Robo Pals! Update (Ver 0.99a)

Robo Pals! Update (Ver 0.99a)

Salutations, Astroworkers!

Last week we dropped a galactic bomb of an update that added a bunch of new content to Nom Nom Galaxy. We’re going to get into some more specifics of that update this week. We’ve also fixed some of the issues that our tireless Early Access Astroworkers helped uncover, and added key binding support!

You’ll notice that your robot minions have undergone a few upgrades in this update and there’s even a new face in the bunch. Freddy, Travis, and Ben have all been tweaked to improve your soup production.

フレディトラビス

Freddy & Travis
Freddy and Travis are your vertical movement robots in the soup production line, moving ingredients and soups up or down through the base. In previous versions, Freddy handled sending everything up, while Travis would move things down. We’ve now given both robots the functionality to pass ingredients or soup up and down, but separated which items they will handle. Freddy is now exclusively an ingredient robot and Travis will take care of the soup.

In earlier versions you’d often have Freddy or Travis throwing ingredients passed to them to your soup rocket yards, or towards factories that didn’t take those ingredients. With this change, you’ll have a greater degree of control over how soup production flows through the base.

Ben
ベンFreddy and Travis got little tweaks, but Ben has had a full system overhaul! Ben 2.0 has gone back to doing what dogs do best – burying stuff! Place Ben around any ingredients and he’ll replant them. Ben’s original purpose was to find ingredients and bring them back to his doghouse. While we appreciate the pooch’s intentions, the system was a little cumbersome and wasn’t working quite as we had hoped.

Planting speed and Ben’s patrolling pathing are still being tweaked, so let us know how the Astroworker’s Best Friends is working in your bases.

Clarence
クラーレンスThe newest addition to our robo-family is Clarence, a harvesting robo. In many ways, Clarence, paired with the new changes to Ben, is the the final piece in the soup automation puzzle. Place Clarence in your farms and he will harvest any plants that have grown to full height. Without having to come back and tend to your farms, this frees up your Astroworker to explore more of the planets.

 

Updates & Fixes

Bugs Fixes
  • Fixed bug causing game to crash accessing the Gum menu
  • Video setting should be saving correctly to profiles and there is a confirmation dialogue for changes.
  • S.O.O.P and Corporate Conquest bases can now be reset properly
  • Fixed bug preventing some players from progressing in Tutorial 2
  • For some strange reason, Alt + Q and “Alt + PrintScreen” was mapped to quit the game. This has been removed.
  • Fix issue preventing data from saving properly
  • You can no longer toggle full screen with “Alt + Enter”
Controller Configs
  • Keybindings! You can now change your key configuration on keyboards.
  • NNG should now be better at recognizing which input you are using (controller vs. keyboard + mouse)   
UI Fixes
  • Improved mouse functionality in construction and earnings menus
 
Graphic modification
  • Adjust the size of the Robo-Shacho’s test balloons.
  • Added version # to the main menu screen

As always, please let us know what you think in the comments here, in our Steam Community forumFacebook, or Twitter! See you next time!

Nom Nom Galaxy (Ver. 0.99) – Chunky update that eats like a meal!

Nom Nom Galaxy (Ver. 0.99) - Chunky update that eats like a meal!

Welcome back, Astroworkers!

It’s been quite a while since we last spoke! After the Christmas update we took some time away from the blog and our regular updates to put our heads down and work on a host of key features. We’ve had a lot cooking up and now we’re ready to unveil the merger between feedback from our dedicated early access supporters and the ingredients we’ve had on the shelf at Q.

