Happy New Year! How are your winter holidays so far? We prepared a special surprise for y'all to celebrate 2019!
New year! New you! New me! New update for MCD!
A lot has changed and I want to tell you everything about the progress and improvements that we’ve made. How SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE has been shaping up up to this point. How we had to remove chunks of unnecessary fluff from the game to improve the flow. Or show you all of the new and weird gameplay elements that we’ve implemented.
But I won’t.
I consider this a surprise present so I can’t unwrap it for you. ;) Where is the fun in that?
In that previous update I told you about some of the things we're working on, so you probably have an idea of what's waiting for you now. It's six months of progress from the build that you've played here before though. I am super interested in your thoughts and reactions without me spoiling you anything.
I hope you'll enjoy all the new stuff in SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE as much as I did.
PS. This version MIGHT explode in your face, crash your computer and set your gpu on fire. We originally thought to ship it on Christmas Day but then we realized we'd still be stuffing our faces with leftover pierogis for a week instead of helping you out with whatever goes kaboom. We expect a fair bit of kabooms.
and a couple of updates before I go make x-mas pierogis.. 🎄
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!
Hope you’re all staying warm and cozy, looking forward to nice big glasses of hot cocoa and some loving, relaxing time with your loved ones next week. We’ve been having crackling fireplace videos on repeat christmassing up our office for the last few days, so I thought I’d give you all a virtual hug and wish you all the best before we all disperse to spend time with our family and friends tomorrow.
I hope you had a good year this year. To me, all of you have been awesome and amazing exactly the way you are. Couldn’t have hoped for a nicer, more loving and more positive community than you guys. I hope Santa’s good for you this year. You only deserve the best. <3
It’s been a pretty cool year for us too and we’ve been keeping ourselves pretty busy working on some cool new stuff for you guys. While you’re here, before I sign off and go bake gingerbreads, let me catch you up quickly on what we’re doing over the holidays.
Where’s MCD at right now?
As I wrote up a week ago, we’ve been reworking big chunks of the game over the last few months to make it great and fun to play. We just got a new build with the last few months of updates and we're playtesting it internally. I don’t want to spoil details, but it plays really really fun now. All of it is shaping up pretty cool and it's quite a bit closer to being finished. I'll let you know more about it very soon. Keep being patient for a few more days. It’ll be worth it.
Sale! Sale! Sale!
Soo how is your present checklist going? Missing some items? Yeah same here. After all, we both know the Holidays are really more about shameless consumerism than anything else. :)
You probably won’t be able to avoid the Steam Winter Sale. Valve’s really good at making you super happy to buy more fun stuff to unwind during for the Holiday break. Just in case though - if Santa gets you or your loved one a fancy VR kit to unwrap next week, the Winter Sale will probably be a pretty great time to jump in and grab SUPERHOT VR (totally different game than SUPERHOT), or even splurge a bit and get the whole collection of VR Essentials that we forged with our indie gamedev buddies. It's a pretty sweet set of some of the best award-winning, best-selling, genre-defining VR must-plays and it’ll probably run a super good deal over the holidays.
Steam Awards VR Game of the Year
And while we’re in VR - we have been super spoiled with this community. Seriously. Thank you guys for being such a supportive bunch. We are not worthy. Thanks to you SUPERHOT VR has been nominated for best Steam Awards VR Game of the Year! This is humbling stuff. Voting has just started so there’s a button here on the Awards voting page that you can press to support us even more. Totally cool if not, I love you unconditionally anyway. <3
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
I will drop a rather lengthy one on you so grab your jasmine green tea, sit down and let’s chat.
I postponed writing devlogs until I have something substantial to show but keeping you in the dark for so long is unfair so let’s not do that anymore. SUPERHOT MIND CONTROL DELETE hasn’t been updated for like hmm...forever. It’s something like a half a year already. I wrote in few other places what were the reasons but it is worth repeating.
