If you have been tempted to take the plunge with the one of the world’s most powerful 2D physics engine and tools, right now is a good time to jump since the Planetoid Pioneers Contributor Edition is a solid 20% off this weekend!
With it, you get a killer game development environment seven years in the making, and now also a real juicy preview of what the game we are building with it will play like. As a Contributor, you have a real chance to take an active part in the development of this unique action adventure!
The newest version with much of the content and features we put together during our team’s summer sprint called “Project Slovakia” is in this Contributor Build 3 (already available to our Contributor Community for a few weeks now).
Some of the highlights:
- New local PvP game mode/Planetoid (“Carnageoid”) with three arenas
- New tutorial segment on the “Primoid” Planetoid
- Visual overhaul of many Planetoids
- Smooth zoom out on large Planetoids, minimap overview system
- Blueprint mass scanning unlock sytem
- Refined pioneer controls and behaviours
- Massive optimizations everywhere, and more to come
- Pio can pickup any assembly up to 150kg
- Pio and creatures can get knocked out by hard hits, especially to head
- Pio can carry 200kg lumps of resources and throw them
- Pio automaticaly prints lumps when he cant carry more resources
- Pio can stow things on back, swap them with what is held in hands
- Pio can use one-handed tools
- Improved AI systems with behavior Zones in scene for simple setup
- AI and Pioneer team tag system – build pets and helpers!
- Improved player feedback via HUD
- Tons of new and improved blueprints like tools, weapons, and structures
- Fancy new particle systems, terrain assets, sounds
- Hundreds of bugfixes, see them all here: https://twitter.com/DataRealmsDev
- Lots of new useful Lua functions
Cortex Command is 50% off on Steam during their short Autumn Sale! Coinciding with it, there’s a new version out, with these improvements below. Some of the most significant fixes and enhancements are in the area of A.I., which is thanks to the hard work of Stefan “Abdul Alhazred” Winberg:
- The AA-Drone now shoot SAMs at enemy craft at point blank range, unless the target is close to a friendly brain.
- Fixed a bug that would cause craft to self destruct when sitting still for a long time and being under player control.
- Fixed missing turret/mech loadouts for some techs, upped goldcost and slightly nerfed armor of silver man and whitebot.
- Went over and touched up every single techion gun sprite, looked a bit tame compared to the actors.
- Changed Imperatus actor standpaths for added badassery.
- The meta fight skirmish AI now pick safer brain LZs.
- Fixed a bug that made the human AI ignore enemies in some circumstances.
- Fixed a few loadout errors. Fixed a Ronin script that sometimes caused error messages to be printed to the console.
- Added a disarmer to every engineer loadout preset.
- Gave the giga pulsar the same particles per tracer as the pulse rifle, making the giga pulsar the superior choice for sustained fire, as well as an increased magazine size from 50 to 80.
- Improved the human AI gold dig behavior.
- Added the Yskely and Grasslands Mining Outpost for the Bunker Breach scenario.
- Fixed a bug that stopped the AI from spawning units in the Harvester, Massacre and Survival scenarios.
- Added a strong border layer to the bottom of most scenes. Helps prevent actors from digging too deep and falling off the bottom of the scene.
- Adjusted Human AI aim time. Actors shoot sooner but should miss more often.
- Fixed several bugs in the gold dig AI. Tweaked the human AI targeting and aiming.
- Made the human AI look for weapons when entering sentry mode unarmed.
- Updated the new rocket launcher’s targeting system so the missiles can be locked on to the ground.
- The new rocket launcher is now known as the Browncoat “ML-03 Flash”.
- Fixed an issue withe the AI where some behaviors could cause actors to ignore alarm events.
- The Skirmish Defense activities now remember what tech you fought the last round and picks another tech for the next round.
- Made the gold-dig behavior move in a straight line to the gold rather than along the path with the leas obstacles.
- Added the Dummy to both the Light and Heavy Infantry groups so the skirmish AI only spawn dummy AHumans.
- Removed the “Brain Versus Brain” activity to avoid confusion among new players (and reviewers). The same functionality is supported by Skirmish Defense.
- Changed the Browncoat “ML-03” to “ML-02” and made the missiles slightly stronger. Browncoat incendiary cannon (CA-01 Firestorm) and shotgun (IN-02) made stronger.
