Posted by Dmitriy Gorbachev, Feb 20 2017, 02:08 PM
Game Developers Conference
Hi guys, if anyone is at San Francisco for the Game Developers Conference (the week of the 27th), Edmundo (art director) and Andres Bordeu (game designer) will be around. In case someone would like to stop by and chat with these crazy devs. We can go grab a beer or something. You are invited!
Note: We can later coordinate the specific location and time if there is quorum.
Posted by Dmitriy Gorbachev, Jan 27 2017, 04:07 PM in Development
Level comparison: Scotland vs Wallachia
Hi guys. Sorry for the delay for this latest update. Starting a new year generally has us busy with a bunch of things and while many of you may be enjoying a nice cool winter, here in Santiago it feels like a furnace outside, which doesn't help too much. But don't worry; we're still hard at work making sure the game lives up to its potential!
Following our regular development blog posts this time we'll be looking at how we've redesigned one of the most characteristic levels from the first game and re-imagined it for the sequel.
Scotland on the left (Rock of Ages 2), Wallachia on the right (Rock of Ages). Same level, re-imagined.
When we started developing the sequel we decided we wanted to bring back some of the more competitive and fun levels featured in the first game. Most of the levels in the new game are still brand new, but there were a couple of older designs that we thought were worth rescuing, and this is one of those cases.
In the following segments we'll explain what changes we did to improve the existing design and how that should translate in to a better gameplay experience.
Note: In the original game you have to fight Dracula at this point. Even though the level layout looks quite similar, we've decided that this level is now located in Scotland. Why? Just because. 40% less historically accurate, right? Any ideas who you'll get to face here?
In all of the levels in the original Rock of Ages, the track mirroring is split at the boulder launching area, having both adversaries looking in opposite directions. We thought it wasn't very fun to start by having you give your back to your enemy, so we've tried to set up starting points that are facing each other.
Above: Rock of Ages. Below: Rock of Ages 2. Here you have line of sight of your opponent.
We've avoided placing boulders directly next to each other in the new game. In most cases you should always be able to view your opponent in a 180 degree view radius. In some maps paths will even briefly intersect.
The narrow section
Another area we decided to redesign is the center of the level that featured a narrow segment with steps. Many people disliked the steps because they killed any momentum you may have gained at that point (and blocking the boulder should be consequence of unit placement, not level design). So to address this problem we decided to replace this area with a bridge.
Above: Rock of Ages. Below: Rock of Ages 2.
Instead of making steps in this area we made it narrower, which presents its own challenge. But a fast boulder that is able to avoid enemy units should be able to move through this part at a good speed. We also decided to limit the areas where you can place units to the checkered sections, because defending the complete bridge was too easy without these limitations.
We wanted to keep the shortcut in the middle section that rewards players that take the "leap of faith" and are able to cover both jumps.
Above: Rock of Ages. Below: Rock of Ages 2.
The smaller platforms are still easy to defend to dissuade players that want to take the risk. The jump is also a little harder for regular boulders, but much easier for light boulders like the giant balloons. Setting up your roster with two different boulders might be a good idea in this level, to cover both paths (take the shortcut or the bridge).
Near the castle
The final segment that leads to the castle was also repurposed to support more interesting gameplay. This section was fun in the original, but very hard to defend effectively.
Above: Rock of Ages. Below: Rock of Ages 2.
The old layout which features several round-like rocks really prevents you from setting up a good defense, because these rocks are easy to jump over/past, invalidating most of the usable terrain.
All levels with good design need to feature areas where defenses can be more effective. We decided to include a stone arch that serves as a choke point, since the entry and exit can be blocked quite easily (you can't build directly below though). Additionally, it's expected that many players will want to set up defenses in the final segment of the level, just before the castle, so we wanted to provide a good landmark to assist with such defenses.
And that's everything for this blog post! Hope everyone likes the changes for our "version 2.0" of the Wallachia level. Stay tuned that we'll be posting some news on Patricio Meneses' music in our next blog post, which should be just around the corner.
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Posted by Dmitriy Gorbachev, Jan 26 2017, 10:34 AM
New on 'The Deadly Tower of Monsters':
By popular demand we've reformatted Steam's Scarlet Nova digital calendar for 2017. Files should be automatically downloaded to your computer.
For those who didn't know, the digital calendar is located at:
Steam\SteamApps\common\the_deadly_tower_of_monsters\Scarlet Nova Calendar
Note: January has been set for 2018 since it already passed.
