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Post news RSS Alpha 7 Released: Spelunking Time

The biggest release yet, including cave systems, a world map UI, yet more QoL, lots of new content, revamped Recycling Units...

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Whew! The longest dev cycle yet has come to an end.

Alpha 7 is ready.

As planned, work on this release was especially involved because it also had to finish laying the foundations for a completely different part of the world: caves. In that respect I've actually already gotten a good head start on Alpha 8, since its features are so closely intertwined with Alpha 7 that I had to skip ahead to work on that stuff for a bit.

Here are some of the more showable non-spoilery features included in today's release:

You can finally see the world map as you explore it! (Or even... before?)

Hacked stockpile intel is now labeled along with other items.

Attempting to move while severely overweight will give you a warning before the first such move in while.

Dialogue is now shown over the map.

As are scene descriptions (though there aren't a whole lot of those).

There's a new type of interactive machine... (at which you'll be able to do more than open doors :P)

More than a dozen rare parts to find. (Among them is the first alien artifact!)

There are yet more fonts to choose from, especially at the smaller sizes. The default font has also been changed for now (click for full size--this is the 768p version).

Free map panning for mouse users.

Recycling Units are quite useful now, allowing you to re-acquire loot lost to those blasted Scavengers ;).

Tiles mode uses item sprites rather than ASCII in the inventory window (same for intel stockpile markers).

Multi-projectile weapon indicators are now easier to distinguish.

(And as usual, I'm not spoiling the new maps--and new robots!--you can discover those on your own!)

See here for the full release notes with plenty more details.

The full Alpha 7 (0.10.160323) changelog:

