Ruin of the Reckless Backer Update #3

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Hello friends!  Here we are again.

The first thing I want to do is just apologize for the lack of updates recently. Danny and I both recently moved, then there were the holidays, and of course we have been working on the game constantly leaving me less time than I had hoped to update you all on our progress. These blog posts can be surprisingly time consuming to put together, and my first priority right now is making sure that Ruin of the Reckless is the best game it can possibly be. That being said, I really apologize for the long wait and i’ll do my best to make sure to update you all again before the end of the month. (Although it may not be as large a post as this one…) And fair warning, this is going to be a very long post as I fill you in on what has been going on over the last month and a quarter.

So, without further ado, let’s do that right now.

The main goal right now is to get the Beta Backer Build ready by the end of January, and to get things up to the quality level we want there is still plenty to be done.  One of the main stopping blocks recently has been the lack of pixel artists able to work over the holidays, so now that the New Year has begun we look forward to being able to push through and get the last of the unfinished art elements finalized.

If you have been following our previous updates, you’re already aware of our new spells, items, our art for those, and a lot of the other stuff we have been working on so I’ll skip over a lot of that here and just go over the things we have significant updates on since last time.

New Stuff

New Enemies – Some of these you will know of already, but this will tell you how they have developed over time.
Although we are still waiting on some of the art needed to finalize these enemies, their game logic is mostly complete, and you can expect to encounter five new enemies in the beta backer build. Note, there is another enemy coming later, which will be the final backer enemy. We are waiting to hear back from that backer in regards to what they want, and that will be the sixth and likely final enemy in the game.
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The Builder – Builders are the spirits of great architects and tinkerers that died attempting to create something insanely brilliant.  In the tower, these spirits avoid Stargrove and his friends like the plague, instead opting to hide around the tower leaving traps in their wake.  Builders currently have two traps; they will run away throwing deadly mines in their way, or they will station themselves in an area and begin constructing either a fireball trap, or the new blade trap. Chasing after builders can be very dangerous, but leaving them to their own devices has its own set of hazards.
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The Dino Slime – Dino slimes are ancient primordial spirits of recklessness, and in life were probably not much more than vicious beasts with a lack of self-preservation instinct.  These spirits are composed of a highly acidic slime and there is nothing they prefer to the feeling of warm items dissolving within their tummies.  Dino slimes will seek out items to consume and attempt to run away from Stargrove once they find one.  It takes a little while for Dino Slimes to fully digest an item, so if it’s something important you may want to save it by striking them down. However, striking a Dino Slime with your weapon can be very unwise, as he will immediately absorb it. Once cornered Dino Slimes will lash out, attempting to dash under their attacker as a puddle of slime and strike from below. I’m excited to see what types of strategies you guys come up with to contest them.
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The Hoplite – In life, hoplites were legendary warriors that took on a task beyond even their own skill.  They have maintained their ability to channel certain simple spells, and are particularly partial to ‘Mirror Image.’  Hoplites will summon a throng of images in their likeness to travel at their side and strike alongside them with long spears.  The images will dissipate if they take any damage, but that doesn’t make them any less dangerous while they’re still around. (This enemy is fully implemented using the skirmisher art, but we’re still waiting on the final design and animations.)
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The Mantis – Mantis monks were highly trained meditative specialists that bet their souls they could reach Nirvana… and failed.  In the Ruin, they use their meditative prowess to lend aid to their allies. These spirits will intermittently send out a burst of energy which will grant shields to other enemies.  These shields will protect affected spirits from one damage, and players that strike the shields with their weapons will find that they are reflected backwards at high velocity.  Since the monks themselves cannot receive shields, it can be best to try to deal with the Mantis Monk first… but that is easier said than done.  Lower level enemies will also form up around Mantis Monks in an effort to protect them, and Mantis Monk Shields will even be applied to Skirmisher mirror images making the combination quite formidable indeed. Yeah, these guys can be quite dangerous, and a Golem with a Mantis shield is an intimidating sight as well, watch out!
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The Gambler – Gamblers were risk takers who thought to play a game of chance with The Woman In Black.  They lost, of course, and ended up dead… but for whatever reason they don’t seem so broken up about the ordeal.  Gamblers are ringed in a circle of magical playing cards which will protect them from most attacks.  However, they care very little for their own safety, and will happily send these flying at the players as weapons.  That will leave them vulnerable, and is the best time to strike. The Gamblers spirits are personally connected with that of The Woman In Black, essentially meaning that they are at her beck and call at all times.
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New Boss Encounter
There is now a full boss encounter which occurs on floor 10 of the tower, complete with badass music.  I don’t want to say much more than that yet, as I really want this sequence to feel like a reward even for our more dedicated fans, but I hope those of you who are able to get up there find it interesting. By the way, speaking of new music…
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New Music
