Tidalis:0.904 Beta Release

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Notes From The Producer: July 3, 2010

If you've been having trouble with the autoupdater not launching since 0.854, now you know why—a bug was preventing that, and we only discovered it. After version 0.904, when you're updating to future versions it should once again be working properly.

There are a number of other fixes in this release, and also some extra control options in the level editor that allow for more powerful customization.

Lastly, we have finally gotten this tested successfully on a PowerPC Mac (we now have one on hand for doing such testing), and it worked great. Like the Intel Macs, the PPC Mac was able to connect to the windows version of the game (and vice-versa), and they were able to play networked multiplayer together just fine. Hurrah!

Also of note is the fact that this PPC Mac was running an older "Tiger" version of OSX, and is only 1.2 Ghz. Using static backgrounds is a good idea on a machine that old, but the game was running at full framerate in solo play, and at full speed (but a lowered framerate) during network play (the extra slowness was because of needing to draw two boards there, not because of the networking itself). On the other computer, there was no slowdown whatsoever when playing with such an underpowered partner, which was especially cool.

Nice stuff!

--Christopher M. Park

New & Updated Levels

  • Added cutscenes 87 and 88.

New & Updated Art/Music/Sound

  • The following themes have been visually polished: Jeweled Palace.

Gameplay Additions

Gameplay Updates

New Level Editor Features

  • Added Custom Difficulty window to the Level Editor, allowing direct setting of 4 variables normally determined by the Action Difficulty setting: Starting Free Rows, Max Free Rows, Block Interval, and Fire/Ice Evaporation Time. Leaving any of the values set to -1 (the default) tells the level to use the normal value based on action difficulty.
  • A new "Is Skipped During Cutscenes" has been added to layers in the Theme Editor, which allows the characters that are drawn during gameplay to be removed for cutscenes, since they tend to get in the way there.

Misc

  • Fire block activation now clears tinders instead of charring them.
  • Added player name(s) to high score display. Previous high score records do not have this information so it will be blank for those older records.
  • Adventure map scrolling indicators now glow when scrolling is actually taking place in that direction.
  • On game screen resolutions that are less than 730 pixels high, the characters no longer appear on the intro screen when the game is first loading. There simply isn't room for them on the screen when it's that small.

Bugfixes

  • Changed flipper block behavior so that streams only have their speed doubled once regardless of the number of times they hit a flipper, so that it does not lead to weird teleporting behavior.
  • Refactored "how many blocks are in this column" calculation that was used for loss-by-block-stack-overflow and should-column-shake computations to more explicitly recognize cases where the "floor" is artificially higher due to a wall block or block floating in water.
  • Fixed bug where pausing a game and then opening the help or credits screen and then closing it could kick you back into the game (unpaused) instead of the menu.
  • Fixed bug where find-internet-games list screen wasn't fitting on 800x600.
  • Fixed a bug dating back to 0.854 that was preventing the game from actually launching the auto-updater after downloading the needed updates.

Internal Programming Notes

Tidalis