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.

Early Access V1.2.4.2 — Congrats on the Weekly Scores & Vector Mode Update!

Hello everyone! Thank you to all the players that have tried out some of the recent updates and posted scores to the new Daily/Weekly/Monthly leaderboards.

It’s been about a week since the update to add Daily, Weekly, and Monthly leaderboards and I see both some familiar names as well as some new ones. What do you think so far, yeah or meh?

Here’s the top scores for the week!!

And for the month of March (partial month)!

Speaking of leaderboards. I think it would be fun to have a speed run leaderboard. For the current Campaign it would be through Level 10 possibly with intermediate ones for each level to track progress, and for Free Play mode it would be through a certain number of waves possibly with intermediate ones as well. What do you think?

In other news, work continues on the experimental Vector mode. I’ve converted more of the graphics and have been playing with simulating the look of a real vector display. Here’s what it looks like with the Asteroids Deluxe colors — as available in this EA V1.2.4.2 build. This still picture doesn’t really do it justice, as the flicker effect adds a nice touch of authenticity.

I’m also playing around with adding color into to the mix. Here’s a early sample of what it’s looking like so far. What do you think? I’m thinking of making options to tune the vector mode to your liking. If I do it would probably include an adjustment for full-color vs a single color, line thickness, beam intensity, and flicker. Would you rather see these kinds of detailed options, or just a high level Monochromatic/Multi-color option where I pick the settings?

That’s all I have for this update as far as the bigger changes, but there have been several other smaller tweaks, so see the patch notes 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.

Cheers and happy blasting!

New Features

  • Cycling leaderboards now cross fade as a transition.
  • Alternate main high score display layout with Daily/Weekly/Monthly tables at the top and Local scores at the bottom.
  • Always show Daily scores first at the end of a game.
  • Daily leaderboard will show your score for at least one day, up to two if your really early in the day.
  • Enhance vector mode to emulate an Asteroids Deluxe style look.
  • Tweak background transparency for Stage 1 graphics.
  • Fix initial zoom factor.
  • Suppress controller vibration when a player is not actively in the game.
  • Fix potential issue when forfeiting.
  • Restart soundtrack when entering the actual game.
  • More updates to German translations.

Issues Addressed

  • Fix issue with local leaderboards not refreshing immediately when cleared.
  • Fix issue showing daily/weekly/monthly rank.

Solaroids is available on Steam Early Access and is still being actively developed by Chad Yates as part-time Indie game developer. Come try out the free Demo, join the Community HUB on steam, or join the ranks of brave fighter pilots defending the solar system and competing for high scores and prestige!


Early Access V1.2.4.1 – Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Leaderboards are live!

Hello players! Round one of leaderboard enhancements is ready for prime time. Solaroids will now show Daily, Weekly, and Monthly scores.

During the EA V1.2.4.0 update last week that released the early version of the Vector mode, I also put in some behind the scenes work to start collecting scores for some additional leaderboards. This includes Daily/Weekly/Monthly boards that are like the First Credit and Any Credit boards that are already established, but also starts recording scores for Control Style specific leaderboards (not exposed yet in-game as I’m working out details on where and how I want to display them).

Anyway, this update allows the Daily, Weekly, and Monthly First Credit / Any Credit leaderboards to be displayed in game. They show up on the left side of the main leaderboard display where the local leaderboards show. That area now cycles between Daily / Weekly / Monthly / Local boards, switching every 5 seconds.

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.

I hope you enjoy the new boards, and stay tuned for more tweaks related to leaderboards soon.

Cheers and happy blasting!

New Features

  • Daily, Weekly, and Monthly leaderboards.
  • Updates to German translations. More coming soon.

Issues Addressed

  • Per player leaderboard displays now correctly change between First Credit / Any Credit scores while playing.
  • Improve handling of statistic and leaderboard refreshes.

Solaroids is available on Steam Early Access and is still being actively developed by Chad Yates as part-time Indie game developer. Come try out the free Demo, join the Community HUB on steam, or join the ranks of brave fighter pilots defending the solar system and competing for high scores and prestige!


Early Access V1.2.4.0 – Experimental Vector Mode!

