Author Topic: The next Skyward update will be beta, and (likely) hit on Monday.  (Read 1717 times)

Offline x4000

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If you've been wondering where the heck I've been all week, I've been knee-deep in a bunch of 2.0-related changes and updates for Skyward: http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Skyward_Collapse_-_Post_Release_Notes#Beta_1.014

I'm really excited about this stuff, but it's a huge undertaking and taking me a bit longer than I'd hoped.  I look to be on track to finish this stuff today, but I really don't want to do an update of this magnitude right before the weekend; then if you guys find some game-breaking bugs, I have to work on the weekend to fix them.  And even if you don't find anything, I'll be checking my phone in paranoia all weekend, looking for telltale emails or mantis reports.

Also due to the scale of this particular update, I'm going to be releasing this as a beta (solid idea, Bluddy).  Aka, this will go out in the beta branch through our in-game updater only, and won't be released on Steam at all for now.  We'll then have a short string of beta updates (probably) as we tweak and tune and test this next week with folks here.  Once everything seems good to go, then I'll switch back and do another official update that will push this out to everyone.

My main concerns with this upcoming release are bugs and balance.  Conceptually I think all this stuff is great, and it feels great in practice (not just sounding good on paper).  At least to me.  But so much is changing with the bandits, the monster caves, the ally camps, etc, that it really needs to have some testing with balance to make sure that I didn't make the game impossible or something for people on certain difficulties, etc.  That hasn't been my experience, but I'm only one person and can only test so much while also implementing all of it. 

On that subject, there are a goodly number of revisions coming in terms of the resource model (town specialization, building upgrades), so on the flip side I want to make sure those aren't trivializing any aspects of the game.  Plus the soul cost on mythologicals is something we may or may not keep.  So I'd rather have that experimentation be in a beta branch rather than official.  Actually, the new embassy thing is somewhat similar, in that I want to make sure it's not too powerful.  Same with some changes to Flowers, which are yet to come.

And actually, I want to see how the added complexity of the new unit defensive specializations plays out with more people.  My experience is that it doesn't make much difference on the base difficulties, but on higher difficulties I expect it to matter a lot.


Anyway, so there are several competing forces here making the game both easier and harder in various ways, and making things a lot more varied and interesting as the ages progress in general.  I want to see how that balances out in the hands of more people than just myself.

Somewhat side note: I don't think that these changes increase the baseline complexity of the game -- for new players, I mean.  It does make things more complex in a good way at the upper end of the skill scale, but that's rather the idea.  I also don't think that this is going to be much cause for relearning the game for anyone; particularly not for the more casual players of the game.  At a higher level in particular it will require rethinking a great many strategies of how to go about defeating the game, but there again that's the idea. Overall there are now a lot more viable strategies to winning, I think.

Questions or thoughts prior to the release of this, always feel free to let me know!
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Offline Mick

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Re: The next Skyward update will be beta, and (likely) hit on Monday.
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2013, 12:06:58 PM »
I've been following the changelog on the wiki and I look forward to it. A lot of the changes sound right up my alley.

Offline x4000

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Re: The next Skyward update will be beta, and (likely) hit on Monday.
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2013, 12:20:11 PM »
Nice. :)  I hoped so.
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Offline KingIsaacLinksr

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Re: The next Skyward update will be beta, and (likely) hit on Monday.
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2013, 01:28:12 PM »
This fixes a lot of problems I was starting to notice in the game. I was going to do a vid on the game but I'm going to wait until these changes go official before I do one now. I really like some of the simplifying you're doing while adding more variety at the same time. This should really help Skyward Collapse feel interesting every time I play. These changes were easily worth the wait =)
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Offline vehementi

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Re: The next Skyward update will be beta, and (likely) hit on Monday.
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2013, 01:40:48 PM »
Can I patch the steam version via some in game patcher?  I hadn't noticed one.

If not, as a steam user can I download the standalone version and patch it to beta to help test?

Offline nas1m

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Re: The next Skyward update will be beta, and (likely) hit on Monday.
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2013, 01:58:57 PM »
I've been following the changelog on the wiki and I look forward to it. A lot of the changes sound right up my alley.
Wholeheartly seconded :).
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Offline x4000

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Re: The next Skyward update will be beta, and (likely) hit on Monday.
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2013, 02:20:34 PM »
Can I patch the steam version via some in game patcher?  I hadn't noticed one.

