In my last progress report on the “Def mega update“, I teased that I was going to be a doucebag-indie-marketing-guru-wannabe and reveal some of the new features coming to Def piece-wise, spread over several dedicated posts. This is the first of those posts :)
Back when I began designing some of the later levels for the “Def mega update“, I started to feel that I needed something extra to shake things up – I guess it’s inevitable when the initial design was based around ‘minimalism’. I wanted something that would make the levels feel more multi-staged, so that new areas would open up as the level progressed. The solution was to add destructible BARRIERS.
Since Def is grid based, barriers are composed of multiple connected blocks. After some experimentation, I found they worked best when they could be destroyed as single unit – so destroying one block in a connected network of barriers destroys the whole lot. This means that the player has to defend the entire barrier network, focusing specifically on any weak points that appear. Barriers also have a little defensive ‘trick’ – when a Zapper bullet collides with them, they fire off a powerful local area ‘boom’, which usually destroys any enemy units immediately adjacent. This can be an effective tactic for defending barriers using long range weapons, in the cases where red Phr or other obstacles prevent building standard Shooters nearby.
Finally: when will the “Def mega update” be done ? When will the Window/Mac/Linux version arrive ? Well, I’m still saying “when it’s ready” – but there will be a (discounted!) beta available very soon. I’ve now got a mailing list too – sign up if you’d like to get updates via ye olde email newsletter. Recently saw a great quote in one of Matt Gilgenbach’s updates on Neverending Nightmares that sums up this final phase of developing a game wonderfully:
“To some extent, you never finish a game. You just stop working on it.”.
Even after the desktop release I don’t plan to stop working on Def immediately since there will inevitably be some small bugs and tweaks that need to be made. And ongoing non-dev stuff like marketing of course. And then there’s other platforms beyond desktop computers, and a few tweaks required for the OUYA update …. lots of fun ahead :)