thewreck’s developer musings 1

August 25th, 2012, Cobalt, Cobalt Forum, Competitions, Game Development, Map Editor, thewreck

Hi! In this post I will be musing on the following topics:

  • The last couple updates
  • A new reload related feature
  • Outdoor climate colors
  • A community lead map making contest

Hit the jump for the full read!

The last couple updates

During the week that has been we have seen 2 Cobalt updates and a number of bugs! It always breaks my heart to hear about bugs that slipped by, even so when they are critical crash bugs… To all of you who have been reporting bugs, making suggestions and suffering through crashes, thank you very much! Without your help these updates would be so much harder to get done and the quality of the game would not have been able to reach as far as it has today. The reported bugs should be fixed now and the update containing the fixes is planned for the beginning of this coming week.

A new reload related feature

If you have been following frall on twitter you might have heard that we added a new gameplay aspect:

Reload Boosts! – By pressing the reload or use button at a specific time during the reload (unique for each weapon), the remaining reload animation becomes twice as fast! (usually the rest of the reload)

The reasoning behind this feature was that I have for a long time been feeling that the gameplay aspect of single shot weapons was skewed. Their gameplay was focused to a single instant, and then a bunch of waiting. Along with that, i’ve had a long reluctance towards automatic reloading of single shot weapons because it takes away part of the immersion of “controlling” the character. Unfortunately I for a long time did not know what to do about it. This was until I saw a video of War of the Roses and noticed that they had a minigame for the reloading of crossbows. Instantly the problem and the solution seemed so obvious.

Our take on the feature offers a number of things that fit so well with cobalt:

  • It raises the skill ceiling further
  • It evens out uneven distribution of gameplay with certain weapons (mostly the single shot ones)
  • It allows us to place the reload boost point at a unique position for each weapon which in it self decides how much of a bonus we want the reload boost to potentially have (late in the reload is less of a bonus than early in the reload)
  • It fits well with the main focus in cobalt: Timing!
  • It severely adds to the tension in a fight, where for example two metalfaces are reloading their single shot rail guns. (who will reload first?)
  • It adds a sense of mastery when you start to manage to get the timing right without even looking at the reload progress bar
  • It becomes an emergent combo system, where you feel like you are more and more in “the zone” for each consecutive successful reload boost (when me and kinten was playing, getting three in a row in a hectic situation felt incredibly satisfying)

I know I’m hugely in love with the feature. I hope you will be too!

Outdoor climate colors

Kinten has for a long time had his worries about the outdoor lighting system in Cobalt. Mainly the fact that all levels in cobalt tend to be somewhat red… A couple of days ago we finally decided it was time to fix some problems and the way we did it was by adding:

Climate! - In outdoor theme settings you can now pick a climate which will control the overall color of the sky and the hills in the background

We also tweaked the way the actual gameplay layers are colored from the sky, and once we tried it out…

oldnew

To me the first one looks washed out and strange, and the new one looks warm and deserty! Like you are actually at that location. This is a great step towards creating a really atmospheric experience and is an important part towards creating a great adventure mode. Now, don’t worry, your old maps will still look like your old maps since old maps will by default get the “alien” climate, resembling the old colors as much as possible.

A community lead map making contest

Over at the cobalt forums community member Aconitin is hosting a map making contest! This time around we have offered to include the winning map into the official release of Cobalt! So if you ever wondered what it takes to get a map officially in, here is one way!

Even if you don’t make it to the winning spot, this could be a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with the editor and perhaps talk to other cobalt mappers! You can usually find them in the #Cobalt channel on espernet! If you don’t want to download an IRC client, you can use the webchat! If you are just looking for custom maps for cobalt, the cobalt file database is a great resource!

Cya next week for v111 Alpha!

/thewreck

One Response to “thewreck’s developer musings 1”

  1. MrBubbleSS :

    The sad part is the best maps I’ve made recently aren’t deathmatch, and the one I might submit is already made almost a month ago. FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS

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