EasyRPG Player 0.5.4 “Antidote”

This release took us far longer than we expected last year and as you can see the changelog is a bit short for 1 year and a few days of development time. We are always critical low on developers and this year we all had a serious lack of time and other personal issues. Though don’t worry we can still provide you with some cool additions that will improve playing a lot of games.

There are tons of battle fixes in the queue but due to there sheer complexity we decided to delay them for the upcoming 0.6 release, hopefully also in 2018. Sorry!

Why you should use EasyRPG Player

A few hours ago we were notified that the author of Deep 8, Independent Art, created a video for us which lists all the advantages of EasyRPG Player over RPG_RT. Thanks for this nice video, it is really a great summary!

Regressions fixed

Due to a change in our shutdown code the Player crashed when closing the Player while in a battle (#1298).

Technically this was not our fault, but because of a bug in the libpng library we used on Android the loading of some graphics failed in Violated Heroine ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) (#1311).

The support for RPG Maker 2000 1.61 placeholders erroneously prefixed the “Critical Hit” message with the name of the actor in older RPG Maker 2000 versions (#1291).

Transitions

All missing transition effects are now implemented (#900). This includes:

  • Random Blocks
  • Random Blocks Up/Down
  • Zoom
  • Mosaic
  • Wave effect

Furthermore Transitions are now implemented as “Drawables” (Graphics rendered by our engine) which means frameskip and fast-forward works now as expected while a transition is active (#1094). The timing of transitions is now also adjusted, e.g. the Game Over scene has slow ones but menu to map is fast.

As in RPG Maker when a battle starts the screen flashes now twice and then a zoom effect onto the actor happens (#1369).

We would like to thank our new developer Sormat for this significant contribution.

Performance

The Tone effect performance was significantly improved and is now 50% faster for single effects (Tone or saturation) and 100% faster when both are enabled at the same time (#1380). This change is mostly noticeable on our CPU constrained ports (3DS).

Audio

All sound effects are now stopped when the sound “(OFF)” is played. As a bonus this also applies to inofficial translations where this string was translated to e.g. “(Brak)” or “(Kein Sound)” (#1120).

Battle

Monsters with the “flying” attribute move now up and down in the RPG Maker 2003 battle system (#1220).

Flying enemies are now really flying

A bug in the alpha channel handling in the Tone Blit code resulted in strange looking weather effects and colored boxes when a battler had an effect in the RPG Maker 2003 battle system (#1225).

Due to a bogus check fleeing from random encounters was not possible in RPG Maker 2000 battles (#1350).

The placement for party members was incorrect in RPG Maker 2003 battles (#1399).

The RPG Maker 2000 battle system reported hidden enemies in the initial enemy appearance message (#1370).

Turning a switch OFF after an enemy action contained a bug and turned the switch ON instead. The switch toggling was also broken for some types of enemy actions (#1419).

The turn counter for RPG Maker 2000 battles did not increment before determining the enemy actions. This means all enemy actions that depended on the turn counter were executed one turn too late. Together with the previous bug this fixes the battles in Heaven and Hell Episode 3 (#1419).

Our Player crashed when using Switch Skills in 2k battle, when there was no target. Now we show “???”, like RPG_RT does (#1440). This only affected games made with the English RM2k release.

Map and interpreter

The game COLORS: Lost Memories uses a modified database with actors of level 0 (normally the minimum level is 1). This corner case is now supported though the game is still unplayable due to interpreter timing issues (#1248).

In Razas standing characters were shown with the incorrect movement frame “left” instead of “center” (#1198).

When a move route was active while boarding the Airship, the shadow of the Airship already moved with the route while the ship itself was still playing the ascend animation (#1268).

Battle commands were incorrectly loaded from RPG_RT save files and the handling of classes was updated (once again) because we figured out that one field in the save game is not “class_changed” but “battle_commands_changed” (#1287).

The “Change Class” and “Change Battle Command” event commands support now range based operations on multiple actors. This is an undocumented feature not exposed by the RPG Maker editor interface (#1288).

The charset animation frame was not reset to “Middle” when a Jump happens or “Stop Animation” is used (#1289).

