Late For Work Update 9 - Alien InvasionBuy Late For Work on Steam!
Today we are super excited to release one of our biggest updates yet to our local multiplayer asymmetric party game. We’ve got a new exciting fast-paced game mode that had our student intern sweating and out of breath from all mad dash efforts to protect the local populace (and cattle) from being abducted by mysterious visitors from worlds beyond. Read on for more details!
New UFO Game Mode
This is the first game mode where we had concept art influence gameplay ideas. I mean, we’ve toyed with a lot of gameplay ideas, but our excellent concept artist drew the art work above a few months ago. In January, when reviewing what chunky new gameplay we could bring to LFW, we settled on the UFO mode. It sounded so fun and we already had all the art.
This game mode features a brand new aerial vehicle with 3D translation movement, i.e. you can fly in all directions. And an abduction beam. Your goal? Why of course, the traditional alien invader job: to abduct all humans and cows. The gorilla cannot stand idly by and see his fellow countrymen ripped away from their lives to end up who knows where.
This mode is not final, we will keep tweaking it. But our early tests have led to quite few hilarious moments. We’re also thinking about new possible weapons and power-ups we can add. We’d love to hear your feedback and impressions.
A brand new Tutorial: our old tutorial was not bad, but a bit limited and some players would occasionally get stuck. Our goal is that our games are so intuitive and well guided that you can always pick it up on your own. We’re not satisfied until we can just hand over controls to players and just step out of the way.
So we rebuilt it from the ground up, including little humans guiding you through your tasks and providing feedback. We leveraged a system we built for an internal prototype of something new (shhhhh, can’t comment on this just yet).
It’s still not perfect and will need further tweaking. We also would like to add a whole second part to the tutorial, as well as some mini-tutorials for the non-vr players.
In our never ending efforts to make the tanks more fun and easy to control, we’ve added an auto-aim lock mode. Using the left trigger you can now lock onto the gorilla and fire (nearly) perfect shots. This will hopefully come in handy for players who struggle with the dual stick controls. Feedback is very welcome. We are worried this makes the tanks too easy to play with now.
We redesigned the multiplayer menu screen. Our single page multiplayer was quickly becoming limiting as we added more game modes and maps. We’ve now implemented some long-desired changes. Creating a new round requires one or two clicks more, but we can now preview the game mode and map and easily restart a new round. This also lays the ground work for multi-round based local multiplayer games.
Our next update is going to focus on two things:
- Balancing and Gameplay improvements: we’re going to refrain from implementing new game modes and maps and focus instead on improving the balance and fun of the current game modes. We have a lot of ideas on how to make the current game modes more fun and dynamics, with new power-ups (including for the Gorilla!), new goals and challenges.
- Internal cleanup and refactoring: the last few weeks have revealed a number of systems built on shaky foundations and a clear set of behaviors we need to improve. We will spend time to stabilize these to make it easier to continue adding new maps, game modes and features to the game.
Of note: we did a major upgrade to our underlying engine (more details in the changelist below) and we have noticed a few difficult-to-reproduce issues, including an occasional crash. If you run into any issues please do let us know either here in the comments or in our forums. Thank you!
Cheers, Salmi Games
Changelog - Build 416
- UFO: added a UFO vehicle, with a new camera angle, an abduction behavior and vertical movement
- UFO: allow camera to be pitched up and down with snapback behavior
- UFO: small particle effect when abductees are absorbed
- UFO: result screen, show kills and abductions
- UFO: adapted the forest map and the town map as locations for the game mode
- UFO: implemented basic AI behavior (target, abduct, flee from gorilla)
- UFO: sound effects!
- UFO: disable occlusion preventer for UFO vehicles (the behavior that hides objects that obstruct your view when controlling tanks/cars/cows)
- UFO: gorilla can rescue abductees as they are being abducted
- UFO: UI tips when you’re out of range and control instructions
- Tutorial: re-implemented from scratch, with extra animated billboards and little human helpers
- Tutorial: teach how to destroy tanks, recover health and reinforce “good” movement controls. Also making it clear you can change your control settings
- Tutorial: added dynamic speech bubbles, with image and translation support
- Internal: implement a proper freecam to capture nicer screenshots
- Internal: updated from Unity 2017.1 to 2017.3. This fundamentally broke the physics and we had to rebalance everything
- Internal: did a performance pass as overall framerate seemed to have been negatively affected by the Unity upgrade
- Internal: improved our build scripts to make sure our Steam builds don’t contain artifacts from older builds
- Internal: build scripts do more checks for missing tools (like git)
- Physics: did a big pass on all the vehicle behaviors to be sure they are not framerate dependent. This has fixed a lot of stuttering problems
- Physics: set physics timestep to 1/45
- Gameplay: adjusted the punching strength to be more uniform (trees were flying a bit too far)
- Controls: disabled mouse look with planes. Was too confusing, might add it back in in a future update, if we find a good system (ALT look?)
- Controls: implement a proper mouse lock so that the game works ok with multi-monitor setups
- Controls: reworked the y-axis invert toggles on the dpad. Now the left dpad toggles the left stick and the right dpad toggles the right stick
- AI: prevent two bots from going for the same powerup.
- AI: correct usage of homing missile => just shoot it straight up!
- AI: rework cost functions to better balance difficulty and fun
- UI: all map preview icons are updated to look nicer.
- UI: updated our credits screen/scene, adding more of our friends!
- Airplane Billboard in Bull Run was not being updated
- Now correctly show a “Waiting for End of Round” when you join a game late or you’ve run out of lives
- Selecting “Start” in the menu or the intro screen no longer flexes the gorilla hand
- You can no longer punch your own hands
- Sometimes if you played a round with a couple humans and AI and then kicked out the AI, in the next round you would have extra vehicles that shouldn’t be there
- Sometimes after playing certain game modes, your camera would get stuck in weird angles in the next round
- Fixed a lot of null references (ArcaadeCarController, ArcadeCowController, GetShootButton, AI GOAP system)
- You can now abduct humans even if they are hopping away
- Lampposts would not turn on at night, even though you could see the illuminated areas on the ground
- Fixed a bunch of missing model issues with the disguide power-ups
- Fixed missing particle effects for the guided missile
- Fixed a whole bunch of inconsistent input issues: sometimes the non-VR player could control the gorilla with their gamepad. Sometimes the gorilla fist would stay closed after release, and so on
- Fixed issue that a player-controlled would auto-boost when grabbed by the gorilla, flying out of the gorilla’s hand
- Prevent two tanks from spawning at the same position
- Fixed a bad ground collision isssue in the Town map.
- Planes had a weird offset angle on their shots, one shot would fly off in an offset direction.
- Can no longer go through the mountain in the Valley map