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Scarlet String Studios

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A member registered Oct 13, 2015 · View creator page →

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Hi everyone! Our game has been around for a while, but we're happy to announce that the demo of the first chapter has finally entered beta. If you'd like, please try the first chapter of Monospaced Lovers!


Story

Clara wakes up to a phone that isn't hers.

On it, she finds a perplexing message left by a hacker named the Gòd o͏f̴ B̴in͠a̸r̨y̧, who states that her time left in this world is short. Her only clue is a series of encrypted messages locked on the device — and a mysterious new friend who woke up to a phone that wasn't his.

What does this enigmatic hacker want? Why is he talking about the end of the world? And what does any of this have to do with Clara's quaint and peaceful life in Haven Heights?

All we know for sure is that if she doesn't embark on this quest... her friends will drag her into it anyway.

Gameplay



A personal note, from us

Monospaced Lovers will be 4 chapters long, for a total of 10+ hrs of gameplay. We're working on Chapter 3 at the moment, so the full game should be released in 2021.

Even though the first chapter is content complete, we're still working to improve the existing content. In particular, we want to expand and improve the environment art. Once the assets are ready, we'll release an art update for the demo. We also might sell a limited run of early access keys once Chapter 2 is content complete with all of the new art. We don't plan on doing Steam Early Access, so the limited beta will be a great opportunity to try the game ahead of everyone else.

Follow the game's development!

If you're not in the mood to try the demo but you still want to receive a message when the game is finished, please give us a follow on itch! You'll automatically receive email updates when we publish a new build. We also have a mailing list, Discord, and a Steam page.

Thank you! ✨

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I'm glad I finally got a chance to try this game! Been seeing it around for a while. This is the type of game I'd actually buy for myself, so I took the time to play the whole (?) demo. I got the double jump and crescent kick jump.

love the physics. I think you mentioned Melee in the threads once? I can definitely feel the influence. The midair forward punch feels just like Shiek's fair, and I love the feeling of drifting around in the air. The divekick bounce feels great as well.

If this is a 1MA project, then you're off to a really good start, because you seem to have a good grasp of both programming and art. The environment art feels slightly lacking, but I can't put my finger on why, as i'm not an artist myself. The character animations and effects are awesome.

Wall of text incoming:

  • I don't think the game detected my controller when I turned it on after the game was already loaded. I had to restart the game with the controller already connected. I know Rewired handles this automatically but idk which input system you're using.
  • The camera's look-ahead feature is cool but perhaps a bit excessive. For example, let's say I'm on the left and a boss is on the right. I dash to the left to avoid an attack, and the camera leads even further to the left. But then, I try to immediately dash back towards the boss to score a couple punches, and now the camera has to swing all the way back to the right. It's easy to lose track of your location and the boss's location with the camera constantly swinging like that. But I see what you're going for, and I think it heightens the feeling of speed, but maybe it needs to be toned down.
  • I think there should be d-pad input because it feels more precise to me. Related: on my DS3, the character reaches full velocity at maybe the 50% mark on the analog stick. I found it hard to make micro adjustments while platforming because she would constantly be at full velocity, and it feels slower to swing the analog stick back and forth instead of just tapping the d-pad to adjust your position. Maybe changing the max velocity threshold would make the analog feel more responsive.
  • I unironically appreciated the Bane shoutout. I hope you keep that in the final game.
  • I think the rain sound effect doesn't loop properly?
  • Maybe there should be some kind of combo bonus? The game gives you tons of different attacks, but the easiest/safest way to beat the bosses was to dash in, punch twice, and dash away to avoid the counter-attack. Jabs felt perfectly sufficient, and trying to get fancy with combos just resulted in death.
  • Speaking of death: >the "no-waves" vandalized this place again...
  • The healing animation didn't loop, i think. She floats upward repeatedly instead of floating up and then down.
  • Penelope battle was awesome. How can I explain it. Obviously it's a low-stakes battle, because there's a save point right there. But I like the fact that the game is willing to kill you for having a slightly slow reaction time. It sets a precedent IMO.
  • You can spam attacks while a door is opening
  • Returning to the main menu doesn't seem to fully reset the game's state. For example, after flying into the void area in Downtown, I tried to reset to the main menu, but when I reloaded I was still in the void. It worked fine after closing the game and reloading.
  • Dunno how this happened https://imgur.com/bJTNq62
  • The fact that you can't run all the way up to a wall feels awkward. I think it's because you need a bit of space for the wall slide animation, but it looks odd. Also, if you try to run into the wall, the little dust clouds appear even though you aren't moving: https://imgur.com/ib4x20q
  • This area was kinda funny because you could mash jump infinitely without actually jumping: https://imgur.com/IDDgbXZ

Phew. I think that's all. Hope this helps. Overall I love the fact that the game has an actual story and setting, and it feels like there's a purpose to everything. Rainy, lonely Chinatown is always comfy. I think there's a lot of promise for a real commercial game here so I hope you become a NEETdev and finish it

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Just encountered a bug with STM that might be related to the recent update. I'm on Unity 2019.2.8f1.

