Steam Sector Six 1.1.0 - RPG/SHMUP - XP and experience changes

Discussion in 'Made with GameMaker' started by Zuurix, Jun 20, 2016.

  1. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

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    Final combat update! New content and important changes

    Sector Six combat is now complete!

    This update adds new enemy, abilities and modifications, removes all of the combat exploits, improves armoured colony seeker, finishes modular difficulty system and more!

    New abilities
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Passive ability effects

    Every non-passive ability has received a passive effect.
    Apocalypse class abilities increase damage by 2% per level.
    Titan class abilities increase armour by 2% per level.
    Carrier class abilities increase armour and damage by 1% per level.

    New enemy modifications
    • Has an armour extension
    • Mine launcher
    • Evolves
    Apex of evolution

    Minion with Evolves modification turns into a stronger minion after a few seconds.
    The timer is reset whenever minion takes damage.
    After minion evolves, it doesn't stop evolving until it evolves into apex.
    Apex is a new minion that is even more powerful than dreadnoughts and apparitions.
    Those who can defeat apex will be rewarded with an extant part.

    Armoured colony seeker improvements

    Armoured colony seeker is now faster, more intelligent and much more dangerous!
    Same applies to scions, sentinels and gatherers.
    Rewards have also been improved to match increased difficulty.

    Modular difficulty system changes

    Changes applied to modular difficulty system with the previous update has been reverted and new modifier has been added: Hivind's Army.
    Hivind's Army functions the same as level 2 Manifestations Of Destruction in version 0.8.4
    This is the final version of modular difficulty system, there are no more changes planned for it.

    Other changes
    • Entropic Arc ability has been replaced with Entropic Fracture.
    • Reflect chance is now capped at 80%.
    • Fixed several mistakes in ability descriptions.
    • Temporarily removed avatar customization panel from settings.
    • Corrected wrong ability interface tooltips.
    • All regions have cities now.
    • Improved writing.
    • Improved story mission V.
    • Fixed Titan class tutorial skipping bug.
    • Reverted Death From Above, now it works like it used to work before 0.8.4 update.
    • Increased range of Shatter, Swarm Control and EMP Grenade.
    • Reworked Aggression, Resistance, and Capacity passive abilities.
    • Parts now give less damage boost, to make other damage boosts more important.
    • Parts no longer increase levels of Aggression, Resistance, and Capacity.
    • Instead, parts increase ether and armour by a percentage.
    • Minion armour cores have been renamed to armour extensions.
    • Fixed apparition graphical glitches.
    • Beacon can now be modified.
    • Improved Concentrated Fire.
    • Part sets now require only 6 components to be completed.
    • Added new shield sounds.
    • Added new buying and selling sounds.
    • Fixed glitch that occurred when the ship was destroyed during region resurrection.
    Have fun!



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
  2. Hyomoto

    Hyomoto Member

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    So let me start of with some harsh and personal critique: strongly consider toning down or outright removing words like 'elegant', 'innovative', 'revolutionary', 'interesting', 'unique' from your various descriptions, not to mention 'fun', 'enjoyable' and 'addictive'. These are all adjectives that are in the mind of the viewer, and to put it bluntly: unless they agree with your assessment it does a lot more harm than good. Every. Single. Game. Seems to be obsessed with either ensuring you know how unique and innovative it is and what games it was inspired by. All games are inspired by something, and most games are hardly unique, innovative or revolutionary. Instead, focus on what you've actually built: a side-scrolling shooter with a RPG/strategy layer and an emphasis on customization. That description I just gave: THAT is what would sell me personally on the game. "Complex combat system" on the other hand. Complex how? It definitely doesn't look complex in the screenshots. What it comes down to is these words are fluff and, to me at least, scream "I'M TRYING TO CONVINCE YOU MY GAME IS AWESOME, PLEASE TRY IT." I understand the impulse, just the execution almost universally pushes me away. To be blunt: if I wasn't directed to that store page from here, I would have passed right by it. The description alone kills the product in my eyes. In short, let the players of your game decide if it's 'interesting', 'unique' and 'innovative', you just need to tell them what it actually is.

    So, after getting past what is for me a high point of friction and giving the demo a try I was ... well. First off the menus are clean and nicely presented. The animation is fluid and you've kept this quite simple and straightforwards. I like it. Then I start a new game and decide to watch the opening cutscene. Still okay. But then we get to the space station and your character dialogue goes back and forth from being decent to being ... out of place at best and outright terrible at worst. I'm not sure who you play as, but he/she/it has a wild case of apathy. You frame them as a hero being willing to sacrifice their life to save civilians during the intro, and yet they talk like they are twelve. I dunno, personally I hate the character I play as because they seem dim-witted among a military that seems more 'focused'. I don't know if it's a translating issue or something but I'd have someone else take a pass over the dialogue if you can.

    It's at this point we can finally get into the game and: well, it's okay. It's not bad at all, very competent and the gameplay definitely has some high points that made me consider purchasing. The customization of your ship is very cool, and while again it's nothing I haven't seen done in a number of other games, you've utilized it pretty well and the interface for building your ship is functional and easy to use. It also meshes pretty well with the side scrolling gameplay as allowing you to place your weapon mounts and coupling that with a %of damage system is pretty cool, I liked it. I also like how the enemies 'break' as they take damage and that this damage can also affect their attack patterns. As for the enemy AI though, 'intelligent' is HARDLY the word I would use and goes back to my first paragraph. These enemies aren't intelligent by Defender standards and don't really seem to have well considered 'patterns'. Honestly, they feel like they either move to the same Y as you or based on a timer or random chance do a thing. Obviously various enemies have their various quirks but I didn't encounter anything that seemed to go beyond this.

    This quickly leads me to another low point: I don't know if this improves as you play, but the feedback you get outside of the enemies breaking is dull. The sound FX lack punch, how much damage you do seems to have no impact, and this is the type of detail that pushes a game back into the noise for me. It's just not particularly satisfying to land a killing blow. Nor do your weapons feel more 'weighty' when powered up. Some enemies take quite a bit of punishment, but there is little in the way of sound or visual FX to differentiate them. Having nice beefy explosions for larger targets, having hit SFX and VFX that reflect the damage you are doing, and having hard targets better reflect they are 'damaged' would make the experience considerably more enjoyable. Not to mention the 'hard' outlines clash with the 'soft' effects and backgrounds. I'm not sure that is a huge issue, but it makes the art seem ... incomplete somehow. Like it needs one more pass to add something to it. The music on the other hand is very well done, very enjoyable and I'm glad the OST is available though I lament you have to purchase the game to get it.

    Lastly, while the menus are pretty good and well laid out, your in-game HUD is not. The art style is ugly, it takes up far too much room and worst of all it DISAPPEARS when you pass behind it. This is the type of decision that truly confuses me. This is important information for the player during combat, and during combat it should always be visible. Not to mention you have to take your eyes off your ship and your enemies to even look at it. I have very little nice to say about this interface other than the skill hotbar and that's only to say it's pretty much par for the course and functional. Everything else needs to be moved and rethought. For example, why not put the ether/armor bars on/near your ship? If nothing else, the fact that you chose to HIDE THE HUD alone is proof this is a bad interface.

    So my final thoughts are this: I'm not sure how many games you've made but this one is definitely okay. It's biggest flaw is that it's full of meh. It's competent, it's clearly something you put a lot of work into and it's not a bad game. That is far and above the majority of games that get released on the Steam store, hell even in these forums. But is it good? I guess it depends on standards. I have a library of over 1500 video games and 100 board games. I have played a lot of games and when I'm choosing one to play or buy, I'm looking for something that shows me something I might not have seen before or just does it in a more satisfying manner. Most recently 20XX is a game I've taken a liking to, and like your game it is flawed in a lot of ways. The difference between them however is that 20XX absolutely nails the gameplay. Enemies have interesting behaviors and destroying them is satisfying, the sound FX are spot on and while I don't like the graphical style it is consistent throughout. In your game, the enemies just aren't very interesting to fight and the visual style seems unfinished, and the sound FX are sorely lacking in the combat department. So while the leveling and ship building is quite enjoyable, it's weighed down by a game that's just not very interesting to play. And on the recommend/not recommend scale that Steam uses, I'd go with not recommend. It's definitely not a horrible deal for $5, but I'd rather play 1 $20 game that's quite good than four $5 games that are okay.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
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  3. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

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    Oh, okay. I write a different description.
    Never got feedback regarding descriptions, I would have done that earlier.
    I'm not a good writer, that's what it is. Well, I can write decent sounding stuff, but I don't think I can make characters talk like real people =P
    That, and English is not my native language. I think I can do better in my native language.
    Eh, AI does its job. I was planning to make the enemy movement look better, by making them accelerate and making bigger enemies slower, but don't know if I'll ever get to that.
    It does improve a little when you get more flashy abilities, like Era's End:



    But yes, hit effects are a big problem. I can't make sound effects myself, don't have the tech for it and it seems that's the best my sounds guy can do.
    Visually I spent hours to improve, but couldn't come up with anything better than this. Silhouette art style is very limiting and when coupled with the fully customizable ship, it feels like nothing works truly well with it.
    More experienced developers with the budget would find a way, but I have run out of ideas on what to do to make it look better than it is.

