Early Access V1.3.0.0 – Vectorize Everything and Community Improvements!

Hello Solaroids players around the world. I’ve got a potpourri of improvements ready to ship out to you this spring. There are a bunch so I’ll get right to them!

RETICLE IMPROVEMENTS

Several months ago, I received some great suggestions from the community to improve the experience. They’ve been hanging out on the BETA branch but it’s time for them to hit the main build. The first one was to improve the visibility of things in the reticle, so I’ve made several tweaks that are hopefully in the right direction. Enemy ships are now colored based on their color, and bright red is reserved exclusively for missiles (yes, they are back in the reticle!). Missile indicators are also larger and blink rapidly. That coupled with the recently released ability to change the size of the reticle should help to keep threats and goal targets in mind just a little bit better.

COLORED SCORE TOKENS

Another great suggestion from a player was to improve the ability to tell the value of the score tokens. Now they are colored based on their relative value in bronze, silver, gold style, along with sparkles at the upper end. Note the really REALLY large score tokens are not (yet) available in the game. However, the colors and sparkle effects are based on the highest valued token available for a given level, so you won’t just see a bunch of bronze at the higher levels!

MORE VECTORS IN-GAME

The “level indicator” is finally completely vectorized, so it no longer sticks out like a sore thumb. In addition, there is a “wave” indicator while in Free Play mode to keep track of how many waves you’ve decimated. The wave is also displayed under the Free Play text at the beginning of each advancing wave.

Another thing that is finally “vectorized” (is that a word?) completely is the reticle itself. Ammo heath bars and all! Enjoy, and don’t forget for those that want an uncluttered reticle you can tweak what it displayed in it through the option menus (in the Player and Gameplay menus), so feel free to fly naked if you’re feeling dangerous!

And finally all elements in the Player HUDs are now completely vectorized with the exception of your Steam profile icon. Feel free to enjoy a big SOLAROIDS S in it’s place.

VECTOR CONTROLLERS AND BUTTONS

Finally, the time has come to round out vector mode with vectorized controller graphics for the four controller types I support directly. They include not only the controller binding screen but the in-game representations of the controller buttons. I hunkered down in Inkscape and created these matching vector representations to ensure a perfectly accurate match with the controller images. I’m quite happy with them and think they complete the vector experience, so I hope you’ll like them too!

VECTOR LOCALIZED TEXT

Last but not least, I did a ton of research on techniques I could use to bring the vector look to all the languages I’m fleshing out in the game. After trying several techniques, I honed in on one that I think works the best, so if you play in non-English mode and have been frustrated with no text while in that mode, this update is for you. All but one of the languages in the game are supported for now. I will still be refining things (mostly adjusting things for consistency), but Japanese, Korean, and Chinese never looked better! This is a good time to plug my LOCALIZOR page if you can help review translations!

New Features / Tweaks

  • Change the color of “points” tokens based on their value. They will now display as bronze, silver, gold, or gold with “sparkles” based on their value.
  • Point tokens are now worth exactly their face value, previously they were worth at least their face value.
  • Make missile indicators in the reticle narrow triangles instead of fat triangles to help differentiate them from enemy indicators (squares).
  • Change the color of enemy indicators in the reticle to a similar color as the actual enemy instead of making them all red. This will help to distinguish between missile threats and regular enemies.
  • Strobe missile indicators in the reticle to help to ensure they are noticed as imminent danger.
  • Show current wave in Free Play mode.
  • Initial tips are not dropped until the first player joins the game.
  • If no controllers are connected, will automatically connect the keyboard for use with Player 1.
  • Vector controller layout/binding screen and controller button graphics for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, and PS4 controller types.
  • Reticle is now fully converted to vector mode.
  • Level indicator is now fully converted to vector mode.
  • Will now display a warning if the game is unable to access local storage for save game data, local high scores and stats.
  • Multi-thread some aspects of the game. It will use additional processors if available.
  • Improved performance of vector rendering.
  • Improvements to vector graphics for enemies.
  • Improved text handling/management.
  • Improvement to handling of full-screen/borderless/maximized mode handling. The game will try and maintain the current select resolution in these cases.
  • MacOS now uses Metal graphics API for improved performance on OSX.
  • Updates to FNA/SDL libraries under the hood.

