This week we are releasing the beta version of Destroy Planet Earth. Compared to our alpha, the game has come together in a much more visible way. The game now features:
A strong narrative opening sequence to set up the game increased enemy difficulty.
Complexity and variety, resulting in much more exciting dogfights
Increased juice on effects such as taking damage and killing enemy ships to set a strong tone
A more varied and interesting environment
Enemies can now be killed in a fluid and responsive manner
A timed objective that requires the player to survive long enough and compete against enemies to defend their base from enemy spaceships.
A leaderboard system
As of last week, our game showcased a variety of our mechanics, but they did not come together well enough to form a strong gameplay experience. We have now put the pieces together to create a fun and exciting experience. We also focused on addressing specific complaints, such examples including the level being too easy and there not being enough incentive to fight enemies. We came a long way from alpha to beta, and we hope to improve similarly for our next submission. While this build includes one strong level, we are almost finished with an additional level (a much improved version of the level shown in alpha) that will extend the game and also create more variety in the scenarios presented. Additionally, we have some other features nearing completion that will provide more opportunity for gameplay variety and player decision making, including a revamped time dilation mechanic as well as the ability to switch between different weapons. We also plan to rework the design slightly to better incentivize the player to hack enemy ships. Now that we have found a strong gameplay loop, we simply need to iterate upon it with the other mechanics we have already created and are now fine tuning. We will of course also address any bugs and respond to player feedback for our last build as well.