Hi Space Pirates!
I have been working constantly on the game and would like to give you an update. By the way, almost weekly updates can be found on the Stencyl dev log in case you are interested.
Try the start of the game (first 2 levels) with all new features in it:
Or take a look of the video from the first level:
First timing: I am aiming for a release this autumn and i would say its realistic.
What happened in the last months?
There are around 20 large levels (with some hidden levels as well on top). Some of them are almost final. I started implementing the dialogues, added new enemies, adjusted enemy behaviour, added new tile sets, interactive elements and furniture as well as creatures.
The levels are also more interactive and have some interesting dependencies and “resources”. The level will start to “break apart” after a certain level of destruction. Every level has now an energy level which is filled by battery systems. Taking or destroying those batteries lowers it which will deactivate certain defence mechanics. I am still working on oxygen levels for the levels but have to see if that makes sense.
The player had by default no weapon because i want the player to actively pick it up and make a decision.
This created an issue though when a player does not pick up a weapon and stands helpless infront of an enemy. It did not feel great. It also created the impression that the "firing" buttons on a gamepad dont do anything at start when you havent picked up a weapon (and some palyers never tried them again). I there for added a fist punch which can be triggered when not carrying a weapon.
I also made the one melee weapon (which is a hammer right now) more powerful to have a better separation between the punch and the hammer (plus the hammer can destroy rock and stuff - the punch does only very small damage to enemies).
Enemy behaviour got finetuned a bit. Some example: A sniper will turn into "short range attack" when the player comes close enough and will move and attack with a short range weapon. The AI for the mid-bosses has been advanced and will create a more fluent fight.
I reworked the explosion system and how weapons behave. Levels are much more destructible.
I added a skill system and also reworked the shop. There are currently 3 skills/attributes in. Health (which when upgraded makes surviving easier), Lockpicking and Hacking. Every terminal or vault needs now a certain skill level to be interacted with. XP is gained from fights and using those skills which lead to skill point which can be spend in those skillsets.
Story & dialogues:
This is the final thing I am working on. Putting all dialogues and side stories in.
Find below the story background.
By the year 5072, humanity depleted Earth’s natural resources. Hardscrabble soil led to famine, and elevated regions became uninhabitable as oxygen levels continued to drop. When aquifers withered away, wealthy countries learned to melt the ice caps for drinkable water, but their overzealous efforts led to flooding that devastated island nations.
It wasn’t the apocalypse, but it was close. Scientists predicted a societal collapse within two centuries and the end of humanity within the millennium.
In a flurry of activity, world leaders instituted a program aimed at discovering a new habitable planet. Space shuttles launched into space, each equipped with a team of twenty. Each team was promised unimaginable wealth should they find a new planet on which humans could live.
The world leaders called this plan GoldSpace.
Although each GoldSpace ship contains twenty members, only five are awake at any one time. These five, known as the Actives, are placed into pods in the ship’s control room. These pods are filled with a kind of nutritional sludge that greatly reduces the process of aging. As a result, Actives could live for almost a century and a half, though they rarely do thanks to the dangerous natures of their jobs.
The remaining fifteen team members rest in similar pods in the back of the ship. In their pods, however, the sludge is thicker, more viscous, and in it resides a drug that brings the human body to a near standstill. In the Preservation Pods, humans can live for up to five hundred years before needing to be awoken.
The five roles in a GoldSpace pod belong to the Astronomer, Pilot, Technician, Biologist, and Rogue. The Astronomer serves as the ship’s captain, charting the course and managing the team’s morale. The Pilot navigates based on the Astronomer’s orders, and the Technician fixes the shuttle’s technology whenever it breaks. The Biologist examines bacteria, creatures, and soil samples so as to determine the viability of the planet to a human’s genome. Finally, the Rogue: this recruit possesses a military background along with a basic understanding of biology. He visits the planets to acquire samples for the biologist, doing his best to survive what the environment dares to throw at him.
Each team of twenty follows the same plan for its backup. A prominent statistician calculated this plan according to the life expectancy of each job. All GoldSpace shuttles, therefore, hold two Captains, two Pilots, three Technicians, three Biologists, and ten Rogues.