Acid Wizard Studio is 3 young people (and a dog) from Warsaw, Poland. We make games.
Contact us at wassup@acidwizardstudio.com. If you dare.

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Alpha 5

12 June 2015 by Acid Wizard

alpha5_01

Alpha 5 is here, baby!

Changes

- Added workbenches to hideouts.
- Most of crafting schematics found in the world have been removed. Instead, upgrade your workbench to craft more stuff. Upgrading a workbench applies to all other workbenches in the world.
- Repair kits have been removed. You can repair weapons on workbenches.
- Removed random modifiers from weapons. Instead, you can upgrade weapons on the workbench.
- Outside of workbenches, you can only craft basic items.
- New trading UI – no more accidental purchases!
- A new event happens each time you survive the night. Time stops, so you can repair your hideout and get ready before you venture out into the woods.
- You will be visited by a new NPC.
- New UI for the Saw.
- Better biome borders. They still need work, but they’re less confusing now, and following them will eventually lead to something that will help you navigate.
- Roads are better. There’s more of them, they navigate to locations better, and they no longer create empty space around them.
- Better location placement, making sure generic locations do not appear too close to one another.
- Biomes are tighter, with more stuff happening inside.
- New locations.
- New enemies.
- New melee and ranged weapon.
- The pellet gun has been removed.
- Ovens have their own efficiency, which affects how much essence you can extract from items.
- There are only two types of mushrooms now: regular and night mushrooms.
- Mushroom poisoning is shorter.
- A balance pass to loot distribution, gasoline usage, crafting and item values.
- New night events.
- New sounds effects and music.
- Thrown items (except the flare) do not drop after leaving aim mode or getting hit.
- Improvements to AI, especially during the night. It’s a bit harder to escape enemies in the hideouts now.
- Improvements to stuttering during exploration.
- Popups position themselves automatically if a part of them displays offscreen.
- Added a big container close to the workbench.
- It’s not possible to start raining on the first day now.
- The “slow” effect on the player now removes the ability to run, instead of just slowing you down.
- Drinking alcohol (or using it during crafting) now produces a empty bottle.
- You can open your journal in dreams. (I was sure this was added in a previous update)
- Infestations can now be burned with a torch.
- NPC’s do not trigger traps anymore (so you don’t accidentally kill Wolf if he appeared on top of your beartrap).
- Shovels and axes cannot be found on the ground anymore (except in the prologue and dreams). Instead, you find parts of weapons and craft them on the workbench.

Fixes

- Fixed cases where you would sometimes miss enemies when shooting, especially in point blank range. Still might need some work though.
- Fixed several issues to do with eating bait by enemies.
- Fixes for disappearing and weirdly behaving enemies who chased the player out of a location, lost him, and then engaged with him again.
- Fixes for enemies not wanting to search for the player after losing him in a building.
- Fixed shadows event, where sometimes ALL lights would get turned off.
- Also, only inside lights can be left turned on by this event, so the player is not forced to stay outside during the night.
- Fixed rock savage sometimes forgetting to throw his rock…
- Fixed case when player would get frozen when died during jumping.
- If a character gives you a key, it is automatically added to your journal (so you don’t have to click on it in your inventory).
- Fixed tons of UI glitches.
- Fixed case when the player could achieve a higher level than possible, crashing the game.
- Fixed broken pigs in the pigshed.
- If the player is using a door in any way (barricading, interacting with it’s context menu), this action will be cancelled if the door is opened / destroyed by somebody else.
- Fixed a few crafting errors.
- Fixed glitchy healthbar for enemies / objects.
- Fixed or adjusted hitboxes for several characters.
- Fixed being able to move (or shoot) characters during their death animation.
- Fixed sound slider not affecting the game sometimes.
- Increased radius for the closest location to the player which is marked on the map.
- Fixed a case where the player would respawn in the wrong biome.
- Fixed issues with timing of attacks by enemies.
- You can’t dodge anymore when trying to jump through a window or when browsing the inventory.
- Fixed infinite torch when stepping in beartraps and then dying.
- Fixed some items being reset when loading game.
- Fixed third eye perk bugging out when aiming weapons.
- When returning from a underground location, the saving icon appears before the save process begins, so it doesn’t look like the game crashed anymore.
- Fixed door sensors not resetting after being destroyed.
- Fixed some sounds playing several times rapidly.
- Fixed sound slider.
- Fixed doctor’s house not culling itself correctly when returning from it, resulting in performance drop.
- Fixed epilogue dream not behaving correctly.
- Fixed many cursor glitches.
- Fixed enemy combat issue, where they could spam attacks.
- Fixed enemy sprites behaving weird just after death.
- Fixed major issue where enemies would not run away or despawn during night events, making nights more difficult than intended.
- Fixed drag and mass values for some items.
- Fixed issue where your character would want to jump over windows constantly after dying when jumping previously.
- Disabled lamp sparks are timed properly now.
- Fixed being able to select objects when aiming a thrown item by trolling the run button.
- Fixes to trolling crafting (or other cases of using the progress bar) and menus like leveling, trading.
- Fixed lamps not resetting correctly if your generator ran out of juice during the shadows event.
- After the prologue, you start in the morning instead of the middle of the day.
- Fixed some pathfinding issues, making enemies get stuck on doors / barricades.
- Radio popup in prologue now displays “Examine” instead of “Pick up”.
- Fixed prologue dead bodies hitboxes.
- Fixed slight lag after walking into a mushroom.
- And lots of other fixes I forgot to write down :P

