Legacy of the Elder Star: Dev Diary #5

We've added a new weapon, just in time for our upcoming exhibit at Salt Lake Gaming Con! We're calling it a swarm missile (for now) and it's really effective at indirect fire and crowd control:

The swarm missile is easy to use: you just hold down the mouse button to expand the targeting ring, then move around to "paint" enemy targets with the ring, then release the mouse button to fire missiles at all the painted targets. You can also stack multiple locks at once on tougher targets, which you can see in the video above with the heavy drones (three locks each) and the champion mini-boss.

Since our 1:1 mouse-controlled movement is so integral to the unique feel of our game, we're making a special effort to come up with weapon designs that emphasize movement as a core part of your offense and not just as a means to dodge bullets. Lots of shmups have a problem for beginner players where it's possible – and indeed feels desirable – to just blast away from the bottom/back of the screen; that positioning gives you maximal time to read and dodge incoming patterns, but it gets monotonous fast. Weapons like our swarm missile force you away from the back of the screen and into the fray, where the gameplay is much more interesting.

Another thing we're emphasizing with our weapon design is a unique "bonus score" mechanic for each weapon. We're still experimenting with the right bonus mechanic for the swarm missile but we have a promising prototype in play right now, which you can see in the video: you can lock up to 12 missiles at once, and if you lock all 12 then you'll fire a powered-up volley and earn 3x score for those kills.

We're just focusing on a small handful of weapons for our Salt Lake Gaming Con demo (we want to get them just right) but we're really looking forward to expanding the arsenal with all kinds of crazy new stuff in the months to come!