Early Access V1.2.4.4 – HUD Improvements!

Greetings pilots! A potpourri of new features and corrections for this release, but mostly centered around enhancements to the HUD.

Many of you will be happy to know that Solaroids now has a health bar for player ships. Previously the amount of smoke and sparks emitting from your ship was the health indicator, and was meant to be a soft indicator, introducing a little uncertainty to whether you really can take another hit. But by popular demand, the ships computer system has been upgraded to be able to take more precise measurements of the hull integrity. I’ve decided to introduce an inner ring just inside the current reticle, allocating the back half to health. As you take hits, this “bar” will shrink from both sides and the color will go from happy green through yellow and orange to unhealthy red. I expect this will also help to get a better understanding of how much damage different hazards and enemies inflict.

But wait, that’s not all. Since I’ve allocated a whole new ring to the reticle, why use it all for health when I can use the front semi-circle area to add another requested feature… Ammo indicators. Rather than having to always glance back up to the corner of the screen to assess what kind of ammo you have available and about how much, I’ve added some mini ammo “bars” for all three weapon types: primary, secondary, and defensive. The area is divided up into thirds, with primary front and center, secondary to the left, and defensive to the right. Each is color coded based on the weapon slot, and in the case of Xbox controller users playing with the default classic controls, also matching the colors of the controller buttons they are assigned to.

Following with the interface changes theme, I’ve added some additional indicators to help provide additional useful information.

First, Whenever the multiplier moves by a whole increment, an indicator will be shown near the player ship. The multiplier goes up incrementally as you destroy things, down incrementally when you’re not destroying things, and by a lot when you take damage. Now you’ll see these changes as the multiplier goes up and down.

Second, most things have a score adder associated with it, and that score is further adjusted by your current multiplier. In this version, the final score adder will now show up at the point where the score was accumulated. This also helps to see the exact score value for point pick-ups since I don’t show the exact value on the pick-up itself, but you’re guaranteed the points are at least that amount. I expect to add an option in the future to turn showing score adders on/off if it’s too distracting – let me know.

Finally, how many times have you started flying towards a power-up only to find it “expire” in a pop of sparks right before you’re about to pick it up. This last feature is for you. Now a count-down timer will show up near the power-up/pick-up if it has less than 10 seconds before it expires, giving you a chance to decide if you’ve got the skill to swoop in and grab it in the nick of time.

A huge thank you to twitch streamer Drakkett and his devoted community for testing out many of the above features last weekend and for the great feedback in shaping them!! Also, many thanks to Ultra C for taking Solaroids for a spin on their YouTube channel and providing feedback/bug-reports.

Work continues on Vector Mode as well. With this version, the configured player ship colors are now rendered, which includes incorporating the player stripe color into the missile fins. Power-up icons now render at the correct size in the HUD as well. Like I’ve mentioned before, Vector Mode is still very much an experimental feature and is incomplete. Reticle, fonts, and other bits are still missing and/or incomplete.

Thank you for supporting me on my journey to try and make the Best Asteroids Style Space Shooter. If you ever want to chat about Solaroids with myself or other players, or brag about your top scores and share tips, join the Solaroids Discord Server. It’s quiet there now, but maybe you can help change that!

I’ve also created a dedicated Early Access Page filled with, gifs, links, and a place where you can sign up to be notified at full launch.

Cheers and happy blasting!

New Features

  • Vector mode now supports player primary and secondary colors. You’ll be able to tell each other a part when playing with friends again.
  • Added a Max Multiplier statistic, which replaces the less useful Small Asteroids Destroyed stat in the statistics display.
  • Added a Discord menu-item to join the growing official Discord server. You can always join using https://discord.gg/solaroids.
  • Add an audio/visual cue to the larger mines. They now chirp and the center light will blink faster the closer you get like the small mines. However, the distance is further.
  • Add a heath “bar” to the reticle. It is displayed in the back half of the reticle and decreases in size and transitions to red as you take damage.
  • Add primary, secondary, and defensive weapon ammo indicators to the reticle. These are shown in the front half of the reticle, and are color coded to the weapon slot type. For example, primary=green, secondary=blue, and defensive=red.
  • Adjust mouse idle time from 2 to 3 seconds. When the mouse goes idle (isn’t moving), the ship will orient to face the direction you are thrusting for cruising as opposed to strafing mode.
  • Added indicators for when multiplier changes (in integer increments). When the multiplier goes up the new value is shown in green at the player ship’s location. When the multiplier goes down by 1x (usually due to normal multiplier decay) it will show the new value in orange. When the multiplier drops significantly (due to taking damage to your ship), the delta is shown in red.
  • Added indicators for score adders. Now when something of value grants you points, you’ll see the actual total points awarded (with multipliers accounted for).
  • Added indicators to power-ups that are about to time out. When a floating power-up has 10 seconds or less before it will be removed from the game, you will see an indication of the time that remains.
  • BETA and VECTOR MODE IS EXPERIMENTAL text is now less in your face when playing.

Issues Addressed

  • Fix issue where having keyboard and gamepad bound to player one doesn’t toggle the PRESS # FOR KEYBOARD / CONNECT CONTROLLER messages for other players
  • Fixed issue where up on the D-Pad was switching the theme when trying to pick your secondary (stripes) ship color
  • Fixed issue where ship would briefly stop tracking the mouse target when flying in certain parts of the arena. This was at seamless wrap points
  • Fixed an issue where some components of a boss were not granting the intended score value
  • Fixed an issue with rapid fire where when picking up one it finishes firing the last burst of 5 (mis-fires).