    I'll keep trying to improve it, but it's been 3 years and it's time to finish the game. My goal is the game, not perfection.
    Well, I don't know what else to add to it. Besides even deeper background layer.
    My composer worked hard for it and part of profit goes to him, don't be greedy =P
    This is my 4th game in total and 2nd big game.
    I'm still very inexperienced and underfunded.
    I agree that combat sounds and some of the animations aren't good, but pretty sure enemies are interesting to fight and I don't see any problems with art style (besides that it gets boring after a while, but such is silhouette art).

    My enemies are more interesting than in many other acclaimed games. Even if they aren't as satisfying to fight.

    In the end, I am extremely proud of Sector Six. It's way too ambitious for me to handle properly, but I am going to get away with it =P

    This will game will be a solid foundation to its sequel.

    I am very grateful for your honest criticism and tiny compliments.
    Even if I don't agree with some things you said about Sector Six, I will still try to find a way to improve the game =]
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  4. Felipe Rybakovas

    Felipe Rybakovas Member

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    Hey Zuurix, I know Hyomoto looks hard on his comments. But i must say.... This kind of honest feedback is something that you must be glad for.
    It's very rare someone give this kind of feedback because this can cause all the different reactions and people in general don't want to cause or be in discomfort.

    He gave to you a true honest customer view about a product. We sometimes as creators are too much proud of our sons to be able to see their flaws.

    I passed that with my game earlier this year. I was giving my view on my game and the mechanics that I thought that would be great...
    When they started to play it and test it, I realize they liked all those things that was not what I really liked and putting effort to be good.

    Well, was not easy to give up on some ideas, but in the end I take out all those things they indicate that was bad and focus on all those things they say was good
    and I must admit that the game looks much better now and much more fun on playing it.


    I do not have played you game yet, but I'll try it out and also give to you a honest feedback.

    so please, do not take this personally... Take this as a opportunity to give your game a even better direction.

     
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  5. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

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    Yeah, that's what I intend to do.
    What if I make enemies shake when they are hit:

     
  6. Hyomoto

    Hyomoto Member

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    That's exactly the type of feedback I'm talking about :D Even better if you can tie the shake into the amount of damage being done. Being able to tell the difference, visually and audibly, between your weaker and stronger attacks makes using them more satisfying. When you hit the enemy with a crippling strike and it shakes the frame and bits break off, that's exactly what I'd want to see after launching a savage strike. The other part of the VFX however is some enemies have a lot of life, and being able to 'see' the progress you are making with fire and smoke particles or flashes, sparks, or something helps you feel like the attacks you are using are actually making progress. Staring at their lifebar going down isn't half as satisfying as watching them break apart, set on fire and ultimately explode. Keep it up!

    (and please, do something about the HUD, even just switching to horizontal bars would clear up a lot of space on the screen)
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
  7. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

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    That's great!
    I could add a particle effect behind the enemy, some sort of expanding flash, maybe that would look better.
    Hm, I probably can.
    <5% of enemy health taken per, say, 1 second: 4-pixel shake.
    >5% and <10% health: 6-pixel shake.
    >10% health: 8-pixel shake.

    That should make bigger attacks feel bigger.
    I could add different states of damage on the enemy. Thanks to silhouette art style, sprites are easy to make.

    >60% health: Normal enemy sprite
    <60% and >30% health: Slightly damaged enemy sprite with bits missing.
    <30% health: Even more bits missing, smoke and/or electric sparks going from the enemy.

    When enemy transitions between states, there could be an explosion.
    Here's what I can do:

    upload_2017-9-27_10-44-8.png

    Project slim UI =P
    (I just made it using MS paint in 5 minutes)

    I've moved ether bar below abilities and armour bars below player and enemies.

    Problems:

    Enemy health bars will cause various problems because I'll need to find a way to make them not overlap.
    Same with a player health bar, but it's easier, I can just check player spaceship height before the mission starts and move the bar to empty space.

    Enemy infobox (the one with "Modified heavy / Has an armour extension") - I can't get rid of it.
    The core of the problem is the modified minions, they have modifications - e.g.: Has more armour, sniper weapons, without infobox players wouldn't know in what way enemy is modified.
    Although... Some of the modifications can be understood without explaining, so if I got rid of non-obvious modifications, I could remove it.
    Players wouldn't know what enemy names and levels are, but it's a small price to play.
    I could add enemy list outside combat, to remedy name problem. For bosses, there could be an intro animation, that displays their name on the screen.
    And levels aren't going to matter soon. (Enemy level will be based on area level)

    Alloy container looks weird without other bars, I don't know where to put it and I don't want to turn it into a horizontal bar.
    It's a minor problem, but still.

    Mission objective would be on the top of the screen and I want top of the screen to be empty.

    If those problems would be solvable, this is how it would be arranged:

    upload_2017-9-27_10-58-21.png

    I think I like how this looks.
    All things you need to glance at occasionally in once place.
    I could go further and move effect timers next to ability bar:

    upload_2017-9-27_11-0-11.png

    That would leave nothing on the top, besides achievement and part pickup notifications.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
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  8. Hyomoto

    Hyomoto Member

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    I definitely like the look of this stuff, honestly your first prototype isn't that bad. It's not so much about getting rid of the HUD as it is keeping the "field of play" clear. In your first picture the entire center of the screen is nice and clean, so even if the player or enemies did end up behind it, it would be far less obstructive. If you could do away with the enemy description, namely by making these types of upgrades visually apparent, or even just putting the level next to their life, I think you'd have done a massive improvement. I honestly think you are on to something in the first picture. The second one isn't bad, but shoving everything in the corner isn't ideal either.
     
  9. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

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    Okay, I'll try the first one minus enemy infobox.
     
  10. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

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    Here's some progress, if you're interested @Hyomoto:



    The fight is intentionally slow, I wanted to show enemy states. With properly equipped ship, the enemy would be dead under 5 seconds, too fast to see any changes in appearance.
     
  11. Hyomoto

    Hyomoto Member

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    Definitely enjoy the unobstructed view, personally I think you could easily slide the player health on top of the skill bar and you'd have a pretty good UI going.

    To go back to an earlier theme I think your video actually demonstrates something pretty well, the shaking is a good effect. However, the missiles you are shooting aren't really doing all that much damage. In that case, the tink of the armor and the lack of shaking is completely fine because the enemy isn't taking much damage. Just as an example, you might reserve that effect for when the attack does more than 15% of the enemy health. Something like that. The same goes for pieces that break. That way your more powerful attacks have that little extra visual oomph, it's just a simple way to differentiate your weapons and give the player some satisfying feedback for doing lots of damage. Otherwise it looks like you are working hard to address my various criticisms and I must say, at no point do I think you need to cater to me specifically, I'm definitely no one important, but nonetheless you've exhibited the rare trait of trying to do better and improve your game and this is something I support. Keep going!
     
  12. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

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    Going to try putting player health bar below spaceship first.
    You're not first to criticize the HUD and impacts, but with your feedback, that collective criticism gained "critical mass" and now I'm going to work on it.
    Now that I'm sure that there are flaws in core gameplay, I can't work on content until I've done something about it.

    Anyway, here's a video of damage check system (visible on fullscreen):



    The time between checks is long only to show how it works. Normally it should be run every 2-3 steps.
    Hopefully, it'll be accurate enough. I like how universal it is - I won't have to mark certain attacks as strong, the damage of attack will speak for itself.
     
  13. Hyomoto

    Hyomoto Member

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    Looks good!
     
  14. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

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    @Hyomoto, breakthrough!

    That damage checking system is a wonderful thing, I can do so much with it.
    Previous attempts to improve impacts failed because with hundreds of missile collisions, it's really hard to balance graphical effects.
    Nothing worked.

