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.

EUB Devlog – Introduction

Welcome! My name is Eric “ExPorygon” Oswald, and I am the director and lead programmer of 東方逆妙乱 ~ Ephemeral Unnatural Balance as well as the founder of Ephemeral Entertainment. I’d like to personally thank you for joining me on this exploration of the development of EUB.

So let’s not waste any time! Ephemeral Unnatural Balance began its life sometime during 2012 (it’s hard to remember exactly when). I had recently joined the Walfas Station Wagon skype group and had made a number of friends, including Sturmgeschuts, a fanfiction writer. I don’t really remember how it came up, but we were talking about overlooked characters in the Touhou Project series, especially the ones that only appeared as midbosses. We basically thought, “What if there was a game that starred all of those characters?” That’s how the idea of EUB came to be. Sturm would write the story and I would program the game.

While I was still developing another game, the Touhou-Mario crossover, Kingdom of Mushrooms, my will to continue it was on the the decline. The game was…weird to say the least. Honestly, the reason I started that project was partly due to my extreme enthusiasm for making danmaku patterns at the time, as I had recently learned how to program with Danmakufu. I longed to explore what sort of danmaku patterns that characters outside of Touhou would use. This is why I made the Doopliss halloween script and I kind of wish I had just stopped there. What I really mean is, I wish I had simply made standalone boss fights of the characters I wanted to do, instead of making a full game complete with a story. And the story is where the game kind of falls into the weirdness. As someone who usually finds crossover stories to be jarring, weird, and sometimes cringy, I don’t know why I decided to try and make one myself. The time-saving decision to make all of the players have the same dialogue wasn’t helping matters. I still think the story has a few redeeming qualities, like the Bowser dialogue and my plan for Doopliss, but it’s still pretty strange. By 2012-2013, I had begun to realize that the game would at best be seen as a weird meme game among the community, even if it was super well designed (and it wasn’t). I was longing to make a “real” fan game, one that could proudly stand alongside the likes of Concealed the Conclusion and the recently-released The Last Comer. The idea for EUB came along at the perfect time and even though I said that I would finish KoM eventually, I think I knew all along that that really wasn’t likely to happen.

So we hit the ground running with EUB. I started designing the players and Sturm began writing the story. To fit with the theme, we decided to make the incident about a power reversal spell that would be unleashed upon Gensokyo. Traditionally powerful characters would become weak and vice versa. The name, Ephemeral Unnatural Balance was chosen by Sturm to represent the game, as it’s about a short-lived, unusual balance of power brought about by the spell. Here is one of the earliest mock-covers for the game, made by Kappatalist (uploaded by Sturm).

Unfortunately, we couldn’t have known at the time that Double Dealing Character would ultimately beat us to the theme of flipping the status quo on its head. Luckily, there were enough key differences between the two games that it ultimately did not matter much (not to mention a difference of 5 years in release). For example, Seija was aiming to overthrow society but was stopped before she could. In EUB, the upheaval has already started, and the effects are evident by the power and demeanor of the encountered characters.

By late 2013, Sturm had already completed the entire script for the game. I was blown away by it! More than anything, the script signaled to me that this is really happening, that EUB was going to be the Touhou fan project that I had dreamed it of being! More motivated than ever, I set out to making music and starting the actual design of the stages and bosses!

That’s all I’ll cover for now, the next devlog will continue with the development of Stage 1. Thank you for reading and we’ll see you next time!

Welcome to Ephemeral Entertainment!!

Greetings Internet, I’m ExPorygon, and welcome to the official Ephemeral Entertainment website! This will be the home for all information about our content, including games, music, and various blog posts relating to them. I’m also here to triumphantly announce the revival of the Porygon Productions tumblr development blog which will now be hosted here also under the same name!

And perhaps most important of all, it’s time to announce that 東方逆妙乱 ~ Ephemeral Unnatural Balance has been slated for release in Summer 2018 on Steam!! The main 6 stages of the game have been finished and work on the extra stage is underway. We even have plans for additional content after release! For more info on the game, head here.

Ephemeral Entertainment is the name I’ve given to the game development team for 東方逆妙乱 ~ Ephemeral Unnatural Balance. With the launch of the website, we aim to keep making quality games, music, and perhaps other original and Touhou-derivative content.

So for those who are viewing this from Tumblr, just know that www.ephemeralentertainment.net is the new home for the blog BUT most posts will be cross-posted to Tumblr as well. Most of the relevant posts from the old blog have also been imported here.