And because we really want everyone to get a taste of this new flavor of Nom Nom, we’re reducing the price for the remainder of Early Access to $9.99 (Note: Price change will be reflected on Steam later today). If you’ve been waiting for a good sale to check it out, it’s the perfect time.

update_01 (1)

There have been sweeping changes and updates throughout the whole Galaxy. Because the scope of this update is pretty huge, we’ll just give an overview today and then give more details about the changes over the next couple of weeks. When you launch Nom Nom you’re going to see new robots, enemies, planets, building parts, optimization, new modes, new moves, and… gum!?!

planet_01

The foremost issue on our plate was getting Nom Nom Galaxy optimized for better play on a wider variety of machines. It’s something that we hoped to be able to address earlier in the game’s development, so we’re really happy to put this new update out. Essentially, we’ve migrated Nom Nom Galaxy from our old PixelJunk Engine to an updated version that Double Eleven created when they were porting the other PixelJunk games to Steam. The original engine was beginning to show it’s age – it’s the engine we used to create all of our classic PlayStation 3 games. And while the ol’ girl served us well, Nom Nom was sometimes too much for her to handle. The game looks pretty simple on the surface, but there’s lots of stuff going on in the background, like how the planets are held together, fluid and gas dynamics, and calculating the “living parameters” of the plants and animals.

The update to the new engine, along with lots of code optimization on the team’s part, means that soup production for our Astroworkers should be a much better experience. There’s support for a wider variety of graphics cards, controllers, and monitor setups.

We don’t expect everything to be perfect straight off the bat, so make sure you jump on the forums and let us know how Nom Nom is running on your rig.

planet_02

Okay, I know you’re eager to jump back into the soupy fray, but there’s something that we’ve got to do before we start. Because of the magnitude of the changes, old Nom
Nom save data is no longer compatible with the current version and you’ll need to start new games. When you start you’ll be greeted with a new screen for managing your game data. Name your company and you’re be ready to work.

One of our largest tasks was bringing together Yamamura’s quirky art and our soup theme into an entertaining story and campaign mode. We’ve hinting at the larger theme of galactic domination by means of soup, but now you’ll be able to dig into the background of the Galaxy. When you get to the new main menu, you’ll see the new campaign mode, Corporate Conquest, where you can start your hostile takeover of the galaxy.

スクリーンショット 2015-04-15 16.17.27

Corporate Conquest starts you at the training facility and you’ll need to finish the two tutorials in order before you start exploring. After completing them you can go to any planet in the first sector of the galaxy. Each planet has two different play styles, a market battle vs. rival soup corporations and S.O.O.P, a sandbox mode for all those Astroworkers who want to make bases that are visible from space! You’ll need to complete the market share battle to unlock the S.O.O.P mode for each planet.

To move to other sectors of the galaxy Robo-shacho requires that you discover recipes available on those planets. When you’ve satisfied him, the gate will unlock and you can move on to new planets.

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The new Corporate Conquest mode has changed the way research works in Nom Nom Galaxy, also. Conquering rivals in market share battles earns you research unlocks. Those unlocks will carry over to future planets. We’ve done away with unlock keys on the planet, but you’ll still need to earn enough gold by selling soup to buy research.

Well, I can imagine that by now the soup in your noggin is swimming with all of this new info that we’re dumping on you. This is just the beginning, but it should get you prepared to take on the mantle of Astroworker once more. We’ll be back later this week with more information on the new and improved Nom Nom Galaxy!

As always, please let us know what you think in the comments here, in our Steam Community forumFacebook, or Twitter! See you next time!

Nom Nom Galaxy Post-PAX Update #2 (Ver. 0.16 & 0.17)

Nom Nom Galaxy Post-PAX Update #2 (Ver. 0.16 & 0.17)

Hello fellow Soup Entrepreneurs!

Last week we were occupied with the Tokyo Game Show and didn’t have a blog update, but we’re back in force this week with some welcome changes! We’ve been listening to the feedback on social media/Steam and this week’s update addresses some of the issues our fellow Astroworkers have been concerned with. This isn’t the last update, by any means, so continue to let us know how you feel about the changes as we develop Nom Nom.

Jump Jet

doublejump

Gracefully navigating hostile environments is paramount for any successful Astroworker. For just three research keys, this new upgrade gives you the ability to double-jump!

Muscleman

muscleman

One of the most popular requests has been the ability to carry more than one item. This upgrade has been long debated by the team on how it should actually be implemented. In the distant past we had a backpack type inventory, but it was cumbersome and therefore removed. We want to bring some of the functionality, however, so we’re starting by giving the Astroworker an upgrade to carry two items.

