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Hey guys, there’s not been much news on EBF5 because I’ve been working on behind-the-scenes stuff, like debugging and translation infrastructure. I’ve got all the text in the game in neat seperate files now, so this should save me a lot of time doing translations in the long run, and I’ll probably end up doing more languages than before. I’m considering adding Chinese and Russian and maybe others. (I’m not looking for volunteers yet, this is still quite some time away)

The weather’s been unusually nice, so that’s been distracting me. Spending a lot of time at the parents’ house playing with dogs and Lego. Also the EBF Discord server is doing pretty well, there’s over 800 members already and some interesting chat topics.

Anyway, the EBF5 battle system is almost bug free! I’m gonna get Ronja to play it for a while and then I’ll release that battle demo. I’ll be annoyed if you guys find a lot of bugs, I’ve already spent so long on them…

I spent some time recently playing through the remastered versions of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus on PS3, since they’re rather iconic games.

Ico was a disaster for me. I spent so much time being lost or struggling with the controls. It often took me a long time to figure out a really obvious puzzle, just because the controls made it seem harder than it was. The worst offender was when there’s a piston that throws you into the air, and you have to jump at the right time to go even higher. I tried this a few times, never getting the strict timing quite right, and decided that this was not the way to do it. I then spent an hour stuck in that room. That basically sums up my experience with Ico I guess. The story also flew over my head completely, as by the time I got to the ending, I had forgotten what had happened at the start of the game. I’m still happy I played it though, because it was a beautiful game with some unique mechanics.

Shadow of the Colossus on the other hand I enjoyed immensely. The controls of the horse were not very intuitive, and it took me some time to get used to that, but besides that I had a great time with the game. It was unlike anything I had played before – very minimalist game design with nothing to do but slay huge foes. Since the central challenge in the game involves climbing giants that are trying to shake you off, the stamina system works very well (I’ve never played a game with a fun stamina system before, personally). You need to do a bit of climbing and then frantically find a place to rest before you drop off like a dead bug.

The pacing and feel of the game is amazing. You first spend 10 minutes or so travelling a mostly empty landscape looking for your target, with just the sound of the wind playing. Once you’re nearby, some foreboding music starts, and you start getting anxious. You have no idea what the foe looks like or what it can do. Then a huge creature appears and charges you. Battle music starts. You have no idea how to fight it – it’s dozens of meters tall and has armour on most of its body. After trying frantically to stay alive you notice a weak spot, or some feature of the terrain that you can use against it. Your fear turns into excitement as you realise you can kill this thing. Once you start climbing onto the beast and attacking its vitals, the music ramps up to epic levels. You cling on while the monster thrashes around, waiting desperately for a chance to finish it off. Then it dies and everything is quite again. It’s so satisfying to play. Well, most of the time. Many of the battles are excellent, while admittedly some are a bit dull. But the best fights were truly memorable, and the *feeling* of the game is communicated effectively through gameplay mechanics as well as the sound and visuals.

I recently played Rise of the Tomb Raider, and while I enjoyed it, the climbing and action parts have little impact. There’s checkpoints every 20 seconds, and the action is totally over-the-top constantly. Almost no punishment for failing, and little build up or contrast in pacing. I think Shadow of the Colossus does it right. You don’t die easily, but falling does require you to climb up again, and each battle is different, so taking them seriously is rewarding.

Anyway, it’s a great game, even without any nostalgia goggles on. Pacing is something I need to try harder on in my games, as it’s quite hard to test for personally, and I generally scatter story and battles at random. It’s hard to review my own games as I can’t ever experience them properly.

601605 by KupoGames


So I’m starting my day as usual, having coffee and watching a few YouTube videos, when suddenly the internet disconnects, programs stop responding, and then I get an unusual error message: “Microsoft Windows:  The application is not responding. ”

That’s strange, never seen that before. Usually it’s just Windows Explorer that crashes. After that the computer restarted and my system hard drive was dead. I spent a day waiting for a new one (Thankful for Amazon prime), and then another day reinstalling all of my programs.

During my break I read Terrible Old Games You’ve Probably Never Heard Of by Ashens, and the Dictator’s Handbook by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alistair Smith. Books are cool when I get a chance to read them.

