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!
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.
- 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.