This week I was shaping modular difficulty system!
It took me many hours, but have managed to make mission overview into something I can tolerate.
Eight icons are modular difficulty system modules or challenges.
Enabling them changes image between challenges and mission description.
That image is difficulty map, it's a visual representation of modular difficulty system.
The (almost finished) mission overview
Enabling challenges is actually your hero deciding to take more dangerous paths, with anomalies and powerful enemies. Difficulty map shows those dangerous paths.
Here's the updated list of challenges:
Minions will deal 50% more damage
Minions will have 100% more armour
The Manifestations of Destruction
You will encounter dreadnoughts
The Assault of the Modified
You will encounter more modified minions
The Rain of Fire
You will be bombarded every 10 seconds until you will destroy bombardment station
Risk for Reward
Earned parts and experience will be lost if you will fail the mission
Mission objective count will be increased by 100%
Abilities will cost 100% more ether during this mission
Some of these challenges can be used more than once.
For example, you can use Aberrant Armour to make enemies have 500% more armour!
After making mission overview, I implemented rewards and began implementing challenges.
I have implemented four of the challenges already, four more to go.
When they will be implemented, I will be testing and balancing modular difficulty system to make sure it can't be exploited too much.
I will also increase power of some abilities!
I can now decrease difficulty of base game, those players who will want difficulty will be able to get more than enough of it through modular difficulty system.
I don't think anyone will ever will beat mission with 34 difficulty: +500% base enemy damage, +1000% base enemy armour, objective to kill 150 modified dreadnoughts, when abilities cost 500% more ether and missiles keeps falling from the sky randomly.
I did good!
Until next time!
This week I have began working modular difficulty system.
First thing I have to do is to make mission overview screen and I have spent this week trying to make it.
Yes, whole week for one interface.
In my defense, it's really hard to make interface that's both informative and looks cool. That is exactly what I want from mission overview.
Modular difficulty system is big, complex, awesome thing and I need to show that in mission overview screen.
I need something cool to represent it, hopefully I'll get that next week.
I'm about a week away from being able to update game with one of the most ambitious features, so I figured I'll write shorter echo this week and work longer on the game!
Until next week! Or game update!
When I began working on Sector Six, I didn't knew that it would become this big.
I didn't knew that Sector Six is going to be in Steam, I didn't knew that it will get so much positive feedback, I didn't knew that one day I will write 50th development blog a.k.a. echo about it.
But it all happened and it's amazing!
So, how did it began?
In 2014, after finishing my first game, I immediately began working on Sector Seven. I had the idea of allowing player to build spaceships out of destructible blocks. Two months later Sector Seven was finished. It was weird, clunky, pretentious shoot 'em up with light RPG elements and many, many problems.
But I glad I made it, because without out it, there would be no Sector Six.
I promised myself that I would make Sector Seven sequel. Later I have decided not to, but then...
One quiet summer morning I woke up with weird images in my mind. It was epic black spaceship silhouettes and I knew they were built out many blocks.
I created new project file, called Shadow Sector the same day. Later I decided to call it Sector Six.
In the beginning, I didn't worked on Sector Six much, I was focusing on my other game, Lur. Just like Sector Seven, it wasn't a good game, but while making it, I got experience, that I needed to make Sector Six.
I have finished Lur on January 2015, redirected my focus on Sector Six and intense development began.
Back then Sector Six was similar to Sector Seven. There was no inventory, blocks were simply bought for currency. Those blocks didn't had any stats and they were destroyed on hit. Lose all blocks and game is over.
Back then I was playing Path of Exile and Torchlight. So another idea hit me. What if blocks had random stats and you could get them by killing enemies? I already knew how to make inventory and generate random loot from Lur, so I decided to give it a try. And it worked!
Oldest Sector Six screenshot I have
When I finally made Sector Six playable, I have uploaded first alpha version. After Sector Seven and Lur I didn't expect anything, so I was surprised when Sector Six received good comments and ratings. I knew that I can improve the game, so positive feedback about the alpha version made me really excited about the future of Sector Six. And I began working on Sector Six like crazy!
Months started flying by. Interface overhaul, combat overhaul, Steam release, graphical overhaul...
It was awesome and I think it will continue being awesome!
I said this before, but again, thanks for playing and supporting my game! And for reading this echo!
For those who are interested in seeing what was Sector Six like in the very beginning, I have uploaded old Sector Six version on Itch.io
Sector Seven can also be found there.
Now a bit about future!
Last week I have successfully implemented modified enemies!
There's just four modifications yet, but there should be more in future.
Modification 1: Fires missiles at your location
Modification 2: Double armour
Modification 3: Drops swarmlings when destroyed
Modification 4: Drains ether
With modified enemies in, I can work on modular difficulty system! It should take me one, maybe two weeks to finish and then I'll update the game, hopefully it will happen this month!
