DevLog #17 – More Consistent and Gradual Spawning from Monoliths!
It has been a bit more than a week since the release of the Demo for Destroy The Monoliths! And oh wow, the reception has been crazy! To give you some perspective, the Demo of Destroy The Monoliths has been way more played in just a few days than my previous game over a year. I feel particularly lucky and grateful to have so many people give some attention to this new project of mine. So thank you all for playing!
With so many people playing also came a lot of feedback. Thanks a lot for sharing your ideas and suggestions, either through videos, Youtube comments, or the Steam forums. All of this is very helpful to me! I’ve very glad to release today a patch (v0.7e) to address some of the weaker aspects of the game! This patch focuses on changing a few mechanics to offer a fairer and more balanced playing experience, but also adds some requested quality of life. Let’s dive quickly into the details!
Balancing and Pacing Reworks
Getting the difficulty balance right is always a challenging part of making a game. There are definitely some aspects that were off at the demo release and I’m hoping the game will feel more enjoyable with the new changes.
The main issue was related to the spawning algorithm that was behaving awkwardly at times. It could happen that monoliths suddenly summon a huge wave of minions for no particular reason. Many players found this unfair and I agree with that. I fixed the algorithm so it doesn’t happen anymore. Besides, I made it so that the number of minions in a wave is correlated with the health of monoliths. The more damaged they are, the more they summon at each wave. So the difficulty ramps up progressively as you work toward your mission objective. I think this will feel fairer and more interesting.
Next, I reduced the number of upgrades during missions. Players were getting new technologies a bit too often and that could be overwhelming. Having less tools in your arsenal makes every choice feel more meaningful as you have to think of a clever way to leverage your limited options. In particular, players were getting too many weapons. I thus added a limit at 3 weapons per world. Weapons determine the offensive turrets you can get so pick them carefully! Also, switching between weapons won’t feel tedious anymore, obviously.
Finally, I tweaked the stats relics. Some, in particular the Energy tanks, were overpowered and thus a de facto choice. They needed to be nerfed. These special relics that you get at the beginning of missions or sometimes after destroying a monolith are essential. They scale your power and help to deal with the increasing difficulty as you face more and more monoliths in later missions. I’m confident we will eventually get the balance of these relics right over time.
Quality of Life Improvements
Some players reported that aiming could be a bit difficult at times for weapons with a parabolic trajectory. To address this, I added an aim ray. It is activated by default, but you can toggle it off in the accessibility options if you don’t want to see it.
People seem to have different preferences about how the dash should work. Some want it to dash in the current aim direction, others in the movement direction. In the previous version, it was the latter that was enforced. But you can now choose! I added an option in the accessibility settings to select either aim or movement. The tutorial will also display the choice when it informs about the dash key.
On certain maps, it could be a bit annoying that resources roll away in liquids. You then had to place docks to go pick them up. This won’t happen anymore! Resources will stop moving as soon as they enter liquids.
What is next?
That’s it for the main changes of this patch. There are a few others changes I didn’t talk about, but you will find them in the full changelog below.
I hope you will enjoy the changes. Please keep sharing your feedback! The whole difficulty balance probably still needs some tweaking and refining but with your help we will get there! Having many people play and appreciate the demo is very exciting. I’m motivated to improve Destroy The Monoliths as much as I can to make it a fun and polished gaming experience!
As always, thanks for reading, and see you very soon for the Steam Strategy Fest!
Full changelog (v0.7e)
- Added a visual indicator to preview the trajectory of weapons (aim ray). New option in the accessibility settings to toggle it
- Added an option in the accessibility settings to customize the behavior of the dash move: you can dash in the direction of either your aim or your movement
- Resources now stop moving when they fall into liquids (instead or rolling away)
- Reworked the spawning algorithm of monoliths. New algorithm is more gradual and consistent (no more sudden spike with massive spawning, that is fixed): the more damaged monoliths are, the more minions they summon at each wave
- Increased slightly the frequency at which spawning waves can happen
- Changed the order in which missions unlock: players get access to missions with n+1 monoliths when all missions with n monoliths are cleared (will only apply to new worlds, missions in old game saves still unlock the old way)
- Changed the XP levels thresholds to reduce the number of upgrades. Players now get resp. 4-5-5-6-6 new technologies for missions with resp. 1-2-3-4-5 monoliths.
- Limited the number of weapons to 3 per world. Once the player holds 3 weapons, upgrades previously giving more weapons now give buildings
- Reduced a bit the attack raw stats scaling of enemies
- Now saving the game settings in a plain text file
- The game window is now freely resizable
- Nerfed the Energy tanks relics
- Buffed the Reinforced walls relics
- Nerfed the Rusty gears relic: 15% -> 10%
- In menus, cursor is not hidden anymore when a controller is plugged in (it is now automatically moved to the lower right corner to be out of the way, but is still usable if needed)
- Buttons and UI elements don’t loose their focus anymore when no longer hovered by the mouse cursor (should prevent issues for people using solely the keyboard or a controller, the focus should never be lost)
- Fixed trapped chests being generated more often than intended
- Fixed dock journal entry being unlocked when placed by enemies