Hey everyone! Bit overdue for an update, but I've been pretty busy these past couple months! Thanks to the efforts of the 1st Light Brigade, I've been able to iron out some priorities, so it's about time I filled y'all in.
Matchmaking/Dedicated Servers Alpha
Light Strike Array is complex & ambitious. It takes a lot of brainpower to learn—which means I can't be having players wasting precious neurons on coordinating a match. To remedy that, I've been working on a new dedicated server system which enables players to queue for matches without the need for peer-to-peer hosting. You can even play around in the single-player Trials modes while you wait for the queue to pop!
In fact, if you check out the Light Strike Array alpha channel right now, you can try it out! For now, only the 1v1 Duel (formerly known as Deathmatch) is available. Please bear with me as I get the other modes working!
Check out the Discord if you need someone to play against. As long as you queue for the same mode & overlapping regions, you should be able to find each other pretty quickly! Please let me know in Discord if you encounter any problems.
The alpha branch also features leaderboard support! The leaderboards track your Skill Rating in ranked matches, plus your fastest completion times for each Target Rush & Salt Run map. Best of luck!
LSA's getting closer and closer to full release, but I'm not likely to hit the "6 to 9 months" estimate I posted to Steam. More realistically, 1.0 should be out by the end of the year. The last critical tasks are in converting the existing modes to play nice with matchmaking, and in giving LSA the marketing push it deserves.
I've been looking for teammates to help out with this ambitious journey, but my low budget limits my options drastically. (I'm not a fan of making people work for free.)
Regardless, I'm in this for the long haul. Every vote of confidence from friends & fans renews my faith in Light Strike Array and keeps me pushing forward.
Players: 1v1. 6 minute time limit. Highest KO count at the time limit wins. If score is tied, a 60-second overtime engages, spawning a Death Shroud which forces players toward the center.
New Deathmatch Map: DM_Cleave
New launch options for running Deathmatch LAN 1v1's using 3 PC's. "-dmdemohost", "-dmdemoleft", "-dmdemoright" should be run on the server, blue player, and orange player PC's respectively. Will automatically launch DM_Cleave.
Added a Results Screen at end of match. Breaks down player performance with a new grading system.
Cleavage: Offense. Based on damage dealt and shatters over time.
Tenacity: Defense. Based on ratio of damage taken to damage blocked and times shattered per minute.
Luster: Agility. Based on number of blinks & quality of each catch.
Streak: Duty. Depends on game mode. In Heartbreak, Streak is awarded for collecting Salt and dealing damage to the enemy Heart. In Deathmatch, it simply counts shatters.
Adjusted blink mechanics to be more forgiving on whiffed catch.
Removed silence penalty for missed catches. (was 0.4s/1.2s for near-miss/whiff)
Torch creation cost increased from 3 to 6 (implicitly affects the cost of Light Bombs as well)
Maximum cost of blink miss catch (total whiff & near-miss) decreased from 8 to 6
Torch "near miss" distance is now calculated client-side (this should reduce energy loss for players with high ping)
Adjusted Torch path prediction logic to minimize potential for rubber-banding. (Blink will still be aborted if the Torch is intercepted mid-flight.)
Made Light Bombs easier to throw (requires ~0.06s over 2.5m/s instead of ~0.09 over 3m/s)
Light Bomb activation state is now calculated client-side (this should make throwing Light Bombs more consistent for players with high ping)
Increased velocity of high-density Blade Beams
Adjusted the appearance of the Sword Blade Beam targeting assist
Increased Rod reload cost from 35 to 70
Menu button must be held for 0.5 seconds to open menu
Added new launch option "-disablelowlatency". Disables low-latency rendering updates on controllers. May cause controllers to appear further behind than they actually are, but eliminates rubberbanding under high CPU load.
Spectator camera now automatically follows target's facing direction if mouse left idle
Improved spectator camera follow logic to not chase whiffed Torches too much
Pawns no longer fade-out at end of game
Fixed a bug where if a Torch was thrown from within the Prism of an adjacent cell, blink would abort unless the Torch was picked up
Fixed bug in Salt Run where salt was instantly redeemed on yank
Fixed bug where the match timer wasn't properly replicated
The first Shard to grab the Tear instantly recovers all energy. Additionally:
If an enemy grabs the Tear first, it then becomes worth [[max(Dying Shard's Pillar Lead, 1) + 1]]
For example, Blue is ahead 3 pillars to 1. A Blue shard is shattered, and an Orange player picks the Tear up (recovering all energy). If the Orange player then dissolves the tear, Orange gains 3 SP.
If an ally grabs the Tear first, it is "denied," and dissolves into nothingness.
Reworked Light Bomb activation and homing
Light Bombs must now be dragged for a split second above a certain velocity before they will activate. (Previously, they needed to simply be thrown above a certain velocity.)
In practice, this makes throwing purely from the wrist much more difficult. Put your body into it, & remember to wear your wrist straps!
Light Bombs no longer track targets after initial lock-on.
They will still try to reach the target's original position, sampled at time of release.
Meditation stillness delay decreased from 2.0s -> 1.25s
Meditation regeneration now ramps up the longer you meditate.
Overall, it now takes about half as much time to recover energy.
Added a new sound effect for when a Shard is shattered.
Added a new particle effect to indicate low energy.
Afterimages of your controllers will appear and flicker as your energy decreases.
When you hold your controllers still to meditate, crystals will appear.
Both of these effects are only visible to the local player.
Adjusted the curve determining the intensity of the low energy vignette.
Replaced the missing sound cues for the Sword's Beam Wave, the Rod's reload feedback, and the Focus's Signs.
The Heart's Corona is no longer visible after it's been broken.
Fixed a bug where the server host's menu had the wrong tab selected by default.
Apply to join the 1st Light Brigade! We're looking for volunteers for the 1st wave of Light Strike Array playtesters and mentors. If you're up to lead the charge into a new world of VR gameplay, we'll get you a free copy of Light Strike Array!