All posts by Ryan

Build 8 – The Final Countdown!

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Last November, 10 developers flew hundreds of miles from England, Australia, Germany and all over the United States, to create a new game. Tired from the trip, we spent the week relaxing, discussing and creating the foundation of a game that would become Galacide. It was developed from the start using a prototype that would drive the direction of the game. After 9 months of grueling work, exhibiting at our first conference, and opening a new office, we feel Galacide is ready for prime time.

From the bottom of our hearts, we must thank you. Our readers, our players, our fans, friends and family, who have all helped support this project from inception to completion. This is a game that we’re proud to call ours, and now we want you to have it.

We’re releasing Galacide to the public today, July 28th.

The last Early Access content patch is releasing this morning, Build 8. It includes tons of polish, optimizations and new content. Here are some of the changes that we’ve been hard at work on for the last few weeks.

Conclusion of the campaign

In this patch we are releasing our final set of levels including  Debris Field, Desert Ruins and Scrapyard. Also we have added the character dialog to the game if you would like to read about the creation of the characters for Galacide you can go to our blog

New Bosses

Pretty much everything has been updated including the old bosses but I will just focus on two of the new ones. First off we have added fight sequences that you will encounter at the ends of levels 1 and 4.

We have also added our end boss into the game, The Bit-Matriarch, you will encounter her after fighting your way through the Scrapyard!

Military Ship

We added the final ship to the game it focuses primarily on offense with a fast shooting machine gun, missile volleys, and the ability to dash through bits and enemies.

Release Build Change log

Gameplay:

  • Bomb damage increased from 500 to 1200 so it now destroys most enemies.
  • Scrap no longer fire bullets.
  • Increased the size of Player respawn blast radius.
  • Holding a scrap highlights all Bits of that color.
  • Cleared Bits now spawn projectiles that damage enemies and do damage based on your combo.
  • “Taking Out the Trash” achievement now requires you to clear 750 Bits in a level.
  • “We’ve Got Hostiles” achievement now requires you to kill 500 enemies in a level.
  • “The Final Frontier” now requires you to travel 500k units.

Player Ships:

  • Added Military Ship
    • Weapon Levels: Autogun, Wave Gun, Extra Missiles
    • Ramming Speed! Smashes through Bits in the direction being held.
    • Unlocked by defeating the Bit Matriarch.
  • Added an achievement for unlocking the Military Ship.
  • Freighter now becomes unlocked when beating level 1.
  • Ships now all have a win animation, instead of a warp-out explosion.

Enemies:

  • Gun Turrets no longer spawn on the top/bottom rows of bits that are mostly off screen.
  • Linking Turrets now maintain their link for a while after their connection goes off screen.

Bosses:

  • Snake Boss spawns powerups based on the color of the scrap used to damage him.
  • Scrap inside the Snake Boss belly is easier to see.
  • Eradicator bombs drop experience powerups when destroyed before exploding.
  • Added a new Eradicator boss that will appear in level 5 Desert Ruins.
  • Added a fight sequence to the end of Campaign Level 1 – Asteroid Belt, which acts as a boss.

Campaign:

  • Tutorial is now named Introduction.
  • Remade the Tutorial to include updated mechanics and hopefully better explain old mechanics.
  • Eradicator in Campaign Level 2 – Mine Entrance is now at the end of the level instead of in the middle.
  • Added Campaign Levels 4-6: Debris Field, Desert Ruins, and Scrapyard.
  • Added Dialog to Campaign

Puzzles:

  • Added “Clear All the Bits” goal to Puzzle Mode level display banner.
  • Removed combo display from puzzle mode.
  • Changed the clear time in puzzle mode from 1.2 seconds to 1.0 seconds.
  • Changed Morphing tier to be named Circuits.
  • Modified some puzzles to more clearly present the mechanics they are intended to test.

HUD/Interface:

  • Added a combo counter to the hud tracks your current combo and current score multiplier.
  • HUD elements flash when player takes damage and pulse red when health is low.
  • Increased player ship feedback when taking damage or gaining experience.
  • When respawning, a popup displays how many lives remain.
  • The End of Mission screen shows a notification if you unlocked a ship or mode.
  • In Ship Selection, locked ships show silhouettes and a description of how to unlock them.
  • The End of Mission screen shows your max Bit combo, how much damage you took, and how many times you died.
  • On the Star Map, difficulty descriptions now appear under the difficulty selection.
  • Difficulty names on end screen are now the same color as the difficulty color on the Star Map.
  • Made it so score isn’t added until you lose your combo and then it is added all at once.
  • Score now counts up instead of just changing all at once.
  • Made the player widget larger and added labels to it.

