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Friday, April 12, 2013

Rktcr Beta4: Bursts and Bobs

This weekend, I'm pleased to be able to unleash Rktcr beta4 upon the world. It's not jam-packed with dramatic new improvements, but it does contain a few important refinements (enough of which have potential to break on Intel GPUs) that I figured it was worth sending out a new build.

This beta build also includes the challenge level style improvements that I talked about in a previous post. (Indeed, these are one of the main GPU-worry-causing improvements.)

By the way, if you'd like to be playing the beta, drop me an e-mail and I'll get you a Desura key.

Gameplay Refinements

This build contains two graphical tweaks that make the game more "readable".

Indicator triangles show which of the control keys are pressed, even when the game is paused. This creates a strong visual connection with your control inputs.

The play-pause indicator now lives at the bottom center of the screen, and has shadows that show the current speed that the time-forward and time-backward keys will reach. This position feels more sensible, given how essential to the game time control is.

Burst Graphics and Sounds

Bursts were one of the last remaining items in the game without at least a first-pass visual style applied to them. Well, this is no longer the case. I've also updated the burst collision and activation sounds to a sizzle and a sizzle-y pop, respectively.

More Levels

I've added two new world levels. And, thanks to the extra connections these levels afford, I've been able to generate clover-free worlds (if you have been playing the beta, you probably know what this means).

I've also added four more challenge levels -- these all go in the middle filing cabinet.

Miscellaneous

Sometimes you do amazing things and want to show them off. Pressing 'v' will replay your path in the current zone; pressing shift-v will replay your entire journey. During the replay you can change the speed of time and move the camera. I'm looking into what it would take to encode and upload to youtube from within the game.

Loading has gotten dramatically faster -- at least on my SSD-containing dev boxes. For instance, it used to take 20 seconds to load all the in-game sprites; it now takes 88 milliseconds.