Last week was gamescom in Köln, Germany, from which I am still recovering (caught a bit of a virus there!). We had a blast there and got to meet some awesome people, but of course, work here doesn't stop!
This patch is a real quick one to get a few crucial issues worked out.
Fixed an issue where player 2 would get multiple Shoot Level Upgrades from a single powerup.
Fixed an issue with the level 2 boss where it would infinitely spawn the 'Get Out!' message and lasers. Also adjusted the encounter slightly.
Adjusted the keybinds for the usable items so that now they can be re-assigned in the launcher.
And if you come across any other issues, be sure to let me know so I can sort them out right away.
In a few short moments it will be exactly a week since Zenzizenzic was officially launched on Steam. Since then much work has been done to fix small things and adjust bits and pieces and today those adjustments are live in patch v1.02! Read on for the full list of fixes and changes.
If you have any questions or concerns about these notes, feel free to drop a comment!
Typo fixed in the menu when choosing the Gauntlet mode.
Fixed an issue with the Steam leaderboards for level 5 on Hard and Very Hard difficulty.
Removed the Personal Best, Achievements and Leaderboards overviews from the weapon selection menu when in the Boss Training mode as that information is not applicable to that mode.
Fixed an issue where high speed bullets would escape the Black Hole ability. Enemy bullets now turn much sharper towards the black hole when close enough.
Adjusted the Pause menu so now the mouse cursor is displayed over the menu graphics rather than below it.
Greatly increased the amount of points that enemies are worth in level 3 and to a slightly smaller extent in level 5. Charge the leaderboards!
Fixed an issue in the Gauntlet mode progressing into level 3 on Hard difficulty where the screen would almost white out completely.
Fixed an issue in the Gauntlet mode where the background from level 4 would stay after level 5 had started.
Fixed some discrepancies on how enemy lasers react to player shields and special weapons. Now all enemy lasers should destroy on contact with a shield or shield explosion and not destroy when hit by, for example, a Charge Shot. Enemy lasers do not interact with player special weapons.
Fixed the mouse over on the restart and exit buttons in bonus level 5 on the Training mode.
Adjusted the enemy '16 Orbital Spinner' bullet pattern in level 2.
Fixed the Pause menu in the Boss Training mode of level 4.
Fixed a bunch of issues with Bonus Training levels, most notably camera position adjustments.
Fixed an issue with the level 1 achievement in the Gauntlet on Hard and Very Hard difficulty.
Slightly lowered the enemy spawn rate increments on Hard and Very Hard difficulty.
Reduced the amount of bullets the level 2 enemy 'SwirlyShooter' (scientific name) swarms out.
The Shop is closed now as soon as the boss spawns and does not spawn during a boss encounter.
The level 2 boss is adjusted so it takes less effort to open up the doors to the core and it is a little bit more apparent how to do so. The boss' health has increased by about 20% to make up for it.
The level 3 boss fight is adjusted so the entire first phase involving the chasing boss sections is no longer part of the fight.
See you on the leaderboards and thanks for the support!
Zenzizenzic is a fast-paced, adrenaline-infused twin stick bullet hell shoot 'em up and open world roguelike. Featuring a beautifully abstract art style and a thumping, full throttle soundtrack, it's sure to get your thumbs sweating and your blood pumping!
Here's a quick announcement listing the patch notes for this final patch before release. It mostly covers small fixes, nothing too major, but all to ensure that we have a smooth launch with a solid version of Zenzizenzic tomorrow! Read on for the full notes.
Also, I will be regularly streaming Zenzizenzic over the next few days and handing out Steam keys over at http://www.twitch.tv/bithuffel! Be sure to follow and come hang out when you get the chance.
Fixed issue with movement speed when gamepad and keyboard controls are mixed.
Fixed issue with Exit button from Main Menu not responding.
Mouse cursor settings in Options works again.
Screenshake now stops when in Pause menu.
Few issues with Leaderboard statistics not being called are fixed.
When screenshake is on max it no longer breaks the camera.
Removed feedback buttons from the interface.
Fixed issue with menu item growing in size when collided with.
Increased distance between name and score in Leaderboards displays to give more space for longer names and added cut-off points for the tighter Leaderboard displays.
Fixed an issue with shortcut icon resizing on desktop.
Freshened up Loadingscreens.
Added videos for different weapons to the Weapon Selection.
Fixed bonus level 1 as when the player was standing still the colliders on the walls weren't getting triggered.
