Solaroids: Prologue

Solaroids: Prologue

 This topic has been pinned, so it's probably important
kiates  [developer] Jun 10, 2017 @ 12:58pm
Alternate 'beta' Branch
I have an alternate beta branch available in Steam where I sometimes publish experimental features, or possible game play tweaks/changes, before they are incorporated into the current version. I'll post occasional updates to this thread as the state of the beta branch significantly changes.

If you are up for it, feel free to try it out and let me know what you think about the proposed changes good or bad. These will go into the next version once I feel satisfied with their behavior.

To access the alternate version:
  1. Right-click on the game within the Steam client and select the Properties menu item at the bottom.
  2. From the Solaroids: Prologue - Properties dialog select the BETA tab.
  3. From the BETA tab pick beta - Experimental and work-in-progress features from the Select the beta you would like to opt into drop-down selector. You should immediately see an update queued.
  4. Close the properties window and enjoy.

You can easily switch back to the current version by returning to the BETAS tab and picking NONE - Opt out of all beta programs from the drop-down selector.

Once again, any feedback you can provide is very much appreciated, and will help to shape the final release of the game. Happy blasting! :steamhappy:
Last edited by kiates; Jun 11, 2017 @ 9:00am
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Showing 1-15 of 18 comments
kiates  [developer] Jun 10, 2017 @ 1:00pm 
Beta Updates [NOW RELEASED]

New Features
  • Repair power-ups (wrench) can now start repairing your attached outriders, if your ship has not been damaged, or is only mildly damaged.
  • Many of you quickly figured out that if you die your power-ups immediately detach. And, if you can remember about where they were and where they were headed, you can retrieve them. Now the player reticle will locate their general whereabouts for you, making it even easier. Remember they don't last for ever (1 minute to be precise) so don't waste precious time.

Issues Addressed
  • The player tied to a steam account (player one) is no longer allowed to edit their name. Players 3-4 can still edit the default name of Anonymous for local high score tables.

Gameplay Tweaks
  • A common difficulty I hear, especially for new players, is how hard it is to pick up the power-ups and tokens when you have to deal with the momentum of the ship. Everyone gets better with practice, but as a compromise I’ve increased the size of the hit area by 50%. You should find it easier to collect the essentials.
  • More tweaks to end of level boss arrangements. This corrects for some of the added difficulty introduced in V1.0.4
  • Increase the default strength of the player ship.
  • Decrease damage inflicted by some enemy bullets.
  • Increased the strength of the shield power-up by 25%. Too bad you don’t get them on level 1 anymore.
  • Make smaller "mini-bosses" even easier to kill.
  • Bosses with missile ports now fire all missiles at the same time. This give more of an opportunity to attack between waves. Also increased the time where you see the missile port open (loaded or empty) as a warning when approaching.
  • Increase strength of outriders (known by many as side buddies, mini-ship attachments, side cars, or options).

Happy blasting! :steamhappy:
Last edited by kiates; Dec 17, 2018 @ 9:10am
kiates  [developer] Jun 20, 2017 @ 7:47pm 
Beta Updates [NOW RELEASED]

New Features
  • Previously owned (lost) power-ups will now stay in game for 5 minutes giving ample time to find and retrieve.
  • Previously owned (lost) power-ups now include a ring that is tinted with the primary ship color of who the owner was. This should help with identifying power-ups of interest once they come into view and fade from the player reticle. It also has the side benefit of identifying other players items if you feel the need to leave them for the other player, or "steal" them.
  • Picking up a power-up that replaces an existing one now detaches the existing one first. Now if you accidentally pick one up, or change your mind, you can re-pickup the old one you had. This also facilitates temporarily grabbing an alternate weapon, using it briefly for a specific purpose, and then retrieving your previous one.
  • If you have damaged outriders attached, picking up an outrider in better physical condition will now replace the more damaged one currently held.
  • Your first life in Free Play mode now grants you some extra weaponry to start out with a bang.
  • If your fighting more than 4 bosses, you now are given some extra weaponry when re-spawning to help towards a speedy recovery.

Gameplay Tweaks
  • Reduced the percentage of asteroids/hazards that are necessary to clear in order to advance to the next level.
  • Increased number of asteroids/hazards for earlier levels, and slightly overall.
  • Increased number of enemies during regular play.
  • Increased brightness/saturation of alternate player ship colors.
  • increased visibility of reticle indicators.
  • Increased chances of encountering "magnetic" asteroids.
  • Increased strength of "magnetic" asteroid shards.

