Power Plug-ins, Font Readability, Shouting
Plug-ins : The future of power management in MTS
You've played the demo and wondered about the sliding power core. At the moment you've only used it to re-direct power around damage so that Gun and Shield Buddy recharge. Possibly you haven't even moved it around. At the moment it feels a bit too separate from the main gameplay - and there's a good reason for that - it's not quite finished yet.
Take a look at the screen, see those four little nub sections on the power corridor? They will be where four plug-ins can be attached. These plug-ins siphon off power and when charged up allow for certain things to happen. Like the laser.
Hang on. But the laser is available all the time, except when cooling down, isn't it? In the demo, yes, but ultimately it and other abilities and weapons will be plug-ins which will re-charge from the power core instead of having a cool down timer.
Now you should start to see how the power core movement becomes a more integral part of managing more of the ship's systems. Which plug-ins you choose to attach and the position in which you attach them becomes important. Suddenly where you move the power core to when you're damaged (and even when not damaged) starts to have real significance to the core strategic gameplay.
Here are some prototype graphics for a plug-in (ultimately they'll all look a bit different, and may function differently in how they consume power).
Where do the plug-ins come from? Repair Buddy has to manufacture them, this helps to fill out the inventory and fabrication management aspect as well. They will become available and upgradable over time.
Do they take damage, or have limited uses? Possibly. This will have to be play tested on the Alpha Testers. We don't want it to get annoying.
Isn't it a bit complicated? The aim is for you to be able to glance at the power bar and know where you need to move the power core in order to achieve your chosen strategy. Glance, slide, done. If it's more complicated than that (the Alpha Testers will provide valuable feedback on this) we'll look to simplifying it.
So I'll be juggling power all the time? Absolutely not. If we get the balance right you should only be doing it for two reasons. 1) You have a specific strategy that requires full power to a specific plug-in (pro-active), 2) You are badly enough damaged that you need to exert some manual control to bring the most important things back on-line first (re-active). We don't want power management to be needlessly excessive. Again, should we get funded, our brilliant Alpha Testers will help us balance this just right.
This is just an example of the many types of cool things that Alpha Testers will be playing around and helping out with. Sounds like fun? Then upgrade your pledge to Alpha Tester and join in.
We've been playing with the font readability for the Buddies. Some people were complaining that it was hard to read so we made the line thickness a little thinner and the background a little less transparent. NOTE: These changes have not been put in the demo yet.
After a bit of a chat on twitter about the changes we're now of the opinion that it'll be too difficult to find a default that works for everyone. What we'll do is choose defaults that work stylistically with the UI but also have font preferences so that they can be re-sized and re-coloured.
We don't just run a Kickstarter, we back 'em too. Here's what we've been backing and why...
TerraTech - We can't believe that this isn't fully funded yet. The intuitive way you just snap vehicle parts together to create awesome battle vehicles is wonderful. Try out the demo.
Radial-G - "Get fully immersed in intense arcade races on tubular tracks Vs. 32 opponents! Supports 2D monitors & Oculus Rift". Says it all better than I could. I've played it on the Oculus, they've got the feel and the visuals just perfect.
Debugger 3.16 - This one took me by surprise. The original video left me wondering what was special about it, it just looked like a strange platformer. But a chat with the developer and these two updated videos made it a lot clearer. A programming-puzzle-platformer. Read that again. Now watch those new videos with fresh eyes. A programming-puzzle-platformer! The dev is after a modest target and has already impressed on Greenlight.
Light - This one isn't a Kickstarter, in fact it's a very recently released minimalist stealth game by our very good friends @JustAPixelGames. They live in the same town, and it's fair to say that without their moral support and inspirational attitude that MTS wouldn't be where it is today. We first met them many months ago when showing MTS in public for the first time at a show-and-tell event that they had arranged in a local pub. We even got to play a little thing they were prototyping at the time called... Light.
As of this email we're just a hair under 60% with 10 days to go. Looking at the various graphs Kickstarter provide it's clear that it's going to be very close and right to the wire! Nail biting stuff. If we had any nails left, that is.
As usual, anything you can do to get the word out is greatly appreciated. You know the drill by now: Tweet, Facebook, Reddit, Stand on street corners and shout (don't actually do this one), contact websites and YouTubers and Let's Players. Let them know there's a new turn-based shoot 'em up in town that needs some attention to get funded.
Oh, one last thing, take a look at some of the great things being said on Greenlight.