Super Mixtape - Polygrammatic


So a big update for Super Mixtape is here in two parts with another big update literally around the corner. For those that know me, or know much about what is happening with Super Mixtape, I have been working two jobs (indie dev life) to pay for life, and make Super Mixtape. I currently work 40 hours a week in a laboratory as a technical admin to pay for the development of Super Mixtape, then before and after work, and weekends, I work on Super Mixtape. I have also been massively overhauling some of the background things within the game to make it load faster, run smoother and play nicer. As well as changing the country I live in, and working on the Xbox One build, things have been a little bit hectic.

So skip all that boring stuff, what’s changed in Super Mixtape and what have we got to look forward to?

What’s New in Super Mixtape:

  • New menu - Simpler text menu. Can be used with keyboard and mouse, controllers or custom devices. Don’t need to reload the game to change the input device, all works on the go.
  • Arcade Mode added. - Arcade mode has been added to the menu system and at the moment currently has it’s own ending screen and will have a sub menu eventually with leader boards for arcade mode.
  • Arcade Mode Level - This is an ongoing thing. You will see the level progress over the coming time.
  • Full JSON support with Modding for the character controls, gravity, player massa, drag and angular drag.
  • Moved Super Mixtape from GitHub to another provider.
  • New Character MiniDiscKiller added in arcade mode. When you are hit by an enemy or enemy object (coming soon) you get a small knockback and fall through the world. Needs to be added to story mode. (In arcade mode you are taken back to the start rather than using the checkpoint system. In story mode, these will need to work on the checkpoint system.
  • New Character CDaemon - More info coming soon!
  • Checkpoints now show a ghost of Mix so you know when you have gone through a checkpoint.
  • Level 1 platforms have been made seamless, and all tutorial acts have been updated.
  • Main menu now responds to the audio in a different way to make it more subtle and less ‘sea-sick’.
  • Door colours have been updated so that you can see which key is for which door.
  • Level changes in puzzles to help with the flow of the game, and speed routes have been included so you can fly through the levels and beat the time if you want to.
  • On screen timer so you can see how much time has been spent in each level.
  • Steam trading cards, Steam emoticons and Steam Badges added for Super Mixtape. Can’t go live until backgrounds are complete.


What’s next in Super Mixtape

  • Completed Arcade mode level, level 2 to 5 (all acts). Level 2 is a vertical based level where you will have to traverse heights to complete puzzles, dodge enemies and platform you way across the beat to find Master Blaster. Level 3 is a little more interesting and you will have to work your way to the center. More information on that will be coming soon!
  • This is the first part of the arcade mode update, I’m currently testing how the level changes after each run through. Once that is complete, the rest of the level will be opened up. I also want to test how moving enemies work in-game on steam and spend a few days playing with them.
  • I have been streaming the development of Super Mixtape over on Twitch https://www.twitch.tv/itschristo so if you see i’m live, make sure you pop by and say hello and get a sneak peek at what’s happening.
As always, thanks for your ongoing support. Stay tuned for more!
Community Announcements - Polygrammatic


Almost the end of this chapter ready for the content drive!

The public 'feel' of the game and controls phase is coming to an end and has been extremely useful in fine tuning elements in Super Mixtape to make it feel more natural given that it has a fairly complex control scheme. After these last few updates, and the engine update, I will be moving Super Mixtape into content mode and will be releasing the future levels for the game now that I know none of the physics of the game need to be changed heavily at this point. There's also plans for some fun 'modes' to be introduced into the game, so keep your eyes open for that.

This last sprint has had a lot of focus on infrastructure and systems, with moving off my personal server onto a work specific one, and closing my personal server down, which has been long overdue. I was hosting a lot of websites there for friends and other small companies, so have been migrating them to their own servers. I have also started planning a new trailer for the game ready for V0.4.0.0.

Steam Trading cards and Steam badges for Super Mixtape are currently underway and will be active very soon, I will post a small announcement when they go live, so keep your eyes open for them as well!


