Lots of Progress...Jeez!
HELLO GRUNTS, it's Swain! We know it's been a while since the last Beta Update, but go easy on us...it's going to be worth it! Give me a minute or two, and I'll tell you exactly why.
Not all of the time since the last update has been spent on Story Mode, namely the final stage of MADNESS: Project Nexus titled "The Rush", where our protagonists fight a truly uphill battle to ascend the Tower and confront the Divergence Engine at long last. Considering the number of new features and bossfights necessary to make it the experience we wanted, yes...that alone took months. But that's only the beginning of where the time has gone.
More important than the final stage of the game is the final stage of development. We had hoped to complete the whole production cycle by...
1) finishing Story Mode content,
2) remaking Arena Mode,
3) cleaning up Story Mode, and
4) completing and balancing gameplay.
At some point Krinkels and I realized that was the wrong way to go about it. Why are we balancing the gameplay before building the game modes that depend on it? Any changes to the core engine would ripple out and change every experience in the game, which would cause us to go back through and re-do big chunks of the game. Which is EXACTLY what started to happen in the final Story stage.
So here we are, making the final big changes to combat and gameplay that M:PN has been missing for years. I'll post about them all soon (and maybe provide a link to the google doc I'm using as a features to-do checklist), but the crux of the changes involve melee attack timing, enemy challenge level (even grunts should stand a chance if you let them punch you), the player's ability to experience risk while being given the tools to overcome those risks, enemies differences and their ability to give you different experiences, UI overlays (YUCK), the combo system, where executions play in, the grappling system, blocking (which has been a black sheep since the beginning), and so on.
Despite the 60 hour workweeks, we've been coming at these changes excitedly. It's like watching our game leave puberty at last. So please stick around and I'll tell you a story, but that's for next time.