The End of the Road

Well, folks, this is it – the lastest ever beta version of Revenge of the Titans, now at the heady heights of version 1.71. This is our “release candidate” – provided no bishops in hell turn up and fart in the trifles of our lives, this will then become the finished game. Well, I say finished – we’re probably likely to tweak it some more in the new year once the dust has settled.

First things first – here’s the direct links:

Windows
Mac OS X
32-bit Debian package
64-bit Debian package
32-bit generic Linux
64-bit generic Linux
Java Webstart (all OSes)

Now, on to business. What’s changed? If you haven’t already, go and have a quick read about 1.7 first, to better know thine enemy.

The short summary is: 1.7 didn’t work out very well, so I’ve reverted a few of the design decisions. It’s been such a panic getting this penultimate build together though I haven’t had time to write the usual changelog, so I’ll go through the major changes.

Changes in 1.71

  • The Titans stop coming when the timer runs out again – phew! In hindsight this was a mental idea. So it’s back to its original behaviour. To compensate for the level being rather dull once the aliens aren’t arriving any more, it will finish as before when the last one is slain…
  • …and you’ll scavenge the remaining crystals. Unfortunately it pays to dig them up the proper way – scavenged crystals make no use of silos (more on these below) and you only get 40% of the remaining value, a bit like building recycling. You also get a $500 bonus for digging them all up before the timer expires, so well worth it.
  • Refineries now take 15 seconds to fill up with money (it was 10 before). Reactors make approximately a 2.5 second difference to this time – so with the maximum useful complement of four reactors on a refinery, you’re looking at a collection every 5 seconds.
  • You might be interested to know that a small crystal holds $2000, a medium one $4000, and a large one $6000.
  • Silos have changed – they’re now called reprocessors, and their function is basically the same as it was before – they increase the efficiency of your refineries – but they no longer affect the capacity, which remains at $250. You might also be interested to know the efficiency gains are 17%, 25%, 33% and 50% for one to four silos respectively. So you could be eking $9000 out of a large crystal. Four reprocessors will cost you $2500 in outlay and you’ll get $1000 back in recycling – so you’re making $2000 profit on the venture. Place them cunningly to mine two or more big crystals and you’re looking at big money!
  • I fixed a massive bug with reactors that caused them to make crystals spew out tons and tons of money. Strange that no-one noticed. Maybe nobody ever used them to speed up refining.
  • The Titan brains have been given one last tweak to make them behave slightly cleverer than they were before, and they now swarm in quite a believable way.
  • Decoys are back to being really expensive again at $2500 a pop when I realised just how awesome they actually are. Although Titans aren’t quite so easily fooled any more, and will randomly select from the available decoys and the base (before, they always went for the nearest one, which made a single decoy effectively like the Pied Piper of Hamlyn). So now you can place, say, 3 decoys, and 75% of the rank-and-file will head for them, and the rest will pick the base.
  • All sorts of annoying beeps have been added to the flashing warning lights. Sorry. But they do appear to help.
  • The amount of crystals generated on a level has been tweaked, but I’m not sure if I’ve got it dead right yet. Time will tell.
  • Endless level 51 no longer crashes. Yes, someone actually played that far.
  • Certain sound effects ignored the game volume settings
  • Fixed a whole load of emitter bugs that caused far too many particles to get emitted.
  • In game help has been moved to the interwebs. At the time of writing this blog post it’s nowhere near finished but Chaz is beavering away at it like a beavery thing, and soon it will be all shiny and sparkle.
  • We’ve got a bunch of nice new sound effects for the bezerk, freeze, and shield powerups, and various incidental noises. If you listen closely you’ll be able to hear the Mars boss gnashing his maw. Yeeech!

Please give it a great big test. Especially interested in your thoughts on difficulty, survival mode, and endless mode.

Stuff I’m Considering for the New Year

  • Possibly making research free, meaning you simply get to choose one upgrade per level. To accommodate that we’ll have to dream up a bunch more intermediate research to get it to stretch better across the 50-level campaign. I can think of at least 10 more things, some of which will actually be useful in their own right, so that shouldn’t be too hard, but poor old Chaz will have to redesign the research screen. Again.
  • An online hiscore table for Survival Mode

The game will officially be released on 14th December 2010. Whereupon you will also discover the surprise we mentioned. Please consider buying our games as a Christmas gift for a friend when it comes out :)

32 thoughts on 'The End of the Road'

  1. Boo! Now decoys are as expensive as they were before AND not as effective, who’s going to spend 7500 to have 3/4 of the titans destroy your decoys and then come back for the base? I thought it was too expensive when it was 100% of the titans. How about a ramping price like the silos (reprocesors)? Because having 1 decoy is as good as none.

  2. I have to agree about decoys, making them worse and costing more just seems strange…

    Having free upgrades does sound somewhat interesting, but it would remove pretty much all the importance of money. I’m all for new things to research though.