It’s been a while since I did any work on my hardware, and I needed a bigger system drive anyway, so this was a good excuse I suppose. The 60GB SSD was too small, and I’ve replaced it with a second Samsung 250GB 850 Pro. These one’s are supposed to last at least 10 years? That’ll be impressive, the dead one lasted 6.

I don’t think I lost anything important.

Also I destroyed the dead hard drive, for security, of course.

Dead by KupoGames


Lately I’ve started some new collections, and I’m wondering how long I’ll have fun with them before they turn into problems. A year ago I got back into Lego, but I’ve already gotten bored of the new stuff, and have specifically started collecting 90s sci-fi Lego. I got a few Aquazone subs, and I’ll probably continue with those. But all this Lego is taking up shelf space, and I know my love for it won’t last forever.  (I’ve already totally forgotten about my Amiibos, after collecting around 50 of them…)

Crab by KupoGames


I also picked up the Samorost 3 Vinyl, since the art is so pretty. I haven’t played the game yet, but I’ll get round to that soon. Earlier this year Ronja got me the Hello Internet podcast vinyl, so this is turning into a bit of a collection too.

I’ve got this weird relationship with stuff, where collecting it gives me massive pleasure, but I also know that at some point it’ll just be wasting space and collecting dust. I tell myself I’ll give it to some deserving kids later, but chances are it’ll just go into storage because I don’t want to let go completely. That’s life I guess.

Yesterday I spent the day fiddling with EBF3 on Steam to see if I can get in all the features I want (mainly adding stage quality). Turns out AS2 is just too old, and trying to update it is probably a lost cause. Each way I package the game has different trade-offs, so I trade some options for others. (I can get stage quality working at the expense of game speed and full screen resolutions) Not good. 

I also thought a bit about Mac versions of my Steam games. It looks like technically it wouldn't be much work, only problem is that I have to compile the games from a Mac, and I don't have one and don't want to get one. I spent a few hours installing a Mac virtual machine under Windows to try it out. That was a fun exercise but I don't think anything of value came out of it, it wasn't very usable in the end. 

Maybe someday I'll pick up a Mac mini or something. I wonder if I even have any Mac users left in my audience at this rate. Sorry guys! 

Anyway, I'm going to revisit EBF4 next, with some luck I'll get the game running nicely in Adobe AIR. I'd finally add that Steam overlay, "windowed" full screen, and reduce the amount of compatibility issues users have. This is important to figure out early since EBF5 will be running on the same tech.

Hey guys, I’m back from my gaming binge. I cleared out a lot of games that were on my playlist, and tried to relax a bit in general. It’s been a long time since I played so many video games in a week.

I started off with Shadows of Adam, which is a SNES-like JRPG that had quite a strong nostalgic impact on me. I spent so much of my teenage years playing Final Fantasy, Golden Sun, Chrono Trigger and all that, but it’s been a very long time since I’ve played a traditional JRPG. The newer stuff doesn’t grip me at all, and I haven’t replayed the old games cause I’m sick of random battles and the huge time sink. Maybe I should give the Final Fantasy re-releases a try, since they seem to have some nice convenience features. Final Fantasy 9 in particular, that’s my favourite. Anyway, Shadows of Adam was a mediocre game I guess, but it got me thinking about JRPGs again, which was nice.

I finally got round to finishing The Witness… well, the regular stuff anyway. I’ll probably keep working on the optional puzzles over time, as I’ve already done quite a lot of them. I think this is my favourite puzzle game ever. I’ve never been so captivated by a puzzle game before, I usually get bored of them quite quickly. I’ve played it for 30 hours and I’m still into it, even though it’s a very slow and often frustrating experience. The game just keeps calling me to explore and try to figure everything out. I think it’s the complete lack of instructions that does it for me. It just leaves me alone to wander around and curiously poke things at my own pace. Also, Ronja challenged me to beat the game without taking any notes. I’m quite proud of myself for achieving that, I think it stretched my memory a bit.

