Welcome to Patch 0.8, Levelheads! This time we've got a wild & weird hodgepodge of stuff, and there's certainly... a lot of it. With our Rickety Relay update, whether you're a contraption builder, a speed runner, a campaign cruiser, or a budding cinematographer, we've got something for you!
Build Glorious Structures with New Tilesets!
We love our context-aware terrain tile system, but we've always felt like it would be nice to be able to create more "Constructed" areas of levels -- parts of the level that feel like someone built them. Things like houses, shacks, sheds, towers, etc... And although we do have Kronkrete tiles for this, we wanted more variety. So we created a new tile set: RICKETY WOOD!
Rickety Wood also has the special power that its context-aware algorithm also looks for backdrops, so it will be able to discern whether it is indoors or outdoors. If it's a topper tile to an indoor space, it will even turn into a thatched roof! If it's an outdoor bridge, it will get ropes!
We also added Kronkrete backdrops, and a new "Window" tile that allows you to create indoor-feeling spaces that have visible backdrops, without necessarily just punching holes in the wall. Plus, this keeps the bugs out.
Create Cinematic Scenes with the ZOOM-R!
Once we started building cool houses out of wood, we realized it would be way cooler if we could show more of our creations. So we added a new item: the ZOOM-R! With the ZOOM-r, all you have to do is hook it up to a switch anywhere in your level, set the zoom level, and flip that switch during gameplay.
Now, you can create a tense, up-close moment, or zoom out to showcase some interesting structure you've built and create a sense of awe. It's these little cinematic touches that truly separate the good level builders from the great. We're pumped to see how you all end up using it!
Build a Working Computer with Relays!
Although our players have made flamethrowers, replicas of other games, and working calculators in Levelhead, we couldn't help but wonder... What if we made Levelhead's switch system even more powerful? SO WE DID, by introducing a new item: the Relay! Here's how it works.
Levelhead's Switch system involves "Sending" and "Receiving" channels. For example, a pressure plate might send a signal to Channel 1. Meanwhile, a door somewhere in the level is listening to Channel 1. So you push the pressure plate, and boom! The door opens.
The limitation of this system is that you can't have cross-talk between channels. That Channel 1 pressure plate can only ever influence items that listen to Channel 1. Well, with relays, we've fixed that problem!
Relays are, on the face of it, quite simple. They listen for a signal from one channel, and when they receive the signal, they send a signal to another channel. You can think of it as sort of "transferring" a signal across channels, like having your pressure plate on Channel 1 open a door on Channel 2.
That's the simple setup. But it turns out, Relays can be used for a whole lot more. Our beta testers have already figured out how to use Relays to create every kind of logic gate that exists. So we expect to see a full, working computer at some point in the near future, built out of these things.
Image credit to Cammymoop @cgm03g
Oh, and because we knew this was going to blow the lid off the switch system, we increased the maximum switch ID from 127 to 999. Hopefully that tides you maniac builders over for at least another two weeks! After that, we'll have to figure out how to get that fourth digit in there... and fifth...
Skip Across the World!
OKAY, TIME TO GET DEEP INTO SOME MECHANICAL DISCUSSION!
One of the tricky things about physics-based gameplay is that sometimes, emergent mechanics appear that you don't plan for. In Levelhead, up until now, we've had the following mechanics in place:
- When you throw an object down while falling, you slow down but still continue to fall.
- You can stand on any falling box, as long as the box is also falling.
- You have a small grace period after standing on something where you can still jump.
These three systems combined to allow for advanced, but somewhat unreliable techniques:
- The "Infinity Leap." By continually throwing the package down, jumping off of it instantly, and then regrabbing it as you jumped up, you could traverse a gap of any length without falling to your death.
- The "Super Jump." By throwing a crate upward, then jumping shortly after, you could leap off the crate as it started to fall, and then re-grab it on the way up. This effectively gave you a super-high jump.
- The "Infinite Super Jump." By combining the above two concepts with some extremely precise inputs, you could ascend upward forever.