  • NEW: Branch maps "Lower Caves"
  • NEW: Branch maps "Upper Caves"
  • NEW: Branch maps "Proximity Caves"
  • NEW: Branch map "[redacted]"
  • NEW: World Map! (Backspace/F9/new "MAP" button) (examine your route, and possibly learn layout in advance)
  • NEW: Score sheet contains list of complete route taken through the world, by depth and map
  • NEW: New category of interactive machines: Derelict terminals
  • NEW: More lore to uncover in dozens of terminal records
  • NEW: Learn many forms of intel about areas before visiting them, including depth, zone layouts, trap/machine/guard locations and more
  • NEW: New special item type akin to Data Cores: Derelict Logs (effect unrelated, though they are similarly auto-collected)
  • NEW: New Trojan hack (secret)
  • NEW: Some Trojans and brute force hacks can now be learned via in-game/in-theme methods, as can the access code to Recycling
  • NEW: 1 new prototype robot
  • NEW: 4 new Derelicts
  • NEW: Several new types of drone bays, with corresponding unique drones
  • NEW: A dozen new rare parts
  • NEW: First alien artifact!
  • NEW: A couple dozen more encounter types
  • NEW: One more story-related major NPC encounter (new NPC robot class)
  • NEW: Target robot system corruption increases chance of hacking success (+X/3%)
  • NEW: Minor NPC dialogue now animates over the map itself, color-coded by relation w/speaker
  • NEW: Scene descriptions no longer confined to the log, shown as cyan messages over the map
  • NEW: Mouse users can pan map by holding Shift and simply moving cursor
  • NEW: Stockpile intel from terminal hacks also provides item-specific map labels on request
  • NEW: Attempting to move while severely overweight will give a warning before the first such move in a while
  • NEW: Four new size 12 font options (720p): "Tall", "Smallcaps", "Fuzzy", "Tallcaps" (8 total options at that size now)
  • NEW: Smallcaps typeface manually scaled to 8 additional sizes in three variants (Cogmind includes over 100 font bitmaps now)
  • NEW: Second variant of the 14/Terminus font, crisper with some glow to it
  • NEW: Initial tutorial messages include a notice about changing the text font
  • NEW: 24 more score sheet entries (total = 434)
  • NEW: Added Ctrl-PrtScn as duplicate command for PrtScn, for players with PrtScn already assigned to an external program
  • NEW: More Recycling Unit features, including component storage and hack or shoot to retrieve stored components
  • NEW: Mining Claw may on rare occasions rip parts from target and put them directly into your inventory (or drop if space insufficient)
  • NEW: All hover propulsion gives a +5% to dodge when not overweight or in stasis (e.g., hover now has half the flight bonus)
  • NEW: All supporter names registered since Alpha 6 added to in-game list (see Credits menu)
  • NEW: All item-attribution names registered since Alpha 6 added to the item collection gallery
  • MOD: Hunter armament buffed--they're scary again
  • MOD: Nerfed high-level Targeting Computers, Melee Analysis Suites, Target Analyzers (too easy to stack now); buffed entry-level variants
  • MOD: Nerfed high-level Sensor Array and Terrain Scanner ranges; buffed entry-level variants; all energy costs slightly lowered
  • MOD: Coverage of all Storage Units halved
  • MOD: Drone Bay integrity and coverage tweaked, now doubles as makeshift armor
  • MOD: Exp. Signal Interpreters now more capable than Advanced variant
  • MOD: Adv. Signal Interpreters can no longer detect H-88 Terminators (requires Exp. level)
  • MOD: Momentum damage modifier cap for melee attacks doubled from 20%/40% to 40%/80% (non-piercing/piercing)
  • MOD: Dormant, unpowered, disabled, and broken robots outside view can now only be discerned by Exp. Signal Interpreters
  • MOD: Default font changed from "Cogmind" to "Smallcaps" w/glow variants (former renamed to "Cog")
  • MOD: Shift-LMB to center map on cursor position works, but is now an undocumented command
  • MOD: Inventory displays item sprites rather than ASCII when in sprite mode
  • MOD: Intel overlays for stockpiles display item sprites rather than ASCII when in sprite mode
  • MOD: Effects of Maneuvering Thrusters and Reaction Control Systems do not apply when overweight
  • MOD: Behemoth core exposure reduced by 5%
  • MOD: 50% increase to effect on alert level from destroying or jamming a garrison access point
  • MOD: Improved visibility of projectile count on info page for multi-projectile weapons (was easy to overlook)
  • MOD: Ramming non-combat robots counts as an aggressive action and they'll now flee and send out distress calls as with regular attacks
  • MOD: Machine serials that used unique letters derived from the current map name now always use the first letter of that name (cosmetic)
  • MOD: Garrison Access terminal seal animation improved (also fixed issue where it might not finish playing on slow machines)
  • MOD: Size 10 font "All Caps" renamed to "Smallcaps"
  • MOD: Some glyphs in all Terminus fonts modified
  • MOD: Terminus (non-bold) fonts given a faint glow at sizes 18, 20
  • MOD: Added slight anti-aliasing to 12/Terminus font to further improve readability (especially on smaller screens)
  • MOD: Help screen commands for keyboard control of allies more clearly indicates how to enter required mode
  • MOD: Drone Bay ASCII art tweaked
  • FIX: Crash on Tab-cycling targets after causing time to pass by swapping parts before original target destroyed by another actor without having exited look/fire mode [Sylverone]
  • FIX: Score sheet missing Garrison Status hack tally, throwing off the dozen hacks listed after where it should be [zxc]
  • FIX: Score sheet recorded turns spent in Hub_04(d) to Armory [Sherlockkat]
  • FIX: Score total for prototype IDs didn't account for those learned via hacking or Component Analysis Suites [Enno]
  • FIX: Jamming a Garrison Access point via brute force hacking now applies same Programmer dispatch reduction as sealing/destroying it
  • FIX: Crash on replacement of attached Processors or Hackware direct from ground while inventory full
  • FIX: Basic/Imp. Signal Interpreter indicators remained on map even in view if moving multiple spaces per turn
  • FIX: Overlapping simultaneous explosions could not affect the same robot more than once (Gamma Bomb Arrays etc. will be more effective now)
  • FIX: Hunters could no longer track targets through walls (Alpha 6 regression)
  • FIX: EMDS missing projectile name in penetration message text
  • FIX: Toggling sprite/ASCII modes from the option menu (instead of via hotkey) didn't update previously seen areas until seen again
  • FIX: Fullscreen successful win animation might not play out on slow machines
  • FIX: Botnet trojan success text used incorrect plurality when value is 1
  • FIX: Typo in new offensive hackware effect description
  • FIX: 20/Terminus text font missing integrity block glyph
  • FIX: Size 8 mini font wasn't grayed out in the option menu's font list while tileset active
  • FIX: One line-junction glyph in the size 8 mini CP437 font misaligned

I've already jumped right into work on Alpha 8, and this afternoon's latest development is an optimization: Players will have noticed that mid/late-game areas with large maps will have a first turn that takes a couple seconds to resolve before actions become responsive again. This is due to the many actors all starting to decide things at once. That has been tweaked so that an actor's initial turn is delayed based on its distance from the player's starting position, which you can see happening in this full-map reveal here :D

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