A New Era

Hey guys!

First thing’s first: the development blog has been moved to¬†http://www.arenavex.com/

Development has been coming along and has been under wraps lately, but a big patch has been put out today. Build 113 changes up a whooole lot of stuff about the gameplay and experience. Check out the patch notes at the URL above!

Hey there!

Development has been slow, but still alive! I have not posted much because there is not much to post sadly. I am reworking a lot of the spell graphics to make them look better, and I feel like I am doing a decent job of that. Plasma Ball, Laser Shot, Boots, and Spray have gotten makeovers. Next, I’ll look into making the game feel better before going back to graphics work. Right now, players and spells move fast. There is hardly a dodging aspect because projectiles usually get to you before you can process their trajectory, so I’ll tweak movement and projectile speed numbers to see if I can get the feel to be closer to Warlock’s feel.

Thanks for reading!

Build 109: Flags!

Important: FreeDNS has been under attack, so you might not be able to download the latest updater, so be sure to download that here to replace your “updater.jar” file! This file should fix the problem:

  • A sound is played when a flag is dropped off
  • Flags are more easily seen on the minimap and show up even if held by people
  • There is now a visual indicator on the UI pointing in the direction of flags on the battlefield
  • Flags drop on the nearest non-lava ground tile
  • There is now a chat message for when someone picks up, loses, and drops off a flag
  • Flags are now lost when a player reaches a certain velocity. The value can be changed in the serveroptions.txt
  • Flags are now lost when a player casts a movement spell (this doesn’t include Lunge unless it reaches the velocity threshold)
  • Flags cannot be picked up by a Propelling player
  • Increased min and max energy orb respawn timers to 20-30 from 15-20
  • Laser Shot speed increased to 1250 pixels per second from 1100

A flag tile can be created by choosing the third tile in the map editor. Players can drop off flags at enemy spawns (when making a capture map, choose a tile that stands out and place it where the spawns are so people know where to drop off flags)

Build 107: Free Life

  • There is now no cost for a full account

I have come to the conclusion that if I want other people to play this game, it’s a bad idea to split the community between those that have purchased the full version and those that have not, so I made this change. I hope to gain some kind of player base by doing this to help drive development. After I finish up capture the flag mode and a couple other things, I’ll make attempts at getting new players and will set up official servers.

Build 106: It’s Been a While

  • Fixed tooltip on Lunge
  • Energized Lunge’s slow increased to 50% from 30%
  • New Ice Sheet Icon
  • Green saturation on Thin Ice Sheet has been lowered
  • Capture the flag game mode work has begun!

I’ve been really busy with school (calculus 2, to be exact) and work and a car crash, and it’s been a shame since I haven’t been able to program so much. I hope that I can get back into the flow of game production again soon.

I began work on capture the flag, which works, but it still requires a bit of tinkering (sounds and chat messages and the like). I also started on changing the game system. I’ll soon put up a patch that lets people create full accounts for free (including the map editor and color changing options and server list). No one has bought it yet, so I don’t see a problem in doing this.

Build 103!

I finally got some time to bring some of the gameplay ideas to life! I feel that my calculus test went pretty well, too.

  • Augments for spells have been changed: you no longer buy augments
  • Added a new spell, Energize, that consumes a bar of energy to energize your next spell
  • Each spell starts with an Augment now, but spells are only augmented when they’re “energized”
  • Spell descriptions say what happens when they’re energized
  • In the server list, online-mode servers now display their current players and their max players
  • Gold rate decreased to 2 per 5 seconds from 2.5 per 5
  • Removed passive energy regen
  • Removed energy gain from hitting people with Plasma Ball / Laser Shot
  • Modified Augment values for nearly every spell
  • Created the core code that allows for servers that run all the time (without a “host player”): this will allow for legit, official servers

New Gameplay Direction

I’ve been thinking about the user experience a lot recently, and I am going to start making some core gameplay changes. The energy system only working for Lunge feels really out of place, but I do like the idea of it. Couple this with the fact that it can be confusing to know all of the spells and items and augments for a newcomer, and you’ll see why I am making such a drastic change.

This is the idea: Remove the purchasable augments on spells (but keep them for items for item “upgrade” paths). Now, every spell will have a strong, innate augment associated with it. Give the players a new activatable spell that consumes a bar of energy and makes their next spell apply its augment. I believe that such a change could bring about a deeper strategy component. It would also free up some current augments to become spells/items of their own.