Issues Addressed

  • Fix a potential crash when updating leaderboards.

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.


Early Access V1.2.5.1 – Patch Notes

Minor feature updates and/or bug fixes.

New Features / Tweaks

  • When accessing via Steam Link, override and limit choices for Reticle Size, HUD Size, and Zoom Level to optimize the experience for phone and tablet client types.
  • Add a Particles option under the Effects category that allows the number of particles to be tuned to taste and/or system capabilities.
  • Updates to framework libraries.

Issues Addressed

  • Fix issue with Steam Link where using the Steam Link “shortcut” results in the wrong action set being applied first.
  • Fix issue where selecting a Framrate of 144 results in actually using 120.
  • Fix potential crash when refreshing high scores.
  • Fix Infiltrator behavior under Framrates higher than 60 where the enemy would “turn slowly”.

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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Early Access V1.2.5.2 – Patch Notes

Minor feature updates and/or bug fixes.

New Features / Tweaks

  • When changing resolution it no longer changes the resolution immediately, but instead waits for confirmation.

Issues Addressed

  • Fix issue where lowest resolution was used as the default when no save game data is available to select the preferred resolution.
  • Improve robustness when changing resolutions in full-screen/non-borderless mode.

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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Early Access V1.2.5.0 – HUD Improvements & Localizor

Another update coming at you in time for the “cold” holidays here in the northern hemisphere. This one is primarily some quality-of-life features.

Quality of Life is a Thing

Not all screens are created equal and so several enhancements were made to improve the experience for those on small, but hi-res screens – for example Steam Link on iPhone/iPad.

It’s not automatic, but now you can increase the size of the reticle around your ship up to 200% regular size which can make taking advantage of its capabilities even easier. Whether it’s tracking other players whether friend or foe, enemies (red squares), incoming missiles (red triangles), your lost power-ups (rings colored based on the weapon slot), or just that all important landmark the sun (yellow circle), the reticle has you covered. The Reticle Size option is configurable independently for each player.

Another Heads Up Display (HUD) improvement is now many of the text in-game (not menus) can now be adjusted up to 150% of normal size. Technically, you can reduce the size as well for any of you with mammoth monitors that just want the HUD “mostly” out of the way. It will adjust the size of each player HUD, Level Progress Indicator, Tip Text, Threat Lists, and so on. The HUD Size option is located under the Video option menu. Another option that can be useful in a similar situation is to adjust the Zoom Level under the Effects options menu to bring you closer to or further away from the action, adjust to your taste.

Another small but useful quality of life feature is I’ve added an [b]Aim Indicator[b] that will project a line out from the front of your ship to assist in ascertaining your heading when everything is flying at you from all directions. By default, it is off, but you can turn it on per player under the Player option menu.

The above screen shot has Reticle Size set to 200%, HUD Size set to 150%, and Aim Indicator set to On. If you need help remembering what things looks like by default… here you go.

Localizor based Community Translation/Localization
Finally, and this is a pretty big move for me. I’ve created a Localizor project for Solaroids on localizer.com.

Localizor is a platform for helping to bring small developers together with passionate game lovers that are both fluent in other languages (besides my native tongue of English) and wanting to help with the effort to translate, review, or just correct those pesky language barriers. As Solaroids has developed the amount of text in it has ballooned, and it is hard to keep things current, even when I can find translators on my own. If you would be willing to lend a hand, or know someone that would, it is a great way to contribute in addition to helping spread the word about the game. Kudos to the studio that created Localizor, Hovgaard Games (out of Denmark), and for making it available to us micro-indies free of charge.

