Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ready to Play

Thanks for playing! Nexus will be offline for now, check back soon for updates

Accounts are back! The previous accounts and stats have been preserved, so if you already had an account you can log into it once again.

Nexus is back online for you guys to play. Once again user accounts are disabled for now, but you can still play as guests. Make sure you try out survival mode, which doesn't require you to bring a friend in order to play.

I'll keep an eye on the server to make sure everything is running smoothly. As always, keep letting me know what you think.

Play Nexus

Monday, October 22, 2012

New control scheme

In the past the mouse control scheme has had a significant advantage over keyboard users. The mouse allows the player to shoot and move independently, allowing them to dodge, defend, and attack at the same time. People without a mouse (or are using touch pads) couldn't use this control scheme, so they had to use the keyboard only controls, which only allow you to move and shoot in the same directions. On top of that the game has been balanced with the mouse controls in mind, so keyboard users are at a clear disadvantage.

I've addressed this problem by changing the keyboard control scheme to use both WASD and the arrow keys to control movement and laser firing respectively. This allows keyboard users to shoot and move in different directions, sharing the same advantage that mouse users have. Due to keyboard button limitations, for this control scheme I've had to move the "launch powerup" key to the F key to make sure it isn't affected by any ghosting.

The previous keyboard controls have not been removed and can still be selected if the user prefers. I have named this previous scheme "legacy controls" because they resemble the classic Asteroids controls. I know completely removing this scheme would have made some fans angry.

Players can now dodge and attack at the same time with the keyboard

Monday, August 6, 2012

Test Results

Here are some of the stats I recorded and compiled from the past test. I have put them into an infographic to make as easy to read and understand as possible.

The bar graph of powerup attacks shows how effective each attack was at hitting an opponent. This is an easy way to visualize which attacks need buffing and nerfing. It isn't necessarily bad if some powerups are stronger than others, but if some are largely out of proportion than the game won't be balanced properly.

The total amount of people who participated in this test was greater than the last test, but this test also lasted much longer. The biggest problem Nexus has to overcome is keeping an active population. If there aren't any players online there isn't anything to play.

Most players chose the balanced ship during this test. This was expected, but its percentage was much larger than it was in the previous test. Players tend to choose this ship to start with and then experiment with the others. However, during this test many players didn't play as many games since there weren't other players consistently online. This could explain the larger gap in the ship choices.

Survival mode was pretty well received. It helps players improve their skills without having to play online and gives them something to do when nobody else is on. Looking at the data from survival mode, the levels are not balanced, however. The difficulty curve doesn't fit as it should with the graphs, mainly because the difficulty spikes too suddenly. Starting at level 6 the game becomes much tougher. Having a level with difficulty between level 5 and 6 would help make the curve smoother and more enjoyable.

Thanks to everyone who participated, keep following the blog for news.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Test Finished

Thanks for the help everyone. I wanted to have an update before I took the server down, but unfortunately I am out of time. I will post statistics from the test soon.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Play Nexus

Testing is now open, go to the Test Nexus tab or click here to get started.

Remember to leave feedback, this is your chance to improve the game.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Next Test

That's right, this Saturday, July 14th another round of testing is starting. This one should last much longer than the last so if you missed out you should be able to make it this time.

The game is nearing completion so I will need as much feedback as you guys can give me. I want to hear about anything you think would make the game better. That includes bugs, gameplay tweaks, powerup ideas,   graphical concerns, anything. This is your chance to make your mark in the game.

New stuff in this test:

  • Survival mode officially added (includes keyboard controls and ship selection)
  • Snake power attack
  • Ready status in lobby
  • Changes in current power behavior
  • Personal, unlockable player-card backgrounds
  • Other stuff

There are also features that will be added as the test progresses, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ready Up

If you were a part of the previous tests and tried creating a game, you probably remember constantly having to ask if everyone is ready to start. That won't be an issue anymore, players can now mark their status as ready or not ready in the game lobby:

This quickly lets the game leader know when it is appropriate to start the game instead of having to guess. The leader's status is set to a crown to let everyone know who can start the game, and the rest of the players have either an X or a check. The player's status starts off as an X for not ready, and can be switched at any time to let their leader know they are ready to start. The status can be toggled back easily if you change your mind.

As of now the status is just informative, and it doesn't actually affect the leader's ability to start the game. That means if a player doesn't have a ready status the game can still start. This will likely change in the future, but first a booting system will have to be implemented in addition. One thing at a time.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Snake Powerup

I have been working on a new powerup attack that acts a bit differently than the other attacks. The snake is an enemy that moves through the field causing damage when touching the player. The important part of the snake is the head, the rest of the body moves in the same path the head takes.

Attacks against the snake's body have no effect. In order to kill a snake, you must shoot it in the head. Each shot will remove a segment of its body until it is only a head. Shooting the remaining head will finish it.

What makes the snake unique is its ability to absorb unclaimed powerups to make it stronger. Whenever the head makes contact with a free powerup, not only does it prevent the player from using it, but it gains an additional segment in its body. This gives it more health and makes it more dangerous.

Take these enemies out as quickly as you can to prevent them from stealing your powerups.

I have also added a new wallpaper in the downloads section:

Stay tuned for the next online testing session...

Monday, April 30, 2012

Test Survival Mode

I've been working on a new game mode that is single player called Survival. The idea is to fight through all of the waves of attacks and try to survive for as long as you can. The current state of the game type is pretty rough, I want to know if you like this idea and want me to continue working on it.

Go to the page here to try it out, and make sure you let me know what you think.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Updated Lobby Mock

I've done some more work designing the lobby layout. Here are some of (not all) my mock-ups:

Also I will not be able to update the blog as often as I have been for a while due to new deadlines in real life. Keep following the blog for spontaneous updates, but they won't be as periodic.