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1349483 Posts in 62063 Topics- by 53735 Members - Latest Member: phaselockstudio

October 20, 2018, 04:32:02 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsCosmic Ray - casual space exploration (out now on Steam!)
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snugsound
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« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2018, 11:27:12 AM »

Well, the beta is now listed on Betabound; if it goes anything like the last beta I listed there I'd expect to see a few hundred applicants! This time around I'm doing some additional screening to ensure I get players in the right demographic. I'm also giving preference to testers who join the Cosmocat Discord, so I will hopefully see an influx there as well.

I'll probably give people a couple weeks to apply and then select maybe 30-40 folks for the beta test. For reference, the "completion rate" (i.e. people who followed through with the survey) for to the last beta I ran (Undermine) was about 40%, but I'd expect it to be a bit higher this time as the game is more casual and shorter.
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snugsound
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« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2018, 07:28:19 AM »

Quick update:

  • 94 applications for the beta so far, along with a massive influx of new members to the Discord (roughly doubled the size of the community in the past week!) Hand Thumbs Up Left
  • started adding gamepad support: implemented for gameplay, but still need to update for tutorial and menus. I'll probably run the beta with it this way though; it was a "nice-to-have" for the release and I don't want to hold things up because of it.
  • closed beta post-play survey is ready, just shopping it around for feedback
  • beta build candidate is uploaded to Steam
  • last but not least, I've added a couple things to help create more tension towards the end (an "alarm" SFX when thee's < 1d left, a "boss" enemy of sorts that spawns where there's < 10m people left to relocate)

Hoping to start the beta as early as this weekend--wish me luck! Smiley
« Last Edit: August 01, 2018, 07:34:07 AM by snugsound » Logged

snugsound
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« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2018, 04:05:39 AM »

The closed beta is in full swing now. I've been using Discord as the primary means of communicating with everyone, which has resulted in some really great community engagement (way more than anything else I've tried in the past!).

And here's a GIF showing the new boss, along with a sneak peek of something I've recently added to buff him a little bit (dropping a few mines/bombs every 5 seconds):



The mines hit hard but are pretty easy to avoid. The idea is to make it more difficult to cheese him (i.e. by circling around and behind him).
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snugsound
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« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2018, 05:49:07 AM »

Short list of stuff to do post-beta/pre-launch:

  • finish gamepad implementation
  • show controls in pause menu
  • (request from beta) option to mute laser SFX
  • explanation for health pick-ups
  • post-mission summary screen
  • improve enemy AI
  • show achievement progress (i.e. "1/8 artifacts found in" Steam overlay)

Nice-to-have stuff:

  • "explicit" scanning for planets (right now there are little hints along the edges of the screen, but it's kinda clunky and not very insightful)
  • something I really want to do but probably can't justify as it'd hold up the release too much: incorporate artifacts into gameplay (i.e. "rub them for good luck" at the start of the round to get some kind of passive effect). Maybe a post-release update.

Re: scanning, I'm thinking some kind of beam that can be moved around and shows some stats for that direction, i.e.



I'm still debating how I'd actually implement this: a series of raycasts, or just search a list for planets between two angles. I welcome feedback on this.

As an added bonus, I already have some scanning UI stuff from one of the artists that'd be perfect for this:

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« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2018, 01:55:21 PM »

More progress on explicit scanning:

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« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2018, 04:48:13 AM »

I've been experimenting with adding features to facilitate capturing interesting footage for the trailer/marketing material. Here's one idea I had: first person mode!



It actually plays pretty well, too! Perhaps even a bit better than third person does on gamepad, IMO. (TBD whether I ship with this; might leave it as an easter egg/hidden feature, we'll see...)

Speaking of gamepad, implementation of this is pretty much done. I've dealt with all the UI/menu/tutorial stuff, along with hiding the mouse cursor at the right times, persisting the input mode between scenes, etc.

Other than that, I've been working on getting the enemy AI feeling right. Most recently, by adding some randomization to the player tracking algorithm to make enemies a bit more unpredictable and harder to cheese. It's still not quite there yet--as you can see, the enemies end up simply circling the player all too easily--but I think it's a step in the right direction.



In other news, the closed beta is done and the results were positive overall. At the very least, it validated my asking price, and confirmed what kind of additional content players would want to see most if I were to add some (specifically, more modes, like NG+ or "infinite").



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snugsound
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« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2018, 02:11:48 PM »

Still plugging away over here. Here's what I've been up to over the past couple of weeks:

  • Created a loading screen. In reality, there's no that much to load (so there's an artificial delay), but it creates a bit of anticipation and gives me a place to show some info that doesn't necessarily warrant being in the tutorial (tips about recovering health, black holes, etc.)
  • Added a controls screen to pause menu
  • Implemented an option to change (or mute) the laser SFX
  • Created a mission summary screen to add a bit more "closure" at the end of the round
  • Added button SFX for all UI buttons
  • More enemy tweaks: nerfed the early enemies somewhat, buffed the later ones
  • Added some silly random messages in the scanning UI

Here's a video showing most of the changes above:





Other than adding a credits screen, and maybe some minor balancing/tweaking based on playtester feedback, I'd say I'm just about ready to launch! Next up I'm going to spend some time updating the marketing assets and then start sending out some review keys; I hope to generate a bit of hype and drive up the Steam wishlist count before ultimately releasing.
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« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2018, 05:02:01 AM »

Fresh batch of shots plus a new trailer! Steam has been updated, press list has been emailed, and I've got a couple ads running on Facebook and Twitter. I've also added a credits screen, which was the last must-do thing I had on my list before release, although I'm thinking I'll probably also upgrade to the latest LTS version of Unity for maximum stability. (I've been using 2017.4.5f1 up to this point, but they're up to 2017.4.11f1)















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« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2018, 08:33:47 AM »

Just pressed the button to make the game live on Steam! Thanks to everyone who contributed in one way or another.
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