Author Archives: Trickysticks

EUB Patch 1.03

This patch has some relatively minor balance changes and bugfixes. We’ve also released a free demo on Steam! Be sure to tell your friends. Also, the Japanese translation has been finished! Special thanks to MSLabo102 for his hard work.

BALANCE CHANGES

  • Some difficulty adjustments primarily aimed at Easy Mode, with some changes to higher difficulties as well.
  • Kunai during Kisume’s final spell on Easy and Normal can no longer be deleted by player bombs.
  • The timeout phase of Kisume’s Encore Spell now scales with difficulty. It’s still difficult, but not Lunatic-level on Easy.

OTHER CHANGES

  • It’s possible to view the cutscene at the beginning of Tokiko’s route again! An option will appear in the Options menu that will allow you to reset the Rinnosuke event. Please remember that you’ll need to view the cutscene again to use Spell Practice.
  • Shizuha’s first spellcard should have better performance.
  • The Japanese translation has now been fully-implemented.

BUGFIXES

  • Fixed a bug where Daiyousei exploded improperly on some difficulties.
  • Fixed a bug where Daiyousei would occasionally teleport offscreen during certain attacks.
  • Fixed a bug where it was possible to use flashbombs during the Large Fairy spell in Spell Practice.
  • Fixed a bug where certain books during the extra stage were incorrectly dropping life pieces when marked with flashbombs.
  • Fixed a bug where Extra Stage spellcard replays would show incorrect difficulties in the replay menu.

KNOWN ISSUES

Replays may occasionally desync. We think they work pretty consistently now, but as always, record your gameplay live if you want to be 100% sure it’s saved.

Version 1.02 has been moved to a separate branch. If you have replays from that version and still want to record them, use Steam’s Betas feature.
To access old branches, right-click on the game in your library, choose Properties, click on the Betas tab, and select the version from the drop-down menu.
To switch back to the current branch, set the branch to None.

EUB Patch 1.02

This patch will be the last one with major balance changes. Unless it breaks something.
Then we’ll fix it. The goal is to make Easy (and some of Normal) more accessible by changing some of the more unusual patterns.
There are also some changes to some of the harder patterns on higher difficulties.

BALANCE CHANGES

  • Tojiko’s first spellcard now has a more spread-out pattern on Easy Mode.
  • Stage 5 now spawns fewer web traps on Easy and Normal Modes. Yamame will drop extra life pieces to compensate for the missing webs.
  • Kisume’s final spellcard is now completely different on Easy and Normal Modes.
  • Reduced the difficulty of the final boss’ last two attacks, especially during Discord on higher difficulties.
  • Adjusted the difficulty of some Extra Stage patterns.
  • Various other changes aimed at reducing the game’s difficulty.

RIN CHANGES

Rin does fine damage if you’re not in the boss’s face. If you are in the boss’s face, however, she destroys things. We like shotgunning doing more damage, but not to the point of completely destroying certain patterns.

  • The more of Rin’s shots that are hitting an enemy, the less damage they do. This means that she does less damage to enemies that are close to her but more damage from farther away.
    • Far away DPS changed from ~220 to ~240, shotgun DPS changed from ~510 to ~430.
  • Rin’s Discord shot has been changed dramatically – it’s actually the same as normal Rin while in the boss’ face, but when you’re not she’s much more capable!
    • Far away DPS changed from ~240 to ~280, shotgun DPS changed from ~580 to ~430.
  • Note: this only affects focused shot damage. Unfocus damage has not changed inside or outside of Discord. Finally, these DPS numbers are based on 4.00 Power, and are approximate.

OTHER CHANGES

  • The life piece meter at the bottom left has a new effect for when you have 3 life pieces stored.
  • Spells with long animations at the beginning will start up faster during Spell Practice.
  • Some of the game’s music tracks have been updated.

BUGFIXES

  • Fixed a bug where the name order of some bosses would be wrong in Japanese.
  • Fixed a bug where the spellcard capture notification would appear late during some patterns.
  • Fixed a bug where fairies during Daiyousei’s first spell could shoot while dead during replays.
  • Fixed a bug where boss effects (lifebars, timers, etc) would disappear if you restarted the game during Stage 5.
  • Fixed a few bugs where some tracks would fail to loop properly.

KNOWN ISSUES

Replays may occasionally desync. If you want to be absolutely sure that your gameplay is saved, record the game live if you can. We’re working to fix this; if you notice any things that cause desyncs, please let us know!

Version 1.01b has been moved to a separate branch. If you have replays from that version and still want to record them, use Steam’s Betas feature.
To access old branches, right-click on the game in your library, choose Properties, click on the Betas tab, and select the version from the drop-down menu.
To switch back to the current branch, set the branch to None.

