Tick tock… the time draws near.
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“the time draws near.”
That phrase just made me REALLY glad I didn’t spend $110 on a graphics card. Because then I’d be broke and couldn’t get this.
lol if i would have bought a graphics card i would owe my parents money
This looks really cool. Getting hyped for release.
For the grabber, I think you should be able to hold “M” and just use the mouse to point what direction you want it to fire (instead of the mouse wheel). Basically, have a line drawn from the grabber to your cursor. When you let go of “M” it sets that as the new direction of fire. Seems way more intuitive especially since I know I have played games that have done that in the past.
Would help keep the learning curve down.
I would guess use the mouse. So double click on the ship and than point the mouse to the direcltion you want to fire click on it with right mouse button the ship will fire in that direction. Left click will aborde the command.
That wouldn’t work as left click is currently what moves a ship and right click is how you deselect a ship. Set a key that must be held and then click while holding to orient the ship (any ship if you want to change what direction they are facing) in the direction of your mouse cursor. Ideally there would be a laser sight so you could easily tell what direction you are pointing towards.
I thought I already saw this function in one of the previous videos. Tomorrow at work I’ll go through vids released so far and try to point you guys to it.
Oh, what I actually saw was targeting from controllable emitter – it allows you to point directly where you want, but not grabber ship ):
Awesome work as always virgil! The game’s been on my wishlist since you put it on steam. You make me wish i was a popular youtuber so i could get a press copy :/
Two things: I noticed the different colored mire in that center section on land, is that just due to the color of the land underneath? If it is, you might want to tone down the effect because its a bit out of place.
Second, for aiming ships, are you only allowed to use the mouse wheel, or have you bound it to something else, such as holding down a button to aim towards mouse location?
The color of the underlying terrain does come though… and it is tricky to get a good balance of mire vs terrain visually. When the mire is very dominant that obscures the type of terrain and looks bad. When the terrain is too dominant, you can’t quickly pick out the mire.
In the video you see a redish and a bluish mire on that center island. This is coming from the red and blue particles that are making their way to the island. So in this case, it is two distinct types of mire.
For aiming ships by pointing to the mouse pointer, I’ve been asked about this a few times (Kharnellius just mentioned something similar above), and I’ve played with it a bit. I may formalize it before the game ships. Where it gets a bit tricky is the exact mechanics of how it works with one ship, multiple ships, initial building of a ship, and movement of a ship that is already built.
I can see what you mean about the mouse pointer… Is it possible to remap the current mouse wheel control to something else, like for example Q and E? That might make things easier to control. Also, will we be able to fine tune the current turning rate for the “coarse” and “fine” scrolling settings? I know a lot of people (myself included) would greatly enjoy being able to fine tune those settings.
On a side note, in your expert testing, how does the game handle performance-wise large scale battles? Like possibly dozens of ships assaulting metric butt-tons of particles plus dopples and AI fleets? CW3 tends to slog a lot when the network reaches a certain amount of connections and packets (for example: a lot of teknoss’s maps with massive power and weapon demands), and I was wondering how well particle fleet could handle similar stress.
Maybe the mire could have some kind of sparkle effect that gets overlayed on top of the terrain (think Command & Conquer ore). This would help differentiate mired land from normal land. The “sparkles” would be the color of the mire depending on what faction “owns” it.
Just create a general key that must be held to orient any ship towards your cursor. Dark Reign did this and it worked great.
“If you think you know which direction an attack is coming
from, you can turn your units toward the imminent
assault. This will help them to get off their first shot as
quickly as possible. The effect is not great, but in battle
every second counts. Select the units and press the T key.
You will see the Turn cursor. Left-click on the point on the
map you want your units to face, and they will turn in that
From the manual.
Looking great. Eagerly awaiting the release. One thing that I had seen on a screen shot through imgur is what looks like an aircraft carrier. This is really interesting to me and I was wondering if you had any information about them?
There is a “fighter base” module that can go on ships. It supports two fighters that can fly around and shoot rapidly at distant enemies. Ships can have 1, 2, or more fighter bays (for instance, a battlestar galactica configuration with one on each side of the ship).
Very cool, I can’t wait to take them for a spin. I have almost 1000 hours of CW3 play time on steam (not to include all of the hours that I played before I purchased the steam release). I look forward to another thousand hours of enjoyment with your creation. I am also happy that you are adding an extra purchase point, not for additional features but to show appreciation for your work. I have spent $60+ on games that I have enjoyed for far less than yours. I am glad I will be able to support your work without just buying the game again (which is what I have done before.)
