DevLog #16 – Are you up for a racing challenge?

Hello everyone!

After last week’s devlog on pathfinding, let’s talk today about another mechanic we added recently. In project “Stasis”, the main loop consists in fighting enemies. Sometimes, you also encounter special monoliths you can use to increase your crystal production or to upgrade your gear. Some of these monoliths now offer instead a special challenge: a race.

Race rules

Starting a race reveals a bunch of checkpoints on the island. You have to cross them in the right order, as fast as possible. Sounds easy, right? The race challenge gives you two possibilities:

  • Race for free. There are three time goals, namely rank 1, 2 and 3, with tier rewards. If you are not fast enough to achieve rank 1, you can still get the lower rewards and benefit from the challenge. Besides, defeat has no impact.
  • Race with a bet. If you feel skilled enough, you can choose to compete only for rank 1*. The time goal is the same as rank 1, but you cannot fallback to ranks 2 and 3 if you are too slow. Victory gives you better rewards, but defeat means you loose your bet and thus some crystals.
Race menu with time goals and rewards

The race challenge is completely optional. You will encounter it from time to time. If you feel the rewards could prove useful, you can decide to race. You can play it safe or make a risky bet, this is up to you!

We added this challenge to introduce some gameplay diversity. We think this is fun and allows to rest for a little while before getting back to fighting. Since platforming among the multi-heights islands is an essential aspect of the game, we felt it was appropriate to have a challenge that tests this very skill. Anyway, here is a short video to show what is looks like!

A full race challenge

A few details

  • We use procedural generation for the race checkpoints. When building a level, we choose random free spots on the island and add our checkpoint scene set invisible.
  • We compute the time goals using the total race length with an automated formula. We may have to refine our formulas later depending on players feedback.
  • Weather events can’t happen on islands with a race challenge. We felt if would get too frustrating with events that affect movement, for instance the summer breeze.
  • We implemented a visual indicator that shows the direction of the next checkpoint during the race. This indicator is activated by default, but can be hidden by players who want a harder challenge. Since the race starts with a cutscene revealing all checkpoints, I guess this could also be a memory challenge… The choice is yours!

Closing words

We might add more optional challenges like this in the future if we come up with interesting ideas. For now, please tell us in the comments what you think about these races!

We are getting closer to releasing a new build of the game. We put a lot of work into this since the scope overhaul and are looking forward to get feedback from you about our action shooter roguelike! All core systems are implemented and we added enough content to play complete runs, from start to final boss. We are now working on polishing and debugging. We will share more info in the following weeks. Thank you for reading, and see you soon!