    Now everything I tried worked!
    Damage states, hit slashes, shaking, particles, etc.

    So, here it is - damage-based graphical effects in various scenarios:



    Hit slashes appear when the player removes over 10% of enemy armour in less than - if my math is correct - 1/12th of a second.

    You can also see work-in-progress HUD and enemy damage states.
    And yes, there's just one enemy, because I didn't make state sprites for other enemies yet.
     
  15. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

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    Echo #84: Complete map rework

    This week I've been trying to improve combat HUD and graphics.
    I've changed HUD to cover less of the screen and made collisions more impactful.

    Next week I will be preparing for one of biggest Sector Six updates ever - complete map rework!

    Map rework is a solution to levelling problem.

    Because enemy level scales with player level, levelling up is not that beneficial to a player.
    Sometimes even harmful.

    I want to change that.

    There are 3 ways I can do it:

    1) Allow the player to change a level of enemies manually in the map screen.

    Player levels up > Returns to map screen > Increases the enemy level > Player starts another mission.
    It would be effective, but it's a very lazy way to do it.
    And possibly exploitable.

    2) Scale enemy level with player level whenever the Machines move.

    I liked this idea, but it's way too easy to exploit it.
    With a simple strategy, the player could easily become 10 levels higher than enemies.
    I could make it impossible to exploit, but those fixes would hinder the game even more.
    I can do better than this.

    3) Get rid of the dynamic map and create different level zones.

    Sector Six had so-called dynamic map since the early versions of the game.
    In other games, wars and invasions don't really affect the game.
    I wanted to be original and make the world into a battlefield, where player actions affect the course of the war.

    Currently, every 10 missions player starts - either wins or loses - the Machines moves, occupying other regions.
    Because there's 8 of the Machines, it's possible to recover regions faster than the Machines destroy them.
    Secure regions are where shops are located and the Machines are able to block access to them, by invading secure regions.

    It's an interesting system, I really like how it works.
    However, it only works with enemies scaling to the player.

    Similar games to Sector Six like Torchlight or Path of Exile have completely different map system.
    There are connected zones with different level enemies.

    The player plays in level 1 zone, then reaches level 2 and moves to level 2 zone. And so on.

    I want to this with Sector Six.

    I will have to create a zone for every player level.
    Every zone will have 3-12 regions, a story mission and a different set of enemies.

    E.g.:

    Deep Path
    Level 1 area
    Minions: Collector, drone, demolisher, probe, tank, swarmling
    Mission: The Beginning

    The Core
    Level 10 area
    Minions: Heavy, anode, dagger, revenant factory, veteran, swarmling
    Mission: The Core

    Tarion Link
    Level 11 area
    Minions: Veteran, dreadnought, probe, killer, gatherer, scion
    Mission: The Eight Keys


    Enemies, item rewards and cities will be the same level as the region.
    E.g.: Deep Path cities will sell level 1 parts, enemies in Deep Path will be level 1 and drop level 1 parts.

    Players will still be able to secure/destroy regions.
    I might make some missions more punishing than before - failing them will damage status of multiple regions in the zone.

    This seems like the best solution - it will permanently fix problems with levelling, create a strong feeling of progression and increase variety.
    By dropping that Machine invasion minigame, Sector Six should become into a much better game.

    The only problem is that between every part of the story, players will be required to level up, which might feel grindy.

    But if it will end up being a problem, I'm confident that I can fix it as well.

    So, that's the news!
    Hopefully, I'll be able to include screenshots or even a video of the new map system the next time I post.

    Until then!
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
  16. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

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    Ok, so new HUD was a complete failure and I wasted almost 5 days making it/them.

    Turns out I can't get rid of enemy information, objective reminder and alloy container.
    Making all of them smaller and spreading them around is as good as removing them, they all have to be in all place.

    Which is what old HUD did.
    It's not perfect, but it's the best I can do with small screen and a lot of crucial information to show.

    Now I just need to not repeat mistakes of Sector Six in my next game...

    upload_2017-10-8_16-24-1.png

    upload_2017-10-8_16-35-25.png

    upload_2017-10-8_16-38-39.png

    upload_2017-10-8_16-38-52.png

    None of them works =P
     
  17. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

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    Echo #85: Areas of Deep Path

    Last week I spent a lot of time trying to improve HUD.

    Unfortunately, none of the changes did anything good to it, I had to revert them and now I'm working on map rework.

    My plan is to add 3 zones and see how that changes the game.
    The first zone is Deep Path.

    Deep Path will have 7 level 1 areas:

    Aon Way
    Initially secured
    Sells level 1 generic weapons when secured


    Berel Way
    Initially destroyed
    Has an arena


    Cyr Way
    Initially occupied
    Contributes level 1 optimized part when secured
    Story mission: The Beginning


    Dask Way
    Initially besieged
    Contributes level 1 generic weapon when secured


    Ewe Way
    Initially besieged
    Contributes units when secured


    Fion Way
    Initially besieged
    Sells level 1 parts when secured


    Galis Way
    Initially besieged
    Sells level 1 alloy containers when secured


    Aon Way, Berel Way, Cyr Way... It just means area A, area B, area C... Giving all the areas in 30 regions unique names would take too much time.
    I will eventually give certain areas more meaningful names, but for now, it will be like that.

    So, map rework will not only change the way player progresses through Sector, it will also add new features.

    Instead of having shops, some regions contribute items and resources to help you fight the Machines.
    Contributions will be given out after every successful mission in the region.

    For example, if you have secured Ewe Way and then complete mission in Irre Way, Ewe Way will give you some units.

    Another new feature is arena missions.

    Because the Machines will not occupy regions anymore, you would run out of missions after you have secured all areas in the region.
    Arena missions will prevent that.

    Securing all areas in the region will be enough to level up and move to the next region, but I'll add arena missions just to be safe.

    So, how will arena missions work?

    Arena missions will be similar to good old kill missions.

    During arena missions, you will never fight more than one minion at once in the arena.

    Also, after every minion destroyed, you will need to choose one of two randomly chosen opponents.
    E.g.: Heavy or tank, veteran or acolyte, modified collector or probe.

    To complete arena mission, you will have to destroy 10 minions.
    Arena mission reward is always units and amount of units are based on which minions you have defeated.
    Bigger minions will give more units.

    There's also an option to continue fighting indefinitely after required 10 fights.

    To be able to do arena missions, you will have to secure the areas that have arenas.

    Anyway, right now I'm working on making map more eye pleasing.
    I'm going to make map squares bigger, mission icons more visible and add decorative map squares.

    And that's all of the news!
    Until next time!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  18. Hyomoto

    Hyomoto Member

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    You win some, you lose some. If nothing else you learned from the experience :)
     
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  19. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

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    Echo #86: Map rework intensifies

    Last week I have done a huge part of map rework and implemented arena mission.

    Arena mission works just like I have described it in the previous echo and map rework is going really well!
    I have already changed most of the things to work with the new map system.

    Left to do:
    • Change story mission 5 to work with the new map system.
    • Relocate and rename several regions.
    • Add remaining regions.
    • Add contribution system.
    • Add siege mission.
    • Add endgame area and improve new game+.
    • Add a few minions.
    • Add part compression.
    • Improve secure regions further.
    • Fix various minor problems.
    This is not only the map rework, I'm also trying to add some of the remaining features.

    Features like part compression, siege mission and endgame area.

    Endgame area will be the last area in Sector Six after map rework.
    You will be able to customize it - set the level of enemies, choose which enemies will spawn in that area and other things.
    It will your main hub after completing the story.
    Alternatively, you'll be able to start a new game+, which will reset story missions and increase levels of regions.

    Siege mission will be a fun gameplay loop.
    Massive structure of the Machines will spawn minions, you will destroy them for ammo to reload siege cannon
    Reloaded cannon will fire a missile at the Machine structure and then you'll have to get more ammo.
    This will continue until you will destroy the Machine structure.

    Part compression will allow you to compress two parts into one, so you will be able to make your spaceship slimmer.
    It will give even more customization.
    To keep big ships viable, I'm planning to make certain abilities benefit from spaceship size.

    This update is very fun to do so far and will probably make the game like 90% complete!

    That is the end of this echo.
    Until next time!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
  20. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Echo #87: Harvest week

    Map rework continues!
    Last week I have added more regions, added contribution system, improved map interface further, relocated certain regions and changed story mission 5.

