Reminder:

Make sure your build is at or higher than the latest build posted below. If it's lower, verify the game contents to force an update. It's also important to remember that the sandbox depot is not updated regularly. This depot is only used for confined testing. If you were working with me on one of these confined tests, please remember to opt out of the sandbox depot so you're always receiving the most up-to-date build of the game.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Build: 1905119

It's been a good while since I've posted but it's not been without good reason. I've been hard at work roughing in a lot of features which I've put on the back burner for the majority of development. A lot, but not all of the changes made will be listed below.

Quick Restart

This feature has been put off for a while now, mainly because it hasn't been necessary. However after watching people play through the game, it very quickly became evident to me that if I had any hope of retaining their sanity, the quick restart feature needed to come sooner rather than later.

An added note here too though is that while the "You Died..." menu says you can press backspace to restart, you can do so at any point during the level. You don't necessarily need to die for this to work. If it's going to be a quick restart, you might as well be able to do it whenever you want, right?

Overall Polish

Folks who have been watching this games development have seen many iterations of polish come and go as the game fluctuated between being near complete and being completely reworked. As a result, this latest attempt at a home run stretch has seen the least amount of polish added, purely for the sake of trying to save time working on actually getting key features and functionality in the game.

Now that the vast majority of this is finished and the overall style of the game is set in stone, it's time to start reapplying that layer of polish.

In the above instance, some of the most notable additions included the frosted glass effect being brought to the pause screen, the static hex pattern on the lower right being replaced with actual objects that float in 3D space, and while not visible in the picture, a lot of cleaned up animations and visual glitches that are finally addressed.

NOTE: The level select option has been temporarily removed as it's being remade and up until now was the basis for an exploit which allowed you to complete levels without actually playing them.

More Levels
Up until now, most of the work being done on the game has been focused on making sure objects functioned as expected and were built to be as flexible to use as possible for people who are no doubt going to use them in wide variety of unique and crazy ways while building their own levels.

The campaign has at no point ever been swept under the rug, but rather took a back seat to making sure everything was functioning as intended. As such, now that most of the components are now working (within reason for a beta), an enormous amount of work has been spent on creating more levels. A lot more levels. Currently the game goes up to Section 6 with each section containing five levels.

As mentioned earlier, the game will only show you the section you currently have unlocked, and the next locked section. So if you haven't played through Section 1, you'll only see two sections.

NOTE: All these levels are subject to change and will almost certainly be adjusted, both in design and especially order. Currently the difficulty skyrockets from Section 3 on-wards. This isn't intentional but rather a result of the process I'm taking in terms of building levels, having them play tested, and adjusting the order according to their overall perceived difficulty.

Which means if you've got access to the beta, you're a key component in helping me get the difficulty as smooth and as satisfying as it can possibly be. As I've mentioned before and I mean it no less now, I take feedback very seriously and absolutely want to hear what you have to say.

Campaign Progress

With there being more levels to play, the overall campaign interface has been getting fleshed out. The preview above shows the panel that appears after completing the final level of the section. If you've met the requirements to unlock the next section, you'll be able to start playing it immediately by pressing Enter or clicking the button. Otherwise, pressing enter will automatically take you to the first incomplete level so you can work toward unlocking the next section.

In either case, clicking any of the level previews will take you straight to that level, allowing you to either pick which level you want to beat or replay a level in an effort to try and get a better score.

There are plans to hopefully expand on this panel with more leaderboard information but whether or not that will make it to release is still up in the air.

Not Eligible for Leaderboards
On the topic of leaderboards, a new indicator has been added to make it clear when a level you're playing isn't going to result in a leaderboard submission. Currently the only time this happens is if you're playing a level that hasn't been submitted to the workshop or is being played directly from the level editor, but because there's no clear indication of this in-game, this marker will show up in the upper left corner when playing a level that won't submit to the leaderboards when completed.

This also means that all campaign levels now have leaderboard support, even though their titlescreen level detail doesn't show it yet. However because of the way leaderboard submissions work in campaign, these scores should be taken with a grain of salt as shifting level order will result in leaderboards no longer being tied to the correct level. This is going to be fixed in the future and all leaderboards will be cleared prior to the games release, but until now, just expect leaderboards to function, not necessarily to be accurate.

All workshop leaderboards will still be properly tied to their respective levels, but because of balance changes to the game up to release, these too will most likely be reset prior to release.

Final Notes
I know I said I'd be posted more often but unfortunately as things have started to get really busy, I found myself working more on the game than keeping up with the blog. I hope to post more regularly, but as this has been the first in a while after saying I'd do just that, I'm not prepared to make that promise again. Not yet, at least.

That being said, I have begun accepting more testers into the game and I'm still looking for anyone else who might be interested. So if you're still reading this far, please feel free to submit a request for access.