- Player now has a separate hurtbox (collides enemies and bullets only)
- Hurtbox 80% smaller than standard player wall collision
- Player can no longer dash in midair multiple times
- Dash cooldown reduced
- Fastdash window increased
- Implemented a grace period when jumping from a ledge
- Pressing down while falling downward will immediately put player at max fall speed (fastfall)
- Can now cancel dash by jumping, swording, or fastfalling
- Hitting an enemy with your sword now has 0.1 seconds of hitstun
- Pressing shoot now fires frame 1
- Shooting spray is the same pattern every time (removes RNG)
- Pushing the Right stick in a direction will lock gun in that angle. Then, pressing the right trigger will fire it in that direction.
- Reset button default is now “Y”, was “X”
- Added right stick angle deadzones for more accurate shooting angles
- World and Level select now have art assets
- Game font changed
- Onscreen tooltips for tutorials and menus are now present
- Timer no longer records hours
- Level times are now saved
- Basic enemy fires every 0.6 seconds up from 0.4 seconds
- Basic enemy hp reduced to 14hp down from 16hp
- Fly enemy fire every 1.1 seconds up from 1 second
- Fly enemy hp reduced to 10hp down from 16hp
- Fly enemy now follows a fixed circular path (removes RNG)
- Basic and fly enemies can no longer fire at player from off screen (for sure this time)
- Heavy enemy hp reduced to 16hp down from 20hp
- Music will no longer stop on death/reset when inside a boss level
- Bosses will now skip warning after the first time (will reset when exiting level)
- Grass boss top turret HP reduced to 100 down from 160
- Grass boss weak point will now flash red when below 25 HP
- Removed Over It (hated it)
- Added Bit More (free shoot and sword tutorial level)
- Added switches to “Boxed In”, “Heavy Turn”
- Difficulty changes to “Crawl Out”, “Out Of Sight”, “Boxed In”
Full controller support! From launch to exit, no need for keyboard. I plan to either have preset controls or rebindable keys in the future.
Grasslands world also has 13 new levels to complete. It will also save your progress. Good luck!
Simply running to the exit is not the only objective! In some levels, there is now switch objects that must be shot at to open level end portals.
- There is now different sword swipe animations for a weak and strong hit
- Reduced size of shield hitbox
- Player can no longer fast dash by holding down the dash button
- Checkpoints will now save the players x position and spawn them there, instead of on the checkpoints x position
- 5 Second time penalty on death has been removed. Instead, time is cumulative
- Jump speed, fall speed, and maximum fall speed have been reduced to create better aerial control.
- Shield poke reduced to 2 (3 hits to die) down from 5 (6 hits to die)
- World and Level select screens added
- You can now exit to level select from pause menu
- Game will save/load current grasslands progress
- Crawl enemy now fires a equal bullet spread
- Basic enemy will fire at the player from 320 px away up from 288
- Basic enemy will now detect and fire at players at heights above and below it’s current horizontal axis.
- Heavy enemy will detect and fire at player from longer range
- Crash bugs removed from Grass Boss dealing with with missing player object
- Parallax backgrounds now fade in/out with level
More code optimizations!
All important mechanics and functions of the game have been updated to work at all fps levels. Previous builds required the game to work at a fixed 30 fps. Otherwise, the game would run slower or faster depending on the FPS. It took weeks of work to create something most people will not see, but it will be extremely worth it in the long run. On to the more specific changes:
- Functions at normal speed
- Movement patterns now follow a curve rather than a straight line
- Improved platform handling (no more random deaths or falling through objects)
- New shooting patterns for Top Turrets
- Top turrets take more hits to destroy
- Core will now fire single shot when Top Turrets are both destroyed
- Gun now recharges faster
- Number of times shield can take before being destroyed has been set to 5. It was high before for debugging purposes.
