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Matt Roszak @matt-likes-swords

30, Male

Procrastinator

Glasgow University

Glasgow, UK

Joined on 6/12/04

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matt-likes-swords's News

Posted by matt-likes-swords - 7 days ago


Flashplayer is kill – Flash games will (in most cases) no longer run in browsers starting yesterday. In case you haven’t heard yet, some alternatives include BlueMaxima’s Flashpoint Infinity app (I’ve tested it, my games work on there), the Supernova plugin for Chrome, or the Pale Moon browser. I do think Flashpoint Infinity is the simplest solution though – once you set it up it’s really easy to use. I think it’s Windows-only though.


Ruffle can already play a lot of ActionScript 2 games in browsers, including Epic Battle Fantasy 1, The Kitten Game, and Mecha Dress Up Game. The games actually run much smoother than they did in Flash! Newgrounds has Ruffle enabled for games that work with it. I’m excited to see the day when Ruffle can run ActionScript 3 games – a lot more people could potentially play Epic Battle Fantasy 5 in HD without lag! If you have any spare money lying around and want to preserve Flash games, I really encourage you to donate to the project. (you can also donate your time by reporting bugs and stuff)


You’ve also got the option to buy my latest games on Steam and Itch.io, which include a lot more content than the free versions. And in a few months, the Epic Battle Fantasy Collection will be available to purchase too, which will include ALL of my older games with slight updates.


Anyway, here’s some EBF5 art that Ronja made. Very cool.


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Posted by matt-likes-swords - 3 weeks ago


As is my yearly tradition, here is a rough summary of my year.


• Me and Ronja went on a weekend trip to Killin, a small town in the countryside of Scotland. On the way back I got the car stuck in some snow in the mountains. Some passers-by let us use their shovel, and we were back on our way. I should be more careful in future, but I’ve since got a new set of tyres for my 18-year-old car, so maybe that’ll help.


• I finished off the big version 2 update for EBF5, which added a ton of new content and re-playability to the game. People could now play it for hundreds of hours if they wanted to, and the game has continued selling very well. If you haven't revisited the game since that update came out, you totally should.


• Me and Ronja got invested in US politics this year, and were eagerly following the election news, including the democratic primaries and caucuses. It looked like Bernie Sanders had a chance. What an optimistic start to a nightmare of a year.


• Wildfires, World War 3, race tensions, and Brexit dominated a lot of the news. And the year was just getting started.


• The coronavirus plague obviously defined the entire year. In retrospect, everything that happened seems so obvious and predictable, but in the first few weeks I assumed that governments and people would take the proper precautions to limit the spread and damage. Oh, how naive I was. Two weeks before the first national lockdown, I realized we were in for a wild 18 months or so before a vaccine was developed and distributed. Ronja has a bad immune system, so we were way ahead of the government’s guidelines. The UK has some of the worst virus stats to date, so we have to be extra careful.


• We got a Nintendo Switch early on in the year. I was not impressed by the hardware – it was just a portable WiiU! The screen is so reflective you can’t play outside, the controllers give you hand cramps, and it didn’t even come with a stylus! The games were okay – but nothing that couldn’t already be done on the WiiU. The game I looked forward to the most was Smash Ultimate… but due to the virus, I never had a chance to bring friends round to play it. But on the other hand, Ronja played Animal Crossing for hundreds of hours, so we still got our money’s worth in the end.


• I continued playing Nintendo ROM hacks, including GBA and N64 stuff, and even made some quick edits to Pokemon Fire Red myself! If copyright laws were reasonable, Nintendo’s oldest games would be public domain by now, and anyone could have a shot at making new commercial versions of Mario and Pokemon. I’d love that.


• My plans to visit every major theme park in the UK this Summer were cancelled. Scotland’s biggest theme park closed down due to poor attendance and the coronavirus. But then they re-opened after selling a bunch of their rides. Scotland’s biggest rollercoaster is gone. It was one of the worst rollercoaster’s in the world, according to enthusiasts, but I’m still gonna miss it.


• This year I’ve been doing more art just for fun, rather than work – including pencil drawings, pixel art, vector art, and bigger Lego projects.


• I started work on porting EBF5 to Android using Adobe AIR, and made a decent amount of progress. The game is currently in a playable state, but needs some more optimization and user-interface adjustments. I didn’t finish it this year because I got sidetracked with other work…


• I played Age of Empires 2: Deluxe Edition, for around 500 hours, usually with my brother and some friends. We got reasonably good at 4v4 matches. It’s cool to see a 20-year old game still alive with regular updates.


