Early Access V0.1.0.0 — Tune to your Hearts Content, Full Option Menus!

Hello everyone!! I’m happy to announce the V1.1.0 release of Solaroids.

This is a big update (at least for me) as it is one of my milestones to finally have proper option menus to control various typical game settings as well as a few extras for tweaking the mechanics of the game. I’m planning some additional options in the future, but this definitely feels like a good base.

A few of the other gameplay tweaks that are worth highlighting are that friendly fire and friendly collisions can now be turned off. While friendly fire was a specific design choice for the game to allow a co-op (or not) experience as well as a little extra danger, it has been a top requested feature. Note that these are available from the global options menu before starting a game; they are not available from the player-centric option menu in the pause screen. Similarly, there is also now the option to globally turn Auto-fire on/off for all players. When Auto-fire is on, you can still take control of the shots to fire bursts when things get intense and you need a little extra for a moment or two. This is the default for new installs.

Another tweak is the ability to control how many “credits/continues” are allowed per game session. Previously this was unlimited, which required discipline to not continue if you wanted to compete only on the “first credit” leaderboards. I’ve defaulted this to zero for new installs, but it can be changed from the option menu.

Also, this update provides a tip system to give a little coaching here and there. There are a lot of subtle/hidden details with how things interact in the game, so along with the typical instructional material to help clarify key game elements quicker, the tip system sheds light on many of these. Not all tips are available immediately, but they present themselves the further you progress. Similar to power-up prompts, they are not available in Free Play mode, so they are only available in the normal “campaign” mode. They can also be turned off via options once you’ve mastered them.

I hope you enjoy the new additions, and I would love to here any feedback you are willing to share via reviews or discussion threads. Thank you for your continued support, and happy blasting!!

New Features

  • Tips – New “Power-up” that provides tips and hints about the game. New tips become available as the game progresses.
  • Options, including controller/keyboard configurations for players are saved. Steam cloud is used to mirror settings between computers However, some settings are excluded from syncing such as (resolution, full-screen, border-less, frame rate, and vsync).
  • When changing an option, an icon now indicates if the option participate in steam cloud synchronization.
  • Added brief descriptions for menu items on the title screen (English only right now).
  • An icon indicating first credit or any credit is displayed next to the score showing what leaderboard it qualifies for. These icons are also shown in the high score listings.
  • The player name is now displayed in the player HUDs.
  • For the current game session the last and best scores are displayed under the player name for reference.
  • In the player HUD, when continuing, the number of remaining credits is displayed.
  • Turn Speed, Bullet Strength, and Bullet Speed power-ups now detach when your ship is lost, so you’ll have to retrieve them before someone else does.
  • A hint is now displayed on the option menus and credits page showing how to leave the page.
  • Adjusted player HUD layouts.
  • The location of the sun is now indicated in the player reticle as a solid yellow circle.
  • Changed bullet speed increase power up icon away from the too generic
  • Plus symbol; It is now a ball with speed lines.
  • The Bonus Points power-ups now show their approximate value instead of the misleading $ symbol.
  • Moved the Increase Cannon Strength Power-up to earlier levels so you can now begin to upgrade your main cannon sooner!
  • Various stability improvements.
  • Global Options:
    • Video
      • Common video options including Resolution, Fullscreen/Windowed, Borderless, Framerate, and VSync.
      • Bloom – Allows turning the bloom effect on/off which can help frame rate on some under-powered systems.
      • Language – Allows override of the current Steam language; the only way to access languages not supported by Steam such as Serbian.
      • Powerup Prompts – Allows turning off the pop-up prompts that display when collecting the various power-ups in campaign mode. Power-up prompts are always off in Free Play mode.
      • Tips – Allows turning off the tip “power-ups” that become available throughout the levels in campaign mode. Tips are always off in Free Play mode.
    • Audio – Master, Music, and Effects volume.
    • Gameplay
      • Credits/Continues – Allows restricting the number of credits/continues in a game session. Once a player runs out they can no longer re-join. Great for tournaments or simulating “death-match” until additional game modes are released.
      • Friendly Fire – Allows turning on/off the effects of bullets and other detonations between the local players.
      • Friendly Collisions – Allows turning on/off collisions with other local players.
      • Autofire – Allows holding down the primary weapon key/button for a nominal rate of fire. For extra bursts where needed, you can still manually control the fire rate for regular guns and attachments.
    • Miscellaneous
      • Logging – Allows turning on/off the diagnostics log that can be useful for bug reporting. The diagnostics log, when enabled, is in the game directory and is called diagnostics_<time>.html. A new one is created with a new timestamp on each launch.
      • Expire Anonymous Scores – Allows a schedule to be set for retaining local high scores under the Anonymous label.
      • Expire Extra Scores – Allows a schedule to be set for retaining local high scores by the same player name. The highest score for each player name is retained.
      • Clear Local Scores – Allows the clearing of the local high score listings.
      • Local Leaderboards Only – When turned on the steam account is no longer used for player 1, and it behaves the same as guest players. That is it defaults to a player name of Anonymous but allows the player to edit the name used to label the local high score.
  • Player Options:
    • Player
      • Camera Shake – Allows turning on/off the camera shake effect used when taking damage or near explosions.
    • Controls
      • Vibration – Allows turning on/off the controller vibration/rumble used when the player takes damage or is near explosions.
      • Controller Type – When a game controller is connected, allows the selection of the controller type used for button glyphs/layout. Currently Xbox 360/One and PlayStation Dualshock 3/4 are supported.
      • Layout – Allows adjustment to the buttons/keys used to control the ship.

Previously Released Patches

  • Fixed issue where the players shield was not blocking shock waves from some enemy types.
  • Stability improvements.

Known issues

  • Some previously supported languages are not fully supported at this time.
    These are still available from the language option and include the identifier “(partial)” next to the language to indicate which languages are not fully translated. In the cases where it is a partial translation, English is used for any missing translations. For most languages this is power-up prompts, tips, options, and menu items.
  • Borderless is only implemented for Windows right now.

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