Advanced Items Update v5.0
After 5 months and 12 test versions, the Advanced Items Update is finally complete. Thank you all so much for your patience with these updates!
The reason this update took so long is that the very core system of items has been overhauled. Every reference to items had to be changed to a new system, and that was just the start. I also added item XP, item tiers, a new forge system, and a new look for the island editor, and an improved console!
The central focus of this update was to give items their own aspect of progression, with XP, and levels which provide the items with buffs, and tech to support items permanently.
Skip to the XP and Tiers section if you don't like technical stuff. This part is probably gonna be a little boring for those of you who don't really care about what is going on behind the scenes, and I don't blame you at all.
Previously, items had no variation between them. Every single sand block was the same, as was every single dirt block and so on. This was because the game was looking at the blocks and when it detected sand, it would pull the sand stats out of the internal data and spit out all the stats. The biggest change was giving each and every item their own internal stats so that each sand item is holding onto their own stats individually. This way, every item would hold onto their data instead of referencing the absolute list.
A look at the differences between the normal cannon and the starting makeshift cannons.
When an item is created, it cannot just be blank, it needs to be filled with some basic stats, also called properties.
Properties dictate everything an item can and cannot do. Instead of hard-coding item behaviors based on:
"Is this item an electromagnet? If yes, then pull projectiles toward you."
I created a whole lot of individual properties that dictate how the item behaves instead, which would look something like:
"Does this item apply a force to other projectiles? If yes, then pull other projectiles in with that force."
This opens up a lot more possibilities since now, any item can have this behavior if they have values in the right properties. I tried to create properties for every single behavior so that you can mash things together and get interesting combinations.
XP and Tiers
Now for the good stuff, item XP and tiers! Items can now be infused with other items in the forge to give them some XP, which will eventually level up the item to the next tier (more info in the Forge section). Higher tiered items have higher stats, and different items types have different properties that increase when the item levels up. For example, a cannon would get some extra damage while a floatron would get some extra thrust.
There are 5 tiers for items:
Tech also got a major rework this update. Instead of placing tech into little tech slots in the item, you are now able to infuse the tech directly into the item itself. Tech basically modifies the current properties of the item by either a set value or a percentage of the original stats. Tech can boost a certain property by up to 250% (for health, damage, etc) or lower the property by as little as 25% of the original (for cooldowns, mass, etc). More information on how to infuse tech in the Forge section.
Let's just dive right in and take a look at it. I have tabbed the workspace on the left to make it easier to navigate between editing, the forge, and the shop!
The new and much-improved island editor.
Given the significance of items in this update, the inventory section has been resized to be a whole lot bigger. The editor has also increased in size to make it easier to design your island. Items also have borders around them showing the tier of the item. They also now have a background color, which shows you the rarity of the item.
You can see an overview of your island stats in the info bar, which will also show you item stats as you hover over them. To view the full stats of either an item or your island, there is a new "stats" tab.
A look at an item's properties.
Here in the stats tab, you can view every stat (item property) that an item has, from its damage type to weapon spread, to how it moves. Most of these stats are just gratuitous. However, if you hover over an item, you can view a brief rundown of the most important stats.
The forge has gotten a pretty massive overhaul as well. There are now two types of forging, normal forging and infusing.
What the new forge looks like.
You can infuse items into other items. This is the primary purpose of tech, to be infused into your other items. The tech gets sacrificed in the process and is a one time use, but provides the item with a significant buff.
Infusing a basic propulsor into a basic floatron. The propulsor gives some XP as well as buffs the floatron's thrust.
You can also infuse any normal items into any other item except tech (tech cannot be leveled up). The items being infused will give some XP. Remember, once an item levels up, it gains an increase in certain stats. This can be great in the later realms to get rid of all your trash items and infuse them into the items you like.
Infusing a dirt block into a tier 1 basic floatron. The dirt gets destroyed and the basic floatron levels up, giving it a small boost to its health, thrust, and dodge chance.
