So, as the Steam Greenlight campaign is coming along I'm proud to present new Trigger Time demo 0.25. This is a huge update, lot's of changes this time.
What's new in this 0.25 release:
- Game logo
- Puzzle hints
- Difficulty settings
- Gamepad support
- Art update
- Brightness settings
- Improved shotgun effect
- LuaJIT support
- Some level polish and bugfixes
The game now has a logo instead of its name typed in some cool font, here it is:
Playtesting of the game showed that some physics puzzles, especially those that are at the very beginning of the game, can be pretty hard to solve. That's why puzzle hints were introduced:
Puzzle hints are basically question mark and an arrow that appears near an area that needs player attention. Puzzle hints themselves do not make puzzle solving easier, the player still needs to figure it out, but now he doesn't need to wander around guessing: "is that some sort of puzzle, do I need to do something here"
Playtesting also showed that different people seem to have VERY different top-down shooter skills. For example, half of the people who played the first level reported that it was easy and the other half reported that it was pretty hard. That's why difficulty settings were introduced:
So now the game has 3 difficulty levels, campaign progress is per-difficulty, that means if you play the campaign on "normal", you can't just start playing it on "hard" from the middle, you'll have to play from the start. As for the difficulty levels themselves:
- normal - Most players will probably choose this one. This difficulty level will provide you with moderate challenge. Also, puzzle hints are enabled on this difficulty level, they will be displayed for some of the game's puzzles
- easy - This difficulty level provides very little challenge, it's basically for people who want to just "check the game out". This difficulty level also has puzzle hints enabled and puzzle hints are provided for most of the game's puzzles
- hard - This is for hardcore players only (such as myself :)), it provides increased challenge. Note that this doesn't mean that your enemies will have more health or there'll be more enemies. This means it'll require more skill to beat the game. The enemies will be faster and more aggressive, you'll have less health, powerup spawn probability will be less, etc.
Many people are used to play top-down shooters using gamepads, so gamepad support is a must. And finally, gamepad support have arrived to Trigger Time!
You don't need to do anything special, just plug in your gamepad and start playing. The game will detect that you're using the gamepad and act accordingly. e.g. it'll display input hints for gamepad instead of for keyboard+mouse. And if you want to change gamepad button bindings or deadzones, you can do this from the options menu:
Please note that gamepad support was tested with xbox 360 compatible controllers only. The input hints inside the game are given for xbox 360 buttons too. So if you have PS4 controller or alike and experience problems, please let me know.
For me, art was one of the biggest pain points in the whole project. But finally, things are changing! So far the following art was updated:
spider and spider nest
enforcer and sentry
And there will be more updates in the future, the plan is to update all art that's currently looks like it's out of place.
Some people complained that the game can be pretty dark with some displays, that's why brightness settings were introduced:
Improved shotgun effect
Shotgun is the only gun that didn't have muzzle flash attached to it and also, the buckshot trace effect was misbehaving on impact, it was disappearing instantly. That's now fixed by attaching the muzzle flash and adding alpha fade to the trace:
Here's the game profiling data before/after LuaJIT in a script-intensive place. Game CPU usage went down from 20% to 10% here:
Though it's not that important on PC, it can be a huge win on (possible) future mobile port.
Some level polish and bugfixes
I also did some level polishing and fixed a couple of bugs. Here's the list of most important things:
"The factory" level got shorter
3rd level in the playable demo contained a very long and annoying part that was extremely difficult, the player would usually die there once or twice. It was entirely stripped from the level, now you just head straight to the door control room:
Light intensity fixes
I've looked through all the game (not just demo) and changed intensities of light sources that were causing very bright white spots on the floor. These looked ugly, hopefully, all of them are now gone.
"The mine" level ambient light increase
2nd level in the playable demo was way too dark, so I've increased its ambient light from absolute zero to 0.05. I've also increased player flashlight intensity. Now that level looks and plays much better
Machine gun bullet bug
In some certain, hardly reproducible circumstances machine gun bullets got frozen in air when shot by certain enemies. This was due to initial bullet positioning code was tied to 'render' callback, not 'update'. This is now fixed.
Dialog box double-open bug
It was possible to open the same dialog box twice by clicking the menu button several times without moving the mouse. Bug is fixed.
So, I guess that's it for this really huge update. You can download new demo in "files" section as usual. If you have any feedback or problems, please write about it in comments section.