Tidalis:1.003 Beta Release

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Notes From The Producer: August 4th, 2010

Well, it's been just over a week since our last beta update to Tidalis. That was a bit longer than I'd planned, but after the rush to get Tidalis finished and out the door, there were a lot of non-development-related tasks that I'd been putting off that I had to take care of over the last week.

That said, there's a lot of cool stuff in this one! Firstly, we finally fixed that nasty desync with line clear mode, so the game is once again desync-free so far as we know. We also made huge strides in a sound subsystem improvement that will hopefully let the OSX version of the Steam overlay work pretty soon. Even more exciting is the new VS Race mode that was suggested by Joshua Yu, and the new Boarded Up special block that we cooked up as part of our free DLC plans. Enjoy!

--Christopher M. Park

New & Updated Levels

New & Updated Art/Music/Sound

Gameplay Additions

  • A new player rule set has been added: VS - Race
    • Play against the AI, or another player. The first player to reach a set score (based on the action difficulty) is the winner. The score targets are:
      • Difficulty 0: 10,000
      • Difficulty 1: 20,000
      • Difficulty 2: 40,000
      • Difficulty 3: 60,000
      • Difficulty 4: 80,000
      • Difficulty 5: 100,000
      • Difficulty 6: 150,000
      • Difficulty 7: 250,000
      • Difficulty 8: 500,000
      • Difficulty 9: 1,000,000
      • Difficulty 10: 4,000,000
    • Thanks to Joshua Yu for suggesting.
  • A new special block has been added: Boarded Up
    • Boarded up blocks are normal color blocks, and can even be rotated as normal. However, when they are cleared they do not actually disappear, instead just losing the boards covering them.

Gameplay Updates

New Level Editor Features

  • Added tooltips to special block and embedded item dropdowns in the level editor palette.
    • Thanks to SmileyFace for the suggestion.

Misc

  • An experimental new sound effect playback system has been implemented. Rather than caching sound effects in memory, they are now streamed off disk when they are to be played.
    • This avoids a bug with Unity 3D's use of fmod on OSX, which was causing an over-abundance of semaphores, which in turn was making it impossible to use the Steam Overlay on that platform.
    • This also allows us to have multiple instances of the same sound effect playing at once, which is highly useful for making the sound as responsive and immediate as possible.
    • This also makes the game as a whole load faster, since sound effects don't all have to be loaded on startup.

Bugfixes

  • Fixed bug where score objectives would be displayed without handicap on the preview-tooltip and with handicap in the actual level.
  • In recent versions there was a bug when editing a level with defined item frequencies and no actual item-frequency entries that would corrupt a level's .dat file such that any action causing it to be loaded (and there are a lot of such cases) caused the game to crash. Fixed to no longer corrupt the files, and also fixed the loading routine to not crash if it encounters the incomplete data lines caused by the original bug.
    • Thanks to triggerman602 for reporting.
  • Fixed bug where loss score objectives were applying handicaps the same way as win score objectives, leading to some unspeakably cruel results. Will be investigating to make sure other objective types are properly applying handicaps.
  • Fixed a minor visual bug with direction-locked blocks that were part of chains.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause desyncs and other issues with multiplayer games in which the line clear mode was used, or any sort of combo depth counting needed to be used.
    • Thanks to Hans-Martin Portmann for reporting.

Internal Programming Notes

Tidalis