It's been a while since last Trigger Time dev article but finally the game is
moving towards the release on Steam. So what's new:
- Art update
- Sounds and music update
- Gameplay improvements
- New gameplay mechanic - sprinting
- Bugfixes and other small improvements
So finally art update is complete! The game has a lot of graphical content, because of the amount
of it I had to use open-source art and ripoffs from other games as a temporary measure. But now all such art
has been replaced, the game looks much better now because things don't look out of place anymore.
The most important is character art of course:
In my previous article I've posted some gifs of updated characters, but now the rest of them are updated too.
The game now has a poster, it's actually an animated sequence:
It's now being used in the game itself, in startup sequence, as well as on social media resources, i.e.
facebook, twitter, etc.
Weapon, ammo and items art
These were mostly open-source based and looked a bit out of place, they're updated now:
And of course, achievement icons, these were placeholders until recently:
Some of the environment art was also based on open-source art, mostly it looked way too realistic
comparing to overall cartoonish style. It was also changed:
Sounds and music update
Almost all of the game's sound effects were taken from open-source resources and were ripped-off from other games as a temporary measure. Sounds update was inevitable and now it finally happened. All of game's sound effects had been updated, thanks to my sound designer, Artem, for great work on this.
Music also needed an updated, I must say that open-source tracks that I used actually fit the game pretty well, so they remained. But the game contained a lot of copyrighted music as well, it was all replaced.
I also made some gameplay improvements, here they are:
Small insects can now be grabbed by gravity gun
When playing through levels with insect enemies (such as spiders and beetles) I often found myself trying to grab them with gravity gun. What stopped my from implementing this before is that I though that "gravity gun should only grab objects which have metallic parts in them". But now I changed my mind, i.e. it doesn't really matter what it can grab, if this makes the game more fun, then it must be implemented:
Enemy health balance
It felt like small insects had too much health on easy difficulty level, so this was changed. Also,
stationary turrets felt like they had way too much health points, this was also changed.
Weapon damage balance
Chainsaw weapon felt weak and inefficient, so I changed its damage radius and attack power, it now
feels more like doom chainsaw.
Shotgun weapon felt weak too, especially in close up, so I changed the way shotgun deals damage, buckshot pellets now deal more damage in close up, the further the fly, the less damage they deal.
Some of the boss sequences were changed, when certain bosses reach their 30% health mark they become more aggressive. Also, some boss death sequences were changed to be more impressive.
New gameplay mechanic - sprinting
One of the most important updates is the new gameplay mechanic that was introduced - sprinting.
During game development I received a lot of comments from people like they needed something more on the player movement, some of them suggested dodge roll or dash or something like that, but that all didn't fit the game very well. And suddenly, the right idea appeared - sprinting mechanic. Sprinting indeed fits Trigger Time, it has many use cases in terms of gameplay:
Sprinting is great for avoiding fast enemy projectiles such as rockets and plasma:
Things like firing and sprinting towards a cover work great now. Sprinting is also great when you suddenly face a group of enemies which you weren't prepared for:
So you can retreat and get prepared. Of course, sprinting itself makes the player more robust and gives a huge advantage over enemies, in order to lower this advantage the sprint is:
- Limited by stamina (the yellow bar), once your stamina is depleted you need to wait for it to replenish. Also, staying still will make the stamina replenish 2 times faster.
- You cannot fire your gun while sprinting, what this means is that if you press your fire butting while sprinting it'll actually fire, but you'll stop sprinting. So weapons like shotgun and rocket launcher are "sprint friendly", because they fire in bursts, so you can sprint and slow down just for a bit and fire. On the contrary, firing weapons such as machine gun and lightning gun require you not to sprint at all.
Sometimes you go from point A to point B, fight a lot of bad guys, get a key and need to go back, it can be pretty boring to go back through an empty hallway, so now you can sprint back. Players should get fun from fighting stuff, solving puzzles, etc, and not from running through empty hallways.
There were some puzzles in the game that actually required fast reaction time from the player, that could
bring frustration, now these things are much easier to do with sprinting.
So overall, sprinting mechanic appeared way too late in game development cycle, but as they say, better late than never. this mechanic in fact fits very nicely, it didn't break the gameplay, on the contrary, it made it way more fun.
Localization support have been implemented. For now, the game had been localized into russian:
So, the initial steam release will support 2 languages: english and russian.
Bugfixes and other small improvements
Also, there were other bugfixes and improvements:
Steam overlay and fullscreen on linux
There was a nasty bug with fullscreen mode and steam overlay on linux, steam archivement popups didn't appear unless the user opened steam overlay manually by pressing shift+tab. This was due to I was using exclusive fullscreen mode, after I moved to borderless window mode the problem disappeared. Thanks a lot to steam community for the tip!
Subway car glitches
Were related to updated player gun positions, fixed
Allow using mouse wheel in item shop and achievements menu
You can now use mouse wheel to scroll through these
So, that's it for this update. The game is finally coming to steam, I'm really excited about this, It's been a very very long road and now it's coming to an end. I really hope that people will enjoy playing Trigger Time, I really hope that I managed to make a good game. Stay tuned for the next update, once the game hits Steam store there will be another post.