Yo!

First of all, a big thanks to everyone who’s tried out our prototype on Steam Prototypes! There’s been a lot of really useful feedback, and most importantly, it seems like people have been enjoying the game!

Just knowing people are actually playing it is amazingly motivating! I’m really happy that it’s been mostly positive too – and a bit surprised ;)

The negative feedback has been just as great though. Instead of just “this game is shit”, it’s been really constructive and actually helpful. We’ve already changed a bunch of stuff as a result, and the game is getting better for it.

So, please keep it coming – good or bad!

Gameplay

Bombs
I added bombs. They’re gonna be a cool enemy ability. And used for a bunch of other stuff. But I forgot to ask for some artwork for them, so they look too rubbish to put in-game yet. Next week!

Booze Burner tweaks
I reduced their initial flamethrower use cooldown and made them fly a bit faster.

Pipe Patchers
Now use the new random offset firing stuff to make them a bit less predictible:

Enemy abilities
I added a couple of new enemy abilities. I’m not gonna say what they are in the devblogs, just when I add them. Finding them for the first time will hopefully be part of the fun :)

Reworked Boomerang ability.
Thai kept telling me it was impossible to aim. I thought he was just a bit rubbish. Then I put the game on protoypes and no one else could hit anything with it too. So I reworked it. It still fires in the direction you’re aiming, so you still need to be skillful, but it will now automatically bounce between upto 3 targets that are in range and in the general direction, before returning to you. It still hits stuff on the way back, so your positioning still matters:

Enemy aggro
Enemies now alert other nearby enemies when they see/get hit by the player. I used to have this in, then turned it off for some reason, so you could pick off individual enemies, which is obviously stupid. Now you can’t.

Level depth
The levels now get harder the further through a level you get. For now it’s just an increased enemy spawning budget (used to control how many/which enemies can be spawned), but eventually I want to make other stuff use this.

Enemy health
I tweaked all enemy health values. I can’t remember if it was up or down, but they definitely got tweaked for the better.

Cash pickups
I made cash less annoying to collect. The auto-collect range for cash used to be quite short. This was really annoying as you had to keep flying back to get it. I didn’t have it set too high because they’d instantly be sucked up and you wouldn’t know what you’d just collected. I’ve now increased the range massively, but added a short delay before they’re collected. Now you don’t have to fly back all the time, and you can still see ’em!. It also looks cooler as a bonus.

Missions

The mission generation screen now shows mission text as well as the header. I also added Craig’s (Bucksexington’s) mission text for some of the existing missions, which makes a big difference. Lots more to come from him in general.

Something I’m working towards is having a different selection of enemy abilities each time you play a level. So the game now selects three randomly per missions. There’s only 3 different ones in the game at the moment, so it’s not exactly varied, but I know show the chosen ones on the mission screen.

Here’s a VERY placeholder Mission generation screen with the new stuff in. And my mouse cursor:


I’ve also added a new mission type. Collect/search for stuff. Rather than having a single goal at the end of a mission, these ones are more about exploring (and shooting).

To help with this, objective arrows can now be hidden until the player gets near the objective, rather than just have them always on screen from the start (some missions still will have). This makes a pretty huge difference, and will be even better when I get fog of war working on the minimap.

I’ve added a new mission, “Your Round”, to the game which uses this new mission type.

Levels

I coded level skins as a simple way to add some visual variety to the level generation. Thai then picked some matching pretty colours and made a few different skins/themes. It really, really helps:

I also made a new room for the indoor factory tile-set. Again, not giving details of this stuff as it’s more fun to find it yourself. I want to work on adding loads more soon.

Turret spawning is no longer handled by the level generation stuff, but in the next step – mission generation. This maeans we have more control over what gets spawned and we can mix up the types of turret etc. I added a new turret type. Or two.

Performance

I mentioned in my last blog post that performance might suck on not-great computers. I was right. But, we’ve started making a dent in it:

New launcher profile.
When you start the game, there’s now a “Less Awesome” profile that disables some less obvious stuff that might make a difference. If your computer is good or you never had any problems anyway, make sure it’s still set to “Awesome” if you grab the latest version as it it seems pretty random as to what it will default to the first time you relaunch it.

In-game graphics settings.
I addded a quick placeholder UI screen for when you press Escape in-game which lets you toggle all the shader options between Low / Medium / High. Aim for at least Medium if you can as the biggest differnce visually is between Low->Medium.

Thai also went back over one of the main shaders and optimised some stuff there, removing a render-to-texture, which should help things.

Fixes / Improvements

I’ve made some changes to the player/enemy->world collision stuff. It should be more reliable now and a lot less-likely to let stuff through. Now’s your chance to shine, ColossalSoft.

There’s still a lot of old code in the project from earlier prototyping, and stuff that’s been re-purposed a hundred times. I’m trying to fix that as I go along now, instead of stopping for a few weeks to sort it all out, without adding anything new. I came across a lot of shit bits this week, so I reworked them and added some new stuff at the same time:

– Projectiles. Can now fire with random offsets. Can now accelerate/decelerate.

– Reworked the save game – might have fixed some issues, but not really had chance to test it yet. Hopefully.

– Can no longer damage off-screen stuff

– Reworked the whole Level/Room setup code. Now have more control over placement of items/objectives/enemies/stuff.

New build!

This week’s build has a few holes in it. Literally. I broke some of the factory level tileset pieces. It doesn’t break anything though, and I just wanted to get the build out, so the new build should appear on Steam pretty soon. I’m gonna keep releasing new major builds with every new blog post (every 2 weeks or so). The idea being you can read the blog and decide if we’ve done enough cool stuff for you to bother checking it out. Hopefully you do :)

Work in progress / What’s next (probably)

Me
– More enemy abilities
– More mission work
– More rooms for the factory tileset
– Get the shop working

Thai
– Continuing his work on the new tileset. He’s got it looking pretty cool already! Can’t wait to get it in-game.
– New laser effects
– Particle stuff in general

Concepts

Thai did some effect concepts.

concept1

concept2

Facepunch Prototypes / Keys

QT6TD-7VGZ2-FN4NX
EZKYF-FYHCY-YX4P8
TYG2E-65N7V-J2BQV
PYJPJ-9EIPB-02HT0
BAQCR-HVRE2-YF7ML

As before, if you still need a key, give me a shout on Twitter. We’d love to hear back from you. Garry is looking into a way to let more people in, without making it completely open – so hopefully more people can try all the prototypes soon!