New Features

  • Aim Indicator – Adds a line projecting out of the reticle to help track your ship orientation and aim. It is configurable per player under the Player options menu.
  • HUD Size – Allows you to tweak the size of the Score / Ammo area in the corners of the display as well as other overlay elements (excluding menus). Find it under the Video options menu.
  • High score tables are now shown after a delay when entering a game session.
  • In addition to shrinking reticle indicators with distance, also fade them out a bit.
  • Allow reticle size to be up to 200% instead of 150%.
  • Improve resolution of reticle and other circular shaped bars.
  • Localizor support – Help to fix translation errors or help translate from English to your preferred language. Find a link to the Localizor community project from the main menu. You can find the project here: https://www.localizor.com/solaroids-prologue
  • Added additional language options with initial machine translated text for Bulgarian, Danish, Greek, Finnish, Korean, Portuguese, & Thai. If there is another language you’d like or like to help translate to in Localizor, let me know and I’ll add the infrastructure to the game.
  • Updates to framework libraries.

Issues Addressed

  • Fixes to HUD fade-out when controllers are disconnected.
  • Missile indicators in the reticle were removed at some point, I’ve put them back. They are little triangles facing right at their target (YOU).

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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Early Access V1.2.4.8 – 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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Early Access V1.2.4.7 – Vector Mode, CRT Emulation, and a Ton of Enhancements!!

Greetings and welcome alpha fighter pilots; whether your are a medal laden veteran pilot, a new recruit cutting your teeth, from Earth, or from one of the furthest corners of the known universe.

I hope you’ve been priming your trigger fingers, as the Nexus Galactic as deployed several important milestone updates to whet your appetite for unmatched precision controlled skill based combat across the solar system.

Probably the biggest features added are CRT emulation capabilities, and an almost complete rendition of Vector mode.

CRT effects including scanlines and phosphors are now available.

Vector mode now has additional monochrome palettes in addition to the full color Solaroids palette.

Each aspect of the simulated XY Vector display can be tweaked to your taste and combined with other options like Bloom, Background Opacity, Stars, and CRT effects to simulate a variety of looks.

Many more tweaks and adjustments have been made to improve the experience. See the full list below.

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.

New Features

  • Background and bloom amounts automatically adjusted based on theme (Vector/Raster)
  • Backdrop stars now tied to Background transparency. You can now eliminate all raster based stars in addition to the backdrop, if you want for a more pure Vector mode experience
  • Increased power-up capsule size for easier visibility.
  • Colorized additional graphics in Vector mode
  • Particles for smoke, sparks and explosions now match the theme when in Vector mode.
  • Key representations are now 100% vectorized
  • Added Background option category
  • Added Emulation option category. Holding the two current modes/themes for now, but more planned still
  • Add Vector option category to control the palette and beam parameters when in Vector mode:
    • Vector Palette – Choose from the Solaroids multi-color vector palette, or classic favorites that reproduce the look of classic Asteroids®, and Asteroids Deluxe®.
    • Intensity – Adjust the intensity of the beam
    • Focus – Adjust the focus of the beam for ultra precise focus, or wide and vibrant
    • Shimmer – Adjust the shimmer effect to your liking and photo-seizure susceptibility
    • Jitter – Old Vector XY monitors weren’t always the most accurate things and were often particularly finicky. Adjust the precision of the beam
  • Add CRT option category to apply CRT emulation effects:
    • CRT Mode – Turn CRT emulation on/off
    • Scanlines – Turn on scanline simulation
    • Scanline Intensity – Adjust how intense the scanline effect is
    • Phosphor Pattern – Old monitors has much more visible RGB phosphors, turn this on to heighten the retro feel of older color monitors.
    • Phosphor Pattern Intensity – Adjust how intense the RGB phosphors. A little goes a long way with this one.
  • Supports Steam Remote’s virtual touch-pad with configurations for Classic, Hybrid, and Modern control styles
  • Supports Steam Remote Play for local multiplayer over the network
  • Many many performance optimizations and engine improvements as I port the code base to less powerful consoles and mobile. Every platform benefits.
  • The OST is now separate and can be purchased/activated separately
  • Updates to platform libraries (FNA, SDL, etc)
  • High score tables now hidden while in option menu.
  • Add Exit option category with options to:
    • Resume – Close the option menu and resume the game in addition to Esc/Back
    • Forfeit – Forfeit the current players session
    • Title Screen – Forfeit all players and immediately return to the title scree
    • Exit to System – Exit completely out of the game. No rage quitting!
  • Exit option category also replaces the former pop-up dialog when pressing Esc/Back for more options and better consistency
  • Options that are not available due to the setting of other options, are now “muted/grayed-out” until they have been activated
  • The current option is highlighted better
  • New Reticle option under the Gameplay option category. Allows you to adjust whether the reticle shows other Players, the Ammo/Heath bars, both, or no addition information other than enemies/power-ups
  • New per player Reticle Size option under the Player option category. Can be used to turn the reticle complete off for the die hard, or adjust the size when playing on different screens or different player “bio parameters”. As an added bonus, if the reticle is turned off for a player, that player will not show up in the other players reticles making it a bit more difficult to seek out your friends/foes
  • Added a delay countdown when resuming the game. Gives you a little time to remember what horrible situation you left yourself in when you panic hit pause.
  • When editing visual related options, the game is shown, non-darkened for easier tweaking of the many visual aspects of the game, from bloom, background/star visibility, reticle, CRT, or Vector parameters
  • New Positional Audio setting to adjust positional audio based on your speaker setup. Leave it on Surround to play as before with Left/Right + Top/Bottom mapped to Front/Back, tune to use just Stereo Left/Right, or turn off positional audio all together.
  • CONNECTION CONTROLLER messages will now fade out completely (after a few minutes of controllers being disconnected).
  • New Mouse Rotation option under the Player option category. I the Hybrid (single-stick) control style, allows you to rotate with relative mouse movements (horizontal/vertical) instead of the mouse position on the screen. Trackballs or spinners should work, though haven’t been tested yet.

