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There will be more data and proper atribution here (original author, steam link, original post date, etc) real soon, I promise. This is just like a technical test to see if they're coming in ok at all.

Deathtide » Deathtide Development Update #1

Welcome to the first development update for Deathtide Survivors!

Before we begin, a bit of an explanation and some meta information about the development of the update itself:

Development is very much alive (more alive than ever before), and the update is being worked on heavily every single day (except sundays).

I have fixed for myself a very healthy work cycle, that keeps me refreshed and rested, while overall increasing the amount of time spent on development (sounds paradoxical, but it’s just good time management). That means future updates will come in more frequently in a much more coherent schedule, the quality of the game and updates in general will massively increase, and I will no longer suffer from burnout due to late hours programming crunch-time, so I get to love my job while performing much better. Good stuff.

In other news, I’m currently working on a partnership with a publisher, this partnership will be fully developed over the course of this (and the next) year, shortly before the release of 1.0 and the end of Early Access. As such, the game will also be ported to consoles (Switch, Xbox, Playstation) with their help. This port will happen after the final release, if the partnership goes forward and all goes well! Also, I expect that the reach and scope of the game will increase, because the amount of users will dramatically increase.

Anyway, 47 days ago I released an announcement on our Discord server regarding the future of the game, and I promised a follow up on that in 45 days (I had a busy weekend, sorry for the 2 days delay). This is the promised follow-up:

[Update Details]
For those of you that don’t follow our Discord, I had previously announced that the game would be going back to the drawing board.

This means the game is currently going through a massive gameplay overhaul, and in the meantime our scheduled content updates on the roadmap have been postponed. The feedback I’ve received since launch and some new mechanics I’ve been working on are being applied to the game on during this new phase of development.

That means the game is being rebuilt from the ground up for the better, and a massive update is coming soon, with a lot of new content, and a new and better gameplay design.

So, what is changing? Gameplay! The graphics/UI are on a comfortable spot after 2.0b, so most of the rework will be done on gameplay.

Features will be tagged with the following labels, so you can have a greater understanding of how far development has come:

• [Finished] (100% finished and ready for shipping)
• [Implemented] (Already been implemented and thoroughly tested in code, but still lacks content and/or polish)
• [WIP] (Prototyped successfully, but far from ready)
• [Prototype] (Either being prototyped or being planned, these features can change or be scrapped/replaced)
• [Idea] (Just ideas that will be tossed around and played with, no promises!)

• Controllable move set for characters:
– Primary attack (Left Click): Your main attack with virtually no cooldown.

– Secondary attack (Right Click): A special attack with a short cooldown (usually 3-7 seconds).

– Movement ability (Shift): (Examples: The assassin will gain temporary invisibility and a speed boost and will be able to walk through enemies, while priestess will teleport a short distance).

– Ultimate ability (R): A very special move with a medium cooldown (around 10-30 seconds).

– Passive ability: A modifier that makes a character’s gameplay unique (Example: The assassin will accumulate up to 5 combo points with primary attacks that heavily increase the strength of his next ultimate or secondary ability).

Feature Progress: This system has been successfully implemented and tested in a single character (warrior), now the only thing left is designing and adding abilities on the remaining classes for the initial Beta 3 release (Assassin and Priestess), after that it will be ready for shipping.

Code: 80% done. [System requires a final polish pass, and some abilities might require unique code that is yet unwritten]
Graphics: 70% done. [All 3 characters have a base model, and most abilities have ready-to-ship graphics]
Content: 33% done. [1/3 character ability sets are done]

• New item system:
– Artifacts (Q): Special items that grant you poweful ultimate-like abilities that enhance your character’s move set.
Example: [Bloodthirsty Blade] – While active, you have to satiate the blade with a killing spree, killing every 3 seconds. Each kill within this time frame increases the strength and duration of the effect, up to 15 seconds. If you don’t get any kills, the blade will slowly bleed you for a percentage of your health until the effect ends.

– Consumables (E): You can now carry every single consumable in the inventory at once, and you can cycle through them on a wheel menu. However share the same short cooldown (15 seconds). Lots of new consumables have been added, such as scrolls, potions, etc. Also, the consumable item shop has been overhauled

– Equipment (Passive): Gear that enhances your stats, gives you special effects, or modify active character abilities. The system is heavily inspired by Risk of Rain and ARPG items in general.

Feature Progress: This system has been successfully implemented and tested with a couple of developer items, what remains is designing and adding real items and balancing them, after that it will be ready for shipping.

Code: 70% done. [System requires a final polish pass, and some items require unique code that is yet unwritten]
Graphics: 75% done. [Most visual effects, icons, etc are already there, but a few UI panels and visual effects need to be created]
Content: 20% done. [Most item ideas have already been designed on the paper, but are not yet implemented in-game]

• Gameplay loop overhaul:

– Merged Endless and Adventure into a single cohesive experience, with infinitely scaling enemy waves and a new boss system. Each level will last about 10 minutes and will have a boss fight at the end.

– When the level ends, a portal appears and you can either finish the match and go back to the main menu with all your acquired loot or risk continuing your journey in the next map for even greater rewards! If you die, you’ll lose half of your earned loot. The harder it gets the greater the rewards! (Heavy emphasis on risk vs. reward, and more respecting of players with shorter time schedules for playing, while still enabling players with loads of free time to play as they like).

– Nightmare+ difficulty reworked (Will now be called Deathtide difficulty). In Deathtide difficulty, every time you step through the portal and skip to the next map, a random modifier will be applied on enemies, and the reward multiplier will increase.

– New/reworked currencies (Gold, Souls and Keys). Gold is used to buy common items and keys on the shop, Souls can be used for meta-progression, or to acquire powerful items during a match. Keys are used to open chests scattered around the map.

– New loot-based character progression system, now Chests and breakable clutter (such as urns and barrels) are scattered around the map, requiring exploration for progression. Breaking clutter will give you currency and chest keys, and chests grant items that power up your character. This system replaces the old levelling up of auto-casted spells (which have been removed). Character level ups slightly increase your stats. The key to success is exploration and looting, and you cannot get stronger if you don’t explore.

Feature Progress: Work on these systems has recently started, and hopefully it will be ready for public testing in about 2-3 weeks. This is basically the final step for the open beta!

Code: 25% done. [Work has already started, and initial prototypes have been successful]
Graphics: 20% done. [lots of visuals still need to be implemented, such as new bosses, enemies, map texture sets and objects etc.]
Content: 0% done. [New maps and bosses will be added, along with new/reworked enemies, but work on these has not yet started]

• New meta progression systems:

– New generalized talents, that increase power for all characters
– New meta progression: Relics, a new system that replaces/enhances the current Attunement system. You will have to craft these.

Feature Progress: Work on these systems has not started, however, since Talents and Attunements are already implemented, the rework will be short, and focused mostly on content other than brand new

Code: 70% done. [Most of the existing code can be reused, with only smaller subsystems needing to be worked on]
Graphics: ??% done. [Most of this requires no visuals, but I’ll know better when I get there]
Content: 0% done. [No new talents have been designed yet, but it is trivial to do so]

• Map-wide events
– Sometimes a random event will shake up your gameplay experience.
• Dungeon game mode
– (Possibly a major update or DLC after the 1.0 final release) Basically a dungeon crawler, traditional Roguelite mode.
• ???
– These and other ideas will be tested/experimented with after the final version is released.

That’s it for this development update! I hope you have enjoyed, and I am very much interested in your feedback and suggestions! Please leave a comment! If you have any good ideas let me know, NOW is the time to share, and it might make it into the final version!