HDog Ace Access 0.730: Ultraviolet
HDog Alpha 0.73 Ultraviolet is finally here! Sorry for taking this long, I had to invest a lot of time into setting up the greenlight campaign and presenting the game at AMAZE. I got some great feedback from both, which then directly lead to some of the changes and tweaks in this update. Appart from implementing feedback the update mostly dealt with extending all item pools to a level that I deem somewhat close to what the final game should have.
I still haven't implemented all the items I want to add, but the majority is there now. This means you doubled the amount of actives passives, and weapons available to play with now. There are many more passives that “just” affect stats, but I also worked on a whole bunch that add complex behaviours or can completely change how the game is played. As before I put a large focus on synergies, trying to make everything affect everything. Some examples for the more complex passives:
- Sector Shield/Vertice Shield: Sector shield gives you a directional shield that gains hp and recharge rate in relation to your normal shield, but also lowers your normal shield. The shield circle also gets larger the more copies of the item you get. Vertice shield gives you a front facing shield that absorbs enemy shots and lets you fire them back when attacking. Together with sector shield you can control it's orientation.
- Ripjump: Gives your a melee attack on all jumps that has an inbuilt instant-kill chance. Synergieses with kill shot ammo and stuff that makes your jump faster, as well as with items that improve melee attacks. Together with Hopoonite Injector you can get damaging chain dashes.
- Turret Mount: Gives you the ability to target your weapons with the mouse, independently from your jets orientation. Recoil is applied in the direction you fire. Works with all weapons and with direct fire actives too.
Passives now also touch areas that where unexplored before. There are some that trigger if the player takes damage and there is a whole bunch that improve your actives in regards to charge behaviour.
Weapons also got a lot new additions, including many new melee options. Some favourites:
- Hardlight Maw: Strong melee attack with a long windup and a somewhat hard to control damage zone. Chews up gunships in a single hit.
- Homing Flechette: Lower fire rate than the original flechette, but fires homing darts with larger sticky payloads.
- Frag Gun: Fires a high damage shot that bursts into smaller shots, emitted in a 40° cone with aditional speed.
The game is in a state where adding new weapons is fairly straight forward, in some cases making the weapon sprites took longer than actually implementing the weapon into the game. I can definitely see adding a few new addition now and then, even with smaller updates. I have a lot of shot and weapon properties at my disposal now, because of all the new actives. So new weapons can and will draw from a large variety of already implemented mechanics. Alongside the new weapons I also implemented the baseline for loot pools, so you won't find duplicates of weapons you already have anymore. The old and new passives are all designed in a way that makes having copies of them actually improve the effect, so getting the same passive multiple times will still remain a feature. The usefulnesses of this will become more apparent once the game has shops that give you some control over the gear you get.
In terms of actives there are a couple new addition too, most of which a geared towards player buffing/utility. You can drug yourself with alien glands or damaging stimpacks, you can jam enemies or teleport back to a previous location and you can call in orbital artillery support.
Some of the items make use of a couple new buffs and debuffs. Enemies can be EMPed, this locks their cooldowns and has some enemies fall out of the sky. Enemies can be jammed, which has them loose track of you and prevents them from attacking. Some actives and passives can enrage the player jet, giving you a large bonus to crit chance and boost ignition.
Probably the most noticeable addition here is that you can now reverse thrust to break/hover (default key is s). This can make you more maneuverable in mid air and it helps with staying off the ground when engaging low targets.
Due to popular demand I also added the options to toggle mouse aiming at any point during the game. This makes left and right act as strafe keys. The mouse aiming thing is still WIP, I'm not convinced whether it is really feasible, generally I prefer the existing controls but I leave it in to give you the option. Mouse aiming will also interfere with some item function, so yeah, WIP.
Breaking and strafing works a lot like boosting, but it gives you less acceleration than your regular forward boost. The r-thrust and strafe engine-fires are also affected by some engine related passives.
Quality of Life Tweaks
Again due to popular demand, you can now rebind the shoot and jump keys. Mouse 1 and 2 will always retain that function though (you'll need that for some items.)
Very large screens are also supported now. The largest resolution option is now "auto", which will have the game detect your screen size and adjust accordingly. (This won't work well on very small screens.) I haven't had a chance to test this extensively, please let me know if in case this causes problems correctly.
Getting hit now displays some screen glitching, giving some more feedback when you take shield damage.
And lastly I reworked the background visuals a bit to increase overall clarity. Clouds change appearance depending on background, this should make them stand out less. Background clouds and the nova are now slightly transparent, again to increase visual clarity. This also helps distinguishing background and foreground clouds, the later of which now have some items that interact with them.
That is it for HDog Ace Access Ultraviolet. I'll probably push some small update during the next days to fix stuff I've missed. As always I'm looking forward to your feedback. The next update (X-Ray) will increase enemy and zone variety. If you want to track my progress you can check out the games public Dev Trello.
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