• Me and Ronja of course also joined in on the Among Us craze, and we had enough friends playing it that we could easily set up 8 to 10 player games. We never took the game very seriously, and usually got drunk while playing it. The best part was thinking of edgy nicknames like MrPooPiss, Titler, FrontBum, BloodFart, or FetusYetus.


• I got a drill and learned how to use it! I mounted some hanging flower baskets in the garden, and a coat shelf in the hallway. Other minor home improvements included: Upgrading all lights to LEDs, renewing the smoke detectors, and replacing cupboard knobs.


• Garden improvements this year include painting the shed, repairing some old fences, planting a cherry tree, and building a totally new fence. I also scavenged a perfect wooden gate from some neighbours who were throwing theirs out. Very convenient. We also made friends with the local cats and squirrels.


• Most socialising this year was done over Zoom – we went to the pub online, essentially. Occasional real-life visits were permitted, but we always kept things outside to be safe.


• I spent £3,000 on a new VR-ready PC and a Valve Index. Was it worth it? Not really – I could have spent less and not noticed much difference. Most software can’t even take full advantage of my new 12-core CPU. But I can put it down as a work expense, and half of that money would have gone to taxes otherwise.


• My favourite single-player games this year were easily Doom Eternal and Half Life: Alyx. Amazing next-gen stuff that I’d love to play more of.


• My entire exercise routine has been replaced with Beat Saber this year. I’ve gotten pretty good at the game, and there’s only one official level I can’t beat, and that’s Ghost on Expert+. I doubt I’ll ever beat it.


• Me and Ronja celebrated our 30th birthdays, as did many of our friends. We sadly couldn’t make a big deal out of it.


• My family got us a fancy barbecue for our 30ths. I knew nothing about cooking, but it turns out it’s fairly straightforward and hard to mess up. You just heat stuff up and check it occasionally. We had socially-distanced garden dinners almost every week over the Summer, usually with my brother and his girlfriend. We also learned what happens when you don’t keep the barbecue dry and clean…


• I started working on re-releasing all of my old Flash games on Steam, including EBF1, EBF2, Adventure Story, Bullet Heaven, Brawl Royale, Mecha Dress Up Game, The Kitten Game, Cat Cafe, and a bunch of prototypes and minigames. The games mostly remain the same, but have some new quality-of-life features, and have had copyrighted content replaced with original content. A couple of the games also have completely new content. Once again, this project was not finished this year because I got sidetracked with other work.


• I pulled my old NES stuff out of the attic – I’ve got both PAL and NTSC versions of the console. I disassembled them, cleaned them up, cut the region-locking chips, replaced the springs on the controllers, and everything works almost as good as new. Games usually start up on the first try.


• I bought some modern NES games, and some Chinese carts containing ROM hacks, and I’m having a fun time. It’s cool that people are still making new content for such an old console.


• Halloween was much less eventful this year – we did the usual cooking and pumpkin carving, but there were no trick-or-treaters or guests, so we had time to rewatch some old horror films.


• My office is looking better than ever – the plants and Lego mosaics on my desk add a lot of color. I’m considering buying an expensive chair that should last decades, and hopefully do my health some favours… but it’s not safe to go out and try some chairs at the moment.


• Towards the very end of the year, I started working on an unexpected update to EBF4! I’ve wanted to publish EBF4 on more platforms for a while, but there was a long list of bugs and features I wanted to fix first, so that’s what this update is for. EBF4 is getting a lot of quality-of-life features from EBF5.


• Me and Ronja got a dog! It’s a 7-month-old Staffy and Frenchie mix, and is quite well behaved already. She’s consuming a lot of our time at the moment, but this should gradually settle down. She has yet to meet my family’s other dogs, so I’m curious to see how that goes.


• Christmas was fun despite the lockdown limitations. We exchanged food and messages with family members, without getting too close. Me and Ronja binge-watched Lost, which I’ve never seen before, but I remember it was incredibly popular when I was a teenager.


And that’s about it.


Honestly, I am not optimistic about the future. Most of the bad news from this year was predictable and preventable, and seeing how poorly our human civilization has handled it, I’m concerned that the coming years won’t be any better. This could be the start of a disastrous decade – but I hope I’m wrong! Maybe the coronavirus vaccine will be super effective and delivered swiftly. Maybe Brexit won’t end up being a big deal. Maybe we’ll take climate change seriously. Maybe Joe Biden won’t be a corrupt, corporate sell-out. Haha.


Either way, I think me and Ronja managed to have a fun year despite being stuck in the house for most of it, and we’re fortunate enough that we don’t have to worry too much about what the future may bring.


