Super Tilt Bro. 2.0-alpha5: everything is possible online!
What's new in the game?
You can now play any character on any stage online!
Pick your character, and select a stage before going online. That's it, no string attached. The actual stage will be picked at random between both players' selection.
This has been quite a bummer until now to be able to play only Sinbad on the simplest stages. Thanks to the netcode maturing, it is time to unleash its real power! Note however that stages The Pit, and The hunt are still experimental in netplay. If you encounter any issue please send your feedback.
New Character selection screen
It is prettier, by many orders of magnitude.
Enter the match, with style!
It also comes with some long needed features! Notably, you can now pick CPU's character with controller one. No more need to have two controllers to play solo :) The stage selection is now integrated in the character selection. It is more comfortable, and allows to have a kind of summary of the match to come before starting it, showing which characters will fight on which stage.
The CPU will now avoid to be too easily infinitised. It will escape brainless up-tilt infinite combos, and Sinbad's infinite side-special.
The Sinbad's side special is hard to escape, so only the CPU in hard mode is good at it. It will shield it if possible, or often tech-slide to escape it.
Sinbad's slide when landing during a down-special now slows with time. It avoids weird slides on a quarter of the stage.
Inputting a move at the exact out-of-shield frame no more skips shieldlag. Down-special and down-tilt are still allowed to be out-of-shield moves.
No more terribly buggy noise when starting an online match.
Fixed AI jumping without reason.
Fixed AI weird running at the beginning of a match on The Pit.
Playing on NTSC system is no more faster than on PAL.
What's new under the hood?
Added a C compiler to the toolchain
Super Tilt Bro. has always been fully developed in assembly. This is natural on systems from the 1980s, it allows to leverage any bit of power in their slow CPU. That said, there are parts of the game that don't need the extra performance.
The classical way on those systems is to code in C, and add some assembly where needed. Super Tilt Bro. does the opposite, it is implemented in assembly with bits of C where it does not matter. That way, the main game loop is in assembly, and we don't have to deal with C's footprint if we don't want it. This allows full performance, without any compromise, where it matters.
The goal is to use C for menus. Menus don't need top performance, but they are complex. A good menu has a lot of polished details. And to obtain a good design for a menu we have to iterate as fast as possible, trying things, trashing bad ideas, trying variants,... It makes sens to be able to program them rapidly, it is terrible for the creativity to spend days implementing an idea, just to trash it afterward.
STNP (Super Tilt Network Protocol) had to be extended quite consequently to adapt to any character on any stage. Notably, it allows for variable size of game state, so the stage and characters can add their data to it.
Having it works means the protocol reached the famous state of Minimal Viable Product. Buzzwords are arguable, but hey! That's actually a great achievement. Being able to say that something in Super Tilt Bro. is officially “viable”. Before, it was more of a “Black triangle”, which is less hype of a term, and terribly referenced on the internet.
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