- Checkpoints will now completely restore your shield
- Sword active hitbox time reduced to .8 seconds down from .1
- Sword active hitbox width reduced to 20 px down from 26
- Levels load smoother and more efficiently
- Title menu updated to reflect new game title
- Fly enemies will not fire at the player from off screen
- Crawl enemies shot cooldown is now 1.5 seconds up from 1
- Crawl enemies move at 40 pps down from 60
- Changed enemy placements in “The_Tease”
- Removed 1 Crawl Enemy from “Omni_Bend”
And various quality of life additions and bug fixes no one will notice. 😉
Alpha testing is official open for GunnRunner. All you need is a Steam and Discord account. Please join our Discord and complete the Alpha Test form in the #gunnrunner channel.
I am excited to unveil the new pixelCast Games logo! It went through several iterations before I finally landed on something that looked clean and minimalist while still clearly representing pixelCast.
The meaning behind the name “pixelCast” is the desire to bring my creations to you. Simply put, I am casting pixels to the user. It is a wave that is emanating from the p and grows larger as it reaches the right edge of the C. The C is depicted larger than the p because, as a programmer, I follow the camelCase naming convention. Now bare with me, this next one may be a stretch. I wanted to incorporate all three letters (p,c,g) into the logo somehow. The p and the C are obviously visible, but can you make out the backwards G that is formed by tracing from the top of the C to the bottom and then through the p? In the end, both Pixel and cast come together to create Games.
This marks the next era of pixelCast Games! ECGC will be my first booth as an independent developer and I have been approved for Steamworks. Expect more news as we get closer to the big day!
I will be at ECGC 2018 showcasing GunnRunner in Indie Alley!
This will be my first official booth exclusively for PixelCast Games. I plan to have some competition in the realm of speed running levels for giveaways/prizes. It is a little over a month away and there is a lot to do. If you want to play test, be sure to visit me at the booth.
My objective over the last few weeks have been to simplify mechanics and speed up gameplay through rule tweaks. Various rules and hidden mechanics caused players to take very long turns or delay choices over the course of many rounds. Now, more choices are available to the player in a single turn compared to previous versions. Rules were also consolidated as much as possible to reduce the amount of terms and numbers players had to remember. To follow the trend of simplification, I also redesigned the board entirely to square tiles instead of hexes. There was no initial design choice to the hex-based board other than “other games did it”. The new tiles are now symmetrical and allows for a better visual experience for the player. I was excited to trim the fat and refine the gameplay. Using notes from play tests helped me achieve this goal! It is time to play test and continue to polish.
As always, you can join us on the Discord to playtest or chat: Discord Link
For now, here are all the changes:
- Move and Normal actions can now be used in any order
- Build Action is now 2 Alloy for all Hubs
- Build Action can now be done without a Unit
- Upgrading and Selling is now a free player action
“Too much confusion explaining that a Hub can upgrade and sell itself.”
- Repair Action has been removed
“Damaging has been redesigned, thus the repair action is not needed.”
- All Attacks now require a DC6 to hit
- Successfully Attacking now always does a Damage
“Attacking is now simplified. In the past, you had to keep track of Unit Offenses to calculate Damage to Defenses. Now, successful hits applies a Damage. If something is damaged, remove it from play. If it is upgraded and damaged, remove the upgrade. This means players no longer have to track damage using red pegs.”
- Jump action removed
- Surge is now a DC10 (up from DC6)
- Warp is now a DC6 (down from DC10)
- Players begin the game with 1 Mine
- Removed Hub upgrade names
- You now upgrade hubs by flipping them over to the yellow side, thus removing the need for unnecessary pieces
- Mines Output 1, Output 2 Upgraded (down from 2, 3 respectively)
“Simplifies number tracking and easier visualization of Profit.”
- Upkeep for Outpost and Emissary is now always 2 (down from 3)
- Outposts is the only thing that can build Emissaries
- Outposts grant fleet strength without being upgraded
- Outposts aggro attacks
“Increases the necessity of outposts.”
