Polychoron 0.1.1 beta released

This update to Polychoron brings minor improvements, bug fixes and adjustments to the difficulty curve.

The most important change is the improved line of sight testing. Previously, a patient player could easily lurk behind corners and find shooting positions where the enemy does not see the player. It's still possible but a lot harder. The enemy now shoots at the player even if it only sees a part of the ship. This also fixes the cases where an enemy drone is already partially visible from player's starting position.

There is now an option to draw a white wireframe overlay on top of the maze geometry. This was primarily intended for the mobile version to improve visibility when playing in brightly lit environment but I decided to include it in all versions.

The game's difficulty curve has changed slightly. As the line of sight changes make the game a little harder, the enemy weapon damage and projectile speed now increases a bit slower. Their delay from target detection to shooting decreases faster now but starts higher. Please let me know how these changes feel.

Here's the full change log since beta version 0.1.0:

See Polychoron game page for more information. Direct downloads have been updated on Itch.io. Android version update has been uploaded on Google Play and will be available shortly. Web version has been updated on GotM.io.

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Posted on 2021-08-13

Worm Race from 1994

I have probably mentioned a worm racing game I that remember making a long time ago but so far I had no evidence that it even existed. I had already began to question my memory when I recently found a pile of 3.5" floppy disks from my parents' house. One disk in particular caught my attention:

Of course I didn't have any PC with floppy disk drive at hand as I'm not too keen on hoarding obsolete hardware. Luckily there was one external USB floppy drive at a local public library that I could use. I went through the pile of disks: A few of them were completely gone and many required multiple attempts to read them without errors. The mystery disk with marking "WR" initially seemed damaged beyond repair but I eventually managed to create an image of the disk and got access to its contents. And there it was, the long lost game called Worm Race with its QuickBasic source code! There is even documentation on how to make tracks for it (in Finnish).

Worm Race is very likely my first finished proper game project. The player controls a worm and the objective is to finish a set number of laps around the track while collecting colored boxes appearing around the track. There is a high score table for the fastest players.

The source files are dated in 1994 and 1995. The game is written entirely in QuickBasic. Soon after finishing this I switched to C language because even this simple game was already hitting the performance limitations of interpreted Basic language on a 1994 low-end PC.

A bit surprisingly, I was able to run it in DosBox without any issues. Here's the original version 1.1 in case someone wants to give it a go.

It's nice to know that this game really existed.

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Posted on 2021-08-04

Polychoron 0.1.0 beta released

Polychoron has gone beta! As expected, this first beta update does not bring any major changes, just some visual improvements and minor bug fixes.

Here's the change log since last alpha version 0.0.10:

See Polychoron game page for more information. Direct downloads have been updated on Itch.io. Android version update has been uploaded on Google Play and will be available shortly. Web version has been updated on GotM.io.

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Posted on 2021-07-02

Polychoron 0.0.10 alpha released

The next alpha update to Polychoron is here! This might just be the last alpha version before beta phase.

This update adds two new ship module power-ups. The first one is an emergency repair module that repairs the ship once on level start when badly damaged, the other is a rail gun:

When enemies are destroyed, so called kill markers (red crosses) are left in their place. The idea is that it helps player recognize already visited areas. I'm not sure how well this works or if it's really necessary. Please let me know what you think.

Enemy behavior has been tweaked again. Mines no longer require contact or damage to trigger. Instead, they trigger after long enough line of sight to player. This makes them considerable more dangerous. Laser beam wielding sentries now activate their shield when they lose line of sight to player so the player has to stay visible to be able to damage them.

Now that Godot Engine 3.3 stable is available, I have updated the web version to take advantage of some of its new features. The game now uses threaded audio which fixes delayed and stuttering audio in previous versions but requires browser support. Currently it should work in recent Chrome, Firefox and Edge browsers. Unfortunately, Safari does not support required features.

Here are the changes since version 0.0.9:

See Polychoron game page for more information. Direct downloads have been updated on Itch.io. Android version update has been uploaded on Google Play and will be available shortly.

Note: The web version on GotM.io is still not updated. I will update the version on GotM.io once they add support for the new engine version. Until then, you can play the latest web version here.

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Posted on 2021-04-27

Polychoron 0.0.9 alpha released

This is quite a big update. There are some pretty noticeable visual improvements like debanding in the web version, increased amount of dynamic lights and more variation in wall textures.

I added a couple of new weapon power-ups that give you temporary extra fire power: The first one adds one extra base weapon and the second one replaces it with a deadly laser beam.

Enemy behavior has also been tweaked. The laser wielding sentry gun is now hiding behind a shield when it's not shooting, so you'll have to wait until it fires the laser beam and deactivates the shield. Other enemies have had their timings slightly adjusted. Let me know if you feel that some enemy is too hard or easy.

Here are the changes since version 0.0.8:

This version uses Godot Engine 3.2.4 release candidate version. This is not ideal but the stable release is likely still weeks away and I need this update out before that. I will set up a maintenance update soon after the stable engine version is available. As far as I know there are no significant open issues that affect Polychoron.

See Polychoron game page for more information. Direct downloads have been updated on Itch.io. Android version update has been uploaded on Google Play and will be available shortly.

Note: The web version is not updated because the host does not yet support the new engine version! I will update it as soon as possible.

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Posted on 2021-02-02

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