    I would have done more, but I have burned out in the middle of the week and had to spend a whole day recovering.
    Also, I had to help my parents to harvest beets, so didn't have much time to work on the game.

    Coincidentally, I added a reward system that allows you to harvest free items!
    To do that, you need to secure region that contributes parts, then complete mission in the other area of the region and hit the new "Collect" button in map interface to collect contributions.

    There are 15 regions now out of planned 30.
    I expect to have all regions added to the game next week.
    I should have more time and remaining regions have no story missions, so I can add regions faster.

    Here's the updated to do list from the previous echo:

    Add 15 regions.
    Add siege mission.
    Add endgame area and improve new game+.
    Add a few minions.
    Add part compression.
    Improve secure regions further.
    Fix various minor problems.


    Adding one region takes about 10-20 minutes, including adding decorations and naming the areas, so it should be done quickly.
    And yes, now I give a unique name to each area.

    The interesting thing about area names is that they aren't gibberish.
    If you will pay attention to them, you may find out a lot about Sector Six.

    For example, Archmist region area names: Colowa, Phasia, Kor, Negatar and Mzenor.

    They are archaic names of Negati, Phase, Colowis, Tridenkor and Mzenim.
    That's because sentient life in Sector Six began in Archmist asteroids.

    People from Phasia colonized region now known as Phase, it was the centre of Phasian civilization.
    People from Kor later have conquered Phase and created Empire of Kor.

    Which later shattered and turned into three smaller empires of Tri, Den and Kor.

    Even later those empires were conquered by nations from Colowa, Mzenor and Negatar.

    People of Tri, Den and Kor fled to a distant region that they have called Tridenkor.

    Tridenkor region is going to have only one area called Innexis.
    And in the Almadi language "Innex" means "Unity".
    From the word "In" - "One".

    A lot of area names mean something in Almadi language, they will start making more sense as I will develop the Almadi language and reveal more of its words.

    I rarely write about this, but a lot of names and features in Sector Six have stories behind them.

    Anyway, I have relocated certain regions and added new regions.

    Here's a new list of regions: (And names of upcoming story missions for hype!)

    Region level / Region name / Region mission

    Level 1 / Deep Path / The Beginning
    Level 2 / Negati / To Negati
    Level 3 / Labyrinth / The Almadi Knowledge
    Level 4 / The Core / The Core
    Level 5 / Aspil / The Eight Keys
    Level 6 / Pylon / The Eight Keys
    Level 7 / Niss / The Eight Keys
    Level 8 / Archmist / The Eight Keys
    Level 9 / Sailemar / The Eight Keys
    Level 10 / Ityl / The Eight Keys
    Level 11 / Paradise / The Eight Keys
    Level 12 / Tarion / The Eight Keys
    Level 13 / Tridenkor / The Wrath Of The Machines
    Level 14 / Colowis / The Wrath Of The Machines
    Level 15 / Mzenim / The Wrath Of The Machines
    Level 16 / Broken Labyrinth / The Origin
    Level 17 / High Path / Path Beyond
    Level 18 / Gallamar / Beyond Light
    Level 19 / White Grid / Beyond Light
    Level 20 / Eolutch / The Edge
    Level 21 / Pulsar Vector / Broken Worlds
    Level 22 / Bloom / Broken Worlds
    Level 23 / Lumer Pass / Broken Worlds
    Level 24 / Wacar / Broken Worlds
    Level 25 / Venerion / Broken Worlds
    Level 26 / Phase / Broken Worlds
    Level 27 / Nebula / Broken Worlds
    Level 28 / Spiral / Broken Worlds
    Level 29 / Rift / The Birth Of Infinity
    Level 30 / Broken Infinity / The Eight Machines


    As you can see story mission 5 - The Eight Keys - is spread through 8 regions.
    It used to work better with old map system because it's not designed to be linear, but I can't do anything about it now.

    Besides that, the new map system works well and I can continue developing it =]
    It should be finished in two more weeks.

    Next week I am planning to work on secure regions, I'm going to make cities look better and add part compression.

    That's all I have for this echo, so until next time!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2017
  21. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Echo #88: Part compression

    This week I have added remaining 15 regions, improved secure regions, implemented part compression system and began working on siege missions.

    The most interesting of these is part compression.

    [​IMG]

    Part compression allows you to combine two parts into one!
    Compressed parts are easier to manage and allow to built smaller spaceships.

    Things you need know about compressed parts:

    Compressed parts use 2 slots like two uncompressed items would.
    Compressed weapons use 2 weapon slots.
    You cannot compress different grade and different level parts.
    Compressed parts cannot be compressed further.
    Parts can be compressed in all cities and it costs 5 alloy.


    Also, compressed part is two parts stat-wise, but physically it is one part.
    Using compressed parts will make Awakening Of Inner Power and Creation Of Energy abilities weaker.
    I am planning to adjust few more abilities to work like that and keep uncompressed parts viable.

    So yeah, now you choose how big your spaceship will be!

    To make part compression, I had to add few things to cities in secure regions.
    One thing led to another and I have made several improvements to secure regions.

    Most noticeable of them are graphical improvements.
    Cities still don't look as good as I want them to look, but it's a step forward.

    I have also made city entering and leaving faster and automatic, you no longer need to manually move your ship to the city.

    Anyway, as I have planned, this week I have added remaining 15 regions.
    Now Sector Six has 145 areas and it should take about 300 missions or 15 hours to secure all of them!
    It's unnecessary and I don't recommend doing that, but it still feels good to have so much content.

    With all of that done, only four things remain in to-do list:

    Add siege mission.
    Add endgame area and improve new game+.
    Add a few minions.
    Fix various minor problems.


    I can probably do all of that in a week, so the update is close!

    Hang in there!



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  22. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Echo #89: Relics

    This week I have added siege missions, improved new game+ and began polishing new map system.
    It seems that I'll need an extra week to finish map rework because the list of minor improvements I have to make has become really big.

    Anyway, it's been a while since I have written about future updates.

    As you probably know, after map rework I will finally be making story missions.
    There are 9 missions left to go, a lot of them will be difficult to make, especially the ones close to the end.

    There will be a journey to Sector Five, 7 fights against the Machines, important reveals, new characters and heaps of new content.

    This might take me months to make, but these months will be very interesting!

    I'm planning to sneak in smaller stuff with story missions on each update.

    There are several things I want to add to take game closer to perfection.

    One of those things is relics.

    Item update back in June really helped to make higher tier items more interesting, but they aren't as good as legendary items in other loot games.

    I always thought that random items are what makes a loot game, but I have to admit that I was wrong.
    Hand-coded items with unique are just better than procedural items.

    At least not with my item generator.

    I think that lack of interesting items is the final gameplay flaw of Sector Six.

    And I am going to fix it by adding relics!

    I came up with the idea of relics by watching some video about Destiny 2.
    Destiny 2 has legendary items and I was inspired to write a description of a legendary item for Sector Six.

    I wrote one, then another one... And now I have a whole bunch of relics!
    It's surprisingly easy, there's a lot of design space that I was not aware of.

    Here are some of the relics:

    Breakcharm Of Mara
    Removes 40% of armour from first 10 minions in mission
    Only works if Manifestations Of Destruction is active


    Avadys, Atomic Collector
    Increases damage by 2% on kill
    Generates 1% armour on kill


    Etherion's Fusion Reactor
    +5 levels to Missile Strike ability
    +5 levels to Concentrated Fire ability
    +5 levels to Detonate ability


    Mortal Core
    +200% damage if you have transient container equipped
    Generates 1 alloy on kill


    Darkwork
    -80% armour
    Alloy containers will restore 10% of armour per alloy


    Rifted Lure
    +5 levels to Phase Recognition System
    +300% phase break damage
    Reduces phase break cooldown by 80 seconds
    Only works if Risk For Reward is active


    Ultranid's Hope
    Damage you deal to your spaceship will not destroy it

    Plasma's Link
    Reduces Piercing Lasers cooldown by 30 seconds

    Metasphere, Secondary Main Core
    Your spaceship will not be destroyed for 5 seconds after armour drops to 0

    Fractal Repository
    Generates fractal part after every successful mission

    Eternal Nodeno
    Transforms Nine Bladed Mines into Thousand Bladed Mines
    +30% node damage


    Weaver's Song
    Transforms Swarm Control into Spectral Barrage
    +100% damage


    Calm Of Vanadian, Mental Reactor
    Azimar's Killframe set effect will not remove ether
    Sets ether on kill to 0
    Transforms Creation Of Energy into Glory Of Vanadian


    Relarei To Burn Worlds
    Reduces Death From Above cooldown to 0.5 seconds
    Increases Missile Strike cooldown to 5 seconds
    Removes 1% ether every second
    +30% relay damage


    I was planning to add some of those effects as small part sets, but this works much better!