After modular difficulty system... Well, there was massive interface update, massive combat update, massive graphical update... Now it's time for massive story update! After modular difficulty system I will be working on story missions. A lot of them!
So, that was the 50th echo, until next time!
Modified scion swarm
Old Colowis background
Pink screen of death
Combat overhaul in development
Invasion core and the glitch of the thousand suns
Last week I have improved amplifiers, improved part and map tooltips, changed several part properties and fixed problems with the holy thunder.
Amplifiers are items, that are used to upgrade spaceship parts. Currently they can be found if hard mode is enabled. When modular difficulty system will be added, amplifiers will be rewarded in large numbers, so I made them stack.
Now that Sector Six inventory allows stack-able items, making crafting system will be a lot easier!
I have also added new amplifiers:
Amplifier XV: Gives part +3% ability unleash chance.
Amplifier XVI: Gives part +5 aggression.
Amplifier XVII: Gives part +5 resistance.
Amplifier XVIII: Gives part +5 mastery.
Amplifier XIX: Gives part +5 capacity.
As the amplifier XV hints, now instead of four unleash chances, there's just one for all abilities. This should highly reduce chance of getting useless parts!
The +x weapon damage property on parts have changed as well. It has been replaced with less confusing +x% damage. Add part with +10% damage property to your ship and you'll deal 10% more damage.
Since the beta launch, several players had trouble with what I call holy thunder, that's those missiles that fall when you get away from the enemies.
I have made them more user friendly, now when you leave enemy range, you have half second to return to the enemy range, this should help to not get punished by the holy thunder.
Also it's no longer possible to trigger next enemy group to barrage you by getting very close to enemy you're currently fighting.
The last thing I worked on was the tooltips. Just a few minor improvements!
This week I am going to work on modified enemies!
The idea is to take currently existing enemies and modify them by adding destructible parts. Tanks with repairing pylons, dreadnoughts with regeneration hubs, acolytes with sniper weapons, heavies with armour strengtheners... This will be fun*!
Until next time!
*At least for me >=]
This week I have improved inventory!
Now when you fill the inventory, it becomes bigger, that means items will never be lost because there’s not enough space in the inventory!
Filling inventory creates new inventory page. Removing all items from last inventory page, deletes that inventory page. And there’s a limitation – if you want to start new mission, you cannot have more than 3 inventory pages. The inventory is infinite, but your computer’s power is not!
After more than 10 pages created, FPS severely drops when adding the new item to the inventory, this should be even worse for the slower computers.
I could probably optimize inventory system to allow having 100 and more pages without any lag, but I would need to completely rewrite inventory system and I don’t want to do that. It would take a lot of time and 3 inventory pages – that’s 198 slots! – is more than enough, for now.
I wanted to make inventory kind-of-infinite, because the modular difficulty system will reward player with a lot of items at the end of the mission.
Here is the challenges that the modular difficulty system will offer:
Minions will have 50% more armour.
Minions will deal 25% more damage.
You will have a chance to encounter dreadnoughts.
The Assault of the Modified
There will be more modified minions.
The Rain of Fire
Every 10 seconds the missile will be fired at you from the bombardment station. Find and destroy bombardment station to stop this.
Risk for Reward
XP and parts earned in this mission will be lost, if your spaceship will be destroyed.
Doubles required kill count for kill missions, doubles escort distance for the escort missions, doubles ruin data required for resurrection missions, doubles guardian kill count for the boss missions.
Only the Strongest
Swarmlings will only spawn with the big enemies, probes or scions will not spawn.
Every challenge/difficulty system module that you will accept will increase reward that you will get if you will complete mission with increased difficulty.
1 Module used
1 amplifier, 1 optimized part
2 Modules used
2 amplifiers, 3 optimized parts
3 Modules used
4 amplifiers, 6 optimized parts
4 Modules used
6 amplifiers, 3 advanced parts, 3 optimized parts
5 Modules used
8 amplifiers, 6 advanced parts, 3 optimized parts
6 Modules used
10 amplifiers, 6 extant parts, 6 advanced parts
7 Modules used
12 amplifiers, 12 extant parts, 6 advanced parts
8 Modules used
14 amplifiers, 12 extant parts, 12 advanced parts, 6 optimized parts
If you have never enabled hard mode - amplifiers are the items that you can use to upgrade spaceship parts. Upgrading makes the part as powerful as the part from the next tier. E,g,: upgraded generic part is like normal optimized part.
Of course, this is just a plan, just a bunch of ideas, so I don’t really know how will this look in the end! But I hope as cool as I imagine it now!
Next week I will continue improving inventory and items.