What's new in V0.3.4.0A

  • TV Filter Bug - This bug was persistent for quite a long time, but after lots of hunting, testing and fixing, it is no more.
  • New Server - All of Super Mixtape and Polygrammatic has moved over to a new server, so most of the time in this last sprint has been moving the infrastructure across to the new system (which is great!).
  • Engine Upgrade - Super Mixtape is now running smoothly on Unity 5.5 with everything tested and working (no issues so far).
  • Full Controller Support - Super Mixtape now works with the Steam controller using it's 'out the box' configuration. As always, you can customise the controls in the Unity Launcher.
  • Menu tweaks - There has been some small tweaks to the main menu, there is currently a selection bug where it has your previous selection selected. This is top of the list to fix in the next update.
  • Level tweaks - There have been some minor level tweaks in Level 1 Act 2 and 3 to help with the flow of these levels.


What's next

  • Steam Badges - More info coming soon
  • Steam Trading Cards - More info coming soon
  • Bug fixing - There is a small menu but at the moment (highlighted above) to be fixed immediately.
  • End level animations - Have the cassette draw open when Mix gets close to show the player that they need to jump in to end the level.
  • Menu - I'm still not happy with the menu at all so A) suggestions are more than welcome and B) maybe I should just go back to basics and make it super simple, reminiscent of the Commodore 64 days?
  • Platforms - Platforms across level 1, act 1, 2 and 3 need to be made seamless and remove the connecting lines that are there form assembling the level.
  • Checkpoint no returns - Make all the checkpoints, points where the player can no longer return back through the level if there is an audio section change and moving platforms are involved. This stops the player potentially getting 'stuck' in an area that they cannot get free from as they can no longer move the beats.
  • Hints - Level 1 act 2 and level 1 act 3 hints need to be added to the levels to give gentle reminders to the player at difficult points.
  • Ending Animation - I need to add a small animation where Mix does "something" after jumping into Master Blaster.
  • Music Player - More work on the in-game music player, with the hope of introducing it in the new year.

Alongside this update I have been planning and thinking about reintroducing enemies in the game at the beginning of Level 2 Act 1, and have also been planning on finding a way of 'justifying' the checkpoints so that the player knows when they are now 'safe'. I was thinking of using pencils to denote this?

As always, stay up to date with development over on Trello and on Twitter.

Christo
Community Announcements - Polygrammatic


Edit: Build will be live within the next 24 hours or less.
Testing all screen resolutions for scaling bugs in the UI and menu.

So far in the past week since the last update, I have been working hard on adding new statistics to the end of the levels, a big backend slug I needed to get done, and have been getting feedback and spending time with players. Looking at what can be improved, what they thought of some puzzle ideas and the outlines of the built in music player. I have also been hunting some minor bugs with specific controllers, and ultra-wide support. Also we have new art assets for the user interface in a Commodore 64 style along side the Xbox One style, so those using a keyboard can clearly see the onscreen hints and tips.

I am planning on adding the music player pretty soon to give players a sneak peak of some of the audio to come in future levels. So far from testing, talking to players and just finding out what people think, i'm starting to get closer to thinking that the "feel" of Mix and how the main character moves throughout the world is fine.

You may have also noticed that small updates have been pushed out with minor improvements and fixes, but not noteworthy enough to push a large update announcement. Rather than spam players with info, I'm going to keep these large update announcements to new features, weekly updates, or anything major. Then all small updates, bug fixes and tweaks will just be fixed, updated and added to this weekly/fortnightly update.

If you missed it, Blot gaming news & reviews did a Super Mixtape Alpha: Preview review.

#Discussions_QuoteBlock_Author
"The game still exists in its Alpha stage, so there is a long way to go yet but plenty of promising signs. A spattering of new and interesting gameplay mechanics on top of the tried-and-true platformer foundation make this game one to keep an eye out for when its gets its full release."


