drive forward firing. Suddenly, no sub.

      • Ephemeral says:

        It’s the room with wooden walls and a feeder enemy on the top path. As you approach either exit the screen blacks out. If you take the bottom exit you get to a save point and a half circular enemy that tries to crush you from below, I took the bottom path and lucked into the save point, refreshed and the screen was there, but on returning to the previous room the screen blacks out again and forward is only lava.

        You can still move around and shoot, but it’s like the screen is above or below your field of vision.

        • fiblye says:

          I’ve tried checking what could be causing this, and I couldn’t find anything. It’s a bug I experienced in previous versions on Firefox, but I can’t seem to replicate it now.

          I’ll dig around some more.

  47. Prussian1740 says:

    I seem to be stuck at the queen’s lair. Everything goes fine until, quite suddenly, two lasers appear, with blocks on the end of them. They seem to follow me around until they kill me, and I’m not sure where to go from here. I currently have the bomb and torpedo, as well as a few upgrades to fire rate, repair rate, and armor. What do I do now? I seem to be rather stuck.

  48. Alex D says:

    Hello, its my second attempt and I’m stuck at the same spot. I’ve defeated the shrimp queen, and went and talked to the British monster (I’ve named him Simon). Now I can’t seem to find anywhere else to go. I’ve backtracked a bit to see if I’ve missed something but can’t find anything. I only have two weapons, some armour and a boost upgrade.

    • fiblye says:

      After you beat the shrimp queen, you’ll see that there’s a destroyable wall above. Use your forward torpedoes to destroy it.

  49. sheng says:

    I stuck after defeating the shrimp queen. How do I get through the ceiling? Currently I don’t have the bomb upgrade yet.

    • fiblye says:

      Your forward torpedo oscillates up and down. You should be able to shoot the blocks above you.

      Also, to get the bomb upgrade, you need to get lava resistance. Then you’ll have to backtrack a bit (to where there was a branching path and wooden swastika) and follow the other path. The bomb upgrade will be down there.

    • guest says:

      Before my game ending bug, I figured out you can get the crabs to toss shots high enough to hit the barrier. If you can’t do it with torpedoes, try that.

  50. Ganondox says:

    I just upgraded the bombs, and now I can’t go back to the lava area earlier because vines are in my way, I’m stuck.

    • fiblye says:

      You’re going to need the magnet beam to return back to that area. Now that you have the bomb upgrade, you should be able to blow apart the wall in that room with lasers everywhere.

  51. Ganondox says:

    What changes if you kill the creature?

    • fiblye says:

      You get a bad ending. The captain still sacrifices himself, but time reverts to before the mission started. The characters are doomed to go through hell an infinite number of times.Highlight the above for spoilers.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Hey, I can’t view your site properly within Opera, I actually hope you look into fixing this.

  53. Archaeopterygidae says:

    Fanart for Subbania I’ve recently completed: http://i.imgur.com/hsOJtoH.png

    I tried to fix what my terrible scanner did, by my skills in photoshop are limited to dodge, burn, blur, and clone stamping. :T

    • fiblye says:

      That’s pretty kick-ass.

      Your rendition of the fish is fantastic. :D

      • Archaeopterygidae says:

        Thank you! Drawing is a hobby that I don’t have a lot of time to practice.

        I thought Fil (his name in the image files?) was an interesting character. His images weren’t much to go off of, but I figured something like a trout with tusks, seal flippers, and a cetacean tail would fit, being a demon and all.

        Although I do wish to ask: is he, in fact, a demon native to hell, or another species sent to the same version of hell as the captain, or a human that degraded/changed into a demon?

        • fiblye says:

          He’s a man turned into a demon. Every demon in the game has their own hell personally engineered for them, and Fil Phish’s involves him taking on that form and being forever bound to his ship.

          What makes the captain and his crew unique is that their personal hell forces them to transcend the boundaries of the other demons and keep digging deeper.

          And I hope you find more time to do what you love. I stayed up late countless nights to balance my work between Subbania and other things. ;)

  54. JDA says:

    Hi – loved the game, great atmosphere, storyline and feeling of exploration. A little frustrating dying a lot in certain parts, but that added to the experience overall – a cakewalk would be no fun!

    I did encounter several bugs/issues (using Firefox 21.0 on jayisgames – seems most of these will exist in Chrome also though by their nature), some of which were game-ending, or nearly so. Would be great if you could address these in a future update.