Hello everyone! A little update with some new features mostly around options and to give you an early glimpse of the work-in-progress on the new Vector mode.

Yip, I couldn’t resist getting your feedback, so I exposed an option to change the theme between the normal modern vector illustration style graphics and a more raw classic vector style. It’s still very much a work-in-progress so be gentle. I still have to do work to swap out more shapes/symbols, particle effects (explosions/missile trails), fonts, and of course the main title, but I’m interested to hear what you like and don’t like with the direction. Eventually I want to support additional themes too, so I can put in a nod to my old workhorses, the Commodore Amiga and C64, and hopefully some other classic systems as well. You can change the theme from the Effects menu, or for the brave, you can switch while in the heat of battle with the T-Key or DPad-Up, which are the default controls mapped to the feature.

There are also a few smaller updates focused on some usability enhancements requested from players and Youtubers. You can now fine tune the sensitivity of the thumb-sticks and triggers for the supported game controllers. This shows up as Thrust/Rotation Sensitivity options under the Controls option menu. In addition, you can also tone down the power of the thrusters if they’re just to much for you to handle using the Max Thruster Power option. It’s also fun to dial it down just for more deliberate thrusting experience and a different feel, but unfortunately, if you dial it down too much, you’re bound to take a beating from random debris and bullets!!

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

  • Enable experimental Vector mode. Note this is really early-early-access. It can be turned on either from the Theme option under the Effects category, or by pressing the DPad-Up button or T-Key if keyboard is being used. The control used can also be reconfigured like other controls per Control Style.
  • Max Thruster Power option – Adjust the maximum thrust on a player by player basis. This is both useful to tune to your comfort level, and when taken to the extreme, makes for some fun times trying to change trajectory to avoid incoming debris!
  • Thruster/Rotational Sensitivity control options – Adjust the sensitivity of the controls used for thrusters and rotation when assigned to analog controls like thumb-sticks and triggers. At 100% it will behave as it has, while at 0% most of the control will be at the end of the pull/push, and at 200% most of the control will be at the start of the pull/push. This is also per player.
  • Reset Controller Layout option.
  • Display version and EA disclaimer on the in-game option screen.
  • Add Solaroids logo to the in-game option screen.
  • Use machine based-translations, denoted with a (*), as stand-ins for text that hasn’t been proofread/localized by a native speaker. Yes I finally pulled the trigger on this one and actually put the machine translations in until I can get the real ones sync’d up.
  • Allow the viewing and configuring of player options and controls from the main menu, not just the in-game pause menu.
  • Move Autofire and Aim on Fire options from the Gameplay category to the Controls category. They are now configurable per player instead of global options.

Issues Addressed

  • Fix title graphic style/size when starting up under a non-English locale.

Previously Released Patches

  • Fix regression in camera handling at the edge of the arena when Seamless Wrapping is off.

Solaroids is available on Steam Early Access and is still being actively developed by Chad Yates as part-time Indie game developer. Come try out the free Demo, join the Community HUB on steam, or join the ranks of brave fighter pilots defending the solar system and competing for high scores and prestige!


Early Access V1.2.3.2 — Trading Cards!

Hello everyone! Hope you had a great winter and holiday season. We’re still buried under snow, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Not a lot of updates for Solaroids for Steam, so my apologies for that. I’ve been adjusting the infrastructure of the game to support multiple platforms, so mostly hidden work behind the scenes. I’m also working on the promised Vector Mode from the Early Access Roadmap, and Monthly and maybe Weekly leaderboards. I’ll hopefully be able to wrap those up soon, but either way will share some progress as it gets more concrete.

With that said however, I was able to spend time to finish a set of Steam Trading Cards that Valve approved late December. So if any of you were wishing for some extra Solaroids “bling”, those are available to collect. I tried to make them both showcase some of the artwork I created, as well as be useful for players. As such they include design notes and descriptions of the capabilities of some of the enemy types. They are English only for now, but I would like to commission localization where there is enough popularity and if Steam will let me add them. Here are a few samples from the set of five available.

