More Lasers, Explosions and Better Options – 22/04/14 Update

I’ve been working on something I’ve wanted to add to the game for a long while now – lasers that reflect off certain surfaces. In proper levels, these surfaces will have proper textures so that they can be distinguished from other walls and floors, but I’ve had tons of work to do lately so I’ve only been able to implement the lasers themselves, in the form of an improved Laser Gun, as well as new player-operated laser turrets.

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Just walk upto these turrets and press “e”, and it will face the direction you’re looking in. When the beam collides with a reflective surface (in this update, the walls and floors of the room with the laser turret in act reflective), the beam will rebound off the surface. These surfaces will be used in levels to direct laser rays around obstacles and into laser receivers. This can produce loads of hectic-looking scenes, such as the one in the header image above, and could also lead to alternative objects that simply fire a laser in a fixed direction, as obstacles the player needs to avoid. The laser itself is a little bit wavy now, and collision points light up with a small particle effect.

Another thing I’ve been working on, as promised, is the new version of the Destruction Gun (which sucked), which will eventually become a shotgun/grenade launcher combo. It’s in a prototype phase so far, as in the actual mechanisms for the gun are there, but it’s using a recycled older model for guns right now, and on the whole, it lacks visual effects or sound, but the base mechanics work. To shoot the shotgun, left-click, and to shoot a ‘grenade’, right-click. The shotgun can destroy windows, and will blast away cubes and other physics objects, while the grenade will do the same, with a fairly large explosion radius, but this can hurt you too if you’re standing too close.

I’ve been working on a newer options menu too. The old system had presets for the visual quality of the game, which gives the player some choice but also restricts it in other ways. Now, you can change individual settings.

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One of the options – aniso level – doesn’t really do anything right now; it stands for anisotropic filtering level and is redundant as it doesn’t work for pixel-y tectures like the ones in my game. If you raise the shadow distance too much, then you’ll see visible dark banding on some surfaces. But the rest of the options are pretty cool, and allow for a greater level of customisation, plus the colour scheme works much better now.

The “advance cubes”, as I’ve called them in previous updates, have been replaced with teleporters, complete with a smoother transition between levels (plus the darkening of the screen while pausing is smoother, too). The teleporters have cool particle effects too. They work much better than the old cubes, and eventually I’ll change the backwards cubes to new teleporters too.

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Future Updates

Now, I have most of the gameplay features in place that I wish to be in the final game. I will add more and improve old ones as time goes on, but the current features are largely the ones that will stay in the game. Much of the work from now on will probably be on the game’s story, which I’m in the process of writing, and modelling new levels, as well as eventually trying to implement voice acting for proper characters in-game, which I’ve mentioned before.

From now, on, I’ll be releasing the game updates in a different kind of way. As the game’s going to be getting a proper storyline, which I don’t want to spoil too much by releasing updates every week or two, I will be releasing a separate build when a new game feature’s been added to see how you, my loyal players, react to it. That won’t be limited to just a gameplay feature, it could also be a layout for a level or a test level, or maybe even new textures. Then, when the time comes, the actual game, plot and all, will be released in a really really large update, although at this point I have no idea how much it will cost (if anything) or what the final product will take shape as. For now, you can play it here like always, and I look forward to hearing any feedback you may have. Have fun playing!

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