We managed to do regular updates with new features but didn't have time to fight bugs and do a streamlined gameplay.
MCD was getting new content but there was no time to think whether it's good content.
We were fixated on hitting regular deadlines and didn't look if people actually "get" the game. If they enjoy it at all. Or if there is a game at all.
So there came this moment when we tested MCD with less dedicated players than you lot. Folks that haven’t touched SUPERHOT or MCD. Then we cried blood when we looked how they played.
The game was confusing for them, had quite a few annoying bugs and cluttered UI. We had to make a really hard decision to stop working for updates sake and start working for the game itself. That was brutal since it IS Early Access. But we really don't want to release unpolished shit. We want our shit to be shiny and sexy or not have it at all.
Barefoot Build Testing.
Right now SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE is far better though. I will try to give you a fast run through the changes so far so that you can get a general sense of current development direction.
Sense of Progression
Up to this point SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE was a set of runs nicely packed within ASCII pyramid with growing difficulty curve. But something was lacking. It felt like a gameplay without an actual game. You unlocked some parts within the pyramid, completed runs but you still had a small void during your playthroughs. What we lacked was the mythical sense of progression. This sexy feeling that you get when you unlock a stage, see something new, explore the game and it rewards you with new content. It is a very elusive feeling but once you tap into it, whole game improves. We decided that we need an introduction in MCD. A beginning that will be partially a tutorial but also an intriguing plot hook for the player to keep on playing and exploring.
Tom and his sexy sweater working hard on assets.
Without spoiling much, we came back to designing levels in a more linear approach so that we can have more control on events within the game. Now those early MCD levels are more SUPERHOT-like in a sense that there is a beginning and an end. It gives us more freedom to manipulate what we show you and when you see it. The “core” gameplay levels stay the same. They are still designed like an arena with small procedural touches.
Speaking of Levels at this moment we've reached over 30. I think we overdid it a bit but hopefully you won’t mind ;). The level of detail has been stepped up a notch. Since we have stopped regular updates, our 3d artists gained some breathing room. Now they have enough time to go crazy with assets. Trust me it was worth it. SUPERHOT levels look pretty basic now compared to MCD.
Konrad making levels pretty. Not watching Mtg matches.
While they gave some gratification for the player they created even more confusion. They had to be explained, needed additional UI solutions and constantly were redesigned. We tried out some builds without them and to our painful surprise nothing was really missing from actual gameplay. If you can remove parts of the game and it works fine, why should it be there in the first place?
UI for runs was all fine and dandy lore-wise. It was a nice wink towards previous SUPERHOT players but sometimes a problem to work with. We were either running out of space or ideas how to fill it with content. Forcing design process around something that just looks nice is never a good idea. Right now we are testing a few others solutions. Trimmed down to basic choices current UI starts to look like a simplified branch or root. It works far better, there is no confusion but it’s not a pyramid. This one I will actually miss but I completely agree with the decision.
We’ve ditched the whole approach towards plot in MCD. Story previously could be explored through the main Norton Commander inspired GUI. It has been hidden somewhere in between obscure messages and snippets of information. Almost completely separated from the gameplay and optional, story felt like a second thought rather than an integral part of the game.
Matthias doing...erm something with code.
In current builds player takes part in the story by simply playing the game. It’s an element of the game not an option as it was previously. Obviously you can ignore all the weirdness around you and just keep on killing red dudes. That’s all up to you. We are not planning on giving you an exact explanation of what is going on. We've always prefered to leave some room left for interpretation. No one wants to give you a definite meaning of events in MCD. What is happening in your head is always far more interesting from whatever we might think of.
“Part of the journey is the end.” Right? Obviously we won't be able to do a release this year. We are gunning for Q1 2019. Trust me we really don’t want to move it any further.
In this fresh out of a game editor update we bring you four new levels, refreshed melee enemies mechanics, a sprinkle of latest challenges aaaand a new Mind! Let’s get to it, shall we?
Who was a good Dog?