SplattercatGaming is a youtube channel that does weekly indie newcomer. You should let him try it out! I was honestly surprised at the low number of ships in this mission. Also, why is some mire a deep green while other is bright blue? I’m guessing it has to do with elevation, but it seems too much of a contrast to me.
The ship count grows with each passing story mission. By near the end, there are 20+ ships, with some being pretty powerful. It gets large enough to support 2 or 3 simultaneous fronts of operation… and sometimes that is required to take/defend energy production centers.
I agree with Kharnellius as i see the grabber you need to tweak it. Because the fine adjusted should be “easier”. Most player wont get that if you dont show them that direcly.
I’ll likely experiment some more with it, but rotation with the mouse wheel is already fairly intuitive. Holding a key to change the granularity of that rotation is actually more intuitive than most (or all) other mechanisms I tried. You get used to using the mouse wheel and then when you want to do a fine grain rotation you still use the mouse wheel.
The reason it can get complex is because clicking a ship, moving the mouse, clicking again initiates a movement of the ship. The green ghost that appears will continue to point in the ship’s current position until you have moved the mouse far enough away. Once far enough away, the green ghost points in the direction of movement (from the ships current position to where the mouse is). You can rotate the mouse wheel to change the orientation of the green ghost. That’s very common since you want to move the ship far and then have it take up a certain rotation after it arrives. “Click and mouse wheel” seems to be the ‘best’ way to do this and it’s the way it works now. The main problem with mouse wheel rotation is that it is either too slow, or too granular. So I’ve chosen a nice medium that seems to work well. It’s most in the special case of a ship with a grabber that you sometimes want better control on rotation. Rather than make the general movement system more complex or less obvious, I just decided to support that case by keeping everything the same and letting you hold a key while rotating to switch to “fine grain rotation”.
All that said, a completely different movement model can be employed and I _may_ include support for it (it actually isn’t super intuitive). It works by requiring you to press a key anytime and everytime you want to set a ship’s rotation. So you click a ship, move the mouse to where you want to ship to go. If you want to set the rotation of that green ghost before you click, then you have to press and hold a key. That freezes the green ghost where the mouse is and it then rotates to point to where the mouse is. Click the mouse and that’s a move order. Release the key before clicking the mouse and the ghost goes back to being under the mouse.
How about just copying behaviour of thor from cw3? I understand it might be harder here, since units don’t stack, but the perfect rotation is only really important for grabbers, where you sometimes have to squeeze through tight hole between islands.
I’m a laptop user – I use touchpad and touchscreen. I sincerely hope that “mouse wheel” isn’t the only option because I don’t have one!
There are also key bindings (that you can change) that rotate the ship right and left.
Oh god, the teasing, I can’t take it anymore! T_T
The game is looking great, I can’t wait to play!
I’ve got a question for you though: Have you ever looked into / experimented with / considered applying marching squares and/or other smoothing algos to the terrain/mire so it doesn’t look as low resolution as the underlying grid?
Truthfully, the reason it remains square is twofold:
– It takes a lot more time to make the angled versions of everything (land, struc, plasma), make particles bounce off 45 degree corners correctly, etc. In other words it would have been a extra time sink while I otherwise spent the better part of 2 years refining core game play (and discovering it).
– CW1 was squarish for similar reasons… and PF(1) has something of a symmetry with CW1 (at least in my head). Not a great reason, but still one of the things that influenced me.
Funny, just yesterday I was likening it to CW2 instead. The energy system reminded me of the beacons. No direct-line connections, but wireless packet delivery to anything within the highlighted area.
Personally, I’m fine with the square look of Mire. Something about it makes the encroaching coverage look much better. Though I apparently can’t get more specific than that. I don’t know, I just like it…
Don’t think I didn’t catch the meaning of “PF(1)” 😛
I have no idea whether you’re already planning a sequel, or just leaving the door open to the winds of fate, but I am happy with that either way 😀 In the meantime, I’ll be admiring what we have with game 1, playing the heck out of it, and very likely trying my hand at PRPL, hopefully this time without dropping out for the length of time it takes for you to make an entire new game.
I agree with the CW2 comparison. 2 other ways in which they are similar is that the ships can’t fly over particles, like weapons and creeper in CW2, and that land completely blocks particles, but can’t be replaced, only removed. Also, conquering that same land gives more energy on both games. So, I’m expecting the gameplay to be somewhat similar to CW2. Not that that’s a bad thing, and it should be fairly different. It’s just interesting how the different games settings (underground vs. space) led to similar design choices.
