DEADROCK DIVIDE - THE SHRINKENING
Bootsnake Games is proud to bring you a demo with WAAAAAAY less stuff in it than our last version. We did it! It took months of work, but we finally released less content. Yay! Our latest demo has one map. It’s tiny. You’ll get bored and probably give it poor Metacritic reviews for only having one map and a handful of enemies.
I know you are all thinking, “Hark thee yon snake booted! Wha?” So here we go... we got all thinky and resolved to make it right. The easiest way? Only work on combat. So here we have a huge amount of work on the tactical combat. It's so much better for it.
As for the rest of the game? It had become a bloated, buggy, shallow mess of a thing. Our focus frequently wandered – the game got bigger but rarely got better. Occasionally some stuff was thrown at the combat, but the combat remained shallow. We were failing at the core of our game.
WHERE TO TAKE THIS THING
We want people to come visit our space magic mountain. It was past time to clean house if it was ever gonna happen. We needed to re-imagineer the stuff between combat. The combat has come an immense distance in just a handful of weeks but there is a long way to go. And it will only get stronger as we continue to work on abilities, weapons, enemies, AI, etc. in the coming weeks.
Below, you will find details about what exactly changed in combat. There is a lot to it, so no hard feelings if you give up on the wall of text. You can download the demo. And make sure to tell us what we did right and wrong.
High Fives Forever,
Completely overhauled the way the weapons all work and changed up most of the special abilities. Each weapon type should feel more unique from every other weapon type now.
Added a lazer rifle because it’s cool. Added melee weapons too because space swords.
Started putting VO into the game. It’s the audio equivalent of programmer art. Dru sat at his desk and recorded a bunch of audio to start getting the feeling of having VO in places. We can also start to refine where we hear cues and remove some or tweak them.
Rendering changed to use Global Illumination. This means all the shaders for characters were rewritten. We've also changed our bloom, highlighting, tone mapping, and more so the entire scene looks much improved.
It took Mat a lot of tweaking to get it where we're at, and we have much, much more to come.
The whole UI was rebuilt using the new Unity uGUI, and we're off to a good start! UI progress is tough to gauge, especially with a lot of placeholder art and some of the design not fully working yet. It is a strong start, and we'll make more progress quickly now that the code conversion is complete.
NEW UNIT VISUALS
One of your teammates this time around has a unique shape to his face. We've got the first alien race in the game! He's on your team and ready to rock. We didn't quite get the abilities tied to unit species in the game for this release. But keep an eye out for changes to human vs. aliens.
We added a heavy armor set. It’s a welcome addition to fleshing out characters and making them look big and tough.
For this demo, we are restricting combat to a single large asteroid for combat. It’s a new map that has some vegetation, new rooms, and a lot of other great work in place. We want to see how the game feels at various scales of combat, and this gives us a good chance to see what we like/dislike so far.
FOG OF WAR
Fog of War! Finally we are rendering the fog of war rather than have it just function without giving the player any indication as to what is happening. It helps the game a lot.
We switched from team turns to an initiative-based system. The more agile a character, the more often he moves in combat. There are a lot of implications to this system, and we're still monitoring it and working out the kinks. We're pretty happy with the change, though.
The entirety of how combat balance works was reworked.
- Armor now mitigates a percentage of damage rather than reducing flat amounts.
- All weapon damage retouched.
- All weapon projectiles rebuilt.
- All weapon abilities rebuilt.
- Turn Order = 20 - (Agi + Initiative) -- This means high agility has units activate more often.
- Strength affects melee damage
- There are melee weapons.
- Floating Turrets added (they are like scouts with weak guns).
- Big turrets now automatically shoot.
- Backpacks now do various things. Healing backpacks have a big AE heal.
- Added ability to be stunned for X initiative time.
- Stun Grenades.
- Lift now lets the caster get a shot off by stunning the target 20 time.
- AI system rebuilt from scratch, though the AI is still dumb.
- Stats are now in floats!
MISC & BUGS
One of the less exciting things about this update is clobbering a huge number of bugs and even more under-the-hood changes to the engine. It’s months of small fixes and improvements.