We have some great news this week: in 2 weeks, on 16 May, the server forcefields will be dropping and we will be opening up the servers for 5 days to everyone that has a Steam key for the game. Yes, that means anyone that could play before or anyone that has received a key from our stream (or somewhere else) will be able to play! We’ll kick off the playtest session with our stream on 16 May at 10:00 PST.
What will there be to see? Among other things, you’ll get to check out all the new art, try out the new dual stick classes, experience the new quest system, check out the new partially-complete store, and more. Hopefully it goes without saying, but we’ll do our best to make sure the servers stay up and all goes well, but if they go down or if there are other annoying issues, well, that’s why this isn’t the big closed beta yet.
Don’t have a key yet? You still have a chance if you join our stream next week – we’ll give out some keys then! Where can you find the stream? Over here, starting at 10:00 PST every Wednesday!
That’s not all! We’ve been busy with a whole bunch of improvements these past 2 weeks, so let’s catch up a bit…
Quests can now spawn portals to dungeons as required, and automatically point players into those dungeons. We previously had a workaround for this, but now it’ll be a much smoother and more robust experience! In a similar vein, we can also spawn special setpieces for quests. This lets us have quests that have a much more impactful and visible effect on the servers. We still need to add more content that uses this, but the underlying systems are in place.
Quests also do a lot of unit spawning, giving players targets to find, kill and possibly scavenge their loot for quest items. We’ve done work to make this spawning a bit more clustered, so players don’t have to travel completely across the island for their next target. In the same vein, we are also more generous about counting quest unit kills for players.
We’re busy testing a new quest feature, where players can join and activate quests just by being in the right place for the right time. This feature is still a work in progress, so we’re not sure how extensively it will ultimately be used. See something new and exciting, like a huge boss? Maybe it has a quest for you…
Other quest changes:
- Added quest activation and joining to escort quest, War Horse, setpiece bosses
- Revisions on previous quests
- New quests:
- “Octo’s Pods”: Fight many small Dr. Octo units
- “Crowd Control”: Fight giant Crowd Control that has extra spinners
- “Laughing Hyenas”: Fight weaker versions of Berserkers
- “Thugs for Hire”: Fight larger Estate Guard and grab their escape pods
- “Mystic Assassins”: Fight special Assassins that escape and make walls of clones
- “Laugh Riot” – Hunt Riot Guards
- “Early Retirement” – Hunt City Officers
- “Spoliation of Evidence” – Collect evidence from Secret Police
- “Meowzan Inquisition” – Collect insignia from Inquisitors
- “Gas station” – Experimental test for quest setpieces
- Added barks to 22 daily quests
- Stop spawning for a quest when goals completed
- First set of “real” products.
- Dungeon key items, plane variant unlocks
- Improving store config. Automatic defaults, checks and structure improvements.
- Store UI (WIP)
- Complex combinations of arbitrary lists and grids
- Control with mouse, keyboard, controller
- Error messages, popups, user feedback
- Items you can only buy once, like a starter bundle
- Hangar slot buy button
- Storage slot buy button
With the store functionality making progress and all the base models for the current player classes in the game we’re continuing on with modeling on the variants! With that in mind, new variants are ready to fly for the Merlin, and the Duster variants just need a quick fuel up to be ready for the skies. The plane engineers (artists) are at the drawing board designing the variants for the Hog and Shieldmaiden variants and they should begin fabrication soon!
As for the Cat Empire, their Warhorse train has an intimidating new locomotive, and there’s rumors of oncoming upgrades to their Arena 2 enemies. Not to mention Empress Meowza’s palace should be going under construction soon, the Cats’ excessive spending know no bounds with so many of the other mammals under their thumbs contributing to the treasury.
On the particle effects front we’ve found that many enemy units, especially in dungeons, are missing smoke trails. These trails makes the world feel more alive and also remind us that the gas-guzzling smog-producing Cat Empire has no cares for the environment. How truly evil they are! The addition of trails to dungeon enemies is an ongoing task and will be happening gradually as more important art tasks take priority!