Misc:

  • Rearranged Star Map slightly for better flow.
  • Collision optimizations.
  • Added controller vibration controls.
  • Added music to Ship Selection, Puzzle maps, Eradicator and fight sequences, the Bit Matriarch, and Victory music.
  • Added more LOD and Material Level settings.
  • Texture and Material optimizations.
  • Lots of optimization work.

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed HUD Emboss colors on Linux/Mac
  • Fixed a possible crash caused by not properly being connected to steam.

Build 7 – Power-ups, Balancing, and Polish

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Power-Ups

We have created three power-ups to assist you as you battle the alien invaders. Teal powerups will restore a portion of your ship’s health. Orange power-ups will cause your ship to fire twice as fast and to move 50% faster for 10 seconds. Finally, purple power-ups will give you XP. Power-ups only drop from cleared bits, so make sure you’re getting as many matches as you can!

Control Changes

We have now bound the drop scrap and use special ability to two separate buttons. On the gamepad, B drops scrap and X uses the ship’s special. On keyboard, C drops scrap and X uses the ship’s special.

Gameplay Overhauls

We have completely redone the gameplay of the game’s first level, Asteroid Field, as well as updated the background to improve the look of the level. We’ve also rebalanced the difficulties on all levels, making hard just a bit tougher, and expert even more frantic and challenging.

Enemy Changes

On top of the typical enemies that you are used to seeing in Galacide, you will now notice our new swarm versions of the Sine and Seeker enemies, which will drop scrap less often. We have also altered the Eradicator 27b (2nd level boss) to ensure that the encounter is more exciting and challenging.

Player Ship Balancing

We have done a lot of work ensuring that all of our ships are as balanced as possible in an attempt to make each ship valuable in combat. The Freighter now does more damage overall, and takes less damage when colliding with enemy ships. The Phase Ship has a longer phase cooldown, and the Mining Ship’s first-level weapon has been changed to a weaker version of its level 2 spread shot.

Full Change log

Gameplay:

  • Drop scrap and Use Special are now different buttons and can be used at the same time.
  • Gamepad:
    • Drop = B
    • Special = X
  • Keyboard:
    • Drop = C
    • Special = X
  • Camera Speed now scales down on Normal when there are a large number of bits on
  • screen.
  • Added bomb and scrap placement ghost effects.
  • Implemented power ups that drop from cleared bits.
  • The type of power up is determined by the color of bit it dropped from.
    • Teal – Restores health.
    • Orange – Ship fires twice as fast and moved 50% faster for 10 seconds.
    • Purple – Gives ship XP
  • Shooting a scrap on top of a power up moves the power up to the left so it isn’t stuck under the bit.
  • These power ups have a weighting system that helps smooth out their spawn chance.
  • Added a warp hint icon that displays on Normal difficulty when there are no bits on screen, hinting that the player can warp ahead through the empty area.
  • Scrap and bombs spawned by the map/bit sequences are immune to tractor beams.
  • Holding the Drop Scrap key/button (in addition to the Shoot key/button) prevents the ship from picking up scrap.
  • Your ship can no longer be pushed off screen by bits that are currently clearing.

Player Ships:

  • Mining Ship level 1 weapon was changed to a worse version of the level 2 spread shot.
  • Mining Ship special no longer turns off when a scrap gets attached.
  • Freighter now takes less damage when ramming enemies.
  • Freighter now does more damage on all levels.
  • Freighter now has the option to drop scrap at any time.
  • Phase ship’s charge shot now only penetrates if it has damage left over after hitting an enemy.
  • Phase ship now has longer cool downs for phasing.
  • Phase ship can now phase out with scrap attached.
  • Ship effects are removed upon reaching the end screen of a level (Mining laser, Freighter stored scrap, any attached scrap.)
  • Player ships flash red when getting hit.