Although these techniques were hard to execute and pretty interesting (and fun to watch), they made it very difficult for level designers in Levelhead to make levels that could "contain" the player. Since advanced players could simply clear any gap or any height at will, the design side of Levelhead started to break down, and level builders had to keep trying to come up with ways to "de-cheese" their level to prevent these moves from being used.
So, after some long chats with our community and some soul searching, we have decided to tweak the game's physics in one small way, which would still allow the Super Jump, but disallow the Infinity Leap and the Infinite Super Jump. This means you can still clear a high gap once, but you can no longer ascend forever.
All we had to do was to modify how GR-18 gets pushed upward when kicking down. So now, it looks like this:
This solves the inifinite leaping problem, while also introducing some new tricks due to this little "double jump." For example, here's a new, weird way of skipping across solid spikes using a pickupable item:
We'll keep an eye on this change and make adjustments as needed!
As a final thought on this change... This is part of what makes Early Access really interesting. Levelhead isn't set in stone, and we (and our community) are always striving to come up with ways to make the game better. It was truly a pleasure having our wonderful players approach us to talk about this mechanics change with a... LEVEL HEAD. We appreciate the willingness of our community to wave goodbye to a mechanic for the long-term health of the game, even though it was pretty overpowered (and therefore... pretty fun).
For our final big highlight, we've got a bunch of nice visual improvements to the campaign in this patch, including curved paths!
Yep, that's right... We got rid of all those rough corners! Now you can smoothly glide that space ship all up and down those Bezier curves! Oooooh!
Plus, with the new Rickety Wood tileset and ZOOM-R in our back pocket, we refactored a whole bunch of the campaign levels to give them a much more rustic and cinematic feel. If you haven't been back to the campaign for a while, now is a good time to go scope it out!
And some other stuff, too!
This patch is LOADED with fixes, improvements, and features, so here are just a few more quick highlights before we get on to the RAW, UNFILTERED PATCH NOTES!
- There's a new "Variants" system that adds dropdown menus to items in the editor, so you can select other versions of that item.
- There are new search and sort options in the Tower, including a "Hidden Gems" feature that surface good (but underplayed) levels, and you can also search for levels by how long it takes to beat them (on average)!
- The Daily Build item set now includes more cosmetic items by default, so you can make more interesting daily builds!
All right, get outta here, and we'll see you in two weeks for patch 0.9! Though if you're still hungry for bullet points, carrry on! We've got tons of 'em!
v0.8.1 Patchnotes (since 0.7.2)
See the full patchnotes.
- You can now filter levels by length (measured in average time per win).
- Level cards now display their average time per win in terms of "Super Short", "Short", "Medium", "Long", or "Super Long". This should give players an idea of whether they are about to dive into a level that is going to take a long time, or whether it's a quick one.
- Three new visuals have been added for paths: Wiggly Vines, Square Chains, and Alien Webbing!
- Introducing the Relay! Relays are simple items that can listen to a receiving channel, respond to that signal, and then send out a new signal on a different channel. For example, the simplest case would be a Relay that listens for a Pressure Plate on Channel 1, and when the pressure plate is held, the Relay sends a signal to Channel 2 to open a door on Channel 2. With Relays, you can now create much more fine-tuned logic gates and contraptions!
- Introducing the ZOOM-R! This is an item that can be placed anywhere in your level, and is controlled by switches. When active, it allows you to change the zoom level of the camera. You can zoom in up to the point where you see 80% of the normal field of view, or zoom out to where you see 140% of the normal field of view. This will allow you to create more epic or more calm moments by manipulating the camera! ZOOM-Rs are not visible during normal gameplay, much like the Camera Anchor.
- Rickety Wood! You can now build buildings and structures using our new context-aware Rickety Wood tile set. Rickety Wood tiles turn into walls, floors, bridges, knotted rope intersections, wooden chunks, and thatched roofs. This tile set is available in all biomes.
