UPDATE: The Krashlander 1.1 update is now live in the AppStore!
The long overdue update for Krashlander on iOS is finally in the home stretch. Development is complete and beta testing is about to begin.
Hopefully there are still a few of you out there who have not given up hope on this update.
If so, here is what you can expect in the Krashlander 1.1 update for iOS.
Probably the number one piece of feedback I got and the thing for which Krashlander was hit the hardest in game reviews was the learning curve of the Krashlander controls. Krashlander borrows its control mechanic from an old game called Ski Stunt Simulator and if you have not played that, then yes the controls are going to require some practice.
On the other side of the fence, I had a number of people ask for more realistic controls much like those in the original Ski Stunt Simulator. The current 1.0 version of Krashlander allows the player to make slight adjustments to rotation while in the air. To some, this is kind of "cheating" the physics.
To satisfy both these camps, I decided to add three skill levels to Krashlander: Novice, Expert, and Elite. Here is how they break-down.
- Tighter control over in-air rotation.
- Easier to stick a landing but comes with a slight loss of realism.
- 1 point per robot killed.
- This is the exact control mechanic from version 1.0 of Krashlander for those that are use to it and like it.
- More subtle control over in-air rotation than the Novice level.
- Steeper learning curve but more realistic.
- 2 points per robot killed.
- No external rotation torques to help adjust rotation in the air. To control rotation you need to impart some spin on take-off and crouch/extend to speed up and slow down your rotation... just like real life.
- Very steep learning curve but the most realistic way to play.
- 3 points per robot killed.
It is my hope that people will start playing at the Novice level and will naturally progress up through Elite.
One thing you may have noticed is each skill level has a different "points per robot killed". This brings me the next major change in the Krashlander 1.1 update.
Scoring and Level Progression
I had to make a tough decision when it came to scoring and level progression. The changes I wanted to make would require wiping everyones progress and putting everyone back to square one in the game. Obviously this would anger a lot of existing players and probably catch me a fair amount of bad reviews.
With sincere apologies to everyone whos progress will be reset, I decided to go ahead with the changes. Here is why.
The way scoring was (version 1.0)
In the original 1.0 version of Krashlander, the goal was to destroy all the robots in a level with as few attempts (attacks) as possible. Each level had a sort of "par" value. If you destroyed all the robots in "par" attacks you earned 3 stars. Par minus 1 attacks would get you 2 stars, Par minus 2: 1 star, and anything more than that was 0 stars.
I don't think most people fully understood how this worked. Most knew that killing more robots with fewer attacks resulted in more stars, but the finer details were lost on most. It also lead to some awkward wording at the end of each level where I tried to explain why they got the number of stars they did.
The other side effect of this system was that a LOT of people would do a complete reset of the level whenever they didn't destroy all the robots in one shot. This required and extra button push and was really NOT how the game was intended to be played. I get why people played it that way, to go for a perfect score on every level, but I really think it exposed flaw in my game design.
The way scoring is (version 1.1)
In the new 1.1 version of Krashlander, things are more straightforward.
- Each level has 3 robots.
- You earn 1 star for each robot.
- Destroy at least 2 robots to unlock the next level.
With this system, the number of attacks is not factored into the score so constantly resetting the level should not be required. If this sounds to easy, fear not. Some of the robots, especially in the later levels, will be a bit of a challenge to reach.
Skill Levels and Scoring
Now, about the skill levels and scoring.
Playing Krashlander as "Elite" is my new favorite way to play. It requires a bit of skill, but it's very rewarding to complete a level knowing there was no "fake" physics assisting you. I want to encourage others to work toward playing in Elite mode. I also want to reward those that do choose to play that way. So, here is what I did.
As mentioned earlier in this post, each skill level has a score multiplier:
- Novice - 1 point per robot
- Expert - 2 points per robot
- Elite - 3 points per robot
The score and level progression for each skill level is tracked separately and your overall game score is simply whichever score is highest at the time between Novice, Expert, and Elite.
Long story short, the higher the skill level you play as, the greater your overall game score can be.
Orange World (new levels)
Probably the thing people have been waiting for most is more levels. The Krashlander 1.1 update has roughly 10 new levels in the new Orange World.
I did have to re-arrange and shift some levels around so you will probably notice not all existing levels are in the same place they had been. I had to do this to make the beginning levels a little more forgiving.
Tutorials and Learning Curve
As I mentioned earlier, one of the most common themes in reviews for Krashlander was in regards to the difficulty of the controls. To address this, the beginning levels will now show, in-game, how to perform various skills: leaning back, crouching, jumping, etc...
The level difficulty also ramps up more slowly in an attempt to ease you into things more gradually. As mentioned above, this required adding some new levels and shifting other levels out further. Another reason I had to reset level progression for everyone.
While I am all about the minimalist game design of Krashlander, I always felt it was a bit too barren. To address this, I've added some trees to the background.
None of the trees are interactive, but I think they add a little life to the game.
Krashlander 1.1 now has a proper settings screen. On this screen you can send feedback, toggle the tutorials on/off, jump to the Krashlander Facebook page, etc...
So, that's about it for the Krashlander 1.1 update. I'm sure there are various other small things that I missed, but those are the big ticket items.
This update has been way to long coming. For this I apologize. There were a lot of foundational changes the needed to be made. Future updates should come more quickly.
Here are some of things I plan to add in future updates:
- Purple world (10 more levels)
- Game center support for high scores.
- Ability to record, playback, post video of levels.
- Red world
- Other stuff...
If you have any requests or ideas on how to make the game better, please leave a comment or hit the feedback button once the new version is out.