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Dev Diaries #21 - Christmas Eve

December 24th, 2022 2:07pm – Christmas Eve – A Devlog by Fred Toms, Programmer - @Tommy2Doors

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Reflecting on the last year, 2022 has been a wild ride. Jordan and I have taken our beloved side project and were fortunate enough to make it our full-time pursuit. This has had a tremendous positive effect on our personal lives, our families, and of course, on SPECTRE. There have been ups and downs this year as well. Some highlights include attending PAX West, meeting fans and allowing people to try out SPECTRE for the first time. A lower point would be having to scramble to get our game ready for PAX and Steam Next Fest, and despite a ton of great feedback, realizing that parts of the game needed a lot more work.

The last 3 months, specifically, have been an incredible learning opportunity and we have our fans to thank. After having played SPECTRE for the first time, we’ve received a lot of valuable feedback that has helped SPECTRE really take shape. We’re happy to report that people had a lot of fun – so, huge success there. We’re also happy to advise that people reported that SPECTRE invoked their old-school SvM nostalgic feeling, which is exactly what we had been aiming for throughout development. We’ve been busy ever since.

We are working on a new, free, playable experience for the community and had hoped to have it ready for Christmas. It will take us a little bit longer, but I am excited to report that we have a new map to show off, which is paired up with an exhilarating new theme from our composer Forrest. The new map is designed with full release in mind, so it’ll have all the hallmarks of a traditional SvM map on display including mindful spawn points and engagement areas. You’ll notice some changes between the Steam Next Fest Demo and what we are working on now.

New features / changes / bug fixes to show off when it’s ready include:

  • Spectres can place explosives on certain parts of the level to change it – for example blowing up a door, placing explosives on gas chambers, etc. These explosions will permanently change the environment during that round.

  • Reapers FPS gunplay is much improved – we’ve taken notes from other FPS games and really improved the overall FPS experience.

  • A change in approach to objectives where they will generally require multiple steps to accomplish.

  • Reapers have the ability to customize their firearms prior-to and in the field; attach a silencer, remove your red dot sight, equip tracer rounds, etc.

  • A brand-new hacking UI that doesn’t take up major screen real-estate.

  • Ladder climbing - hackable/mobile ladders.

  • Options including custom key bindings, audio volume sliders, etc.

  • Reapers have a 360 degree melee - when players run through wet surfaces, they get “wet shoes” and will leave behind wet footprints. These footprints will dry and fade over time. Also running through water or mud will generate small particle effects.

  • Dive-roll to standing, dive-roll over smaller obstacles.

  • Health Stations now heal-over-time, and have a finite quantity that will recharge over time.

  • Fall-off weapon damage based on distance - improved climbing system including ledge movement.

  • Hackable / Damageable vent access covers / privacy glass / more.

  • Directional damage and explosive indicator UI.

  • Completely revamped elevator system with buttons and multiple floors

  • New fluid particle system

  • UE5’s Lumen/Nanite is being used to a much greater extent which has improved our lighting/geo quality and efficiency.

  • Numerous bug fixes that were present in the demo i.e.: disappearing objective UI, hard crashes on neck grabs, gunfire audio issues, wonky Reaper flashlight behaviour, etc.

… and a ton more. The moment the new gameplay experience has been QA’d and is ready to show off, it’ll be made available to everyone here.

In the meantime, everyone have a safe and enjoyable holiday season and we’ll see you in the new year!

- Fred

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