(See bigger image here)


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Posted by matt-likes-swords - December 16th, 2020


Hey guys, here’s a list of what’s going to be in the upcoming Epic Battle Fantasy 4 update. As I mentioned last time, this update aims to extend EBF4’s shelf life by adding many quality-of-life features from EBF5. It'll be out on Steam and Itch in maybe a week or two.


Most of this stuff is already finished, but it’s all going to require some testing before it goes live.

Here’s the changes:

 • Removed the Steam DRM

  (the game now runs either as a .exe on Windows, or as a .swf file anywhere else)

 • The Steam overlay works now – this makes it much easier to take and share screenshots

 • Replaced the saving system with EBF5’s: .sol files are no longer used

  (unless running as a .swf)

  (Your old saved games will be converted from .sol files to the new .meow files)

  (You’ll also have access to the old version of the game on Steam, if you ever want to go back)

 • Added a confirmation prompt before overwriting save files

 • Added the option to delete save files

 • Added the backup save feature from EBF5 – you can now backup, name and share your save files

 • Added the Zero difficulty option, which offers no challenge at all

 • Added similar resolution and window options to what EBF5 has (up to 1080p, Best Fit mode, etc)

 • Added the option to re-send medals to Steam by clicking on them in-game

 • Added the option to delete all medals from the main menu

 • Added the option to reset all stat boosting items if you want to apply them differently

 • Added the ability to close most menus by right-clicking anywhere

 • Added buttons to quickly select different players in battle

 • Added buttons to quickly access the forge menu from the equips menu

 

 • Disabling background animations also disables screen shaking now, which improves performance

 • Smoothed out the formula for enemy damage scaling over level 32 (no spike at final boss)

 • Changed summon formula so that summon damage does not increase slower at level 33+

 • Reduced player MP growth over level 20, to prevent nearly unlimited MP

 • Foes drop more AP towards the end of the game, making it easier to max your skills

 • Forgetting a skill now refunds the AP spent on it

 • Foes have up to 12% less HP in the Temple of Godcat and onwards to Newgame+

 • Party buffs, heals, and status effects now apply to the backup player too

 • Buffed Sacrifice, Bubbles/Bubble Blast, Hyper Beam, Gaia Seed, Syphon, Debilitate, Dispel, and Dark Flare

 • Soul Arrow no longer copies stats that are lower than yours

 • Some unfair foe attacks have been nerfed (Flame wraiths only use death on hard, etc)

 • Many low-quality sound effects have been replaced with sounds from EBF5

 • Sound effects will no longer play multiple times at once, making many spells less painful

 • Music and sounds are no longer forced into mono format


 • Fixed the rough edges on text shadows – the UI looks a bit smoother now

 • Fixed a major memory leak issue that slowed the game down during long sessions

 • Fixed an exploit where you can use the summon power variable for other skills

 • Fixed some typos in equips and skills, making some broken effects work correctly

 • Fixed some broken foe behaviours and incorrect bestiary descriptions

 • Fixed some scaling issues in the Endless Battle mode

 • Fixed the alternative animations for Mighty Oak and Praetorian not being saved correctly


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Posted by matt-likes-swords - December 3rd, 2020


Hey guys, I’ve made some new community collectables for Epic Battle Fantasy 5 on Steam: animated avatars!

But you can also use these on Discord and other messaging platforms, so I thought I'd share them with ya'll.


In other news, I'm updating the Steam version of Epic Battle Fantasy 4 to increase its shelf-life. I'm fixing serious problems like memory leaks, unintended difficulty spikes, and stuff that just never worked correctly. But most importantly, I'm removing the DRM, so you will be able to run the game as a .exe, or as a .swf file, which can run in any Flashplayer of your choice, on any operating system. It should make preserving (or even modding) the game much easier. I'm also gonna release the source code eventually, as there's been some interest in that too. (The EBF5 source code is currently available to modders who I trust, but will soon be available to everyone)


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Posted by matt-likes-swords - October 16th, 2020


Hey guys, I’m working on the launcher for the Epic Battle Fantasy Collection. It essentially functions like a Flash games website, letting you select a game, view some information, and then launch it. I think it looks pretty cool so far - it ended up looking a bit like Newgrounds.


I suspect the most frustrating part is going to be getting different game resolutions running correctly, especially since every game has a different, and often nonsensical, aspect ratio. None of them were designed to be played in full-screen mode, and will probably not perform well at higher resolutions.


Not sure how I’m gonna handle that yet. Players will probably have to tolerate some borders and blurring.


