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Meganoid now in Google Play Early Access

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Releasing games often leaves room for experimentation. So I decided to check out the “Early Access” version of Google Play, and release Meganoid into it.

Basically this is a public BETA test of the game, but, that’s kinda what Early Access is at it’s core. You can grab Meganoid from Google Play right now (just search Meganoid, or clicky clicky!).  I’m still tweaking the game in regards to balancing the drop-rate and difficulty of things, but your leaderboard scores will be a good identifier for me to see how hard the game currently is. So go play and enjoy!

From the development side, I’m already loving this as I got some good feedback early on, and it helped squash some bugs and improve some things. However I have some worries from the business side of things, I’m not 100% sure every gamer understands the “beta” aspect of this version, also not sure what this will do for the ratings and top-download lists when I DO release, and of course the pirating of illegal copies.. but that last one is just the sad state of the business I’m in.

Anyway, I completed my todo list for the game a few days ago, and basically been testing, tweaking and feature-creeping some extra idea’s into it since. It’s a bit strange because usually I release my game pretty soon after completing it, but now I’m all done with testing on all platforms, and there are still about two weeks left..

The smart move would be to now focus again on Ashworld, but there is also some room to maybe add a few more things to Meganoid before release. To be honest, I have no clue yet about which of the two options I’ll pick, cause I’ve never been in this situation (having a game completed but officially unreleased)..

When I do get back to work on Ashworld, I’ll try to setup some interesting Twitch streams again (twitch/orangepascal) and based on how the Meganoid Early Access works out, I might even do that for Ashworld also.

 

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  • Medusa Yuk

    First impressions – I love it! It simply has a really enjoyable feel and a playable quality that you’re really nailing in your games, increasingly so with the last 3 (SG, HOL2 and this one…why am I telling you that!?!). It looks great too, love the colour schemes and lighting, the pixel art is, as usual, fantastic. I have no issues whatsoever with the controls, it’s responsive and easy to get used to, spot on.

    I love the fact that you’ve used some of the same power up sprites that you used for Space Grunts, it provides a real sense of continuity and a knitting together of elements that essentially do the same thing in different games.

    It’s hard! Real hard. I haven’t yet decided whether it’s too hard, it’s too early for that, and I detect that, gradually, the ebb and flow of the game is revealed so you know exactly what you have to do to stay alive and the speed which is best suited to get through levels without losing a life. Even so, I’ve died annoyingly quite a few times, mostly when I want to do down but can’t see the ledge below me, and land right in front of a laser/robot/thing that kills.

    I’ve also had a few glitches. One happened as soon as I installed – went straight to the options, mucked about in there for a bit, exited and it crashed. Started it up again and it crashed instantly, doing the same every time. Had to reinstall, has worked fine since. Also, I’ve become stuck in walls a couple of times, once it was to do with a lift and the other when blowing up scenery.

    Haven’t got access to the leaderboards for some reason. Is that intentional at this stage?

    Anyway, just thought I’d offer a few early thoughts, only been playing it for a couple of hours. Real nice work, I can tell I’m gonna get a lot of fun out of this game. Thanks!

    • do you get the ‘welcome…” from google play ?
      and if so, does pressing leaderboard/achievement do nothing? (in stats/data menu)

      I’m aware of a weird wall-stuck bug thingie.. hunting it down! :)

      not sure what caused the crashes, possibly it was one of the early beta versions (0.51) which did have a crash bug, fixed in later updates (we’re now at 0.54)

      still working on the difficulty, but v0.54 proves to be already better in that area.. still the game is supposed to be hard, just not unfair. Also noticed some levels have a high drop-off area which is often cause for death, so gonna try and fix those level-parts

      • Medusa Yuk

        Actually, the leaderboard issue must have been resolved on the reinstall, it’s fine now. Wasn’t logging in to Google Play, I guess.

        Level 2.1 – makes the first levels look easy. Super, super hard, perhaps unfairly so. I came across one bit which seemed impossible (white spikes in the way, making a necessary jump impossible). I’m not one to quit easily (completed both HOL2 and SG, No 1 on leaderboard on HOL2) but…wow, I reached 2.1 with four lives, was grinning away, real smug…game over within about 30 seconds. So many lasers and missiles flying about and not many safe spots.

        Anyway, back to the coalface…hopefully, I’ll be able to get back to you in few hours to say it wasn’t so bad after all!

        • the difficulty is part of the Meganoid legacy tho ;)
          and the “main game” only has 4 worlds! so being in world 2 means you’re halfway there already :p

          but still balancing difficulty until release! getting better with each update

          • Medusa Yuk

            I get the difficulty thing now. Having not played any other Meganoids (couldn’t get any of your games pre-Gunslugs 2 to work of my version of Android), I didn’t realise that the ramped-up difficulty was part of the game.

