20 September 2014, 4:11 am
Banner for our PAX Booth
August was a busy month for Northway Games
. I helped Rich and Colin launch Deep Under the Sky
, a psychedelic arcade puzzler about alien jellyfish. It’s so gorgeous… just go watch the trailer
for it then nab it on your iPhone
before I remember to end the launch sale.
We showed it at CIGGRAPH in Vancouver, then Deep Under the Sky and Rebuild at PAX Prime in our first ever PAX booth. It was an unbelievable experience. I had no idea there were so many Rebuild fans out there! Every time I looked up, someone new wanted to know if I was the Sarah Northway, creator of Rebuild, and could they shake my hand. It was so – I want to say humbling, but it was the opposite of that. It was good, very very good.
Now that Deep Under the Sky is out, Colin’s coming aboard the good ship Rebuild to work on the programming and balancing. We haven’t properly worked together since Incredipede so this is going to be fun. Colin’s first task was to track down the memory leak, which we hope is now fixed in the 0.666 update. He’s also working on the new relationships system (one of the Kickstarter stretch goals), and on balancing happiness and fort policies.
In the new update I also added 60 new backstories (written by Stephen Gray), 11 survivor perks, and 5 new main leader jobs. I finally hooked up the Steam deluxe edition with 5 more main leader jobs for a total of 15 to choose from. Here’s an overview of how they work and what each one does.
All about jobs in Rebuild: Gangs of Deadsville
The first thing you do in Rebuild 3: Gangs of Deadsville is design your main character. She (or he) will lead your fort from humble defensive camp to glorious city-state. She’s your most important survivor: the only one (at least initially) who can learn any skill, and unlike the first two games, she can’t be killed.
Brandy bear was born for this role
Now comes one of the most important choices in the game: pick your leader’s profession from her previous life, back before the infection started. This determines her starting skills, equipment, and a fort-wide bonus that affects the whole game. Choose well!
Main leader starting professions in Rebuild 3:
||start the game with an extra survivor
||25% discount while trading
||all injuries recover 1 day faster
||all survivors are +10% happier
||all firearms grant +1 defense
5 new jobs added in version 0.666:
||start with a church and create more devout survivors
||5 extra housing spaces
||schools and bars are 25% more effective
||half materials costs when building
||no happiness loss from death or injury
5 bonus jobs for Kickstarter & Steam deluxe edition:
||25% faction respect and earn respect 5x faster
|Pizza Delivery Driver
||car and sword
||start with the driver perk
||start with a lab and 9 researched techs
|Real Estate Developer
||all build missions take 1 day
||extra defense but all enemies are twice as powerful
These are of course subject to change during the beta as I discover which ones are pleasingly overpowered, and which are just too exploitable. The bonus ones are supposed to be a little crazy… probably not recommended for new players.
In a future update I plan to add extra perks for your leader that she’ll earn from major events in the campaign mode storyline. Once each city is suitably rebuilt (or escaped from), she’ll be travelling on to the next one with some select teammates, so the job you choose will be even more important. For now, these jobs add a bit of diversity to the skirmish mode and something new to try.
I’ll leave you with another picture from our PAX booth:
Rebuild backer Andy Moore with his zombie self on a banner at PAX Prime 2014
22 July 2014, 3:57 am
I said I wasn’t going to make a big deal out of it, but here I am tooting the horn: you can now play the Rebuild: Gangs of Deadsville beta on your Android phones and tablets!
How to get it: preorder the full game from rebuildgame.com
includes Windows, Mac, Android & Steam keys too.
But wait, don’t get TOO excited. It’s still slow, unlikely to run well on anything that costs less than $300 or is more than 2 years old. I’m rather thrilled at how much better it is now than a month ago, but there’s a long way to go.
Colin using Rebuild as a stylus… to play Rebuild.
In my career of porting PC games to mobile (all 4 years & 4 games of it), the hardest part is always graphics optimization. It’s given me a renewed sense of wonder for games like Assassin’s Creed and the Elder Scrolls (which Colin and I were respectively binging on last month). How do those games look so amazing when I can barely drag 20 flat buildings around the screen without losing 10fps?
Obviously engine plays a big part in it, and Adobe AIR (aka Flash) is known more for its ease of use than its speed. But the other big part is, I imagine, the thousands of man-hours spent making sure every last drop of system resources is used optimally. Mostly it’s about CPU vs RAM. Lots of little moving parts need more CPU power. Fewer bigger objects requires more RAM. Hit the ceiling on either and your framerate plummets or your app crashes. So if you’re wondering which new tablet to buy, MEMORY DOES MATTER. And I mean Random Access Memory, not what people call storage space on iPhones in their Orwellian desire to confuse language and oppress free thinkers.
Post apocalyptic religious leaders can have any hairstyle they want.
Anyway speaking of binging on games, I’ve been playing a lot of Rebuild this week. Well, I do that every week, but it’s easier now on my phone because I’m less tempted to stop every 5 minutes and tweak some variable. I played a whole game with no scavengers, which was successful thanks to trading with Gustav & the Pharmacists. Even though you have to wait for stock to replenish now, you can horde resources and sell them at a huge profit when a faction is desperate enough to pay double. Haggling is less punishing now so I ended up with a leader who was a part-time trader, part-time preacher.
For the next big update I’m going to focus on getting the rest of Stephen’s events in, working on the happiness system, and starting campaign mode where you’ll be moving from village to town to city.
(Adam’s handiwork. I think the one in the middle is Adam himself!)
Colin and I are still exploring Super, Natural British Columbia this summer, which is honestly the most perfect place on earth between about July 10th and September 3rd. Check out our recent roadtrip photos with our rad 80’s Porsche.