We’re still not sold on how this feature is currently working, so we want to hear players feedback on this one. Basically, this is a temporary solution that could be permanent (or expanded) based on your feedback. So let us know what you think!

Auto-climb

auto_climb

Improving getting around the planet has been a concern for us. Too often it’s easier to just mow down everything in your way instead of actually walking around the terrain. We’ve added an auto-climb for one-step blocks now that we think will make it a little less frustrating.

The speed of regular climbing has also been adjusted. We’ve slowed it down so that you can hang on to edges a little easier. Please let us know if the speed is too slow.

Aim Lock

It’s now possible to lock the position of the Buzzsaw and Shotgun by pressing L2 while using them. This makes it easier to jump and use both items.

First Rocket

soup_sent

You’ll now be treated to a nice little animation when your first rocket goes out to customers!

Shotgun Floppy

The shotgun will now destroy blocks containing floppy disks.

Secondary Damage

Combat has become a lot more fun with this update. When you hit something with your buzzsaw now, other attacks, like bullets, missiles, and attacks from other Astroworkers, will add to the damage. This sets up some interesting combo opportunities. It’s just the first of many improvements we have for combat.

Ver. 0.17 Hotfix

A combat bug that caused Astroworkers to take damage in the same fashion as enemies snuck its way into 0.16. This has been fixed in 0.17!

As always, please let us know what you think in the comments here, on our Steam CommunityFacebook, or Twitter! See you next time!

The Soup is PAX Primed! Nom Nom Galaxy Update (Ver. 0.14)

The Soup is PAX Primed! Nom Nom Galaxy Update (Ver. 0.14)

Astroworkers, welcome to PAX Update 0.14! This update will be on the floor at PAX today, but even if you can’t make it to Seattle you can enjoy the soups of our labors! This update adds more ingredients, more enemies, and some adjustments to research. We’ve also thrown in some nagging bugs.

Because of the large amount of changes in the current build, we recommend you delete your previous save data. You can delete your saved data from the planet select menu. With that said, let’s look at the new stuff!

Like a Boss

Nom Nom Galaxy is all about battling rival corporations for galactic domination of the soup market. Up to this point, your rivals have only sent small waves of alien mercs to disrupt your operation. Starting with this update, they’ll be bringing out the big guns! Or should we say, the big UFOs!

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This behemoth will appear after you’ve launched a certain number of rockets. When your rivals feel like you’re getting a little too big for your britches, they’ll send over this ship to knock you down a few pegs. You’ll have to make some sacrifices to repel it!

Exploring Strange New Worlds

The ‘galaxy’ in Nom Nom Galaxy continues to expand. You’ll now be able to visit Iddil, a heavily forested planet, Unba,a water world, and the mountainous Pomelyk. Each planet will require it’s own strategy in order to build a successful factory. Gameplay for these planets is in development, so we’d love to get feedback from the community on them.

IDDIL

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Iddil introduces new fruit bearing trees and spiny thorn plants. Neither can be moved easily, so you’ll have to plan your base around them.

UNBA

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If you fancy a swim, Unba is your planet. With most of the stage area covered in water, you’ll have to create island bases in different places to expand your factory. The ever-important Oxyflower has the added benefit of repelling water, so you can use it to plant under the waves, or prevent water from entering your base.

POMELYK

2014-08-27_00001

The most challenging of the new stages is Pomelyk. The rocky planet offers few places to cultivate your ingredients and deposits of matter and discs are sparse, so you’ll have to maximize your management skills to expand.

Expanding Your Pallet

There are a few new flora to add to your recipe book now. We haven’t had proper trees in Nom Nom but that’s because we’ve only been exploring deserts and plains. Iddil is our first planet to introduce a forest biome.

2014-08-27_00005

The trees of Iddil bear delicious fruit, but are sturdy and can’t be chopped down. You’ll have to plan your factories around these trees to harvest them. The trees will die in winter, so stock up on fruit for the cold season.

