Yesterday I finally finished some of my planned Artifact updates. The new version can be downloaded from here. Below is a detailed account of the changes in this version.
Added a game mode (rascal), where you can not lose:
As my 4 year old daughter was playing the game I had to keep typing cheat codes to keep her alive. This made me realise that I could introduce a game mode where it is not possible to lose, and where the player has infinite resources. Once I added the rascal mode she played for quite a while, and she even figured out some smart plays all by herself.
Removed global score tracking:
Global score tracking from games not played on a server will always be prone to modified clients posting fake scores. This can be mitigated though obfuscation, but not really solved. My implementation was also very bad, and very hard to maintain. Maybe I’ll revisit this one day, but for now I am glad its gone.
Removed hash checks of local data:
I do not care if you hack your local files so that you have insane scores. Hack the game all you want!
Prepare for OS X removal of some carbon audio API:
I kept getting this message in my logs:
WARNING: 140: This application, or a library it uses, is using the deprecated Carbon Component Manager for hosting Audio Units. Support for this will be removed in a future release. Also, this makes the host incompatible with version 3 audio units. Please transition to the API’s in AudioComponent.h
The solution was to upgrade openal-soft by building from source, and replace the old openal.dylib that came with Slick2D with the libopenal.dylib built, which I guess uses the API Apple wants you to use.
Today I released Artifact-1.0.2 after finally getting my ass around to create a close to fully automated build script for Mac OS X (a topic for another blog post). The full changelog is listed below, but I instead recommend you go get it and try it!
Added full screen and resolution management in game.
Removed splash screen.
Adjusted difficulties and added new names (Apprentice, Journeyman, Master).
Added additional fire button, allowing better control using a touch-pad.
Redesigned second orb with additional graphics and new behavior.
More in detail:
The splash screen in Artifact was unnecessary and the only issue keeping me from removing it was having in-game window and resolution management.
The Normal and Hard game difficulties were hardly different in version 1.0.0, while the Not sane difficulty was extremely hard. Now the Apprentice difficulty is much easier then the old Normal, Journeyman is similar to the old Normal, while Master is slightly easier then the old Not Sane difficulty. The change was mainly done to make the initial difficulty easier for new players.
On a touch-pad moving the mouse and clicking might interfere with each other, so I added an alternate fire welder button for those who might prefer that.
The Second orb was very hard to predict and its mechanic felt wrong. The new version is cooler , and most of the time way easier to predict. It also has a slight comeback factor, which is nice in this cutthroat game.
I made a computer game together with Nils Eriksen Meling and Sven Meling; It is named Artifact; go try it! It plays similarly to Barrack, a favourite game from my youth. In addition to the action and strategy found in Barrack, Artifact also adds an aspect of resource management.
In Artifact, each of 40 levels consists of a screen filled with a variety of different orbs. These orbs must be isolated by you. Once 75% of the playing field has been isolated, the level ends. You are rewarded for playing fast, and for ending the level with a high % of the screen isolated.
To accomplish your task you control a dual-direction Welding Blaster that can be transformed to fire vertically or horizontally. When fired, a welding beam will slowly traverse the screen in 2 directions. Once both ends reach a wall, the playing field will be cut, isolating balls on each side of the beam. However, care must be taken not to hit the orbs, as they will create a feedback surge, damaging the Welding Blaster.
Artifact is free and will stay so, but developing and maintaining it is not free. If you enjoy Artifact, I hope you will consider a donation. However, most of all, I hope you enjoy playing it.
If you have problems with installation on the supported platforms, please send a mail to: .