Space Barrage Arcade - Announcement and Beta

Discussion in 'Upcoming iOS Games' started by aaronsullivan, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. aaronsullivan

    aaronsullivan Well-Known Member

    I know exactly what you are talking about and it's very annoying too, so sorry about that. Fixing that internally today. If you turn on Fast Point (in the options menu) it can help, but the current version of that has a couple small issues too (fixed in our internal build).

    I recommend everyone try out the fast point option if you haven't yet, and if you don't like that you might like the camera. :)
     
  2. Dr. Woodenstein

    Dr. Woodenstein Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2013
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    Ok, thanks. I've been meaning to try out Fast Point anyways. It might make me better at the game. (I'm pretty terrible haha)
     
  3. aaronsullivan

    aaronsullivan Well-Known Member

    #43 aaronsullivan, Dec 17, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
    If you check your email there should be a new build up tonight with a fix to that and some other things. If you haven't, you should still try the fast point option. :)
     
  4. aaronsullivan

    aaronsullivan Well-Known Member

    Just wanted to remind the beta testers how awesome they are (THANKS!) and that they should update to the latest version if they haven't.

    We have stopped recruiting for now and we just squeaked into the App Store in time for the Holidays BUT we are still making significant updates so please don't stop testing! (Some of you may have guessed this as the current Beta build has been 1.0.1 for awhile now. :D )

    I'll be adding a video and announcement post very soon!

    Once again, thanks so much for your help and don't take a vacation from being awesome just because the Holidays are coming up!
     
  5. aaronsullivan

    aaronsullivan Well-Known Member

    Here's that link I promised to the new thread for the release store where you can find the video and the official information:
    http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=213506&highlight=space+barrage

    How did it work out? Now that we've refined it a bit and have played with it more, we are considering making fast point the default. Maybe the option will become 1:1 point for those who might prefer that. It was made for dragging the pointer around the large iPad screens, but then I noticed how much I liked it on the iPad mini, and then I noticed how I could play on my phone and rarely need to lift my pointer thumb to switch sides. It's just more pleasant.

    Anybody think a variable speed might be better? Right now it's 50% faster than your actual movement. I tried 2x but it ruins the accuracy. Anyway just thinking out loud.

    I'm interested in anybody's thoughts on this.
     
  6. Dr. Woodenstein

    Dr. Woodenstein Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2013
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    It does seem to run a little smoother when I use fast point. Being able to change the speed may help some.

    On another note, I feel like the game needs something. I don't really know what, but something. The more I mess with it, the less interested in it I am (obviously the opposite of what should be happening). Now it is entirely possible that that I was just drawn in by the idea of it and it turned out to not be my kind of game. That would certainly explain why I'm losing interest.

    I'm also going to apologize for having said that. I mean I know giving feedback is what beta testing is about, but being told your game doesn't hold one of your tester's interest still has to hurt. It's not necessarily a bad game, and it is a good idea. Looks pretty good. Has a unique control scheme. Just doesn't hold my interest...
     
  7. aaronsullivan

    aaronsullivan Well-Known Member

    #47 aaronsullivan, Dec 22, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
    You certainly don't have to apologize. Thanks for caring though!

    One improvement that hasn't made its way even to the beta testers is an option to "continue" at the highest level you reached. Also, it's just the type of game where achievements and leaderboards end up being important to continued play. This is why we slapped the "Arcade" at the end of the title as an honest suggestion of the type of play you might expect. Some beta testers had issues with their sandbox GameCenter account unfortunately (not an issue in the final game, as far as we know by the way).

    We are fully aware that it's going to appeal much more to a certain kind of gamer and not everyone will get as addicted to the game play as we have been over the years. When we first started developing in earnest we had a slow-progression-of-upgrades-style game in mind, but because of our life situation we needed to tackle a smaller project first so we had to refocus.

    All this said, we have several more improvements coming to the game that will help remedy this. IF the game takes off beyond our expectations we may consider going with the original plan, but our current plan of updates is to make the game elements deeper with a few more key features. One of which involves shield configurations which can upgrade individual guns.

    As it is, there is already quite a bit of depth in strategy. Like many good arcade games there are interesting decisions you can make that might seem arbitrary when you are first learning, but actually make a big difference in your ability to survive another round or jack up your score.

    I'm also dying to add more "candy" moments: More custom explosions and rewarding feedback for the player. With just two people on the project time gets used up so quickly and we are always learning how to do things better, so keep that feedback coming positive and negative! (We are getting plenty of good and bad that isn't seen here, of course!)
     
  8. Dr. Woodenstein

    Dr. Woodenstein Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2013
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    Well I'm just gonna throw a few thoughts around, most of which you can't even apply as the major gameplay aspects of your game seem to be mostly finished and it would be a pain in the rear to redo a bunch of stuff. Nevertheless, here goes.