2014-08-26_00003

Needle Grass, like the trees of Iddil, is difficult to get rid of. It’s covered in thorns so punching it will only leave you with bloody gloves, and if you dig it up with your buzzsaw, the remaining bits will sprout as new plants. You’ll have to use other tools to take it out-but it’s rumored that beautiful flowers sometimes blossom on its thorny branches…

2014-08-27_00006

Nom Nom now has an uber tuber! Yams grow underground, and like the trees and Splinter Grass, are resistant to conventional harvesting. If you want to get to the goods, you’ll have to dig them up!

Adjustments
The following items have had their costs adjusted:

Hoverboard –
Increased Research key costs from 2 to 3
Increased the Gold cost from 100g to 1200g

Jack
Increased Research keys costs from 3 to 6
Increased Gold cost from 100g to 450g

Floppy disks should be easier to dig up now.

Mole enemies won’t be nearly as persistent in destroying your base and will disappear after paying you a visit.

Bug Fixes
- Fixed an issue where you could create two offices on the Tutorial Stage
– Fixed a bug that allowed ivy and seaweed to grow in places they normally couldn’t

As always, please let us know what you think in the comments here, on our Steam CommunityFacebook, or Twitter! See you next time!

A Vacuum Tank!

A Vacuum Tank!

Hello intrepid soup-makers. I thought we’d try a slightly different angle today to give you another varied peek at our dev process. For this week, here’s a feature we’re considering that still exists only in the world of concept. I wanted to show you why we’re thinking about it in the first place, and some of the considerations that might be necessary if we end up implementing it.

v_en

So how did we arrive at a ‘Vacuum Tank’ (other than it’s kinda cute)? Currently the post ‘early-game’ resource gathering is pretty time consuming. While there’s options for automating the soup creation and shipping processes, there’s no option for alleviating the increasing demands on ingredient gathering. It feels like the kind of player who wanted to invest some resources into this area should at least have an option. The Vacuum Tank can fly for easy scouting/movement, collect ingredients en masse and throw them home with ease.

As for implementation, code-wise it should be pretty straight forward. It’s the design cohesiveness that will probably need some extra thought here. The movement controls of this vehicle will set the tone for all similar vehicle types, as well as the throwing mechanic. These need to be uniform across all features, so we need to consider cases that might not apply directly to the Vacuum Tank (other flying/caterpillar tread vehicles, player’s own throwing mechanic) when designing these 2 controls.

Vacuuming is serious business for robots!

vacuumbot

Disco Fever Soup

Disco Fever Soup

Hello brave world. 2014 is going to be a big year for Inc. Year of the soup! :)

Let’s get straight to it with one of the experiments we were running at the end of last year. We call it “Fever Time” (like disco fever). After a few cycles of shipping soup you hit this ‘fever time’ where all buildings and robots work extra hard to the disco beats.

fevertime

Good points here are that it gives players a visible short-term goal to anticipate and prepare for. It’s also fun to ship HEAPS of soup in one cycle with a bustling visual feel.

It does feel a little counter-intuitive to play though, as it diminishes the value of shipping soup in the prior cycle. You know without doing anything you can just ship 4x more soup cans next cycle, so I find myself doing more preparatory jobs and laying the groundwork for the huge shipment to come. It’s definitely new gameplay, but I’m not sure if it’s additive or destructive yet.

Tests will continue. Disco robots never die!

feverbot

Pressuring Design Detail

Pressuring Design Detail

Heya everyone :D I’m going to try something a little different this week. Normally I try to avoid the long-winded, overly-granular design discussions and give you something short and punchy about our latest feature. I thought for a change it might be interesting though to show you guys a more granular level of the thinking that goes into how we pick what to do each week. Disclaimer as always, everything is in a state of flux and it liable to change (hopefully for the better!). So here we go!

We’ve been considering the soup “satisfaction system” that went in a week or so ago and the flow-on effect it’s having to ‘pressure’ on the player in game. Currently, the level of pressure feels somewhere between mediocre and frowntown. :( Here’s a run down of the current system, the results and some potential fixes.

