Dev Diary #20: Moar cowbell

There's new music. Go ahead and play it now. It'll be a nice soundtrack for the rest of the post. ;)

It's been a busy three weeks! (Three weeks already? Seriously? Dev blogging is haaaard.) Aside from being super-stoked at the new soundtrack piece you're hopefully listening to right now, we added a couple rad new gameplay elements to flesh out the fourth stage:

Spinners (left) change your relationship with screen space, forcing you to move your engagements in an arc ahead of the beam. And our new stage boss (right), unofficially known as Robot Space Hydra (^_^) literally throws crap at you with its space hydra arms. (It also has another surprise in store that we won't spoil here!)

We've built the environment and first-pass gameplay for our fifth-and-final stage:

This stage takes place amidst the Infinite Legion's fleet, and through Clever Videogame Trickery™ we've created the sense of immersion in a vast fleet stretching far into the distance. I took a relatively "calm" screenshot here to better show off the background, but rest assured this level plays as intensely as you'd expect a shmup's final stage to play!

We've made some design quality-of-life improvements, too:

LEFT: We added detentes to bosses' health bars indicating the thresholds at which they'll break into their next damaged state. Crossing these thresholds causes a burst that captures all onscreen enemy bullets, which – if timed correctly – grants both a tactical scoring opportunity and a chance for a clutch escape from an overwhelming pattern.

RIGHT: By long-standing popular demand, we added a health extend feature. Now you'll get back one lost hit point at every 20M-point interval. (Right now a very good 1cc run is averaging about 50M.) We also changed HUD messages to a more bold, graphic style, as seen here for the first time.

Coming soon...

We're working on a new, extended trailer for MAGFest which we hope to be able to share very soon. This will be our first trailer to properly address the game's story (plus plenty of gameplay, of course!)

We're about 95% of the way to both feature- and content-complete right now, and we'll be moving into postproduction imminently. We expect our MAGFest build to be a solid beta, and we're very close to being ready to announce a hard launch date. Stay tuned!