And finally, I got into the Shantae games. The music and character animations are so good. I was a bit surprised at how sexual the games are. I thought it was just going to be a sexy main character, but it goes a lot further than that, with tons of innuendo and weird fetish material. Not complaining at all. I started off playing Pirate’s Curse, which I enjoyed a lot until the later levels. It turns out I sabotaged my enjoyment of the game because I didn’t realize you could buy permanent attack upgrades, and all of the enemies had crazy amounts of health as a result. So that sucked. I played it through again on pirate mode, going for most of the achievements and getting 100% of the items. The levels designs are soooo good for speed running. You don’t even realize until you return to the earlier levels with all of your new abilities. So that game made me a fan of the series instantly. I played Half Genie Hero next, which in terms of gameplay and story I think was actually inferior to the previous game. It just wasn’t as gripping. But it was still a good game overall, and totally recommend the series.

C6W23H-XQAAwMbd by KupoGames


I feel like I've been neglecting DeviantArt a bit, and I think the major reason is that the other social networks I use have trained me to make posts that don't really work well here. Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook all work well with very small posts; little bits of text or screenshots of work in progress. I feel like DeviantArt is more for completed works of art, or longer journals. Posting gifs is a pain here; I have to prepare a preview image every time, which I don't have to do elsewhere. It's also harder to post fanart here, because it's generally implied that the things in my gallery are my own work. But maybe I'm just using it wrong. 

What do you guys think? Should I write lots of little journal entries here as if this were Twitter? Should I post more WIP screenshots? Should I post fanart in my gallery?

I really like DeviantArt, it's just that the format is starting to feel very different from every other site.

I made a video about how I started making games!
Also I should have mentioned in it: I studied Computing Science.

You can find my early animations here: matt-likes-swords.newgrounds.c…
And all of my web games here: matt-likes-swords.newgrounds.c…


I made a video about designing enemies for Epic Battle Fantasy 5 and other RPGs.
I’m gonna try to do a lot more of these on different topics, so follow me on YouTube if you care.



Hey guys, I’m programming the foes and I’m working on some interesting behaviour for some of them. I don’t want them to be smart, just a bit smarter than in previous games, so that more strategies can be opened up. Here’s some behaviours I’ve got so far:

• Smarter-looking foes can target players who are weak against a given element. For example, Frost Wraiths won’t bother using ice magic on players who are resistant to it, which means leaving one player unprotected is very dangerous against them.

• Beast-type foes can be aggroed and will attack whoever hit them last. Normally this wouldn’t be a huge problem, unless you use an attack that hits all enemies and has them all angry at one player.

• Similar to the above, some boss helper foes could target whoever is dealing damage to the boss.

• Sniper-type foes (like Laser Turrets!)  will try to finish off any player that’s at low health, but otherwise act normally.

Most foes will still be pretty dumb, you’ll just have to be careful with your strategy against some groups. And I’ll make sure enemy behaviour is pointed out in the dialogue and bestiary info, so it doesn’t completely catch you off-guard either.

Hey guys, I just spent a week in Malta with Ronja, my brother, and his girlfriend. It was quite an adventure. This holiday was planned without my input, so it was all surprises for me. All I knew was that Malta was located somewhere around Spain or Italy, and was probably a lot like those places. (and it turns out it was)

We went in winter to save money, and the weather was kind of crazy. When the sun was out it was great, but as soon as it leaves it’s time to add two layers of clothing. Even at it’s worst it was still way warmer than Scotland though, so I can’t complain there. But the bigger issue was that the homes there don’t have central heating and not enough blankets, so we had to struggle a bit with inefficient electric heaters and air conditioners. The places were also very damp, drafty and dusty. We got used to it. It was all Airbnb places we stayed at. Maybe hotels were a bit nicer. Maybe not.

Another issue is that not a lot of tourist stuff was even open! Tons of restaurants and even some tourist attractions didn’t bother opening in Winter. Oh well, at least it wasn’t crowded.