The error is Mesh.uv is out of bounds. The supplied array needs to be the same size as the Mesh.vertices array, and it points to line 4324 of SuperTextMesh.cs.

For some reason this only happens on one particular dialogue box when it gets rebuilt (e.g. if it attempts to auto-read or if I change something in the Unity editor). It doesn't happen on the other boxes. I could try to find what makes this particular STM object different from the others, but do you have any clues for what to look for?

Oddly, this happens even if I delete the STM component and replace it with a fresh one

Hi, thanks for the report! I couldn't reproduce this issue exactly, but I know roughly what's causing it. I added some code to make sure your position doesn't get adjusted upwards if there's a ceiling in the way, so the problem should be gone in the next update.

>This is because, in theory, by playing tetris and changing the layout of the dungeon, eventually you may create a path for the knight

Ohh, I hadn't realized it but I guess that makes sense. I've had situations where the knight was walled on all 4 sides, like being stuck on a one-tile island with nowhere to walk (and no action points). But, if you drop a tetris  piece with an unwalled edge next to the knight, would the spot you're stuck in open up to accomodate the new piece? In that case it would indeed be possible to un-stick yourself.

>I can't be sure this is what you're talking about, but maybe the knight wouldn't move because he was out of Action Points? 

Nah it wasn't this; there was no animation or anything. I feel like it happened when I was playing quickly, like if I move a tetromino around, walk one step, press fast fall, walk another step, etc. Like if a coroutine got stuck/cancelled somewhere. I should also note that I was playing on a controller though.

I gave this a try, but I am really not a Tetris person so I can't provide much feedback. Spent 45 mins and almost made it past level 2...

Some notes:

  • The knight freezes randomly sometimes, but you can still control the tetrominos. I can't reproduce it; it felt very random
  • There should be a Start/Escape menu to restart the level
  • When you hit an enemy, I kept thinking that the hearts represented the amount of damage being dealt rather than the amount of health left
  • There should be some kind of red warning bar when you're at low health because it's easy to miss this
  • The green warning for when you're about to void yourself is extremely useful
  • It's possible to wall yourself in if you don't have enough actions, but I guess that's part of the design. I wonder if the game should end if you enter an invalid state like that. Honestly not sure.

The visuals and UI are nice, and I can see how there could be a lot of depth here. For someone who knows how to play Tetris. Apparently that's not me! It was a cool experience though.

Oh, one question

>You should soften up the edges of your tiles with grass and flowers

Do you mean the top edge, or the sides, or both? The sides are tricky because the wall slide has to look natural, but the top might be doable. If the grass is on a sorting layer in front of the characters, then it can probably be softer on top, and it won't look like the characters are standing on thin air.

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Hope this helps!

I encountered one bug with getting hit while climbing a ladder. Otherwise, it felt pretty solid.

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Hope this helps!

The polish and gameplay are top notch. I'm not much into roguelikes so I didn't get too far, but this seems like a solid base for a game.

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I remember trying to play this before but it was crashing at launch.  I have a feeling I was on Win 7 at the time but right now I'm on Win 10. This time it's working!

Hope this helps. Seems like an ambitious project but good luck with the game!

Monospaced Lovers community · Created a new topic Feedback

Don't feel like creating a new thread just to leave a simple comment? This is the thread for you!

All feedback is helpful, even if it's just a line or two. Feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions here.

Okay thanks. I feel like it would be difficult to move and dash with the same hand, but I dunno, it depends on what you're used to. I always play these games with controller so I find it hard to use my own judgment here.

I just booted up Celeste to check, and it also uses Z, X, and C as the primary buttons, so I'll probably leave the defaults as-is unless a lot of people request another specific setup.

Thanks! Aiming for end of year release right now; the game's been around for a while so I'm glad if it finally feels polished and relatively less buggy. Might do a limited early access release on itch/discord to help playtest the content after ch1.

