Good evening folks,
Version 0.4 is now out in the wild, after lurking in the bleeding edge branch for a long time. This is a significant milestone in Castle Story’s development, building on the much-needed system updates in v0.3. The advantages that those core engine improvements have provided the dev team are huge, and this newfound agility ultimately shows in that we were able to accomplish much more this time than in previous releases.
We stated in the 0.3 release notes that the changes we’re going to be incremental. We’re happy to announce that we are done with the transition, and that Legacy systems will be phased out completely. The new and improved Bricktron 2.0 is now used by default in all game modes. Access to the old bricktron is disabled and older assets will be progressively phased out from now on. Ultimately, getting rid of all these old scripts and assets will further speed up the development as we will not need to support two versions of everything.
By far the biggest change of all in this update is the complete transition to the new AI system. With version 0.3, we had started this incremental migration, but until we had reached feature parity, we had to confine the new Bricktron to a special and limited gameplay mode.
Now the new bricktron should behave much more responsively and reliably. Their thought process have been cleaned up and segmented in a way that enables us to pinpoint issues and fix them once and for all. Steps have even been taken to pave the way for network synchronization of behavior trees as well, making the upcoming task of adding multiplayer to the game much more streamlined.
In this update, you will see:
- The new characters now support all tasks types. Cleanup, Mining, Tunnelling, Building and structure tasks.
- Of the tasks that were supported previously, the AI now handles them more efficiently.
- Thought bubbles: the thought process of the bricktron has been exposed allowing them to broadcast problems like missing resources or unreachable tasks.
- Far-ranging knowledge network: the new bricktrons can now know the location of faraway objects, even in huge maps, with no performance hit.
The combat mechanics got a much needed enhancement. This is one of the newer projects in this release, and should get further attention in the 0.4.x releases. Combat event are now more accurately timed, with damage dealt in sync with the animation.
- New enemy type: the big corruptron should spawn after wave 3 in survival mode. It has a lot of HP, very high damage output, but is very slow. It is recommended to stay far away from it and safely take it out from a distance with archers.
- New attack type: standard corruptrons can now throw rocks to stun out-of-reach archers. This attack deals no damage, but should incapacitate your archers long enough to close the distance.
Further updates to the new graphics introduced in version 0.3:
- New facial expression shader: The bricktrons now have the potential for much more detailed facial expression. Events that trigger those expressions will be added progressively in further updates.
- Finally transitioned the old door asset to a new and slightly different one. The new door is functionally different, so old saves will not be compatible, thus doors will be removed when upgrading a save game.
- Many animation improvements to the current bricktron. All combat animations have been added, several climbing animations as well as a complete animation set for both corruptrons and the big corrupton.
- a large variety of small visual improvements:
- explosions now emit light.
- rocks & crystals chunks on the ground now use the new visuals.
- cracks on bricks should be higher fidelity and should appear on arch, stair and column blocks (they did not previously).
- The archer’s bow, arrow & quiver have been re-done.
Following the release of the new UI system in Unity 4.6, we immediately starter to consider the option of porting the UI to the new system. We were using NGUI, and ran into a large quantity of problems, most notably, not being able to use Unity’s prefab system and other visual issues.
The new system turned out to be quite good, and the port to the new system went quite smoothly. Here are the new features you might notice:
- Main Menu upgrade: The main menu is 100% brand new and behaves much better. Text is displayed clearly, and adding new menus is now very easy.
- In-game taskbar: The task groups have been put back in the game, and are ready to be upgraded with new features. You can use the taskbar to see in which group bricktrons are assigned, assign workers by clicking on the rectangle, and a few other functionalities.
- Leaderboard: The survival mode menu on the top-left corner of the screen has received the LUA tratements and is now fully scriptable.
- Overhead display: Though bubbles and container display is now using the new UI and will allow new user-friendly features to be added soon.
The following gameplay upgrades are being introduced:
- Gamemodes have been ported to LUA, following our promise to open up the game to modders. For now, only certain events can be triggered, but since the dev team will be using LUA to scripts game events, it should become much more widespread in further 0.4.x releases.
- A new survival map has been included that does not have the same issued as the original one, as well as more space to build on.
Also a ton of bugs have been squashed since the last patch.
Changes since v0.3
In case you haven’t kept up with the development of the game between version 0.3 and 0.4, here are the main features that were introduced during the 0.3.x schedule:
The introduction of a basic moddable key binding system scripted in LUA.
A new blueprint shader that is much cleaner visually.
The ability to drag blueprints in a line using ctrl-click
A new stone pillar block type.
Here are known issues in this release, most of which are being investigated at the moment:
ALT+TAB can corrupt your game in some rare instances (playing in windowed mode or not Alt-tabbing will not cause any issues)
Resource exchange between Bricktrons is not working properly in certain instances.
Very annoying sound issues with the archers when they are attacking and falling after being knocked out.
That is all folks! Thanks for reading this MASSIVE release notes document. We sincerely hope you enjoy this latest patch, and can’t wait to show you the other stuff we’re working on. Let us know what you think in the comment’s section!