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  [libGDX] Embersol Mercenaries - Online Shooter (v1.1.4 released!)  (Read 6044 times)
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Offline sonnyg007
« Reply #30 - Posted 2014-08-09 02:44:56 »

I guess the new update and PC builds attracted a few new players. I went in-game earlier today to test a few things out and I got to have a short impromptu playtest with a few other players online. Big thanks to Apoptosis, GorrillaOne, and SpiritOfDeath who helped test out a few of the game modes with me. I got a ton of useful feedback and found a lot of things I need to work on and I figured I'd share it here.

Biggest issue was that the game currently puts too many barriers on getting players together. For example the Outbreak co-op game mode has separate match maker queues for the two factions. This combined with a bug that always joined you to the Devastator team when trying to join from squad chat is a critical flaw.
The next update will change the Outbreak mission contract to be from a single third party corporation. So everyone trying to play the Outbreak mission will be put in the same match maker queue regardless of which faction is in control of the zone you're trying to launch from.

The next barrier was that when a player joins the game they have no idea who is online or what games are being played. If you happen to all join the same squad then you'll get a list of player's currently on-line or in-game. Also you'll get a notification in chat when one of your squad-mates joins a game. This works great if you're all in the same squad but this needs to be more global.
The fix I'm going to try is to bring back the global chat as the first thing you see when you log in. It will show who's online, when someone deploys to a game, and a list with the number of players playing each game mode.

Last thing is a few small bugs and tweaks that need to be fixed. Missiles don't reset the shield regen timer so PVP is just about impossible right now. Two players can just circle each other and the shields just regen too quickly to ever take down another pilot.

Probably the coolest thing I saw was SpiritOfDeath hiding behind a wall during the co-op game mode. The most dangerous part of that mode is right when an enemy wave jumps in and I could see they were using the physics wall to take the brunt of the initial attack. The environment physics right now are just in there as placeholders but for the next update I'll be rearranging them to provide some actual tactical use.

I learned a lot of useful things, most important the need for actual playtesting. I should be done with this update in the next day or two, then get started on the pilot upgrades.
Offline sonnyg007
« Reply #31 - Posted 2014-08-26 23:10:22 »

The game is still in development but I had to take a short break the last few weeks as I finalized a move to Atlanta. Happy to report everything went great, got settled in the new place and the job search is going very well. I did have some time to work on those bugs and issues I posted about in the last post. I didn't have time to do a whole news release but the new v1.1.2 is live with the global chat rooms up and lots of bug fixes. I'm currently working on the next release which focuses on pilot upgrades and thought I'd show a sneak peak. I'm working on some balance issues and also want to have the first iteration for game pad support up before releasing this one.





Offline sonnyg007
« Reply #32 - Posted 2014-10-18 19:48:47 »

Hey all, so it's been a long time with no update. I haven't done a good job with keeping this thread or my dev blog up to date this past two months due to lots of new things going on in the personal side. Found a great new job so I'm now more of a weekend game dev warrior so the time available for this hobby went way down. Here's the change log for Embersol during these last two months.

v1.1.4
-added HID gamepad support
-new "how-to-play tutorial" tutorial
-crash fixes from ui elements

v1.1.3.2
-fixed beam not disappearing at end of game warpout
-fixed hanger text overflow in tablet
-fixed capital beams graphics

v1.1.3
-New Pilot upgrades. Added thermal lance, capital nukes, proximity mines, and assault drone weapons.
-Updated particle engine
-Added health stats to bar
-Balance changes across the board

Also someone awesome over at indiedb.com thought the v1.1.3 update was good enough for the front page graphic rotation so I got a very nice bump in traffic a few weeks ago. I'll continue to keep updates coming in at the indiedb page, this thread, and the dev-blog.

So I've gotten to the point where it's time to take a hard look at the project as whole and see what direction to go from here. I could some help so if you've been keeping up with this project's development please chime in. Here's my thoughts on the game as it is.

The bad:
-The game isn't very fun by yourself. Players have the most positive things to say if they are able to get into a large co-op or versus game.
-The game isn't a good smart phone game. Most people that enjoy it are playing on a pc, tablet, and/or with a gamepad.
-There's not a whole lot to do right now. There's only two types of missions. Only takes about 5 minutes to get a pilot to max level. Perma-death PVP didn't turn out quite as well as I thought.

The good:
Great and easy to use multiplayer backend. A lot of time went into creating the StrikeNetwork library(UDP based online replication, completely server side authoritative, encrypted, bandwidth efficient) and the TachyonNetwork(TSL secured, scalable, MMO network library with user accounts, session management, persistence, guilds, chat rooms, in-app purchases)
-One of the only real-time action multiplayer 2D games for mobile devices. There's a couple other ones out there but from a combat point of view I'll put Embersol head to head with them any day.

Roadmap:
I think at this point I can consider Embersol as it currently is as a very well done combat prototype. In terms of the metagame a complete redesign is needed. Squads, pilot progression, the galaxy map, weapons/ships, everything. The next few weekends will be mostly design work and I'll see if I can create a new thread somewhere to get some advice on where to go from here. Thanks for sticking around.
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