What if, when you hover over an icon on the left, the ship is highlighted so you can easily pick out depleted or damaged ships. This could also work in reverse to check ship energy levels.
Where do the low “fastest times” come from?
You played mission 6, which had a 3-minute fastest time, but it took you 15+ minutes to play through it all. I could see how you might have done it twice as fast, but five times as fast???
It was like that with Colonial Space in Creeper World. I’d play missions with what I thought was a good time maybe 10-20 minutes, but other people would complete them in record times of 30 seconds or something ludicrous like that. Were they playing the same game as me, or had they tweaked something?
For that mission, 3 minutes can be done. I’m sure it could be done in under 3 minutes actually. I play test each mission a lot (eventually). There are often aggressive shortcuts you can take that don’t occur to you till playing a mission several times…
I would some sort of replay system in the future that lets us actually watch these fastest times.
some people in the creeper world community are very good at rushing objectives and getting things done in times that seem insane, the biggest factor to that is being able to know what you need to focus on now, and what can be put off for later (possibly until after the mission is done)
I also would guess that those amazing times are not first attempts and could possibly the the 10th or 15th attempt
Wormholes 😀 While observing them, i noticed that the particles teleported before their structure did… it kind of breaks the feel every time i see that. Will there be gravity affected maps? Like planets/moons with multiple sources on a map?
Good catch 🙂 I never noticed. I’ve fixed it up…
I’ve been trying to find things in the videos to help 🙂
Can…not…wait! … But I have to I suppose. Wish I were more popular as far as even thinking I would be eligible to get a “press pass”. To those that get that early access version, good on you, get that word out there!
Looking good V. Can’t wait to play this soon. Well I’m not too active speaking on here or the forums, but I do read. I’m just a lurker.
With that said I remember you did say you made more money if we buy direct, but in that video you stated how steam works with people buying equals more momentum. With that said how would you prefer we get the game. I’ll get it direct or through steam, but if I buy direct I take it that I won’t be apart of that steam buildup. So which would you personally prefer? To me it doesn’t matter, so whatever you think would help you out more I’d be more than happy going that route.
Whichever way is easiest for you is the best way to buy. I’m good either way. When you buy direct, you also get a steam key. Once you redeem that steam key you show up as a player and your friends and such see you playing the game. That’s the main way momentum builds…
You answered my question about buying direct and getting a steam key. I was happy when I had both a steam key and application when I bought CW3, mostly just so that the game is future proof and I don’t have to worry about transferring to future computers, but also opening steam is slower than an application. I’ll be sure to redeem the steam key even if I don’t use it.
Since you are starting to consider monetization, is there any chance you’ll add DLC in the future? Your story missions have historically been really engaging and fun and I’d be happy to pay a few dollars for a pack of story missions.
Maybe… I always say that anyway 🙂 This game does leave open an option for new technologies, enemies, and missions, though. So we will see.
Would love to see DLC! I’m sure everyone that buys this game and has been following it this long would also buy any DLC put out.
You need a marketer 🙂
FOLKS! The steam link for the game is
Click the wishlist button!
Hey Virgil just a suggestion for the demo. Using the first 5-6 missions on the demo is great to get people to know how to play the game and see how it runs on their computers, but I really don´t believe that the first 6 missions of Creeper World 3, for example, are representative of the game I played 200+ hours. I think it would be a good idea to include one simulacrum mission that is more open ended, a bigger map with maybe some technologies and ships that you don´t unlock until much later in the campaign. This way you can show the potential buyer, “ok these are the basics, but look at how crazy things can get later on!”. You don´t need to have everything unlocked, but it can give a taste of what people will get, and probably spend ridiculous amounts of time, after they finish the campaign.
IIRC the CW1 demo ended with all technologies unlocked… But there were much fewer in that game.
for the demo it should be maybe the first mission and then put a few missions but not the first 5-6 missions in the game because people would master the game and then they would do it in like 3 minutes like Virgil did for mission 6 that i had seen, so it should be like that
I spent hundreds of hours on CW2 and was quite curious about CW3 on release, but the demo left me rather unimpressed back then (I think it ended with sprayers, so nothing really new compared to CW2). Took me a year or so until I actually bought it, another one to actually start playing. Only then did I discover the wonders of Colonial Space.