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Posted by matt-likes-swords - September 24th, 2020


Yo.


My office was looking tidier than usual, so I figured this was a good chance to take a new photo of my work/gaming space. I'm pretty happy with how it looks now, especially the cable management. I can't think of much that I'd like to change, except for maybe getting a proper wooden table instead of this cheapo one. Maybe I could put something else in the corner instead of that fridge, as I haven't been using it for a while...


Technically I'm on a 4-display setup: 2 monitors, graphics tablet, and VR headset. I guess my next graphics card may need to support even more than that!


Anyway, I'm playing Terraria with my friends now. Between that and DIY projects, I've not been working on any games at the moment. I should probably finish off the Brawl Royale update and stick that on Patreon - it's almost done already. I've spent a lot of the last week building a fence in my garden - turns out it's a lot more work than I thought, especially when the ground is sloped and full of rocks and roots. Digging into that ain't easy!


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Posted by matt-likes-swords - August 27th, 2020


Hey guys, I’ve been working on new stuff for Adventure Story, which will be part of the Epic Battle Fantasy Collection on Steam. Here’s what I've got so far:


  • Controller support: should work with same controllers as Bullet Heaven 2, including Xbox 360, Xbone, PS4, and maybe others
  • Extreme difficulty: everything does 999 damage, progress is tracked on the level-select screen, but you get nothing for beating this, it's just for fun
  • 4 new levels and 4 new bosses: one at the end of each world, unlocked for collecting everything – these are pretty hard but also quite cool
  • 6 new equips and higher level cap: to make the new content slightly more beatable
  • new boss rush level!


Adventure Story is the longest game in the EBF Collection, and it never got a sequel, so it seems fair to give it the most new content.


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Posted by matt-likes-swords - August 17th, 2020


Hey guys, I’m still working on the Epic Battle Fantasy Collection, which is 8 of my older games, and a bunch of extras, packaged up for a Steam release.


I'm almost finished updating Mecha Dress Up Game.


I completely remade the interface, and it almost feels like a new game.

A lot of sounds are new, because the old ones were painful. There’s a couple of new parts and backgrounds. An export to jpeg button. A bunch of pre-made mechs to give you ideas and help you find some cool color schemes. And a new soundtrack with 4 tracks!


EBF1 and 2 have sequels, so there’s not much I wanted to add there, and Brawl Royale is such a simple game that there isn’t much you can change. But Mecha Dress Up definitely had a lot of stuff I’ve wanted to add ever since I first published it.


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The Epic Battle Fantasy Collection will also include a folder of old prototypes and unused stuff. A lot of it was only published on DeviantArt, and nowhere else, so there’s sure to be plenty of people who haven’t seen it.


Either way, it’s a little look into how I learned to code and animate, and a chance to think about what might have been. Nothing too exciting, but there may be one or two things in there that I’ve never shared.


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Posted by matt-likes-swords - August 7th, 2020


Hey guys, I'm currently working on updating Brawl Royale for the Epic Battle Fantasy Collection.


This game was made when I didn't know how to program, so it's basically an animated slide-show. It's getting some cool new features in this update, the biggest one being difficulty options; hopefully this gives it some more replay-value, and allows almost anyone to beat it. It's also getting a new techno soundtrack by Phyrnna, and the timing of the levels is randomized slightly, so you can't cheese the game like before.


Oh yeah, all the copyrighted characters have been re-designed too.


Due to some minor file corruption, I actually had to reprogram the game in ActionScript 3, which luckily didn't take long. The nice part about this is that it can now run on mobile using Adobe AIR, and since it only requires one button to play, this might be a quick little practice game for me to put onto phones.


Of course the original game will also continue to float around the internet forever, if you ever want to play that again.


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Posted by matt-likes-swords - July 25th, 2020


Hey guys, after slacking off and playing Age of Empires 2 for a few months, I’ve gotten back to work – on the Epic Battle Fantasy Collection!


I’m re-releasing 8 of my very old games on Steam, which involves censoring a lot of copyrighted stuff. So here’s some new creatures for Epic Battle Fantasy 1, which are definitely not Pokemon. EBF1 is also getting a new soundtrack, since all of the original music was stolen from other games.


The other games that will be in included in the collection are: EBF2, Adventure Story, Bullet Heaven, Brawl Royale, Mecha Dress Up, The Kitten Game and Cat Cafe. Some of those are pretty much good to go already, but a few of them will need some changes. Besides removing copyright infringement, I'm also adding some Quality of Life features, like volume controls, easy modes, bug fixes, and Steam achievements!


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