A small holiday gift: Here is the very first screenshot of the upcoming GemCraft chapter 2!
I plan to write a series of blogosts going through the new features of GC2 one by one in detais as the development advances next year, for now in a nutshell of what you can already see in this shot (please note, everything can change yet, many things (plants, path) will surely do, nothing’s final):
- Screen size increased from 800×600 to 900×600
- Stage size changed from 20×17 to 21×16 tiles, from 33×33 to 34×34 pixels
- New options button
- New monster system: monstes can have any mixture of a wide range of abilities, like increased speed, armor, healing self or others, spawning monsters, and many more
- Battle events (currently running under the working name “sparks”): in the bar next to the wave stones, various events arrive as you slay the monsters (sparks trigger by kills, not time, so you can haste them with summoning). These events can give either bonuses (more mana, damage bonus, double summon), or can get you into trouble (monster beacons, weakened gems)
- Revised gem system: there will be 9 gem types, including black and white (lime was the most problematic to distinguish from green and yellow, so it’s gone), mana gain is blue now, poison gems will also slow healing (yes, monsters will heal over time…)
- Revised gem shapes and coloring of mixed type gems
- 9x speed button (you’ll have pause and 1x speed for micromanagement, 3x speed for “normal” and the new 9x speed for real fast forward, time will flow as you want it)
- Shrines will get back to their original special status, they won’t be buildable (at least not with the basic spell buttons)
- One click gem creation – click on a gem type button and the gem is instanly created. You can set the gem grade any time (left side of inventory), gems will automatically created with the selected (or the highest affordable) grade. Gem grade availability marker (right side of inventory) will tell you what grade you can afford.
- See how much xp you will earn in real time, plus track your battle performance xp bonuses by rolling over the xp field (the old flawed battle amulets system is gone, GC2 will reward you with more xp if you perfrom better (more summons, more mana gathered, longer kill chains), and not by forcing you to do repetitive tasks like building 10 towers)
- No more mana pool cap – if you fill the mana bar, it will extend automatically and reward you with a higher mana replenish bonus, instead of punishing you by wasting your overflown mana and costy mana pool extensions
- The empty space at right side of the header will give room to various spells, curse and bonus markers, and maybe even an undo button for the before-first-wave construction phase
And finally, I have some other good news:
Showing thousnads of monsters was a big problem in GCL and previous chapters, but I’ve made a solution and the first test results are promising. What I tried is, when monsters are very crowded, not all of them will be drawn on the screen, only 7 per tile. I was afraid it wuold be very disturbing with blinking monsters being switched on and off as they flow over the path, but it’s not that bad at all, and the game runs much smoother. On a core i7, the game was still playable with 3000 monsters running around. The summoning system will go through some changes too, making monsters rather tougher than rapidly increasing their numbers, making summoning still rewarding while at the same time less demanding on the cpu.
I guess that’s all for this year. Thank you for your support all year long – all the purchases of GCL’s premium edition, the suggestions and wishes for GC2, and spreading the word about our games! Have a great holiday season, see you in 2012!