What's new in V0.3.1.1A

  • New Menu - The intro screen has been massively improved and aligned with a more natural Commodore 64 style. Also looking at other "retro" styled games on Steam for what works / doesn't work. The levels are stacked like cassette tapes on their sides, then the acts for each levels are the inside of the cassette tapes.
  • End Screen Statistics - At the end of each level, there are new statistics about your performance, with everything in place to add some additional statistics.
  • Scaling - Minor screen scaling fixes.
  • Back end updates - I have been investing a lot of time in updating some of the back end areas of Super Mixtape to allow players to mix and match custom controllers, the audio interface, how the audio is loaded and other minor fixes that have helped the overall performance of the game and it's potential scalability.
  • Slow movement bug - I had a report of a bug where a player couldn't move on a very old laptop keyboard. I'm not 100% sure what the bug was, but I think I have fixed it, and they reported that it was gone, so I'm not sure if it's something I changed or something they have changed, but it has been highlighted and will be monitored.
  • Minor improvements and fixes. Perhaps I should make the GitHub changelog public or publish on the Super Mixtape Steam forums?

New Menu, cassette fallen on it's back to show the bottom. A chance to remind players about only being able to move when the magnetic strip is touching the ground.





Level select now shows a stack of cassettes for each level. Currently grayed out locked levels. Selecting each tape will change the skin and flash so you know which you have selected. After selecting a level you will see the list of acts in each level as the inside of a cassette case.



End screen stats have been updated and now show how much tape as spooled in meters and the time in a more readable format (minutes and seconds) rather than just seconds.




What's next

  • BUG - Going back up the menu doesn't un-animate the last known selected.
  • More statistics to the end screen.
  • Music player framework in place.
  • Another pass on the menu system.
  • More player testing.
  • Update Level 1 Act 2, and 3 with checkpoints, section changes to stop players going back too far and getting too lost (tutorial is meant to start easy and progressively get more complex, but not as hard as further levels). Think about oscillating the difficulty.
  • Animation for ending of level where Mix moves himself into the tape draw and the lid closes.
  • Have the lid open when mix gets close.


As always, stay up to date with development over on Trello and on Twitter.

Christo
Community Announcements - Polygrammatic


So far no tweaks have been made to the physics of Mix and the World. I will be sending out YouTuber, Streamer and Review keys for Super Mixtape over the coming day(s) once the narrative elements and hints/hint locations have been updated.


What's new in V0.3.0.3A

  • End Screen Statistics - At the end of each level you will now see how long you took to complete the level as well as how much tape you spooled on mix in meters.
  • Level 1 Act 1, 2 and 3 - Narrative and hint boxes updated and improved with new text.
  • Narrative & hint box UI have been updated to be cleaner and more aligned with the current Commodore 64 theme.
  • Backend - Super Mixtape now tracks the time you have taken to complete levels as well as how much tape you have spooled moving through the world. When achievements are implemented, there will be an achievement if you spool a full C90 cassette tape worth of tape.
  • Zoom button has been added to Xbox One controller as well as keyboard.
  • NEW FEATURE: Restart to last checkpoint - You can now restart to last activated checkpoint.
  • Controls - A full list of keyboard & mouse and Xbox One wireless controls have been added to the Steam Community Forums here.


What's next

  • More statistics to the end screen.
  • Hints and hint locations for Level 1 Act 2 and 3.
  • New Menu re-implemented

As always, stay up to date with development over on Trello and on Twitter.

Christo
Community Announcements - Polygrammatic
A few minor improvements and changes, Keyboard controls have been addressed as well as allowing players to smoothly zoom out in the level so see how to navigate sections.