    1. Maybe you’re not au fait with just how powerful they are :) With just a single decoy, before, costing a mere $750, I was able to completely divert every single Titan into some remote corner of the map while I got on merrily digging up crystals unmolested. When they finally got the decoy, I already had so much cash to hand they didn’t have a chance. This happened over and over again, so I figured they must really be rather less amazing. After all the greatest tool in a general’s, er, toolkit, is the ability to divide and conquer his opponents. And at $2500 you can split the advancing army neatly in two. Fairly compelling. Especially in the rush at the end.

  3. The new sound effects are really good, especially the voices! My only complaint with them is that the beeping for un-mined crystals is, well a little too annoying when spending the first few minutes building defenses. Maybe having three or so loud beeps would fix this? The same goes when the timer runs out and the titans charge. All the other “annoying” beeps are quite helpful.

  4. Played the Rc, i think that now the mining system and generally the gameplay is simply perfect. Oh anche speeches are really improved

  5. Can’t wait till the 14th of Decemb– uh, *looks at day*… tomorrow! Tally-ho, yippety-dip and zing zang spillip!

    Sounds interesting regarding the free research tree though the cost of certain technologies is what keeps them out of reach for the early levels. I’m a big, big fan of the save or spend dilemma.

  6. I don’t really like the idea of free research. When you struggle to save up enough money for an upgrade, and actually put it to good use, it feels like you accomplished something. If it was free I would imagine it’d be less exciting.

    1. I say nay to free research as well. It would take away any reason to try and save money. if your worried about the game being too easy then that would let players build way too much.

      1. It would depend how many steps it took to get to some of the more exotic research. If I inserted another 10 steps in there, you’d have some plainly tough choices to make about what to research because of the deliberate restriction to one research per level.

        As for money… it’d be easier to compensate for this than you think: there’d be less of it to dig up. That way your money goes entirely on defences and it’s much easier to balance the game that way.

  7. Campaign mode on mars I noticed my blast cannons not really tracking enemies. I have three of them in range of the little guys and they couldn’t be bothered to shoot at them, I had to wait for my heavy blasters to reload to take care of ‘em. Is this cuz they wanted bigger fish to fry, or do I need to research optics, or is it a bug?

  8. You might have been imagining it… they’re definitely well up for blasting anything that comes in range. I still haven’t come up with a reasonable way of getting big guns to prefer big targets yet though (it’s not as straightforward as it looks when the guns can’t talk to each other)

    1. Can’t you simply make a system where you can select what a tower does? Attack closest (standard), strongest, weakest?

  9. I personally don’t like the idea of making the research free….

    Maybe “some” fields can be researched for free when one has not enough money (which can occur quite sometimes during a campaign).

  10. fuck you cas, i hate the fact that the games has been released in the humble indie bundle, now my firend says that i’m a jerk cause i paid 15 dollars for this fuckin games and they have paid only 1 dollar, i hate you cas

  11. f4ck you cas, i hate the fact that the games has been released in the humble indie bundle, now my firend says that i’m a j3rk cause i paid 15 dollars for this fuckin games and they have paid only 1 dollar, i hate you cas

  12. f4ck you cas, i h4te the fact that the games has been released in the humble indie bundle, now my firend says that i’m a j3rk cause i paid 15 dollars for this fuckin games and they have paid only 1 dollar, i h4te you cas

  13. Kudos to you guys for including it in the 2nd indie bundle because I guess the timing couldn’t have been worse: You finally release the game, and almost have to give it away to potentially a majority of all of your potential customers.

    Releasing games today really seem like a lottery with all of the app stores, bundles and so on. Who knows what will become a hit and when?

  14. I for one approve of the idea of making research free. I’m near the end of the Mars campaign and my research desicions from the Moon are coming back to haunt me. I’m up against titans that can only be taken down by capacitors and I don’t have the money or time to research them. And I don’t know what path on the tech tree to take to get them.
    I am aware that making tech free won’t eliminate this problem entirely, but it would help a bit, and make things easier to balance in later updates. Go for it!

  15. Right now the research system is just frustrating. It seems like I’m always <1000 short of the next thing I should be researching, and when I finally do research something, I start the next level off poor and helpless. And then once I struggle through that, the scientist guy begs me to research robotics, yet I only have about 4500… and the cycle continues.

    Free research is the best possible thing you could do to this game. Go for it!!

  16. Rather than making research free, why not create a new resource type used exclusively for upgrades (say crystal)? Money will still be used to build turrets during a battle, but won’t carry over between missions. Instead you start each mission with a set amount of money. After beating each mission, you will earn a set # of crystals useful for research, and any excess money will be converted into crystal as well (so you’re still rewarded for being efficient by obtaining upgrades faster). Perhaps the exchange rate is $1000 == 1 crystal. The risk/reward dynamic with research will be different (rushing fewer high-level upgrades vs. more numerous low-level upgrades) and will probably need to be re-costed to preserve that tension.

    It could help with game balance, it feels weird that I can horde loads of $$$ and build a billion turrets at the start of a mission, but if I blow my all my money on an upgrade prior to the same mission, then I’m stuck babysitting my refineries and building one turret at a time. I’m in favor of making individual battles more tactically uniform, at the cost of variability in strategy throughout the campaign.

    1. Actually I was thinking that this morning. It’d be a free resource type though, accumulated at a rate of 1 point per level. Research could cost 1, 2, or 3 points.

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