DevLog #30 – Steam Next Fest and more meta progression

Hello everyone!

Skycliffs will be part of Steam Next Fest starting October 3rd! I’m glad to have my demo in this event and I can’t wait to read all your feedback to make more improvements before the Early Access release in November! For this special occasion, the version 0.9.4 of the demo is now available! This latest patch adds 36 new item synergies and fixes many bugs!

More meta progression

I’m trying to keep the meta progression mechanics in Skycliffs quite simple. I want to emphasize the roguelike aspect more than the roguelite. That’s why most gameplay elements are available from the very first run.

When you win or loose a run, you earn tokens that you can use to unlock classes. These allow to start a run with different items. More details here since I reworked the system recently.

I decided to add an extra layer to the meta progression. First, let’s explain why. I plan to add more items during the Early Access phase and I’d like to reuse more enemy mechanics to the player’s advantage. Currently, there is for instance an item that summons tricked gifts, just like the Jokelf enemy does. I’d like to do this also with enemies from later (and secret) zones. But it doesn’t feel right that you can get these items right away when you never fought these enemies in the first place. Or that you can have items summoning lightning strikes when you never saw the lightning storm weather event or completed the weather study challenge.

That’s why I’m introducing some meta progression on the items. Not much. The game currently has 85 items and 50 of them remain available from the get-go. For the remaining 35, they unlock at the end of runs depending on various conditions. Some unlock because you killed a particular enemy, or because you encountered a particular weather event or got hurt by a particular trap. Here is the popup that appears to inform about the unlock:

A new item joins future runs!

I hope you will like this change. It allows me to design even crazier items to unlock for players who explore every part of the Skycliffs.

NB: the items meta progression system will only be part of the full game. In the demo, all 85 current items remain unlocked from the start. Also, the demo will not receive any more new content after the Steam Next Fest, but I will continue to patch bugs and make QoL improvements until the Early Access release.

To end this devlog, I’d like to mention that I created a subreddit for Skycliffs. Please feel free to join and post bug reports, suggestions, discussions, etc. I’m looking forward to have you in the community!

Also, the store page for the original soundtrack is now live! The album contains 15 tracks and will be available for sale at the Early Access release.

See you soon for the Steam Next Fest! 😉