For those into stary-scapes, in addition to the trading cards, I created several Steam Profile Backgrounds to go with the set. You can collect them while crafting trading card badges. Here’s a preview from the set of five available.

There is also a set of Steam Emoji Icons in the Solaroids theme. Collect enough to spell out Solaroids before I do!

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

  • Performance enhancements for Linux/OSX.

Issues Addressed

  • Fixed issue where soundtrack wouldn’t advance on Linux/OSX.
  • Fixed issue with camera when Seamless Wrapping Mode is turned off.

Previously Released Patches

  • Change mouse cursor from “hand” to a cross-hairs.
  • Balance volume of mine alarm sounds.
  • Fix issue with camera on resolution change.
  • Updates to core open-source libraries used on Linux/OSX versions.
  • Default to Stage-2 graphics, can be changed from the options.
  • Default to a maximum of 3-continues. Can be adjusted from the Gameplay options menu.
  • Updated title graphic.

Solaroids is available on Steam Early Access and is still being actively developed by Chad Yates as part-time Indie game developer. Come try out the free Demo, join the Community HUB on steam, or join the ranks of brave fighter pilots defending the solar system and competing for high scores and prestige!


Community Gaming @ Vandal Overnight Games – Fall 2018

This fall we were able to showcase Solaroids at the local Vandal Overnight Games event.  Vandal Overnight Games or VOG for short is hosted twice a year by the University of Idaho.  Lovers of all types of games can be found spread throughout the event space.  All types of games are represented, from card games, board, tabletop and live experience games, to PC, console, and VR experiences.

I was able to setup three screens across from the University of Idaho’s Polymorphic Games running versions of Solaroids.  I even had one running an early prototype port on an Xbox One X Dev kit.

Players battled it out Co-op style, with a bit of competitive death-match style action tossed in here and there in the beta of a new local multiplayer game mode.  Previous local multiplayer was limited to a dynamic split-screen mode that adapts the number of splits based on the number of players that have joined.  The new Shared-Screen mode instead places all players on the main screen, and uses dynamic camera tracking and zoom to keep all players on screen Super Smash Brothers style.  I had just implemented the feature over the few days leading up to the event, so I was a bit nervous about any remaining issues that might be lurking, as well was what general player reaction would be to the new play style.  Fortunately bugs were minimal, and both new players, as well as a few that had played it before took to the new play style.

Usually I have an 80″ LCD TV kindly provided by the U of I at these events, but with the event moving to a new building, access to those screens wasn’t available.  With the smaller 40″ or so screen provided, the shared screen mode worked well even with the reduced screen size.

I was also able to let players play using some new background elements planned for later stages.  Like the shared-screen mode these were recently added just prior to the event.

Here’s some footage of the new mode, as well as the new background elements. I’m playing against three “dumb” bots here that I use while developing, though I plan on including some better bots in the final game for those players that don’t have friends on-hand to battle it out.

Solaroids is available on Steam Early Access and is still being actively developed by Chad Yates as part-time Indie game developer. Come try out the free Demo, join the Community HUB on steam, or join the ranks of brave fighter pilots defending the solar system and competing for high scores and prestige!


Early Access V1.2.3.1 — Mini-Mines, Screen Shake, and Player Spawn Positions Oh My!

Hello! Another small update to release a few small fixes and a couple of new features.

I’ve added a new type of mine I call Mini-Mines. These are smaller weaker versions of the larger mines already in game, but don’t unleash a plasma wave when detonated. They also have an interesting feature where their lights blink the closer you get and make an audible chirp. I may add this effect to the larger mines too, since some times they are a little too stealthy. What do you think? They are now introduced on the level the existing mines were, and I’ve moved the existing mines a few levels later.

Another feature is the addition of an option called Player Spawn Position to choose where new player ships spawn. This is mostly for multiplayer scenarios, but like other options can also be used in single player as well. The default has always been for players to spawn near the sun. Under multiplayer situations, especially Player vs Player setups, this isn’t always ideal. So now there are two other modes available under the Gameplay options menu in addition to the default of Near Sun. Random will spawn player ships at a random place on the map, and Near Other Players will spawn player ships near the average of the positions of other players. This later mode is useful when playing Co-op.

