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A quick weekly update (patch notes, rather) on the progress so far, and a peek into what's in store for the upcoming weeks.

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What's New?


HUNGER SYSTEM:

Originally, players thought it didn't make sense for the game to end when the hunger bar reached 0. We fixed this by introducing a new feature where different levels of starvation will correlate with the player's movement speed in the game. WIth the players losing some speed after food levels drop below 75%, 50%, etc. This debuff encourages players to actively look for food while also adhereing to the idea of not having energy to move due to lack of food.

FPS Independence:

It was brought to our attention that we had not achieved FPS independence in our previous iteration. This has been fixed for the alpha.

Gun / Light / Claw controls:

Previously, players felt it was unintuitive to have the lights/claws/guns only react to horizontal motion on the joysticks. We have made it so that they now will orient themselves in accordance to the direction players are pushing the joysticks, which has been requested widely.

Ship movement:

In the previous iteration, it has been mentioned that the ship doesn't feel like it's underwater as it reacts instantaneously to controls and can change velocity in an instance. We have fixed this by adding drag and momentum to the ship, making it feel more realistic. In addition, we have made it so that the ship will take damage from hitting the walls of the map. The damage taken is dependent on how fast the ship was moving at the time of collision.

Sharks:

Previously, people thought the sharks weren't intimidating enough. So we redrew the sprite for the shark to make it better match the thematic of the game. In addition, we made them faster and harder to kill. We also made them drop corpses so they also serve as a source of food now.

Guns:

We increased the bullet speed on the gun as well as lowered the cooldown period between firing as we felt that they were both too slow. This was also to make up for the fact that sharks are harder to kill now and travel faster.

Fish / Food supply:

People thought that the fish were too easy to catch. Thus we increased the randomness within each school of fish so that would be more spread out,thus making them harder to catch. We also made the fish travel faster, to make them harder to catch.

Sprites for claws and guns:

Previously the claws and gun stations did not have sprites on them. We have added their respective sprites so it should be more clear now.

Engine Room:

Previously players thought it was hard to notice when the engine room was broken. We have made it so that the engine room sprite blinks red / white when it is currently broken in order to make it more clear to players when it is offline.

Multiple stations active bug:

We originally had a bug where people could activate more than one station at once due to the hit boxes of the players. We have made adjustments and this is no longer possible now.

Players flying out of the ship bug:

Previously, there was a bug where players could fly through the colliders our ship was composed of due to a small gap and the amount of movespeed given to the players. We have fixed this by filling up this gap and overall reducing the movespeed of players.

Annoying engine room sound bug:

Fixed annoying repetitive engine room sound when players attempt to exit / enter the engine room.

Aesthetics:

We have added bubbles to the background of the game so it is more apparent when the submarine is moving / adds to the thematic of being in the ocean.

Sonar:

Added pulsating sonar ring from submarine. Objects which come into contact with the ring now emit pulses.

Tutorial:

Incrementally added stations to make it more natural. Players aren't overwhelmed by the multitude of stations thrown at them without any context until later. The scene gets progressively darker showing the need for lights. Made it so that all players have to press "A" to move on with the tutorial. This makes sure that players don't skip a part of the tutorial until everyone actually reads it. The tutorial also leads into the main game at the very end.

Level Design:

Connected the two taverns at the end to make sure players aren't punished for choosing one pathway over the other. Changed treasure location to a not-so-obvious place so players actually have to look for it now. It's not as obvious anymore.



What's the Motivation?

Well, we covered most of why we made our changes in the previous section. It simply is to improve our game. We plan to unify the game's theme into a more exploratory one. The players, while cooperating and screaming at each other for help, should also have an eerie feeling. They must be extremely cautious of every move they make. The engine breaks down randomly, which should completely throw them off. With Murphy's law at play, and their only desire being finding the treasure in a vast map, it should feel like a true exploration.


What's Next?

As of yet, the art style is inconsistent. We intend to fix that. And the natural follow up to that is the unifying theme. The game's music is inconsistent as well. The main menu gives a very different vibe from what the in-game music provides. We want to follow a single, mildly spooky, yet beautiful exploratory theme. This entails looking into every detail of game to make sure the experience the game provides is consistent with that theme, which include everything from tiny sound effects to in game decision the player is provided with.

The game also requires finishing touches. Transition screens are yet to be included and win screens have to be improved upon.

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