Added Macro achievements.
Adjusted the points popups from killed enemies in Macro to be a bit larger and longer lasting.
Made the boss in level 3 slightly easier.
Fixed an issue with the score overview display being misaligned.
Adjusted a few enemies in level 2.
Increased spawn rate of enemies starting at level 1.
The final major content patch before release is available!
This time around you can completely go through Macro as all the content is in there. Furthermore, loads of small fixes and additions can be found in this patch. Read on for the details.
Also, we have a release date! Mark the 23rd of July in your calendars as then the bullet hell will reign down on all! Do note that while the game is in Early Access you can still profit from the 20% discount as the final release price will be 9.99$, compared to the 7.99$ it is now during Early Access.
Here are the full notes:
Fixed an issue with destroyed bullets dropping more point pickups than intended.
Fixed an issue with diagonal movement being too fast in Classic.
Added various improvements to the interface in the Main Menu in regards to showing leaderboard and achievement stats and on other interface locations as well (such at the endgame overview for when the player has died/won).
Speaking of leaderboards, Steam Leaderboards are now fully functional. This means that choosing a name for the leaderboard has been removed as it now takes your Steam account name and only your single best score is registered.
Local leaderboards have been replaced by the feature Personal Best scores. This is a single high score that is tracked locally.
The radius with which you pull in point pickups now increases rapidly when you aren't shooting. This is also indicated by a graphic, which can be adjusted or turned off from the Options menu.
Added a subtle graphical indicator for when a powerup has bounced from a wall to show that it will not bounce again.
The final level, level 5, of the Macro mode has been added.
Increased the movement speed of point pickups.
Increased the pickup radius upgrade in the Shop in Macro from 10% to 15% and increased the base value from 3 to 4.
Decreased the difficulty of the level 4 boss.
Added a percentage cost increase to the Gamble option in the Store.
Increased the duration of how long the Weapon and Shield upgrade pickups remain floating around before disappearing from 10 seconds to 15 seconds.
Added a few environmental objects in level 4.
Re-balanced shop costs now that all the content is in place and a better flow of points income can be estimated. Note that this balance is not final, if I were to wager a guess I'd say things are slightly too costly at the moment overall, but it will be refined over time!
The critical chance upgrade now starts at 0% but increases by 10 each time it is purchased in the shop, up to 100%.
This time around level 4 has been added to the open world, roguelike mode Macro. A bunch of smaller fixes have been implemented as well, most notably to the Gauntlet mode. A major change in regards to the game's mechanics is how pickups act. Read on for more info!
Or check out the following video where I chat a bit about the new patch and play through some parts of the game.
The next major patch will contain level 5 for Macro, the final level! Expect it to arrive in about 3 weeks time from now at around mid June.
Here are the full patch notes:
Level 4 added to the Macro mode.
Game pauses when its window loses focus (like when alt-tabbing).
Further adjusted pick-up and power-up behavior when an enemy drops them in Classic mode. Regular pick-ups fan out when spawned and weapon and shield power-ups now also bounce from walls once. The drop rate for weapon and shield power-ups are lowered to compensate.
Added an option to disable the background for if you really want to get in the thick of things with no distractions at all.
Added a similar effect as the player shield explode to when the player loses a life by getting hit. This causes a small area clear around the player and give a brief moment of respite to recover.
The shield explosion effect now also clears out nearby enemy lasers.
Increased the invincibility timer after getting hit from 1 second to 1.5 seconds.
Changed the Progression mechanic in Macro. Now points earned while playing Macro no longer contribute to the Progression bar (which when filled up spawns a boss). The bar is filled up solely on a time based factor. On Normal it will take 5:00 minutes, Hard 6:30 minutes and on Very Hard it will take 8:00 minutes to fill up.
Fixed a couple of issues with the Gauntlet mode.
You can find the topic where I list the upcoming changes here.
If you come across any issues, or have any kind of feedback, be sure to let me know.
The first major content patch for Zenzizenzic is live!
The most extensive change is the addition of level 3 to the Macro mode. Be wary though, going through level 3 is not for the faint of heart as you'll be chased beyond what seems reasonable by enemies, bullets and all that can pose a threat to you (which is just about everything really).
Here is a video from the livestream at Twitch in where I play through this patch!
This patch the following fixes have been implemented:
Fixed issue with enemies spawning op on top of you in Macro.
Changed the Reward Chest in Macro to be smaller and easier to open.