            Just got the high-score, having reached 3-1! Those orange sparks! They are totally out of control!! In the meantime, while I figure out the best way to avoid them, a few more comments…

            A glitch – sometimes, the lasers, especially the downwards facing ones, will shoot you and send you flying completely out of the play area. When you materialise, you are not visible on the screen and cannot play on without restarting.

            The security robot – sometimes, after the warning, it has appeared so close to me (and I’m talking about one or two spaces away) that I’m dead before I know what’s going on. Surely at least half a screen distance will give a fighting chance.

            I’ve played it a fair bit now and, except for the detonators, I haven’t had any sort of weapon given to me once. I literally haven’t seen them. Are they made to appear more on worlds 3 and 4 or should their appearance rate be upped or something?

            Otherwise, loving it. Great game.

          • know about the glitch, been looking to fix it, and hopefully I did that in the upcoming update.

            the security drones might need some more wait time between showing their portal and them spawning.. that gives you time to run if they spawn near

            Altho I usually have one weapon in most test games.. that’s randomization and luck-factor :D I’m still tweaking the balancing/drop rate on stuff. Also planning on few more crates in world one, allowing you to build up more before you get in harder area’s

          • Medusa Yuk

            Another frequent glitch you might already be aware of – when attempting to stomp on an alien – if there are two aliens beneath you (usually a labcoat and a critter) and you jump on their head, it will kill you. Seems to kill one of the aliens but the second one on that spot will kill you (instead of just bouncing you back up).

          • hmm haven’t noticed any crashes.. which device? and does it give you the option to send a crash-report?

            as for the glitch, yup, seen it happen.. altho I only see it happen when one of the two enemies is a critter (in which case it fits the critter’s MO of being glitchy).. will check it some more, maybe better if I fix it in any case.

          • Medusa Yuk

            Galaxy S6, Android 6.0.1. There’s no option to send a crash-report, it just kicks me straight out. The Orangepixel logo screen appears fine, then the Meganoid screen appears for a fraction of a second, then simply disappears. Only force-stop will fix.

            I think it’s a good idea to fix the critter glitch, because it doesn’t feel like an in-game glitch. It just feels like a glitch.

          • critter glitch is fixed in next update.
            do you see the “welcome to google-play” notice before it crashes?

          • Medusa Yuk

            Haven’t seen the crash since last update. Pretty smooth now, glitches at absolute minimum. Just wanna say, I’m really getting a feel for this game now, difficulty is very well balanced, it’s really enjoyable and REALLY addictive. Great game, possibly your best yet. Thanks! :)

          • it still amazes me how many bugs pop up when I think I have them all ;) but yeah, we’re close to a glitch-free game (for now) :D

          • Medusa Yuk

            Hope you don’t mind me posting bugs here. I can move to the Meganoid forum if it’s better.

            Two things:
            1. The ‘jumping on 2 bad guys’ bug is not fixed. It’s better, but I’ve been killed by the bug numerous times since last update. It always involves the critter.

            2. Weird one this: I found 4 green cards on one level (never had that many before) and was obviously super happy – until I got to the hack room. Seems like the hack room expects you to spend ALL your hack cards, so as I’d got four, it was waiting for me to spend the fourth – of course, there was nothing to spend it on as I’d already activated all three hacks on offer! I was forced to quit.

            I was wondering – would it be better to have the option of keeping your hack cards if there are no hacks you want to use?

            BTW, completed the game this morning, got the perma-double jump. Very happy with that, although would have preferred the jet pack!

          • 1. damn.. altho I haven’t had the issue anymore, so at least it’s become a lot less of an issue I recon.

            2. ha! never thought about that happening. will have to add some check for that. I originally had the option to just leave the hack-room without using the hack, but gameplay wise I found it more interesting to force the player in choosing from the presented options than to wait for the “perfect” one. There’s probably something to be said for both solutions, but this is the one I picked ;)

            3. thought about making the perma-unlocks selectable.. guess you just made the decision for me. Will look in how to best add that to the game.

          • Medusa Yuk

            Excellent update. Real smooth now. I have one last idea to put to you if you’re planning any more pre-release releases:

            This isn’t a bug but an improvement idea, and has only come to light now I am using the jetpack perma unlock most of the time. I have it active nearly all the time during a game. This also means that the ‘A to use item’ prompt is on the screen all the time. That’s no problem in itself (even though I would prefer it disappeared after a set amount of time), but the prompt, in its current form and screen location, is certainly obscuring part of the play area. It is rather large, on a black background, and quite a way into the screen. I have died numerous times through falling onto a white spike that I didn’t know was there because it had been obscured by the prompt.

            I’ll leave that one with you. Once again, thanks for this fantastic game. I only hope that it makes a decent impact on the various platforms. It certainly deserves to, not only because it’s a real good gaming experience but also because of the ethics behind it (no ads, no IAP etc etc). Well done! Can’t wait for Ashworld. :)