In November, I added five maps, four hairstyles, and two pieces of clothing to the game. I've also implemented a new feature and some improvements.
The open terrain around Camp Felicitatis offers no cover, so the defenses are very powerful to compensate. They consist of three thermal precision turrets that are triggered by resonators. Therefore, if an enemy dies in one of the resonators, you get additional firepower for 10 seconds from the associated turret. Each further activation of the resonator resets the turret's timer, i.e. in principle it is available indefinitely, provided the resonator receives sufficient supplies.
However, when a turret's timer expires, it shuts off for a 30 second cooldown. I recommend using the irritation pulse regularly to make sure you don't run out of enemies.
The high range of the turrets and the way they are activated enable interesting strategies. The obvious one is to stick with one of the resonators until its turret shuts off. This strategy is simple and safe because there are always alternatives available when you have to leave your position.
A more difficult and risky one is to use an active precision turret to fire at opponents in another resonator. This way you can activate several turrets at the same time, with a correspondingly higher firepower. The danger is of course that several turrets switch off, leaving only the weak resonators.
In Camp Itineris only amplifiers are available for defense. There are three in total and they're relatively small and weak. To make matters worse, they can't be used from far away, as you have to be within attack range.
However, this last limitation also comes with a huge advantage: this kind of amplifier can be targeted by any attack that fires projectiles. When you get close enough, your fan attack (orange projectiles) will start using the amplifier. Get even closer and the spray attack (white projectiles) will chime in as well. This is an enormous boost to your fire power!
But it gets better! Thermal decoy as well as ice shield will use the amplifier when in range. What happens when you aim a distance turret at an amplifier? Yep, that also works – from any distance due to its enormous range. Of course, you can also use ice missile and range extender, but that works the same with all other amplifiers.
However, there's a catch! To your attack systems, these amplifiers are just one more target, like any other. Which is to say, they don't prioritize amplifiers. When enemies enter your attack range, they'll absorb some of the fire power that was previously directed towards the amplifier. When you get overrun by enemies, the amplifier may receive little to no fire power and become ineffective. Pay attention to the amplifier's acoustic feedback to know when the time has come to leave.
In Camp Crisium, defense is concentrated at two points to the northeast and south, each with a small group of resonators and transformers. It's a powerful combination that can handle almost anything if used skillfully.
However, individual, very strong opponents are usually better dealt with by luring them into the teleporter on the west side. The cooldown time is pleasantly short at 15 seconds, so that the facility may be available for an emergency escape even when it is mostly used aggressively.
Camp Siccitatis has two lines of defense, one in the south and one in the north.
At the foot of a steep slope you'll find two jump pads that are coupled to precision turrets. Using one of those jump pads not only causes a huge blast wave but also triggers the turret it is coupled to for 20 seconds. This is a very powerful and flexible combo. The blast wave incinerates large swarms of small enemies while the turrets are very effective against elite and high-level enemies.
However, if you prefer a more cautious approach, you should head to the top of the hill. There are two time bubbles there that overlap with a transformer. The time bubbles offer excellent protection, at least against close combat opponents. However, if you also want to use the transformer, you have to stay near the edge of the time bubbles, where the protective effect is noticeably reduced.
The terrain around Camp Putredinis is hilly and heavily forested. Three jump pads and three teleporters are scattered across the area.
With the jump pads you can reach an enormous height, so they are ideal as an escape route after an attack. The teleporters, on the other hand, have a fairly short cooldown time of 15 seconds, making them suitable for aggressive use.
However, it also works the other way around, because the jump pads have a huge blast radius. If too many spiders survive the shock wave, you can use one of the teleporters to get to safety. You don't even have to rush because of the high altitude you get from the jump pad.
Both strategies are very effective and great fun. I've often used both in my tests, depending on the situation.
I've created four new hairstyles: an afro, two buzz cuts, and classic long, straight hair (as suggested by NatureBoy).
When I made the afro, I realized that my hair shader suggested smooth, straight hair, when a real afro needs curly hair, of course. So, I reworked the hair shader to include a paramter that controls its glossiness, or silkiness as it's called in the UI. You can find this slider right under the hair color options.
The default value is 50%, which results in exactly the same appearance as before. Below 50% you get a more matt or dry look, above you get a greasy or wet look. Very low values can also be used to immitate the look of non-natural hair dyes.
I also made shoes! The pair on the left is called "Milano", it's a type of low shoe. On the right we have a pair of sneakers with ornaments that can be customized separately (color & material).
So far there have only been boots as footwear, because I thought shoes weren't going to look good in the style of my game. I was wrong, they look great!
However, note that there's a little bit of sneaky trickery going on in the screenshots. I'm using leggings in combination with ankle bands as leg extensions. In order for this to work, the bands are made of exactly the same material and pigment as the leggings. The bands and the leggings have matching normal vectors in the overlapping region, so the seam becomes invisible when the pieces have the same look.
This is a feature of my clothing system and can be used for other things as well. For example, you can combine a tight shirt with leggings to make a jumpsuit. Or combine a halter top with a skirt to create a cocktail dress. As long as the pieces overlap and are made of the same material and pigment, the seam will always disappear.
Other improvements include:
- I improved some character transition animations.
- I improved projectile lighting performance, fixing occasional frame rate issues.
- The grass around the spawn point is now a little shorter in all camps so it doesn't obscure the view.
- The ears are now a bit thicker and no longer have any sharp edges when viewed from the front.
- Sweat no longer darkens the ears excessively.
- I fixed a couple of minor bugs.