A PF demo consisting of just the first few levels would totally omit the single most important feature of your game(s):
Total customization via scripts
After all, the end of the campaign is just the beginning…
Personally, for the demo I’d completely forgo any story missions, and just run up a few DMD maps. That way you can showcase the game without giving away the beginning of the story, and control access to the techs available to the player.
Did you say rerelase 1&2 on Steam? Can I migrare my copies there?
Yep…. once available on steam you will be able to migrate your existing copy to steam if you wish (99.9% of people will… some bundle purchasers don’t have a key they will be able to redeem).
I would like to be part of the beta if possible
If you keep up with these small changes and constantly smoothing tidbits here and there, you may keep rivaling with GameInABottle for best/most fine tuning in a single game.
(CW3 and PF in your case, in his case: Gemcraft: Chasing Shadows)
Hey Virgil! I’d Like to get in contact with you and have emailed you but got a strange response. I’d like to talk to you about coding in swift 3 on xcode for an app that I’ve been thinking about. If you could get back in contact with me I would appreciate it. I will continue to search for a current email address of yours.
Also I LOVE creeper world series and excited about particle fleet!!!! you do such great work.
Virgil, do you plan on releasing a small version of the game on Kongregate like you have for CW 1. 2 & 3?
That would require the unity web player… which is all but dead. Chrome no longer supports it and it is on the way out with firefox. I wish it weren’t so… since webgl and asm,js and all of that just aren’t replacements for the unity web player.
Obviously the future is uncertain, but is there a possibility that the next system they use beyond Unity will be something you can create your game on? Basically what I’m asking is, is the idea of a Particle Fleet Kong game dead, or is it on hold until the option re-presents itself?
If there was some way to release a version on Kong… I’d do it. Unity has their webgl export, but it doesn’t work so well with memory and cpu intensive games (like mine).
Let’s turn this question around. Would you rerelease the former Unity based games/demos as apps? I’d love to add them to my library.
Yes… that’s the more likely direction. I don’t want CW3:Abraxis to slip into the long night and be forever forgotten. Remastering it as a desktop game, or even as free DLC for the full CW3 game is on the table.
I hate to hijack this post for my question but it is about the Unity Player.
I was having a discussion with a friend about my dislike for Unity and it all seems to boil down to the majority of Unity games being major CPU hogs, even the stuff that is professionally done. In the process of talking to him I realized that there’s only one Unity game I’ve seen that actually does not have this flaw and that is Creeper World 3.
Virgil, you have been one my favorite developers because you seemed to care enough to make Flash sit up and dance without being a CPU hog and it seems you did it again for Creeper World 3 and I can only assume Particle Fleet (which my wife and I are eagerly awaiting) will also run well.
During my time working on Terraria my focus was always to try and get the game running faster/smooth for both players and us on the development team so it’s something near and dear to my heart. Recently though it seems that most of the game development stuff is done in Unity and I’m going to have to break down and learn it.
So just what do you do with Unity that makes your games run so well when so many games with vastly inferior graphics (I’m looking at you Pokemon Go) seem to have trouble. Just how am I supposed to make the Unity engine sit up and dance?
In short: frame rate… that’s the thing most people that use unity don’t keep in mind. By default unity will run as fast a frame rate as possible… even when sitting on a main menu that isn’t doing anything. I always rate limit to either 30 or 60 fps.
There’s this assumption that many people make that every game is supposed to be a first person shooter than runs at as high a frame rate as possible. And if you are making a twitch shooter, then sure… But for many other games and many other use cases (like menus, loading screens) there’s no difference between 30fps and 200fps… except how much unnecessary work the GPU/CPU has to do.
Other than that, I come from a business software development background and cut my teeth in the early 90s. So I profile as I develop. I often have a tendency to still lapse into thinking I’m coding in C on DOS for a 386 cpu running at 25mhz. 🙂 That mindset helps keep things tidy (though they can still get out of control from time to time).
A lot of unity games also frankenstein together subsystems that are purchased from the asset store. That can save a lot of time but can produce an end result that isn’t always optimal from a performance perspective. I write almost everything from scratch and craft it for its specific purpose (pathfinding, physics, object pooling, data caching, serialization, object management, image manipulation, etc.)
Thank you for the reply. It looks like I will likely be just fine working in Unity as I already do that type of stuff constantly. My first personal computer was actually a 386/25 (and boy that friend with a 33MHz was sure lucky) so that’s likely part of the reason I’m so obsessed with cutting out dead weight and making things run faster and with less memory.
