Welcome back to the first week of snapshot updates! So how did it go?
Glad you asked! This week I put out 2 snapshots, 0.5.7_1 and 0.5.7_2. The _1 bug was a bug fixing build and _2 added in 3 new parts and a new building deployment system. If you want to follow along with the development, check it out on the message board.
So what is planned for this week?
This week I plan on tackling the multiplayer modes. I want to hone in the design a bit more and polish the experience. Right now I think they are still a bit too 'alpha' feeling and I want to move them into a more final stage.
I will likely run a couple experiments before I get it completely nailed down, but here are some of the changes I want to implement.
Kill limit in Arena Mode
I want to put in a kill limit and time limit to Arena mode and open it up to multiplayer. This will be the 'de-facto' deathmatch mode.
No Garage during a match
I want to try not allowing going back into the garage during gameplay. You would deploy into a match with 3-4 pre-saved builds that you can choose from, but no actual changing of the MAV in game. This is to help keep the pace of the matches up.
No more Join in Progress
I don't think the matches can be competitive if you allow people to hop in during the middle of a game. I want to allow people to join the server, but they would be in a sort of Spectator mode until the next match deployed.
These are the key elements I want to be testing while I add the polish to the experience. All the tests will be carried out in the snapshot builds, so if you want to participate, make sure you have the snapshots enabled!
Until next week!
Well this week, M.A.V. grew up a little bit. I officially moved away from the old .zip files and now have a full and proper installer.
So, with that said, go grab version 0.5.7 from your user page!
So along with the new installer, I implemented a new release system as well. I would like to explain how the releases going forward will work.
Stable builds, snapshot builds, and you
Through the development process I have discovered a funny paradox. Weekly releases are both not enough time for me to develop features and weekly releases are way too long between bug fixes.
Because of this, I created an opt-in snapshot build system. What is a snapshot build? It is a very rough untested build, hot of the press, used for finding issues in newly added features. Snapshot builds are very small changes, allowing testing of a very specific problem or feature.
So why would you want snapshot builds? You will get the latest features, as soon as they are available, and your feedback will help shape the way the feature turns out. Don't like the balance of a new weapon in the snapshot build? That is the perfect time to talk about it and see the changes progress.
So what happens if you DON'T opt in to the snapshot builds? You continue to receive updates, they will just be larger, farther apart, but also more bug free. The snapshot builds and tests will be used to help polish out a Stable build. If you didn't opt in to the snapshots, you will only receive stable updates. These updates will not be bug free, but they will be 'less bugs' :)
Ok, so you want to opt-in to the snapshots and start helping report bugs and being awesome? Great! There is now a dedicated snapshot bug section on the message board. Posting bugs in this section will help ensure the updates come super fast and resolve as many issues as possible. There are some posting rules, so please be sure to read them and follow them.
Cool Techy stuff
So, the new updater uses a much more efficient system for delivering updates. It's called a binary patch, and it ensures the updates can be VERY small (as small as 30KB!) instead of having to re-download the entire game (350 MB and growing). The update process is also 100% automated, meaning you just press the update button in game. The updater will launch, close the game, download the files, apply the patch, and re-launch the game. All in about 20 seconds!
That wraps it up for this week! Next week should see tons of bugs squashed and more work on the new deployment parts and system. PLEASE post any issues you have with the installer or updater to the message board!
Welcome back and go get version 0.5.6 from your user page!
I have been hard at work polishing a lot of the game features on the backend and it lead me down a path that is requiring a lot of front end work as well.
So, without further delay, I will jump right into this week's changes.
In this build I have added a fully customizable control system. In the options menu you can access the controls settings allowing you to define any custom controls you want. Each input can accept a primary and a secondary control, so you don't have to worry about switching if you want to play with a joystick. The default secondary controls are setup for the Xbox 360 controller.
With the removal of the default startup screen I have included a Video Options menu as well. Currently this just exposes a resolution and graphics setting option, but I plan to allow more fine tuned controls in the future.
Change list :
+ Added New UI Art assets to Main Menu
+ Added Menu Music
+ Added Video Options Menu
+ Added Control Options Menu
+ Fixed Performance leak in the Editor
- Removed Unity Default Start Dialog
* Fixed possible crash error with overlapping attachpoints
* Fixed Turret Spawning in Siege mode
* Optimized collision to increase performance
I also got a large amount of work done on the new deployment system (as seen last week), but it was not quite in a stat that I wanted to release it yet. I will continue to work on it and plan on having it ready for next week.
