v0.10 is out!
The focus of this update is on a long overdue writing for the improvement texts. I think the placeholder improvement names are from... 2019? 2018? I don't remember. Anyway, the improvements were also in need of rebalancing, since there were clear winners and a lot of very clear losers. In general, not a single one was nerfed, but some were buffed to improve their usability. Any attacks now have a consistent energy spend between them. Firearms still have a clear advantage once you get the relevant skill up for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the ammo isn't there yet (it will be at some point). And secondly, the basic improvements set is not designed to be combat-competitive, all of these are to improve your survival chance while you're running away. The combat set of improvements and aggressive playstyle support is incoming in the future but I've no date to give you.
There are a few interesting additions to the improvements section. Neurotoxin projectiles (previously paralysis spit) now has a small instakill chance to differentiate it from the slime spit (which is now called mucilaginous fluid, cheers if you can say it fast three times in a row). But the most interesting addition is for the decay accelerant improvement. I recall how I painfully researched some biology to come up with a good description, spent some time working on the body despawn implementation and raising the alertness/group interest from it, and in the end it was all made obsolete by the fact that the player can go drop a body in the sewers. First I wanted to remove it altogether but I came up with an idea that it could give you a healing item. At this point in the development, it's the only way you can stock up on heals (and the only way to heal a host) so the improvement now has good value IMO since the body feature is also pretty cheap to grow and made even cheaper.
While iterating on the improvements I've realized that it was a good time to implement some needed restrictions. The amount of body features on a single host is now limited by the constitution. The amount of inventory items by the strength stat and you get bonuses from assimilation. I've also noticed another glaring hole in the design and now each attack will require a small amount of energy. The firearms are still deadly (and they should be) but this is a limitation for the future.
Now the final change that I want to address separately is called early invasion. I've received a suggestion that there is an unwinnable state in the game and on how to give the player a chance in that case. Since the parasite requires at least 30 energy to harden the grip and invade the host, if it has less than that number, it's a dead, erm, creature, uh, slithering. So upon thinking I've implemented a new action, called "early invasion". If the parasite is attached to the host and its energy is low, this action appears in the list. It allows you to invade the host "early" while its not fully subdued. There are two caveats: first, it has a chance to succeed which is dependent on the grip amount (basically grip is a percentage chance) with modifications according to the survival difficulty setting. And secondly, every attempt costs life for the parasite. A failed attempt costs more. This way if the player manages to find a host while dying, they now have a few final desperate attempts before dying. Hope you like it :)
Well, that's all I've got to say, now I can work on adding some new content to the game. Have fun!
- ??Host energy bonus -> Adipose tissue layer
- ??Acid spit -> Gastric hypersecretion - damage increased, energy lowered
- ??Slime spit -> Mucilaginous fluid - energy lowered
- ??Paralysis spit -> Neurotoxin projectiles - small instakill chance added (depends on the amount of armor on the target)
- ??Panic gas -> Hallucinogen gas
- ??Paralysis gas -> Ballistospores
- ??Attach efficiency -> Sudden leap
- ??Hold efficiency -> Constriction
- ??Control efficiency -> Regulated neurotransmission
- Decay acceleration will now spawn a cookie delicious nutrients item that can restore host health and energy, cysts body feature grow cost reduced
- Assimilation/Watcher molds growth cost reduced
- Antibody generators health bonus increased
- Mucus from the mucilaginous fluid improvement now has AI status icon
- Microvascular networks now give more strength
- Early invasion mechanic
- Maximum amount of body features is now limited by host constitution. Assimilated hosts can have 2 more body features
- Maximum amount of inventory items is now limited by host strength. Same, +2 items for assimilated hosts
- Each attack will now require a small amount of energy to spend. Since assimilated hosts do not have a passive energy decrease, this amount will be smaller due to that
- Raised initial team distance to give the player a few more turns of relative calm
- Tutorial can now be skipped via the options. Note that you also have to set the overall difficulty to some value. The game treats the skip as if 200 turns have passed from the start
- Player info in the HUD will now be additionally animated when the parasite is without a host and has low energy
- Game window now has a minimal size
- Savegame loading fix
Apologies for skipping the v0.9 release and the following patches for it. Here are the relevant posts with details:
When I started working on this update, my initial plan was to make save/load support and then move on to the basic evolution rebalance. Unfortunately, that was not meant to be. I knew that savegame support was a serious task but it turned out it was even more serious then I thought. Without going into too much technical details, my favorite highly dynamic method of programming does not gel well with serialization/deserialization (in fact I will have to keep that in mind in the future). The saving wasn't that hard but restoring the correct state after loading the game was a much harder task. In the end I've had to rewrite chunks of low/mid-level code to make the game state serializable and properly restorable so I fully expect there to be savegame related bugs. iwanPlays helped a lot with the QA so it seems stable enough but there's just a myriad of possibilities some of which may result in the game not loading correctly. If you notice any bugs after you've loaded the game, please send the exceptions.txt file and the savegame itself to me with the description because we all love these broken savegames, do we? :)
Anyway, following my general philosophy on this game, saving has an associated difficulty. That's right, you've read me correctly, easy difficulty allows the player up to 10 saves per game in any point, normal only up to 3 and you can only save in the sewers, while hard difficulty limits you to a single save total, also only in the sewers. Bonus points to you if these numbers - 10/3/1 seem familiar... Speaking of difficulty, now you can select overall difficulty in the options menu and the game will automatically choose it for you when necessary.
At this point you're probably wondering, what's this spoon mode that was mentioned earlier? Well, it's the result of a short discussion on the Steam forums with the players. The game is brutally hard for some and they want to relax some of the gameplay restrictions just to have some fun. This would, of course, break the balance so I've decided to add a hidden options menu where you can enable these changes in the game. It's hidden mostly because the new players are not supposed to enable anything in it right from the start. After enabling any of the two flags, the game gets officially spooned and you will have to disable the flags and start a new one to play like you're supposed to again. To get into the spoon mode options, you need to click on the OPTIONS menu title letters to form the word SPOON. At this point the hidden menu opens. There are only two options there now but I encourage you to ask for more on the forums. If it's not too hard or problematic, I'll implement it.
That's all I have for now.
- Save/load games support with a difficulty setting
- All NPCs now have fixed art chosen on game start. Before they've regenerated every time they've spawned (and noone noticed!)
- Easy evolution difficulty starting improvements reduced to 2
- Hard survival difficulty setting now disables the rescue dog
- New icons for female cops, courtesy of iwanPlays
- New icons for kevlar armored and fully armored blackops, courtesy of iwanPlays (now you can distinguish between the two visually)
- Random delay introduced in sound playing, hopefully reducing the problems when a lot of AIs shoot at the same time
- Overall difficulty setting in the options
- Super-secret spoon mode
- No energy loss on habitat death, habitat maximum count does not decrease
- Open all basic mutations at start
- Sound should no logger stop in long sessions
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