Syder Arcade update v1.3

Talk about Syder Arcade, our love letter to old school games ... And apparently the hardest game ever.

Syder Arcade update v1.3

Postby DIT » Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:11 pm

This is a big update, so get comfy and prepare yourself for a wall of text:

We made a couple of game changing tweaks in this one, like the new life system and the addition of new weapons and enemies.
For 1.3 we wanted to focus on improving the existing content, we worked hard on every single level of the game to align it with our new game rules.
We' ve also added many small features to improve the overall experience.

This is the huge list of what's new in Syder Arcade 1.3!

- You can now completely customize your keyboard controls and joypad input.
As an indie team we were able to test this new system on a limited number of gaming peripherals.
If you find any problems please provide your controller detailed info, and we will do our best to fix them.
This fix should help you solve hardware related keyboard issues, and keyboard configuration issues on few non-english MACs

- You can now play the game windowed
- You can use your mouse to navigate menus
- We removed the "fastest" quality setting for graphics, it was super ugly, and it worked really bad on some funny notebook graphic cards.
- Game logic, shaders and art have been optimimized, you should notice better performances basically everywhere (thank the upcoming mobile version for that :P).
- Improved the user interface shader, It has now a nice transaprent effect and a slight glow at better quality settings.
- Improved ship selection scene.

- New high score leaderboards. As you may have noticed, the old one suddently died a few weeks ago.
Long story short, now we have an in house high score server and it works properly.
I's pretty basic at the moment, but we plan to improve it in future releases.
Old high scores are not available anymore. But the game changed so much with v1.3 that they would have been meaningless.

- Improved game's soundtrack and added a new great track for credits
- Powerups are now displayed on the minimap as yellow blinking dots
- A sound effect now warns you when an important target is highlighted on the minimap
- A sound effect now warns you when you are below 20% health
- Powerup pickups and all the "robot voice" sound effects should now be more informative, and slightly more ridiculous.
- A small news ticker is now displayed on the main menu. We are going to use it to provide you useful informations, like new releases and other Studio Evil related news.
- New graphic for rear/side/spread bullets
- New graphical effects on powerup pick-up and score text
- You can now skip dialogues much faster
- Improved "mission briefing" screen with better graphics to explain the game backstory
- Improved the "game controls" screen before each level with detailed info and better graphics

New Lives and respawn system:

When you die, you respawn istantly a few meters nearby without restarting the level.
If you fail a primary objective, like protecting the carrier Orinoco, you still loose a life and restart the level.
This change was to addess the main complaint we received from the previous versions of the game (punishment for diying was too frustrating).
We initally took a bad decision by having you restart the whole level on death and several players did not find it fun.
So we worked super hard to re-balance the game around this important change.
The game now it's not easier, the game experience is now just more fair. You will still die a lot :D

Balance Tweaks:

- Powerup drops have been increased over the entire campaign.
- All bosses have been improved with a more interesting fighting logic, different weapons, and more modules to destroy.
- To compenaste the increased firepower at your disposal, Enemy bosses are now much tougher.
- Beam weapons have now a much longer non damaging activation time (almost 2 seconds).
- You can now encounter enemies with a more interesting weapons, like accelerating bullets, lazy seekers and deadly directional beams.
- If you run into a boss command bridge or energy core, you now take damage (a lot) even with shield on. No more easy kamikaze kills :P
- On "the storm" level, it's no longer possibile to pass trough the storm with shields on. The storm now deals damage even to shielded players.
- Survival mode is now more difficult. You can use it as some sort of training mode or endgame.

Weapon powerups:

- All secondary weapon powerups, side shot and rear shot have now 3 upgrade levels instead of one
- All secondary weapon powerups have now a reddish hue, to differentiate them from primary weapons
- Homing Missiles should now be slightly more powerful.
- Secondary Weapon "Spread" now shoots in a precise arc instead of a random volley of bullets.
- New Secondary weapon powerup: "plasma"
Plasma is a "lazy seeker" weapon with a low fire rate that can pierce trough several enemies, dealing significant damage

Difficulty settings:

We completely redesigned our difficulty settings to have a much smoother esperience when you choose to play an easy campaing and a brutal but (almost) fair experience at the hardest settings.
We improved the game rules and now we can change several aspects of the game to better achieve a good balance.

