Gimbal Cop Alpha Update #2 (v0.2): New World Map Feature! (+ replay sharing, feedback, and betterings!)

Allo again Gimballers!  Excuse the few-week delay since the v0.1.1 update, but here we are with a brand spankin’ new major version number to celebrate a brand spankin’ new feature: a world map!  We’ve also added post-level buttons to share your replays to social networks, a button right in the game to take you to our new Gimbal Cop Feedback page, and plenty of little fixes and tweaks.
Can haz map!

Read on for all the deets.

World Map
The world map is a feature that we really wanted to get into the initial v0.1 alpha launch, so was the clear first new feature to get into the game. The biggest use of the map is to show you where you are in the branching campaign, and generally to drive home the fact that the campaign is indeed branching (plenty of people have reported that it’s not clear in the previous states of the game), and hopefully inspire you to explore other paths through the game on your next playthrough.  The map also lets you switch between levels you’ve unlocked — though only between the farthest levels you’ve unlocked, no backtracking yet.  In future updates, we plan to also let you switch back to earlier levels, both to unlock new branches, and just to let you more easily revisit your favorite parts of the game.  Jono has been documenting the development of the map feature, so if you’re curious to know some technical details and lessons learned, check it out here.

Replay Sharing & Web-Viewer
We’ve also been working on an online replay viewer, which lets you view and share interactive replays of your level runs.  This replay viewer is now fully ready to roll out, and we’ve added some new buttons to the post-level screen in the game that you can use to share your replays via Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.  If you have a particularly epic run, let your friends know how awesome you — and that crazy Gimbal Cop game you’re playing — are!

We’ve been getting good feedback from players via email / forums / social media / belligerent text messages / telepathic signals, and figured it was a good time to give that feedback a proper public channel, so we hereby introduce Gimbal Cop Feedback.  On that page, you can post new issues / questions / ideas, and see and vote on what other players have posted.  We’ve populated it so far with some condensed feedback from what we’ve received, but we look forward to seeing what you think needs to be added or improved upon.  To that end, we’ve added a new “Give Us Feedback!” button right in the main menu of the game, which will take you straight to that feedback site.

The Bettering
There are also a number of smaller improvements and fixes in this update.  Soon we’ll roll out a real changelog / patch notes section, but for now, the list is something like:

  • There’s a new gauge in the cockpit in VR (Oculus Rift) mode, which shows how many barrels you’ve collected out of how many there are in the level, and also shows your current high score for barrels collected in that level.  We’ll also be bringing similar GUI into the non-VR game shortly.
  • Levels now only unlock when you successfully finish a level, so if you get half the barrels and/or complete a knot, but then crash, it doesn’t unlock or proceed to the next level.  Muhaha!  On a better-for-you note, if you do multiple knots and get more than half the barrels in a single run, all of those connected levels will be unlocked and available from the map, whereas previously you’d just proceed to the most recently unlocked level.
  • We fixed a bug where a level wouldn’t always have the right total count of barrels, so would open up the win gate too early or late (it should always unlock the next easy level when you’ve collected at least half the barrels).
  • Those pesky tutorial dialogs at the beginning of the first level will now only pop up once per game session, so people who’re playing the game for the first time and using the first level to get a hang of the controls and mechanics don’t keep getting bombarded with the same tutorial messages.
  • …And plenty of under-the-hood things (including a much improved build pipeline, some new level layout tools, and a method for testing levels which has no danger of accidentally leaving the wrong first level in builds… yeah…) which will mean more Gimbal Cop, faster, for you!

Next Time (….Soon!)
We held back the non-map fixes and improvements in this update so they could all go live together… and have decided not to do that in the future.  We plan to have updates at least once a week from here on out, which will mostly be little improvements and gradual obsessive tweaks, and big features will come out when they’re ready, but they won’t hold back the little things.  So, come back real soon for your next dose of fixed bugs and tightened screws!

If you’ve already bought the game, this v0.02 is now live in your Humble Library.  If not — get on it!

~ by Defective on January 27, 2014.

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