I will make amplifiers stack-able, I will make amplifiers for properties that don’t have amplifiers yet, I will merge apocalypse/carrier/goliath/nomad ability unleash chances into universal ability unleash chance, I will improve tooltips and maybe I will even start working on the modified enemies. (Does anyone remember sniper veterans?) After all that, I will be ready to work on the modular difficulty system!
Until next week!
Graphical update is here!
I proudly present one of the most game changing updates in Sector Six history!
It is also the last alpha update - with it Sector Six enters beta!
Sector Six backgrounds have received many improvements – now they behave more realistically, give better illusion of depth and look more interesting because of the color layer.
New backgrounds have been added for every region and existing ones were improved.
New animations has been added for actions that previously had no animations.
This includes part installing, region entering and ability upgrading animations.
Combat is now more fun! Projectiles have better particles, Missile Strike, Spread Mines and Death From Above abilities are faster, dreadnoughts attack only higher level players and are encountered less often, escort missions are less annoying, retreat exploit is fixed and so on!
I have cleaned up ability interface, moved combat HUD armour, alloy and ether bars closer to the center of the screen, added loot box to the mission results interface, updated floating text system and improved part placing code, now placing parts in the building field is easier.
Now that alpha is finally over, there will be a lot more content updates!
This should be the most interesting development phase,
First beta update will be modular difficulty system and infinite inventory.
Modular difficulty system will allow players to make game harder for rewards, that will allow them to make game ever harder!
One of the most game changing updates in Sector Six history is coming in two days featuring:
Hang in there!
This week I was working on stuff that is not interesting to write about, so instead I'm going to evaluate current status of the game.
I am almost done with the graphical update and that means Sector Six is going to enter beta soon!
And this is with what the game will enter it...
Left to do: Implement two tracks.
Sound effects: 80%
Left to do: Some sound effects could be replaced with better ones.
Left to do: I'll think of something.
Left to do: Map interface rework, avatar customization.
Left to do: Chaos mechanic, 12 abilities per class, 4 classes, unleashed ability effects, passive abilities, modified enemies.
Spaceship building: 70%
Left to do: Part set effects, more part properties, calibrating, item stacking, part filtering.
Region missions: 20%
Left to do: More mission types.
Region bosses: 25%
Left to do: More bosses.
Region enemies: 40%
Left to do: More enemies.
Story missions: 10%
Left to do: 30 story missions?
Story bosses: 0%
Left to do: The Machines: Astrail, Numinor, Hivind, Ourend, ???, ???, Ligwitch, Malasmor.
Left to do: More achievements
Left to do: Shops, secure regions, modular difficulty system, crafting system, the Router, endgame, controller support, local co-op mode.
Beta: 2016 August
Full release: 2017?
Core of the game is done, Sector Six will no longer drastically change.
Almost all upcoming updates will be content updates!
Get ready to fight the Machines, get ready to make game ten times harder, get ready to craft quad weapons, get ready to master goliath and nomad classes, get ready to enter mysterious regions outside borders through the Router...
Get ready for beta!
This week I was polishing various parts of the game!
One thing that I learnt about making games is that nothing in game should disappear.
So now missiles that go off-screen explodes.
Enemy missile didn't hit you, but it hit something off-screen, instead of vanishing without a trace.
That makes combat 0.1% more enjoyable.
Also, now when enemy is destroyed, the explosion destroys nearby projectiles.
Like it would happen in real world.
Missile #1, missile #2 and missile #3 is released. Missile #1 hits enemy and destroys it.
What happens next?
In Sector Six 0.5.9, missiles #2 and #3 will go through the space where enemy existed few milliseconds ago.
In Sector Six 0.6.5 and real world, missiles #2 and #3 will explode together with destroyed enemy.
That's another 0.1%!
The next 0.1% comes from improved Death From Above ability, now its missiles are much faster and it feels more powerful and aggressive.
In Sector Six 0.5.9, if your spaceship is destroyed, you are told that the Elder Mechanism will recreate it.
In Sector Six 0.6.5, if your spaceship is destroyed, the spaceship is actually recreated.
It's not much but... 0.1%?
This week I have also made few changes to escort missions.
Defending carrier was awkward and barely possible with minions like veteran and dreadnought, so now you no longer need to defend it.
That makes escort missions into same boring destroy X minions mission with a cosmetic carrier above your ship, but hey, at least it works.
And I can always make carrier more interesting by making it blow up minions!
Oh, and about dreadnoughts...
Now they start appearing when you reach level 15.
What else? I added sounds for selecting/deselecting abilities, tweaked region entering/leaving animations, moved upgrade/downgrade buttons slightly... And that's pretty much it.
I made Sector Six like 1% more fun and it makes this week good!
Until next week!
PS.: I decided to postpone update for a week or two, since update is not going to be released on July anyway.