Lots of gameplay & price balancing happened this week. A combination of the new natural mushroom growth system, clones (lives) costing money and the new buildings going in meant some balancing has been needed for about a week. Using the matter conversion rate of dirt as a base, Tier 1 buildings are now achievable with some early exploration and deconstruction of things. :)
The only problem has been, I’ll sit down and start playing.. then suddenly 2 hours are gone and it’s lunchtime. o.O Cultivating and then defending my mushroom farm is pretty addictive at the moment.
Also, I’d like to introduce the BANE of your generators if you leave them undefended. These blowfish creatures currently spawn in waves deep underground and seek out your base, eventually arriving to MESS IT UP. They don’t even have any particular programmed motivation to aim specifically for generators, but always seem to destroy them first.. which leaves my towers unpowered. They’re probably attracted to the energy hum.. ..stupid blowfish… -_-
Give it life! Well.. “lives” at least.. We added them this week. Here’s the deal.
Think of a “life” in 1-6 as cloned-data of yourself. As long as you have cloned-data available at a cloning station, whenever you die you’ll be reprinted back there again perfectly. Whichever cloning station you set to be your respawn is where you’ll be printed. There’s a few points to remember though.
-Clones must be purchased with ‘Matter’ as you play. To make sure you never run out of clone stock, you should buy one every now and then. Seeing as they cost ‘Matter’, you could effectively farm them indirectly and setup a clone farm so you never run out!
-Clones are SHARED across all players. Yes… ..yes. :) If anyone anywhere on the server dies, they will use up a clone. Better get that clone farm started. :D
If you die with no clones left, we’re currently considering 2 options:
-Explorer Mode: Respawn as a ‘broken clone-zombie’ until you can collect some ‘Matter’ to purchase a perfect clone.
-Hardcore mode: Game over man. Game over!
And we’ve been playing around with Vine a fair bit at the office this week. Our magnet sets were made for this. :D
This week we nailed a backlog of small usability issues that have been annoying us. Niggly things that don’t stop you playing, but just make it less fun. :( And because they’re not critical they tend to back up.. until we come and clean house! :D
One of the more notable additions was shift+clicking to build multiple buildings of the same type. This is a common control in RTS games and now we have it I’m not sure how we ever got by without it. o.O Just hold down shift and stamp away with the blueprints.
An edge grab has gone in too. Without changing the actual jump height, you can now reach 1 block higher by grabbing the lip and jumping up (or just dropping from the lip to fall safely). It’s made movement in the world just feel easier and more fun (these are good things).
Our final large(ish) change for this week was the launchpad building. This was discussed last week as part of splitting “Money” & “Matter” into 2 currencies. Load up a small amount of goods into the launchpad and BOOM, fire them into space for an anonymous buyer. It’s a cheap option with a lower sale price, until players choose to research a warehouse and upgrade their shipping facilities.
And don’t mind the colours this week. We’re just spamming. :P
Precious metals used to be the primary currency of trade in the galaxy. At a time now long forgotten though, technology was discovered which could ‘deconstruct’ any object into basic matter (the particles which make up the universe). And so it passed that simple matter became the accepted currency in the galaxy.
Certain precious metals though still remain resistant to the deconstruction process, making them even more valuable than historically known. Many establishments of old who deal in produce, manufacturing and higher technology research, still trade today using these metals.
You may have guessed it, we’ve split our currency in two!
‘Matter’ can now be obtained from ANYTHING in the world. Players can deconstruct resources down into their base particles and store them for later use. Matter is used to build new structures, buildings, perform base maintenance, repairs, etc.
‘Money’ is now earned by exporting manufactured goods and selling them to off-world buyers or markets. You can use money to research new technologies, new buildings and upgrades for your base!
We’ve already found this much simpler and easy to understand in play. It gives value to EVERYTHING in everything in the world. You can basically build an empire from dirt! It also makes it impossible to reach a ‘game over’ state as a result of poor financial/resource management. A time investment can recoup your loss!
There’s also something nice about walking through a pile of money and hearing the “bling bli-bling bling” sound as you collect it all! :D The first thing I built was a Scrooge McDuck style money pit!