These are good points and I can address most, but I still haven't decided how to prevent the dash spam.  There used to be a cooldown where you couldn't dash again for 0.1 secs after ground dashing, but it felt slow and sticky, idk.

Re: getting stuck, you're right, I changed some stuff and accidentally made that part less obvious than it used to be. You can actually dash horizontally through the gray platform things, so it's possible to enter the cave near the Bloodthirsty Slime and travel all the way left. I'll rearrange it to make it more obvious because you're not "supposed" to get stuck there.

You can rebind the controls in the phone menu if that helps.

I always get different feedback on what the default PC keybinds should be. For a platformer, if WASD is move, where would you personally put the action buttons (jump, dash, pick up item)?

Damn, happy to hear that you're familiar with Sepia Tears. Good luck with the fixes!

Sure, I just sent it

Yeah, the mansion. I have a gaming PC so it isn't a performance issue, but it could be some obscure hardware or driver incompatability, idk. But I can try it when you push a patch.

Hm, the game crashes when I try to enter the first room. I'm on Win 7. Not sure what engine this is or where the error logs would be stored.

That said, the first 30 seconds were really good! I love the AGDG splash screen, and the dash feels great — it's super high velocity. It's neat how the character pauses at the peak of the jump as well.

Oh yeah, same here, crashes on start. Win7 64bit as well.

Nice artwork! I saw this game in the threads a long time ago and I didn't know it was still around. Some notes:

  • Not sure if it's only on my end, but the controls feel sticky. E.g. if you walk upwards into a wall, then tap left, then tap up again, she just keeps moving left while facing upwards. This makes it hard to move quickly and accurately. Here's an example https://files.catbox.moe/u4vq8m.mp4
  • This is just a quality of life thing, but you should probably add an escape menu that lets you return to start and/or go to options, instead of just closing the game.
  • I think I encountered a bug with the fire? I was standing near a piece of fire when my fog ran out, and it felt like I got stuck inside it (couldn't move in any direction), but visually it looked like I was one unit above.

How strange... yeah the original problem was likely related to exectuion order, but it looks like everything's working now? Actually, the issue might have been that I was using a material called UIMasked, and I can't remember if I made that myself or if it came with an older version of STM. Either way, I'm currently using the UIDefault material (because masking is built-in now) and it appears to be working. Could have been some obscure material setting messing things up.

Hey again, just bumping this with what appears to be a related bug.

It's hard to explain, but it seems that the nested mask doesn't work properly when objects are enabled/disabled. I tried to record an example in this clip. The bigger mask is the phone area itself, and the smaller mask is the chat backlog area. If I deactivate the object hierarchy with the chat backlog mask and then re-activate it, the child mask doesn't work and the STM object only responds to the first mask (you can see the text peeking out in between the backlog area and the phone area). Then if I deactivate/reactivate the STM object (or change anything inside of it), it updates/refreshes somehow and then it works properly.

It's completed! I'm just sending out review keys to Steam curators and stuff like that before making the release date public.

Found a bug? Post it here (or PM this account). Please include the Ren'Py traceback and any other error messages that you receive.

By "auto-configured", I meant something like this.


Above is a Text component added as a child of a nested mask, and below is a Text component added as a child of the top level mask.


And while we're at it, this is what the shader properties look like when I create a Text object without any parent masks.


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Hi - just leaving a request here for something I was toying with recently.

If you use Unity's Mask component on an object and then add an Image as a child, you can peek at the shader settings to see how Ref, Comp, etc are auto-configured. I don't understand it fully myself, but I noticed that the STM UIMasked material stopped working when the object was placed in a nested mask (i.e. two of the object's parents had a Mask attached). I was able to fix this by poking around the editor and copying Unity's auto-configuration for what happens when I add an Image to a mask-within-a-mask. The material looks like this: 

This works for my use case. I have no idea how general it is, but I thought I should mention it since it would be a useful feature for the asset. At the very least, it looks like _MaskMode needs a range of more than 0-1, because every nested Mask that you add will have to write to another number.

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Found a bug? Post it here (or PM us).

Also, if you saw a red error message in the bottom-right corner of the screen, please include the error.txt file found in your save directory, which is in...

  • Windows: %USERPROFILE%/AppData/LocalLow/Scarlet String Studios/Monospaced Lovers
  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/unity.Scarlet String Studios.Monospaced Lovers
  • Linux: ~/.config/unity3d/Scarlet String Studios/Monospaced Lovers

Interesting, thanks for the save. It will probably take some time, but I'll poke around to see if I can figure it out... saving should be identical across platforms, but this is a good opportunity to clean up the save/load code at least.