Higher rarity items require more XP in order to level up. Items give XP based on their value so better items will give more XP. Higher rarity items also have a small boost to the amount of XP given, so infusing an epic item will give more XP than a rare item of the same value.
Forging is pretty much the same as the old forging, except with two items instead of three. You supply two items and it forges them together, creating a new item and destroying the other two.
Forging a basic floatron and sand into a basic reactor. The forged item retains 80% of the XP from the other two items.
Machine Gun and Gatling Gun
While not exactly new items, they have been reworked to use a new ammunition system. These weapons have very low cooldowns but are limited by the amount of ammunition carried in the weapon. These weapons generate their own ammunition respective to each block.
A gatling gun unloading its ammunition. It does not need to be fully loaded to fire and does not need to use all its ammo simultaneously.
Autolaser and Heavy Autolaser
These two items use the same ammunition system mentioned above. They are a rapid firing, energy consuming hitscan weapon with a decent range. They sound pretty awesome to fire!
A heavy autolaser shredding an island with its instant hitscan damage like it shreds through your energy.
Basic, Advanced, and Complex Slammerons
These new items add another dimension to movement: downward! As their name implies, these can be useful for slamming down on enemies or to try and avoid those deadly danger zones if you've accidentally gone too high.
SLAAAAAAMMM DUUUUUNK!!!!! *cue the airhorns*
Parasite and Leech
These two are the new lifesteal weapons. By dealing damage, these weapons heal the block they currently are on. They consume energy and fire a burst of nanobullets.
A parasite weapon healing itself.
Balloons are an alternative to thrusters. They provide more thrust than an advanced floatron and are only rare items. However, they are a fragile building, and can easily be destroyed. They have different sprites for their active and inactive states since they do not emit particles.
Yes, that is a pretty island in the background.
There's not much to say about it. It is tanky, durable, and has high durability. I wonder what it could possibly be used for?
The real reason why the Egyptians built the pyramids.
Simply a crystal mortar. It works great at destroying shield generators due to its unique behavior for the shards to penetrate shields when it shatters.
I nailed this shot on my first try and it was awesome.
That is quite a bit of tech. We have the aileron, ammunition box, barrel piercer, barrel suppressor, disruptor, energy cycler, health extractor, regenerator, reinforced bullet, rocket propellant, shock absorber, and targeting system. In addition, the augmentators will no longer be a module but will be joining the tech category as massive XP boosts when you infuse them.
Because there were a lot of technical changes that needed to be made, early on in development I worked on a lot of console improvements. This allowed me to test items and properties out quickly without having to recompile the entire game and now, it has been made available to you.
You can now do crazy things like this from the console.
To open the console, press the ~ key. There are a bunch of commands you can run, visible from the help command. If you want to find more about a command, type help or pt a question mark after the command name. The help will also give you syntax and examples of the command. You don't need a prefix to run any of the commands since everything in the console will be run as a command.
You can give yourself an item by using the "give" command like so:
give item:cannon name:console_power description:i_used_the_console_to_edit_this_item
Giving myself a renamed cannon.
You can find a list of item properties with the "properties" command. You can use these properties with the give command to give yourself an item with special properties and stats.
give item:cannon health:999 damage:999 weaponCooldown:1
Giving myself a really overpowered cannon.
You can also set an amount to give with "quantity:x" and a tier with "tier:x". There is a whole lot more you can do with the console, and this is the first step to giving you, the player, more power to fiddle with the game.
In the future, I hope to allow players to add other player generated content to their game, so if you create a really cool item, someone else can play with it as well!
You can also use common terminal shortcuts to navigate the console like:
- Shift Left/Right - Navigate to the leftmost/rightmost part of the line
- Shift Up/Down - Navigate to the top/bottom of the console
- Shift Delete - Delete the entire line
- Up/Down - Recall the previous command typed
Comment down below if you want to see another devlog post that dives deeper into the console! I would show you how to do things like changing sprites and sounds, editing complex movement, setting game variables, and even generating your own random background islands.
