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J.G. Phoenix

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M.A.S.S. Builder: Recent News

I've been distracted as all get out so here's a three parter. Having said that, I think once M.A.S.S. Builder releases either 0.11.0 or 0.12.0 I'm going to stop writing about the news itself unless it's particularly important. I want to make another shift since half...

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Begin (2024)

2023 ended weirdly abruptly for me, but I got the shot in the arm I needed in order to hit the ground running in 2024. This year's going to be absolutely crazy, but for me personally, I feel my worst years are finally behind me. I'm ready to stop drowning in a sea of...

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M.A.S.S. Builder: 0.10.4 Fix Notes

by | Oct 8, 2023 | Blog, MASS Builder

There will be bugs, and thankfully, people to fix those bugs. Anyway, here’s a list of what VD took care of:

  • Significantly reduce enemies HP and shields in later stages especially on M.A.S.S. enemies.
  • Multiplayer mode [Normal] missions has significantly lower multipliers. It’s still recommended for 4 players but will be much easier than before.
  • Fixed various bugs regarding customization parts
  • Fixed a small discrepancy in lock-on tracking. Still, it’s a soft-lock system and players may still miss their shots especially weapons with small bullets.
  • Fixed some parts providing more stats than intended
  • Fixed a ton of collision bug in the new volcanic area missions
  • Fixed profiles showing wrong chapters in selection page
  • Fixed damage showing in the wrong spot in some missions against some enemies
  • Fixed players able to get stuck within a crystal in the new mission

I’ve been too busy to hop back in, but I’m kind of glad I did, at least up to this point. Some of those bugs sound really annoying, especially that last one.

VD also has a few things to say about the road ahead, which is always good to see.

With those out of the way, let us first say, hello everyone. It’s us, the Vermillion Digital team, once again with our post-patch message. Thank you for another year of your interest in our game, even though it’s still an unfinished dream that we’ll continue working on. At this point, the game is almost ready to be called version 1.0.0 right? There’s a patch or two of campaign missions left, and few features here, a few additions there… that shouldn’t take more than the end of next year right? And then we can start working on all the other fun stuffs like other legs… oh wow it’s so far away… but fret not we’re here to stay working on it, being committed to our dream.

So! Once again, many of you must have the question, why did it took almost a year for a patch to be done again? Honestly, there’s too many things to fix and many things we wanted to do, as well as a shift mid-development and heated discussions with you supporters to change many of the things we showed during our WIP (and we’re grateful for that, since it bettered the game during the time we can still change things around easily).

One of the main things that took time to work on was new missions. We wanted something new, something that looked different than before, and something that fits the game. Creating these new missions was a task managed by two of our team members, designing the levels, designing the newer Quarks, and designing the mechanics of each mission itself. You might’ve seen the new type of in-game cutscene in one of the later missions that moved away from a total cut to a smoother transition as well. Those took time, and then after missions, they went on to made new Quarks, new animations, new attacks, new parts, new everything content related. Such is a pain of a small team and we wasted no time working on everything to a point where we think it’s enough of an update to be released.

Now let’s look at the update reception (at least, our understanding of the reception so bear with us here). 0.10.0 was not a satisfying update. We know, we understand there’s a lot to be desired from M.A.S.S. Builder and maybe leaving it in the oven for a few more months could do the trick. We’d like to say it can’t. We released 0.10.0 in this state, as there are some of the things that needed to happen which we’ll talk next week during the “What’s Next” but for 0.10.0 we deem this is where we should stop and release the update. It’s still the things we promised you with, a lot of missions, fixes here and there, many of the requested features and parts made it in, to a point where we think this is good enough, not what we wanted for the best, but good enough.

What’s not to the point we wanted things to be? Let’s see. How about melee combat?

Melee combat received its major update, a bump into attack speed, and that’s something we thought was good. It honestly plays much better and its well received by most of you guys trying it out and playing around with something newly added. Still, it’s not in a most-desired state yet. We wanted more, we wanted it to flow better. There are things like going too far with the combo, missing hits when crossing with a Quark and “sliding” attacks that looked weird. Those will require something much more and we have a plan for them in the coming days.

Ranged combat also received some number adjustments, AUTO was reworked and it’s said to be a better choice for single target now, being able to forego stamina damage towards just pure damage through aiming. That’s good in itself, but leaves something else that we can’t do this update, more shooting methods. That’s something to be expected to come next update, we’ll talk about it next week.

See, we’ve planned the game to last around 22 missions, shifted it to 24, and now it’s… 26? 27? Around that number, but we haven’t rescaled our enemy stat’s growth back. Tier 6 was meant to be used for ending the game and tier 7 was a victory lap tuning. Stretch the mission counts out and now Tier 6 isn’t going to be powerful for the final missions. That’s something we understand made players feel like enemies became too much of a spongy HP tank than ever. We’ll acknowledge it’s a problem here.

One last thing before we end this Afterwords, feel free to suggest anything. We’ll read it but won’t respond as it’ll turn into a back and forth of demand and not compromise between us and you. Unless of course if you’d like to discuss things with us, we’ll have someone to take the feedback to our team and discuss it with you in our discord.

Until next time!

Vermillion Digital Team

Since my free time’s pretty scarce right now, I’m going to try to set aside specific things for specific days going forward. That’s the only way I’m going to be able to work M.A.S.S. Builder and other games I want to cover on the blog back into my schedule. That still comes out to only about one session per week, but that’s better than the nothing the blog’s been experiencing for so long now. Maybe it’ll be Tuesdays or Wednesdays where I focus on it. We’ll see; I need to give this a lot more thought before I make any hard commitments.


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