Update 0.6 Patch Notes – 18 August 2018 “Leaderboards”

The Leaderboards are dead! Long Live The Leaderboards!

As of this update Steam is no longer responsible for the Waves² Leaderboards as the game is now using Gamesparks to manage all of it’s online functionality.

This means no more score limit of 2,147,483,647 as the scores are now stored as 64bit integers. If you get a score that maxes out one of those then you must be cheating.

Every combination of Game Mode and Arena Type now has it’s own Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Season based leaderboards and you are awarded points every day, week and month which increase your Rank for that mode.

Seasons are an arbitrary length often determined by major balance updates. The current season is “Early Access”.

– RANKED REWARDS

All points are awarded at Midnight UTC.

DAILY
#1 – 150 points
#2 – 120 points
#3 – 100 points
#4 – 80 points
#5 – 60 points
#6 – 50 points
#7 – 40 points
#8 – 30 points
#9 – 20 points
#10 – 10 points
Top 50% – 5 points
Everyone Else – 1 point

WEEKLY (Week starts on a Monday)
#1 – 2100 points
#2 – 1680 points
#3 – 1400 points
#4 – 1120 points
#5 – 840 points
#6 – 600 points
#7 – 560 points
#8 – 420 points
#9 – 280 points
#10 – 140 points
Top 50% – 70 points
Everyone Else – 14 points

MONTHLY
#1 – 16800 points
#2 – 13440 points
#3 – 11200 points
#4 – 8960 points
#5 – 6720 points
#6 – 5600 points
#7 – 4480 points
#8 – 3360 points
#9 – 2240 points
#10 – 1120 points
Top 50% – 560 points
Everyone Else – 112 points

PATCH NOTES

– LEADERBOARDS
● Integrated Gamesparks.
● Added Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Season and Ranked Leaderboards for every GameMode/Arena Combination in Arcade.
● Rank is awarded at midnight UTC each day for daily, each Monday for weekly and on the 1st of each month for Monthly leaderboards.

– UI
● Redesigned Leaderboards screen.
● Redesigned Arcade Mode Select Screen.
● Redesigned Game Over Screen.
● Added Gamesparks connection indicator to Status Bar.

– ENEMIES
● Swarms and Bees (aka “Shard” Type Enemies) can now fly over holes in the Arenas.

– GRID
● Barrier can now be equipped in the loadout screen once it has been installed to Programs.

– Bug Fixes
● Startup Movie now plays while game is loading.

Waves² Update 0.56 Patch Notes – 09 May 2018

Are you Unknown, a Newbie or are you Notorious? This update adds User Ranks to your GRID Profile. Cash in your hard earned Reputation in exchange for a better User Rank. Higher ranked Users have a higher Level Cap on their Avatars unlocking up to 30 upgrade points!

What use are all those Upgrade points though without something to upgrade?

The Repository provides all our Runners with access* to the latest software updates for their Avatar. Check the Repository frequently for new software prototypes as well as updates to existing projects!

*Access requires expenditure of Reputation.

– GRID

● User Rank is now displayed on the GRID Dashboard.
● User Rank can be increased by spending Reputation.
● User Rank determines Avatar Level Cap (6-30).
● Loadouts can now have less than the maximum number of upgrade points.
● Equipped Items Max Level is determined by Version (Prototype, Alpha, Beta, RC, Stable, Modified)
● New Repository Folder in File Manager.
● Software can be installed from Repository in exchange for Rep.
● Repository updates after clearing a Server.
● Filters added to File Manager folders.
● Can now select multiple files in File Manager.
● Clicking on a File will show a Description of it’s content.
● Mousewheel can now be used to scroll through Files.
● Rep is now shown on the Status Bar when in GRID menus.

– Items

● Some Items have been renamed. This is a purely cosmetic change.
● Some Items have new icons. This is a purely cosmetic change.

– Bug Fixes

● Multiple music player bugs fixed.
● Spark weapon should no longer ignore the shield in Shoot The Core missions.
● General performance optimisations.

– Discord

There is a Squid In A Box Discord now for anybody who wants to hang out and talk about the game with other players and the Developer (me!)

Update 0.53 Patch Notes – 18 April 2018

These changes should be live right now!