    I would like write more about relics but it's time for me to deal with a huge list of not-so-huge improvements and glitches.

    Until next time!
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2018
  23. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Hey, @Hyomoto and others, I've been working on the new Sector Six description.
    I've been trying to do that and this is the best I and free version of Grammarly can do:


    "Sector Six is a side-scrolling shooter with silhouette graphics, procedurally generated loot and extensive customization.

    Features:

    Spaceship customization
    Build your spaceship from procedurally generated parts, obtained by destroying enemies and completing missions.
    Parts have various properties and can be placed anywhere on the building field, which allows you to customize performance and appearance of your spaceship.
    Each level up increases the number of parts you can equip, so your spaceship will grow in power and size.

    (Intense?) Combat
    Dodge enemy projectiles and counterattack with your own.
    Fight all kinds of enemies by utilizing equipped parts, abilities and your combat skills to take down even the toughest of them.

    (It does get intense, two days ago I was testing new mission type and found myself repairing spaceship, searing enemy with a laser to destroy its weapons, dodging missiles and shielding from the incoming big enemy attack at the same time. Oh and the enemy was under damage-over-time effect, that was triggered by the other enemy that I have destroyed a second ago. Anyway, does "Demanding combat (system)" sound better?)

    (Diverse?) Story
    Uncover secrets of the Almadi civilization to stop the Machines from destroying Sector Six.
    Progress through the story by completing story missions and fighting bosses.
    Each story mission is different.

    (Diverse, because there's a lot of variety in story missions? I don't know. Just "story" seems lonely, especially when I know that it's the weakest part of Sector Six)

    Spaceship part customization
    Combine, upgrade and re-roll parts to create ones your spaceship needs.

    Mission customization
    Use modular difficulty system to modify mission length, enemy strength and add various penalties to make missions more difficult and rewarding.

    Easy combat ability management
    Upgrade and equip any of 36 abilities.
    All abilities are unlocked at the beginning of the game.
    Upgraded abilities can be downgraded for free, so you can try out all abilities and use the ones you like.

    Item sets
    Collect set items and activate game-changing set effects.
    Build your spaceship around them to become unstoppable.

    Area progression
    Move from region to region as you level up.
    Each region has multiple areas with missions that you can complete in any order.
    Complete missions to take back areas occupied by the Machines for various benefits."


    I probably should also write something about graphics style, but I can't figure out what. I could say something about that it's unique (it IS unique, there's no game with EXACT graphics style, but I don't know if the difference is big enough to deserve "Unique") and that it's easy to see enemy projectiles, which is important because you have to constantly dodge them.

    The description is also wordy, it probably should be simpler.

    I really need feedback and suggestions.

    Latest gameplay video:

     
  24. Hyomoto

    Hyomoto Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Posts:
    998
    @Zuurix, A good rule of thumb is A) would you want to play a game with your description, and B) does the game you have reflect the description. It's definitely okay to like your game and be hyped about it, but as I said before: people can see the screenshots. If they get to the description, they want you to tell them why they should stay. You can't do that by outright lying, but you can feel free to show your excitement talking about what is. My only real suggestion is that you combine some of your bullet points. A list of three bad-ass features is better than a list of 7 meh features. So focus on your strengths. I did a quick pass just to show you that you can hype your project without being facetious. You really did a fantastic job of basically laying out what your game is this time, so honestly it was pretty easy to 'prose' it up a bit. The reader knows what kind of game it is. So now don't be afraid to let your enthusiasm come through:
     
    Zuurix likes this.
  25. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    @Hyomoto, thanks for tips, I'll try again.
     
  26. sitebender

    sitebender Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2016
    Posts:
    650
    Its been about a year since I've played this game. With all your weekly updates, I think I'll give it another try! I know your publisher.
     
    Zuurix likes this.
  27. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
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    Massive update! Region rework, new content and part compression

    This update completely changes regions!

    Sector Six has been split into 30 different level regions.
    Regions have different areas, cities, and enemies.

    Part compression

    Now you can combine two same level and grade parts into one to make your spaceship smaller!
    You can compress parts in all cities.

    Arena missions

    Secure areas with arenas and enter them to fight!
    In the arena, you can choose which enemies to fight.
    You need to kill 10 minions to complete arena mission.
    Completing arena mission will reward you with units.
    The number of units you will get is based on enemies you destroyed during the mission.

    Siege missions

    Use siege cannon to destroy the Machine bulwark!
    Siege cannon requires ammo to be used and it can be obtained by killing enemies.
    Cannon keeps running out of ammo and minions keep coming, making it the most complex side mission!

    New enemies

    The Machines have released barragers and orbital platforms to wreak havoc in Sector Six.
    Barragers have a weapon that rapidly fires missiles - don't get in front of them or you'll be destroyed!
    Orbital platforms are not a big threat if you can remove their shields and don't get hit by their unpredictable mines!

    New secured area types

    New types of secured areas have been added:
    • Areas that sell generic weapons and amplifiers
    • Areas that sell parts and amplifiers
    • Areas that sell parts and alloy containers
    • Areas that sell optimized parts
    • Areas that sell advanced parts
    • Areas that contribute generic part after every successful mission.
    • Areas that contribute generic weapon after every successful mission.
    • Areas that contribute amplifier after every successful mission.
    • Areas that contribute optimized part after every successful mission.
    • Areas that contribute advanced part after every successful mission.
    • Areas that contribute fractal part after every successful mission.
    Graphical combat improvements

    Added additional enemy hitting animations and sounds to make combat more satisfying.
    Enemy sprites also become more damaged as they lose armor.

    Loot changes

    Loot has been rebalanced: Enemies now drop units on almost every kill, while part drops are rarer.
    There are also new loot messages.

    Full list of version 0.9.0 changes >>


    Have fun!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
  28. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Monthly updates* =]
     
  29. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Echo #90: New update schedule and story mission VI

    Last week I have returned to working on Sector Six story!

    But first, here's the new update schedule:

    Mission VI and mission VII update

    This update will add mission VI and mission VII.
    ETA: 2017 December.

    Mission VIII and background update

    This update will improve backgrounds and add mission VIII
    ETA: 2017 December.

    Mission IX and item update

    This update will add mission IX and will improve items + add the first batch of relics.
    ETA: 2018 Q1

    Mission X update

    This update will add mission X.
    ETA: 2018 Q1

    Mission XI update

    This update will add mission XI.
    ETA: 2018 Q1

    Mission XII update

    This update will add mission XII.
    ETA: 2018 Q1

    Mission XIII update

    This update will add mission XIII.
    ETA: 2018 Q1

    Mission XIV and last game update

    This update will add mission XIV, some endgame content and all remaining achievements, new save system and avatar customization.
    With this update, game will leave Early Access
    ETA: 2018 Q1

    I really wanted to finish Sector Six in 2017, but it's not going to happen.
    The new plan is to release the game before the second quarter of 2018.

    It should be possible because all that's left is content and story.

    Speaking of story, the mission that I am working on - mission VI - will take place in Tridenkor, Colowis, and Mzenim.
    This mission will have unique events and enemies like mission IV and a boss fight like mission V!

    It's a very important and ambitious mission - it's going to change the direction of the story and it will be very intense.

    Mission VI will add three new enemies: Havoc, scythe, and barrier.
    Scythe will immobilize, havoc will fire so many missiles that you will need to hide under the special shield to survive and the barrier is similar to barricades from mission IV, just capable of attacking, nothing special.

    And that's all I can write about mission VI without spoiling it.

    Until next time!

    PS.: Go to my website to get a mythical part >>

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  30. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Echo #91: Havoc and scythe

    This week I was working on the new story mission.

    I'm about 60% done, I have added all required enemies, finished writing and finished 1 out of 3 boss fights.
    Mission VI is divided into three parts and at the end of each part, there's a small boss fight.
    When I say small I mean that it's smaller than boss fight in mission V.

    Anyway, here's havoc and scythe, the new enemies:





    [​IMG]

    Scythe is the first minion that is able to destroy player shields.
    It releases slow moving bladed mines that aren't hard to dodge, but if you will activate a shield, it will be gone instantly.

    Havoc does the opposite - you will have to shield yourself or you'll take massive damage!