Introducing Dog Mind. Having its lore roots reaching far into original SUPERHOT this fellow has far different playstyle than you might be used to. Considerably more hectic and rapid in playstyle. Dog Mind concentrates more on melee, in your face, close quarters combat rather than “traditional” SUPERHOT mechanics. His main skill is furious charging straight into opponents. Once you upgrade it you can chain charge multiple enemies at once. Really pleasant. All guns in the Dog Mind hands (paws?) turn into throwables or melee weapons. Dog still needs a lot of love from our animator and programmers but we wanted to give it to you as fast as possible.
Here is a breakdown of MODs available for Dog.
- Kill Heal - Dog doesn't heal in Expand windows. Instead the more it destroys the more HP it gains. Killing is healthy for you. - NoShooting - Dog can't shoot. Obviously. - Charge - pressing "E" makes the Dog charge and strike an enemy.
Path of Skill - KillerCharge - enemy hit with charge dies instantly - KillerRecharge - killing enemies lowers cooldown on charge - ChainCharge - Dog can charge several enemies in succession
Path of defence - BulletsPunching - Dog can punch incoming bullets - Berserk - during a melee fight Dog can't be damaged - LightningReflexes - Dog reacts so fast that bullets and enemies seem to move slower
Path of aggro -HitItWithAStick - longer range and smaller cooldown on melee weapons. Also can use weapons when charging. - TeleportStrike - Dog teleports towards attacked enemies on short distance - StarPunch - every enemy that gets hit dies after few seconds. Omaewa mo, shindeiru!
There have been a riot, tables have been flipped, prison bars are opening, red guys are coming. Use everything to fight it out! Introducing deadly prison forks.
We love those Asian themes long time. Dojo is following the tradition of the reoccurring eastern inspiration. Try timing throwing a bonsai tree between moving punching bags AND hitting a red guy. So satisfying.
There has been an abrupt stop on your roadtrip. You’ve run out of gas. You just wanted a newspaper. Maybe you wanted a fast pee. It doesn’t matter because OH my! The red guys are coming!
Boy was this level redesigned a million times. The theme clicked immediately but the flow of the level changed a million times. Have fun spreading death with barbell plates and protein shakes.
A slight update to the enemies mechanic. We did some mean experiments and from now on melee weapon enemies will be able to bounce back any throwable that you throwat them.
Right now we are entering a new phase of developement of SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE. Which means that we have most of the parts of the game in place but the game itself lacks polish and some caring eye for details. We want to spend more time on diggin deep and polishing the things that are already there. What it means for you is less frequent updates and on smaller scale than up to this point. That might be a working menu, new set of skills or a patch with bugfixes.
Adding new features to a still growing game should help you push the overall gameplay. Change and improve upon the basic, core concept.
That’s the stuff that echoes somewhere in the background when we design new content for SUPERHOT:MIND CONTROL DELETE. This week I want to give you a peek into *STILL IN DEVELOPEMENT* our new enemy type. As always this is a preview of early concepting phase. Stuff might change, maybe we will add flying flaming skulls or dog mounts. Design is a journey, who knows ;) .
Introducing Shield(ed) Enemies. Different enemies should impose slightly different approach onto the player. While MushroomDudes push you to plan when you shoot and force you into defensive, concrete types require precision and positioning. So thinking behind Shielded enemies was a place somewhere inbetween those two.
Except for obvious difficulties that shield enemy brings to the table he adds some interestings tactics options. Similarly to mushroom infected red dudes, shield enemies might be used towards players advantage. In the end ,it is a moving shield that to some extent can be controlled right?Quite often I found myself hiding behind them and using their flying shields as a cover from other enemies. Knowing you guys, there will be a ton more possible tactics that we didn’t even think about.