Issues Addressed
  • Fixed issue where sometimes outriders would collide with their owners in what would look like a spontaneous explosion. It was a bug, not a feature!
  • When no gamepads are connected, require that the keyboard be used for player one which is tied to the steam account.
  • Fixed a few potential crashes when playing for extended periods.
Last edited by kiates; Dec 17, 2018 @ 9:10am
kiates  [developer] Jun 29, 2017 @ 12:51am 
Beta Updates [NOW RELEASED]

New Features
  • Infiltrator bosses now fight back.

Gameplay Tweaks
  • Reduced damage done by mines.
  • Adjust limits for mini-bosses.
  • Make mini-bosses vulnerable before destroying all turrets.
  • Improve enemy targeting systems during multiplayer.

Issues Addressed
  • Support OSX retina display.
  • Fix manual resizing of window in OSX/Linux.

Other
  • Update support libraries for OSX/Linux.
Last edited by kiates; Dec 17, 2018 @ 9:11am
kiates  [developer] Jul 21, 2017 @ 8:19am 
Beta Updates [NOW RELEASED]

New Features
  • First draft of power-up prompts (English only).
Last edited by kiates; Dec 17, 2018 @ 9:11am
kiates  [developer] Aug 29, 2017 @ 10:58pm 
Beta Updates [NOW RELEASED]

New Features
  • Initial global options menu:
    • Video
      • Resolution
      • Fullscreen/windowed
      • Borderless
      • Frame limiter (15,20,30,60, 90,120,240,Unlocked)
      • VSync
      • Bloom
      • Language
      • Power-up Prompts
      • Tips
    • Audio
      • Master Volume
      • Music Volume
      • Effects Volume
    • Gameplay (only available in global options menu)
      • Credits/Continues (Unlimited, None, 1-10); when used up, the player can no longer join until the game session is exited.
      • Friendly Fire
      • Friendly Collisions
      • Autofire
    • Miscelleneous
      • Logging (for local diagnostics)
      • Expire Anonymouse Scores (Never, 1wk, 2wks, 1mon, etc.)
      • Expire Extra Scores (Never, 1wk, 2wks, 1mon, etc.)
      • Clear Local Highscores
  • Initial player options menu available from pause screen:
    • Player
      • Camera Shake
    • Controls
      • Vibration
      • Controller Type
      • Layout
    • Video (same as in global options menu)
    • Audio (same as in global options menu)
    • Miscelleneous (same as in global options menu)
  • Controller/Keyboard configurations for players are now saved.
  • Brief descriptions for menu items on the title screen.
  • Tip power-ups that provide instruction and tips about the game. Power up your mind! Different tips unlock as the levels progress.
  • The bonus points no longer use the misleading $ and now reflect their point nature by declaring approximate value on the icon.
  • An icon indicating first credit or any credit is displayed next to the score showing what leaderboard it qualifies for. These icons are also shown in the high score listings.
  • The player name is now displayed in the player HUDs.
  • For the current game session the last and best scores are displayed under the player name for reference.
  • In the player HUD, when continuing, the number of remaining credits is displayed.
  • Turn Speed, Bullet Strength, and Bullet Speed power-ups now detach when your ship is lost, so you'll have to retrieve them before someone else does.
  • A hint is now displayed on the option menus and credits page showing how to leave the page.
  • Adjusted player HUD layouts.
  • The location of the sun is now indicated in the player reticle as a solid yellow circle.
  • Changed bullet speed increase power up icon away from the too generic Plus symbol; It is now a ball with speed lines.
  • When changing an option, an icon now indicates if the option participate in steam cloud synchronization.

Known issues
  • Borderless is only implemented for Windows right now.
  • Options menus, prompts, and tips are currently English, German, Brazilian Portuguese, and Spanish only. More translation updates are in progress.
Last edited by kiates; Dec 17, 2018 @ 9:12am
curtyuiop Oct 15, 2017 @ 11:06am 
I was wondering if you would consider putting in an auto-fire feature. I know that it will change the scoring considerably, but I think it would be twice as fun. cheers!
Roadsailor12 Nov 10, 2017 @ 9:32am 
Why is there no save option?
kiates  [developer] Nov 24, 2017 @ 11:17pm 
Beta Updates [NOW RELEASED]

New Features
  • Add seemless wrapping video option that eliminates the edge of screen transition at the edges of the arena. This is now the default.
  • Increase camera look ahead amount to allow seeing further ahead when moving.
  • Adjust default zoom level. It is zoomed out about 5% more than before.
  • Add Zoom Level option that allows some limited tweaking of the camera zoom level (80%-150%).
  • The high scores for the steam account are highlighted.
  • A set of basic tips are deployed around the sun to quickly guide the new player instead of being mixed in with the other level tips that can be found.
  • Added 144fps to frame rate option.