    So, that's all news for now.

    Until next time!

    PS.: Secret Sector Six achievement revealed on my site >>
    PPS.: Join my Discord server to enter Sector Six giveaway >>
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  31. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Echo #92: New missions are coming soon

    The wait is nearly over!

    This week I have finished making story mission VI, with all its bosses and encounters!
    Now I need to make story mission VII, but it's more a cutscene than a mission, so it won't take me longer than a day to make it.

    Then there's the mandatory polishing/minor bug fixing phase and I can release the update!

    This should happen this week, so keep an eye on announcements!

    PS.: Go to my site to enter Sector Six giveaway >>

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  32. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Update! New story missions

    This update adds two new story missions!

    Fight new minions and bosses, meet a new character, endure despair and end the first chapter of the story!

    From here the story will get even darker.

    Other changes:

    Fixed: It was possible to reflect apex's red lasers.
    Fixed: Dozan Vel area glitch.
    Fixed: "You can use more weapons" message used to appear on level up screen even after maxing out weapon limit.
    Fixed: City trade link was above item tooltips.
    Siege missions now take less time to complete.
    Replaced "Cannot be refilled" alloy container flaw with "Loses 20 alloy after every mission".
    Added backgrounds for Silaar, Charred Link, Nebula, Rift and Broken Infinity.
    Improved backgrounds.
    Removed fog.

    [​IMG]

    Have fun!

    PS.: Claim mythical part on my website >>
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  33. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    @Hyomoto, here's the new description:
    I've used best sounding bits from your example description, it was very helpful =]

    The old description will be replaced with new one very soon. I'm preparing for the first 75% discount on Steam =]
     
  34. Hyomoto

    Hyomoto Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    Posts:
    998
    While I could certainly nitpick until the end of time, it does what it should: tells the player what they can expect and uses a dash of flavor to try and set the hook. In your original description you have a 'story' paragraph before the features section and I hope you'll still be including that. I can't say that story is going to be the prime motivator for purchases on a SHMUP, but I thought it was decent, and for some people the make-or-break is the story. But yeah, I think that reads a lot better. I went back to check your old description just to make sure and I like this one much better. I hope your sale goes well!
     
  35. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Maybe. I need to rewrite it to not clash with "Save the Universe" part.
    I have few players who are waiting for new story missions and don't play without them, so yeah.
    Cool =]
    It already does, sold over 20 copies.
     
  36. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Echo #93: Game reveals

    This week I've done many small things.

    I have started 75% discount on Steam, updated store page, fixed several glitches, expanded mission interface for new missions and finished writing for story mission VII.

    It was a busy week, but what I did is not very interesting to write about, so this post is perfect to officially reveal Sector Six sequel, ENTER and other games!

    [​IMG]

    Yes, I already have plans for multiple games =]
    If you have any questions about them, I ready to answer them.

    Happy holidays and until next echo =]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  37. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Echo #94: New year

    2017 was a year of difficult advancement!
    There were many tough phases both in my life and Sector Six development, but I have pushed through and now I'm feeling stronger than before.

    Sector Six has been under harsh criticism several times this year - both direct and indirect.
    I have used that criticism to take a better look at my game and improve it further.

    After region rework, a new tutorial, better loot and graphical combat improvements, Sector Six is a much better game than it was at the beginning of the year and I am really proud of that.

    Another thing that I am proud of is how much hours I've invested in Sector Six this year.
    I've never developed this hard before.

    Here's what updates hit Sector Six in 2017:

    January 18
    Controller support beta, and miscellaneous fixes

    February 20
    Secure regions, trading, and alloy container rework

    March 19
    New abilities and enemies, city improvements, new game+ and full controller support

    May 23
    New side missions and achievements

    June 27
    Part sets and the item update

    July 8
    New tutorial

    August 12
    Titan class

    September 26
    Final combat update

    November 18
    Region rework

    December 19
    New story missions

    After all these big updates, Sector Six is 88% complete!

    In 2018 Sector Six will be completed and will leave Early Access!

    This is what I need to do to finish Sector Six:

    Remaining 6 story missions
    I'm not counting story mission VIII because it needs few more hours of work until it is ready to be released =]

    Relics
    Unique, build-defining parts that Sector Six always needed!

    Broken Infinity
    The ultimate endgame area!
    It will feature chained missions with the Machine boss to defeat at the end of each chain!
    Mission chain rewards include relics!

    Save system rework
    You will have more save slots and will no longer need to manually save!
    This update will allow me to add permanent death mode!

    Relics, Broken Infinity, save system rework and story mission XIV will come in one, final Early Access update.

    After Sector Six will be released, I will continue updating it to fix glitches and add more content.
    Although I will only add additional content if there will be a demand for it.

    Possible post-release content:

    Tombworld of Hate raid
    Raids in Sector Six will be like long story missions, similar to story mission V.
    They will have bosses and will give relics as a reward.
    They will also be non-linear and difficult as hell =]

    Nomad class
    The most complex and powerful class!

    Two new bosses for boss missions
    Comes with new minions!

    Omni amplifiers
    Amplifiers that double the power of a part!
    Obtained by collecting fragments from side mission rewards.

    Variety packs
    These small updates will add new minions, new side missions, new relics, new achievements and new ruin types.

    So, yeah, 2018 will be pretty epic =]

    Have a good year everyone!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  38. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Echo #95: Fixes and improvements

    Steam Winter Sale has brought in new players and new glitch reports, so I spent most of the week fixing those glitches.
    I have made a major new game+ test run and managed to fix several new game+ problems.

    Fixed: Using anode on part upgraded with diode used to allow to apply diode again.
    Fixed: It was possible to use diodes on etalons.
    Fixed: Minion long-lasting shield problem.
    Fixed: Lodeon's Ultimatum set effect used to deal damage to your spaceship in secure regions.
    Fixed: Obelisk used to block Swarm Control missiles.
    Fixed: Map used to reset to Deep Path during the first play session.
    Fixed: Alloy containers in inventory used to show wrong alloy percentage in secured regions.
    Fixed: Leaking alloy container used to lose alloy after visiting secure regions.
    Fixed: Minor modular difficulty system saving issue.
    Fixed: Mission V on Niss glitch.
    Fixed: Region level bonus was not displayed correctly.
    Fixed: New game+ crash.
    Fixed: Unit rewards in new game+ used to give the wrong amount of units.
    Fixed: Small graphical Phase Recognition System description glitch.

    I have also made a bunch of miscellaneous improvements, some of them are quite important:

    Mythical parts no longer have can have wave chances.
    Instead, they can increase certain ability levels.
    I have decided that wave chances are too good to be on mythical parts, so now they can only be on etalons.

    Compression grade and level limitations have been removed.
    Now you can fuse [any part] with [any part]!

    Part upgrade chance now can upgrade parts to mythical parts and etalons.
    Buff!

    Parts dropped by modified enemies are upgraded once automatically.
    The same part can be upgraded again by part upgrade chance!

    Region level XP bonus is now applied even if you fail the mission.
    Consistency!

    Deep Path, Negati, and Labyrinth regions now have weaker minions.
    New player experience!

    Now it's possible to enter secure regions even if your inventory has more than 3 pages of items.
    You will no longer have to dismantle parts in inventory page 4 just to enter the secure region and sell the rest of the parts.
    Basic game functionality!

    Trash stats.
    Less useful stats will appear on part less often!

    Before trash stats, all part properties were considered equally useful by the part generator.
    That will end with the next update.

    Trash stats:

    Initial ether
    Maximum ether
    +% ether
    Phase break damage
    Phase break cooldown reduction
    +% experience
    +% part upgrade chance

    After all that, the game will become more stable and pleasant when the new version will be uploaded.
    And that should happen in a few days, so get ready =]

    Until next time!
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  39. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Update! Mission VIII and miscellaneous improvements

    This update adds a new story mission and many small, but important improvements.

    Mission VIII

    You are desperate.
    After all those failures, you are willing to steal darkest secrets of the Almadi civilization.
    The knowledge of those secrets will change you, maybe even kill you, but without it, you have nothing.
    At this point, you will do anything for another chance to Sector Six.

