Myriavora keeps growing! In January I made six maps, eight clothing items, and a few improvements. The game now includes a total of 62 varied maps. The number of clothing items has grown to 57 and all of them can be customized using materials and pigments.
The defense of Camp Famis consists of three jump pads, each connected to a group of three fetchers. Whenever you use a jump pad, the associated fetchers are activated for one second. This is a delightful combination because the spiders get teleported right into the jump pad's blast wave.
There are no cooldowns, i.e. you can use the jump pads as often and for as long as you want. Just keep in mind that they don't protect you from taking damage. I recommend using each jump pad only once or twice in a row and then switching to a different one.
The mountainous terrain at Camp Pruniæ can be tough to maneuver. Fortunately, there are six powerful thermal turrets to support you. They activate upon entering and stay active for 10 seconds after leaving. If you're fast enough, you can have multiple or even all of them active at any one time.
Camp Vigilantia is defended by three small but very powerful resonators. Using them effectively isn't always easy, but when you do, they can be devastating.
If something goes wrong, you can try to get some distance from the enemies in the forest. But it isn't dense enough to get more than a few seconds out of it, so better don't rely on that.
Camp Nivium essentially consists of a sinkhole with an enormously powerful turret at the bottom. You activate the turret by entering it. It stays active for 60 seconds after you leave it.
The main strategy is obviously to lure the swarm into the pit and let the turret do its job. Just keep in mind that spiders can climb walls. So, don't worry, watching them die won't be your only activity.
There are six big traps at Camp Gladii, half of which are active at any one time. Every 15 seconds they switch over to the other half. Although the camp has no armament, it is easily defendable if you keep moving and watch the timers.
When testing Camp Gladii, I noticed spiders getting stuck occasionally. It was always at the same spot: near a tree that was suspiciously close to the wall of one of the traps. After some investigation, I realized this was no coincidence.
The problem was that traps were implemented as a kind of force field that pulls trapped spiders inwards when they try to leave. It's the only thing in the game that works that way and the spider AI isn't really prepared to deal with that. The algorithms are robust enough that it sort of works most of the time, but when it doesn't, spiders get stuck.
I contemplated improving the AI, but then I realized that changing the traps to work like actual barriers was a much better idea. That's because the AI already knows very well how to deal with barriers. It does so all the time as rocks, trees, and collisions between spiders are implemented that way.
Of course, it wasn't exactly trivial to change the traps. They don't work like normal barriers as they have to actually let in spiders and allow trapped spiders to roam inside. That's the reason I implemented them as force fields in the first place.
So, in the end it took me a couple of tries to get it right. But once I did, I immediately noticed an unexpected but welcome side effect. Since the spider AI is aware of barriers, it can now sort of "feel" the trap and tries to find a way out instead of banging its head against the wall. It's a relatively subtle change in behaviour and you probably won't see a difference unless you know exactly what to look for and take the time to do so. But at least I can see it, and like a proud father it just makes me happy to see my "babies" deal with their world just a little bit better.
Camp Successus provides six frost shocks for defense. They each activate 3 seconds after entering and have a cooldown of 50 seconds. Since there are so many facilities to choose from, the long cooldown doesn't matter much in practice unless you're really rushing it.
The delay, on the other hand, is something not to be underestimated. During test play, I experimented with different values and was surprised at how much I had to adjust my strategy each time.
In the heat of battle, every second feels like an eternity. Two seconds is already hard to bear, three seconds is simply torture. And yet I had a lot more success with three seconds! That's because a longer delay gives more spiders a chance to enter the facility and get caught by the shockwave.
So in the end I decided to go for a three second delay. Yes, it's more challenging to deal with and can be outright infuriating at times. But I guess that fits the game perfectly.
I've created a belt and wristbands that match the punk-style neck band from the previous update. As always, they drop with random materials and pigments, so you'll probably need to customize them to get the studded look as depicted. I'm using black rubber for the band and white crystal fabric for the rivets.
I've started to experiment with ideas that might add a sci-fi look to Myriavora's clothing collection. These "leg straps" as I call them are the first result. They probably wouldn't be practical or comfortable when made with contemporary technology, but I can easily imagine some high-tech to make them work.
They're also perfect for customization as they're compatible with most clothing. This means you can use them as decoration on boots, socks, and pants. So, feel free to mix and match.
I think, this is a promising concept and I will try to develop it further in the future.
I also made arm bands. The pair on the left fits the Milano gloves, on the right you see the London version. As with the leg straps, you can actually wear them together and with all gloves, shirts, and jackets.
Other improvements include:
- Defense units now have a grey name & outline when they are inactive due to cooldown.
- The reticle for precision turrets is now significantly larger so it's not as easy to lose sight of in the heat of battle.
- Fixed a bug that sometimes prevented spiders from taking damage when they get teleported into an area attack (like energy flash, frost shock, blast wave, etc).
- Fixed a bug that made the health bar sometimes show an animation when you equip or remove Flash Healing.
- Fixed a bug that made the minimap place the range indicator for the aimed attack (red line) at a slightly incorrect position.