Reputation & File Lockers

Reputation is the currency of the GRID. Without it you’re nobody. You need it to get access to new software, create proxies and heal brain damage; it’s also good for bragging rights too.

You can gain Rep by taking over networks, completing objectives and releasing files you’ve liberated to the public.

You can find files in File Lockers. Each one must be broken open revealing the vulnerable file; you can now download a copy of the file to your local system. Be on your toes though as the network security don’t take kindly to strangers downloading things without permission – you’ll have to defend yourself.

Downloaded files can be found in your File Manager after a Run where they can be uploaded and cashed in for Reputation.

Discord

There is a Squid In A Box <a href=https://discord.gg/b4uYczM>Discord</a> now for anybody who wants to hang out and talk about the game with other players and the Developer (me!)

Patch Notes

– General
● Improved Game Thread performance.
● Pickups will no longer timeout during travel.

– Arcade Mode
● “Tiny Cube” is now in all game modes.

– GRID Mode
● Starting a new game provides a choicee of 2 Avatars with unique skins and loadouts.
● Files can be downloaded from File Lockers which can be found in all systems.
● Downloaded Files can be “Uploaded” using the File Manager to earn Rep.
● Rep is rewarded for completing objectives and controlling systems.
● Rep can be spent in the GRID Loadout Editor to unlock items (temporary).
● GRID Leaderboards now track Reputation.

– UI
● All settings screens redesigned.
● GRID Networks are now displayed vertically to save room.
● GRID Game Manager Screen redesigned.
● GRID New Game Screen redesigned.

Waves 2 Alpha 5.2 Patch Notes

These changes should be live right now!

New Enemy!

Introducing the Tiny Cube (Better names on the forums please).

Currently only spawning in Survival Mode as they are something of an experiment the Tiny Cube is the first of many new eneemies to go in the game. I’m planning on rolling them out one or two at a time so I can gather feedback on each one as I balance them.

Tiny Cubes are slightly faster than their larger cousin but cannot Charge and are not guarenteed to kill the player on touch. They have a large health pool and high armour with a slow regeneration. They explode on death damaging enemies within 500 units. They sometimes get stuck in walls when they spawn (known issue).

There will be more forms of Cube enemy being added to the game in the future with the Tiny Cube being the smallest, least dangerous and cutest.

GRID Changes

This update will invalidate GRID save games as the new data structure isn’t compatible with the old one.

The Administrator AI has a new ICE deeck to play with. This version is more modular with more low-cost cards for it to play. This should mean that there is more variety in the exact kind of enemies that get spawned on each Server. This will be a constantly changing process over the rest of development so is by no means final.

Bonus Objectives

Each Server now has 3 Bonus Objectives to be achieved. Similar to the very first version of GRID that ever existed theese objectives are currently stat driven although I have plans for more complex objectives later on.

Whenever a Server is generated the Admin will play 3 unique Objective cards on it to create that servers Objectives. There are currently only 4 possible objectives available but this number will increease in the future. Ideas for future objectives are welcomed so please post them in the forums.

Progress towards an objective is saved so you don’t have to complete them in a single run.

Wanted Level

GRID mode no longer uses the same dynamic difficulty system as Arcade mode and instead now uses a Wanted Level system.

At Wanted Level 0 only Passive enemies will spawn representing the Server at rest. Once you start damaging subsystems however they will send out a call for help pumping the Wanted Level up to one and allowing the AI to start spawning more aggressive enemies.

If you don’t attack any Subsystems for a while your wanted level will decrease and it can eventually return to zero. This is unrelated to the Trace mechanic which can only be halted by disconnecting.

Wanted Levels are reduced by:

  • Player Death
  • Building Control Nodes
  • If 20 seconds has passed without an increase to Wanted Level.

Changelist

General

  • Camera now tries to keep important actors on screen such as Subsystems and Triggers.
  • All Enemies that follow the player can now use Navmesh Pathfinding if they cannot reach the players location.
  • Cube Avoidance has been improved.

Arcade Mode

  • Can now choose which type of Arena to play in on the Arcade mode screen.
  • Added new “Tiny Cube” enemy to Survival Arcade mode (experimental).

