Please, please add co-op! I will pay anything for this game if it has co-op.
Build 35: Updated Visuals and Polish
We’ve been pretty quiet recently but are releasing Build 35 out to our First Access customers today and also releasing 100 more keys to the First Access. For those keeping track, that means we skipped 34. There are a few reasons for this but it was mainly because we just wanted to release these builds together as they focus primarily on the increasing the visual quality of the game as we work on getting the release trailer created and updating screenshots and marketing materials across all our launch platforms.
Also, we were at SIEGE in Atlanta last weekend and Depth of Extinction won the Best Design award! Huge honor to get an award, especially one recognizing the game in this way.
Build 34 focused on making big improvements to the mission screen UI. This is the screen you interact with between missions.
- Major UI overhaul. We’ve changed the theme of the mission selection screen to make it darker and changing the menu styling somewhat while adding a lot of cool new things to look at and hopefully improve the experience. There are definitely areas that we need to improve, including the merchant screen.
- Procedural missions that will add a lot of new variables to the game and increase replayability since you are unlikely to take the same mission twice.
- Subs will alter your team’s starting equipment, influence your initial budget and determine initial amount of fuel available. They also have different amounts of health. Yes, we said health. The sub can also take damage and be repaired which is another variable to watch as you navigate the seas toward your mission goal.
- Out of Fuel Encounters will now add some new options if you run out of fuel. I don’t want to spoil anything except to say you are in a pretty vulnerable position when out of fuel and people will try to take advantage of that.
- Enemies now drop loot that can include some credits or any of their equipment, For now they only drop one thing. We are still going to work on making that loot more visible but it will appear on the mini map.
- Some balancing changes including lowering enemy damage and removing enemy critical hits in the first 1-2 areas to reduce that initial difficulty curve some players have experienced.
Build 35 focused on improving the mission visual themselves.
- Mission backgrounds updated so that there are now 7 different themes (and we will be adding more) that will hopefully increase the contrast between the floor and the walls to make understanding the level easier. Also, we added a lot more interesting details that our artist had created.
- Dynamic windows that will show a bit more of the undersea world and add some interesting visuals.
- Minimap improvements including better color coding of mission objectives, a crisper look, more visible map indicators, expanding rather than opening in a window and clicking an area will move the camera. Future improvements will be some additional icons and dragging the camera.
- Tutorial update to teach loot pickups and rework the tutorial level.
- New Sub sprites that spawn in the levels, including the “pirate” themed sub in the GIF above. An improvement at some point will be a docking animation.
So what is the plan for the future? We are moving the release date from November to early next year so we can avoid the AAA game releases and the Steam winter sale. This will also give us more time to continue refining and promoting the game. The officially trailer should be ready by the end of October or early November.
Once the visuals are solid, the trailer is done and the screenshots and marketing images are updated, we can get back to improved the tactical areas of the game. We’ve got a number of improvements in mind, including:
- More encounter options to weave an emergent story and make the game have a lot more variety.
- More mission types that will add some additional variety to the game. All the missions are essentially the same right now: find the loot and escape to the sub. We have some great ideas on this front and hope to be able to implement some of them in an upcoming build.
- Stopping movement on enemy sighting. The plan is to allow you to have an extra action that is “move only” if you have less than an action remaining and if you have more than one remaining, then any action will be allowed.
- Refining the rules for how you can switch team members. Basically this will replace the new “Defer Turn” action with a more robust system to allow for freely switching between team members that are at the same initiative level
- Custom cursors to show the action that will take place with a click. This should allow us to remove some extra clicks from the game, especially on movement.
- Controller support which is really a necessity for releasing a game
- Updated Enemy AI that makes each faction even more unique and allows them to use items and skills
- Even more small improvements, polishing and bug fixes!
We don’t want to announce when all of this will be available but rest assured there will be more blog posts in the future, so stay tuned!