Open Alpha a1.0 released the previous week, this news post will look over some of the feedback given, present a new gamemode with gameplay footage and Saturdays event!
Don't know GraviNULL yet?
You've missed out then, but no worries you can check out the release newspost here and Saturday, March 6th 2010 around 2pm until 5pm EST there will be an event for GraviNULL, this will surely bring in a few people to play with on that day!
A look back on the alpha release.
So the Open Alpha released last week, been quite a blast, but as seems normal with Multiplayer SourceMods not available on Steam nowadays, what little server population there was died out fairly quickly.
I have yet to see a downright negative comment about the mod, there´s a fair bit of critiscm but with general positive sides being mentioned of the mod as well. Let´s go over some stuff said:
- Chaotic gameplay in full servers:
Argumented along with it is that you can just fire balls at random and still hit people, this is very true, now let's take a full server in for example TF2, take a Soldier, Demoman or Heavy and start shooting wildly in the general direction of people... you will hit people! Does it make you win the round? Certainly doesn't!
While I admit lowering the limit to 8-10 players instead of 12 may be a good idea, the chaotic gameplay can have it's fun sides and skilled play will still allow you to triumph over those randomly spamming balls.
- The mod's too hard!
Well, the gameplay is different from what you may be used to. There's a couple of things that can help you get better:
- Take advantage of being able to see what your enemies are grappling, when they grapple onto something that isn't moving, their path should be relatively easy to predict, try and aim your shots where they are going, or force them to choose a new direction by scaring them off with a red mines.
- Blue mines are weak... when you end up face to face with someone. Shoot a red one for massive points and damage!
- Blue mines serve two purposes, the less obvious one is to use them to force an enemy to try and evade it so you can force him to lose speed and choose a more predictable path, prepare a red mine that is shot towards his most likely next position.
- Firing a mine pushes you back a bit, you can use this to propel you away from danger or slightly steer yourself in area's with little mines and grapple anchors in reach.
- Holding right mouse when firing a mine allows you to almost instantly grab it, the initial pull of the grapple beam will negate the push back of a mine launch and can be very usefull for quick getaways!
- The mod quickly grows boring:
Well, it's just deathmatch and we're aware it won't last you lot long, do realize that there's a couple of tricks to use to give the mod more depth, but still a deathmatch remains a deathmatch.
Read on for how we plan to make the mod more interesting for longer periods!
Development of the next release of GraviNULL is underway, this will be an Open Beta release, with custom mine models and possibly player models/gravity gun model as well.
What it will also bring is new gamemodes, the first of interest is Puzzle Mode, this will be an experimental gamemode with probably not more than 1 or 2 maps built for... singleplayer only.
These singleplayer puzzle maps are planned to be playable through a menu similar to the portal Challenges window.
In the puzzle maps you will have access to grapple balls(Companion Balls anyone?) which can be grappled and absorbed like mines, but is not as lethal. You'd use these to solve a variety of puzzles and to be able to move around.
This is still in baby shoes, but promising progress is being made on this by the talented mapper: GuessMyName.
He made the grapple anchor model for the Open Alpha version and had a Work in Progress map, which was no where near ready when GraviNULL released, the Open Beta should be seeing at least 1 puzzle map coming from him! So that'll be interesting.
If singleplayer puzzle mode proves a success, more complex puzzles for a co-op mode will likely follow.
The other gamemode coming to the Open Beta is Hazard mode.
Hazard mode was mentioned in a previous newspost under the name of Time Trial.
What is Hazard? Why call it that?
Hazard mode maps are obstacle courses, with some or most of these obstacles being lethal(hazardous) Players will be trying to get from Point A to Point B in one piece. It's similar to a race, but there's no laps and there will not be as much chances to whiz around a track at insane zero gravity speeds.
A more race like mode is planned, but not for the Open Beta, to differentiate between the two gamemodes Hazard will not be callled Race.
Hazard will not be called Time Trial either, because Race, Hazard and Puzzle will be playable in singleplayer mode in Time Trial mode. This means each of these seperate modes could be played in a way that you try to beat your best time on a round.
Hazard will be playable both online against people, likely in a racing like way(get to the finish first to win first place, second and third there win second and third place getting lower points) and playable offline as Time Trial mode, trying to beat your best times.
To close the topic of Hazard mode, here's a video showing some early gameplay:
Looking for players to play the Alpha with?
Well you're in luck, DOLBYdigital from Social Modding Club will be hosting an event Saturday, March 6th 2010 around 2pm until 5pm EST.
This will be a chance to play with the developers and ask any questions you have + get schooled in the art of balls mastery.
For more information check out the newspost.
Use a timezone converter if you don't know what time exactly the event will be.
Looking for forums?
You can find those here