Pictures with “Scrolls with Map” setting were rendered at the wrong position after a savegame was loaded (#1296) and the last picture of a savegame was not restored at all (#1299).

The viewport got misaligned by 2 pixels when the map reached the map border (#1300). This is a strange bug which we already fixed twice before but it reappears under different circumstances.

After the strange “Set Vehicle Location” behavior encountered last time which allows moving the party when outside of vehicles (#1257) we got another report. The game 呪いのこうもりさん uses this command for changing maps. This usually crashed RPG_RT but when the event ID is valid on the new map it will magically work. Our Player emulates this now with a teleport, this doesn’t fully match RPG_RT behaviour but is close enough (#1303).

A black screen occurred after using the Portable Portal given by the Witch in Violated Heroine. This was a timing issue caused by the use of “SetMoveRoute” with an empty route. An empty route was processed like a normal move route, therefore the interpreter was off-by-one frame and this race condition broke the code. Empty move routes clear now existing move routes and result in a delay of 0 frames (#1308).

Spritesheets (a new RPG Maker 1.12 feature) were broken and only worked once (#1331).

For implementing screen shake, tiles that were outside of the map were rendered black to avoid graphical glitches, but Frozen Triggers uses a modified 1×1 tile map, therefore the whole screen was drawn black. The implementation was changed and combined with the previous fix the game is now fully playable!

Frozen Triggers went from completely unplayable to fully playable. The scripting in this game is insane, a must play!

Here a longer gameplay video, they are desynched, which can have various reasons, but you see the difference ;).

In Touhou Mother party members became solid after battles or scene transitions. The issue was that the max_stop_count (used to measure how long to wait between move commands) was overwritten on event page changes even when a custom route was executed by an event command  (#1344).

In Witch’s Heart the Hero was moved to the top-left corner when landing while on the broom. The broom is implemented as the airship vehicle and the Player reported “Not in Vehicle” already while the airship was still descending which caused timing issues (#1349).

Play Memorized BGM did not work after a BGM fade-out (remained silent, #1354). This is the 2nd bug fixed in Witch’s Heart.

When a new map loads all events have one frame of execution time before the fade-in happens. This behaviour was already implemented but event sprites were not being updated, resulting in visual issues like e.g. instant visual changes after the transition is finished (#1358). This is the 3rd bug fixed in Witch’s Heart.

Message substitutions of e.g. \n[1] with a hero of name \n[1] resulted in an endless recursion/hang (#1379).

Terrain damage is supported now. Furthermore when the party steps on dangerous terrain a red flash appears now when the receive damage (#1389, #1393). Items that prevent terrain damage are also supported. Therefore you get the full game experience now when you walk in the desert of Vampires Dawn without sun protection.

When a vehicle is entered and no further movement happens, the vehicle still faces to the left but the hero actually faces forward. The facing of the vehicle is now updated to match the hero facing direction. This change does not match the RPG_RT behaviour but slightly improves the user experience and has no possible regressions (#1403).

When the boat or ship is on walkable terrain (usually not the case for water) the airship can land on the boat or ship. This seems like an RPG_RT bug and we don’t know a single game that depends on this feature (#1404).

Calling the menu is disabled now while the player has an active move route (#1404).

Events with “Same as character” layer priority can’t move through boats and ships anymore (#1404).

Two handed weapons are now fully supported in the equipment scene and by the “Change equipment” event command (#1397).

When a monster rapes the heroine in Shitigadianzu the progress bar is now filling up. This was due touch events not triggering while a move route was active. For this change we will not provide a video, because we would need to censor three quarter of the screen and disable the sound (#1412).

The movement was glitchy in the currently unreleased game Super Crystal Hunter because “Fixed direction” movements were not handled correctly (#1413).

Using the computer multiple times in log.[in] does not result in a black screen anymore (#1416). Our interpreter executed the wrong event commands after “Show/Hide screen”.

Ports

All our ports support now all music formats and libraries, however, 3DS may have performance issues with some formats (#1332, #1339).

The 3DS was migrated from the deprecated graphic library sf2dlib to the official library citro3d. This fixes flickering issues and gives a minor speedup (#1422).

You can play now the most memory hungry game on PS Vita: Hero’s Realm (#1340).

