The Middle Frontier

We hacked through a LOT of tasks this month. Stephan has completely overhauled the sound, so ship destruction sounds are awesome now. Every missile has its own unique explosion effect, and all of them get really muted and atmospheric as you zoom the camera further out. Big battles sound much more epic and it’s very satisfying to hear dozens of tiny enemies getting disintegrated around you (just like in real life).

Based on a bunch of comments we had on the demo, we’ve remade the combat user interface to suit playing on PCs. Everything is much smaller and more elegant now. Turret control has been modified to just follow where you move the mouse and firing is now on the left mouse button. Also, the health circle around your ship actually works now! Amazing!

The new minimal interface.

The new minimal interface.

We’ve added a score screen at the end of each level that tallies up your achievements, bonuses, how much scrap you’ve collected, and how close you are to unlocking the next ship component. Which leads us to the fact that scrap is worth something now. You spend scrap to build your new ship, and you earn scrap by either picking it up in combat, or earning it for completing objectives. 

There has been some thought put into communicating objectives and ship capabilities better. The mission map screen has been modified to give you a better idea of what the goals of your current mission will be. The stats bar at the bottom of the shipyard screen now gives you useful info on the top speed and turning ability of your ship, and a lot of the more mysterious shipyard buttons now have useful tooltips.

Scrap costs, overall ship stats and some brand new components.

Scrap costs, overall ship stats and some brand new components.

More new components have gone into the shipyard, ranging from the Repeller Beam, which knocks away everything in front of you, to the Really Normal Wing, which does almost nothing. Heatsinks are now working correctly too. They act like a second core, providing your ship with loads of extra power, but being extremely vulnerable and explosive.

The art side of the art book is almost finished. We just have to think up all the hints and tips we want to write into it now. Hopefully we’ll have a test version of that to show people when we’re showing the game at PAX Australia in October. Did I mention that we’ll be at PAX Australia in October? Because we will. Come and see us if you’re wandering past Australia.

Three Phase out!