Overhauled Events in Macro (Events occur when opening a cluster of doors).
Adjusted Main Menu button interactions to make them reliable.
Fixed issue with Enemy Clear usable item not being placed into the right use slot in Macro.
Fixed issue with the Shop not appearing after defeating a boss in Macro.
Fixed issue with right stick dead zone recognition for controller input.
Slightly adjusted the boss attacks of the first level in Macro.
Fixed issue with Dont Die achievement in Very Hard Gauntlet not unlocking properly. (Good luck getting that one in the first place! bwaha.)
Added a button in the Options menu to send local achieved Achievements to Steam Achievements in the case they were gotten in an older non-Steam version of Zenzizenzic.
Fixed issue on Mac with controller input regarding the triggers.
Next major patch will most likely include level 3 of Macro along with a bunch of gameplay tweaks. So be sure to stay tuned! Expect it to be live in 1.5-2 weeks. In the meanwhile a few smaller patches may be implemented for small changes and fixes.
I wanted to take a quick moment to introduce myself and share how Zenzizenzic came to be over the past while.
Thank you for the support and coming over to check out Zenzizenzic. I hope you'll like what you see and that you may enjoy the story below!
Cheers, Ruud Koorevaar - developer of Zenzizenzic
I didn't know a damn thing
Without any practical knowledge on game design and development except for what was garnered over the course of 15 to 20 or so years of playing games, I set out to build a game myself. I didn't know a damn thing.
It was November 2012, just graduated and unemployed when I installed Unity3D, the well-known video game development engine. Pleasantly surprised with the relative ease of moving around and messing about in the engine I started to poke the interface and fiddle with code. By going through some tutorials and with the help of the Unity community I was able to get a fairly decent footing on how to work with the engine. I was still horrible at it though, but that wouldn't stop me. With plenty of time at my hands I decided to just give it a shot, build something playable and see what happens.
I decided that the game to be built would need to be relatively easy to make (due to my lack of skills), but should feel really tight to play and be a challenge to beat. Gameplay would be the focus as it seemed like a smart move to stay away from complicated storytelling vehicle. 2D graphics were also a prerequisite. The genre which came to mind was a 2D shoot ‘em up. It’s a genre I always had a fascination for, imagining skilled people maneuvering through a veritable, murderous maze of bullets.
The plan was to start with a limited scope, a simple idea. Just a single level, a couple of shooting abilities, points, all while nurturing that feeling of “let’s go again!”. Not surprisingly, that limited scope was gradually expanded until hardly anything of it remained. Additional movement controls were introduced, more weapons were added, achievements, difficulties, co-operative and dynamic gameplay, bonus levels, leaderboards, unlocks, and so on. Luckily, I was still unemployed, giving me the time to do all this stuff. An open world, sandbox-like experience with procedural generation is even in development as an extra gameplay mode! Something which I personally didn’t thought of conceivable when I started out.
The graphics started out with a simple black square with a blue core for the player and enemies with a pink core. It didn't look like much, but it was a good starting point to work in the controls and establish a good feeling. Over time this graphical style slowly evolved. However, one thing never went away, and that is the square! I’m no graphical artist, so I made it a case of composition. Stacking squares on top of squares, mixing a bunch of colors, that I could do!
I dubbed the project Zenzizenzic, it’s a mathematical term for the eighth power of a number through squaring, which fits the theme of the game (squares!). Although quite difficult to pronounce, the name does has a ring to it, saying “hey, this is a quick paced game and it’s probably just as difficult as pronouncing the name is!”. It may be a tad difficult.
bignic, known from the awesome game Corporate Lifestyle Simulator, was willing to lend his music to Zenzizenzic. The pieces started to come together and an actual game was starting to take shape. The soundtrack is actually already listenable and purchasable on Bandcamp. It’s definitely good stuff, and I consider myself lucky to have this great artist on board. Please show your support to bignic if you enjoy the tunes!
And now in 2015, a successful Kickstarter and publishing deal with Adult Swim Games later I'm able to present you Zenzizenzic, my first venture in game development and design. It’s now available on Steam’s Early Access program. Around the end of June it will be fully released, and until then I will give it my all to make Zenzizenzic as amazing as I possibly can.
It has been around two years now. I've learned how to code, design a game and all that comes with it (which is a lot as it turns out!). I hope that this may inspire aspiring game developers to just give it a go, dive in there with a focused idea and a goal, stick with it and see where it takes you!