I hope you enjoy the tweaks.

New Features

  • Mini-mines – Smaller less devastating mines with blinking lights and alarm sounds.
  • Player Spawn Position Option – Choose alternate player spawn positions.
    Pick between the original near the sun location, a random location on the map, or near other players.
  • Camera shake is now used at key events like destroying bosses/mines regardless of how close the player is.
  • Increased amount of camera shake (still adjustable).

Issues Addressed

  • Fixed issue where rumble could get “stuck” when playing in shared screen mode.
  • Fixed issue where camera shake wasn’t working when taking an impact.
  • Fixed issue where explosions were not being drawn in certain situations.
  • Minor changes to the new threat display (justification/sorting).

Once again… Happy blasting!!

Solaroids is available on Steam Early Access and is still being actively developed by Chad Yates as part-time Indie game developer. Come try out the free Demo, join the Community HUB on steam, or join the ranks of brave fighter pilots defending the solar system and competing for high scores and prestige!


Early Access V1.2.3.0 — Shared Screen Local Multiplayer + New Background Graphics!


I’ve got another small update to incorporate a few new noteworthy features that I wanted to get wrapped up before the Portland Retro Gaming Expo (PRGE)[www.retrogamingexpo.com]. Yes, that’s right… Solaroids will be showcased at PRGE this year thanks to the Portland Indie Game Squad[pigsquad.com]. This is the first event for Solaroids outside of my local community, and I’m excited to show it to the retro gaming lovers at PRGE.

Well enough with the ancillary commentary, let’s get on to the update.

First, I’m happy to present a new “shared” screen Local Multiplayer option. In this mode, rather than split the screen into up to 4 smaller screens, you can play with or against friends in a single screen. The camera will pan and zoom to keep all active players visible. Dueling has never been better.

The down side is things can get on the small side if players a long way from each other. Use the reticle to keep your direction straight – it always stays the same size and now displays the primary ship color. I’m still working out how to make power-ups readily identifiable when zoomed out for easier identification. You can find this new option under Gameplay in the option menu.

Second, I’m starting to map out additional stages and levels, and I just couldn’t wait to share some new background elements with you. For now, I’ve added an option under Gameplay Called Stage to select the background elements to use. Ultimately this will be incorporated into the campaign along with additional enemies and other hazards, but for now it just adds an alternate view. Please let me know what you think and if it’s the right direction.

Finally, a message is now displayed to compliment the final level wave warning sound. Players have all too often wondered what the warning sound means the first time they play. In addition, in Free Play mode this message is accompanied by a list of the end-of-wave baddies your about to face. You’ll have to let me know if you find it useful to be able to anticipate the onslaught your about to face and possibly be defeated by, or just find it useless noise.

New Features

  • Shared-Screen Mode – Play on a single screen instead of splitting the screen.
  • Stage Select – Pick Stage 1 or Stage 2 (only affects background graphics)
  • Indicate the end of the level with a message in addition to the alarm sound.
  • List end of level threats in Free Play mode.
  • Adjust end of level waves.
  • Adjust Free Play mode difficulty. It gets a lot harder after a few cycles than it used to which was already pretty hard.

Issues Addressed

  • Fixed a bug related to positional audio and seamless wrapping.
  • Fixed a bug related to particle effects (explosions) and seamless wrapping.

Known issues

  • Borderless window option is only implemented for Windows right now.
  • Disconnecting an external audio device being used by the game will cause a crash/freeze on Linux/OSX.
  • Some options and more recent prompts are English only or machine translated right now. If machine translated, they are indicated with an asterisk (*).

I hope you enjoy the new features, and once again, happy blasting!!

Solaroids is available on Steam Early Access and is still being actively developed by Chad Yates as part-time Indie game developer. Come try out the free Demo, join the Community HUB on steam, or join the ranks of brave fighter pilots defending the solar system and competing for high scores and prestige!


Early Access V1.2.2.2 — Tweak Tweak Tweak!!

