Author Topic: Beta 0.902 (More networking, server lists, co-op functions, visual animations)  (Read 1087 times)

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
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The full release list is here: http://www.arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Tidalis_-_0.902_Beta_Release#Gameplay_Additions

Well, there's an absolute metric ton of stuff in this one, but it's very late and I'm very tired, so I'll keep my comments here briefer than usual.

Networking
This is coming right along, and you should feel free to play around with it if that interests you.  We still consider this in an experimental state, and there are at least half a dozen known issues and planned refinements to the networking still remaining, but this is down from about two dozen items still outstanding in the last release.  The hope is to be able to remove the "experimental" tag from this feature in the next prerelease of the game.

Server Listings
This has been majorly updated, and while this also still has a lot of work and refinement left to go, I think you'll really like what you see.  Keith has been working on this while I've been working on the networking, and the results are really something, I think.  It's not full-out matchmaking by any stretch of the imagination, but it's also a lot more robust than the basic server listings we'd imagined.  Basically, you fill out a preferences sheet with what sort of games you're interested in, and then it ranks and sorts the results based on how you match up with other players seeking to play.

Levels and Story
A bunch of new levels in here, and we're now down to only having 14 left to go for the adventure mode.  For the story, we're now past a major crisis point near the end of the story, and so it's into basically the final stretch there, too.

New Player Ruleset
The new Co-Op Item Buddies is the last of the player rulesets planned for the game prior to official release.  This makes for 3 co-op-only rulesets (not counting "normal," which is co-op by default with multiple players), and 3 VS rulesets.

Co-Op Items
This is something I've wanted for a while, as it basically allows a bit more interaction between players in co-op modes.  These are items that get seeded into any levels, but which can only be used to help your ally, not yourself.  You can turn them off if you don't like them, and they only appear in co-op play, anyway.

Per-Player Handicaps
This is the last of our co-op features, to give us a fully-rounded co-op experience here -- basically, the ability to have players of moderately or even wildly differing skill levels playing together. 

But, this is actually hugely useful in VS for the same reason -- it's nice to be able to have moderate or even huge skill gaps not be a barrier to VS play between players if they want to play together despite this.  Players with handicaps are something you can filter out on the server listings, by the way, if you're just interested in competitive play.

Also, this feature is useful for solo play, too.  Finding the adventure mode too tough or easy in general?  Give yourself a positive or negative handicap to balance it out the way you like.  In quick and custom games you can set the action difficulty directly, but you can combine that with the handicap for some interesting results if you really want to (mainly it's more useful when you want differing difficulty levels between the two wells). 

The handicaps don't have any effect on the brainteaser-like puzzles, sorry. ;)

Art Polish
I thought that the Fishing Village theme looked amazing even in the last release, but Phil polished it even a bit more.  And the new night Fishing Village has a pretty amazing "magic" effect to the side.  And speaking of water effects, Phil did this really cool "still water ripples" effect in the Cavern theme.  These themes were all amazing to begin with once they were completed, but the animations he's been working on adding to them since the start of June... well, they sure do take it to a whole new level of immersion.

Other Stuff
You might notice some visual stylings of a few of the windows are a bit different (the darkness background now, to make them less overwhelming and easier to read and more professional looking). 

And a number of fairly obscure bugfixes that we found internally that you probably won't even notice. ;)


That's the news for this update!  We've got two weeks and a day until official release -- the to-do list is definitely dwindling for us, but there's still a huge amount to do.  Exciting times, though! :)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

rubikscube

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exciting indeed, i can only wonder how you still pay attention to ai war

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
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Well, it's mostly on hold for these last few weeks, then it will be getting the love again. ;)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
  • Administrator
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 31,161
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!