Issues Addressed

  • Fix thruster scaling issues in Vector mode.
    Fix power-up icons missing in some prompts in Vector mode.
    screen.


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Early Access V1.2.4.6 – Performance Improvements!

Not much in the way of visual features lately, but a lot of performance optimizations and internal changes to get ready for some new features this fall. To be honest some of the optimizations were driven by trying to run Solaroids on a mobile device – iOS in particular, but these are things I’ll need for “other” mobile platforms and Xbox One too. But everyone wins as now Solaroids is much more efficient at drawing HUD elements which should result in reduced CPU/GPU usage, or at least better performance on smaller systems with integrated GPUs.

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.

New Features

  • Fire on Aim can be adjusted via the player HUD when joining using the Modern control style.
  • Adjustments to vector mode line thickness. In the future this will be configurable.
  • Adjustments to vector mode “shimmer” effect.
  • Fully separate Full Screen and Borderless option (on windows). They now work independently.
  • Massively improved performance of drawing HUD elements. They should be much more CPU/GPU friendly on all platforms.
  • Improved memory management which should show some small performance improvement.
  • Updated framework libraries used under the hood, which includes bug fixes and performance improvements.
  • Solaroids now runs with high priority instead of normal which will potentially help on systems that are running multiple applications/games.
  • Better handling of language changes. This is mostly internal behind the scenes stuff.
  • Re-designed internals of the option menu system in preparation for new options coming soon.
  • Reduced continue timer from 20 back down to 10
  • Free Play mode can be “selected”, so the descriptive text is shown even when locked
  • Locked features (i.e. Free Play) show an unlocked icon
  • Added Random Stage option (the new default) which will give you a different backdrop from the currently available 3 (soon to be more).

Issues Addressed

  • Huge optimizations to vector mode drawing.
  • Fix split screen vectors
  • Better handling of vector mode characters. Still lots of characters that can’t be drawn.
  • Fix intermittent crash when switching back and forth between full-screen border-less and “true” full-screen.


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Early Access V1.2.4.5 – Vector Mode Improvements!

I’ve made some significant progress on the Vector Mode, added a 3rd background “Stage 3”, as well as the usual collection of smaller tweaks and requested options.

