Midnight Mansion HD 1.0.1 Update Coming Soon

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

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

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.

Midnight Mansion now has an official Facebook Fan page!

August 31st, 2011

If you are on Facebook, you can now join the official Midnight Mansion fan page.

Midnight Mansion Fan Page

This makes it easy for you to help spread the word about Midnight Mansion to your friends! Just click “Like” and then invite your friends to like the page too!

Midnight Mansion HD now available on the Mac App Store!

August 31st, 2011

Midnight Mansion HD is now live on the Mac App Store, and available for purchase! If you already own the original Midnight Mansion and are interested in the $5 upgrade option, please read this page carefully:

Upgrade Information

The page above also contains information about Episode 1 and 2, and what each of them contain. Please read it before purchasing the game!

To see Midnight Mansion HD in the Mac App Store, click the links below:

Midnight Mansion HD: Episode 1

Midnight Mansion HD: Episode 2

Midnight Mansion HD soon on the Mac App Store

August 25th, 2011

Got the email just within the last hour:

“The status for Midnight Mansion HD: Episode 1 has changed to Processing for App Store.”

Cool. I think that means it’ll go live sometime soon. Just how soon I don’t know, but you can be sure I’ll post when it does. :-)

Original Midnight Mansion Price Reduced

August 23rd, 2011

The original Midnight Mansion’s price has been reduced from $20 to $12.95. Also, anyone who purchases the original now (or already purchased it anytime after June 2011) will get a free upgrade to Midnight Mansion HD. For anyone who already owns the original game, a $5 upgrade will be made available for the HD version.

The game is currently “under review” by the Mac App Store, and will be published as soon as they approve it. However, the $5 upgrade option will require a different version on the ActionSoft website — and this version is still another month or two away from being released.

Good news!

June 15th, 2011

Today I have some exciting news: beta testing for Midnight Mansion HD is about to start very soon! (No promises, but possibly as early as next week.) I expect beta testing to go fairly quickly, since the mansions have already been tested a great deal by players since 2005. So it will mainly be a matter of testing the new game engine to see what bugs, if any, need fixing prior to release. Then I’ll submit to the Mac App Store, and as soon as Apple approves it, Midnight Mansion HD will be let loose on the world. :-)

Before and After

May 27th, 2011

The other day Jacob was editing Hint House (a new tutorial for Midnight Mansion that’s much more fun than the old one), and he was struck by how remarkably better the game looks now than it did before. “It’s like a generational leap!” See for yourself:

hint_house_before

hint_house_after

Zapper beams now glow

April 28th, 2011

One recent addition has been to add a “glow” to the zapper beams. Here I think the before and after pictures speak for themselves! (Ignore the tiny pieces of glow at the ends from the “before” picture.)