The countdown begins. I take a big breath and concentrate on the first few clicks. Life or death can become you if you don't make good decisions. I take a gamble and go straight to researching higher technology. I want my enchantresses and siege tanks assembled as soon as possible. Suddenly, "A player is defeated," breaking the silence.. Since I wasn't the target of a rush, my panic subsides.
Then, in an effort to make ready my siege attack, I send out my rocketbellies to a point just beyond my base. Quickly, I go to where my Enchantresses are gathering. Then the announcer tells me, "Your troops have engaged the enemy". I move over to where my rocketbellies were assembled and find them missing. They had gone off to fight wandering critters, causing an awakening of a horde of alien bugs. But before I could stop them, Rod marched into my then lightly fortified base, and brought me down to defeat.... lol
Over the past few weeks we have been focusing on RTS game play. Our play tests have been an eye opener. We have elevated the player flow but found looming holes in the player experience. Mainly, we need to focus on easy management of units. So for the upcoming play tests, we will be addressing the issues we found.
Who put the ants in my game...
Something that has bothered me for a while is when units are sent far across the map, they eventually ant-line. Ant-lines get your troops there as fast as possible, but they also get to your enemy one at a time. One at a time is not the best way to penetrate a heavily fortified base.
After iterating through 5 different systems, I'm happy to announce our new system is in place and is ready for play testing. Now when you send your troops, they will automatically be broken up into squads and stay together much better when traversing long distances. The new pathing system is more reliable and robust than the old one.
Currently, only same speed units will stay together and do not slow down with slower units. It's a feature that may be implemented in the future under hotbox control. However, until then, we will test this version.
Get off my back Critters!
A new change has been implemented on how units engage critters. Your units will no longer attack neutral critters unless commanded to do so. They will however attack them if they are attacking any of your teammates.
We ran into a frustrating problem late in the game when we were aggro'ing unwanted critters.. It almost always resulted in losing a good percentage of the offensive force. It's already challenging to break a heavy defense without worrying about catching bugs. =)
In addition to those two big items, we fixed a bunch of minor game play issues that have been low on the priority list. Yay! Thanks for reading.