This release is dedicated to YouTube player/reviewer Big Joe Bear who was kind enough to both make me aware of a key issue now fixed in this release, and to also make a stellar video tour de force of Solaroids. Note to self, cause internet outages around the world to entice more players to play!! If you can, give his channel a look and support him if it interests you:

Hello Everyone! Things have been quiet on the Solaroids update front lately. Work hasn’t stopped, but I’ve had to focus on some other aspects related to the game that are outside of the game itself. Stay tuned.

Some things I’m working on, but aren’t ready yet, are additional leaderboards. I’m considering weekly and monthly boards, as well as per control type boards. I will probably be adding daily leaderboards once I have the planned Daily Challenge game mode implemented.

New Features/Tweaks

  • Reset parallax in multiplayer when doing a cut transition.
  • Don’t show initial tips (in a ring around the sun) in free play mode.
  • Tuning of score multipliers:
    • Modern Control Style gets a 1x base multiplier now instead of 0.5x, with increased adder and increased decay factors.
    • Classic and Hybrid control styles stay mostly the same but get an adder boost.
  • Turn agility power-ups now increase (a little bit) the maneuverability of the ship in Modern (dual-stick) control style.
  • Fade in/out of per player stats / leaderboard displays.
  • Update framework libraries for Linux and OSX versions. These are big changes, especially with respect to audio, so please report any issues.
  • A bunch of internal changes to prepare for new features.

Issues Addressed

  • When playing with keyboard or mouse+keyboard, the mouse cursor is now locked to the game window during gameplay so you don’t accidentally move it outside the window in the thick of combat. This is also in effect when borderless mode is active. So, for those of you that play borderless full-screen on a multi-monitor setup, you’ll no longer accidentally scroll to the other screen and click on some other window with catastrophic results. Note that the mouse won’t be locked to the window when pausing or from the main or exit menus. Thank you Big Joe Bear for communicating this issue to me.
  • Fix an occasional 1-frame visual glitch when detaching outriders and exploding complex enemies.

Happy blasting!!

Solaroids is available on Steam Early Access and is still being actively developed by Chad Yates as part-time Indie game developer. Come try out the free Demo, join the Community HUB on steam, or join the ranks of brave fighter pilots defending the solar system and competing for high scores and prestige!


Solaroids: Prologue Trailer 2!!

Solaroids has a brand spanking new trailer! A lot has changed while in Steam Early Access over the last year, and it was high time to do a bit of a refresh.

The old trailer was created when I released a early build as the last Xbox Live Indie Game (XBLIG), a whole story of its own. It was definitely getting a bit dated and long-in-the-tooth. It also took too long to get to the action that was a staple of the genre, not to mention the totally crappy local multiplayer footage I created late at night by myself, trying to pilot multiple ships (sigh). For the nostalgic, here’s a link to Trailer 1 – RIP.

Often people wonder why the name Solaroids, and also can’t help to include tongue-in-cheek phrases that relate to biological issues I’d care not to discuss with you all. This trailer hints towards the overarching story to the game still in the planning stages, and hence the mix of Solar with Asteroids for familiarity and homage to its roots.

I’m still learning a ton about both Indie game development and marketing, and this new trailer original started out with different pacing. Some kind folks that hang out on the game development discords gave me some constructive critique. This resulted in me trimming the front to show gameplay quicker and trimming the quotes towards the end – which probably were excessive. Personally, I still like the old one in some ways, so if you’re a trailer connoisseur, I’d love to hear your critique about both versions.

Here’s the original version of Trailer 2, which I’ve dubbed the “extended cut”:

If you haven’t played Solaroids before, or you haven’t played it for some time, I hope you you’ll give it a try (free demo here), or brush of the dust and give it some play-time with the new features. Either way, please share some feedback in the Steam Community or in the new Solaroids Discord server. Also, if you like it or know someone that might, please help spread the word by sharing in your circles on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, or your other favorite social platforms/forums. It’s hard to get noticed among so many games.

Solaroids is available on Steam Early Access and is still being actively developed by Chad Yates as part-time Indie game developer.  Come try out the free Demo, join the Community HUB on steam, or join the ranks of brave fighter pilots defending the solar system and competing for high scores and prestige!