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.


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.

Unreal Engine 4 & Merch


Firstly there is a new button up there in the menu called “Merch”, click this and it will take you to a store where you will be able to buy Squid In A Box merchandise like T-Shirts and mugs. Aside from buying the games buying some Merch is the best way you can help support me in developing new products. Right now there are 2 T-Shirt Designs available in mens and womens sizes.



Waves 2

Those that have been following the facebook page or my twitter will have noticed that over the last couple of months I’ve been hard at work porting Waves from the old Unreal Development Kit to the new Unreal Engine 4.

This is part of a project to bring you all a lovely shiny sequel to Waves (code named Waves 2: Wave Harder) in order to help fund Notorious (previously Waves: Arena Tactics).

Hexagons. Fahsahnds of em!

Week one. The Arena is built.

The port is the first step on the road to a sequel, UE4 only uses C++ and I haven’t used C++ in about 5 years and even then only sparingly. With the highly favorable royalty terms(5% vs 25% for UDK) of UE4 I couldn’t justify carrying on development of Notorious on the older engine but Notorious is such a large project I couldn’t afford to spend a year porting the (far more complex) code for that game when I can barely remember how to C++.


Week two. How many enemies can we get working at once?

So far about 80% of the gameplay code is ported over to the new engine but there is still lots left to go with all the non-gameplay code such as GUI, Steam integration, leaderboards etc.


Week three. Killing enemies is a thing.

Everything is getting something of a face lift as I implement it as the engine has subtle differences which makes things possible that I couldn’t do before like GPU accelerated particle effects.


Week four. The HUD is ported over.

There is also a fair bit of code from Notorious in here as I just found better ways of doing things while I was working on that game and it was silly not to take advantage of them. The Enemies now have multiple AI behaviors and can prioritize targets which makes the possibility of multiplayer/co-op a reality now.


Week I’m not sure, lets say seven. More enemies get ported over.

The actual game modes have been made easier to author as well with the horrible Kismet powered system I was using before being replaced with a Hierarchical behavior tree which allows the game to look at the game state and make decisions about what is more appropriate to spawn to keep the game fun. That last bit will likely be where 90% of my balancing time goes I’m sure.


Week probably eight. The self replicating Blooms that make combos work appear for the first time.

This project also lets me go back and fix a lot of the things I didn’t like about Waves like the slow friends leaderboards and the way that after a while you could chain bombs almost forever.


Yesterday! The last of the non-boss enemies is ported over.

This is just the porting stage though. This is so I can get used to using C++ again and have a code base to work off and develop an actual Sequel. Most of the old game modes will return; although Challenge will be replaced with a completely new mode inspired by the Adventure mode in Hyrule Warriors, but they will be tweaked quite a lot and the details will be different. There will be some new enemies as well as the old ones (The Evader is now 200% more annoying) and some new weapon options borrowed from Notorious.

Keep an eye on here and the Facebook page for updates as I will be making Alpha access for early adopters available before the end of the year and should have a short video update available next week.

Waves Update 1.4 and 75% off Sale

Update 1.4 went live on Sunday adding a seventh Game Mode to Waves. Currently this update is only available to Steam users until I get a patch out. However everybody that buys the game direct from this site still gets a Steam code to redeem if they want to access the online features.

To celebrate the new update and also to try and raise some money to fund Arena Tactics, Waves is 75% off on Steam all week!

October DevBlog

The start of November means only one thing… Fireworks!

It also means that it’s time for a DevBlog about everything I’ve been doing in the previous 30 days.

Here is a video.

This was the first month where I really started to add content rather than work on invisible backend stuff like server browsers.

In total I’ve added 3 new weapons, 2 super weapons, 4 new enemies, loot tables and power ups.

The Power Ups are quite basic at the moment, all enemies drop some energy that can be collected to power your big guns and defenses, some might drop a health or damage power-up which will regenerate your shields or multiply your damage output respectively. These are all very short term generally lasting only 5-10 seconds.

In terms of weapons the Machine Gun was added (fairly self-explanatory that one) as well as the Repulsor and the Arc Cannon.

The Repulsor and Arc Cannon are both short range weapons and they don’t require a good aim to use. Be warned both of these weapons can hit friends as well as foes so watch where you point them in multiplayer.

  • The Repulsor emits a blast of energy that knocks enemies away and hits everybody in it’s area of effect, it’s mostly a defensive weapon and provides some crowd control.
  • The Arc Cannon fires three electrical charges in a narrow arc which will hit the 3 closest enemies (or if there aren’t 3 it will double or triple up). This stuns the target and can also arc over a short distance to other targets stunning them as well.

Two new SuperWeapons were added; the Mega Laser and the Spin Laser.

  • The Mega Laser is exactly like the classic Beam Laser just BIGGER. It draws a lot of energy while firing and prevents your other weapons from firing at the same time. It is however the only Super Weapon that can be targeted manually making it ideal for taking out enemies with lots of health.
  • The Spin Laser is made up of 3 Mega Lasers that rotate clockwise for a fixed time. Where the Mega Laser is good at killing off big enemies the Spin Laser is ideal for clearing up small low-health targets in large numbers. The range of the Laser is longer than the Bomb but it isn’t guaranteed to hit everything.

Four new enemies is actually one old enemy ported from Waves and 3 new ones.

  • The Cluster is back! That drunken looking yellow one from Waves returns and is just as drunk as before. Shooting the Cluster is only the start of your problems as it breaks into two smaller faster enemies.
  • Turrets are the first new enemy that can shoot back at you. They have a lot of health but can’t move. They are just as likely to kill enemies as they are you so you can use them to your advantage if you’re good enough.
  • Strafers are the second shooting enemy. Equipped with a beam laser they try to orbit their target and destroy them from afar. Like Turrets they can be pretty indiscriminate about friendly fire but if you leave them alone they’ll soon have your shields down.
  • Boomers just want to hug you. Unfortunately they are so full of explosives that just getting close to you can set them off and it really hurts when they go pop. Boomers are incredibly tough to kill but when they die all those explosives detonate taking out everybody around them – including you if you’re too close.

Waves: Arena Tactics

Announcing the next game in the Waves series: Arena Tactics!

Waves: Arena Tactics is the follow-up to Waves. It’s taking the arcade action of the original and pairing it with more of everything.

Arena Tactics is about playing your way. There is a slew of new weapons and abilities that can be unlocked to customise your loadout as well as lots of new Arenas to fight in.

Waves: Arena Tactics also supports online multiplayer both competitive and co-operative for up to 4 players.

Due for release in 2014 the game is being made using the Unreal Development Kit by Epic Games (

Waves Updated – New Game Mode & Achievements

This is a quick post to say that Waves has been updated with the new Chase game mode on Steam as well as 28 new achievements.

Those of you who are not using the Steam version will have to a wait a little bit because updating the old fashioned way is much trickier and Unreal has revealed that not everything is as straightforward as I’d like it to be. If you are using the non-steam version of Waves and want the update then my advice right now is to send me an email to rob [at] squidinabox [dot] com with the subject “Non-Steam Waves Update” and your order number. I’ll try and sort you out asap.