What's new in V0.3.0.2A
All keys can be rebound in the Unity Launcher
  • NEW FEATURE: Mouse wheel zooms out so you can see what is ahead of you in the level or get a better look at the puzzle. Needs to be added to Xbox One Controller as well.
  • Keyboard Control Improvements: Move mouse left and right to rotate Mix in the air left of right.
  • Keyboard Control Improvements: Left mouse button jumps from the left, and right mouse button jumps from the right, as well as a bind-able key, such as q and e.
  • Keyboard Control Improvements: Flip world is defaulted to Spacebar, but can still be customized by the player.
  • Keyboard Control Improvements: Pause menu selection selectable with space or return key.
  • Keyboard Control Improvements: Mouse wheel added to pause menu for moving up and down.
  • Hint locations have been improved and reduced in size in a few test areas.

Next
  • Hints - Need to be re-positioned and populated with useful information, i.e. hints...
  • Information in Narrative boxes - Before adding narrative to Master Blaster interactions, Master Blaster will just give information about what you are doing with the occasional piece of wit.
  • Checkpoint restart button - If you get stuck, you can use a button on your controller or keyboard to restart you to the last known checkpoint.
  • Some other interesting features to be announced


Thanks for the continued feedback. I'm thinking about doing a more in-depth weekly update rather than a small update every day or two with changes. I want to keep the development 'release early, release often' but don't want to spam everyone with updates.

I might move updates to forum posts and do one weekly announcement. Maybe?

Cheers
Christo
Community Announcements - Christo
So a fairly smooth initial launch of Super Mixtape, and day 1 of being in Early Access on Steam.

So far I have already gained lots of useful feedback. You will see some of these changes over the coming days such as a more natural keyboard layout for none gamepad owners, and potentially a "preview" key that lets you zoom out of the world slightly.


What's new in 0.3.0.1A
  • Native resolution set to 1176 by 664 - Scaling up worked fine, but scaling down created all sorts of issues, and I had always tested in 1080p. This has now been changed. Scaling from native up at 16:9 works great.
  • Menu Refinements - The old menu has been refined for this build. The new menu has been delayed as scaling was the highest priority today.
  • fullscreen support up to 4k - providing you are playing at 16:9, you can now play Super Mixtape up to 4k without the previous issues in v.0.3.0.0A.
  • House Maintenance - Small level changes, platform and checkpoint positions have been updated. Unwanted prefabs and assets have been removed, will notice a minor reduction in overall file size. Although this update probably negated that.
  • Ultra Wide Support - Started adding ultra wide support, but needs to be balanced when combined with a potential "preview" key.

Known issues in 0.3.0.1A
  • Hints - Hints need to be re-positioned since applying a new native resolution and rebuilding some areas.
  • Main Menu - The main menu highlights your previous selection if you go back and forth between menus without making a selection.
  • Scaling on the C64 intro - The C64 intro doesn't correctly scale with the screen and creates too large of a black border.
  • Narrative - Narrative elements are missing, have spelling mistakes, and aren't in correct places for Act 1, 2 and 3. (will be fixed very soon)
  • Pause Menu - To select an option on pause menu when using keyboard and mouse, you have to use num enter, or space rather than the return key or mouse click.
  • Controller support - A report of wired Xbox One control inputs not being the same as wireless Xbox One control inputs. This can be configured in the Unity launcher, but I would like to have this working by default.

As always, stay up to date on development over on Trello and on Twitter.

Christo
Community Announcements - Polygrammatic
Super Mixtape is now live on Steam.

I will be updating the build regularly, using the RERO development schedule (Release Early, Release Often). So expect frequent small updates addressing reported bugs, known issues and general developments in the game. This includes additional levels, narrative additions, language support etc...

Menu
  • New Game - Has been disabled as all levels are unlocked in level selection.
  • Level Select - Is using the old Level Selector. This will change over the coming days to reflect all 15 playable levels as well as bonus levels.
  • Options - (disabled) Will be enabled once I have configured saving, including saving user settings using Steam cloud.
  • MOD - (disabled) Users will be able to play tracks from the game in an interactive audio player, and hopefully will be able to mod the physics in the game.
  • Quit - Takes you back to desktop
Known Menu bugs:
  • Menu text positions in certain screen resolutions needs to be fixed.
  • When navigating back through menus, the previous menu is selected. This is only present in the current build using the old level select system which is about to be replaced.

