DevLog #13 – The Steam Playtest is now available!
I am very happy to release today the alpha version 0.5 of Destroy The Monoliths. It has been in the works for a little while and I’m glad to finally share it with you. The update is available on the usual itch.io page. But a Steam Playtest is now available as well! You can head to the store page and request access by clicking the Playtest button. You will get access immediately and get to play the alpha through Steam. This version reflects my current progress in developing this new project and I hope you will find it fun to play.
About Destroy The Monoliths
In case you did not read previous devlogs, let’s recap what this game is all about 🙂
In Destroy The Monoliths, you control a Rolling Unit sent to distant planets. Your goal is quite simple: destroy all the strange hostile monoliths that occupy these lands. Your journey (i.e. campaign) consists of a set of different missions of increasing difficulty. But do not worry: damaged monoliths drop XP orbs that get you powerful upgrades like weapons, relics and building blueprints. Upgrades carry over to the following missions so you can face the increased danger.
In brief, you have to explore, mine, build and fight! Here is the content you can expect in this Alpha version 0.5:
- Campaigns are fully playable from start to finish. Meta content available to customize your playthrough: 2 main offensive technologies and 2 other technologies starting packs. Only 1 gamemode for now.
- A scripted tutorial to get started
- In missions content:
- 6 map types
- 36 buildings
- 36 relics with unique effects + 25 relics with stats upgrades
- 8 weapons
- 6 enemy minions
My current plan is to release the game in Q4 2023 / Q1 2024. I also intend to prepare a Demo for an upcoming Steam event at some point. Releasing v0.5 on itch.io and a public Playtest on Steam is one major step into this direction. I do need your feedback to improve the game mechanics and make it as enjoyable as possible. So, if you give this Playtest a try, please head to the itch.io comment section, Steam forums or to my contact form and share your thoughts and suggestions. Bug reports are welcome too!
Previously, there was a couple of popups to display the control scheme. This was good enough at the time. But since the game will probably appeal to a broader audience now that a public Playtest is available on Steam, I needed to implement a proper tutorial.
It now consists of a mission with a sequence of mini-objectives that teach you the basics. I hope it is clear enough to let you understand the core loop of the game and the main mechanics. The tutorial actually plays like a mission and after winning you get to directly continue your first campaign with what you unlocked during your tutorial playthrough. In case you would like to replay it, there is a button to do so in the campaign creation screen.
Biome entries and special buildings
Last time I talked about the new biome system in the game. I added a few more biomes since then and worked on biome entries for the journal. These display the different blocks available in the biome along with their potential effects. It also shows the special buildings that are available in this specific biome. In the journal, you can also see some statistics like the number of times you visited that biome.
Each time you start a mission on a biome you never encountered before, a popup will appear to show its entry. So you are informed of the specificity of the biome and can devise your strategy accordingly.
I also added a few new special buildings:
- The sand compactor turns sand into compacted sand and thus removes its slowness effect (for both you and your enemies…)
- The burn protector reduces the rate at which your burn meter increases when standing on magma
- The magma trap is a powerful pressure plate trap that only functions when built on magma blocks
What is next?
My goals for the upcoming weeks is to promote the Steam Playtest and gather as much player feedback as I can to refine the game mechanics. Meanwhile I will brainstorm ideas for future new content. I’m getting close to having enough content for a Demo version, but I need to prepare a lot more content for the full game.
I also plan to continue working on the exploration aspect. The new biomes are one step towards more interesting maps but there are other features I would like to implement as well.
For now, you can read the full changelog for v0.5 below. I hope you will enjoy either the update if you’ve been following the project for some time or the discovery if you are newly aware of Destroy The Monoliths. In any case, thank you for your support, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to share feedback.
Thanks for reading, and see you next time!
Full changelog (v0.5)
- Second pool of 25 relics dedicated to stats upgrades. One pick per mission at the very beginning
- Reworked biome generation with some decoration and indestructible tiles
- Scripted tutorial that plays like a mission
- Biome entries in the journal + popup in mission when first visited
- Added new music track named Contamined Planets
- 3 new biome special buildings
- 4 new relics
- Tutorial achievement
- Removed shape from maps to use only a biome system
- Modified minions formulas for scaling their health and attack stats
- Tweaked the layout of the new technology choice interface
- Reworked the effects of 3 relics
- Music tracks will now change during missions every little while
- Internal changes to better organize content and their associate localization strings
- Dock health now shows as indestructible in its info panel
- Fixed issue with technologies already unlocked appearing again in the choices
- Fixed possible soft lock in campaign map after completing a mission