Flying shields are a very early work in progress idea, we thought about changing their material into concrete or not having shields but throwables instead. They do pose a few gameplay performance and design consistency questions though. If we were, for example, going to change shields into throwable objects how would that impact fps count of MIND CONTROL DELETE? Having so many different objects being spawned at the same time might be taxing on overall game performance. Also, if an enemy is surrounded by flying throwables, can I grab one and throw it? If not, why? And so on and so on, this is just on of many paths behind the design process. Soon you will be able to give those guys a go yourselves.
With this update for SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE we add some seriously exciting stuff. This game is evergrowing amalgam of community driven ideas (thank you for being friggin awesome) and design experiments. It already came a long way but I can't wait how it will look once we are out of Early Access. For now let's see what's new in today’s update shall we?
An abomination born out of your crazy minds and our shaky hands. We had some shy prototypes of this dude but when our Discord started to go back and forth about an enemy covered by mushrooms we knew we have to step it up. More about this fellow over HERE Basically mushroom infected enemies will explode after you shoot them, hit with throwables or just come into contact. They are equally dangerous for both player and other red guys. No one is safe from MushroomDudes.
We decided that minds need some kind of introduction within the game. A soft start, for the player where he can get accustomed with skills and general vibe of particular mind. Therefore we added 3 additional levels for each of minds. They are not only tutorials that teach you how to play a certain mind but also create a themed background.
As usual we did slight reshuffling of mods and added few new ones. Do let us know what is your experience with them.
Two new mods for the Ninja Mind. Sexiness factor of this guy just jumped a notch. First of all we have Recall Recharge. Thanks to this mod every kill that you score with katana will reduce the cooldown of your Recall skill. It makes the ninja gameplay even more frantic. Next one is Flow Recall mod. Once unlocked, it makes your katana bounce between enemies in a wonderful display of blade brutality. It works almost like a certain Captain’s shield ;)
Additional changes to mods for Ninja mind are as follows:
moved Faster Movement to Swordmaster path
moved Piercing Katana to Recall path
removed killer goomba stomp MOD
Addict also got lucky and lands with three fresh mods. We removed previous Start With [enter weapon here] and merged them into StartWithRandom. So after purchasing this mod you start with a gun picked by your friendly neighborhood game. Next up is Quickshot which reduces the reload time on all guns. Less reloading, more shooting. Everyone is happy. Finally third mod is Ricochet. From now on you will be able to bounce your bullets of walls. Let’s be honest, this mod is designed so that you can kill red guys with more swag.
New difficulty curve of main RUNs
Again, let us know how it plays after the change. Our goal here is to allow people to finish MCD main RUNs with a slight challenge but nothing insane. The crazy difficulty runs will be spread out in the further corners of The Pyramid.
We finally came back to challenges. They were pretty popular in original SUPERHOT so we just couldn’t make MCD without them. A challenge is a run with slightly changed rules of the game. That might be anything from enemies spawning with shotguns only to...hmmm go explore, why should I spoil the fun of discovery? :) Only thing that I can tell you is that we will add more challenges in upcoming updates. Guys working on them are having too much fun to stop.
New weapon - FishGun
Why is it called fishgun? Cause it looks like catfish? Funny right? No? Uhm. Awkard, let’s keep going. So a lot of you somehow managed to reach stages in SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE where our studio gnomes hid upcoming secret weapon. Discord and reddit got filled with screenshots and speculations of some weird looking weapon. Well here it is. FishGun is a long distance rifle with ultra fast, almost unavoidable bullets. It looks almost like a hitscan shot but it’s not. As most things in MIND CONTROL DELETE Fish Gun is still in development phase so everything about it might change. Play around with it. Let us know how it feels.
After this update every time Shotgun runs out of bullets it will change into melee weapon. We plan to add this feature to every weapon in MCD arsenal. There are also some slight changes in ammo count and reload time for shotgun.
That is all for today’s update! Give it a go and let us know how you feel about it.