EUB Patch 1.01b

BALANCE CHANGES

  • Reduced the difficulty of the final boss’s third spell on Easy Mode.
  • Adjusted the pattern fired by the final boss’s third spell on all difficulties.

OTHER CHANGES

  • You may now only play through the Extra Stages with a player that you have unlocked.

BUGFIXES

  • Fixed a bug where the Stage 1 Boss’s second spell would crash on Easy outside of Discord.
  • Fixed a bug where the extra boss’s first theme would not play if using Tokiko with dialogue off.
  • Fixed a bug where special sound effects for Tokiko would play even with dialogue off.
  • Fixed a visual bug where the Extra Stage background was using the wrong textures.
  • Fixed a bug where unlocking the Extra Stage boss’s unused theme would allow you to play it but not display the name.
  • Fixed a font error in the config causing kanji to be drawn to the screen sideways.
  • Fixed a bug where spellcard bonus notifications could appear early sometimes.
  • Adjusted line spacing on the replay save screen (English only).

KNOWN ISSUES

  • Extra Stage replays might desync during the last attack. If you want to be extremely sure that your gameplay is saved, you might want to record the game while playing Extra. We are trying our best to fix this!
  • There are some spacing issues during Japanese endings. These will be fixed in a later patch.

EUB Patch 1.01

EUB released a bit over a week ago, and we’ve gotten a lot of feedback from players about what they love about the game, as well as what they don’t like. We’ve been working this past week to fix many issues and better balance the game, and we’re proud to release version 1.01.

BALANCE CHANGES

We’ve made a lot of balance changes to the game to lower the difficulty and make the player characters easier to use.

PLAYER BALANCE

RIN

Rin should be able to handle stages well with her spread shots. She should still do acceptable damage to bosses. We’ve increased her ability to do both.

  • Massively increased unfocused shot damage. It’s painful now!
  • Changed her focused shot. She will do more damage to enemies directly in front of her at higher power levels, and her shots will spread less to the sides.

KASEN

Kasen is the forward focus shot. She should do more damage than the others, but her spread being too narrow and her rocks firing infrequently made achieving this difficult.

  • Options are now further to her left/right, giving her wider range.
  • Fires rocks more frequently. DPS should be kept the same, but missing a rock is less of a damage loss.

TOKIKO

We’re not going to change her a ton for now – instead we’re making her options go back to her earlier so she’s a bit harder to use. You’ll have to stay focused more to keep her options in place.

  • Tokiko’s options now snap back to her 33% faster (15 frames —> 10 frames).

ALL

More damage is more fun! Bombs will be better at destroying enemies.

  • Bombs do slightly more damage

ENEMY BALANCE

The game has generally been made easier. If you thought that Easy Mode was way too hard, please feel free to give it another try!

  • Easy, Normal, Hard, and Lunatic have all been made easier. The changes made are proportional to how low the difficulty is (Easy Mode is much easier, Lunatic has barely been touched).
  • Extra and Elite Extra have also been changed. Extra has been made quite a bit easier, while Elite Extra received minor changes.

There’s too many balance changes to list every individual thing, but here are some notable ones:

  • Bubble bullets have a significantly smaller hitbox. Large glowing bullets also have smaller hitboxes.
  • Changed the pattern of the lasers fired by the stage 2 midboss’s nonspell on Easy and Normal.
  • Significantly reduced the difficulty of the stage 2 boss’s first nonspell.
  • Significantly changed the patterns fired by the stage 3 midboss.
  • Significantly changed the pattern fired in the stage 4 boss’s second spell on Easy and Normal.
  • Significantly changed the pattern fired by the stage 6 boss during their first nonspell.

NEW STUFF

  • We’ve added a manual to the game! It goes into detail about how the game works and explains the Discord mechanic.
  • We’ve added a new option to turn off Discord’s screen inversion effect. Instead, you’ll get a circle around the player indicating that you’re in Discord. This should be very helpful for people who dislike the effect.
  • Added an unused version of the Extra boss theme. It can be listened to in the music room if you manage to hear the current version of the Extra boss theme.
  • The missing music room comments have been added to the game.

BUGFIXES

  • Fixed a bug where life pieces generated through Discord could be duplicated.
  • Fixed a bug where Stage 4’s second midboss had the wrong spellcard name on certain difficulties.
  • Fixed a bug where Stage 6’s theme looped improperly.
  • Fixed a bug where spellcard histories would display improperly. They were always recorded properly.
  • Fixed a bug where Momiji’s first spellcard would not become more dangerous during Discord on Hard and Lunatic.
  • Fixed a bug where replays would break horribly during the Extra Stage.
  • Fixed a bug where the Extra Stage would error if played with Kasen in Japanese.
  • Fixed a bug where it was possible to bomb during Spell Practice.
  • Fixed some typos.
  • Fixed many visual bugs/issues.

