So I've been discussing a lot of things lately, different theories and details on upcoming hardware, etc. The question then is what's up with my games right? Are they dead in the water or what? The answer is I've been doing some very heavy updates. I managed to get a budget and around 5 people to work with me on a per project basis, it's not stable income for them but it's all I can afford at the time.
So basically what we've been working on is primarily graphics for as nice as my work might've been it was nowhere near where I wanted it to be, which of course is a very substantial problem given that I also needed it to dynamically fracture, keeping in mind I started this before I knew about UE4 coming out anytime soon. I managed to with the help of my new workforce create a dynamic coloring system and a new mesh painting system. Sadly for me supposedly all this was already available in UE4 which I guess some devs can get their hands on already but I clearly don't have that kind of money. Anyway the new graphical system we setup is fairly wild and it'll be making good use of those 4+ million colors monitors claim to be capable of displaying. Lately I've been playing a bit with some of our color saturation levels and color bleed/blur to really give the whole game a very unique look and maybe if I can afford to setup shop at a small booth at pax east or something then I can really get a foothold and some publicity. This has actually come in the form of yet another mod on how meshes are treated in the game for the most part and some revisions on particle effects all of which I would really love to get my hands on UE4 to play with by default to see how we compare. One of the interesting things though is now we actually have the ability to make blood trails for one things, if you shoot someone and they're bleeding all over the place but run away you can follow them from their blood trail, which I also made some new equipment items to highlight this and make it easier. I also added some new functions to some existing weapons to leave things like plasma trails you can trace back and such. Lots of fun getting all that done and now the game is actually looking like something I'd really want to play.
I also revised the controls a bit for improving how movement was handled and it's far less convoluted now though not quite as free form as before. I also removed the tier play and instead set it up as tech level playlists if you want restricted play. I took a lot of what I read from alpha reviews from the UofM testers I had for a while and put it to heart to make revisions. It's really almost a complete overhaul of the game. I'm very happy though at what I managed to accomplish with the leveling system and that hasn't been touched much beyond balancing.
I also added a few dozen accessory items and weapons etc along with another type of tracer round this kind lodges itself inside of a target's body and if they escape it shows them like a heat map through walls so there's no hiding, this kind of ammo however is only available on the very high levels and is a very expensive upgrade. Speaking of which I managed to finally include a money system I think players will be happy with though we'll wait and see how testers react. Basically upgrades are now divided into genetic/experience upgrades, and monetary upgrades. Some upgrades will cost you exp/mutation points, and others will cost you money, however these upgrades are one time expenses non recurring as what you're essentially paying for is research more than anything. Some of the lvl upgrades for the tracer ammo for example are it's range, how close you have to be to detect them, and if it leaves a trail behind to follow if they do get out of range, the color of said trail so you don't confuse it with other players, and a few other nifty things. I also had to make it so medics can learn how to remove these things and treat any residual effects like some versions can be upgraded to inject something in the bloodstream so even if the tracer is removed the effect lasts. I also added sub-upgrade menus for some items that can diverge like that. The medic field is probably one of the most heavily revised sections of the upgrade menu and specialist classes are also now their own upgrade menu rather than tying them in with the existing soldier upgrade menu. So this means you gain separate experience when you play on team 3 and 4 which are support as compared to teams 1+2 which are objective based. As a refresh team 4 is vehicle drivers and their support gunners tied to the vehicles, where team 3 is medic, sniper, heavy artillery, and mech/tank. Support xp is not exclusive to that team or any specific role in it. For example most players on team 2 are also supporting team 1 which is the primary objective completers and killing anyone aiming at one of them will award some support xp, rather on team 3 you just gain more, and any such xp earned can be spent on any role. I am still working on the matchmaking bit of it giving preference to track record then to xp based on who wants what roles randomly assigning someone to the role if no such person exists or has opted out. Indeed you can actively deny wanting to be a support member. If everyone opts out then the game will just pick someone at random but I don't see that as being an actual problem as the odds are quite low.
All in all I've been hard at work and while I am still working I'm still looking for work elsewhere because I'm working out of pocket so far and that requires income something which I'm sadly very very low on. I really need to properly thank my few team members for working in such a manner and with so little to show for it so far. If you're interested in joining them feel free to contact me and I'll set you up with something to work on. Maybe in my next post I can include some screenshots.