    Bugs/issues below are listed from most to least serious – I poked about the source for the two most serious ones as I couldn’t finish the game otherwise – hope you don’t mind:

    1) Game goes to a black screen on loading level 83 (map works but exits are disabled – game-ending)
    This is due to this line of code:
    pUp.img = loadImage(“Images/HallOfFallenEmpiresEgypt.png”);
    The actual image is capitalised differently, as:
    “Images/HallOfFallenEmpireSEgypt.png”

    2) Game goes to a black screen at the far-right of level 31 (moving away from the problem area and toggling scaling forces a redraw, otherwise this would be game-ending)
    This occurs at approximately pos.x = -666 – really :) – and seems to be due to the level map incorrectly including the string “\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\” on the right-hand side

    3) Game freezes if dialog is skipped (with Enter) on MeetShielder2 cutscene (cutscene remains on screen but does not proceed – requires reload)

    4) It’s possible (and quite intuitive) to access the EnergyBall without having the MagnetBeam needed to escape from that area – I ran into this problem like several others, and can’t figure out which obstacle, if any, should prevent this, as it needs no special effort to do (prevents escape from area, not game-ending as there is no save point in here, but requires reset and backtracking)

    5) It’s also possible to access the Ironclad battle from behind, as only a single fire-breathing statue blocks the path, after which you can go all the way into the boss arena and follow it to end, when the screen scroll will kill you (not game-ending, but requires backtracking if you save in this area)

    6) Pausing during a screen transition prevents the view returning to normal and results in a reduced circular view of the menu (and then the game when unpaused)

    7) There are three items that are completely inaccessible – a LifeUp in level 27, a ShotBoost in level 57 and a ContinuePoint in level 43

    8) The message “We killed one of those beasts!” continues to occur every time one of the Eye enemies is killed (seems out of place given all the other enemies killed along the way)

    9) BigHead talks every time you approach him (again, seems out of place as no other character does this)

    10) Firing EnergyBalls in areas with several mirrors results in them orbiting between the mirrors in a strange fashion (more an oddity than a bug this one – wondering what they are homing on)

    Don’t want to be too critical but do want to help others to enjoy the game – thanks again!

    • fiblye says:

      Hey, lots of good investigation there.

      With the capitalization issue, that might be firefox exclusive or it could be an issue with playing the game online. I’ll admit that I did all of my testing locally with Chrome and only did a bit of checking with Firefox to make sure it’d run. With my next game, I’ve actually going the route of keeping every image lowercase because it’s a problem I’ve run into with other projects a lot and it’s easy to overlook when you’re loading in 2000 sprites. Not necessarily a good solution, but hopefully it’ll at least prevent a lot of dumb mistakes.

      In regards to 4, I guess I just ended up being bad at my own game because I was fairly certain the magnet beam was essential… but loads of people proved me wrong. ;)

      With 5, how did you manage to get through the statue’s flame without dying? I’m pretty sure it should be instant death (can’t remember how much damage it deals), so I’m guessing you took damage the instant before passing through the flame and used that brief invincibility period to your advantage?

      7: I intentionally plotted some inaccessible items just to mess with people. That one shot boost beside a door really drove a lot of people up a wall. :D

      8 & 9 were simple oversights. With 8, it was actually semi-intentional, but if I recall, it should only happen once during each game period (i.e. each time you load up a save).

      10: Mirrors are put in the same array as enemies. Energy balls lock onto whatever enemy is nearest to them upon spawn, and not all enemies are actually enemies.

      But yeah, loads of good investigation and #1 was something someone had reported before but I couldn’t possibly replicate. I have been considering an update for a long time now, but I’m not sure whether jayisgames would bother with it and there’s also the fact that what fixes something in one browser seems to break it in another. I actually couldn’t get the game running in any version of Firefox above 12 (where it ran perfectly for me), but it seems like it worked fairly well for you. I should at least patch #1 since anything that’s completely game breaking is very bad.

      Anyways, thanks for your comments and thanks for finding the solution to basically every problem people had with the game. I’m working on an entirely new game now with similar themes and I hope you’ll like it. I’ve gained some experience from Subbania so hopefully it’ll be a little less buggy. :)

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  56. Max says:

    So, I somehow got the lava-treated armor without the homing shot or the magnet beam, yet somehow can not make it past the second artery when I got down to that, but was able to pick up the upgraded bombs along the way back from my rejection.

    Now, coming back through the queen’s nest, there’s a whole mass of vines that I can’t burn, and a fire-spouting statute that has its back to me near the “entrance” with the save spot.

    I presume I might be totally damned, but if anyone would care to help me out of this mess, I’d be much obliged.

    • fiblye says:

      To go back that way, you need the magnet beam to drag it down to the vines.

      And to get through that second artery, there’s another boss you need to take on somewhere near it. One you’ve seen before, and one’s completely new.

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