"In the infinite permutation of an ice crystal, everything repeats itself, but, really, from another point of view, nothing repeats itself." Anthony Doerr
We had quite a few discussions in the studio regarding changing and modifying the concept of our exploding mushrooms in SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE. We did experiments with cone of explosion, trigger points and placement within the level. Somewhere along the way though a concept of new enemy type emerged. A red guy (or agent if you prefer) that has caught the mushroom "virus". Our thinking was that if the mushroom implies glitch and error in the system, it should spread. Therefore a mushroom “infected” enemy.
What made us really happy is that a lot of you had a ton of great ideas and really expanded on the concept of mushroom enemies without a single hint from us. All of the suggestions and ideas regarding this concept gave us some serious fuel for work. We really had to step up our prototyping for the mushroom enemy. Apparently there was a need for this guy.
So how is it going to work? Remember Serious Sam (best running backwards fps ever)? So think of the headless enemy with bombs. Hmmm maybe less annoying but as dangerous. Mushroom infected enemy will explode on contact wtih any shots, throwables but also within a given space from the player. While being dangerous for the player it poses similar risks for your enemies.
A situation might happen when a whole level will be cleared without you shooting a single bullet but due to clumsiness of your enemies or your tactical approach to positioning. As usual due to SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE being in early access everything in the design and mechanics of Mushroom(ed) enemy might change.
Also next Update will drop next week on thursday. Day before we will do a small dev stream previewing all the new content.
Hug people, spread love. Szymon from SUPERHOT Team
“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” Ludwig Wittgenstein
So this time let’s not spoil anything from the upcoming update. Let’s stay clear from that and let you have a bit of surprise when it arrives, ok ? This time let’s talk a bit about one little aspect of SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE that might come unnoticed at first glance. The visual language of SUPERHOT games and how we use it.
Anyone who did any quality and usability tests with their game will tell you that watching someone else play your projects for the first time can be really painful experience. You sit down, watch as the player struggles with your tutorials, forgets basic game mechanics or gets completely lost in your levels. Than you cry a little and redesign everything. With game immersion everything comes down to communication with the player. Allowing him/her to understand what the heck you are trying to say. Player should understand your game from the get go without you saying a word.
By limiting SUPERHOT to three colors we gave ourselves a clear and easy to read visual language. Red is bad, black is usable, white is the background. Game about shooting red dudes with black guns in white space. Clear enough?
While this set up is easy to understand for the player it poses a bit of design difficulties and limitations. Adding new content can be a bit challenging since it needs to fit into our restricted visuals.
Like for example the recent addition of new enemies to the game. Both concrete and red weapon guy had to be conceived within the limits of our preset visual scheme. Thanks to that players can immediately guess what is the difference between new enemy types and how to approach them. There was no need for additional explanation since players were familiar with the visual cues used in the design of new opponents.
Another fine example is the updated visual cue of hotswitch. We decided to add more umpf to the way game tells you when the hotswitch is possible. It needed to be obvious and clear for the player so he could hotswitch without any overthinking. Marcin our art director added this sweet shader that makes red guy glitch whenever you hover your crosshair over them and hotswitch is ready.
This small addition does two things: Let’s you know when you can hotswitch but also lends itself visually to the glitchy aspect of MCD.
Even the way we approach level design in SUPERHOT: MIN CONTROL DELETE follows certain rules imposed by our visual language. I’ll let Marcin The Art Dir do the talking. I stole a few pages from our internal design bible that he wrote and illustrated.
As you can see he is talking about environments that “make sense”, are not “distracting” and using the design of levels to "talk" to player. That’s creating and following a clear vocabulary of visual language. Everything so that the players might enjoy time bending gameplay of SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE without hassle.
You can’t immediately see most of our visual design choices in MCD and honestly, you shouldn’t be able to. Because as cheesy as it might sound , what you feel during gameplay is far more important than what you know. We don’t want you to think. We want you to react. Your mind is software and it only interferes with your immersion ;)
I could go on about visual and interactive language for hours so let’s stop here. Hopefully I didn’t bore you to death .