First of all, I wanted to extend on behalf of the two of us (Fraser and I, Laurent) our most sincere gratitude to our nacent community : buying a game in beta form is quite a leap of faith and your trust fuel our work to do better each iteration. Also the feedback has been amazing, beyond our expectations, McDROID has gone through some harsh testing and every time we felt "oh god back on the drawing board" until our December release which was also a leap of faith from us. We love playing it but were not sure people who as well - you do :) and it's awesome to hear. We have a few surprises coming up.
Let's bring more people in : birthday sales - 75% off for 48 hours !
Now for some news on development : I was going to release the new build today with level 8, rail, new network optimizations and new look but I noticed a new bug that prevented to complete some levels - no way I was going to ship this so, instead, I'm keeping the build from December 2012 (sounds like a long time ago doesn't it ;-) and talking about what we do, and if you like to hear that, you'll hear more of it (we still work, don't worry)
(If you're interested in game development, read on, otherwise skip this fat chapter) Gamedev can seem chaotic because it's an iterative non-linear process. In the present case, the new bug was introduced because big chunks of the network was re-written and a major portion was the wave spawning mechanism. When you dig deep and rebuild a lot, this tends to break things, a bit like redoing plumbing in a house. But off course it's only in some weird corner cases that the wave spawner breaks, so this was just found a week ago. Hunting is happening, level 8 released when it's stable again.
So in co-op, If you have 100 creatures with tons of missiles and mini-robots, you've been playing solo or with someone and someone joins in after 5 minutes of game, that person will see weird things happening.
(Again skip this if you don't want to know the nitty gritty of game development) That was caused by the way we do join in - all the actions are buffered and the buffer is dumped on the new player, since the game started, that's a lot of stuff and some de-synch occurs.
That's what's fixed in the upcoming release.
Also good news, I tried a new way of prototyping levels and so you may see new arenas that are like mad rush to secure path.
(skip this if you don't want to know about gamedev or artist giving excuses ;-) Currently each level takes two weeks to make, tune gameplay and polish graphics, Modeling is the main bottleneck - the going back and forth between Maya and Unity takes a while, registering position of power nodes to the set, creating nice folds in the ground, keeping visual balance to the game's camera, all that takes a lot of iterations that would be ideally removed with all modeling done withing Unity. So I looked for Unity modeling package, they're crap, voxel ? perfect but guess what : the only decent one was removed from the market. Ha !
So what we'll do is release prototype arenas with a big TEMPORARY red flashing & honking watermark and let you guys enjoy or shoot the protos down. You'll let us know. They'll be ugly but they'll be playable and hopefully fun. This way we focus on polishing the two remain levels of the campaign, tuning all that gameplay spaghetti, the numbers, the code, the story.
And out of these rough blocky prototypes, you chose one and I'll model it the good old way with clay and wood sticks (aka Maya) to turn it into nice looking new level. How does that sound ?
That was a long news, longer than expected, if you folks like the details of the alchemy of making a game, we'll post more often, otherwise we'll just shut up and make the game :)
In any case, new players, welcome and I hope you enjoy this crazy game as much as we enjoy making it :)