Archive for September, 2011

Midnight Mansion HD 1.0.1 Update Coming Soon

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Today I submitted 1.0.1 updates for Episodes 1 and 2 to the Mac App Store. Since Apple has to approve updates (and generally this has taken 3-4 days in the past) it will be a few days before the updates become available, but once they do, quite a long list of bug fixes and new features will be available:

- GamePad support!

- Game now displays properly fullscreen if the display is “tall” instead of wide or normal aspect ratio.

- Fixed bug where Hint House wouldn’t be playable on some systems (case-sensitive formatted drives).

- Fixed bug where Midnight Mansion HD would not launch on Japanese systems.

- Hint House is now playable from Episode 2 even if Episode 1 has not been purchased.

- Fixed game so it no longer fails to load a mansion if there is a ‘Pict’ folder when the mansion is exported with room preview picts that the level builder uses.

- Fixed bug in shipping version of Episode 2 (Mac App Store) that caused House of Baron Garneau to quit with an assertion error when started on hard difficulty (see above “Pict” fix.)

- Game now returns to Episode 2 map screen if you beat an episode 2 mansion.

- Fixed tile shadows so they are ONLY drawn for brick (wall) tiles, ladders, poles, and vines, conveyor belts, and a few other things — but NOT for background tiles — even those drawn in higher layers. Previously, shadows were being drawn for layer 0 tiles that were drawn in higher layers to “hide” things behind them. This no longer happens.

- The gold/silver bricks no longer cast shadows when they are “off” (i.e. a dotted line).

- Fixed bug where game could crash when reading certain signs. (For instance, the sign in the custom mansion Art Minds Mansion, room 1406.)

- Game Over and Beat-The-Mansion music no longer play if sound effects are turned off.

- Pushing Esc on the “Enter your name for a high score” dialog now dismisses (cancels) the dialog, instead of entering the Esc character in the Name field.

- “Enter your name for a high score” dialog remembers your last-entered name for that profile. (Or uses the profile’s name if you haven’t entered a high score yet.)

- The OK button in “Enter name for high score” dialog is disabled if the name field is empty.

- Optimized Midnight Mansion HD’s graphics engine even more, eliminating slowdowns in individual rooms and also resulting in faster redrawing of the in-game map screen as you scroll around.

- If Midnight Mansion HD’s framerate ever drops below 55fps right after you enter a new room, the game will do two things to raise it: first, it will remove all coin/key glows and sprite shadows. Usually this is sufficient, even in the most processor-intensive rooms. However, even if that is insufficient, it will reduce the frame rate to 30fps and enable frame-skipping. The difference is almost unnoticeable to the player, other than an initial slowdown for about 1 second after entering the room, and the sudden disappearance of glows and sprite shadows.

- Fixed problems where game wouldn’t look for the Midnight Mansion HD Custom Mansions folder in the correct place (or wouldn’t even *create* it in the correct location) in some instances.

- Fixed open saved/suspended games so they work even if the original mansion is a .zip mansion.

- When saving a game while playing a mansion in .zip format, .zip is no longer part of the default filename for the saved game.

- Movies (replays) are no longer saved with a .zip extension in the filename if the original mansion was a ZIP. They also work properly when replayed now (before they couldn’t find the mansion file).

- Fixed bug where game would go fullscreen immediately after you entered a high score with “Submit online” checked, making it difficult to see where you ranked in the web browser’s list of online high scores.

- Balanced sound effects volumes — some 3D-positioned sound effects, like skull spider footsteps, were too soft.

- Balanced music volume again.

- Game window cannot be resized smaller than 640×480. (So that the in-game map screen does not mess up drawing.)

- Hopefully fixed the “screensaver activated when entering name for a high score” issue on some setups. (When coming out of fullscreen.)

- Fixed bug where, if you minimized Midnight Mansion’s window, clicking on the application in the dock wouldn’t bring it to the front. (Had to redo how I was creating the menu bar.)

- Removed “Dynamic Shadows (slower)” option from Options.

Optimizing the Graphics Engine

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Today I’m working on further optimizing Midnight Mansion HD’s graphics engine. Some users have reported slowdowns in some rooms, which means I need to eek more performance out of the game. While Midnight Mansion HD already has a lot of optimizations built in, I have ideas for another way to optimize things that should solve the problem. However, that idea is rather complicated and will take some time to implement.

In the mean time, I’ve been experimenting with other changes, and have so far bumped one room that was running at 30fps on my system up to 47fps! Things will get even better when I add the more complicated system to optimize tile drawing in layer 6, but for now, even just these small changes have resulted in rather nice performance improvements!

Midnight Mansion HD Featured on the Mac App Store

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Thanks to your support, Midnight Mansion HD is currently being featured in the “New and Noteworthy” section of the Main Page of the Mac App Store! Just start up the app and click on the “Featured” buttons, and there we are!

This is no doubt thanks to your support. The Mac App Store features apps that get a lot of sales and positive reviews in a short amount of time, and thanks to your support, Midnight Mansion HD is off to a great start — great enough to attract the attention of the editors of the store. So thank you! And, if you haven’t written a review of the game yet, please consider writing one. Every review is tremendously helpful.