Other
  • Improved memory efficiency.
  • Limit the number of found power-ups to restrict the maximum number active to approximately 25.
  • Fix timing issue for frame rate limiter that would cause the target framerate to be slightly lower than the requested rate. (released patch)
  • Fix Infiltrator boss (serpent) when running at greater than 60fps. (released patch)
  • Reduce popping of large nebula.
  • Default Friendly Collisions to off.

Known issues
  • Borderless is only implemented for Windows right now.
  • Some options are English only.
Last edited by kiates; Dec 17, 2018 @ 9:12am
kiates  [developer] Jan 6, 2018 @ 3:19pm 
Beta Updates [NOW RELEASED]

New Features
  • Add Parallax video option. When enabled, stars and other background elements have simulated depth. Adjustable from Off to 400%. I'm curious what players think the default should be. Parallax also now works both with Seamless Wrapping on or off.

Issues Addressed
  • Crash/freeze on Windows when unplugging external (i.e. USB) audio devices that are being used by the game.

Known issues
  • Borderless is only implemented for Windows right now.
  • Some options are English only.
Last edited by kiates; Dec 17, 2018 @ 9:12am
curtyuiop Jan 6, 2018 @ 5:05pm 
+1
ML1985 Jan 11, 2018 @ 1:40am 
This looks so fantastic now! Thank you.
kiates  [developer] Feb 24, 2018 @ 1:11am 
Beta Updates [NOW RELEASED]

Hello everyone. I'm excited to let you try out the new alternate controls I have in progress, as well as a few other extras. I've kicked the proverbial tires quite a bit, so it should work relatively well, but there are a few extra things I need to complete before I feel comfortable releasing them.

First, I really want to know if I hit the mark with different alternate controls, or if I need to continue to tweak them for release. The two new modern modes provide a lot of autopilot like features so they have a couple of built in limitations so as not to dilute the prestige of piloting classic Asteroids style. First, the ship moves somewhat slower and equally in all directions. Second, the score multiplier starts out lower than 1x. These are some things I may tweak based on feedback, but I think it is important to give advanced pilots an edge that goes with the more difficult controls. Rather than amplifying the advantages of the classic mode further, I opted to apply a handicap to the simplified control schemes. I actually find it somewhat difficult to use the easier controls just because I have become so accustomed to the classic simulation style, so I'm really interested in how you like (or don't like) the styles and button/control choices.

A couple of notes on the twin-stick style. You can play the game just using the left thumb-stick as it will rotate the ship in the direction of travel, however the moment you take hold of the right thumb-stick, you can independently move the ship and aim. Under mouse control it is similar, but the ship will only rotate towards the direction of movement if the mouse hasn't moved for 2 seconds. If the mouse is moving the ship will rotate to aim towards the mouse cursor. Also, the mouse pointer will disappear if it isn't moved for 10 seconds. Right now, I'm just using the regular mouse cursor (the hand), but I'm interested in what kind of cursor you think it should have: a dot, small crosshairs, etc.

I couldn't add mouse support to the ship, and not also allow the mouse to be used for menu navigation, so I've re-worked my HUD system to allow mouse navigation for the menus.

New Features
  • Alternate control styles:
    • Classic - This is the original control scheme as in the original Asteroids, aka "tank" controls.
    • Hybrid (single-stick) - Orient the ship with the left thumb-stick or use the mouse to both orient and fire your primary and secondary weapons.
    • Modern (twin-stick) - Orient the ship with the left thumb-stick and control your thrusters with the right thumb-stick.
  • Lateral thrusters for advanced pilots.
  • Increase power of all thrusters.
  • Dynamic braking. In Classic and single-stick mode, holding down both forward and reverse thrusters will slow the ship gradually to a stop. In twin-stick mode dynamic braking is automatically engaged when idle.
  • Basic score multipliers. They go up for each kill and go down (really fast) when you take a hit.
  • If the spawn location near the sun is congested, spawning will be retried at an alternate location.
  • Moved some options that were under Video to Gameplay and a new Effects menu as the video menu was getting crowded and too broad.
  • Allow changing gameplay options while in-game. Now you can tweak friendly fire/collisions after starting.
  • Early access reminder/disclaimer shown before title. You can skip it the same as the DynF/X Digital splash screen.
  • Early Access version is now displayed in the lower right corner of the title screen.
  • Beta is displayed when running an alternate build.
  • Mouse navigation support in the main menu and option menus.
  • You can use the mouse to pick the control to reconfigure which is especially useful if your controller doesn’t have the same buttons to “hold down”.
  • You can left click the mouse button to skip the splash screen and early access disclaimer screens.
  • Default parralax is now 200% instead of 400%.
  • Adjusted layout and flow of HUDs:
    • Forfeit dialog is now within the player's HUD so as to not disrupt other players.
    • When joining, allow the introduction of minimal configuration choices before entering the game.
    • Move ship color selection to a dedicated step in the HUD.
    • Add control style selection as a step within the HUD using Left/Right on the D-Pad/Keys.
    • Add ability to navigate to next and previous HUD.
    • Display icons indicating which directions on the D-Pad/Keys can be used to change options.
  • Rapid fire powerup now responds to the recharge rate power up, increasing the rate of fire.

