Sunday, December 6, 2015

StarWright 0.2.0 series

Since I last posted, I have released not one, not two, but nine new builds of StarWright!

Most of these updates have been to fix bugs that people have found. (Indeed, the game is feeling *much* more stable than 0.1.0 did; there are, literally, no known bugs right now.)

One of those nine new builds was 0.2.0, which includes not just bug fixes but also a handful of other improvements. Here's a summary of the juiciest bits:

  • When a part is destroyed, it no longer spawns one structure piece occupying the entire area of the destroyed part. It now spawns one structure piece per tile, each of which can be destroyed individually. This looks better than stretching the structure graphic over the entire area of the original part, and it feels less weird as well. It also paves the way for some future features I want to add that relate to being able to watch a ship build to your specifications rather than it updating instantly.
  • Probably the biggest usability issue of the previous versions was that, in order to target a specific part of an enemy ship, you had to hold the alt key while right-clicking on the part you wanted to target. This was not intuitive, and the only way you could figure it out was either accidentally or reading the online bullet points that substitute for not having a manual. So now you no longer have to hold the 'alt' key to target a specific part. Simply right-click to target an enemy ship, and then right-click again on a specific part to target that part.
  • In order to destroy an enemy ship in the regular Bounty mode, you now only have to destroy its Reactor instead of both the Reactor and Control Room. I think that it was confusing having to destroy both, and players have told me that they find the reactor a more naturally explosive target. Plus, only having to destroy the reactor makes taking out the control room first a more interesting decision.

There's tons more changes and fixes, almost all of which I list in the patch notes.

I'll leave you with this screenshot of one of my favorite ships I've made:

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

StarWright 0.1.0 - Bounties & Blueprints!

At long last (more than a year and a half!) I finally have a brand-new version of StarWright available for you to download and (hopefully!) enjoy, and it's a doozy of an update: StarWright 0.1.0. I consider this the first "non-prototype" version of the game, since it now has some amount of actual challenge and progression.

The changelog lists most of the improvements since the last prototype version, but I'll outline here the biggest new features...

The first big feature is what I call Bounty Mode. Just start up the game and hit the New Game button. You'll start the game with a small ship just like this one:

You start the game with 5000 credits, which if you want you can immediately use to make some upgrades to your ship, though you won't be able to afford much more than a cannon and another couple crew.

In order to earn more credits, you'll need to fight and defeat enemy ships. They're listed under the BOUNTIES in the top-right along with the reward for defeating each ship, and there will also be an arrow pointing in the direction of any enemy ship off-screen. Many of the bounties you may see will be too difficult to defeat without upgrading your ship first.

Once you defeat an enemy ship (specifically, by destroying its Control Room and Reactor), you'll earn a substantial credit reward, which you should use to repair any damage to your ship and, if you have any credits left over, make further improvements to your ship such as adding more cannons, thrusters, and crew.

In order to make upgrades to your ship (or even repair it), you'll utilize the other big feature: Blueprints. Click on the "Blueprints" button in the bottom-left corner, and you'll be presented with a U.I. that looks something like this:

(This screenshot is from much later in the game after the playing has already upgraded their ship many times.)

When this U.I. is displayed, you're not actually modifying your ship itself; you're modifying its blueprints. The cool thing about blueprints is that you can edit and tweak them as much as you want at no cost, only paying the required credits once you're actually happy with your design and want to commit to it. And the other cool thing about blueprints is that, if your ship takes damage and has parts of it destroyed, the blueprints are unaffected, making it easy to restore your ship to its intended design.

When you're satisfied with your design and want to commit to it, simply press the MAKE IT SO button in the bottom right. As long as you have enough credits, your ship will be updated to match the blueprints, and the required funds will be deducted from your account.

Once you've upgraded your ship, you can fly off and attempt to defeat one of the enemy bounties:

Simply right-click on the enemy ship to attack it. Hold the alt key and right-click on a specific part of an enemy ship to concentrate fire on that specific part. (I recommend usually taking out the weapons and ammo supplies first, unless its Control Room or Reactor is especially vulnerable.)

The enemy ships will try their best to shoot you from their best side and will occasionally maneuver to hit you from another position. If you disarm them, then they'll try to run away, so you may want to consider taking out their engines or Control Room to prevent that.

And lastly, we have to say a sad goodbye to an old feature that I have decided to remove to make developing the rest of the game easier.... Goodbye, multiplayer. :(  I removed multiplayer because its presence was making the game's code far more complicated than it otherwise would be and was greatly slowing down the development of the primary singleplayer mode of play. It's possible that some sort of multiplayer "my ship versus your ship" mode will return in the future, but for now I've decided to remove multiplayer from StarWright.

Please feel free to download the game. I welcome all of your feedback!