That’s the complaints out of the way. Malta was really pretty! We stayed 4 nights on the main island and 3 nights on the smaller island Gozo, seeing both a lot of the towns and also a lot of the countryside. The architecture was all a bit samey, with everything being made from limestone, but there was still plenty of nicely decorated homes and churches, with all sorts of statues and patterns. The towns were all very cosy with everything squeezed in very close together (I guess you could call them cramped, but I liked it in this case). We visited a small cave under a house. The capital city Valletta had some impressive fortifications and cannon firing ceremonies.

3ofmalta by KupoGames

The seaside cliffs and arches and caves were great. We took a brief ride around them on a tiny boat – it rocked so much it was like a terrifying rollercoaster. Probably the highlight of the trip there. I also loved the mediterranean trees! I took a lot of tree photos to hopefully inspire EBF5 a bit.

2017-01-23 13.12.41 by KupoGames

Visited some megalithic temples, which were 5,000 years old. You really have to use your imagination with those. It’s awesome that buildings from so long ago are still around… but they’re really not that impressive if you just look at them – they’re just a pile of rocks. So you gotta learn some of the history to get into it – I’ll have to find some documentaries!

2017-01-23 14.41.51 by KupoGames

I need to mention that the traffic was mental. Malta has tons of cars for such a small country, and very tight roads. The drivers seem to be like those in Italy: very aggressive, trying to overtake the instant they need to slow down a tiny bit. The cars had many battle scars. There was also tons of old cars! Not fashionably old ones, just normal old. It reminded me of the 90s in a nostalgic way. Same goes for most of the technology there. They have all of the new stuff, but tons of old stuff is still lingering around too. They’re really taking their time updating things.

Well, I think that’s all of my thoughts out.

Update: I think I’ve found a solution to my problem. With the help of HTMLLoader and LocalConnection, I can get Flashplayer running inside AIR, and I can get the best of both.

---

Hey guys, with Epic Battle Fantasy 4 being in a Humble Bundle and having a lot of new eyes on it, I once again had the horrifying realization that I’m still making games in Flash. I thought a bit about this when I started working on Epic Battle Fantasy 5 a year ago, but pushed those thoughts to the side and decided to wait and see how things might develop. Well, things haven’t gotten much better.

Here’s the problem: Adobe suck. 

Adobe AIR is their cross-platform solution for running Flash apps on Desktop, iOS and Android – and it would be perfect for my needs EXCEPT that the Desktop version doesn’t have the same performance optimizations that the mobile versions have. It doesn’t have the Stage Quality setting that Flashplayer has – this let’s you change the anti-aliasing of vector graphics and is a huge factor on performance. HUGE. My games always have this set to MEDIUM by default, with lots of users setting it to LOW. But in AIR, it’s permanently set to HIGH, making my games run 50 to 100% slower in AIR compared to the web Flashplayer! What the hell!

Another missing feature is GPU rendering for bitmaps. If I convert all of my vector graphics to bitmaps, they’ll run quite well on a phone! Not on my desktop computer though! Madness!

Word from Adobe is that they’ll consider features that are often requested, like these. But after waiting for a year (and hearing how other developers waited much longer than that), I think it’s time to assume it’s not a priority for Adobe at all.

I used Adobe AIR for my release of Epic Battle Fantasy 3 on Steam. And everything works very nicely, except that the performance is terrible! Many users pointed out that it ran noticeably worse than the web version, and that’s because it does.

My shooter game Bullet Heaven 2 worked well in AIR, but it didn’t use vector graphics very much, so this wasn’t an issue. It was made with Starling and Stage3D, which performs very well, but makes animation much harder than it is in regular Flash games, and there’s no way I could make an EBF game like that. There’s just too much complicated animation involved.

For Epic Battle Fantasy 4, which came out on Steam almost 3 years ago now, I used a Flash wrapper called MDM Zinc, which is similar to AIR but uses the standard Flashplayer, and therefore runs my games better. This worked well, but it had serious compatibility issues with a few users, and the company that made it is gone now, so I can’t use it anymore anyway. There’s a DRM-free build of it left over, but as far as I can tell there’s no way of getting rid of the “trial version” splash screen now.

Publishing on Steam using a simple Flashplayer Projector is an option too. The performance would be better, but I’d be restricted by not having common application features like being able to create save files wherever I wish, or controlling the size of the application window. Adding Steam features like cloud saving and achievements would require inconvenient work-arounds.

