Reflex – Dev Diary 59

Another step closer to the big Steam Early Access release has been taken this week.

The Steam setup requires a vast amount of information to set up and configure and the admin side of things has 2 pretty large checklists on what has to be completed before the store page can go live and then when the game can be published.

This week I’ve been concentrating on getting the store page all set up. This required about a dozen or so graphic assets for all the sizes and shapes of buttons and banners that Steam uses through the store. I’ve put together all of the images needed but I may well replace them later as I’m thinking of switching out the 3d asset used for the training station to make it fit more with the alien aesthetic.

Once that was done the really tricky stuff begins. Adding in descriptions, keywords, tags, ratings and all that stuff. It’s difficult to create short descriptions of the game in order to make it sound exciting enough to pull players in. It is a casual puzzle game so needs a suitable description.

The page has been sent to Steam for review and hopefully it will go live during the week. Yikes! As you can see in the shot above the proposed release date for Early Access is the 1st December. This will give me plenty of time to continue bug squashing and make improvements. I also need to put together a video gameplay trailer which is going to be quite time consuming.

Inside the game I’ve finished the integration of Steam Achievements, Steam Stats and also Cloud Save.

This last week has also been rather good for game changes as well:

The world select screen has been completely redone. Previously it would show three thumbnails of worlds tht you could then scroll through to see all 5. This worked OK but was proving to be problematic on tablets with strange widths. So, I’ve changed it to a full screen display per world. This also allows me to have more detailed descriptions for each world.

Laser towers were misbehaving – again. Because of last weeks change to ensure that missiles couldn’t travel on top of each other a bug appeared that meant the laser towers couldn’t be destroyed if the missile was travelling at a slower speed. This is because the missile was colliding with the laser wire instead of the tower first. This has been corrected. Amazingly I also discovered that the laser wire removal process had a bug that removed the wrong side (right instead of left, and vice-versa) – really surprised this hadn’t come up before.

Dynamic Lighting on the windows build can now be disabled to improve performance on older PCs.

The mouse cursor is now using a hardware cursor instead of an overlay sprite. This removes any potential lag that could occur with the sprite version on very large map levels at 4K resolutions.

Various tweaks have been made to the intro movie.

The logo animation that starts the game was previously a video that could only play on Windows. I’ve completely rebuilt it as a GMS2 Sequence which allows it to play on Android as well (Yay).

Various visual tweaks have been applied to the main menu.

The Android version is now fixed to 1920×1080 and will scale down (or up) accordingly. This is because Android devices can often have some very strange screen resolutions and this would cause layout issues if the aspect ratio varied to much from the 16:9 it was designed for.