Hotfix 1, 13.06.2015
- Fixed a case where the burned cottage between the Meadow and Old Woods would be rotated incorrectly.
- Fixed crafting requirements for high level workbenches.
- Added workbench level cap.
- Removed some repair kits from the game.
- Added a few missing translations.
- Added loot to a picture on the wall.
- Fixed pigs in the pigshed being aggro to the player when attacked by villagers.
- Fixed not being able to enter the journal when dreaming.
- Fixed villager in pigsheds not doing any damage.
- REMOVE KEBAB
- Dogs are a bit relentless sometimes. Don’t know why, so I temporarily nerfed their speed slightly.

Phew, that’s a lot of stuff! There might be some bugs that got through the testing builds from the recent changes, but once we iron them out in the next minor update, I think we will be albe to describe Darkwood as pretty darn stable.

It looks like we’re in the final stages of modifying the gameplay mechanics. As of now, we still have to work on a few things, like The Well (or get rid of it in favour of something else), adding unpredictability to exploring locations, or the loot distribution system, and of course some technical stuff like gamma settings and normalizing the camera zoom across all resolutions… But once we’re through with that, we can focus on the things veteran players are interested most: adding more content!

The Acid Wizard

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Alpha 5 news + how to keep your saves

03 June 2015 by Acid Wizard

Hello!

We’re close to finishing up work on Alpha 5! Here’s a sneak peak on what we’ve been working on:

Workbench

The majority of craftable items are now created through the workbench. Instead of finding recipes for new items all over the place, you will have to upgrade your workbench to craft better items. Workbenches are found in every hideout.

Repair kits have been removed. You will be able to repair your weapons on the workbench.

In addition, weapons can be upgraded / modified with different perks.

The workbench gives players some short-term goals to look forward to, which are much needed until we add more detail to the storyline.

World refinements

A lot of work has been put to make exploration better and more rewarding, with new locations and a more varied wilderness. Roads are more plentiful and informative (they don’t end in the middle of nowhere anymore).

Biome borders have been overhauled, and now contain unique stuff and are much less confusing. Also, new enemies have been added.

Other bigger changes:

- New trading UI, preventing accidental purchases.
- Time freezes after surviving the night, allowing you to breathe a little, repair your hideout and interact with a new NPC.
- New weapons.
- The saw has it’s own UI now.
- There are only two types of mushrooms now: regular and night mushrooms. The essence you gain from them depends on the quality of the oven you use.
- Loot randomization has been put through a balance pass (the system needs to be pretty much redone in the future though).

Apart from the major changes, we’ve spent a lot of time on refining smaller elements and squashing bugs, but those will be outlined in the update notes.

How to disable automatic updates

If you don’t want to upgrade to the latest version of Darkwood and do not wish to play around with going offline on Steam, we’ve added a option to keep playing on a earlier version of Darkwood with only 6 mouse clicks!

Right click on Darkwood in your Steam library, and select "Properties".

Right click on Darkwood in your Steam library, and select “Properties”.

Click the "BETAS" tab.

Click the “BETAS” tab.

From the drop-down list, select the version of the game you are playing on now (WARNING: selecting a EARLIER version will result in weird stuff happening when loading a game!). The "testing" and "internaltesting_2" betas are hidden, so don't worry if you don't see them.

