Howdy Defender's Quest fans!
Our level designer has been cranking out some serious work this past month, and we're proud to say that a full 25 levels are now at a stage we're going to call "near final balance." It doesn't mean they won't change at all before the game releases, but it means that they're pretty dialed in and we feel the game is in a good place.
Meanwhile, I'm starting to crank away on some of the story scripts and getting those into the game as well, as well as putting in the first of the UI art.
To that end, our early backers and testers will notice that version 0.0.31 has some weird looking UI stuff going on. Previously all our art and UI elements had generic placeholder art. Now they have specific placeholder art!
Which is to say, when we privately build the game for ourselves we're now putting in real actual finished art. Then right before I build it to push to the private branch on Steam, I push a button that swaps the actual art with placeholder art of the exact same dimensions. The reason for this is that I learned with DQ1 that the oldest, ugliest, kinda okay looking but still work-in-progress screenshot you ever expose to the internet that even vaguely resembles the game, will be the first google image search result for the rest of the game's entire life. It will also be the very first thing a bunch of outlets reach for forever. So I'm trying to make all the alpha builds look as obviously unfinished as possible right up until the moment that we're ready to reveal basically all of our art at once and make a big splashy announcement :) Please bear with us until that time.
Another new thing we've got in this build is tracers. Tracers are a feature that some more modern Tower Defense games have, little blips that come out of the spawn points and trace the path that the enemies will take before reaching the exit.
Tracers appear automatically before a wave spawns, match the color of the spawn sigil they came from, and will spawn in number equal to the number of enemies that come out from there. It's meant to be an accurate simulation of the paths the individual enemies will travel; being able to make sense of branching paths is a big part of this feature. Additionally, you can click on a spawn sigil now and it will spawn some tracers on demand to help you visualize.
We still have work to do on items and advanced missions and bugs, but things are starting to come together and we're building momentum. This is normally the time would I would start leaning on the community and grab some testing sessions, but unfortunately I'm going to be doing some travelling with my family at the end of this month and into the next. We're still going to have our regular update schedule, but I'll have to juggle some things.
Thanks for all your patience and support thus far! Let's get this thing done :)