So what other options does that leave me with?

I could convert my animations to Unity files using something like GAF or UniSwf, and port all of my code over to Unity too. That could lead to great performance, and Unity is super popular and well supported now, unlike Flash. Downside is I’d have to learn Unity very well, port tons of work over, and overall I’d probably have a much slower workflow than I do in Flash. EBF5 was meant to be a 2-year project, if I switch to Unity I could easily see that being 3 years or more, with tons of unforeseen problems thanks to my lack of any experience with Unity. Not a risk I’d like to take with my biggest project ever.

Also the chances of releasing a web version of the game would go down drastically if it’s not made in Flash. Steam’s my main market now, but I still have tons of fans there who would lynch me if I didn’t release a web version. Sticking to Flash also makes any future mobile ports easy – Adobe AIR does work fine on mobile after all, it’s just the Desktop version that’s causing me grief.

Apparently Scaleform is a cool technology for running Flash content fast – it’s used for GUIs in AAA titles and also some mobile games. But it doesn’t look like they’re interested in the Desktop indie market, and I couldn’t even get permission to try it out.

OpenFl is another framework I considered, as its workflow is supposed to be similar to Flash. But it still feels like it’s in its infancy, not being fully implemented or documented yet, and would still require a lot of porting pains, much like a move to Unity would.

None of this really threatens EBF5′s development. I just think it’s likely that I’m going to have to make some compromises when it comes to Steam features or performance. Maybe I’ll make 2 launchers on Steam, Flashplayer and AIR, and users can decide which one works better for them.

Oh well.

Thanks, Adobe.
For not developing Desktop AIR, and for leading me on.

Hey guys, Epic Battle Fantasy 4 is in a Humble Bundle, so you can get it for super cheap. Or you can pay a bit more and get other good games with it, and also throw some money at charity.

You can choose which developers and charities the money goes to. I personally support Arthritis Research UK, so it would be cool if you sent some money their way.

Proxy by KupoGames





Hey guys, here’s a summary of my year. Most of it was taken up by Epic Battle Fantasy 5 and learning how to live away from my parents. A lot of people felt 2016 was a terrible year news-wise, but nothing in the news really affected me at all. Anyway, here’s a list of important stuff that happened:

• Me and Ronja moved into a flat together! Had to learn how to do house chores and boring stuff.

• Upgraded my battlestation with new monitors, graphics tablet, webcam, and mugs! Should last me many years.

• Played a lot of indie games this year, but I think my favourite by far will have to be Undertale.

• Ronja got Rheumatoid Arthritis and was totally incapacitated for a few weeks. After a few months and hundreds of pills, she’s almost normal again, but still a bit feeble. She’ll be on meds forever and we’ll just have to see how much of her strength she can get back. Lots of visits to the hospital this year!

• Went to the Play expo in Glasgow. First time at major-ish gaming event like this. Tried out a bunch of arcade machines, pinball, and old consoles like the Vectrex.

• My family dog, Maxi, died. Had her for 15 years.

• Found an old sketchbook of mine from when I was 8. It’s full of hundreds of monsters. I scanned it all and stuck it online, and have decided to continue drawing monsters in it.

• Took 3 or 4 days off to play with Lego for my birthday. Managed to build some sets from my childhood, as well as getting a bunch of new ones.

• Ronja’s birthday party was good too. We broke in the flat and brought our friends round. Got more novelty hats for my collection. Later went to the local pub and there was a crime scene outside!

• Me and Ronja went on a quick road trip to Ayr by the coast. Found a cool pub called the Smoking Goat.

• Went on a Road trip with Ronja, my brother, his girlfriend, and a friend from Poland. We aimed for the island of Arran but missed the ferry and went to Bute instead. Hiked a bit, saw some beaches, and there were seals! Seals are really funny.

• There was a big power cut in my area! Never seen a city so dark before. It was spooky.

• I talked to a bunch of developers and got some cameos lined up for EBF5, including Chibi Knight, Sushi Cat, and the guys from Sentry Knight. Matt and Natalie also appeared in the new Sentry Knight game as NPCs.

