Version 0.6.5 of the playable demo of Retrobooster is now available from the downloads page. There are some gameplay improvements and a big update to level 4. Here is the full list of changes:

  • Bug fixed: Terrain tile warping was distorting some terrain in strange ways. This is mostly a cosmetic improvement.
  • Bug fixed: Invalid shaders were sometimes causing an ugly first frame when starting a new level.
  • Bug fixed: Fixed rare crashing bug (only saw it about once every 3 months during development).
  • Heavy remodeling of Level 4 to introduce some better flying challenges.
  • Reduced enemy weapon damage values and increased amount of enemy fire.
  • Added mini tokens that restore 10% of health or shields.
  • You cannot be crushed by small enemies anymore, only larger ones that do not appear in the demo version.
  • Automatically switch to Ion Bolts (default weapon) when other primary weapon runs out of ammo. Good idea, Derek.
  • Added splash damage to most explosions. Made a few exceptions so, for example, player’s missiles do not destroy one another.
  • Score multipliers are now increased by doing damage and destroying enemies. Before they were only increased by destroying enemies.
  • Added visual and audio feedback for score multipliers so that you know if you are about to go up or down a notch.

The big gameplay change in this update comes from increasing the amount of enemy weapon fire, decreasing its damage, and adding mini health and shield tokens. The idea is to create a better tug-of-war for health with enemies trying harder to drag it down and more tokens to boost it up. I don’t yet know if this has made the demo more or less difficult. More player testing will need to be done to tune these new features. Honestly, though, this effects later levels more; early levels focus on learning to fly while later levels have much larger battles.

The modifications to score multipliers also affect these new gameplay changes. The higher your score multiplier, the more likely it is for tokens to appear.

Finally, I added some big gears to Level 4. This gives a better sample of the flying challenges you’ll find in later levels. This change is fallout from the ongoing level design process that has been keeping me busy lately.

In other news, Retrobooster will be shown at Indie Press Day on May 22nd in San Francisco. If you are a member of the press I hope you come and see all the games.

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