Enemies:

  • Updated Sine Enemy and Beam Destroyer models.
  • Added smaller swarm versions of the Sine and Seeker enemies that drop scrap less often.
  • Changed enemy glow to white instead of red it it isn’t going to drop a scrap.
  • Linking Turrets no longer play a firing sound.
  • Updated material effects for Linking Turrets.
  • Adjusted all enemy damage and collision volumes to be more accurate and consistent.
  • Updated destruction effect to use a better mesh.
  • Enemies now all flash red when getting hit, and the flash fades more smoothly.

Bosses:

  • Increased the Eradicator 27b (aka boss on level 2) health, and the health of the bombs it spawns.
  • The Eradicator’s bombs now have a chance to drop experience power ups if you kill them before they explode.
  • Snake Boss now spawns shooters properly and they now have a chance to drop a bomb which can be used to do extra damage to the snake boss.

Campaign:

  • Hard is harder.
  • Re-balanced the current difficulties on all the current levels.
  • Optimized background assets for all current levels.
  • Did a total overhaul of Level One, Asteroid Field’s gameplay.
  • Updated background on Level One, Asteroid Field.
  • Expert is now significantly more frantic and difficult.
  • Added tapering bit sequences to the campaign levels so the bit walls aren’t a hard vertical wall.
  • Level 1, Asteroid field is now locked until completion of the Tutorial.

Puzzle Mode:

  • Modified Linking Turrets 5 and Morphing 3 to make more sense for the skills they are intended to test.
  • Puzzle Mode ship now drops scrap in place and has a half second delay before picking it back up.
  • Added a tip to the intro screen when playing any of the first 3 puzzles of each normal tier.
  • Bits take longer to clear in Puzzle Mode to assist in completing puzzles requiring rapid action.
  • Changed the title of the Multi-matching tier to Rapid Action.

Misc:

  • Reset save files due to overhaul of Campaign gameplay.
  • Removed score display during Puzzle Mode.
  • Added full screen scrolling asteroid / debris particle effect that scales intensity with camera/ship speed.
  • Bullet particles now always render on top of explosions.
  • The Star Map now shows the requirements to unlock each level.
  • The in-game HUD now flashes your remaining lives when starting a level and whenever the number changes (green for gaining a life, red for losing a life.)
  • Significantly increased the timer for streaming graphics resources when loading a level, to prevent texture popping.

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed scrap tracer and ghost showing up behind the bit it should appear in front of.
  • Prevented spawning multiple player ships in Puzzle Mode if co-op was played prior to Puzzle Mode in the same session.
  • Linux compile fixes.

Build 6 – Puzzles and Achievements

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Hey everyone! Today we are releasing an update for Galacide, which will introduce Steam achievements as well as a brand new Puzzle Play game mode. We’ve also changed the ship requirements, meaning that the Freighter and Phase Ship must now be unlocked prior to use.

Steam Achievements

We have added 21 achievements to unlock, some of which include reaching a certain score in endless mode or completing a certain level.

Puzzle Play

A new game mode called Puzzle Play has been added. Puzzle Play features 30 puzzles that are arranged in 5 tiers based on what mechanics they test. Tier 1 tests basic matching skills, including morphing. Tier 2 focuses heavily on morphing. Tier 3 challenges the player to create multi-matches. Tier 4 tests the player’s ability to predict how Linking Turrets will reconnect when their connected turret is destroyed, and introduces bombs. Finally, Tier 5 tests players’ knowledge of the most advanced concepts of Galacide.

Updated Particles

We have performed a major particle overhaul for Galacide. We’ve added new particles for events such as when the player ship is heavily damaged as well as a spark effect when bit arms spawn. There have also been several major revisions to the projectile particles for both player and enemy ships. We’ve also made it so that when you destroy an enemy ship, it will spawn debris.

Optimization

We’ve optimized a lot of the assets for Galacide, which should lead to players achieving higher framerates and smoother performance overall.

Additional Changes

Added 21 Achievements to Galacide!

