Let’s start with the slightly less pleasant stuff and get it right out of the way …
While we had originally planned to release the first alpha build to our Alpha Backers this month, that plan did not include the Modding Tools stretch goal.
As it turns out, I have been spending a bit more time on the tool than originally planned, which on the plus side means content development in the long run will be faster, but on the down side it also means we will not be able to ship the alpha this year.
The new tentative alpha-date is mid-January, which means we are roughly 2 weeks behind on the original “no-tools” estimate.
So what is in, and what is missing?
- the alpha level is 99% mapped (it will probably get some last minute polish, but it’s essentially done)
- the alpha level is 55-60% “propped” (as in decorated with props)
- the level logic is 70% done (as in enemy spawns, logic triggers, secret rooms, loot, flow, etc.)
- 2 out of the 3 planned enemies for the alpha (which showcase different types of behaviours, attacks, etc.) are done
- in terms of gameplay we are mostly there, with ammo management, respawn points, and limb-reattachment still notably missing As you can see we are not terribly far off, and we are both working around the clock (holi-what now?) to ensure we can reward our Alpha Backers for their patience with a kick-ass first impression, but we still need a couple of major features before we can decently call it an alpha ^_^
Moving on to the more fun stuff, and because it wouldn’t be a Tower 57 update without 10 megs of animated gifs, we thought our second enemy deserved a little update-love.
Introducing the Beast: born out of years of ambiguous waste-disposal policies, this hulking mass of flesh and muscle will rip through anything that stands in its way with its razor-sharp claws. As the sewers used to be a heavily patrolled area, the Beast quickly developed a taste for human flesh, but since the guards stopped coming these days it prowls the sewers in search of anybody foolish enough to adventure down there…
Once it picks up the smell of flesh, it will relentlessly chase its pray down.
Its main attack consists of lunging at its pray to rip through it with its claws. As a little side-note, anybody remembers how in Final Fight (and even SF2 in a couple of stages like Guile’s) you could throw enemies into crates? How great did that feel, right? It’s definitely little things like this that make game-dev so much fun ^_^
Of course it doesn’t always miss:
Losing one arm isn’t too bad (I should probably add “in this video-game” !) You will lose some aiming accuracy and slowly bleed out, however the bleeding can be stopped by using a medi-kit, and if you or your companion are playing as the scientist, you can re-attach the missing limb on the spot (technically you can attach any limb, so you could pick up a guard’s arm and use that if you can’t find yours anymore).
There are also terminals scattered around the tower which sell high-tech prosthetics.
Losing both arms on the other hand (pun intended) leaves you kind of … defenseless ^_^
However that doesn’t mean you are out of options! The Beast is fearsome but not particularly smart, and it will easily get distracted by other targets, buying you precious time to plot your escape:
Alternatively you can always get creative and take advantage of your environment ;) (please note the death animation for the Beast is obviously missing here!)
And there you have it!
Running into a beast will not be a walk in the park - it can also jump up ledges and follow you underwater - but the rewards for taking one down will make the experience worth it (those Beast heads are rumoured to be powerful aphrodisiacs and go for a pretty penny at the black market in Amor’s Den ^_^)
I will post one final update in a few days, until then I wish you all a great end to 2015!
Marco / benitosub