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VolChaos Update Coming Soon
Date 12/2/2011    Tags VolChaos    (0)

On Wednesday I released Volchaos for Xbox Live Indie Games. Am I done with the game? Most certainly not! I've already stated work on Volchaos 1.1. Here's some of what you can expect (hopefully next week):

Saving Issues
On my Xbox (one of the newer slim models), saving on Volchaos is nearly instantaneous. Because this was so quick, I went ahead and had the game save Awardments, number of times killed, etc each time you die. This makes sure that even if you power off your Xbox without quitting or finishing a level (it also saves for either of these conditions), you won't lose anything. Upon releasing the game, I found a small handful of gamers complaining of 2-3 second black screens between respawning. Apparently some Xbox hard drives are excessively slow at saving. Surprise!

I'm going to change when saving occurs so it no longer saves on respawns. I'll also be adjusting when the end of level and quit game saving occurs so that you see a brief save screen with a progress indicator similar to that on the initial loading screen.

Level Tweaks
Several gamers seem to be having a lot of trouble with level 10. This level has a lot of small platforms to jump on. This level is too early in the game to be so difficult for many players. I've tweaked the level to include some larger platforms too, thus making it a big easier to complete.

On level 31, you start falling straight down towards some spikes. Some gamers are really struggling with this part of the game. I think those that experience the slower save times will especially have issues here. I've adjusted the level so that you now start a tad bit higher and the gems are moved up higher too. This should give you enough time to avoid the spikes below.

3-2-1 Go
Currently when you respawn after a death, the level fades in. As soon as the fade in begins, you CAN move. This is confusing to players and makes them have to be ready almost immediately to move (harder again if you experience the slow saving times). I've made it now so you cannot move until the level is completely faded in.

Additionally I'm playing with some kind of "Ready, Go!" display to give you a better idea of when you can start a level. I'm displaying two yellow skulls first and then a green one when you can move, almost like the start light at a drag race track. I've got some tweaking to do to get this to feel right. I liked the old way personally because you can very quickly play another life but my impression is that gamers overall would prefer this new way. Gotta listen to the public sometimes.

Not everyone is a big fan (or even a fan) of the movement in Volchaos. I'll be doing some tweaking here. I won't be changing any of the gravity values, but I'll play some with horizontal acceleration and deceleration. I spent some time playing Super Meat Boy last night and Meat Boy accelerates and decelerates significantly faster than the hero in Volchaos. While I don't want to approach those levels, there may be some point in-between that feels better for Volchaos.

It is my goal to finish and release this update next week. I may add some other items to the update too, time permitting. Mainly because of the save issue, which makes playing Volchaos very painful for some, I want to get this out quickly. I may do another update down the road that adds some new features and other tweaks. Once I get the XBLIG version pretty solid, I'll start on the PC release.

If there are any changes you'd like to see made to Volchaos, please leave them in the comments below.

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