It is super super easy now, Ideal for beginners or if you want to enjoy the game backgrounds in a relaxed mood.

Weapon Damage: X1.5
Incoming Damage: X0.4
Enemy Fire Rate: X0.8
Score: X0.1
Extra Life: 30.000 points

Young gun:
It's going to be nice with you in the first couple of levels.

Weapon Damage: X1.15
Incoming Damage: X0.75
Enemy Fire Rate: X1
Score: X0.5
Extra Life: 35.000 points

This is the intended, "director's cut" Syder Arcade experience. Hard as nails.

Weapon Damage: X1
Incoming Damage: X1
Enemy Fire Rate: X2
Score: X2
Extra Life: 35.000 points

We changed the idea behind the pure difficulty settings.
Initially it was intended for the hardcore shoot em ups fans that like to play with instant kills.
It worked, but Syder Arcade is simply not designed to be a clockwork precise experience.
It has adaptive enemies, free multidirectional scrolling, limited (but working) physics engine, it's designed for adaptability and chaos.
So we kind of softened the experience a bit. Instead of having every single bit of damage kill you instantly, you can now survive a couple of hits, if you are lucky.
Or if you are using the mule.
And this was the other reason why we reduced the damage to x5, having 100% insta kills completely destroyed our ship differences, making some game mechanics completely futile.
So now you have 2-hit deaths if you are lucky, still pretty much brutal. But more Syder Arcade kind of brutal.

Weapon Damage: X1
Incoming Damage: X5
Enemy Fire Rate: X2
Score: X4
Extra Life: 35.000 points

Starships balance:

- Base speed increased by 2
- Base weapon: damage consistently reduced for external bullets of firing arc, almost doubled on the middle bullet.
- Base weapon: the middle bullet is now bigger and has a reddish hue
- Power required to charge the Special Weapon slightly reduced

- Max speed increased by 2
- Base weapon: damage increased by roughly 15% at all powerup levels
- Health increased from 20 to 25

- Special Weapon: HyperBeam is now working more consistently, it is now more difficoult to use at it's best, but also easier to charge up.
- Special Weapon: The first contact of the beam with the enemy deals much less damage, but damage over time has been increased.


New Enemy: Stinger "Ace"
It's a bigger, tougher, angrier kind of stinger. This guy fires a deadly volley of bullets. Usually drops powerups.

New Enemy: Crossbow
Very resistant enemy ship with a devastating beam weapon.

Enemy Redesign:
Grinder: New weapon logic, now shoots "lazy homing" misiles
Spike spore: Spores emitted on death are now standard bullets and cannot be shot down
Sphere drone: Bullets emitted on death are now "lazy homing" but with some experimentation you can use them at your advantage
Bio Warhead: New formation and weapon logic.


The game will now istantly display a small panel when you earn a badge.
This should help you guys figure out how badges are actually awarded, and generally make the game feel more rewarding.
We don't want to explain exactly how badges are awarded just yet, and let you players figure it out.
To help you with this, we changed a few badge names to make their meaning more obvious.

We also tweaked how much score badges are worth, increased the value of the most dangerous/hard to get, like "bubble man" and
"lucha libre", and decreased the score you get for the most passive ones, like "gunner".

Bug Fixes:

We fixed several minor bugs actually, but there are a few notable ones:

- Dart Hyperbeam is no longer interruped if touches an impenetrable object after it has been fired
- Speed and other powerups should now saved correctly when you enter a new level. Those powerups are also available
if you restart your campaign from an arbitrary level you unlocked.
- Fixed a bug that resulted in inconsistent frequency on rapid fire enemy weapons.

Future updates:

Among other things, we are working on a new survival level called "the lighthouse" where you have to stop endless waves of pirate ships from getting to Miza's orbital station, namely "The Lighthouse".
This level, following our idea to have "additional" gameplay mechanics in our shmup, is inspired by tower defense games and will be included in one of the future game updates.
We do not have an ETA yet for this one yet.

We listen very carefully to our user base, so please keep sending us your feedback about Syder Arcade.
Marco Di Timoteo
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