- Rickety Backdrop! You can place new wooden backdrops to go with the new Rickety Wood tile set. Rickety Wood tiles are context-aware with relation to other solid tiles and Rickety Backdrops. Rickety Backdrops are available to use in all biomes.
- Kronkrete Backdrop! That's right! Kronkrete now has backdrop tiles. These are available in all biomes.
- Window Backdrop! Want to make a space feel enclosed, while still giving it that outdoorsy feel? Now you can! Windows are available in all biomes.
- You can now directly place enemy droppables in the world, without requiring an enemy to be defeated first. These items are available in the "Carryables" section of the editor, and they become automatically unlocked when you unlock their associated enemies. These items can go on paths and can be given switch IDs. They float and are unaffected by physics (much like keys or batteries) until they are picked up.
- Internal Bscotch team members can now purge their reported levels list in the settings page, to make it easier to test moderation.
- The item selector bar at the top of the Editor is now capable of having "Variants" of items, available as a dropdown menu from the item that has variants. The dropdown can be opened by pressing "Down" on the Dpad with the item selected, or by clicking the item in the editor bar after selecting it.
- Relays now display whether they are set to "Any Active," "All Active", etc... (thanks to Spekio)
- Added shifting god rays to the Asteroid Tunnels biome backdrop (in development).
- The following campaign levels have been updated to incorporated ZOOM-R technology: Boom Boom Pop, Dense Fog Ridge, 9 Second Marathon, Calculated Risk, Hide and Sneak. Whizblade Grotto, The Way is Through, Howl of the Lizumi, Battery Gauntlet, That's an Incredible GR-18, Switch Karma, Door Problem, Hollow Mountain Hike, Chamber of Magic, Go Go Rumble, Deliver the Package, GR-18!, Boombox Wonder, Fire Fall, Eek! Ow! The Lectroshield!, Pressure Puzzle, Fly, GR-18!
- The "Hyper Reactive" badge now includes the Relay item.
- The "Spoiler Alert" badge now includes the Kronkrete Backdrop and the Window backdrop.
- The "Downpour" badge now includes the Rickety Wood and Rickety Backdrop tiles.
- The "Electric Sheep" badge now includes the ZOOM-R item.
- A large number of Campaign levels have been updated to include the new Rickety Wood, Rickety Backdrop, Window, and Kronkrete Backdrop tiles.
- The campaign now has curved paths instead of hard corners.
- Added words to the name combobulator: Earth, Water, Bend, Manage, Flame, Inventory, Weather, Shelter, Cold. (thanks to Choyawp Cehappy, Spekio)
- Added words to the name combobulator: Cabin, Refuge, Outpost, Wood, Rope, Shack, Field, Wooden, Rickety. (thanks to Spekio)
- Sending and Receiving channels can now go up to 999, up from 127. While we were in the neighborhood, we increased the maximum IDs for Rifts to 999 as well.
- All of the enemy drop items now have UI Icons in the Editor, instead of rendering their tiny, tiny, normal sprites.
- The larger versions of Jems are now variants of the normal Jem, and are accessible via dropdown menu in the Editor.
- When doing the Daily Build, you now always have access to Jukeboxes, Boomboxes, Camera Anchors, ZOOM-Rs, and Relays if you have unlocked them in the campaign. Because these items are less mechanical and more cosmetic, we feel that it doesn't break the spirit of the Daily Build to always have them available, much like Signs or Arrow Holograms. To make space, the "Objective" items (GR-18, the Package, BUDD-E, and the Goal) have been broken out into their own category in Daily Build levels.
- Updated the visuals for the dropdown menus off of items in the Editor to have slightly rounded corners, and to have an updated visual for the arrow that signifies the dropdown is available.
- You can now toggle the path editor by pressing Tab or Left Stick. As a result of this change, only the Right Stick on a controller can be used to change the Editor's zoom level.
- Added words to the name combobulator: Protect, Defend, Sacrifice, Illusion, Assist. (thanks to Spekio)
- Added words to the Name Combobulator: Anything, Everything, Any, All, Nothing, For, Bitter, Salty, Troll. (thanks to Oopyerchie Landjunk)
- Moved Kronkrete into being a variant of the Environment tile section.
