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December 03, 2021, 02:47:43 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsTOXICANT - rogue-lite survival horror [Released!]
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« Reply #380 on: November 03, 2020, 06:52:50 AM »

Another month, another major update! The Explorer Update officially dropped this past Saturday. While I wasn't able to tackle everything I had planned, I was able to tackle some things I hadn't planned, so I would call it a net win overall.



New features:
  • Two new mushroom types: red and white. These buff strength and stealth respectively.
  • Two new beacon types: distraction and trap mine
  • A new beacon launcher model
  • A new wheel-based UI for selecting beacon types
  • Persistent discovery log items





Bug fixes and improvements:
  • Buff stats modifiers and upgrades
  • Replace discovery log square icons with scroll list
  • Add support for freezing and exploding fish
  • Improve mushroom, beacon and toxic VFX
  • Improve texture maps in many places
  • Improve beacon/water interaction
  • Possible fix to reduce chances of player sticking to ledges
  • Lower overall audio mix levels





Not bad for one month, especially considering I released another game in that timeframe!



Next up, the Overachiever Update! This update will add some initial achievements as well as the foundation for a final area and a couple of endings.

Final Area
For the final area I'll be dusting off this old prototype I did a couple of years ago (!): an industrial structure situated within a sprawling chasm.



I'll be reusing the same level generation algorithm as the interior levels, which means an entirely new set of modules as well as alterations to the existing logic to bypass some stuff that doesn't apply (flooded rooms, for example).

I've spent about two days on this so far and it's coming together quickly! Hoping to have something to show for it soon.

Endings (spoiler alert!)
I still have to work out the exact scenario final level, but as of now I'm envisioning something like this: you come across an elevator leading out of the mines, as well as a palette of explosives. Neither have power, so you need to travel around the area reactivating the power grid. Once enabled, you have to choose between routing power to the explosives (ending 1: self-sacrifice) or routing power to the elevator (ending 2: escape).

Achievements
Here's what I have planned so far:
  • Beat the first level
  • Beat the game with ending 1
  • Beat the game with ending 2
  • + extra achievement for completing both
  • Discover all notes and letters
  • Discover all items
  • Use one of every beacon type

And then maybe some silly ones, like drink X whiskeys, die from mushrooms, etc.
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« Reply #381 on: November 03, 2020, 08:05:56 AM »

It looks like things are progressing well, and that you have some pretty solid ideas going forward, I'm glad to see! ^_^
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« Reply #382 on: November 11, 2020, 09:46:47 AM »

Here's how the new area is shaping up:



The tall structure is eventually (i.e. next month) going to be an elevator, but for now it just contains a "check back later" journal entry. Currently, the bottom area is a one-way trip. I'm debating whether I leave it like this--perhaps with a secret achievement to be found--or provide a way to get back up.

You'll also notice the bridges. These don't do anything yet, but I'm thinking I'll either connect them to switches, or have them lower automatically when you walk on them. This would allow the player to connect parts of the level at will, avoiding being swarmed right away. (I have the difficulty lowered for the video, but in actuality this area will have a ton of enemies.)

Other things still left to do:
  • Add some props (barrels and the like), including more areas to hide
  • Add some loot (crates)
  • Improve some of the textures (i.e. the tiling of the metal floor is way too obvious, despite my attempt to mask it with a normal map and some rust detail)
  • Fix issues with light bleed (below level)
  • Fix enemy feet clipping through slopes

I've also made some solid headway on achievements, including a draft set of achivement icons (with some help from game-icons.net... great resource!) I'll have roughly half of them implemented as part of the official Overachiever Update later this month.

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« Reply #383 on: November 11, 2020, 10:48:00 AM »

The area is looking pretty interesting thus far, I think! It's visually quite different to the others, and has a nice sense of scale and structure to it, I feel. It looks like it might be engaging to encounter as a result! ^_^
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« Reply #384 on: November 29, 2020, 05:06:10 AM »

Another month, another update!



In addition to the aforementioned new area and achievements, I also took a couple detours to deal with a some things that had been nagging me. First off, I've replaced the player's janky punch with a knife swipe attack. Although it does the same damage, it can now also break crates:



I also replaced toxic damage with a toxic status, a la Soulsborne. Instead of hurting the player, it fills a meter, and once full, you die.



I think this will add an interesting new dimension to the game.

Next month I'll be focusing on adding a couple of endings, more achievements, and some long overdue quality of life stuff.
And then I guess it's time to start thinking about the full release! Shocked

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« Reply #385 on: November 30, 2020, 01:11:32 AM »

I think that I like that approach to toxicity a little more than the traditional "damage-over-time" approach: it gives the player a bit more agency in the outcome, and thus is perhaps a little more interesting.
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« Reply #386 on: December 12, 2020, 08:33:12 AM »

The glamorous side of gamedev: I just spent the better part of a week working on an input binding UI! Epileptic



It came together well in the end, but damn was that ever tedious:

  • Step 1: ensure all actions were properly bound to the input library (there were some straggler cases where input was being read directly), add dedicated actions for move forward, back, etc.
  • Step 2: make the existing controls display scrollable to allow for the new actions (I always struggle with this a bit... Unity's ScrollRect is quite clunky to work with IMO)
  • Step 3: familiarize myself with the input rebinding capabilities of the input library I'm using (InControl, highly recommended)
  • Step 4: handle all the various edge cases (automatically remove duplicate bindings, don't allow binding certain gamepad buttons, etc.)
  • Step 5: rejig the pause UI to support a global disabled state (when listening for new bindings)

I was able to do all of this in a little over 300 lines of code. Still a bit more than I would have liked, but there was extra logic needed to handle the separation of keyboard/mouse and gamepad bindings.