The Player runs now as homebrew on the Nintendo Switch  (#1337). See the previous blog post for more information.

BSzili ported the Player to MorphOS and AmigaOS4 (#1415). Check out his website for obtaining the Player.

Misc

The Player checks the dimensions of assets and issues a debug log in the console/log file when they don’t match the expected dimensions. To reduce the amount of useless debug output this check was disabled for Monsters, Panoramas and Pictures (#1333).

The name input scene supports now Traditional Chinese (#1307).

Traditional Chinese in the Name Input Scene

Loading of custom ExFont files is supported now. ExFont is an embedded resource in RPG_RT and is substituted when using the strings $a-$z and $A-$Z in messages. When an ExFont.bmp/png/xyz is in the game directory, EasyRPG Player will load now this file. Vgperson already bundles a ExFont in their game translations (e.g. The Grey Garden, Witch’s Heart and Wadanohara), we hope other game creators/translators will join soon 😊 (#1352).

Witch’s Heart uses a custom ExFont around the actor names
The dead skull was before highly misleading
By far the worst: The font of Mr. Saturn is completely unreadable. This game bundles currently no ExFont, you have to provide it by your own!

The Skill Menu of a character can’t be accessed anymore when they have a “Do Nothing” restriction (#1395).

When a skill is used in the menu the first sound effect of the corresponding battle animation is now played (#1397).

The actor target scene used to select a skill target did not render the skill costs correctly (#1397).

The hero class is now checked when determining if an item is usable (#1397).

When accessing LCF data structures, sanity checks were added to ensure that no invalid objects are referenced which result in crashes. Most of these checks won’t be ever encountered, because otherwise games in RPG_RT would simply fail in most cases. We do not recommend running games from untrusted sources in EasyRPG Player but this change should reduce the exploitable attack surface a lot (#1259, #1345).

Due to multiple bugs in the SDL2 library concerning fullscreen mode, the Player starts now always in windowed mode and immediately toggles fullscreen mode. This fixes missing title bar icons under Windows and incorrect/pixelated graphics when switching back to windowed mode under macOS. Additionally, the zoom hotkey determines now the desktop resolution which allows higher zooming levels (#1364, #1406).

Two new System database chunks have been identified. One can be neglected, but the other can be used for the equipment usage in 2k3 mode (#252).

For developers

The CMake build scripts for Player, liblcf and the Tools were completely rewritten to use modern CMake. These scripts support now compiling for all major platforms (Windows, Linux and macOS). We slowly plan to migrate most of our targets to CMake to reduce the maintenance burden. This includes deleting the Visual Studio project files and most of the platform dependent Makefiles (#1365).

The SDL UI class was refactored and split into separate files for both legacy SDL and SDL2. This makes the SDL2 UI code much cleaner, because we have lots of workarounds in the legacy SDL code which were not needed anymore in the newer versions (#1327).

Building against SDL2 mixer version 2.0.2 is supported (also recommended because of better mp3 support) now (#1297).

Compiling on platforms that do not have a “d_type” field in the directory entry structure is supported now (#1334).

Our App works now with “targetSdkversion=26” on Android. All apps updated after October 2018 must support this (#1323).

Compiling on platforms where int32_t is not defined as int (but for example as long int) is supported now in both liblcf and Player (#1326).

liblcf (mostly for developers)

Our data access library (liblcf) can now better decide which fields and flags it needs to write for different database versions (#237, #240).

Bugs in the writing of RPG::Actor chunks were resolved  which increases the compatibility with RPG_RT (#235). There are further works in progress which will result in perfect reading and writing of all LCF files but we were afraid of regressions, therefore this must wait until the next release, sorry. :)

The defaults for the terrain grid values were fixed, this should solve some overlapping battler issues which occured in RPG Maker 2003 games (#247).

All enumerations provide now a string representation (#241).

One thought on “EasyRPG Player 0.5.4 “Antidote””

  1. Hello.
    Can you see a strange issue in Legion Saga I?
    There are characters that only are recruitable after you fight a certain amount of battles – but this don’t work with EasyRPG (the battle counter always show 0 battles fought – and this happens to some other things that are stored in variables too).

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