Oh yes!  Sorry I wasn't clear.  It just won't do that automatically via the steam patcher, but you can easily do it inside the game itself from steam or otherwise.
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Offline Winge

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Re: The next Skyward update will be beta, and (likely) hit on Monday.
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2013, 08:07:07 PM »
Wow...that's a lot of changes!  Looks good overall.  I think I might reset my profile, now that all of the basic human units no longer require a certain level--I've had the same profile since Alpha, so there are a ton of games I never finished.
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Offline vehementi

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Re: The next Skyward update will be beta, and (likely) hit on Monday.
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2013, 01:24:16 AM »
I'm pretty sure there isn't a way to patch from inside the steam came.  Can someone point it out to me really clearly please?

Offline Misery

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Re: The next Skyward update will be beta, and (likely) hit on Monday.
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2013, 01:48:50 AM »
Hmm, the patch notes look pretty interesting, definitely.

There's a couple of things that stick out at me though:

First it the resource stuffs, both the specialization of towns, and the currency thing.  Unless prices of things change by quite a bit, these seem kinda redundant.... it's already super easy to get tons and tons of any resource as it is.  Generally it doesnt take too long to reach a point where the costs of most things simply stop mattering.  The only one that ever is anything of an issue for me is diamond, sometimes.   All of the others, except souls, I'll generally have LOTS of.  Having boosted resource buildings just doesnt seem necessary, at least not the way things are now.


The other bit is the defensive bonuses VS siege units.... isnt this one that pretty much never comes into play, since siege units dont fire directly at other units?  I dunno, maybe it's different for other players but typically combat doesnt seem to happen in the actual towns ever, units are 99% of the time always on non-building tiles. The only exception being bandits right now since they just keep coming out of their forts.





I'm pretty sure there isn't a way to patch from inside the steam came.  Can someone point it out to me really clearly please?

Well, normally the Steam version will always just patch itself before running, but in the case of beta updates, it should be bringing up a new button right above the quick-load one on the main menu when such an update exists.

....or at least that's what I'm pretty sure it'll do.   It's how the non-Steam one does both types of updates, anyway.   That button wont be there if there's no update.

Offline vehementi

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Re: The next Skyward update will be beta, and (likely) hit on Monday.
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2013, 02:03:56 AM »
There's no button for me, and the game says 1.13.  Is the beta update not out yet?  From the OP it looked like he was going to release it Friday and let us break stuff on the weekend.

Offline nas1m

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Re: The next Skyward update will be beta, and (likely) hit on Monday.
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2013, 03:21:42 AM »
Nope. It is supposed to come next monday (see topic header as well ;)).

Regarding defense bonuses against siege:
I can see this having an impact in quite a number of Games on higher difficulties, esspecially if/once bandit (Siege) Units start to roam the Map in numbers...
« Last Edit: June 29, 2013, 03:27:43 AM by nas1m »
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Offline vehementi

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Re: The next Skyward update will be beta, and (likely) hit on Monday.
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2013, 03:26:13 AM »
Ah a lot of misreading fueled by wishful thinking.  Thought beta was coming today, real thing monday, and that he'd be frantically checking emails all weekend in case we found beta bugs :p

Offline x4000

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Re: The next Skyward update will be beta, and (likely) hit on Monday.
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2013, 07:44:08 AM »
Regarding siege units, the thing with those is that they do splash damage on your units. They can't attack you directly, but if they hit you with splash damage, watch out.

With the prices of stuff... well, there may need to be some adjustments. Still, the purpose is to allow for a larger economy in a smaller space as an option, with other benefits from further out if you need them. Potentially the raw resource rates should drop by 3/4 instead of by half and then have the specialization kick in.

Alternatively, and less frustratingly, I could make the costs of higher tier units increase more than linearly per level of the unit being created. One problem is that right now schools give you the upgraded human units in their town for no cost per upgrade. That may need to stop, and then the schools themselves may need to be much cheaper. That way there are saving you the effort of manually upgrading but not providing you a giant resource bonus as they do right now.

In general, though, it may also be that on higher difficulties the resource costs need to be just flat doubled or something so that there is more pressure on resources there. Make none of the other changes I suggested in this post, but make hard cost twice as many resources per unit or token, and expert 3x as many. That would mess with the game mechanics as little as possible, and in particular would leave resources plentiful at the lower difficulty levels. But at the higher levels, these upgrades and town specializations would matter.
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Offline nas1m

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Re: The next Skyward update will be beta, and (likely) hit on Monday.
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2013, 08:19:31 AM »
Increasing unit costs on higher difficulties sounds best to me!
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