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

Version numbers explained

I realized that I've been using the same version number scheme in my projects consistently for a long time, so it might be a good idea to document it somewhere. Here it is:

<major>.<minor>.<revision>

Major number is incremented once on final release and after that only in case of huge updates.

Minor number is incremented on first beta release and after that in updates with significant new content.

Revision number is incremented if none of the other numbers change. In practice this used for bug fix releases and alpha updates.

There is really no standard version number scheme out there but this kind of three or four stage semantic numbering is pretty common. It's convenient because the version numbers can be internally represented as one 32-bit integer which then allows very easy comparing of version numbers with no extra code.

I also like how, in my case, the leading zeroes indicate the development phase. For example Polychoron's current version is 0.0.8 (eighth alpha version) and Hyper Ultra Astronautics' current version is 1.1.1 (final release + one update with new content + one bug fix update). In case of Polychoron, people tend to assume that the "small" version number means it's in very early development phase but in this case it's nearly content-ready and I would call it "late alpha".

P.S. There's a big Polychoron alpha update coming soon. The current development version depends on new features in Godot Engine 3.2.4, which is currently in beta testing, so I will have to wait until a stable release of the engine is available.

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Posted on 2021-01-26

Polychoron 0.0.8 alpha released

Less than 48 hours later, here's another alpha update. This is purely a bug fix release that addresses bugs making the new control remapping feature practically useless with gamepads and joysticks.

Here's what has changed since version 0.0.7:

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.

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Posted on 2020-11-01

Polychoron 0.0.7 alpha released

This update to Polychoron makes a lot of changes.

Overall difficulty has been adjusted to make the game a bit more forgiving in the first levels. Many of the changes also aim to make run & gun play style more feasible. You will still likely get best scores with the careful approach and sneaking behind corners (I don't plan to change this) but now you will survive a little longer if you choose to fly straight into action.

Another problem this update tries to address is people not knowing how to play. The game now shows a guide overlay to new players that explains the controls and HUD items. I have also made small visual changes here and there to make it more obvious how things work. I have intentionally been avoiding a separate tutorial that some have suggested. I believe this game is so simple that it shouldn't need a tutorial.

Last but not least, this update finally adds configurable controls. This is probably the single most requested feature so far.

Here's full list of changes since version 0.0.6:

I'm a little worried about the amount of changes. I have tested all versions but after playing the game so much during development, I have become blind to some of the issues, especially from a new player point of view. So please let me know if you encounter bugs or weird behavior.

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.

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Posted on 2020-10-30

Polychoron 0.0.6 alpha released

It's time for another Polychoron alpha update. This update focuses on audio and the most noticeable change is the added menu music by DavilOne. A lot of new sound effects have been added as well.

I have made some changes regarding my plans for power-ups. Initially I wanted to reset all power-up effects between levels but I've realized that it ruins any sense of progression. On the other hand I don't want to have persistent cumulating upgrades that would require ramping up the difficulty exponentially. The solution is to have persistent upgrades that have limited use and "wear off" eventually. I call them ship modules. Icons in the bottom right HUD show installed ship modules at any time and their color indicates module's condition.

Currently there are two such modules: Shield and fire rate increase. The shield absorbs 50% of damage and wears off after taking certain amount damage. Fire rate increase does what you'd expect but now only for the next 100 shots.

The future of the mobile version has been a bit uncertain as I've been waiting to hear if people think it's worth keeping alive. Although I got very little feedback on it, I have decided to keep updating it. From now on, the mobile version has it's own separate high score table, because there is no point in having touch screen players compete with players using mouse and keyboard. I have also made the enemies in the mobile version a bit more forgiving.

Here's full list of changes since version 0.0.5:

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.

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Posted on 2020-08-30

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