Good to hear. And I forgot to mention, but the quests you were confused at (Philosophical Slime and the hidden room in the sewers) aren't accessible yet. Same with that rock on the left side of town. It's an arbitrary item, I haven't figured out what it's for.

Ah hey! I remember you from the meat video. Thanks again for the bug reports and suggestions; I'll take note of these. The artist who did the creature animations is working pretty quickly, so hopefully she can take care of the remaining character animations in time for the next demo, and then I can fix up the collision bugs.

Did you use the same gamepad last time? Nothing has changed in terms of gamepad support, so it should work... one possibility is that the game may have gotten confused if you had two different controllers plugged in at the same time. I don't have a wired X360 controller to test with, but I've used a Dualshock 3 and 2, and both worked. Come to think of it, next time I'll add debug messages for controller plug/unplug events, because that would be useful to have in the build.

And yeah! Fez and Undertale are my two favorite games, excluding childhood stuff. Questionable taste by /v/'s standards but I'll stand by it.

I was using OBS. My GPU is new (1080ti) and CPU is disproportionately old (i7 930). I didn't really monitor the FPS or my CPU usage once I started playing.

And yeah, the wall jump distance is pretty subjective. It's within the realm of reason anyway.

Here you go: 

Some notes:
  • Audio needs some polish of course, especially the shoot sound. I feel like it should be more like a laser gun or a click. Also the sound for landing on the ground is kind of loud.
  • I encountered one bug near the secret area in Fire Bot's level, but the rest was bug-free.
  • Maybe the walljump pushes you a bit too far from the wall, but I can't decide.
  • Also, I'm not sure if this is common practice, but you can look into creating an input buffer for walljumps — for example, if you press left (away from the wall) on frame 1, and then jump on frame 2, you can count that as wall jump. I know that fighting games do this, but not sure about Mega Man.

Overall, this is great. It's Mega Man, so you don't really have to change much from the base games. But it's a good clone with a qt operator.

Cool! I've been seeing the webms for a while, so I'm glad to finally try the game. Video here (no commentary): 

There were a couple instances where you could see me getting confused by the various menus, but that's normal for a complex RPG. I love the overall UI/UX and polish; it passes as a Steam Early Access game in my opinion. And the writing is fun.

What's the situation with gamepad support? I'm on a Dualshock 2 (my 3 broke), which may not be XInput, I'm not even sure. The adapter is just plug and play. Either way, the game didn't pick it up. Kb + mouse was decent but I couldn't get the feel for precise aiming. I feel like you have to be pretty precise with your sword swings and shields, which isn't bad, but I found it hard to keep track of where exactly the mouse was pointing.

The only specific thing I would add/change is to have more visual feedback when you block vs take damage. I know you take chip damage when you block, but I think the knight still flashes red, which makes it feel like you're getting hit. Maybe a blue flash or something, like a fighting game?

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Good job! I recorded my playthrough - not sure how useful this is without commentary but perhaps it will help. 

I should mention that I didn't really understand what the two types of pickups are, or how the percentage one works. But you're off to a good start, and I like the textures. Not sure if this is 1MA but the music is pretty decent too.

Also, please add controller rebindings! I was playing on a Dualshock 2, and the pause menu got default mapped to R1.

I tried recording a playthrough of this, but I ran out of SSD space and the file got corrupted. Rip.

It was a good experience anyway. I guess this is a permadeath game? I lost the waifus pretty early on, and I died at the first battle while trying to repair the tank. But I'm also just bad at strategy games, and I wasn't playing too cautiously. Also noticed some grammatical errors, but I assume proofreading and UI polish will come later. Overall really good work so far.

I'm curious to play more of this and I love the UI, but it definitely needs a tutorial. Didn't get very far before the inn started burning down. It looks like there are a ton of mechanics, so it's a lot to digest at first.

Recorded a playthrough this time! Hope that helps. Gameplay is solid, but it's still pretty easy to camp and play it safe. 

Great job with the demo! I tried recording a playthrough with commentary, but it was my first attempt so it's pretty unpolished. Hopefully it helps. In general, I like where the game is going, and my only issues were some UI confusion (some of which will obviously change in future updates).

Thanks! Glad you liked it. There will eventually be more tanuki in the town, so I can drop some hints in their dialogue. Right now it's pretty linear, so there's not much to do if you get stuck.

Okay, I was able to reproduce it by switching my locale to Finnish, and it looks like I can hard fix the problem by just forcing the game into English (US) locale in the code. Will include that in the next update.