- Fixed a bug in the Bunker Breach scenario that would cause AI counter attacking units to go idle.
- Fixed a path-finding bug that occurred when mining for gold, and an issue that made the AI think some close range weapons had a blast radius
- Impulse Cannon no longer useless, new Browncoat Missile Launcher made slightly stronger.
- Browncoat weapon grip strengths increased slightly, Browncoat units no longer made of cheese.
- Added the “Wave Defense” activity. Increasingly longer waves of enemies, with time in edit mode in between waves.
- Encapsulated the AI to make modding easier. It can now be initialized with a single function call.
- Wave Defense: Made edit mode between waves optional.
- Actors on AI-teams now ignore the fog when shooting and searching for targets.
- The AA-drone no longer replenish its missiles between battles.
- Fixed bug on Ronin Heavy’s randomized armor when placing the unit from the build menu.
- Improved gold dig AI and situational awareness of brain actors.
- Lots of tweaks/improvements to the Nailer-based weapons
- The human AI now reloads any held weapon before digging for gold.
- Made the AA-Drone look for targets slightly faster and gave the SAM a small acceleration boost.
- Campaign end game triggering logic fixed and improved. Now, If the team in the lead is the only team left with any undeployed brains, the game ends and they win. This avoids the unwinnable game state.
I personally believe that frequent, not-so-relevant blog posts are better than sporadic, on-topic posts. Dan agrees and has given me the go-ahead to post the general goings-on around the DataRealms HQ! In the coming weeks I’ll post some tidbits from here and there. The posts will probably get a bit more personable and not “all business” as they’ve been in the past.
But for today:
Over in the Forums we’ve started up the Official Christmas Mod Contest. It’s fairly free-form – from weapons to sprites to total conversions, anything goes! Check it out; it will run until mid-December so we have time to take our Christmas breaks.
Meanwhile, Dan is dreaming about one day being able to do one-handed pushups.
After the last post hyping things up a little, it’s time to dish out a counter to keep expectations in check with reality regarding the next release.
As some may have gleaned by now, the next version of Cortex Command will be the first one you can buy a license for. The plan is to release something that can be downloaded and played for free, but to get access to all the features you’ll need to buy a license key and unlock your installed copy with it.
We will have more details about how to buy and use the keys in a later post. Rest assured that we are trying hard to make it as flexible, affordable, and as little hassle to you as possible — while still ensuring that the seven years of work we’ve put into the project will pay off enough to allow us to keep working on it and future Data Realms games.
As for what will actually be in the version due out soon, please note that it is not going to have a complete campaign right off the bat. Currently there is only one complete mission, and half of it is a tutorial. There may be another mission done by time we put out the release, but it’s iffy.
Since the game won’t nearly be complete by the next release, the licenses are at first going to be heavily discounted from what they will eventually cost when the full campaign is done. If you buy a license at this early point, it will also unlock all future versions and updates up till where the full first campaign is complete and included.
Additional campaigns or expansion packs thereafter may have to be bought separately, but we haven’t planned that far ahead yet.
This is not to say that there isn’t tons of new stuff due for the next release – including editors and everything else hinted at in previous posts. Just don’t expect a full-blown campaign and metagame right away.
We will be rapidly adding missions shortly thereafter though, and working up to the point where there is a full campaign to play through. It will be up to you whether you want to play the missions on their own as they come out, or wait for the metagame mode we have planned (more details later).
Note that you will pay less the earlier you buy the license, since we going to gradually decrease the discount as the campaign nears completion and the game matures into the complete package we envision.
We hope this makes sense and isn’t too confusing. I’ll try to answer any questions you have in the comments below.
Last night I had some friends over for a game night, which included a playtest session of the latest version of Cortex Command on the projector screen and proper analog controllers. Here are some screen shots of the end of Matthew Wegner‘s epic 20+ minute struggle on the ‘Death’ difficulty setting:
How many bodies are mashed in that heap of blood and metal at the bottom of the rocket bunker?!
The AI bots literally wore a deep groove in the terrain in the east approach.
This tunnel is what financed the base defense.
And here’s the guy responsible for digging the whole thing! He could stay down there because of the simplified gold collection scheme… as soon as there was enough money collected, another base defense guy was bought and called in to push back the onslaught at the base!