That was a phrase a customer of ours once used to describe our software development ethos (back when I was developing performance management software for local government). He wasn’t being especially kind in this turn of phrase but the irony is, this is exactly what software development is all about.
So with that subtly distracting anecdote out of the way, I bring you another raft of massive changes, in the form of Revenge of the Titans v1.80.5. Update: it’s up now for both Puppygames and Humblebundlers. Humblebundlers please download from your original download location, not Puppygames!
- Fixed: refineries description showed the wrong rate (should have been $10 every 3 seconds, not $10 every 15 seconds!)
- Fixed: collecting barricades in Survival mode didn’t update the HUD counters
- Fixed: gidlets were supposed to not get hit by blaster rounds; now they aren’t
- Fixed: capacitor light beam was at the wrong angle
- Fixed: liquid sodium accidentally buffed reload rate (should have been precision engineering)
- Fixed: window size parameters behaving oddly
- Fixed: smartbombs (and rocket explosions!) weren’t working properly at all (and never have!)
- Fixed: Mars stories about capacitor, which only has Particle Physics as its prerequisite now
- Reduced building connection range by 1 tile
- All turret upgrades now half price, but also only (roughly) half as effective
- Buffed sergeant droids cause a wee bit of stun and have armour piercing rounds
- Big increase in available crystals in later levels
- Buff Titan gids
- Dropped pickups now last rather less time onscreen
- A slight nerfing to the reload time of spreader and assault cannon
- No more $100 or $250 pickups from angry gidrahs. Well, a lot less anyway.
- Nerfed blast mines down to 16pts damage
New Features and Enhancements
- You can now specify graphics scaling on the commmandline with scale=1.0 etc.
- Online hiscores in Survival mode!
- Saturn and Titan now have variations on Perlin noise for more interesting terrain generation
- Wraiths now take much more damage from armour piercing rounds and blasters buffed with Reactors
- Free to sell buildings when level not started
- Gidrahs now speed up as they approach the base!
- Gidrahs with weapons will now shoot at your base
- Lasers now switch sweep direction for alternate firing
- Blasters now stop firing at gidrahs they are not causing any damage to
- Hint to clear level of crystals for a bonus not shown till level 5, when it’s actually possible
- Quadtree collision manager replaced by much faster and simpler cell-based collision manager
- Gidrahs now all have consistent model for getting more difficult
Well, as far as fundamental changes to gameplay go, this is possibly more significant even than the last big change from 1.7x to 1.8x. The bulk of the tuning and tweaking and enhancement has gone on to make so that a single central base defence of super-buffed-up turrets is now going to be much harder to achieve. Your upgrades now only cost half as much – but they are now only half as effective. And as before they seem to get more significant the more you add of a particular type… this is going to leave you with some tough choices as to how to buff your turrets. With limited space for upgrades now, and them only being half as effective, you’re going to have to buff certain turrets in certain ways to get the best out of them.
The multiblaster has never really gotten much love from people. I suggest you give it another go: it’s far better value for money than three ordinary blasters when it’s been upgraded a bit with a companion or two. And I’ve finally implemented a tiny bit of useful turret AI: if a blaster detects that its shots are simply being deflected from the target, it will stop firing and choose another target! This was the multiblaster’s biggest downfall – emptying a whole clip into an armoured gidrah, doing very little useful.
A final important change is that the gidrahs will speed up when they get close to your base – which means waiting for them to get all the way to the base means they’re going to come at you fast. You might still manage Earth and Moon and most of Mars without changing tactics too much but by Saturn I don’t think you’ll be able to hold them off with a single fat cluster of turrets. You’ll need to pick them off en route. With any luck the new balance should require you to build two or three powerful clusters of turrets.
Other things of note: people who’d like to see loads more of the map might want to try using a custom window size (width & height) on the commandline, followed by a new parameter, scale=xxx, where it normally uses 2.0. You can try 1.0 to get 1:1 pixel scaling, which makes the map very hi-res, but you might need a fairly powerful machine to cope.
Yes, real online hiscores! I want to see those times creeping up. Monkey! Knife! Fight!