Wild Metamorphosis Was a Hit!

I'm thrilled with the positive reception this update has had. Thank you to everyone who bought the game, streamed it, or collaborated on it with me. Special thanks to ZiggyD for putting it in his carefully curated personal store!

I'm very excited to continue expanding the Wild Metamorphosis feature moving forward!

I'm running a contest for players who would like to be involved in the creation of Nova Drift's next batch of baddies.

Enemy Contest Guidelines:

  • To enter, you can design an enemy or a boss. If designing an enemy, you may wish to include how its alternate "Elite" and "Champion" forms differ, but it isn't required.
  • Entries can be as vague or specific as you like. While illustrations or complex behavior descriptions won't hurt your chances, what I really want are good ideas which will add value and diversity to the game.
  • Further on in this blog I talk about my future plans for Nova Drift. Enemy concepts which contribute to this goal are more likely to be selected for inclusion. Come up with the enemy that Nova Drift needs.
  • Don't worry about the specifics, like stats, unless you want to. The high concept is more important.
  • If your entry is selected, it may not be used in its entirety, or it could be altered or repurposed. All forms of inspiration are valued and appreciated!
  • Entries can be submitted either via the #brainstorm-topic channel on the discord, or my email, chimericgames@gmail.com. Submitting on discord, be sure to tag your submission with [contest] somewhere in the body so that it can be found later!
  • The deadline is October 21st, though enemy ideas through #feature-requests are welcome at any time.
Tip: Keep it simple. A good design can accomplish a lot with a little. Pulsars, the smaller green enemies in Nova Drift, cycle through three different attacks, and have a couple different movement patterns. This is about as complex as a Nova Drift enemy should ever be. Also, enemies that do only one thing are perfectly fine, if that one thing serves a purpose.

Enemy Contest Prizes:

Entrants whose ideas are selected for a prize will receive:

  • Recognition in the Nova Drift Blog, Discord, and Reddit.
  • Your name in the Special Thanks section of the game credits.
  • Two Nova Drift keys to give to your friends (or your enemies, they're your keys), a key for the game OST, and a bundle of games from the Pixeljam catalog.
  • The joy of knowing that your antagonistic creation will cause grief to players all over the world!

Empowering the Enemy

Earlier in the year, I wrote a post which discussed the state of the game, especially as it related to enemies and they way they enter the game world. I'll go into more detail.

The short version:

The player character has outgrown its opponents. It's time to bring enemies and their capabilities up to the standard of quality that has been given to the player character.

Enemies, and the ways they spawn are some of the oldest and most outdated systems in the game (Nova Drift is 5 years old and grew from a small hobby project.) Many players have voiced concerns about enemy spawns, diversity, bullet-hellishness, and the resulting narrow build options for surviving past wave 200. With Draft Mode and Boss Rush coming up on the road map, I see this as an opportunity for a rework that satisfies these issues while also improving fun and choice.

I'll break it down:

  • Older enemies will get a new coat of paint, while new enemies will be introduced to the game, both early game and late game. The quality bar for how an enemy looks and behaves will be raised.
  • Enemies will spawn with "roles" within formations, such as a protector or support of another unit.
  • Steps will be taken toward removing the need for a "spammy" late game. Enemies will trend toward tactical, dangerous, and diverse instead of numerous. In other words, encounters will be deadly for reasons which are better than "there were too many mines and bullets on the screen." As a result, the rate of spawns and the speed scaling of enemies at high waves can be reduced without being made easier.
  • The above point fits better with Nova Drift's upgrade system, which incentives builds that require set up and timing. Right now, "area clear" strategies are overwhelmingly more important than intended, while dealing single target damage isn't as viable.
  • Enemy spawns will be revised. Instead of always entering from the edges without warning, enemies might fade in from the depths of space, warp in from a portal, or enter via the borders with a HUD warning.
  • The wave spawning system will become more dynamic and procedural, allowing greater variance while being easier for me to tweak.

Rather than one big update that attempts to fix this at once, these changes will be a long term goal which I will continuously iterate on, between working on the other planned features. The first step is to begin adding new enemies that exemplify these goals.

Thanks for reading

As always, thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm. Please join our community and share your thoughts on Nova Drift on the Discord.

Best,

Chimeric

Jeffrey Nielson