If you've seen the header image on our IndieDB page recently, you'll have noticed something odd; features from our game, Blasted Fortress, inhabiting a strange new art style.
Early in the game's history, the art style was in constant fluctuation. When we settled on a style for the release version, it was a look that had been iterated on over the course of a year... this proved problematic, as the game was now a mixture of old and new art assets.
The first impressions people got just by looking at the screenshots made them timid about going any further. Most testers were surprised that under the uneven veneer, the gameplay itself was a lot of fun. It was clear that the art style was cramping our bottom line. And what would we do about it? Touch up the art? Slap special shader effects on everything?
Why not remake every single art asset in the game?
It was the craziest, most labor-intensive idea of them all, but we knew it would also be the best one for players. In early January, we started creating 2D sprite assets that not only better fit the gameplay, as it is restricted to 2 dimensions to begin with, but that would be faster to animate and have more character. And so began Update 1.1, The Day The World Changed.
Here are all of the current patch notes for the 1.1 update (coming soon):
- Entire game's graphics have been remade in a consistent 2D sprite style. This took us a couple months; the old style of the game was something that was made over the course of several years, it didn't fit the genre well, and was extremely inconsistent. The new style is more colorful, better suited to the 2D constraints of the gameplay, and allows more animated characters. This will be initially jarring for those of you who played the game before 1.1, but we know you'll agree that it's just so much sweeter.
- Redesigned the GUI in its entirety to jive with the overhaul.
- Workshop GUI is very streamlined and more compact now.
- The Stone Grinder is no longer interactive; it uses a GUI to select an amount of stone to grind, which after confirmation is ground instantly. Each unit of stone is still randomly rolled to see if it contains Gold.
- The Ore Market no longer requires interactive input to buy and sell ore. It uses a GUI to buy and sell specified amounts all at once.
- Combat physics were tweaked slightly across the board out of necessity because of the change to Box2D physics. The vast majority of the changes were positive ones, though.
- Beast battles are different. The Beast is no longer vulnerable on his back, and no longer turns around to pick up things to throw. The Beast will throw various things instead of just rocks.
- Fierce Roar power has been removed from the game. Levitation has taken its place. Levitation makes 10 objects that aren't secured and isn't a Resource Crate rise and float for a moment before slamming back to the ground.
- The Explosive Power upgrade still passively increases explosion damages, but now also increases the maximum number of objects that Levitation can affect.
- The Critical Power upgrade is a replacement of the Acid Power upgrade. Critical Power is identical to Acid Power except instead of increasing critical hit chance, all critical damage from all sources is increased.
- Necroblock power was retooled to jive with Critical Power. The acid spray from a Necroblock now deals only critical hits.
- New Feature: Minigames! There is only 1 minigame at the moment, but we'll be adding 2 more over the foreseeable future.
- New Minigame: Stegosaurus Slots. An alternate way to earn Gold, in Stegosaurus Slots you fire projectiles at spinning stone blocks on a wooden pole while they spin. Struck blocks freeze in place. Getting 3 numbered faces in a row causes a stegosaurus with trendy gold plates to vomit coins. Yes.
- The Vault has been entirely reworked. Before, your vault wealth was displayed as static piles of gold. Now you add Gold from outside the vault, and upon going down to it you will see a representation of your total vaulted gold raining down into a giant pile. Coins, crowns, goblets, gems, and more await you in your vault!
- Several graphics options have been removed from the game as they no longer have any effect due to the 2D art style. Antialiasing will be automatically disabled for previous players who had it saved as enabled in their settings file.
- Archers are now javelin throwers. They are functionally identical to archers and as usual need line of sight to throw a javelin.
- The javelin projectile arcs up/down depending on its trajectory. It also has motion damping, causing it to quickly lose speed over time. This should prevent javelins from drastically overshooting the cannon.
- Resource amounts have been rebalanced. You gain far less resources, and cannon ammunition costs less resources across the board.
- The contents of a broken Resource Crate are now visually spilled on the ground. You'll be able to tell what was inside based on what flies out.
- Talismans are no longer directly awarded for completing combats and quests. Instead, experience is rewarded, and once enough experience is acquired you will receive 1 Talisman which can as usual be spent for passive upgrades or magic spells. Because of this, jobs and combat now award far more points than previously (as experience instead of Talismans).
- All passive upgrades and one-shot spells now cost 1 Talisman each, down from 10.
We'll almost certainly be doing more work in the next week or two before 1.1 goes live, but this is just a taste of what's to come. The update is very close to finished, and as always we'll be overjoyed to get some feedback for what we can do in future updates.