Update: Controller Support, Enemies and Effects
Build 50 took me longer than I expected, but that was mainly because in addition to the controller support, I wanted to get in as much content and address as much feedback as possible.
Let’s go through everything that’s new:
This is the big one for Build 50. It’s a huge change and affected every menu in the game to some degree. If you have played DOE, then you know it has a lot of menus so that was no small task. The other goal was to not lose any functionality for mouse and keyboard PC players. I’d love to hear if you think I missed something!
I completely redesigned many menus to work better with the controller, and just because some of them needed it badly. The main ones to get an update:
- Created a “Main Menu” that opens on any screen when pressing the “start” or “settings” buttons on your gamepad. Mouse users can click the hamburger menu button or settings button to also bring it up.
- The “System” tab on the Main Menu has the new Save Slots. You can have up to 4 games of DOE going at once now. Or you can create copies or your game to save scumm. Up to you :)
- The save slots show your team, your current objective, your total time played on the save, the percent complete (based on the content objectives) and the percentage of unlockable items you have collected.
- The Objective Loadout screen was one of the most confusing in the game. It has now been completely redone and I think it’s much clearer for new players, but please let me know your thoughts.
On most of the other menus, i made at least some small changes or refinements. It’s hard to list them all.
The next big thing was addressing the feedback that the enemies were too similar. I went through almost every enemy in the game and made major changes to their sprites and armor to try to make them more distinctive.
I also added a few new enemies to try to add some additional challenge a bit earlier. For instance, in the Feral Android objectives (they start with the Skull of the First), you now fight pods withb a feral trooper and a Bomber. The Bomber is equipped with a grenade launcher which should be a problem for you on the platform missions where it’s easier to get your team bunched up on the catwalks.
A few other things:
- The enemy spawning was also tweaked some and bosses were changed around a bit. Hopefully this results in the game remaining challenging through the late game missions.
- Later bosses are now larger than the other characters.
- New enemy “intro” UI element
Another big effort went into adding more in game effects. I touched four main areas: enemy death animations, weapon impact animations, new weapons (and a few updates to existing weapons) and new weapon effects.
- New Death Animations - killing an enemy with a poison or laser/plasma/electric weapon will trigger a custom death animation.
- Lighting Rifle Mk II is now an area of effect weapon (similar to the mini gun) and is upgraded to Tier 5. This weapon will not be available in stores but is now dropped by a new Feral Android boss appropriately named Charge.
- Cultist Weapons updated to look more poisonous. The top Cultist boss now has an area of effect poison weapon called the Slimer. The other weapons have been updated to have more appropriate visual effects.
- Impact animations - pretty much all the other weapons had at least some changes made to their imapct animations.
I was only able to get one small update into the maps. On the later “open” maps, the sub docking area is now always enclosed. Having this open lead to some scenarios where enemies spawned close enough to the player characters to immediately trigger. In later missions, this could result in starting with half your characters already significantly damaged. Now you will always have a chance to get ready before opening doors and potentially revealing enemies.
A few levels had a white floor that was pretty hard on the eyes and made the UI harder to see. I updated it to make it a bit darker. Grab a screenshot if you see more tilesets that you think need changes.
Loot containers were sometimes hard to spot so they now have a yellow pulsing halo similar to the loot drops.
I’ll be transitioning right to working on Build 51 with the goal of delivering it to Steam/GOG/itch over the summer. This will be 100% content update and hopefully will deliver the “definitive” version of the game.
Some details on what is planned right now:
I have several big changes to Subs in progress, including removing the sub “health” mechanic (that no one seems to like). I don’t want to give out too much yet but I’ll be adding in some new “sub systems” that heal and revive characters. These can take damage in encounters and become less effective.
I’ve heard numerous suggestions on adding a character injury system since (and before) launch. I have it prototyped and was tempted to include it in Build 50 but ultimately decided it needed more bake time.
I’m planning a larger map update for Build 51. The plan is to design larger rooms that fill multiple squares used by the current rooms. I’m also in progress on making some custom levels that can be tied to particular bosses.
I’m also planning to go back over all the sound effects currently in the game, and also to add a lot more.
People generally seem to really like the music used in the game. It’s great stuff by Kim Lightyear and Badass Wolf Shirt and I’m really happy with how it works in the game. That being said, the main criticism is of the loops I had made and that they are possibly too short. I’ll try to correct this in Build 51.
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