Assuming nothing terrible happens Alpha 4 drops next week.
I will be updating the Preview branch with an Alpha 4 RC hopefully tonight (Sunday the 12th of March) so those of you who enjoy finding crash bugs can go to town on it and do all the things I never thought to try.
Alpha 4 changes around game balance quite a bit so there will be a Leaderboard wipe to accompany it’s release.
It also looks more spiffy.
What To Expect
GRID mode has been completely redesigned. There is no tutorial yet but I will put up a video going through the major changes soon. It’s going down a more Roguelike path to offer players a more directed form of play than Arcade modes provide.
Arcade modes have had their spawning mechanics completely reworked. It’s now both more random and more predictable at the same time! The best way I can describe it is that you are now playing a Twin-Stick Shooter against a pair of AI’s playing a Card Game co-operating to take you down.
A new Arcade game mode called Dive sees you blowing up Security Towers to earn precious seconds of life and unlock the exit so you can Dive to the next level and repeat. It’s the Arcade version of GRID.
Chase has been tweaked because nobody plays it*. Now you start with 10 seconds, earn 2 seconds for every Checkpoint and only have one life. This retains the Checkpoint dash that characterises the mode but lets you build up a surplus of time with skilled play.
Gauss and MALLARD have been rebalanced to do more single target damage so they can destroy Cubes and Structures in less than a day. MALLARD also does more damage overall and fires 2 extra shots in it’s burst. Here’s hoping it’s not OP.
Databases have changed. Now when you blow up a Database in Arcade mode it will leave behind a Download Trigger which will start a (Fictional!) file downloading. When the download completes you will gain progress towards your next Profile level. This is a stop-gap solution because I don’t want to use this method for release and instead reward you with credits for completing Achievements however as there are no Achievements yet and you can only earn them once that method won’t happen until Beta starts. They also drop some XP now too.
Litterally so many bug fixes and graphics changes that I can’t keep track of them all.
* Well not more than once anyway.
What Not To Expect
Joypad support to be great on release. I usually try and do that in patches after the big update.
GRID mode to be finished. It’s not. It’s just Playable. I’m about half way through my todo list for getting GRID to Alpha and only then can I start worrying about creating lots of content for it. There is functionality missing that is pretty important (No scores, rankings or game over for example) as well as functionality that is only at first implementation. There is still a lot to do and you will see placeholder content all over it.
New Enemies. There are some planned but they are waiting until Beta starts as they are mostly content.
What About Save Games?
You won’t lose any Items you’ve unlocked or any credits you’ve earned but your Level will probably reset to 0. Your GRID progress will be lost but that’s because it’s not even the same game anymore.
Leaderboards will be reset.