KNOWN ISSUES

  • Extra Stage replays might desync during the last attack. If you want to be extremely sure that your gameplay is saved, you might want to record the game while playing Extra. We are trying our best to fix this!
  • There are some spacing issues during Japanese endings. These will be fixed in a later patch.

EUB Devlog – Stage 1

Greetings, internet! It’s been a while since our last blog post, and even longer since the start of Ephemeral Unnatural Balance’s development. Now, EUB is rapidly approaching completion, and to complement this we’re giving these Devlog posts a fresh start. This post will be the first of a series that discusses the game’s stages: reasons behind design decisions, issues we’ve faced along the way and other fun little tidbits.

We’ve played Stage 1 so many times that we’re absolutely sick of it.

In terms of design, Stage 1 is pretty simple and standard. It was the first stage of the game to be developed and was released in 2013 as a standalone prototype, version 0.11. System-wise, the game was pretty different back then. Discord doesn’t generate life pieces, which makes sense because the Balance gauge drains far more quickly. All Balance is lost when the player dies, a feature that luckily didn’t last very long. What did last long was most of everything else – Stage 1 has remained nearly the same since its initial creation.  The only significant changes are during the Tojiko fight – her first spell and Encore Spell in particular. The Encore Spell was almost entirely redone. Her first nonspell also got a bit of visual polish, but it plays identically.

This version of Tempest of Susanō was used in the 0.11 prototype. The arrows come from Tojiko’s left and right, and she helps out by firing rings of yellow bullets. Since Encore Spells are completely optional patterns that the player faces if the Balance meter is high enough, they can typically afford to be more difficult or gimmicky than a regular pattern. However, we decided it was still too much. It’s pretty easy to memorize, but memorization in Stage 1 is pretty weird and not very fun.

This version of Tempest of Susanō is what will ultimately be in the finished product. It still makes use of zig-zagging arrows, but they only come from one central location. We thought it was a much simpler pattern to read, and doable on the very first try if you’re good enough. Play-testers liked it more and it’s more fun than the old one, so it’s here to stay.

While there weren’t many changes pattern-wise, there were plenty of updates to the visuals and the story. Almost everything visually in the stage has been updated, from elements of the HUD to character art to the bullets themselves. Stage 1 was supposed to take place as the player leaves the Hakurei Shrine to start her adventure, but you wouldn’t know it from the background. Both of the earlier versions of the background depicted some sort of path which was supposed to be to the shrine. However, one was merely a prototype and the other didn’t play well with AMD graphics devices. You can see these below:

The leftmost image is from the prototype, while the background pictured in the center hated my AMD card. The rightmost image will be in the final version – the sun rises as time goes by, brightening the screen.

A sunrise makes sense, as the Stage 1 theme is Dream Sunrise. This song hasn’t changed much, but the Stage 1 boss theme changed drastically. Porygon goes into more detail about this stage’s music in his post coming soon.

Interestingly, Tojiko wasn’t actually the first boss to be made for EUB. To get to her, we’ll have to move on to stage 2.

…Also here’s something silly that Futo did at one point.

DevLog 4/26/15 – Music!

As promised, here are some songs that will hopefully be in the final game!

Stage 2 Theme:

This is the first track for Ephemeral Unnatural Balance not composed by ExPorygon, but rather Spectral Nexus.

“v fresh 10/10 grape wine”

-Random Friend

 

Stage 2 Boss Theme:

“After having difficulties capturing the intensity of the original,
I ended up instead making a slow buildup to a more powerful climax.
I believe it evokes a more melancholic feel, which fits Shizuha rather well.
It’s quite long for stage 2 but that’s why I made a timeout Last Spell :p”

-ExPorygon

Guest DevLog – Trickysticks & Playtesting

Greetings internet! This is ExPorygon Trickysticks, resident playtester/co-streamer/Porygon harasser. Primarily the last bit.

Ephemeral Unnatural Balance started as concept in early 2013, with production starting late 2013/early 2014. Along the way multiple people joined the team working on this, including SpectralNexus’ wonderful musical contributions and my wonderful compacity to annoy spur Porygon into action. I have a bit of background in Danmakufu as well, producing some scripts every now and then.

EUB is coming along nicely, and Porygon comes up with excellent danmaku patterns both himself and from our suggestions. Concepts are one major part of the process, but implementation and testing are another thing. A concept can be amazing but if it’s not fun to play, too hard or too easy, it needs changes.

This is where I come in! With helpful feedback like “this wave of bullets is too slow” or “there’s not enough time between cycles of this attack” or “You should add Momiji Spark”, I help ensure that the game is the highest quality it could be. Look forward to another demo, and eventually the full release!