We have licensed new music for the game from our favorite chiptune artists.  There are new tracks from Protodome in the tutorial, shop, and boss area as well as a few more tracks from Slime Girls added as well.  We also have contracted Slime Girls to craft us some original theme music for the game which we are super excited about. I am also particularly excited about the Protodome boss music which I think you guys are really going to dig.
I don’t want to spoil all of it , but check out our new shop music here.
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Co-Op
I am really hoping that we can have co-op mode enabled in the build backers receive later this month.  However, because we are still waiting on some of the art for Stella, it may not be possible. If it’s not ready in time, we will do our best to make sure it is added to the beta backer build as soon as possible after you all receive it since we really want to start testing the co-op features as a part of the full game experience.
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New Tutorial
The game now features a new sequence wherein Pauliver the penguin will teach you how to play.  The sequence is, of course, completely optional, but will teach you every thing you need to know to get started before the big show.
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New Pause Menu
Over the last few days I have spent upwards of forty hours working on our new pause menu.  Now I know a pause menu isn’t generally considered to be a super exciting thing, but there are some really cool new features here I think you will all appreciate. I spent a lot of time polishing up this pause menu and making the transitions look nice and the behavior of the system and options extremely intuitive on either a controller or a keyboard. Also, the pause menu uses a new font, a new graphical style, has a new overlay, that we think looks pretty nice. It also has color coded text to call certain important details to your attention. The menu is fully responsive and more or less complete down to the sounds made when selecting different options. There are also some new settings you couldn’t change before.
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1) Resolution/Windowed Mode – You can now alter the resolution of the game on the fly.  The system will warn you if you choose a resolution that will cause pixel scaling errors.  Note that we have it set up so that the native resolution of the game actually changes when you alter this setting.  This means that players playing at 1920×1080, for example, will have a larger ‘game world’ viewing area than those playing at 1280×720. In our testing, co-op is certainly better suited to the higher resolutions for this reason.  This also means that even at resolutions that cause pixel distortion, it will still only be restricted to a few sub-screens and areas.
2) Screenshake – The people asked for it and now you can now adjust your screenshake factor. The menu even shakes when you change the setting, fun!
3) Full controller config – You can now assign either keyboard and mouse, gamepad 1, or gamepad 2 to either player one or player two. You can do this on the fly within a session, and the control config and HUD elements will update accordingly, you can also fully configure your keyboard controls including the mouse buttons. The new system will also prevent you from setting any two functions to the same button, preventing a source of confusion for some players.
4) Quick Restart / Quick Warp.  From the base menu of the pause menu you can now warp to the shop, to the lobby, or to floor 1.  We think this will make your experience a lot more convenient.  Just bear in mind you generally cannot warp to an area you have never been to before.
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New Tiles
We have added a new tileset to the upper floors of the tower. This is a ‘sandy area’ with slightly different architecture.  Overall, this tile set still needs a bit of polish and iteration, but we want to have it inside this build so we can collect feedback from our backers on what they like and dislike about it. Sorry no screenshot for this one yet.
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New Sounds
We have been working with a new sound designer to replace / redesign/ and remix many of the sounds currently in game, this represents a pretty big overhaul to the sounds that were in the game before so I’m excited to see how you guys like all those. I have also been working on modifying all of the sounds to play at a baseline lower level.  I found that, especially after hearing them many many times, some of the sounds simply became too abrasive so we’ve been addressing that as we playtest. This does mean the mixing on some of the sounds may be off now, so we hope you’ll help us find the offenders and get rid of them.
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New Story Elements
Both Reginald and Pauliver have greatly expanded dialogue which changes over time, the Whisperer of Secrets is now in game and you can speak with him.  There is now a more fully fleshed out intro sequence featuring Stargrove and the Whisperer Of Secrets. This also ties in to the transitions to the first floor of the tower, which have been updated and altered as well.
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Other Stuff
In addition to all of that stuff, we have been fixing back-end errors in the system and polishing up every element we can.  The new spells and items all need playtesting and iteration, sound design, balance.  The tile placement algorithms have been improved significantly. We have fixed the rather pesky glitch which caused shadows to be drawn when actors were behind walls in certain situations, I have added a cool transition effect between areas which should make the whole play experience a lot more seamless.  We’ve addressed hitboxes, re-designed one of our previous enemies, fixed errors related to textboxes and a LOT more. Um yeah, there’s a lot of stuff, enough that would be hard for me to even go over it all.  Here’s a little GIF of our sourcetree records since the beginning of December to give you an idea of how many changes have been pushed recently.
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Alright, honestly i’m sure that there is plenty of stuff I forgot to mention (like new orb icons, new orb abilities, or the new cards we’ve added… ^^, ) but that is all I got for now.  As always, we are interested to field any questions from our backers or really, any one else as well. Drop us a line at twitter @FauxOperative, directly email us at fauxoperativegames@gmail.com or really just whatever else you’d like to try.  We will be there.

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