"This thing again?!"
A while ago I put Hell Diary on hiatus while I worked out the design of the game and what direction I wanted to go with it. Is it a sim, an adventure, what do I want to do
with this thing?
I think it's still my most popular game despite not being in active development… until recently. A lot of people really, really liked Nightmare Castle, or at least some of the things it did with aesthetics. Hell Diary is set in that era (well… roughly). So I've started over again almost from square one and worked out some design elements I can stick to and make the game really fun for me to work on and feel like I'm making progress, and not confusing the hell out of players.
I've done away with the in-universe calendars and lingo and stuff, I'll just say the game is set in 1979 and has all of the characters you knew from before. But I'm splitting the story up into three "episodes" and at least trying to start out less open-ended. Gameplay's the same, but the aesthetic is different and there should be less stuff to wade through to get to the story.
NOW, the game's being done with Nightmare Castle's PC-8801/9801 aesthetic with 8-colour 640x400 graphics, and a soundtrack done with emulated YM2203 and Music Macro Language instead of Nightmare Castle's SB16 soundfont. I've already got the "engine" set up (it reuses Nightmare Castle's scripts and visual effects). I'll have some more about it up when I can take some screens; this post is long enough already!
Also, if you want, you can support me working on free resources and games on Patreon. You will get to download the game or any free music even if you don't donate, though
I absolutely adore your aesthetic Mishka but I hope that you will be able to focus on a project to the point of completion ;_; I'm a little heartbroken over Nightmare Castle's cancellation.
I thought the idea to cross-reference the other games to make up one whole canon was a really neat idea.
I'm a bit worried too, but now that I have more than one finished project under my belt (Amihailu in Dreamland
and Amiha's Nightmare Castle
are finished games) and some experience with others, I'm a lot more confident in my skill this time around. Hell Diary
was my first game with all-original assets, and you could see the learning curve with each release. I had to take a bit of a break from it to get my shit together so to speak, but thanks to shifting sands in my personal life I should have lots of time to commit to working on this again and making it into something I'd be proud to show off.
So good to see that you're back. I enjoyed previous version of Hell Diary, as well as Amihailu in Dreamland and I'd absolutely love to see Hell Diary redone and completed. Good luck with your work!
What was that? More moving pictures of the game? Sure, let's start with the new splash screen:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJpr7T56azw
I figured out how to do an effect I wanted to do in Nightmare Castle
, which is the individual colour channel dissolves. The intro's is timed to the music, but for actual transitions in the game it's a little quicker.
damn Mishka. I love your work. I can't wait to play this!
I'll be uploading a lot of the game's MML to MMLTalks so you can see it for yourself.
Work on the game's progressing smoothly! Instead of blanking the screen between the maps, instead I'm using the multichannel dither-dissolve effect since I managed to write a script to have it perform exactly the way I want it to. I was going to post a big information post on the game but there's going to be a better delivery method for all the information ready before long, so don't touch the dial!
Also, all posted MML files for this game are free for your personal use, though the license is different from the upcoming music packs (which would be free for ALL use, commercial or otherwise, with credit).
Mishka btw do you have a music album or plan to release music? your compositions are beautiful and I love your synths
I do plan to do a couple releases. Hell Diary's music will also be released in loopable form for RM/game development hobbyists under some sort of non-commercial license.
you should make a vaporwave album and put it on bandcamp
I don't know the first thing about vaporwave so I'm doubtful of that outcome
"Delmun Corporation". Notes are in a comment after the title declaration.
Another chapter-specific song for Kekoha, a slower version of her basic theme:https://soundcloud.com/mishkahd/the-professor-investigation-opn
Well that's not really an adequate description but that's the general gist! The MML score is linked on this page.
Work is progressing smoothly on this game!
I also made a Soundcloud playlist of the rendered tracks for the game:https://soundcloud.com/mishkahd/sets/hell-diary-ost
i just found out about this project and i'm sure you probably have had this question asked a thousand times before but when do you think you will be able to release this game?
I haven't been asked it before actually, but I can't really give a solid answer. The plan is to release a demo first with the entire first act of the game, then complete the game and release the whole thing.
I think it'll probably have a good playable release sometime this year, but I tend to stay away from even soft dates because so much stuff can happen.
