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What's happened since Alpha: graphics, theme, juice

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Project Impulse: Beta Release

Hello! Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving break. Here are some updates for our game's beta release.

What's New

A big change that we've made is adding new content: dead souls. Every time a player dies, their corpse remains on the field. Shooting the corpse will allow the player to collect its soul. The player can feed these souls to their boss to strengthen them for a boss fight near the end of the game.

In light of this change, we've decided on a name (for now): Soul Raisers. A simple name that fits the overall theme of the game.

We've also done some more class reworking / balancing based on player feedback. The ranger is ever popular so we didn't make many modifications, essentially he rolls instead of blinking. However, the warrior's slash now moves him forward a bit, and his dash is very similar to that of Genji from Overwatch. Our mage now shoots fireballs that deal AoE damage, and has a blink ability.

The game now has a splash screen you're not thrown into the game immediately. We've also reworked the tutorial in the hopes that this iteration will be more player-friendly / intuitive.

Furthermore, we've reworked some of our arena graphics to be a little more polished and theme-fitting. Rather than those ugly white walls that demarcated the bounds of the arena, there are now trees and a fence.

Finally, we're excited to integrate some music from our freelancer composer, Andrew Garver, into the game. He's composed some excellent soundtracks, so stay tuned!

Motivation

The main feedback we understood was that there weren't enough interesting decisions. Why were the bosses in the game? Could the game be more interesting than just killing the other team? We added a mechanic that interfaced with both of these points, but keeps a focus on killing the other team (which players seemed to enjoy). Now, you must collect souls in order to feed your boss and make it stronger. We're hoping that this adds another dimension to the game.

In addition, our feedback indicated that some classes were stronger / more interesting to play than others. Thus, we've made some individual changes to each class. The ranger's "teleport" is more like a dash now (to fit thematically). The warrior has been slightly reworked - his left bumper is now a leap (which the player can control the distance of), and no longer stuns him if he collides into a wall (a mechanic that we thought might have been frustrating for the player). His sword swings propel him forward a bit so he has a bit of mobility to catch up to the other classes. However, he's got limited stamina, so (in theory) players have to make a choice between mobility and damage. Finally, the mage now shoots AoE fireballs and has a blink ability. The beam wasn't very interactive (couldn't really be dodged; was up to the mage to aim) so we've designed an ability that's a little more skill-based but still fits thematically with the mage.

Furthermore, some players were confused about either the controls or the objectives of the game. To address that, we completely reworked the tutorial and added some visual elements to give information to players without overwhelming them with text.

Direction and Future

For next iteration, we're add polish to everything. Our core gameplay mechanics should hopefully be set in stone at this point, and pending player feedback we'll adjust numbers / mechanics as necessary.

See you next week!

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