DevLog #2 – Seek upgrades and become a lot more powerful!

Hello everyone!

A few weeks ago, I released a free pre-alpha for my new game Destroy The Monoliths. First of all, thanks for the feedback, it has been very helpful to improve things and evaluate the potential of the game. Special shout-out to AndAndYes who played the game on Twitch (you should check out his streams!), I had a great time watching the playthrough and chatting about game development! Since then, I have been working on the missing features of the pre-alpha, so that’s what we will talk about today in this devlog!

But quick information first: my debut game Skycliffs is currently part of the Steam Winter Sale with a 40% discount! If you enjoy shooter dungeon-crawler roguelikes, you should give it a try!

Now, back to Destroy The Monoliths!

How enemies get stronger

Destroy The monoliths is an action roguelike where corrupted monoliths are scattered around the map. Once activated, the monoliths regularly spawn enemies that head towards your base core. You can fight them yourself or build turrets, but ultimately defending will only lead to defeat. The monoliths have an internal level variable that increments over time. The higher the level, the stronger enemies the monoliths spawn. They indeed generate more advanced enemies (with better weapon types) but also buff their stats. Besides, the monoliths spawn waves more often.

That’s where the strategy comes in. Because the monoliths become ever more powerful, relying solely on a defensive approach will only lead to defeat. The only way to win is to destroy the monoliths and stop the waves.

However, the monoliths now have strong defensive abilities and will not let you take them down easily! When hit, they counter with a strong hitscan beam attack. Also, it may spawn immediately a few enemies to defend itself no matter when the next wave was planned. Lastly, it will regenerate a part of its health if not hit for some time.

The monolith counters with a powerful beam attack

At the beginning of the game, you will not have enough fire power to destroy the monolith before it kills you. So, how do we win? We need upgrades!

Temporary upgrades

To get resources and build turrets, you have to explore and mine the terrain. This will also be the key to getting more powerful. Sometimes, you will encounter special crystal blocks. Destroy them and you will be granted a choice between three temporary upgrades.

Crystal block. You can also notice that there are three types of ore now!

Temporary upgrades give a raw stats improvement and only last until the end of the mission. There are three categories:

  • Health: increase your max health
  • Shield: increase your shield capacity or its cooldown speed
    [Yes, there is a shield mechanic, but it is actually a bit different from what I did in Skycliffs. I will talk more about that in a future devlog!]
  • Attack: increase your attack damage or decrease the reload duration
Which temporary upgrade will you choose?

The game generates the options randomly, but you always get at least one of each category. Health and shield allows to live longer when facing a monolith and thus attack longer, while attack allows to take it down faster and thus receive less beam hits. Temporary upgrades make you stronger and a bit more likely to defeat a monolith. Stack enough of them and you will for sure destroy them. But while you explore and hunt for the special blocks, your turrets are alone to fight incoming enemies and protect your base core. As always, you have to adapt your strategy. To win, you need to get upgrades but also to survive long enough! The game is all about finding the right balance between defending and getting out there!

Are there permanent upgrades?

Temporary upgrades are effective during a single mission. At next mission, you start over with your base stats. However, Destroy The Monoliths plays like a roguelike campaign. The further you are in the campaign, the more difficult the missions are. So we also need some kind of permanent upgrades to make up for this! So let’s talk these in the next devlog! To help you wait until then, here is below a screenshot of the campaign overview map I am currently working on. Tell me if you like it!

Campaign overview map (WIP)

See you soon, and happy holidays! 🙂