• Me and Ronja went to Birmingham for the EGX expo. We hung out with the Massive Monster devs who we’ve met before, and also made some new friends. Hype intensified for Yooka Laylee, Snake Pass, and other games. Also saw a bit of Birmingham, including the impressive library and some random film set.

• I think my favourite book this year was So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson. Very relevant in the age of outrage on the internet, and a fun read.

• Found more of my old sketchbooks, but they were all pretty lame. I had a habit of only filling the first page or two.

• The UK voted to leave the EU and no one expected it. Everyone lost their shit over this and I’m indifferent. A weak £ is even good for me since I get paid in $. Sucks for Europeans living in the UK and sending money back home though!

•  Started playing Dungeons and Dragons with my friends. It’s a lot of fun but also a huge time investment, so I don’t join in too often. I play as a racist druid named Salazar Ratkin. Ronja’s a bard.

• After a few visits to some dog shelters, my brother and his girlfriend got a dog! It’s a Staffy, so it’s very bulky for its size and tends to bruise people while trying to lick their faces.

• Not long after, my parents got a Labrador! She’s really dumb but also very young so maybe she’ll get smarter. She also wiggles a lot when she sees people.

•  Mostly stopped pirating TV and migrated to Netflix and Amazon instead. Black Mirror, Mr Robot and Stranger Things were some great shows this year.

• I went on a road trip around Scotland with Ronja and some of her friends from Finland. We saw Glen Coe, Skye, Loch Ness and Cairn Gorm. Climbed some hills, saw some waterfalls, got stampeded by sheep, drove over a lot of cattle grids. It was good and I’ll have to do something similar again soon.

•  Got a huge pumpkin for Halloween and ended up making cake, salad and soup out of it. Took way too long.

• Stayed up all night with friends watching the American election results. What a rollercoaster of an election. Better entertainment than any work of fiction.

• Epic Battle Fantasy 4 is almost 3 years old on Steam and thousands of people are still buying it somehow.

• Made about 40% of EBF5 this year. Would have liked that to be closer to 50%, but not bad considering the circumstances.

• Celebrated Christmas with dogs and Lego. Ronja was away in Finland while I stayed with my family. It was nice.

2016 by KupoGames


Hey guys! Hope you’ve all had a good Christmas!
I spent 3 days playing with Lego and dogs. I can’t really ask for anything more than that.
My parents and my brother each got a puppy, and they’re all temporarily living together, so it’s crazy over there.

Our landlord gave me and Ronja a big box of snacks and wine, which was unexpected. I guess that’s a good way of getting us to stay around. Only got a Christmas card from one of the neighbours despite giving them out to everyone, so it looks like only our nextdoors are cool people. Everyone else is obviously a scumbag.

The Steam Winter sale has also been treating me well. EBF4 is 3 years old on Steam, and thousands of people are still buying it for some reason. Thanks everyone!

I’m gonna start reading all the comments on the Christmas giveaway, and emailing the winners. It might still take a few days, as there’s a LOT to read there.

Lego Ages by KupoGames


I’m doing another big Steam key giveaway this year, leave a comment on my site for a chance to win Epic Battle Fantasy 4 or Bullet Heaven 2!

(or you can also buy them discounted in the upcoming Steam Winter sale)

Merry Christmas  Happy Holidays  And All That  By  by KupoGames


Epic Battle Fantasy 4 and Bullet Heaven 2 are 67% off for the duration of the autumn sale!
From their store pages you can nominate them for awards! It would be cool if you nominated EBF4 for the “I Thought This Game Was Cool Before It Won An Award” Award.

Anyway, this is more or less the steepest discount I’m going to do for these games for a long time. The discount will be the same during the Steam Winter Sale later.

Steam-sale Copy by KupoGames


Hey guys, I just got back from a 4-day road trip around Scotland. Two of Ronja’s friends came over from Finland, and the four of us took off in my heavily-packed car.

We first visited the Isle of Skye where we stayed for two nights in a self-catering cottage in the middle of nowhere. It was a long day of driving to get there, and we spent a lot of it driving through hilly countryside at night, which was scary. My car is not amazing so it struggles a bit on hills when it’s full. And the countryside has all sorts of traps like sheep standing next to the road and cattle grids. So it was an interesting drive.

