A More Refined Game

So, for the first time in a while, OreSome has a new frame – by community request, I present the Refinery.  

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The Refinery Frame allows the player to convert unused ore into higher level ore at a rate of two to one, when it is powered. For example, two green becomes one blue (or yellow to red, red to cyan, etc.). Any ore can be refined besides top level white, which still must be found to be utilised. Keeping an eye on the refinery is necessary if you want to ensure you get the ore you want – it’ll keep converting so long as the power lasts, so beware losing all your low level ore. Losing power while converting loses the current ore, so ensure to keep the contraption constantly powered to avoid ore loss. 

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Here you can see the green ore arriving on the conveyor belt, in the process of transmutation and finally exiting as blue ore on the other end. 

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A number of performance improvements have been going in lately, which should result in a much more smooth gameplay experience for all. The job isn’t yet done, but it’s lightyears better than it was.

v0.35
Added Refinery frame
Added Asynchronous (partial) sector generation
Added Asynchronous saving – no more massive hitch when autosaving
Added Drifter explosion effect
Added Canister identification improvements to the map screen – hover over a sector to show canisters discovered
Balance Yellow tech tree reordered and condensed
Fixed Waypoint arrow visual bug
Fixed Shields causing massive stutter
Fixed Main quests skipping first Badlands quest

v0.34
Added Allowing easier building. Frames can be picked up and rotated with build circles.Hold left click for a short time to grab
Added Probes rotate when in frames to match entry orientation. Can be used to set up eternally spinning devices or similar
Added Tracking of total population killed for future story purposes
Changed Black hole particle effect to be more obvious
Improved Particle effect efficiency
Improved Low level bioform AI efficiency
Fixed Waypoint indicator zoom issues
Fixed Purple flash on game start

v0.33
Changed Reduced shop aggressiveness
Changed Increased yellow nebulae cycle rate
Changed Increased anchor frame stopping power
Changed Increased planetoid deceleration
Changed Increased weld joint ridigity
Changed Initial access to first connect frame – part of future changes to make early frames more accessible
Balance Command, Battle, Freighter frame pricing tweaked
Fixed Camera smoothing
Fixed Drill free floating ore collected
Fixed Removed non essential debug messages
Fixed Buttons needing two clicks initially
Fixed Minimise making gui transparent

As you can see, a number of improvements to making the early game more accessible and less punishing have been made. A frame is now unlocked by default and frames can now be moved even after they have been built – so long as they remain inside the build sphere. Work on a new trailer has begun, which ought to show the game off better in its current state. Anyway, go forth and refine, curious androids!

To Multiplayer, or not to Multiplayer

Basically, multiplayer is more than a possibility for OreSome, but significantly less than a fact. At this point, some of the basics are in (code libraries and such), and game instances will communicate with one another. Bots are synced up, mostly – though nothing else is.

The reason for mentioning this now is that getting this working properly is now a matter of time – in the sense that getting it to work is entirely possible, but will leach a fairly large amount of time away from other features, like more missions and whatever else you might care to think of. No decisions have been made yet on which direction to pursue yet, so sound off in the forum or comments on which you think might be best.

v0.32
Added Options menu is accessible in game
Added Controls menu screen entries glow when being editted
Added Load slot shows date for easier identification

v0.31
Added Superweapon steam, star charge, stasis effectsBalance Research levels for orange, purple, cyan, pink take far fewer kills to achieve – 1 for Level 1, then 3, 9, 27 and 81 for following levels
Changed First main quest has a selection of new frames to be grabbed, making it easier to get an early ship together
Fixed Bonder sinkhole ability bug
Fixed Breaker bots triggering music
Fixed Wall beams moving weirdness

In other news, a new trailer may be forthcoming soon, the current teasers probably are no longer good enough. However, if anyone is willing to help gather good footage for one, that’d be a great time saver on this end. So long curious androids, maybe you can see each other in game soon enough!

So, about that stuff.

Community member theguywhogamesalot posted a video – this news post is a bit late so it’s a touch out of date now, with some of the issues fixed, but he’s kindly said he may do a few more videos in future showing off new features as they come. In other news, the wikia continues to grow and progress via patches continues unabated.