- Added word to the name combobulator: Canopy
- The ending scoreboard now shows total Jem and total Enemy counts, and how many of each you acquired/defeated. (thanks to Spekio)
- You can now use the "Random Name" button when choosing your alias while using a controller by pressing "Y" on Xbox controller (or similar on other controllers).
- Implemented the second music track for the Asteroid Tunnels biome (in development).
- Added the first music to the Asteroid Caverns biome (in development).
- Implemented the second draft of the Asteroid Tunnels biome (in development).
- Updated texture pages for more optimized frame rates.
- The vertical speed impulse GR-18 gains from kicking objects downward has been modified. Previously, this impulse was additive, which means if you were falling past a certain speed, you would simply slow your fall by kicking an object down, but you would still be falling. Now, your vertical speed will be set instead of added to, which means you will always move upward after kicking an object downward, even if you were falling at maximum speed. This change opens up new movement capabilities for normal gameplay, since it effectively acts as a tiny "double jump" no matter how fast you are falling. This change removes the ability to perform the "Infinity Leap" or "Infinite Super Jump" techniques that would allow players to infinitely gain height or to traverse a normally impassable chasm by repeatedly jumping off the package.
- Eyeswitches now only ignore stealthed players if the Eyeswitch is not invisible. You can't stealth past something that is STEALTHIER THAN YOU ARE!
- You can now sneak past Eyeswitches by using the Tiptow. This will allow for the creation of some interesting stealth-style levels.
- Relays (in development) are now always invisible during gameplay.
- When a sign gets deactivated, it now depth sorts behind activated signs.
- Added a "Hidden Gems" sort feature to the tower, which will show you levels that have a high engagement factor but are underplayed in terms of how many people have seen them. (thanks to Choyawp Cehappy)
- The Tower Trial should once again only display the top 10 scorers and speeders.
- Fixed missing text on the keybindings page for the "Toggle Path Editor" line.
- The description text for items in the Editor will now shrink to fit the text box area. This was only an issue in some languages for a certain few items, and only in full-bodied UI scale, but it is now fixed!
- A level will now only enter your play history if you actually manage to successfully load the level and enter it.
- The "Back" button on the Settings page now properly changes size when you change the UI scale.
- Flipeggs and Lizumi Thorns can no longer be regrabbed once fired. Because these items defy gravity, they were able to be used to infinitely leap across open gaps or to infinitely jump upward with no limitations by repeatedly regrabbing them.
- The Wingarang (dropped by the Swoopadoop) now has a short cooldown (0.2 seconds) before it can be regrabbed again. This allows it to be caught when it returns to the player, but no longer allows it to be used to infinitely regrab to cross long open gaps.
- Relays will no longer change states when the game is paused.
- If batteries, keys, or bombs emerge from an enemy or prize block into solid ground, those items will now move upward through the solid ground until they emerge into open air, so they are no longer trapped. (thanks to Choyawp Cehappy)
- Enemy droppables should no longer last forever.
- If you kick a spring through a one-grid-tall tunnel, the spring now gets extra speed, similar to how the Package behaves.
- Pressure plates (and other objects that look for pressure application, such as boomboxes) no longer look for inputs when the game is paused. (thanks to Joe Ah Oh)
- Carryable items on paths that get teleported through a Rift and then fall off a cliff (or otherwise get destroyed) will now correctly respawn to the position on the path they were teleported away from, and resume moving on the path as normal.
- Swoopadoops and Blopfush should now go through Rifts. After going through a Rift, they will attempt to return to their original position. (thanks to Spekio)
- Carryable items on paths will now go through Rifts. When they go through the Rift, they will detach from the path and will be affected by physics from that point forward.