Issues Addressed

    Known issues
    • Moving from the defaul branch to the beta branch will update your saved configuration. Going back to the default branch before the beta releases will result in your configuration being reset.
    • Borderless window option is only implemented for Windows right now.
    • Disconnecting an external audio device being used by the game will cause a crash/freeze on Linux/OSX.
    • Some options are English only.
    Last edited by kiates; Dec 17, 2018 @ 9:07am
    SpecterUnseen Mar 10, 2018 @ 12:27pm 
    As a new user, this new control scheme with dual stick control made me stay around. The original was just to slow for the desire to set up some nice strafing runs.

    My personal feedback:
    - A little more responsive thrust, feels like my ability to slide between ships and duel could be improved. Part of the appeal of this type of game to me is the acrobactics. A slide between two ships should let me use an enemies missile to hit them back.
    - Powerup icons. They are very confusing as a new player.
    - Health, there is no explanation on this, and I'm still confused on guaging my health.
    - Weapon variety. I'd love weapon variety on types of shooters. There is a agame on itch.io "astronautics" that I tried did weapons VERY well, but failed on everything else that's you done so well. Consider taking a peek at it and maybe it will give you some ideas. The dueling with the teleporting move especially was so much fun. With Solaroids I don't really get the same feeling of finding a new weapon. Here's a video clip i found on youtube. https://youtu.be/YZljZh9SzGg?t=22s

    Keep up the great work. I enjoyed the couch coop experience.
    Going to have to look and see if you have dueling yet, but man that would fun too!
    kiates  [developer] Mar 11, 2018 @ 11:11pm 
    @SpecterUnseen Thanks for trying my game and for trying out the new controls. Great feedback!

    Dual-Stick Thrusters - I'll tweak the thrust under the dual stick scheme. Right now it's equal in all directions, but my intent was by default to give a little more umph to the forward thruster as in the other styles. I need to try it out first as it also may end up being confusing if too exagerated. I'm also planning some reverse and side thruster upgrades so perhaps that will let you upgrade to the desired responsiveness. Right now all your upgrades detach when you lose a ship and you are forced to reclaim the on the map before they expire, but I'm planning a tweak that will let you only lose some of your upgrades when you lose a ship. Also in the more distant future I'm planning to provide a way towards some more permanent ship upgrades.

    Power-up icons - Are there specific ones that were confusing, even after seeing the introductory tips? Would a dedicated screen that shows the power-up icons, names, and descriptions of unlocked power-ups be helpful as a reference in the options menu?

    Health - I'm specifically trying to be a bit vague with this, as just knowing if you can take that next hit or if you should flee to repair is a part of the mechanics. The amount of smoke/sparks emitting from the craft is the indicator, so getting to know how much is to much is the key. That being said however, I have some plans to give additional warning when desctruction is eminante so stay tuned.

    Weapons - I'm planning more weapon variety before final release and am interested in what types would make great additions. Right now weapons are unlocked about 1 per level achieved. Free Play mode which is unlocked when you have completed level 10 (with or without continues) unlocks them all from the start.

    Teleporting - I"ve had a local controlled hyperspace (in addition to the classic random hyperspace) planned for some time. Being able to fold space to "dash" is intreguing to me and I want to try it out. I'll check out the video.

    Dueling - I'm glad you liked the coop. I'm curious how many players you played with. By default friendly fire is turned on, but friendly collisions is turned off. If you set the number of creidts/continues to zero )or a limited number) you can simulate a death match right now. However, I am planning a dedicated deathmatch game mode and maybe teams. I'm very interested in what kind of mechanics/options you think would make a good dueling/deathmatch mode.

    Thank you again for playing, your encouraging remarks, and for your support of a solo indie developer. :steamhappy:
    SpecterUnseen Mar 14, 2018 @ 10:41pm 
    i'll have to respond later. I'm a dev (not games) so I figured some feedback would be helpful. It's a lot of fun, well done!

    regarding the health, that makes sense then, just nothing told me in my first loading so I was a little unclear.

    The icons are very small and for various weapon types like the shotgun type are not unique enough. Consider larger icons with very distinctive fire pattern type icons to help pick?

    The energy is also a little confusing for shots. Maybe consider a small bar on your ship ring that shows remaining shots in the powered up gun? Reading the numbers in a firefight is tough.

    I'll try to followup more later. sounds like you have some great ideas
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