Satisfaction system: Customer satisfaction starts at 0%. Shipping soup increases satisfaction between 5%~15% depending on how much they like the flavour shipped. Satisfaction slowly decays over time and sending a bad flavour can sharply reduce it by -5%. Money is earned each payday from shipping the soup to satisfy customers.

Motivation to ship soup: 

  • Buy research (the research and upgrades purchased are all quality-of-life improvements related to building a base & shipping soup).
  • Collect as much money as possible for Soup Co. to fulfill an end-game condition (effectively a high score with no functional application beyond bragging rights).

Here’s the two pressure points that are currently in-effect.

ENEMIES: Spawn conditions:

  • Fail to ship soup for a while (punishes players already under-performing).
  • Ship bad soup (punishes players already under-performing).

Available design knobs:

  • Spawn timing
  • Number spawned
  • Relative strength (HP, damage)
  • Behaviour (flying, charge attacks, lays eggs, aim target buildings)

OXYGEN: Spawn conditions:

  • When outside, the player’s oxygen bar depletes over time until it runs out and they suffocate. Linked to the world environment, it is omnipresent and unchanging.

Available design knobs:

  • Suffocation speed

Current pressure problems: Neither of these are currently tied into the gameplay cycle. A regular player will never be attacked and not engage with the leash-range of the oxygen. Without external pressures there is no forced validation of your base design (“Oh noes! My eastern wall and corridors were breached. I need to build more towers over there and change the corridor angles!”). This also means there’s no “Yay” moment to watch your newly improved design overcome previous challenges.

The research rewards are related to soup shipping but, that activity itself doesn’t produce any pressures (“Yes a new robot and quicker soup factory! Now I can make even more soup faster!”). These rewards are helping perpetuate the current pressure-free play cycle.

On the note of “pressure”, what constitutes “good” and “bad” pressure for Inc?

Good pressure: Present a problem that has multiple solutions requiring player action.

Bad pressure: Present the player with a problem that has no engaging counterplay. Can also be short on available design knobs to turn for tuning or balance.

So what do we do?

The first low-hanging-fruit change would be to tie enemy wave spawning to soup launches or the satisfaction percentage. Pressure it creates will naturally scale relative to player base size. More soup exports on a bigger base will certainly incur more enemies, but a bigger base also implies further research progression and better defenses. This should feed nicely into the soup export reward-cycle which already produces things directly related to the act of building a base & shipping soup.

A potentially more impacting long-term test (albeit difficult with our low number of developers) would be to try replacing the oxygen system with a fog-of-war. Fog-of-war maintains a similar vibe to the oxygen while also creating a new currency of ‘vision’. Buildings produce a light radius, so base building for safety is still necessary. Navigating the dark is also a problem that comes with better risk/rewards (restricting information can lead to enemy attacks or your base being partially destroyed rather than the time-tax of returning for air vs death).

Let me know in the comments if you guys enjoy this sort of thing and I’ll try to do one every now-and-then. Or yell if you just want more GIFs. :P

Analysisbot

Yummy!

Yummy!

There we go.. NOW I feel connected with my soup eating customers. The new GUI we’ve added this week lets you see exactly how satisfied they are with the soup you’re currently shipping. In the future we’re thinking different planets could have different flavour preferences, difficulties to satisfy, *insert your fun idea here*. :D It also gives us a chance to visually bring in some of the outside Galaxy, showing you the planets and faces of real Soup Co. customers!

yummy

mmm

bad

I love how the “BAD!!!” guy clearly hates it, but is still forcing it down for some reason. Nice work Yamamura! :)

eatbot

New LOS Towers

New LOS Towers

We finally have our newly designed towers and they are WA~AY more engaging than the old towers. :D

turret_sample

So the ancient debug towers from another era had 360deg vision and could shoot through walls. The new towers obey proper line-of-sight (LOS), have a reduced vision and CAN’T shoot through walls. Base layout really matters now when you get attacked.

I also found an unexpected use for our T-junction corridor pieces. “Makeshift roach-motels” to bait enemies looking to come inside. :)

turretturretbot