July 11 – Big Birds

Greetings from London! I’m here in the office for a few weeks, so Tiy and I have been talking a lot about our plans for monsters and making more big changes. Many players seem to be having trouble with the current monsters, especially at the very beginning of the game or when beaming down to new planets, so we’ve been reworking the difficulty to provide a smoother ramp up into the game. One component of this will be changes to the spawning system to prevent monsters from clustering around the beam down point and to make their levels scale more with biome depth. Another component involves changes to the monster types and how they relate.

Small monster variants are going to be weaker, more common, and have a very limited selection of attacks (no projectile attacks, for example). Large monster variants will be rarer and stronger, with more special attacks and abilities. We may also try returning to the ‘family’ concept for monsters, where small and large variants correspond to each other directly, possibly even advancing from the smaller variants to their larger counterparts under certain conditions. I’ve gone through and made the existing biped and quadruped types consistently named and structured to facilitate this change, and I’m working on changing the spawning changes as well.

The main thing I did, however, was implement the large flying monsters that we’ve just finished the art for! Similar to the ground monster types, these are much larger, stronger, and rarer than their small brethren, and we’ve removed projectile attacks from the small flyers to compensate. Here’s one example to show just how much bigger and more detailed they are:

Have a great weekend, everyone!