DevLog #14 – Explore to Find Great Treasures and Shrines!
It has been a few weeks since Destroy The Monoliths v0.5 and Steam Playtest are now available. And so far the reception has been pretty great! I received plenty of very helpful feedback and I’m very excited to see that people have started playing Destroy The Monoliths on YouTube! So thank you all for your support and your interest in this new project!
If Destroy The Monoliths sounds unfamiliar to you, let me first remind you what this is all about. This is a single-player real-time mining tower-offense roguelike. One could say this is sort kind of crossover between Orc Must Die and Dome Keeper. You control a single unit and need to mine resources in order to build turrets that help you both defend and attack. The twist is that surviving is not enough, your ultimate goal consists in destroying all the monoliths—that’s the title, you can’t forget it!
To learn more about how it plays, please have a look at this YouTube playlist and watch some awesome gameplay from various content creators!
Now let’s talk about today’s exciting news. I’m very glad to share that version 0.6 is finally out and available both on itch.io and the Steam Playtest! This update adds new features, new game content, and various improvements and bug fixes. I think it looks super cool so let’s dive right into the details!
Find treasures and shrines
After reworking the biome system in v0.5, maps started to feel a bit more interesting to explore. But one key feature was still missing: having pre-existing structures that are randomly generated. This feature is now a reality, you can discover various structures! You can for instance find treasures that give you instantly lots of resources. Or some special shrines that can kill all enemies on the map but have a limited amount of triggers. Or some fast-travel stations.
My goal with these structures is to enrich the exploration aspect of the game and give new strategical possibilities. I wish for these structures to have unique interesting effects and not be redundant with the player buildings. I hope you will enjoy this new feature! There are only 6 different structures for now but I plan to add a lot more for the full game.
New game content
This update brings some new game content. I added two new maps: river plain and river crossing.
There are also two new enemy minions! The first has a multi-shot laser attack and the second has a shield. Don’t let them destroy your base!
Having people give the Playtest a try and watching people play on YouTube provided me with plenty of feedback. Some bugs to fix, but also some improvements to make. Let’s review the main changes.
- Trees can be annoying since they block shots. So I decided first to forbid their generation near monoliths since these are the places where most of the fighting takes place. But this does not really solve the issue. So after some thinking I finally decided to make all terrain decoration (trees, rocks, etc) destructible just like any block. They have a high hardness so you need to shoot at them quite a lot, but they now are fully breakable. If a tree really bothers you, you can take it down and clear the space.
- I did some balancing changes. For instance, the rocket launcher was feeling really weak although it looks super fun, which made it quite disappointing. It is now stronger. On the contrary the laser triple shot relic is now a bit weaker because I don’t want the starting weapon to be the best one.
- A campaign is now 8 missions long instead of 12. I think 12 was a bit too much and I hope 8 is a better number so that people actually get to the end of campaigns. The goal of the game is to play multiple campaigns since there is a meta progression system where you unlock new ways to attack monoliths, starting packs and gamemodes.
- I reworked a bit the campaign map generation to better control the distribution of missions with 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 monoliths. Its now ensures that the progression is gradual and avoids a big difficulty spike.
- The neutronic bomber now displays a warning if there is no monolith in range. I think it will be particularly useful during the tutorial if people place a bomber too far and do not understand why nothing happens.
- I reorganized the technology tree a bit to offer more variety at the first building unlock. The previous tree was such that players were getting the same initial choices all the time no matter the randomness.
- The Core now has the ability to heal the player.
- I noticed that the first type of resources (the orange balls) were used a lot while the second one (the green prisms) were way less used. This unbalance is quite an issue because resources are generated in similar amounts on the map. So I tweaked many building costs to hopefully balance better their usage. We will see in the future if it feels better that way or if more tweaks are required.
What is next?
My goal for the next weeks consists in promoting version 0.6 and gathering even more feedback. As a solo developer, talking with players and seeing how they engage with the game is absolutely crucial. That’s the only way I can refine the mechanics and the difficulty balance, address the frustrations and overall make the game way more fun and enjoyable.
Meanwhile, I’m also brainstorming ideas and planning content for the full game. I intend to release an official demo once the Playtest version starts to feel really solid, and I need to prepare as of now for what comes after.
Please give the new version 0.6 a try (read the full changelog below!) and as always feel free to share feedback!
Thanks for reading, and see you next time!
Full changelog (v0.6)
- Added 2 new maps
- Added 2 new minions
- Added pre-existing structures to the map generation to enrich the exploration aspect (6 different for now)
- New mission statistic: number of player respawns at the Core
- Added a display warning to the neutronic bomber when it has now monolith in range
- Added player healing ability to the Core
- Added the possibility to break terrain decoration
- Added an indication in the building info panel to tell if a turret needs a direct sight to shoot or can shoot over obstacles
- Increases the damage and mining power of the rocket launcher weapon
- Laser triple shot relic now applies to only half of the shots
- Increased the range of the healer building
- Terrain decoration like trees, rocks, etc, do not spawn near monoliths anymore
- Campaigns are now 8 missions long instead of 12
- Reworked campaign map generation to better control the distribution of missions with 1, 2, 3 4 and 5 monoliths
- Reorganized technology tree to offer more options at the first new building choice
- Increased the health points of wall and force field buildings
- Reduced a bit the attack damage and range of the rocket launcher minion
- Reduced a bit the drawback of the prefabrication relic to make it stronger
- Removed the player footstep particles
- Tweaked many buildings costs to balance the usage of the three types of resources
- Fixed issue with some missions not unlocking on the campaign map
- Fixed issue with starting pack selection button in the new campaign screen
- Fixed issue with some tooltips from the building menu not being properly deleted
- Fixed kamikaze enemies sometimes struggling to detonate
- Fixed some grammar and syntax errors in some buildings descriptions
- Fixed visual glitch with the laser beam and docks
- Fixed issue with monoliths spawning more minions that they should when damaged
- Fixed issue with player resources not properly reset when restarting the tutorial