GRID Mode

  • GRID now uses a “Wanted Level” system for controlling Enemy Spawning.
  • All Servers in GRID now have Bonus Objectives that can be attempted.
  • Server ICE has been rebalanced.

UI

  • Time Extend message now correctly displays the time.
  • Keybinds settings screen added for keyboard and controller.
  • Added on-screen prompt for triggers that need to be “used” to activate.
  • Objective tracker added to GRID HUD.
  • Controllers now use a virtual Cursor to interact with the menus.

Bug Fixes

  • Fix for potential crash when using Emergency Teleport when being Charged by a Cube.
ToDo

These are things that look like bugs but in fact need to be implemented (usually because the UI already has space for the feature).

  • Upgrades display not currently functioning.
  • No Gameover when fatal brain damage incurred during GRID.
  • Attached Hardware display not functioning.
  • Clicking on Installed ICE doesn’t do anything.
  • Nothing is awarded for clearing Servers.
  • Dive mode doesn’t use Harder Room Styles as Player gets Deeper.
Known Issues
  • Some AMD Graphics cards crash on Startup. This is related to UE-51650[issues.unrealengine.com] There is nothing I can do about this at this time.

Waves² Alpha 5 Patch Notes

These changes will be live at 18:00 hours on Feb 2nd 2018.

Gameplay Changes

The most significant changes can be seen in Dive and GRID.

Starting a Run (GRID)

Running a Server in the GRID is no longer a linear experience. When you open a Servers Info screen a Scan will be started (if needed) during which the internal Network gets generated.

You only need to scan a Server once and while you can rescan as much as you want nothing will change when you do.

On the Server Info screen you will be shown the Servers Internal Network but you will not be able to see details about any of the Rooms inside except for the Router which will form your starting location. It is from this screen that you begin your Run.

Traces (GRID & Dive)

During GRID and Dive the server will be running a Trace algorithm to try and locate you. This is shown by a countdown until the Trace is completed (just like Rush and Crunch Time). The speed of a Trace depends on the number of Control Nodes the Server has in a Room. Destroying Control Nodes and erecting your own will slow down the Trace.

If a Trace completes your Avatar will be destroyed and you will lose a Proxy (life) in GRID mode or the game will end in Dive.

In GRID mode if you lose a Proxy (life) then the Trace will start over rather than resume (as the Proxy you were using has already been compromised).

Controlling Rooms (GRID & Dive)

To take Control of a Room you must first destroy the Control Nodes in each room and then replacing them with your own by Uploading a Virus. To upload (or download) any file you must first touch the trigger left by a destroyed structure, once a File Operation has begun you must stay within the Trigger for it to continue. Leaving the trigger will pause the process and returning will resume it.

If you leave a Trigger for more than 10 seconds it will time out and either disappear or respawn the original Structure.

When all the Control Nodes in a Room are under your Control (as indicated by their colour) the Level Exit will open. When this happens all existing enemies will be destroyed and new ones cannot spawn.

Level Exits (GRID & Dive)

To leave a Room you must enter the Level Exit and hold down your Use key (E for Keyboard and A for Controllers). Your Avatar will despawn and what hapens next depends on the mode you are playing.

In Dive mode you will proceed to the next room automatically and this will continue until you eventually die.

In GRID mode you will return to the Network screen where you can choose a new destination.

Controlling Server (GRID)

To take control of a Server requires that you take control of the “Core” which can be found in the Servers “Root”.

The Core is protected by a Shield making it invulnerable. To disable the shield you must destroy the Shield Regulator strcutures. Once all of the Shield Regulators are destroyed the Core will be vulnerable.

Shoot The Core to take control of the server.

Shield Regulators do respawn so you may have to repeat this process a couple of times.

Once a Server has been taken over the Run will automatically end and you will be returned to the GRID screen.

Continue reading

Unreal Engine 4 – Sorting by Arbitrary Properties

When creating the File Manager and Inventory screens for Waves² I found myself needing to sort lots of arrays of various types by largely arbitrary properties. I adapted this snippet to be able to sort arrays of either objects or structs by almost any UProperty within them. You’ll have to implement sorting by structures yourself but this took care of sorting tables full of strings or numerical values. Continue reading

Waves² – Items and Files

Disclaimer: This topic has nothing to do with Arcade (soon to be renamed to “Arena”).