- If an item was already sitting on top of a Rift when you respawn at a checkpoint, the item will not go through the Rift. (thanks to Joe Ah Oh)
- If you are purged by a purge gate, any active powerup states will be properly cancelled, such as stealth, punching, gliding, or rocket boosting. This should also fix any animation issues that stemmed from going through a purge gate while performing a powerup ability. (thanks to Quickcloud Pangzow)
- Fixed an issue where countdown switches that are also receivers and that were restored at a checkpoint would end up with an inverted switch state. (thanks to Wumpybami Rampygop)
- Fixed some backward-compatibility issues with Spike Traps incorrectly mounting on paths on levels published on older versions of the game. (thanks to Kazayogga Kammacram)
- If you have a path set to a Receiving Channel, then that channel should now properly show up in white when you are setting up your switches. (thanks to Boppaslap Fancyangle)
- Enemy droppable items were being treated as "developer only," so you would be unable to publish a level if you used them. This has been fixed!
- Flapjacks are no longer excluded from the icons available in signs.
- When you change back and forth to and from the Path Editor, it should remember what item you had selected and what category you had selected.
- When you closed out of path edit mode after changing your Terrain variant, it would always default back to Terrain instead of the variant you had chosen. This no longer occurs.
- You should now always be able to scroll up and down in the variants dropdown menu using the Dpad or arrow keys, regardless of what variant you have selected.
- Fixed an issue where pressing up or down on the Dpad while in Path Edit mode would select items and allow you to place them.
- The Path Editor now always shows the "Delete Path" tool when you first open it up if the level contains paths.
- The "Low FPS Checker" in the Editor was also taking into account spawn times when you first booted up the level. This was making it so that people with extremely large levels would have a hard time getting over the minimum FPS, even if their level ran smoothly once it was loaded, which would prevent them from publishing their level. This should no longer be an issue.
- Rickety Wood tiles should now more reliably display its "Rope Intersection" tile style.
- Fixed an issue with the Editor's numpad, where it would incorrectly display numbers with decimals that started with a zero, for example displaying "1.09" as "1.9". (thanks to Kazayogga Kammacram)
- Fixed a rounding issue with the Editor's numpad, where it wouldn't always set the property to exactly the number you gave it, due to Banker's rounding.
- Purge gates no longer attach to paths. Previously, only their visuals would move, while they were still functionally behaving as if they weren't moving. Now, they just don't move!
- When you click a new path to select it, you will no longer hear the path node "drag" and "place" sounds being played simultaneously. The path node "I got moved" sound is now a more subtle click, and it only plays when you actually move a node.
- Path nodes sitting on non-active items were flickering. Now they aren't! (thanks to Spekio)
- Boomboxes have had their audio type updated, so they should no longer affect CPU clock times when playing. (thanks to RetrophileTV)
- Further reduced the volume of simultaneoulsy exploding things.
- Fixed a crash that could occur in the editor if you had a variant menu open, then went to the path editor, then went back.
- Fixed an issue where clicking the Eyedropper button would crash the game after the recent Variants system update.
- Fixed an issue where the game would crash if you pressed "Delete" with the Editor numpad open and ended up with only a decimal and no number. (thanks to Bupajie Impycloud, Edyup Nipoo)
- Fixed a crash caused by Clockswitches, due to the path attachment changes in the previous build.
- Fixed an issue where checkpoints that were storing huge amounts of data on giant levels would cause the game to crash.
- The game should now load a bit faster.
- Backdrops inside enclosures (secrets) are now darkened relative to other backdrops, to make it more obvious where the contours of terrain are.
- GR-18 no longer leans the wrong direction if sprinting while using the Ripcord powerup's abilities.
- GR-18 now leans forward instead of backward when moving while using the Ripcord's Helicopter ability, because the laws of physics must be obeyed.
- The badge after Nope Cart should no longer require a GR-17, because there isn't one in Nope Cart! (thanks to Oopyerchie Landjunk)
- If you changed devices, your save would download from the cloud after checking on your bookmarks. This would cause your freshly-downloaded save to overwrite your bookmarks list you just updated. Now, bookmarks will wait until your save sync is finished before being retrieved, so new bookmarks won't get lost when you change devices.
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