With only cosmetic particle effects left, efficiency and stability improvements are in progress. Also, the first tiny hooks to build multiplayer with are going in – depending on how difficult this proves to be, the mode may arrive sooner, or later. In any case, there’s lots more content still to come.

v0.30
Added Superweapon effects (just a few cosmetic effects left now)
Added bioform beam and attack effects
Fixed Binder bot beams now correctly removed when target bot dies

v0.29
Added Many new particle effects for bioforms
Added Moving eyes for bioform bosses
Fixed Asyncronous save corruption

v0.28
Added Lidgren networking library for eventual multiplayer
Added Option to allow drill to fire straight – holding mode modifier key (shift by default) allows the previous turning ability
Added EM convert particle effect
Changed Tutorial text changes to make it clearer how to do certain tasks
Changed Made a command frame available to be found early on to teach players about controlling frames
Changed Planet shadows more pronounced
Changed Ore graphics more subtle, less neon
Balance Probe price reduced to 10 Green 1 Pink ore from 10 Pink
Improved Swarm bot efficiency
Fixed Death screen alerts when a save cannot be loaded instead of displaying default text
Fixed Tentacle physics bodies not being cleared up on death
Fixed Swarm bots don’t overshoot their target

v0.27
Added New Wormhole flash and first few bioform particle effects
Fixed Weird catapult parts physics jiggle, better hit recognition
Improved Experimental change to region generation method, hopefully should be smoother
Improved Star and planet particle speed improvements

As always, much more to come. Maybe it won’t be long before curious androids can meet one another in multiplayer? I wouldn’t bet too much on it though… We’ll see.

Wiki Magic

Community member svleur has been busy creating some new media, including the brief Let’s Play shown below. Another nice early game showing for the new player. Continuing that theme, we now have a wikia:

Oresome.wikia.com

There’s lots of good stuff there, including guides to using some of the basic kit. If you feel like helping out, there’s plenty more that can usefully go on! Thanks to svleur for setting it up and ataaron for other additions.

There’s been a bunch of new patches, mainly to bring in the new particle effects, which are mostly prettier now. Some are still a work in progress and a handful remain to be readded, but that’s coming soon. More urgently though will be efficiency improvements and major bugfixes and these are coming sooner.

Changelog:

v0.26
Added Super frame particle effects, only a handful missing now
Balance Reduced tractor beam movement and explosive wall cost to 2% (!) of previous
Fixed Several binder bot visual bugs
Fixed Rocket abilities destroying themselves when the builder is moving fast
Fixed Quests and other items spawning too close to start location
Fixed Sound death loop
Fixed Particles not updating properly in some circumstances

v0.25
Added New frame particle effects – only super frames and bioforms left to replace
Fixed Command hardpoint disconnect crash
Fixed Grav frame repelling black holes when attempting to farm ore from them
Fixed Sound effect loop bug when entering menus

v0.24
Added New particle effects for flash, bridger bot, solar frame
Fixed Crash due to too many particles
Fixed Region generation crash in some parts of The Edge
Improved Hitches should be less frequent and severe. More performance increases to follow shortly

v0.23
Added MAJOR Particle Engine Changes – majority of effects are converted, but some remain to be readded or improved over the coming days. There may be a few new bugs here and there for the moment, but this change will allow much greater efficiency and stability in future. Many effects look nicer too, though this is not yet universal.
Added Override for XNA graphics card check – may allow those older graphics cards to play where they previously couldn’t
Fixed Save graphic scales with zoom properly
Fixed Game no longer restarts upon resolution change
Fixed Blaster bot should target enemies more effectively

Now go be memorised by the new pretties – but don’t head into the light, curious androids!, it’s probably a sun and they burn.

We need a new Particle Engine in here, stat!

Riddler Gaming has a new first impressions gameplay video up of OreSome. They raised some fair points, particularly about the game needing more help systems and tutorials.

Since they had a few problems working out a couple of basics (due to said lack of help systems), here’s a few tips:

Firstly, greyed out stuff in the buy menu is stuff not yet researched.
Second, in the video they have problems buying bots – they just need to be dropped in the bluish circle around the builder, rather than just anywhere on screen.
Third, frames need researching, though rebalancing will occur later, making them easier to get hold of.

Some of the bugs they’ve noted are gone now, others will be in future.