Now I just have to see how quickly I can adjust to working in a component based system. Keep up the good work. We’re really looking forward to the day Particle Fleet comes out.
I´m curious about what happens when an entire Piece of land has been bogged/mired. Wasn´t it the case, in the past, that when land was fully converted by particles from one side, that consecutive particles were allowed to pass over land?
What happened to that mechanic? Is it Mission Settings dependant whether it does that or not?
That’s a mission setting. But, in all of the story missions I opt to make land become a barrier once it is 100% mired. There’s also a mission setting to make land be a barrier all of the time (and to not mire at all).
I’ve been following you since CW1 (mostly as Legato, sometimes as NRJP.) If you need someone to beta (particularly on a mac) I’d be happy to. I’m also an English instructor, so if you need any help with copy, I’d be happy to look that over (whether it’s just copy, or in the beta.) You do such great games. I’m really excited for the release!
1 month to go.
I can make it that long. I hope.
Once these press keys are gone out, will there be a sort of list of people who have these keys so i can search their youtube channels etc to see what videos and other things they make/do with it?
Good question. Waiting for this answer myself.
For any of the bigger channels, if they put up a video I’ll tweet a link out about it. I may also keep a forum post with links to all videos whether it is for a big channel or just an individual.
And if you have a favorite channel, be sure to request they do a preview of Particle Fleet. You’d be surprised how much requests can influence what they cover.
i don’t really watch youtube channels except for music, but i’m really looking forward to this game and i’m starving for more video’s, so i’ll just need that list 🙂 this sure is some sound advice for those who do check out game testers though
Virgil, you mentioned DLC for PF and now a possibility for CW3 (add Abraxis). I’ve been wanting to make a suggestion for DLC that I would pay full game price for, and that is a campaign that uses the advanced Creeper AI concepts that people have come up with.
The one fault of default CW3 is that often surviving initial contact with the creeper is all the challenge there is, and the rest is just clean-up. The Creeper AI units that build units and expand keep the late-game alive and dangerous. It was great to survive the initial contact and get everything going, only to have the creeper begin advancing and producing units similar to mine that were used offensively and advanced on my position. I’d pay money for an add-on campaign that featured these kinds of maps.
I think PF is going to have something like this, with all the doppels and such floating around. I’m sure map creators will deliver new, more dangerous units as well.
P.S. I mean specifically for CW3, but a DLC of a second campaign in PF1 with newly-crafted baddies would be good, too.
Search for “Sleeper” maps in Colonial Space. They provide something very similar to what you describe – Creeper side, in addition to regular creeper, has a command center that builds cannons and mortars units which, then, move to attack your base.
Right, that’s what I’m referring to when I mentioned Creeper AI concepts that people have come up with. The Sleeper maps are awesome and hard, but not in a “just start out correctly, just in this precise manner, to survive the first contact with creeper, and then you’re home free” kind of way.
still offer you my help by translating the game in to german. I know you didn’t answered to my last offer, so ye, maybe you’re not interested in this. Or you just didn’t recognized it. So just post it again, just in case. Simply answer to this if you’re interested in.
September 29th cant come fast enough. I WANT TO PLAY!
Checks online, “Ooh, two new responses!” Sees other people complaining about the long wait.
Hey Virgil! Any idea when the demo should be out? How heavily is it dependent on the actual game’s release date?
I’m on the edge (like within a day) of releasing a preview version to the press and some other folks. Once that is done, I’ll get back to work on finishing off the campaign missions… So the demo won’t be far off. The general release is mostly tied to getting the final story missions done, so everything depends on that.
how much will your game be at launch?
He said it will be about CW3 cost, so expect ~$20-30
A thought about a possible feature: I’m playing CW3 through Steam, but it doesn’t remember the which maps I completed on other computers. It’s especially annoying when going through Colonial space maps.
How hard would it be for Particle Fleet to remember a list of completed maps through a Steam account?
That sounds like a useful feature for those who frequently switch computers, as well as for those who are forced to. But it actually has a slightly detrimental effect to players like myself who are fond of wiping progress and starting from scratch. It sounds like it would be more difficult to clear progress if it remembered server-side what I had done. At that point there would need to be a built-in system for doing so. Which wouldn’t go amiss. In fact I’d like to suggest that for Particle Fleet. Is there a chance you can add a built-in data reset button? I’m sure there are people out there who would make use of it on a regular basis.
i hope to see a difficulty modifier so i can replay the missions> easy,med,hard,insane, impossible ( just command ship)
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