I also spent some time looking into an automatic build system to make the deployment of new builds much easier, but it is still a work in progress as well.
Well, that is all for this week, so go play and I will see you next week!
Welcome back for another state of the game! I don't have a build ready to go for this week, but I did want to talk about what I have been up to.
As you can tell from the title of the post, I have been doing some critical thinking about some of the game design choices I have made up until this point. Now that the player base has grown and people are playing the game more and more, I have been able to observe player behaviors and start seeing how that holds up to my design theories.
Here are some of the choices I have started to look at.
Siege Mode is Broken
In it's current form, siege mode is not workng as intended. There are several changes I will be making to the game mode, but the first big change will be the buildings.
The buildings will no longer be a part of the siege game mode. Instead, the deployment of buildings will be tied to a special auxliary part that can be equipped and managed like all the other MAV parts.
While this seems like a small change, it actually has drastic impacts. Before, having the ability to deploy buildings tied to a players current money caused massive issues if the base money amount was raised. This was something many players wanted, as they wanted the ability to use all the current parts. Now with a massive amount of money, building deployment became massively overpowered, leading to nobody using it.
Further more, tieing the number and type of buildings you can deploy to specific parts, further inforces role type stratageys.
This also comes with the great side affect that building deployment will be avalible in Arena mode as well.
As I worked on the new system, I also spent some time improving the feedback when placing buildings. Check out this development picture to see it in action.
Arena Mode Needs Multiplayer
As I mentioned above, players want to use ALL the parts, and play in multiplayer. This is exactly the role arena mode is meant to fill, but it's not there yet.
Arena mode will be getting multiplayer, a scoring system, optional team play, and the addition of being able to deploy buildings. This should help establish arena mode as the 'instant action' mode and allow siege mode to become the more strategy based 'competition' mode.
UI and Controls Polish
This one is marginally related to the previous two issues, but I feel the current UI does a poor job of being intuitive to new players and the controls system is currently 'not good'.
Right now, I would say 50% of the issues that get brought up with me relate back to controls. More specifically, not being able to properly customize them. I completely agree with this, and I have been taking the steps needed to make sure the control system is 100% customizable and easy to setup with various controllers and joysticks. This means migrating away from the default engine provided system and integrating a custom solution.
With this, I need a great UI. It didn't make sense to integrate the new control system into the current UI, since I am far from happy with it. With a UI update, it will also allow me to address another prevalent complaint, compatibility with different screen sizes and aspect ratios.
I will be integrating a FULL settings customization screen, allowing you much greater control over all the graphical settings and making sure the UI adapts in a way that makes sure everyone has the same experience with M.A.V.
I know this post is not as much fun as a new build, but these are all very big tasks. I prefer to hold a build back and make sure I can deliver quality content, instead of just putting out a build I am not fully happy with.
I have also looked into exploring a snapshot build system, allowing you to choose to upgrade to potentially unstable builds to help bug test (and always have the newest stuff) and only releasing the stable versions out as primary builds. I would love to hear your feedback on the message board!
Welcome back for another fun filled week of updates :)
First off, go grab the latest build, version 0.5.5, from your account page!
This week, was a little rough on me so I didn't get as much time as I normally would. Because of this, I didn't tackle anything big and focused on squashing out some the bugs that have been reported.
So, without further delay, the list of fixes:
* Fixed multiplayer Siege mode bug that prevented a Win from happening when an HQ was destroyed.
* Fixed bug that allowed Siege mode to run into negative times.
* Fixed static shadows in Giant Leap # 317 and improved AI pathing through narrow sections.
* Fixed cannon impacts not responding to volume settings.
* Fixed audio volume and pitch bugs with the tread and wheel legs types.
* Fixed AI errors when the currently selected target is destroyed by another source.
* Reduced Output_Log writing to improve server stability.
* Fixed the possibility of spawning on top of buildings in Arena Mode.
* Fixed the 'Chicken legs' bug that prevented a death from registering if the cockpit was attached to a part other then the legs.
* Removed log errors on player death.
* Fixed the random white flashes that could happen in the skybox.
+ Small improvement to speed up level load times (~10% faster loads).
+ Removed the part count limitation feature from the cockpits. The only limiter now is total MAV weight.
I have big plans for the coming weeks, so make sure to check back in!