From the drop-down list, select the version of the game you are playing on now (WARNING: selecting a EARLIER version will result in weird stuff happening when loading a game!). The “testing” and “internaltesting_2″ betas are hidden, so don’t worry if you don’t see them.

Click CLOSE and you’re done! If you wish to return to automatic updates, just select “none” from the menu.

A test version has been released, so expect the next alpha to go public pretty soon if all goes well!

In other news, we’re very happy to be part of Independent By Design, a upcoming book about the stories of awesome indie game developers like Lucas Pope, Frictional Games, inXile Entertainment, Dennaton, Vlambeer… And, well, us! :D

Design concept only; final design tbc

The book is in the final days of it’s Kickstarter, so it’s your last chance to get it early!

 

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Darkwood Alpha 4

13 March 2015 by Acid Wizard

alpha4_01_nastronke

Alpha 4 is finally here!

THE NIGHT

Night gameplay is now controlled by a scenario & event system, which makes a lot of weird, awesome stuff happen. Some of that is stuff is random, some is a consequence to what you have done previously (or during the night). Some are basic and common, but there are also complex and unique ones. There are a limited number of events currently, but you can expect more in the future.

Shadow creatures have been completely revamped. The “you need to be in the light after sundown or you die” mechanic has been scrapped (it sucked, sorry about that). You will still be visited by those creatures, but they’re very different now.

The Banshee has also been revamped, but I’m not going to spoil that for you.

Mutated mushrooms no longer spawn in and around your hideout every night. They’re not completely removed, but they’re a bit different and much more rare.

The noise you make now plays a lesser role. You can still attract attention when running around at night a lot and dragging heavy things, but it’s much less dangerous now.

There are a few other changes, but you need to find them yourself!

TECHNICAL IMPROVEMENTS

Memory management has been vastly improved. We’ve also added a dynamic texture load / unload system, so out of memory crashes should be gone now!

You can now turn on windowed mode from the main menu.

There is new a alternate control scheme, where movement is relative to the mouse cursor. You can switch it on in the control options.

Performance optimization, and fixes to late-game fps drops.

Written text (like the one during dialogue) no longer jumps to a new line mid-word, making reading it less troublesome.

uzytek_z_grzybow_01

NEW STUFF:
- A new enemy type.
- If you have more than one item selected (under your cursor), you can cycle through them (default “E” key). This is indicated by a arrow icon next to your cursor.
- Your character now respawns in a small location after dying. Check your map after you get up to know where you are.
- New stuff added to some of the locations.
- Lots of new sounds!

CHANGES:
- Large amount of minor improvements and fixes to AI.
- Modified and improved combat behaviour for all characters.
- Time flows slower, so you have a bit more time to explore.
- Also, the day now always lasts from 8 am to 8pm (as shown by the watch).
- Poisonous mushrooms in the meadow are less plentiful. They can also be selected with the cursor (but not interacted with).
- Roads are safer.
- Minor loot rebalance. The loot system needs to be redone from scratch in the future though.
- Rebalanced enemy and object spawns in biomes.

FIXES:
This update has seen the biggest bug hunt yet, and it would take quite a while to write down all the squashed bugs. Here are the most annoying ones:
- Fixed discovered mini locations not being marked on the map, making navigation much harder.
- Generator usage was broken (sometimes it would consume 2x the amount it should). It’s fixed now, and also rebalanced.
- Fixed camera shake being relative to FPS (making it too long or too short depending on your machine).
- Changing resolution ingame will not break some menus anymore.
- Fixed sometimes waking up in the same spot where you died (right next to the thing that killed you), instead of somewhere in the woods.
- Fixed beartraps and poisonous plants being too concealed.
- Enemies can no longer push you around when you’re jumping.
- Fixed disappearing enemies.
- Fixed enemies reappearing in front of (or behind) you…
- Fixed a few instances of walking through a black void.
- Fixed crashing the game when mashing the escape button when the dream transition video was playing.

 

Alpha 3 broke the night gameplay for some of you, and we believe this update not only fixes these issues, but makes them really interesting. There’s still more stuff to come for the nights though, but we think we’re close to our vision.

The new event system makes way for other things to happen during the day too! We’re not sure if it will be the focus of the next update yet, as there are some serious issues with how the world is generated right now (the border areas are completely empty) which need to be fixed first.