    When I first picked this up, my first thought was Galaga. Yeah I know, it's nothing like that. You can't blame me though, it's an arcade space shooter, it's only natural. Lemme say a few things that would make it a little more like Galaga (which I would consider an improvement) that you could possibly implement if you felt like. Get rid of the guns charging thing. I don't know why (I'm probably missing something) but my guns tell me every now and then that none of them are charged. It's at this time that I die. It would improve the speed of the game if I could just fire when I wanted to. Maybe not increase the rate of fire, but at least get rid of the guns charging. Also lots of ships that shoot at me would be cool. The ships that just move forward are kind of boring. Now by adding more shooters it WILL become quickly imbalanced. So you'd have to implement a new way of blocking blasts (something probably directly controlled by the player) as the standard shields would be torn up too quickly. Being able to move my ship would also be neat. Adds a dodgin bullet hell kind of feel to the game. Then you could move behind your shield when one section of it gets destroyed.

    Those are just suggestions of things I would have done if I had made the game. Just suggestions, not demands, things to mull over in your head.
     
  9. aaronsullivan

    aaronsullivan Well-Known Member

    I like your version of the game. Kind of a galaga with space invaders shields and more pinpoint firing. You're right that it's a fundamental set of differences, though. Maybe I'll still get you to like our version. :D Read on.

    There are a couple of things that alleviate this issue. One, you may not have tried the "How to Play" in one of the recent builds or maybe don't have one of the last two builds, but at the end of the "boot camp" there is a screen that has little interactive diagrams explaining the mechanics of guns and shields and ships (transports).

    Essentially, if you don't build your shields to enclose your guns with at least one ship, they can't power the guns and the guns can't fire. The message you are seeing means that you didn't enclose any guns in with ships (maybe you had a hole in your shields which happens much more often when the red destroyers are on the scene).

    When that happens we've had a few people express frustration (you can't fire as the ships slowly approach) and rightly so. We have a remedy that will be in our next update.
     
  10. Dr. Woodenstein

    Dr. Woodenstein Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2013
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    Thanks, so do I. ;) Shame I haven't made it right?

    This actually makes a lot of sense. See, I normally try to start building one big box as soon as possible, so I probably did have a hole in there somewhere. Thus why I have never made it past stage 1. Gee, aren't I just a great beta tester? :rolleyes:
     
  11. aaronsullivan

    aaronsullivan Well-Known Member

    #51 aaronsullivan, Dec 26, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
    Hope everyone is having some happy Holiday time if you are in the midst of celebrating!

    We just updated a version for our beta testers. We want to make a bigger promotional push next week, so we are working on our first update for after the iTunes Connect lock out (it's so hard to have something up on the store with issues that have fixes and no way to push them out to everyone!).

    We are continuing to smooth out the first time experience, but there is more work to be done there. Some other important improvements are in this version though and we'd love it you'd give it a fresh look!

    The testflight email should already be in your inbox if you are a beta tester. Remember to open the link from the email on each device you want to install it on.

    Thanks!
     
  12. JCho133

    JCho133 Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2012
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    I'll download as soon as I get home, I'm interested to see how it is
     
  13. aaronsullivan

    aaronsullivan Well-Known Member

    Hi beta testers! We made a big mistake at launch and I wanted to apologize to everyone testing especially if you bought it. It starts at Stage 6! After all that energy trying to smooth out the introduction and difficulty curve: BAM! Try starting at Stage 6!

    Now, it's even more important for us to get this right at our next update, so please, if you get a few minutes, check your email for the testflight update. We want to get some good testing in before submitting to Apple tomorrow and fix this blunder.

    Thanks for all you've done so far, we really appreciate some of the detailed feedback that has been given and you are helping to shape the game and get our attention on the most important improvements. I knew we'd find some great ones here at Touch Arcade. :D

    For a little more info, here's the apology in this forum's game launch thread
     
  14. arrow123

    arrow123 Well-Known Member

    Aug 29, 2013
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    Are you guys planning on letting any more beta testers into the program, I'm currently beta testing a ton of stuff and woul love to add this to the list.
    Thanks,
    Arrow
     
  15. aaronsullivan

    aaronsullivan Well-Known Member

    We aren't currently recruiting new beta testers right now, sorry, but thanks for the enthusiasm! :)
     
  16. aaronsullivan

    aaronsullivan Well-Known Member

    We just released an updated version to the beta testers. If you have been testing this game and are not seeing an email about it please let me know!

    This is for a significant new upcoming update to version 1.1

    This is the version we plan on starting our real promotion with; asking for reviews, press release, etc. so we'd really appreciate it if you all gave it another go.

    It should be MUCH more fun, to be honest. We designed the stage progression to be more interesting and less abruptly challenging. You'll have more of a chance to see how each new enemy works as you get better.

    For those that are already a bit better at the game you will find a new mechanic using beacons to try different upgrade strategies throughout a play session. Will you make building shield surrounds easier for yourself? Get more ships? Or upgrade you ship to shoot an extra missile -- great for that nasty first wave in later stages?

    Let us know what you think here, or via email, or through testflight. Hope you enjoy it!

    Sorry about my wife's high score in the beta sandbox. She's had time to play with some of the improvements for awhile now. I'd love to see someone challenge her. :D
     

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