Phobos Down 0.0.2 alpha released
This update focuses mostly on addressing issues reported from the first alpha version.
The most noticeable change is proper enemy behavior logic. I wanted to say it was improved but there was no logic before, enemies simply continuously ran towards the player. They still aren't too smart and will never be because I want their behavior to be predictable. After all, this is a minimal high score shooter game, not a life simulation.
In general, the indigenous lifeforms on the planet don't really care about the player until the player gets in their way or attacks them. Same goes for the containers. The enemies will only attack containers if they are blocking their way and they have nothing more important to do at the moment. So as long as the player gives them something more pressing to do by keeping them angry, they leave the containers alone.
Multiple testers asked for the game to pause so that they have time to read the instruction texts at the beginning. I already added a pause there but then ended up removing it because I never liked it and because it's no longer needed as the enemies don't immediately attack the player anymore. Problem solved.
The single most requested feature was unrestricted mouse cursor. I personally like the "weird" mouse cursor behavior where it's kept near the player because I tend to lose sight of the cursor as I focus on the enemies and the action in other games. For those (many) people who disagree, there is now an option for freely moving cursor. One problem is that the weapon management UI has been designed for radial user input (gamepad stick or the old "weird" mouse cursor), so it does feel a little unintuitive with the freely moving mouse cursor that can now go way outside the circular UI. I will likely have to do something about that later on.
Here's the full list of changes since version 0.0.1:
- Added alternative mouse aiming modes.
- Properly account for camera tilt in aiming.
- Fixed "mission review" screen animation and sound playing in the background after being dismissed.
- Added notification of available update in main menu.
- Made modifier icons on drop pods less transparent to improve legibility.
- Added enemy burrowing/unburrowing sound.
- Fine-tuned environment colors and lighting.
- Made enemy ballistic projectiles explode with glowing "acid".
- Fixed some translation typos.
- Made enemy projectiles spin while moving.
- Enemies target the player only after getting damaged.
- Enemies target the player if the player is blocking their path.
- Enemies attack containers blocking their path while idle.
- Calculate distance to enemy target from surfaces instead of center points.
- Fixed enemies standing still way too long while wandering around without target.
- Added white damage flash effect to containers too.
- Added a short guide text to weapon management UI.
- Drop the initial medical station drop pod sooner (after 5 seconds).
- Improved container placement to better fit the terrain and not overlap.
- Improved enemy ranged attack sounds.
In the next update I will hopefully get to adding more content like new enemy types and weapon modifiers.
All feedback will be appreciated. You can contact me through the contact form here or leave a comment on Itch.io page.
Downloads are available on Itch.io:
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Posted on 2023-06-27