  • Combo Breaker – Get a combo of 5. (Your combo increases as you make additional matches within a short time.)
  • Combo Master – Reach a combo of 15.
  • Combo Legend – Reach a combo of 25.
  • Big Plays – Get a clear of 10 or more bits, 10 times.
  • Automotive Professional – Complete a Multi-Match. (A multimatch occurs when the player shoots additional scrap onto a set of clearing bits of the same color to connect a separate group of bits into the match.)
  • Multi-Master – Complete 10 multi-matches.
  • Snake Charmer – Beat the snake boss!
  • Space Truckin’ – Beat Level 2 (Mine Entrance.) Unlocks the Freighter.
  • Set Phasers to Kill – Beat the boss and get to Threat Level 6 on Endless Play. Unlocks the Phase Ship!
  • Threat Level Midnight – Get to Threat Level 10 in Endless Play.
  • War Rig – Store 3 bombs in the Freighter’s cargo.
  • Taking Out the Trash – Clear 500 bits in one level.
  • We’ve Got Hostiles – Get 250 kills in a level.
  • Bombastic – Destroy 3 enemies in a bomb’s explosion.
  • Hat Trick – Kill 3 enemies in one Phase Ship charge shot.
  • 1 Up – Get 500,000 points in Endless Play.
  • High Roller – Get 1 million points in Endless Play.
  • Scholar of the First Bit – Clear all puzzles in Puzzle Mode.
  • The Final Frontier – Travel a total distance of 100,000.
  • Bit by Bit – Clear 25,000 bits total.
  • Galacide – Kill 10,000 enemies total.

Implemented Puzzle Play!

  • 30 Puzzles arranged in 5 Tiers of 6 puzzles which test different mechanics.
  • Tier 1: Basic – Tests basic knowledge of matching bits and building off of existing bits to create a match. Later puzzle require some morphing.
  • Tier 2: Morphing – Tests knowledge of morphing with a focus on circuit-completion. (When you morph, your ship counts as a bit in the matching sequence if there are already 3 or more bits.)
  • Tier 3: Multimatching – Tests knowledge of multimatching and stacking. (A multimatch occurs when the player shoots additional scrap onto a set of clearing bits of the same color to connect a separate group of bits into the match. Stacking is shooting scrap onto a set of clearing bits of a different color, to set up for clearing bits of the stacked color.)
  • Tier 4: Linking Turrets – Tests the player’s ability to predict how Linking Turrets will reconnect when their connected turret is destroyed. Also introduces Bombs into the later puzzles.
  • Tier 5: Advanced – Tests knowledge of the most advanced concepts in Galacide.

Player Ships:

  • Locked the Freighter and Phase Ship. They are now unlocked through the achievements listed above.
  • Fixed visual “pop” on Mining Vessel jets when entering/exiting warp.
  • Updated player ship colors to be more vibrant.
  • Added lighting to the player ships so they stay bright even in darker environments.
  • Updated low health smoke particle effect.
  • Increased Phase Ship ability cooldown to 8/7/6 sec per level. (Was 6/5/4.)
  • Phase Ship warp drive disabled during phasing cool down as well as while phasing is active.

Enemies:

  • Adjusted distribution of destruction particle effects.
  • Added mesh debris objects to enemy destructions.
  • Fixed vertex normals on Turret model so it responds to lighting properly.
  • Modified Linking Turret connection search to more consistently find the closest connection when multiple turrets are searching simultaneously.
  • Reduced enemy health scaling by difficulty to 10% per difficulty level. (Was 25%)

Boss:

  • Fixed bug with Mini-Boss collision.

Bitwall:

  • Bitwall performance optimizations.
  • Added spark effects to bit arms upon spawning.
  • Slowed down the spawn and morph animations.
  • Bit Columns now spawn all the way to the edge of the screen each frame instead of one column per frame.

Maps:

  • Optimized background assets in the Asteroid Field level.
  • Entering a level now displays the level name in a popup.

Misc Balance and Numerical Changes:

  • Increased bomb damage to 500. (Was 200.)
  • Increased combo reset timer to 5 sec. (Was 2 sec.)
  • Combos past 5 now reduce the combo reset timer by 5% (was 2%) down to a minimum of 3 sec.

Misc:

  • Updated Leaderboard background to the new version.
  • Overhaul of all in-game particles.
  • Applied LOD to more particles.
  • Game now saves whenever you pause in addition to after completing a level.
  • Fixed issue with coloring of gunfire particles.
  • Added a particle management system to prevent early removal of particles with no attached actors.

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed bug which caused the scrap spawned in the tutorial morphing/tractor beam step to be destroyed immediately after spawning in resolutions higher than 1920 x 1080.