 

Oh wow! Im glad im able to contact you! Its easier if you have a blog because i dont have a youtube account. Not only are you one of my favorite scripters, i think youre a pretty nice guy! ^^ Anyways, youre making Daiyousei the Stage 4 boss right? Theres this song I found I think would fit her stage! But it seems I cant put the link here, heres the name for you to search it: 桐生 – 雨の降る夜に I used google translate and It said The Rainy Nightfall. I hope im helpful! Have a nice day Ozzy! :3
hydropump

Greetings!! Thanks so much for the compliments!

I looked up the song name you have and I’ve actually discovered it myself a few years back. I believe that a better translation of the name would be Tonight’s Rainfall, and I agree with you that it’s an absolutely beautiful piece. But I have already decided that I will not be arranging it for EUB.

Putting aside the fact that I have already chosen a piece to arrange for Stage 4, there are a few reasons why I am not considering Tonight’s Rainfall:

1. I don’t believe it fits for a stage. Plenty of people clearly disagree with me (I’ve read their comments) but I do firmly believe that the song better fits a boss fight, albeit one with a bit less tension than usual. My partner Trickysticks and I both have this opinion.

2. I don’t believe that it should be used during the stage if Daiyousei is not present in it. The song definitely fits my idea of Daiyousei’s character, but the association to her would be somewhat lost if it were used in the stage before her, rather than when she’s actually present. Instead the association would mostly likely fall to Cirno instead, as it usually happens with stage themes and their respective midbosses.

3. The song is not fitting for Daiyousei’s character in the context of EUB’s story, even if I were to use it as a boss theme. One of the common side effects of the power reversal, as it becomes clear in stage 4, is an altered personality. It tends to manifest more in individuals who have the most drastic changes in power, which is why it does not appear to be afflicting some characters like Momiji and Aya. As the dialogue makes clear, Daiyousei in particular has gone from a shy, playful, and mischievous fairy to a stern, antagonistic fairy general dedicated to a fairy uprising.

All that said, I DID once envision a game starring the characters of Team ⑨ where Daiyousei would be a stage 5 boss in her normal state. THAT is where I wanted to use this theme. It’s not likely that that game will happen anymore, but if I ever come up with a similar opportunity you can bet that I will be arranging Tonight’s Rainfall for it.

Thanks for the ask! It’s things like this that keep me motivated and moving at a steady pace on development. I had fun writing this response, feel free to ask more questions any time! I love to interact with fans!

EUB System Overhaul: Hitboxes!

This somehow became a lengthy rambling post, if you want to look at the shiny hitboxes check the pictures below

Howdy. It’s me, Trickysticks, here with the first devlog in quite a long time. Porygon Productions has been a bit quiet lately, but we’ve definitely been putting work into the game. A lot of what we’ve done since the last update is fairly boring technical stuff, such as updating ancient code to be compatible with all of the new libraries we’re using, lots of bugfixes, and fixing Porygon’s efforts to break half the game by misspelling things. Whoops.

One of the less boring technical changes has serious impact on gameplay, though. There have been changes to one of the fundamentals of how all danmaku-based games work: hitboxes.

If I tell Danmakufu that a 10 pixel by 10 pixel area on an image is a shot, then it’ll take whatever’s in that area, render it, and give it a hitbox. Simple enough – it gets tedious with a few hundred bullets but that’s life. It helps that there’s ways to automate this process. This explains why shot sheets look like this.

Hitboxes are generated by finding the center of the rectangle you give Danmakufu, and drawing a circle or oval with a radius that’s a ratio of whatever dimensions the rectangle is. In other words, big rectangle = big hitbox, small rectangle = small hitbox. This is simple, but it works…for regularly shaped bullets. For generic round shots and bubbles, and even some more oval-shaped bullets, this works fine! It’s when you get to more special bullets, like the infamous knives, that this system starts producing weirdness.

The hitboxes have always erred on the side of generous because of this, and it’s worked until now. For the sake of being more accurate to what the bullets actually look like, we’ve done a small overhaul on some of the more weird bullets. How?

We’re using more than one circle.

Amazing.

Anyway I’ve rambled on long enough, here’s some pictures of the changes. Note that multiple circles mean more collision detection, and more processing power needed. We’ll use these bullets sparingly.

Before:

image

After:

image

Quite the change, isn’t it?