Early Access V0.2.4.8 – Performance and usability improvements

Hello arcade shoot’em up and classic Asteroids lovers across the globe. I have a “small” update for you this fall primarily focused on performance improvements, but has a few significant changes under the hood that especially benefit those with either “creative” steam names, or are from a culture with vast numbers of unique characters.

Some of you that also play games on Xbox One may already know, but I released a free demo for Xbox One last summer along with an update earlier this fall that added full leaderboard including daily, weekly, and monthly support to that demo. If you play on that platform too, please give it a try! Anyway as a part of that effort, I’ve done a ton of performance tuning in my custom engine under the hood to support consoles. This should translate to lower resource/gpu usage for PC/Linux/Mac users, so everyone wins.

In addition I have ripped out my entire text rendering system and replaced it with an improved framework. Everyone should notice slightly improved text rendering, but the big feature this enabled is the ability to render more character sets such as Chinese and Japanese as prime examples. ? marks in steam leaderboards should now be a thing of the past for non-vector mode. Vector mode will still suffer until I can figure out how best to create a vector font that can encompass these diverse characters.

For first time players, I’ve also introduced selection screens on game launch that allow to to pick both an initial theme and control style. This should help those just starting out get familiar with some of the ways to play and reduce initial frustration. The demo always shows it, but the full version will only show it the first time playing. There is an option under Miscellaneous to force it on/off.

Finally, I’ve started work on additional difficulty settings. For now, I’m only exposing the new Easy mode for more casual players, but in the future I’ll enable Hard and Insane modes, once they are ready.

New Features

  • Performance improvements.
  • New text rendering that supports full character sets.
  • Introduction screens to pre-select a theme and control style
  • New Easy mode for casual play. Select before each game, or from the options menu before starting.
  • Update framework libraries used under the hood
  • Improved demo experience
  • Guest player scores default to Anonymous 1-4.

Issues Addressed

  • Better handling of thruster volume in Modern (dual-stick) mode.
  • Borderless mode now supported on Linux/Mac
  • Many other little fixes, that probably only I notice.

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.

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