New changelogs, bringing many upgrades and bug fixes. As always, much more to come – though new features won’t be going in for a week or two, to focus on bugs and efficiency.

v0.22
Added Swarm Select research journal
Added Hotkey for last used ability
Improved Spawn logic, much more to do here
Fixed Building ‘ghost’ now correct size on all zoom values
Fixed Research screen resolution bug
Fixed Destroyed tentacle crash
Fixed Welded hardpoint ‘wobble’ (maybe)
Fixed Swarm Select now only needs right click to be held to work

v0.21
Added Waypoint savingAdded Waypoints appear on world map
Fixed Island.Add physics bug (Possible fix – post in forums if still seen)
Fixed Waypoints not being assignable
Fixed Auto-mine load crash

v0.20
Added Basic waypoint system. Waypoints don’t save yet, will in next patch.
Added New research screen
Fixed Research bars wrong height
Fixed Resolution issues
Fixed Wormholes should spawn further away from other objects

v0.19
Added Rudimentary ‘Game Over’ screen
Added Saving icon during quick and auto save
Added ‘Continue’ option available on main menu
Added Dumping ore into normal stars sometimes causes them to change colour
Changed More particle effects moved to new system, efficiency and memory usage improved
Changed Power frame ‘pulse’ to be more obvious
Fixed In game UI now resolution independent
Fixed Game didn’t restart after resolution change
Fixed Research after loading crash bug

As to the next few tasks, the Particle Engine OreSome uses is Mercury 3.1 – but a few inefficiencies and features have made an upgrade to 5.0 necessary. Unfortunately, the old version’s particle effect aren’t compatible, so they need remaking, which takes time. Hopefully you’ll be patient with a brief lack of patches. We will return to your regularly scheduled patchitude shortly, hopefully with a more efficient and prettier game. After this, it’ll be full speed ahead on knocking out bugs and slowdowns.

See you later with some new pretty particles, curious androids!

News and Patches Abound!

Gaming blog Dad’s Gaming Addiction have a preview of OreSome up here
They also did a cool mini-playthrough vid, which shows off a few things quite nicely. It mainly covers early game stuff, but it’s a nice taster session.

In game related news, the Alpha is now up to 0.18, as of now. To give you some idea of how fast things are changing, here’s the last week’s changelogs:

v0.18
Added New research journal
Changed Asteroid ore so that red and yellow ore are more common
Changed Particle effects moving to more efficient method – should improve both processor and memory consumption (begun change, not yet complete)
Dropping quests into gaps, not near things
Fixed Memory improvement – out of memory error should be much less likely.
Fixed Minor quest related bugs, text
Fixed Plan bugs – several bases/ships caused crashes when loaded, now functional, others minor improvements
Fixed Quest waypoint persisting after death
Fixed Three harpoints attaching together
Fixed Wormholes causing save corruption/crashes/wormholes loading attached to wrong planetoid
Fixed Wrong bot selected on load
Fixed Minor bugs and several very infrequent crashes
Right click bugs

v0.17
Added Dump ore ability from ore menu
Added Research journals
Added Warning when bot full of ore – ore menu background turns red
Changed Welding hardpoints allowed when ore menu open
Fixed Command hardpoints invisible
Fixed Multiple instances of game no longer allowed
Fixed Non-English language save corruption bug
Fixed Redemption upgrade detaches binder bots on respawn
Fixed Redemption upgrade flash particle effect
Fixed Unjoint crash bug
Fixed Welded hardpoints not saving/loading

v0.16
Added ‘Static’ mode for shipyard
Added Escape exits all menus
Added More journal entries
Added Notification opens appropriate journal item when journal opened
Added Quick save/load key rebind
Added Tooltips for buttons
Balance Overloader buffer bot ability WAY too expensive, reduced by 2500% (!)
Fixed Auto save
Fixed Bot related save corruption
Fixed Menu key rebind bug
Fixed Power sparks invisible

v0.15
Added More research journals
Added Notifications, replacing rubbish white text pop ups. Further improvements to come shortly
Added Resolution support for 1920×1200
Added Rudimentary error log, created upon crash in save directory
Added Showing research points required for next unlock
Balanced Binder bot no longer requires any ore to make short range binds to other bots
Fixed Another save corruption bugFixed Binder graphical bug at short distances
Fixed Ore mining crash bug
Fixed Research unlocking too early

This is by no means the end. In the next week, we have several new features coming that should make players lives easier.

The research menu is getting a revamp, and all the menus are being better optimised for all resolutions.
Waypoints will be added to the map screen, helping you find and save your way.
Game over screen showing at least what killed you and hopefully a few amusing stats.
Finally, in addition to the usual bug fixing, the particle effect system is under refurbishment, which should improve performance and stability.

See you in the next world generation, curious androids!