    Improvements
    • Compression grade and level limitations have been removed.
    • Changed the way opened region is saved and fixed several region saving issues.
    • Deep Path, Negati, and Labyrinth regions now have weaker minions.
    • Time rift is now called time vortex.
    • Now it’s possible to enter secure regions even if your inventory has more than 3 pages of items.
    • Region level bonus is now applied even if you fail the mission.
    • Part upgrade chance now can upgrade parts to mythical and etalon parts.
    • Parts dropped by modified enemies are upgraded - e.g.: Optimized part becomes an advanced part.
    • Added part upgrade chance amplifier.
    • Added infested defense nodes to Silaar region missions.
    • Improved part generator, less useful part properties are now less common.
    Fixes
    • Fixed: It was possible to use diodes on etalons.
    • Fixed: Minion long-lasting shield problem.
    • Fixed: Using anode on part upgraded with diode used to allow to apply diode again.
    • Fixed: Lodeon's Ultimatum set effect used to deal damage to your spaceship in secure regions.
    • Fixed: Obelisk used to block Swarm Control missiles.
    • Fixed: Map used to reset to Deep Path during the first play session.
    • Fixed: Alloy containers in inventory used to show wrong alloy percentage in secured regions.
    • Fixed: Leaking alloy container used to lose alloy after visiting secure regions.
    • Fixed: Minor modular difficulty system saving issue.
    • Fixed: Mission V on Niss glitch.
    • Fixed: Region level bonus was not displayed correctly.
    • Fixed: New game+ crash.
    • Fixed: Unit rewards in new game+ used to give the wrong amount of units.
    • Fixed: Small graphical Phase Recognition System description glitch.
    Have fun!

    Next update: Story mission IX and maze missions.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  40. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Echo #96: A day of my life

    This week I was working on story mission IX.

    I was planning to add new side mission and wasted a week trying to make it work.
    Due to various limitations, I couldn't make maze missions as fun as I wanted them, so I decided to put them away for a while.

    Now I'm working on mission IX, which is a few days away from completion.

    As it is with story missions, I can't really talk about them.
    Instead, I thought that maybe it would be interesting for you guys to know how I develop Sector Six.

    So, here's a day of my life:

    I wake up late, 10-11 AM, then go to do my daily chores - cleaning, cooking, taking care of cats, etc.
    My father and brother work outside on our farm, my mom usually busy with something inside and I'm the only one who can do those chores.

    After chores are out of the way, it's 1-2 PM.

    This is when development starts.

    My main tools to develop Sector Six are GameMaker: Studio 1.4, Audacity, and Notepad.
    That covers programming, graphics, writing and sound editing.

    [​IMG]
    Home sweet home.

    On a good day, I would code, write, make sprites and whatever current update requires until 7-9 PM.
    With small breaks to eat.

    While the game is being compiled I check Steam community hub and other Sector Six places if there are new comments.
    That's why I can respond to them so quickly =P

    On a bad day, I would try to do what I need to do, fail to do it and quit for the day.

    If I could, I would work 8 hours every day but it is not how it works.

    I need cool names and new attacks for enemies, interesting sequences for story missions, ways to add new content, ideas to fix game design problems and sometimes I just don't find them in my head.

    So I go do something relaxing and wait until my brain finds the right way to do things.

    I'm slowly learning how this all works and results are getting better.
    In 2016, there used to be not only bad days - there were bad weeks.
    Now bad days are much less common and even on the worst day, I force myself to work on something easy at least for one hour.
    That's from where the small fixes and improvements come.

    After 7-9 PM on a good day, I end development for that day and go rest.
    I watch shows, YouTube and play games.

    Or sometimes I go to work on side projects.

    Most of them are abandoned after a one day, so it's a waste of time, but I can't help it.
    Sector Six development is going slowly and I just need to try all those ideas that I get and that cannot be applied to Sector Six.

    Sometimes I go manage my so-called network - Twitter, Facebook, Zuurix.com, Steam groups, Discord.
    I don't do that often because I don't get much from that.
    The network will be useful, once I become more popular as a developer.

    Sometimes I have no game I want to play, so instead, I make games.

    Sometimes I do everything - play, watch and work on side projects until 1 AM night.
    That's why I wake up at 11 AM.

    There are only three things I want to improve in my life:

    1) Get more money for my hard work.
    2) See more player feedback - comments, videos, screenshots. That'll improve naturally over time.
    3) Get a bit of social life going. Not too much, because I'm introvert =]

    Anyway, right now I am kind of stuck on mission IX.
    But I've already had a bad day on this, so I'm hoping to do some good progress soon.

    With every story mission it's becoming harder to come up with new ideas and if I had more time, I'd spend it to polish dialogs and other things.
    For example, defense system core boss would be much better if I had more time.

    Technically I have an unlimited amount of time but I decided that this is it - I need to finish Sector Six, 3 years of development is enough.
    I need to start making a new game, that is not limited by old decisions, so I'm going to cut some corners.

    Going to cut a corner here and end this echo just like that.

    Until next time!
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
    Rivo likes this.
  41. zendraw

    zendraw Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    1,297
    as i see things, this moment comes becouse you start to work from inspiration or some drive, which are temporary, and when theyr gone, you just cant work on the project, mostly becouse the memory of how you worked on when you were inspired. what you can do is start the other way around and start working without a drive/inspiration, be as dry as possible. purpose being to create a contrast and find a ballance where you dont need stimulants to work nor do you avoid being inspired.
    this is how i approach this situation.
     
  42. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    I think about creativity as a resource, something like mana =P
    I just need to regenerate it and then I'm fine.

    Sector Six is a very demanding project.
     
  43. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Update! Mission IX

    This update adds another story mission.

    Mission IX

    Open a forgotten way to the other Universe beyond time and light!
    Story mission IX chains alternative versions of siege, boss and time attack missions.
    Features decision making and decision consequences.

    [​IMG]

    Other

    Now it's easier to set the volume in settings.

    Have fun!

    Next update: Mission X, Sector Five, new enemies, and new items.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
  44. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Echo #97: Sector Five

    Last week I didn't do much, unfortunately.

    Reasons why:

    1) I tried to make more interesting names for parts. Which failed.
    2) I updated one of my side projects. For the last time. No more side projects until Sector Six is complete.
    3) There were a few farm interruptions.

    But this week was not a complete loss.

    One of the biggest things that happened this week was a small part update.

    In near future, it will be possible to rotate most parts by clicking the right mouse button on a part.
    Or left trigger, if using a controller.



    I've also started making Sector Five for story mission X.

    Story mission X will take place on Sector Five, which means new areas, new area backgrounds, new enemies, and new cities!

    Sector Five will be different in a way that it's not under attack by the Machines.
    That means no occupied regions and no minions of the Machines.

    I need to make at least three new enemies for Sector Five missions.
    Well, just two missions - story mission X and arena mission.
    Since there's no war, the only fights are in the arenas.

    Sector Five will have two areas.
    One area will be for story mission X, while the other will have a city that sells empty parts and the arena.

    Empty parts will expand the spaceship customization further.
    Empty parts are parts with amplifier slots instead of part properties.

    For example, empty fractal parts will have 5 amplifier slots and no properties.
    All of the empty parts will be level 1.

    This week I hope to do most of the things required for mission X and finish making it next week.
    It will probably get delayed like always, but that's how it works.

    So, yeah, until next time!
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
  45. Carloskhard

    Carloskhard Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2017
    Posts:
    140
    WOW nice upgrade system there! Seems pretty cool how you can upgrade everything.I'll work a little more on fights since they seem pretty basic.Work on
     
    Zuurix likes this.
  46. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Thanks!
    You can upgrade everything - ship, abilities, enemies, and areas.

    And fights are toned down on first 3 regions, to make it easier for new players.
    Big enemies are the meat of the combat, and in 1-3 level regions, you only fight medium/small enemies.
     
  47. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Echo #98: Flu and stuff

    As I expected, mission X got delayed.
    It was because I caught the flu and couldn't work on Sector Six for a whole week.

    But before I got sick, I managed to do some good stuff.

    Part rotating



    It will be possible to rotate almost every part!

    Added empty parts

    [​IMG]

    Parts with no stats and a lot of amplifier slots have been added.
    They will be sold in one of the areas of Sector Five.

    Amplifier cost increased

    Amplifiers, anodes, and cathodes now cost as much as fractal parts when you buy them from secured regions.
    This is to make empty parts even more expensive and amplifier rewards even more valuable.

    Searing Beam changes

    Searing Beam now deals less damage - from 150% pylon damage to 80% pylon damage at level 10.
    Searing Beam now deals 40% pylon damage at level 1, instead of 15% pylon damage.
    Spending points on Searing Beam now increase Searing Beam damage by 4%.

    Player hit effects

    Player ship will show the same effects as enemies when hit.