I was doing some AdLib chiptunes for my patreon despite not making the goal, and decided a good demo of my instruments patch reference was to use them in a transcription of some Hell Diary music.
This is "The Professor" rendered in OPL2/AdLib sound. Kind of like Nightmare Castle, but more authentic:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfsNx32kqrw
Hey fellas, the latest update is ENORMOUS but not exactly something you can really see at the moment. It's mostly technical!
After a couple mornings of wrestling with it, I've managed to get .M and .M2 files playable in Hell Diary. That's right—PMD music files for PC88 and PC98. This will shrink the game's filesize significantly and reduce the amount of time I spend trimming audio to loop smoothly, to 0.
"The Professor" as an ogg: 2.5MB
"The Professor" as a .M2: 200~500 bytes
Other bugs I've fixed:
-Crashes on normal game termination from plugins not being unloaded from memory
-No looping issue
I followed your game development posts(maybe a year or so ago) cause I always found your skill and advice really inspiring. I fell behind and am catching up now. It's amazing your work has gotten even more impressive. I wish you all the best.
Glad you've stuck with me all this time!
Lately I've done a large number of optimizations and resource cleanup passes—the current build of the game could now fit on 9 3.5" floppies.
For reference, the average VX/A game would need around 150~190 floppy disks.
Someone was kind enough to make a video of Hell Diary's music playing on a real PC-98 machine:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUSIEj9clFo&feature=youtu.be
The game's progressing steadily as I populate the game's filesystem with more NPC graphics.
Yeah, it's been alive this whole time. Just progress slowed down a whole lot over mid to late summer due to life events (you wouldn't even believe half the crap that happened).
So I took a sit-down on it and incubated the story a bit so I don't fall into the same trap I did with version 0.03 and have it be an endless parade of new terms, calendars, and frontloaded worldbuilding. It's actually been starting to come together since last month's major work session and I'm trying to shoehorn more free time into this project.
I am getting ready to get Act I together for release around the original game's 4th birthday.
If you're interested in looking at the test build and giving me feedback to squash bugs, or letting me know about how it runs (or doesn't run), send me an email.
I don't want to ruin the experience so there's not much that'll be spoiled story-wise by playing the test build—it's only to see how various situations in the game function on hardware. I spent a bit of time doing some optimizations and fixing crashes and hangs related to the PMD implementation but it's not perfect.
Everyone who agreed to test the game now has access to a special tester build. Since there's a lot of… different technology in use, it might act unpredictably.
2/3 of Delmun's final outdoor space is traversable and playable, which leaves the eastern part across the bridge and the southern rail access next to the air base.
Interiors aren't as fleshed out, but it's all stuff I could get done in the next month if nothing serious comes up.
In other news, Music Disk II is here: https://noyemik.bandcamp.com/album/hell-diary-music-disk-ii
It includes two OPNA versions of the game's music, some Nightmare Castle music done again on YM2203, and two bonuses unrelated to Hell diary.
Pls download links soon, that looks glorious.
Don't worry anon, the game's first act will be available before too long. The testers report the game runs fine with a few minor glitches, so I'll iron those out and get back to work on it.
The bad news is I won't be renewing my domain registration, so the URL to my site may change. I'll post the new one when that happens, though.
Sorry folks, I haven't had time to actually work on the game as I've been extremely busy with professional work.
I have had time to create something related to a future sound release for this game though:https://soundcloud.com/mishkahd/hell-diary-special-the-professor
Hey guys, I closed down my blog (two months after I allowed the domain to expire) but the good news is I've bought a new domain and I've got a sweet free hosting deal!
Here's the new site for ALL my stuff:http://delmunsoft.com/
Looks pretty, well done.
It took a while, but now you can play a cut down demo I put together for SXSW!http://www.mediafire.com/download/tojccone64nq7jm/Hell+Diary+Demo.exe
It will only be up for download until the 19th or 20th, but this is because I intend to have a more full demo replacing it in May or June. But here we are, folks!
I managed to finish the game by working a solid week straight with 4 hour breaks to sleep:http://www.mediafire.com/download/hlifro7wb4wd8pl/Hell_Diary_1_00_plus.zip
Cool beans, OP. I'll give it a shot when I get off work.
Damn, the link is dead. Anyone know where I can find it?