Dev Transmission (May 2023)
Hi everyone, here’s what we’ve been up to in May:
In the last update we mentioned that we’d just started work on a new weapon which is now implemented. The SMG sits roughly between the pistol and assault rifle so is a lower-tier weapon, but we’ve been having a fantastic time spraying enemies with it (or more measured bursts of fire in its dual-shot alternate fire mode).
We’ve also created a new ‘Wasp’ enemy (placeholder name btw!)
In our enemy roster we have aliens that occupy the lower-and-middle thirds of the screen, but were lacking something that would draw the players aim to the upper portion.
The wasp helps fulfill that space and we’ve made it a small target with low health, low damage but high speed that has already helped mix up combat in a positive way.
When we’re thinking about enemy archetypes we also need to consider how they gel with deployables (our term for traps and turrets) so the ceiling mounted Steam trap is essential in dealing with them.
We’ll do a video devlog soon where you can see both the SMG and the Wasp in action.
Last month we commenced work on our Navigator mode, which sits above the Ship Overview (which in turn is above the level-based FPS/TD gameplay). These collectively form our dynamic campaign and is a substantial part of what differentiates SENTRY from other FPS and TD games, so is something we continue to spend a lot of time working on.
This month we’ve been putting together several sectors of space you travel through, as well as implementing some basic sound effects, music and camera controls to improve the experience.
We’ve also been refining the ‘boarding parties’, which are the alien forces that move around your ship trying to take over different levels. Because SENTRY isn’t a linear game, we need to ensure that when enemies attack they are comprised of different waves emerging from different breaching locations, so that should the same level be attacked a subsequent time, the gameplay will be different. This is one aspect that is already working particularly well!
While we’re holding off showing a bunch of this stuff until it’s ready, here’s some concept art of what the current ship class (called “The Roughneck”) looks like:
- Our recent playtests highlighted issues where our AI had a habit of piling onto the player, so we’ve been implementing additional AI target prioritization systems to ensure that there is a better balance between the level objective and fighting the player. This is an area that will undoubtedly continue to be refined the more we test.
- We did an additional art pass on Fuel Exchange, Alex has been having fun adding incidental signage around the level:
- This next item falls under one of those “not very exciting but still essential” features, but we’ve implemented a Control Rebinding menu for both keyboard and gamepad-based control schemes.
- Our enemies have different coloured versions that denote an increase in their power and behavior. We took one enemy type and created some model variations to further differentiate them. As this has proven successful we’ll roll this out onto other enemies that have these variants:
And just for fun!
In May we attended Format, a nightclub and gaming event based in Manchester. Here’s our demo station set up and ready to go:
You can see a short video of the event in full swing here.
It was great fun but my voice was destroyed from talking to people above the music for several hours!
We hope you enjoyed this latest update, if you like what you see please Wishlist us!