    Mission X



    I have written the script for mission X and done most of the work for Sector Five.
    There's not so much work left to finish it, so hopefully, it will be finished next week.

    So that's what I did.

    Until next time!
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
  48. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Echo #99: Bad week

    Last week wasn't any better than previous ones.

    I was having weird post-flu paracetamol poisoning induced depression and I had to do a lot of work on the farm.
    Because of that, very little progress was made with story mission X, so I don't really have anything to write about.

    Instead, here are screenshots from upcoming version:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Until next time!
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
    orSQUADstra likes this.
  49. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Update! Story mission X, balancing, and Sector Five

    This update adds a lot of new stuff!

    [​IMG]

    Story mission X

    High Path is active, it's time to travel to a dimension beyond the light of Sector Six.
    You need to go there to meet a scientist, imprisoned for his work in the forbidden branch of science.

    One more step towards victory.
    One more step towards the unknown.

    If the Almadi knew what you did and what you're planning to do, you would be imprisoned too.

    Tips and part rotation

    Spaceship building has a received a small update.
    Now it's possible to rotate almost every part.
    Building a cool-looking ship has never been so easy!

    With the new functionality, comes new controls, and because there is no way I could stuff explanation for part rotating into an already long tutorial, I have added tips!
    Now every time you will open spaceship interface, below inventory you will see one of several tips.

    One of them will tell you how to rotate parts.

    Balancing

    I've been playing Sector Six a lot recently and I noticed that I have too many units.
    To fix that, I made amplifiers, cathodes, and anodes as expensive as fractal parts.
    This also makes difficulty level rewards even more rewarding.

    The other thing that I have noticed was how powerful Searing Beam is.

    So, here is what I did:
    • Searing Beam now deals less damage - from 150% pylon damage to 80% pylon damage at level 10.
    • Searing Beam now deals 40% at level 1, instead of 15%.
    • Spending points on Searing Beam now increase Searing Beam damage by 4%.
    Finally, diodes used to be too over-powered and made getting high-grade parts way too easy.
    So, now to upgrade higher grade parts with diodes you need more diodes.
    E.g.: Upgrading fractal part to mythical now requires 5 diodes.

    Sector Five

    Accessible after completing mission IX and securing Decelerators area, Sector Five contains these features:
    • The region that sells empty parts
    • Three new minions unique to Sector Five
    • Arena mission in which you can fight these unique minions
    • Story mission X
    Empty parts

    Empty parts are parts with amplifier slots instead of part properties.
    E.g.: Empty optimized part instead of 2 properties and 1 amplifier slot has 3 amplifier slots.
    So, now you can craft your own parts by amplifying empty parts!
    This is another reason why amplifier prices have been increased.

    Other changes
    • Map tooltips now show up at the correct height.
    • "Collect" button now shows a tooltip that explains what it does.
    • Corrected Creation Of Energy ability description.
    • Corrected Searing Beam ability description.
    • Corrected shield removal tutorial.
    • Player spaceship now has the same damage and collision graphical effects as the enemies.
    • Eolutch is now level 19 region.
    • Charred Link is now level 20 region.
    • Made new background for High Path region.
    • You will no longer get Through Broken Infinity achievement for completing Time Vortex mission. Hopefully.
    • Black Rain now deals less damage to the spaceship.
    Have fun!

     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
  50. Zuurix

    Zuurix Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    248
    Echo #100: Monetization and endgame

    100th echo!

    I was thinking about what to do for the first triple-digit echo and I asked myself: What do my players want from me?

    And I think my players want me to make good games.

    So, instead of spending a day making a fancy article, I spend an hour and used the rest of the day to work on Sector Six =]

    It's still going to be a special echo because I'm going to use it to write about very important things.

    First, about monetization of Sector Six and future games.

    I've been following gaming news and they have been pretty depressing lately.
    Lootboxes, malevolent patents, multiple billion dollar companies whining about how they don't make enough money, and so on.

    This is the first time I officially state that my games will never have microtransactions, DLC's, and pre-order bonuses.

    What they will have is a single price tag. Pay the price and get the game.
    All of the game, including updates.

    My plan is to learn to make really good games and create a reputation of a really good developer.
    I hope I will manage to do at least some of that and it will pay off.

    Right now I don't make enough money from selling Sector Six.
    And by that, I mean that I'm not safe, if something goes wrong in my life I won't be able to continue making games.

    Good news is that this is the worst it can get and it's not that bad.
    A year or two and I'll be making enough to ensure that I can make games for as long as I want.
    And I don't plan to ever stop making games.

    In conclusion, support me and I'll make some cool stuff =]

    Speaking of cool stuff, it's time for second part of 100th echo:

    Endgame!

    After weeks of thinking, I think I got a solid plan for Sector Six endgame.

    The center of endgame is Broken Infinity, a region that you will create during the story.

    Broken Infinity will be a procedurally generated region, with varying amount of areas, randomly chosen enemies, background, secured region cities and so on.
    Once you secure all areas in Broken Infinity, it will generate a new, different region to clear.

    Well, just clearing all areas won't be enough! You will also need to defeat a boss!
    But I can't write about bosses because it's a minor story spoiler.

    Another possible feature of Broken Infinity is mission chains.

    Let's say current Broken Infinity instance has 3 areas.

    Area A, area B, and area C.

    Area C has a boss you need to kill to close this Broken Infinity instance and generate a new one.

    But you can't get to area C immediately because it's locked!
    How to unlock it? Beat mission in area B.
    Which is also locked and you have to complete the mission in area A to unlock it.

    In conclusion, A -> B -> C and you can generate new Broken Infinity instance, a new mission chain to complete.

    Oh, and you cannot generate new missions in Broken Infinity.
    You have to deal with what you get.

    Let's back up a little bit. Why would you want to close Broken Infinity instance?

    That's the best part: Rewards!

    When you close instance, you get to reward screen.
    On the screen, you see 10 open cases. There's a fractal part in each.

    Then you see your instance statistics.
    How many areas you secured, average mission difficulty level, optional objectives completed, etc.

    Then system calculates reward upgrade chance based on these statistics.

    +20% upgrade chance for average 20 difficulty level.
    +50% upgrade chance for 5 areas secured.
    +10% upgrade chance for 2 optional objectives completed.

    Total: 80% upgrade chance.

    THEN system attempts to upgrade part in each case.
    If you have 80% upgrade chance, you will probably get 8 out of 10 part cases upgraded.

    Upgraded to what? Relic!
    Unless you've been avoiding my weekly text walls, you already know about relics - parts that have unique and incredibly powerful effects.

    So, let's say that now you have 8 cases with relics and 2 cases with fractal parts.

    Then cases get closed - you can't see what inside them anymore - and are shuffled.

    All you need to do now is pick one of the cases.

    If you're lucky, you'll get a case with the relic in it.
    If not, you will get a fractal part and will have to close another instance for another chance to get a relic.

    Obviously, fractal part is a weak reward for clearing 5 areas and defeating a gigantic boss, so in reality, non-relic rewards will be better.

    So, the main part of endgame is clearing ever-changing Broken Infinity instances and fighting brutal bosses for OP relics.
    Relics will make you even more powerful which means higher difficulty levels, faster instance clears and even more relics!

    But wait, there's more!

    You're not meant to secure all areas in all regions, just those that you really need.

    These leftover occupied, besieged, and destroyed regions are the focus of second part of endgame!
    After the story is completed, the Restoration War begins!
    The goal of the Restoration War is to restore Sector Six to what it was before the Machine invasion.

    During the Restoration War, every time you complete a mission, one of the regions becomes highlighted.
    That region is now your level region, no matter what region it is or what level you are!

    E.g.: Highlighted Deep Path region is level 35 and contains level 35 minions/items/secured regions because you are level 35.

    If you will secure all - currently 154 - areas in Sector Six, you will get an unbelievably powerful relic that cannot be obtained any other way!

    The Restoration War and Broken Infinity will hopefully create that so-called satisfying endgame grind =]

    There's third endgame activity - Infinity Invasions, but I'll keep it for another time.

    There are only two things left to say.

    1) Mission XI is about 50% complete.
    2) A little gift from me: Go to settings, mute sounds, and type ETALON to get etalon part.

    So, that's the end of 100th echo!
    There won't be many echoes after this one because the game will be finished soon.
    In a month. Or two. Or three.
    Soon!
    ...

    Like always, if you have any questions, I'm ready to answer them.

    Until next time!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
    RichHopelessComposer likes this.

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