I’ve been having balance issues lately. It’s not due to the giant bottle of gin I have just bought, either. Rather, it’s all about the problem of balance with the cost of stuff, crystals, and the value of the gidrahs when you destroy them.
First of all, I have a feeling that there are too many crystals on most worlds, which let you harvest an awful lot of cash that way. Secondly, I have another feeling that silos may be just too damned useful. The difference between having silos around all your refineries and not having silos is pretty drastic. So I think they’ll be first up against the wall when the nerfing revolution comes. Which will be around the time of Saturn. Silos will become somewhat less effective – I think I’ll reduce their efficiency increase to just 10% (down from 25%) per silo. And there will be a smallish reduction in crystals. In fact there will also be a reduction in crystals if it appears you’ve got a whole lot of cash in the bank, too, as you’re clearly doing rather well.
Also, the amount of money that can be harvested by shooting gidrahs is pretty massive. This sort of lends itself to a gameplay balance issue whereby the player doesn’t have a whole lot of incentive to bother collecting crystals, especially if you get the aliens cornered in a tight spot and can keep them at bay using minimal firepower and expense. Or alternatively the collection of crystals can be trivial if they’re behind the choke point on the map, meaning you’ll come away from a level with $30k in the bank.
The difficulty range was supposed to work best in the range of $0-$15k or so, but clearly it seems I’ve got to extend it to cater for up to $30k. And so I shall 🙂
Work on Saturn continues, with suicide exploding gidrahs working nicely, and the code for flying aliens in, but they don’t yet drop bombs. And we can’t seem to get a good graphic for it yet, so to distract himself, Chaz is doing the scenery instead, which revolves around toxic waste and pumping machinery. I tried a nice simplex noise fog shader for some cool weather effects but discovered it was too slow, so that’s on the back burner again and unlikely to see the light of day.
And finally, I got around to fixing the three older games, Droid Assault, Titan Attacks, and Ultratron, after leaving them broken for over a year (the wouldn’t work on ATI cards, and also wouldn’t install on Windows Vista or Windows 7 properly). I’ll upload nice fixed versions this weekend with any luck.