The calendar will soon be available on GOG as well.
Posted by Dmitriy Gorbachev, Jan 17 2017, 09:14 AM
Posted by Dmitriy Gorbachev, Dec 31 2016, 05:07 PM
Happy New Year!
We wish you a rock-solid new year! May happiness and success roll out for you throughout 2017!
Posted by Dmitriy Gorbachev, Dec 31 2016, 07:17 AM
Rock of Ages 2 notepad giveaway winners.
Here are the lucky few who will get an awesome Rock of Ages 2 themed notepad in the new year!
Lord of Cheese
We will be contacting the winners. If someone wouldn't want to share their address, we will pick a new winner.
Have happy remaining holidays and a wonderful 2017, everyone!
Posted by Dmitriy Gorbachev, Dec 23 2016, 11:41 AM
Happy Holidays from ACE Team!
Our most sincere thanks to all our community for continuing to support us during 2016 with our latest releases. It's thanks to you guys that we can continue to develop new exciting projects, so again, a huge thanks from our part!
Hoping 2017 will be a great year with Rock of Ages 2 and other secret stuff in the horizon!
The ACE Team staff
Posted by Dmitriy Gorbachev, Dec 20 2016, 02:57 PM
Holidays giveaway! Win a Rock of Ages 2 notepad!
To celebrate the end of the year we wanted to run a small contest where winners will be participating for a cool Rock of Ages 2 themed notepad. Ideal to take your 2017 notes and have all your friends green with envy. All notepads will also include a little surprise inside!
To participate all you have to do is be a member of the Rock of Ages 2 hub. In addition, if you wishlist the game on Steam your chances of winning are twice as good!!
To join the hub press "Follow" on the Rock of Ages 2 Steam store page.
We're also running this contest on some of our other social media sites. Join our Facebook and Twitter pages and share our posts about this giveaway if you want to increase your odds:
We'll be drawing 5 notepads in this Steam group. Winners will be announced on Friday the 30th. Good luck to everyone!
Posted by Dmitriy Gorbachev, Dec 13 2016, 02:50 PM in Development
Unit review: The Battleship
Hey guys. Welcome to a new defensive unit overview. This time we'll be looking at the updated Battleship.
Same or not?
The battleship serves a similar purpose to that of the original Rock of Ages. The unit fires in to the air and the projectile briefly lands near you in a mortar-like vertical angle, trying to anticipate your location. However, the cannonball shot features some new dynamics that make it more useful as an obstacle and the visual redesign is meant to reflect this.
Shells or land mines?
The vertical shot is meant to land directly on the boulder for highest damage, but if the shot misses, it can still deal damage in the form of a temporary land mine.
Bombarded with 'cannon shells'
The cannonballs that hit the surface burry half way in to the ground. While they are there they act as mines. Boulders that roll on top of exposed shells will cause these to explode. Additionally, buried shots start to gain pressure and explode after a few seconds.
Land mine mechanic: Cannonballs that burry in to the ground explode briefly after.
Just like in the first game, when the battleship prepares to fire it will be accompanied by a visual and audio cue. The destination impact point is signaled by an animated reticule so players can attempt to dodge the falling projectile. Falling shots will also leave a trial of smoke so other players can visualize the projectile's trajectory from far away distances.
Missed me by a hair!
One of the things we wanted to convey with the new design is a more clear representation of the vertical attack. The old unit felt like it "spawned" projectiles out of thin air, and even though this is actually how the game executes the attack, it seemed important to create the illusion that there is an actual mortar-like arced shot.
The massive four cannons that are located on the ship in a radial like pattern show that the unit is aiming towards the sky. The cannon facing the targeted boulder wills always be the cannon that fires. The fire animation is quite dramatic, so even if you're not playing with audio you'll be able to prepare for the imminent reticule to show up.
It's curious that while we were preparing this blog post we quickly realized something was missing from the battleship when comparing it to the older design: COLORS!
Battleship from RoA on the left. Battleship from RoA2 on the right.
It's incredible what some nice colors can do to compliment a design. Even if the older unit has less polygons and simpler lighting/shading it looks much more interesting. So the next step will be to complement the existing design with color coding which will not only improve the overall aesthetics but also allow the unit to display your team's color selection.
Look forward to screenshots of a more colorful battleship once we include color coding to the materials.
And that's it for today! We hope everyone enjoys this content update that was a bit overdue. Until the next time!
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