In case the giant “Coming in Alpha 5” on the Inventory screen wasn’t a big clue I’m working on the Inventory and RPG parts of GRID for the next update.

I just today got the Shop fully functional and wanted to solicit some opinions on the bit that comes next.

The Marketplace

The Marketplace is where Items of all kinds are sold to aspiring Hackers. The primary Physical items are Hardware and Boosters and the Digital Items are Scripts and eBooks.

Physical Items must be delivered before they can be used while Digital items are added to your Purchased Files instantly.

Whenever you sell anything (be it physical or digital) you will instantly receive payment and the Item or File will be removed.

Continue reading

Alpha 4 Is Live (Patch Notes)

Leaderboards have been reset for all game modes.

Major Changes

  • Complete overhaul of enemy spawning AI.
  • Complete overhaul of GRID mode.
  • Dive Mode Added.
  • Chase Mode has been Redesigned.
  • Gauss Rifle Direct damage improved.
  • MALLARD Direct damage improved significantly.
  • Enemy balance has been adjusted.

Minor Updates

Too many to list. This update includes A LOT of small changes and I honestly can’t list all of them.

Spawning AI Overhaul

The spawning AI has changed significantly although I have attempted to keep the overall difficulty the same. The AI now combines different Tactics (a bit like Patterns) with different Enemies as if it is playing a Card game. It earns Mana as a result of the Player’s actions and by playing “easy” cards and then spends that Mana on “hard” cards.

This AI is also at the core of how the Administrator AI in the GRID works (see below).

The overall result is that Enemy types are no longer limited by the players level and the Ambushes are no longer limited by time. This should result in a faster ramp-up for good players with more ambushes occurring more frequently and in combinations previously not seen.

GRID Overhaul

The GRID mode as it existed previously is no more. Alpha 4 is a stepping stone to a complete overhaul of the mode into a complete Roguelike Campaign mode.

You are a Hacker working on behalf of a Benefactor whose goal is to gain Notoriety by infiltrating Networks, stealing Files and crashing Servers.

When you start a new game of the GRID you must choose a Difficulty, Character, benefactor and Rig (Currently only 1 of each is available). You can also change your starting Loadout using Items you have unlocked via Arcade modes.

You can have up to 8 GRID games in progress at a time and can load old games from the Game Manager screen.

On the main GRID Navigation screen you will see your hackers information on the left and The GRID on the right.

The layout of the Servers in the GRID is procedurally generated and there will be gaps where no Server exists. Your Hacker has a location and the Servers you can interact with are indicated by the red outline.

The AI installs ICE onto each Server that changes what kind of enemies you will encounter. Each Server additionally has a Mission to complete. Currently there are only 2 but this is set to expand during Beta.

Clicking on a Server will select it then clicking on it again will open the context menu. The top Icon is “Connect” and it will begin a “Run” on that Server. The bottom Icon is “Bypass” and will change your location to that Server assuming you have already completed it.

Firewalls

During a Run you will encounter Structures that look like large Towers. These are Firewalls and they prevent you from progressing to the next level. Destroying all the Firewalls in a level will open a Portal and sitting in the Portal for 3 seconds will transport you to the next Level.

Mission: Recon

During a Recon mission you will have to reach a specific Level and destroy all the Firewalls you encounter to open the Exit.

Mission: Data Theft

Depending on the Mission you are performing different Structures may appear such as a blue Database on the Data Theft Mission. Destroy this Structure and collect the File it drops to start a download from it. Once the Download is complete the Exit will open and you can Portal out of the Server with your prize.

Dive Mode

Dive Mode is an Arcade variant of the gameplay developed for the GRID. Similar to Rush you start with 60 seconds on the clock and lose 10 seconds each time you die. The only way to gain time is to destroy the Firewalls in each Level and Portal to the next Level.

Chase Mode

Chase Mode has undergone a redesign. Instead of the checkpoints resetting the timer to 5 seconds each Checkpoint now rewards you 2 seconds of additional time. This allows you to build up a reserve of time by moving between checkpoints quickly.

Alpha 4 – Soon. Also Gifs.

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.

Continue reading