PC Development Update #16

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Hi there, dear Fractal Space players!

We’ve had quite a lot of new things added to the game recently, and many long-lasting issues were addressed in the latest updates.

We’ll discuss here the new and changed elements in Fractal Space.

Taser Customization

We’re very happy to announce a new feature that was requested a lot over time by the community on both PC and the Pocket Edition of Fractal Space: The ability to customize your Taser!

In the video above, you’ll see that you can separately select a color for:

  • Structure: Color of the Taser’s body structure; becomes brighter when aiming at an interactive element
  • Laser: Color of the laser when not aiming at an interactive element
  • Laser Active: Color of the laser when aiming at an interactive element
  • Screen: Color of the Taser’s screen when aiming at an interactive element
  • Impact: Changes the color of the shooting impact lightning effect, particles and explosion lighting (not visible in the video)

When you start the game, you have access to a 2 default unlocked color swatches:

  • Cyan: Default Taser Structure / Laser / Screen color
  • Green: Default Laser Active color

There will be approximately 20 color swatches in total. In order to unlock new color swatches, you’ll have to find them by exploring all levels and picking up the Color Packs in the game:

Color Pack placed in Chapter 4

If you try to activate a locked color, a hint will show you in which Chapter it can be found:

Locked Color Notification

Some Color Packs can be found in the first run; rare Color Packs can only be accessed in New Game+ using Taser Power Level 2, Dodge and Hyper-Speed.

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New Objectives System

The game was missing a core element: objectives and objective markers. We have now added this to the game, and completely reworked the objectives system. You can see a demonstration of this new Objectives System in this video:

As you can see in the video above:

  • Multiple objectives can be active simultaneously
  • An objective can be completed or cancelled
  • Objectives can have an associated Marker, showing an action name and distance

We are keeping objectives as general goals like “Open the Door” or “Find an Exit”, and we rarely provide step-by-step help in order to avoid making the game too easy.

However, it’s now much harder to forget what you are supposed to do, by simply pressing Tab or Dpad Down to see your current objectives and their markers anytime.

Chapters 1, 2 and 3 have new, reworked objectives throughout the level; we will soon be adding them to Chapter 4 too on the Experimental branch.

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Controls Remapping

Controls Remapping has been improved, bugs have been fixed, which makes it more stable and all cases should work fine:

Gameplay Changes

Many changes were done to the core gameplay of the game; some that are hard to notice if you don’t know about them, but they should prove to make the game more comfortable especially for newcomers.

New Area

We have added a new hidden area in Chapter 1 in which you can find a Bonus Recording (coming later) and a Color Pack:

And below is a Time Lapse of how this area was created if you’re curious đŸ™‚

Multiple Paths

The game now supports multiple paths to reach the very first Taser Ammunition Pack in Chaper 1 on New Game+ demonstrated in the video below using the Dodge ability:

New Skip

We have added a new skip path in Chapter 1 for New Game+ only, next to the very first crushers you encounter in the game:

Improved Area

In Chapter 1 on New Game+, you can walk on the vent next to the very first Power Core; this area looked visually buggy; it has been reworked to look more like an intended secondary path:

This shortcut now looks cleaner
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Interaction

  • All interactions no longer require to aim precisely to objects
  • Power Cores can now be inserted even while they are currently moving to their “insertion preview position”

Jump

In some cases, the character wouldn’t respond to jump requests; now this shouldn’t happen anymore and the player should always jump when requested, even while moving fast – considering there is a valid ground below.

Slopes

There were many issues when the player was moving fast on slopes. Now, moving fast up or down a slope will still ensure the character remains “sticked” to the ground all the way instead of “slowly flying down” the slope sometimes (that was preventing you from jumping while going fast down slopes).

Jetpack

  • Jetpack activation requests wouldn’t work every time, especially if you requested to activate the Jetpack just as you were touching the ground. It should now always turn on when requested, or jump if there is no more fuel.

Mine Beams

We have reworked the mine beams visual effect to be more distinguishable from normal lasers, and to look nicer:

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In-Game Bug Reporting

We have reworked the in-game bug reporting system. It is now:

  • Faster to upload
  • More stable: Sometimes, there could be errors after posting bugs
  • Uploads screenshots, log files and save games directly to Haze Games
  • Reported bugs in-game are now linked to the Discord Server

It is now the recommended way to report bugs: Please press ALT+B directly in-game.

A great addition thanks to these changes and The Promidius’ hard work on the Discord Server code, bugs are now fully linked to the server, and it will automatically post a new bug report on the #active-bugs channel!

New Sounds

  • Heartbeat: There are 2 new heartbeat looping sounds: slow (low health), fast (low health while Hyper-Speed is active)
  • Jetpack: New sounds for firing the jetpack, the jetpack loop and jetpack stop
  • User Interface Sounds: New sounds for user interface confirm, cancel, show taser screen, etc
  • Dodge: New “fast wind” sound when performing a Dodge

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Next Steps

From now on, we have the following main next steps that we are going to be actively working on.

Finishing Chapter 4

Chapter 4 on PC is currently only available in EXP builds. We will now make some final additions:

  • Implement all remaining temporary silent dialogues
  • Integrate all the Objectives using the new Objectives System to help guide the player
  • Minor level changes to result in more clear puzzles / somes easier challenges based on feedback of experimental testers
Adding objectives to Chapter 4

After these 3 steps are completed and testing is done, Chapter 4 will be available in the default branch!

Building Chapter 5

We have just started the work on Chapter 5 for PC; It will be a long journey of work, estimated to 2 months.

Work in Progress on a room in Chapter 5 on PC

Chapter 5 will be a reworked version of Chapter 4 on mobile, with many new rooms and new PC-Exclusive content. The existing mobile content will be completely re-designed to look and play better with the PC gameplay mechanics.

When it will be ready to be tested, it will first only be playable on EXP builds.

Creating the Level Editor

We have started working on first tests for a Level Editor for Fractal Space a while back. However, it’s in a very early state, and cannot be tested currently.

We will now be spending some time every week working on the Level Editor in parallel, and we will now share screenshots and progress of how the Level Editor is coming up on social media, hopefully once a week!

Updating the Pocket Edition

With our focus on progress for the PC version recently, we haven’t updated the mobile version for a while. We’ll now be working on the mobile version in parallel, in order to:

  • Fix many bugs that were reported
  • Add Taser Customization to all mobile versions of the game, with exclusive colors for players who Donate or purchase the HD Edition on Android and iOS.
  • Add Speedrun Mode support on mobile versions

We’ll keep you updated as progress is made on the mobile version update; there will first be a Beta-Testing phase on both Android and iOS.

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Bug Fixes

Below are the main bugfixes that were done in the latest updates:

https://twitter.com/HazeGamesStudio/status/1136663339562463232
https://twitter.com/HazeGamesStudio/status/1136322040837812224
https://twitter.com/HazeGamesStudio/status/1136290833500532737
https://twitter.com/HazeGamesStudio/status/1135939044255232000
https://twitter.com/HazeGamesStudio/status/1135534348671655939
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