Levels

All released levels are unlocked, Level 1, Act 1, 2 and 3, as well as the public test demo of Super Mixtape.

Once I have gathered general feedback for the game, if no changes to the "feel" of Mix are needed, then I will be quickly launching Level 2, Act 1, Act 2 and Act 3. If changes are required, then I will make the changes, and modify the other levels to reflect the changes.

I had planned to have loading screens between levels, but if your computer can run most games, you will find it loads the next level so fast, it doesn't appear (Super Mixtape file size is deliberately small). I will be adding an end of level achievement page at the end of each level.


Steam Plans

In Super Mixtape I am planning on including Cloud Saves, MOD support, Workshop Content (hopefully), Steam Trading Cards and Steam Achievements.

-

I look forward to all your feedback, and I hope you have as much fun playing as I have testing, testing and testing. If you are playing on release night, you will notice a few updates as I will be testing none stop all evening as well as tweaking some features.

Thanks for everyones continued support
Christo
Community Announcements - Polygrammatic


Super Mixtape has been given the final stamp of approval to release on Steam

Monday 24th of October (later than planned) at ~11:00 PDT / ~19:00 GMT with 10% off.
My apologies for the small delays which were in two parts.

One: Due to the amount of YouTubers and streamers that have requested keys for Super Mixtape, I wanted to delay the build by 1 week so that I could make sure there were no bugs in the build. Super Mixtape is an early access alpha game, and I want to reiterate that where possible.

Two: I wrongly thought that my game was approved for release, when in fact, it was approved for release review, and wasn't presented with an option to "Launch" the game on the new planned release date. To cut a long story short, this process could have taken a lot longer than expected, so I made the release date the 24th October so that there were no more delays.

-

Also: There will be an update the moment the game goes live on Steam which has another 4 days work submitted and some minor tweaks. I'm unsure if changing the build now will mean I have to be re-reviewed prior to clicking the lovely release button, so things will stay just as they are until it is released as I don't want to create anymore delays...

As always, you can stay up to date with the development process over on Trello which for the most part is kept up to date, or say hello on Twitter.

Christo
Community Announcements - Polygrammatic


Super Mixtape is being released as an early access product, and as such, I have a plan of action for how I plan to roll out the release of Super Mixtape.

The aim is to release the game organically and gather critical player feedback to inform areas of the product that could be improved. Making sure that the final game is the best game it can be.

Firstly, I want to release the game with Level 1 - Act 1, 2 and 3, as well as a test level that is used for public demos, and a test level for just playing around with mechanics. The idea is to gather as much player feedback as possible for the mechanics and the general feel of the game.

After gathering feedback, I can start to make tweaks and changes that will inevitably inform modifications to the other levels from the position of platforms, to the pace of levels etc.

For example: If it's highlighted that the jump force needs to be raised, then I will need to adjust the other puzzles accordingly to fit the new changes.

Level 2 - Acts 1, 2, 3, Level 3 - Acts 1, 2, 3, and Level 4 - Acts 1, 2, and 3, will be released quickly one after the other and will be modified based on player feedback. I will be watching closely looking for minor changes that can improve speed run routes, technically challenging puzzle development, and looking out for any bugs (It's a physics game, so it's a possibility something will come up).

Level 5 - Acts 1, 2, and 3, will be released with the narrative for the game (I don't want to give away the narrative too early).


Throughout the final leg of the development process, I will be adding languages and more support as well as ensuring the game is pleasurable to play for users that suffer with colour blindness. I will also be releasing the sound track in sections with a sound track player that allows users explore the musical element of the game by selecting what layers are playing.

I am making sure the architecture behind Super Mixtape is a framework that can be used with future games that I have planned to create after Super Mixtape has been released.


Stay tuned for future updates, I'm really excited to release Super Mixtape as my first solo and self published game.

Christo
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