Cliffski, erstwhile Bat’leth-wielding UK indie games entrepreneur, has blogged about an experiment we’ve been conducting called ShowMeTheGames.com. Well, I say “we”, really it’s all Cliff, and we’re just throwing a bit of money at it and participating. So far it seems reasonably successful. Go and take a look at the other games – there are some real gems in there. In fact they’re all good – there’s bound to be something that floats your boat, and every one of those indie game developers in there is to some degree or another as skint as we are or not far from it. Buy a game for someone else this Christmas, if not for yourself!
- Fixed: Survival level selector allowed you to select one more world than you had actually completed
New Features and Enhancements
- Medals are now worth bonus $$$!
- Ranks are now worth $(points/10)
- New bashing and building destroyed noises
- Lasers now fire through wraiths
- Gidlets and wraiths can no longer penetrate nanomesh
- Slightly larger maps
- Laser, rocket, and disruptor turrets now only $3000 each
- Decoy now only $1500
- Silos now rather less amazing at stretching resources further (10, 12, 16, and 25% for 1-4 silos)…
- …but silos now cost a flat rate of $250
- Back to using the tiered server compiler for Windows to claw back a bit more performance
- Perform a full GC between levels
- Wired up more shortcut keys on medals screen
- Displays monetary bonus for a particular medal underneath points value
- Crystal spawn noise occurs at the end of the res-in effect now
- Attenuated colours updated only half as frequently
- Gidrahs brains now only half as fast at calculating routes
- Titan boss now has a disruptor, with variable range depending on difficulty
- New animation command to cause a gidrah to fire its weapon
- Fixed various bugs to do with completing the game causing crashes
- Fixed crash where if you restarted a level after dying you immediately died when the aliens started spawning
- Tweaked tactical brain so it targets the base as well as turrets
- Fiddling with the speech for the General and so on – sounds rubbish so far
Yes, the speech for the General and ZX-bot sound just awful but we’ve not managed to finish it or get it even half-right yet.
Some Notes About The Balance Changes
You might be interested to hear about the reasoning for the changes to silos: I noticed that upon researching silos (and knowing exactly how they work so I’m pretty good at using them in the most efficient way possible), my refinery takings for the level shot up. This is all well and good, because it means a canny player who knows this will research silos as soon as possible and then be able to progress through the levels at a reasonable level of difficulty thanks to the big cash infusion. However – anyone who doesn’t know this trick was going to be at a major disadvantage, and having a pretty crap time progressing really slowly. The reason is that silos unbalance the game too much in their previous form.
So now, silos are a simple flat-rate upgrade, and have a much more modest effect on the efficiency of crystal refining. With four silos, you’ll manage to eke out just 25% more from a factory (rather than the 100% it was before!). However the outlay is now just $1000 for the four silos instead of $2500. You can still be cunning in your silo placement – putting them next to factories that have access to the most crystal – but the effect is a bit less dramatic unless you get a really lucky configuration. But every penny counts, so it’s always worth doing – especially as your silos are recycled if they’re not damaged and you’ll get $400 of that $1000 back at the end of the level.
Just for your information, there are three sizes of crystal in the game, containing $600, $1200, and $1800 respectively. You can work out the maths yourself
Also you’ll notice a bit of cheapening of the heavy weapons and the decoy. Seemed a shame to spend all that money researching them and then not ever have quite enough cash to justify splashing out on a few eh?
Also take special notice that nanomesh is now gidlet and wraithproof. Very useful. There are nearly enough to surround your base! Nearly.
I’ve just noticed that the bug where factories don’t start up again in survival mode when a crystal appears next to them has come back – doh. I’m also aware of the (very rare) occasion that a gidrah seems to get stuck sometimes and you have to drop something on his head to kill him. If this happens to you, save your game and send the save file to me!
The Next Release
The next release is 1.64, the final beta release, which will include the long awaited Titan levels. After that there will be a strange quiet period, where we sit and listen intently for bugs and last minute pleas for absolution or clemency, and then we’ll release the finished game. Phew.