I did check a few references in preparation for this and found it's quite common to simply provide a set of preset schemes for gamepad controls, but I have a feeling this would have actually been more work, and the way I've done it will provide more flexibility for the user anyway.

Now with that out of the way, I can finally get back to the fun stuff! Grin
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« Reply #387 on: December 12, 2020, 10:04:08 AM »

Oof, I remember implementing a keybinding module for my own game. It was not fun!

Nevertheless, it's an important thing, I do feel!

And I'm glad that you have it done, now, hopefully! And it looks like a pretty decent keybinding UI, for that matter. ^_^
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« Reply #388 on: January 16, 2021, 05:07:04 AM »

Well, this is it! The final major Early Access update! While I wasn't able to do everything I had set out to, I'm still quite happy with how closely I've been able to stick to the roadmap.





Let's take a closer look...

New Beacon Type: Smoke Beacon
The smoke beacon creates a volume of smoke that obstructs the vision of most enemies, making it easier to sneak by. This brings the total number of beacon types up to 6. Along with this, a Beacon Expert achievement has been added (players will get this for trying out all of them).



I'm quite happy with how the smoke effect turned out: I'm using a combination of particles and interpolating the global fog based on how close the player is to the center of the fog volume. (I'm hoping to capture some footage of this in the next trailer.)

Two Separate Endings
At the end of the final level, players will need to decide how they want to end things. This of course includes an achievement for each option, plus another for completing both. (I've also added a semi-hidden area in the final level, which players will need to find to get the Well-read achievement.)





Quality of Life
In addition to the aforementioned input rebinding--which I think turned out really well--I've also added settings for music and SFX volume.



(P.S. I love FMOD... my SFX are comprised of multiple buses but I was able to roll them up into a single VCA to facilitate adding a single overall SFX volume setting.)



Bug Fixes/Improvements
  • More achievements: Mycologist, Binge Drinker
  • Display day number at the start of each level
  • Fix for glitchy mutant miner idle animation
  • Various texture improvements
  • Improve the appearance of fog, smoke, etc.
  • Various optimizations
  • Highlight newly found items in Discovery Log
  • Fix for dead mutant miner clothes disappearing (Cyberpunk, anyone?)
  • Add confirmation dialogs for retry and exit

What's next?
I'll soon be switching into full-blown marketing and release mode, including preparing new marketing assets (screenshots, trailer, etc.), getting ready to hand out more review keys (if you know anyone who would be interested, send 'em to KeyMailer), and all that fun stuff.

Once that's all taken care of, I'll set a date for the full release! To be clear, the full release doesn't signal the end of me updating the game; as with all my games, the more interest there is, the more I keep investing, and I still have lots of ideas I'd like to explore!

That said, it's been a pretty heavy grind to get to this point, so I do hope to take some time off after release. (I will of course be keeping an eye on things and addressing any major bugs or balancing issues, but it may be a few months before I get back to adding new content.)

Well, that about does it for now! Thanks for sticking with me through Early Access.
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« Reply #389 on: January 16, 2021, 05:24:13 AM »

Congratulations on all that you got done, and on reaching your final Early Access release! ^_^

With that done, I hope that you have an excellent rest, and that the marketing and release process goes well and smoothly. ^_^
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« Reply #390 on: March 05, 2021, 08:48:56 AM »

Today's the day! After a rollercoaster 4.5 year journey, my rogue-lite survival horror TOXICANT is finally ready for prime time. Thanks to everyone who came along for the crazy ride: beta testers, early adopters, patrons, contributing devs and artists, the furballs who kept me company, etc. I couldn't have done it without you!

Although this may seem like the end, it's really just the beginning! As with all of my games, as long as there are players, there will be updates. I have so many more ideas I want to explore, so keep checking back, and keep the feedback coming.

Last but not least, I was hoping I could ask you a small favour: if you enjoy the game, please consider leaving a review or telling your friends. As a solo indie developer, I rely heavily on word of mouth and referrals to find new players; anything you can do to help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your support,
Adam/Cosmocat
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« Reply #391 on: March 06, 2021, 03:06:22 AM »

Congratulations on the release! I hope that it goes well and swiftly, and is well-received! ^_^

It's been an interesting journey to see this game develop; I'm glad that I've gotten to see it! ^_^
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« Reply #392 on: March 13, 2021, 06:07:03 AM »

Congratulations on the release! I hope that it goes well and swiftly, and is well-received! ^_^

It's been an interesting journey to see this game develop; I'm glad that I've gotten to see it! ^_^

Thank you, and thanks for being a part of it Smiley
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« Reply #393 on: March 15, 2021, 01:25:05 AM »

Thank you, and thanks for being a part of it Smiley

It's been a pleasure. ^_^
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