- Emissaries can attack without being upgraded
- Emissaries can now move 2 Speed when upgraded
- Limit of 4 Emissaries per player has been removed
- Emissaries can now be sold
- Reinforcements are now Hubs
“Reinforcements are merely for quick defense. They cost only 2 Alloy and have no Upkeep. They can be built on both Space and Planet Nodes.”
- Exploration Cards are now either Resource or Event
- Removed the sub-categories of Resource cards
- Space Tax is less annoying
- Numerous card clarifications and simplifications
- Reduced number of Fast Expansion cards to 8 (down from 10)
- Reduced number of Sabotage cards to 8 (down from 10)
- New Beginnings Card is now an event
- Travelling Merchant card added: You can sell Resource cards for 3 Alloy each
“I liked the idea of being able to sell cards are your own, but with the removal of the Central Market, players could no longer take that action. So, I added a Event Card that allows players to do it for their turn.”
- All round counting removed
- Election round removed
“Round tracking took time and was too much to keep track of for the player.”
- Diplomacy cards are now either Active or Passive
“Active diplomacy cards have their effects play out immediately and once. Passive cards are temporary effect that stay in play until discarded.”
- Ballots can now be exchanged and turned in at any time. 8 Ballots allow you to earn a Vote
- Diplomacy victory increased to 4 Votes (up from 3)
- Invest Card added: Spend 2 Alloy to add 2 to a Decisive Role
- Campaign Card added: Earn 1 Ballot at the beginning of your turns.
- Research agreement now takes 8 Alloy (up from 6) and forces both players to choose duplicate cards.
- Central Market removed completely
“Rarely used and only caused problems for play sessions. It exploited gameplay and was not fun.”
- Complete board redesign
“The hex-based board was unsymmetrical and over complicated the movement and range finding of attacks. It also slowed the pace in terms of decision making because player’s could not easily visualize movements.”
- Numerous simplifications in wording
- Disabled, Neutral, and Blackened nodes types have been removed
- Players begin the game closer to the center
“Opens up options at the beginning of the game. Player choice becomes less stale and speeds up gameplay.”
- Starship default speed is 1 and no longer has more speed in borders
“This accomplishes two things. Removes a hidden mechanic and makes emissaries more valuable.”
Moving forward with more public testing! If you are interested in Alpha testing, or just hanging out with us, join our Discord!
InterQuest is privately listed on the Steam Workshop, so join the Discord and ask me directly to be added to the list. The current intention is to balance test the current content to add/remove features to better suit gameplay.
Everything is moving forward perfectly! I have been able to play test the game every week since development restarted. Each person has enjoyed their experienced and expressed desire in replaying InterQuest. Even so, changes and content additions are continually made. In terms of overall gameplay, I found the later stages of the game to play out very slowly. This is not necessarily a bad thing, considering InterQuest is a 4X title, but the pace was slowed by the lack of options in the game itself, rather than actual player interaction. To rectify this issue, I reduced the prerequisites for all the victory conditions. This should increase the pace not only in the late game, but also for the earlier stages. Aside from that, I clarified a few rules and card descriptions.
But as an extra treat, I created some new graphics and modeled new pegs for all the pieces in the game. Might as well be as fancy as we can in Tabletop Simulator. I expect to conduct another play test this weekend; hopefully with a full set of experienced players.
InterQuest began as one of my first design projects. We had to design and fabricate a tabletop game from scratch for our final project. It has been two years since the end of that class, but I have not forgotten. It is a 2 -4 player competitive 4X. Our design goal was to create a game that felt massive, but looked simple in form. Most titles of this nature are very complicated for most players, so we desired to create a game that is easy to grasp from the start. Of course, there are a lot of small nuances that make the game very fascinating to play.
For the last few weeks, I have ported the game into digital form for Tabletop Simulator. Final play testing is under way. I have added more content and revised a lot of the rules. The possibilities in this game are close to endless, so I attend to play test extensively before reaching a final version. Stay tuned.