The work on Vector Mode has made a new milestone with the completion of conversion of the fonts to 80s style vector fonts. These will also smoothly transition when switching back and forth between the regular graphics and the vector mode graphics. This includes the main menu, option menus, leaderboards, stats, and in-game prompts and scores. They still could use some additional optimization, so if you’re playing on a modest system, you may notice a loss in framerate when things get serious. This will improve over time as I squeeze out additional performance. Only basic characters are supported at the moment as well, so you may notice some missing punctuation, or in the case of fancy non-ASCII characters, missing characters.

I’ve incorporated a 3rd background accessible under “Stage 3” in the options under the Gameplay category. In addition, there is now a “Random” setting (the new default) that will give you a random background each play. You can still set it to a specific one if there is a favorite. I have some other backgrounds designs available and will be hopefully incorporating them real soon.

Finally, worth mentioning is there are a few other little features that have been added. One is a requested Reset Options feature is now available under the Miscellaneous category that will reset all the options back to the defaults, not just the controller bindings. Another is when accessing the “exit to main menu” dialog, you can do a quick restart instead of returning all the way to the main menu and then restarting from there.

Many thanks to the great players that have helped shape things with feature requests and stay tuned for more enhancements based on your feedback.

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 vector fonts which replace all in-game fonts, with the exception of keyboard key images.
  • Vector shapes now support multiple colors.
  • Scores on periodic leaderboards now fade out based on the age of the score.
  • Optimizations to level generation.
  • Added a restart option to the menu used to exit back to the title screen to quickly start a new game. This is equivalent to exiting to the main menu and then re-entering the game mode you were in.
  • Moved some non-control based options from the Controls category to the Player category.
  • Allow binding keyboard controls to TAB, Backspace, and Caps lock.
  • Add a Reset Options command to the Miscellaneous category. This literally resets every option back to the defaults, including resolution, full-screen, etc.
  • Add another “Stage 3” background.

Issues Addressed

  • Reticle in vector mode now works for the most part. It still doesn’t match the size of the non-vector version exactly but it’s usable.
  • Fix issue where the lens flare on the sun would disappear when returning to the title screen and then starting a new game.


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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).


Posted in General | Comments Off on Early Access V1.2.4.4 – HUD Improvements!

Early Access V1.2.4.3 – Adding Color to Vector Mode!

Hello everyone! Needed to do a quick update to fix an issue with Mouse Locking that was being a little to aggressive in dual monitor setups.

A big thank you to twitch streamer Drakkett for tracking me down, bringing it to my attention, and working with me to isolate the cause. The result is not only the fix for the dual screen issue, but the full ability to turn mouse locking on/off (MS Windows only) from the option menu as well as a hot key (F5). I also added a hot key to toggle borderless window mode on and off (F6) in addition to the existing option menu item. Now dragging the Solaroids window to a second monitor and pressing F6 is a quick way to get it on a 2nd monitor.

Finally, I had made some additional progress of Vector mode, so might as well push it out to everyone, right? Vector mode is now in Color! The colors aren’t finalized, and especially ship color isn’t respecting each players choices, but it’s starting to take shape. I’m also starting to work on converting parts of the HUD to vectors, so now the icons for the power-up prompts are showing up as well as your extra ships and active primary, secondary, and defensive weapons. With respect to those, they are showing up way to small, so I’ll be tracking down the cause soon. It’s still very much and experimental mode with score, fonts, and such needing the vector treatment, as well as refinement of the current vectors to make them more readable – especially in the case of power-ups.

If you miss the Asteroids Deluxe color scheme, don’t fret. I plan on making it an option as Vector mode matures.

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

  • Mouse Lock – Toggle locking of the mouse to the Solaroids game window while actively playing. It is available under the Video option menu, but can also be toggled by pressing F5.
  • Added F6 hot key to the border-less mode.
  • Options with hotkeys show the hotkey next to the option name for reference.
  • Experimental vector mode is now in color.
  • Power-up/tip icons now show in vector mode in the prompt area at the bottom of the screen.
  • Extra lives, and active power-ups now show in vector mode in the player HUDs.
  • Many other tweaks to vector mode.

Issues Addressed

  • Fix issue where resetting mouse lock was only allowing movement on the primary monitor.


Posted in General | Comments Off on Early Access V1.2.4.3 – Adding Color to Vector Mode!