Dodge and Crit Chance
Dodge and crit chances are changed to no longer be island wide. The chances for each block determined by the block and the module if one exists.
Previously, when an enemy went too far off screen, the enemy would loop around to the other side of the screen. I really hated this feature and I think it was poorly thought through.
Now, enemies will boost back onscreen if you go too far. They will never ram you when boosting, but they will be back in range to shoot you!
An enemy boosting from offscreen to catch up with your cowardly tactics.
People have asked for different difficulty levels. The easiest way to implement this was to limit the amount of loot you can get at higher difficulties. So at the ordinary difficulty, you will receive the full amount of loot, but at the heroic and godlike difficulties, you will get even less loot, making the game much harder. You can change your difficulty anytime in the settings, so if the godlike difficulty was too hard for you, you can switch it over to heroic or ordinary.
You may have already seen the pretty looking islands floating in the background. They have no gameplay effect whatsoever and are just there for decoration purposes. If you look closely, you can see the ruins of an ancient civilization. These islands are procedurally generated, so I don't have to draw a ton of background islands. It was very interesting using procedural generation to make pixel art, and I absolutely love the result!
Just touring around the little background islands.
Filtering and Sorting
Pressing the filter button will now sort your inventory as well. I have also added a rarity and a XP filter so your inventory can be more organized. The damage filter will actually calculate the firepower of the weapon, which takes into account shots, crit chance, and even ammunition cooldown.
As seen earlier from the autolasers, I have made a significant number of hitscan changes. They are now a weapon behavior just like normal projectile weapons and can deal damage to shields, pierce them, or be blocked by them just like normal projectiles. While the hitscan items (autolasers/railguns) don't damage shields or pierce them, you can easily mod other weapons to have these properties.
I have created a property to determine weapon targeting behavior. These determine what direction weapons will face.
- Linear - aims directly at the cursor (most weapons)
- Parabolic - predicts a parabolic trajectory to hit the cursor (artillery weapons)
- Directional - aim in the direction the island is moving in (spykes)
This is a pretty major buff to all artillery weapons, as they can now be aimed along with all the other weapons with ease.
Trees now regenerate health.
I have added some cool special locations that will be visible on the map. Keep your eyes peeled for these, they are very worth it!
When shields recover from overloading, they will no longer generate a shield instantaneously. Shields will now only activate when there are shields available so you can have islands with very low shield generation that come out of overloading and have not yet generated a shield again.
There is now a difference in sound when a shield blocks damage(eg. energy weapons) and when it takes damage (eg. projectile weapons).
If you have an item selected in your inventory and you right click the trash can, you can delete the item permanently. Not at all useful when playing without the console, but pretty useful when playing around with the console.
I was messing around with Pixel FX Designer and I spun up some cool particle effects for loot pretty quickly. I think I'm gonna use that tool more to create much better particle effects than normal (and probably less CPU intensive as well).
Loot effects colored based on rarity.
Prior to this update, event items have just simply been reskins of the current items. However, this has changed so that event items are there own unique item that can be dropped during events! There might not be much of a difference now, but my hope is that eventually there are some really cool collectible items that you could add to your collection.
Now that I am on summer break, I should be able to get updates out faster! If you can't wait for the next big update, then join the Discord. You can gain access to the test versions of the game and stay updated with whatever I am currently working on.
The next update, called the Exploration Update, is going to make changes massive changes to the map and the gameplay by letting the player fly around the realm. I'm not exactly sure how long it will take me to finish this, but I estimate it will take around 2 months.
I absolutely love some of these changes, and I would love to hear your thoughts on the update, or just your general feedback in the comments! Thanks once again for your patience and incredible support! I look forward to the future development of the game.