A Musical Overview of Lifecycles Act 2
Week Long Sale! 15% off on Drunk On Nectar!
Before we get to the trailer, just a reminder that the game is participating in Steam's ongoing week-long sale so if you have't stepped foot into DoN's verdant glades yet you can do so now for a discounted price of 15% off and enjoy the beautiful yet action-packed vistas seen in the trailer above.
The week long sale concludes on 8th October!
Condensing 4-6 hours of Act 2's action-packed gameplay into 6 minutes of music, the above trailer takes you through the key moments of Lifecycles Act 2.
Briefly, these include:
Spider Ballooning: Flying spiders! a natural phenomenon which gained mainstream attention in recent years after millions were spotted above Australia, has now been depicted in great detail in the game!
Nest Building: Drunk on Nectar's unique depiction of a spider building its nest (see the earlier part of the above video!) takes you through a very comprehensive experience of playing with silk. The "Silk Tent Architect" XP you earn for your trouble is well earned indeed!
In Picture: After weaving many layers of silk together,
a female Jumping Spider pushes silk around to create some living room in her silken palace!
Prey Swarms: Massive swarms of Grasshoppers and Leafhoppers with lifecycles support; they grow along with you as you play!
1 mm depiction: Built around a 1mm perspective Act 2 takes the familiar natural landscapes of Drunk On Nectar's world such as flowers, dense leaves, foliage, but then converts them into an astonishingly detailed micro-world where a leaf is a large mini-level onto itself, a tiny stalk is a massive tower that takes 90 seconds to climb and a small flower is actually a massive platform for ballooning!
See below, how large Moss (which is barely visible to humans) is for our tiny spider :)
Absolutely Enormous Predators: Because you're so tiny, the game's regular cast of predators such as Dragonflies or Tiger Beetles are enormous colossal entities that utterly dwarf you in size and strength. A very new experience for those Jumping Spider players from Survival Mode, who're used to dominating their prey and rivals all the time. This time you need to grow and earn your stripes, quite literally! :)
In Picture: This unfortunate Jumping Spider did not jump far enough.
24 spider siblings accompany you in the grand journey of growing, surviving and conquering
"The Great Outdoors". Experience the epic adventure today on Steam!
Growth Quests, Side-missions and more: Quest based gameplay first made an appearance in Lifecycles Act 1 and was then adopted for the Parasitic Wasp's Survival mode.
However Lifecycles Act 2 takes this to a completely new level as the video above demonstrates, with very richly detailed quests and objectives for players to experience.
One of the standout quest sequences of Act 2 is "The Pollinator Hunt" which asks you to expertly track, overpower and stash three different types of pollinators of varying difficulty (a swift bee, a dainty butterfly and a dangerous wasp) back to your nest for storage and later consumption. This is a particularly challenging quest as there's an entire cast of rival species waiting to accost you and seize your prey, or yourself!
Growth as a dynamic gameplay mechanism: One very rarely seen gameplay element depicted in Act 2 is that your physical growth enables you to progressively do things that were simply not possible in earlier instars, thus generating endless gameplay variety. This ranges from overpowering larger rivals who once bullied you when you were smaller, to gaining access to new flora that may have been too hard to reach before to even losing access to those tiny niches and holes you could hide from in earlier parts of the game, simply because you've outgrown them over time!
And that includes any silk nests you build in earlier parts of the game; you will quickly outgrow each nest you build and thus need to constantly reaffirm your place in the silken real estates of DoN's huge (yet tiny!) natural micro-open-world-sandbox (that's now a thing!).
In picture: The ever-changing dynamics between you, your prey, your rivals
and the size of your silken tents, is to experienced to be believed!
Release Performance Overview
Act 2's release resulted in a 300% increase in peak players for DoN while also boosting its average play duration on Steam and bringing a 16% increase in reviews (all positive!) post release. All this has brought in a new generation of players for the game with more continuing to arrive! :)
As the game's biggest release, the expectation is that Act 2 will continue to play a vital role in the game's growth and consequently it will also continue to receive frequent updates for a while.
And that brings me to:
The Road Ahead
Bugfixing and polishing will continue to remain the game's focus for at least another 2-3 weeks. The game in general and Act 2 in particular need to go through a stabilization phase of weeding out bugs and issues (which are mostly visual/rendering related rather than gameplay) before moving on to new content.
When the game does move on, there are be a plethora of options to choose from.
The obvious target is Lifecycles Act 3 - Mating & Reproduction (starring the Monarch Butterfly this time as they've been waiting their turn for a while now!), although things like Landscape redesign, Plant life, Ladybug lifecycles or even other new species are all interesting directions for the game to go in indeed.
In picture: Monarch Butterflies, perhaps the game's biggest mascot, have not been forgotten,
not at all :) "Mating & Reproduction" update for the Monarchs is on the horizon!
After the ongoing bugfix sprint is complete more clarity is expected on the game's next direction. So stay tuned! :)
Thanks for reading this massive brain-dump of all things Lifecycles Act 2 and hopefully for listening to "The Song of Lifecycles Act 2" (the new OST for this release featured in the video trailer above) as well.
Thank you! :)