On the way to Skye we stopped at Luss, Glen Coe (pictured) and Eilean Donan Castle briefly. There was no shortage of cool stops.

Img 20161017 160201 by KupoGames

On Skye we hiked up The Storr hill to see the huge spiky rock formations on it (pictured). It’s quite a  steep hike but it’s not too long or challenging. It takes less than two hours to get to the rocks even if you’re not particularly fit for hiking. The weather was mostly good, but while I was at the top it rained heavily for ten minutes and that was me soaked for the day – I forgot to equip my waterproof trousers. Overall though I think this was one of my favourite hiking experiences ever. Very good views for relatively little work. (well except for all the driving to get there)

2016-10-18 13.45.28 by KupoGames

We stopped at the town of Portee and at the Sligachan Old Bridge (pictured) a few times, as these were nice places to take driving breaks.

Img 20161018 110017 by KupoGames

We stopped briefly for hotdogs at The Quiraing (pictured), which was a nice view point on a high mountain road. We visited the The Fairy Glen, which is a small area of strange looking hills that looks like The Shire from Lord of the Rings, or something similar. The Mealt Falls was another viewing area we stopped at for a good view of the seaside cliffs.

Img 20161018 160244 by KupoGames

While driving past the town of Uig, the highlight of the whole trip happened. We stopped the car as a stampede of sheep was herded around us. It was wonderful. (pictured)

Img 20161018 164003 by KupoGames

The next day we went on a tour of the Talisker distillery. I was the only one in the group that wasn’t interested in whisky, but I found the machines, giant barrels, and smells in the place interesting. It’s also the first time I’ve heard the word “hopper” used outside of Minecraft! We also visited the Fairy Pools in Glen Brittle (pictured), which is a long stream with many varied waterfalls and makes for a great walking area.

2016-10-19 13.06.32 by KupoGames

After that it was another long drive until we got to Loch Ness. We stayed in a small rural hotel in Foyers, where we got a good view of the lake. Foyers also has a nice little forest path  (pictured) and an impressive waterfall with a few viewing areas. The change of scenery was nice compared to Skye’s rockiness and lack of trees.

Img 20161020 105320 by KupoGames

From here we started driving back home, but on the way we visited Cairn Gorm, which is a popular skiing mountain in the Cairngorms national park. They’ve got a cool railway service that takes you to the top for a nice view. It looked like there was a lot to do in the area, but that’s all we had time for.

Then we went home. The end.

(credit to Ronja for most of these photos)

Oh yeah, I should also mention that now’s a really good time to visit the UK! Brexit has caused our currency to become much weaker, so your holiday will be much cheaper than normal!

Img 20161019 134930 by KupoGames

Epic Battle Fantasy 5 is around 30% done!

That’s less than I would have liked, but I think it’s for good reasons:
• I spent a lot longer on battle animations than in previous games, and IMO it looks much better.
• Took some time off to re-release EBF3.
• Ronja’s health issues. (she’s a LOT better now)

I think progress will speed up once I start programming things – a lot of the code will be recycled from EBF4. Also the world map graphics will be in the same style as EBF4, so I’ll be recycling a lot of those too.

I updated Epic Battle Fantasy 3 with some major usability features for 2016!

The Kongregate version is now almost the same as the Steam version.
(Pros: Quality setting means it runs better.  Cons: Browsers might delete your saves.)

Anyway, here’s the changes:
• There’s a little options menu which includes sound, frame-skip, and quality.
• There’s a wave counter in battle now!
• Scanned foes’ information can now be viewed at any time during your turn.
• Minigame achievements are noticeably easier.
• Text pops up when a status effect is inflicted.
• The party heals faster when walking around later in the game.
• There’s more useful tips scattered around the menus.
• Bitmaps are higher resolution and the game should look better in cinematic mode.
• There’s more fanart in the gallery now.
• Some links and credits have been updated.
• Little interface improvements here and there
• Lance’s general defence buffed by 10%!

So now’s a good chance to replay the game if you’ve been wanting to.