I truly hope that this will be the last time I need to do any big changes related to some very technical stuff like memory management… These take up A LOT of time. A new version of the engine we’re using (Unity 5) is out, and it brings significant performance improvements. If there are no major issues with the initial Alpha 4 update, I will probably start working on bringing Darkwood to the new engine version.

The Acid Wizard

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Global Game Jam 2015

06 February 2015 by Acid Wizard

Guess what! We’ve been game jamming recently, making a game called After The Credits! You can play it here, in your browser.

If you haven’t heard about it yet, the Global Game Jam is a yearly event, where people all around the world gather in different places (called sites), and make a game in 48 hours on a given subject. Our site in Warsaw was PolyJam!

Less than a hundred people cramped in a room for 48 hours. Can you just smell the work in the air?

Less than a hundred people cramped in a room for 48 hours. Can you just smell the work in the air?

Here’s the full coverage:

Friday

4:58 PM
We arrive at the site. One of the sponsors (a bank) is having a presentation. About loans. Some time after that, this year’s keynotes are played. One of them was pretty trippy . The theme is announced, and it’s a question : “What do we do now?“.

We brainstorm for an hour or so about what we want to create. Very quickly we get the idea we like: Let’s make a game about a video game character (in this case, Bill from Contra) returning to normal life, after he has defeated the final boss. The twist is, he can only use the same set of skills he has acquired during his previous adventures!

We talk about some other ideas, but since we’re satisfied with the one we have, we leave the site to get our hardware.

9:23 PM
It took way longer than we expected, but we’re back and ready to work! Well, not exactly. Artur’s computer is not working. He and Kuba need to go to his apartment and get his laptop. The day is almost over and we haven’t done anything yet, and the atmosphere is becoming tense.

11:03PM
The guys are back. It turns out, Artur forgot a cable to connect his tablet to the laptop, so he can’t work well. We can’t really get the internet to work, so working together will be pretty hard. It wouldn’t be so bad, but we’re having second thoughts about the game we want to make, and having these technical difficulties pile up like this, it really hits our morale. We go back to brainstorming.

1:10AM
We decide to stick with the original idea, as we can’t think of anything better at the moment, but most of the team is unconvinced and can’t really focus. We’re also pretty tired.

3:32AM
I made some prototypes for movement, but we haven’t done anything besides that. This sucks. We call it a night.

Saturday

 11:02AM
We were supposed to meet at 10:00 AM, but I overslept. Now we’re completely unsure of what we want to make. We’re not convinced about the art style (which will need to be consistent with Contra), the gameplay (which will be extremely simple, as we will only have time to make a few gags), and only scratching the surface of the subject because of the limited controls and time frame. We brainstorm again.

Kuba is showing us his work. As you can tell from our facial expression, it wasn't very good.

THINGS ARE NOT GOING VERY WELL

1:30 PM
Success! We’re now sure what we want to make and have no doubts about the project. We didn’t alter the idea, but we needed to convince ourselves about what’s good (and bad) about it, and just go with it.

In a horizontal company structure like ours, where the fun of creating something and the game itself is a major motivation, being confident about the project you are making is extremely important.  If someone from the team is unsure about anything, the game will end up a disaster.

4:30 AM
Nothing out of the ordinary happens during the whole day. We’re jamming, which means we work hard, eat pizza and have fun! We’ve got a (somewhat) working game. We’re aware that it will look like shit until it’s finished, so we don’t stress about the current state of the game.

Sunday

4:00PM
Work is going well and we make it just in time for the presentation, unfortunately Artur didn’t feel too well and had to go home. The presentation goes well and After The Credits grabs 1st place! 

Lots of other crazy games have been made there by talented people, you can check them out here!

Find the Wizards!

A group photo after the event. Find the Wizards!

Overall, even though the atmosphere was pretty bad because of our technical (and creative) difficulties, the event was great, thanks to great organization and fellow jammers!

The 2 weeks after the jam, however, were not very fortunate for us – after Artur’s PC refused to cooperate, Kuba’s hard drive died a few days later. What’s worse is that last week, he suddenly felt very bad and was taken to the hospital. He gave us a bit of a scare when his pulse dropped to 35. Luckily it looks like he will have to go through a few procedures and all will be fine, and today he’s back in work!

In the meantime, we’re returning to work on Darkwood. Right now we’re working on a behind the scenes system which will dynamically change the game (especially night time) based on your current actions / situation. You can expect a basic version of it in the next update!

Gustaw

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