Hey! I’ve got some BIG BIG BIG NEWS: It’s official! Thanks to the assistance of some ✨incredibly✨generous✨folk ✨ , I’m all-in on Auto Fire… and it’s coming to Kickstarter in January! That’s just 16 weeks away… and there’s a ton of work to do! Back to it!
We’ve been working on some new special abilities for the vehicles in Auto Fire, including the Ram Piston. Different vehicle chassis types can have some crazy maneuvering abilities, although they’ll consume resources such as gas, so make sure to use them wisely!
The foundation of the special moves system was pitched in by developer comrade Jim, created during this stream where we talked through some of the system updates needed.
The followup was transferring it to on-demand equipment, which didn’t have the ability to be aimed yet. The plan is to get some more moves in like bootleggers, side swipes, and some weirder stuff. Stay tuned!
On September 1, Auto Fire was demoed at the Seattle Indies Expo, a companion exhibition to PAX West in Seattle, held just down the street. It was an exciting time and an exciting place to be, where 25 local game developers showed their stuff in a chill environment where players could interact directly with creators.
The good news for those of you who didn’t make it out there is that there are a ton of updates that came in to make that demo play well, and you can now check them out for free on Itch.io!
Made changeover of interactions in the direction of social media to start to push the build-your-following gameplay.
Fame is now “likes” and bosses now have their own followers that reflect their level of fame.
Dialogue is now flavored as a chat/twitter interface. More of this to come.
A media drone can now follow the player and take shots of their kills for extra fame. The specific drone loadout slot is coming soon.
Gamepad and Controls
Revised gamepad controls! A button drives, B button brakes, B button enters location.
D-Pad will aim vehicle weapons if not in targeting mode.
You can now select all squares with the cursor keys or gamepad when the vehicle is aiming diagonally (it had “the bishop’s limitation” before this)
Improved the inventory and loadout to better work with keyboard and gamepad. There still is a bug with the gamepad if you have a lot of items when loading out.
Gamepad buttons have cooldowns before auto-repeat.
Gamepad move marker now renders through the world if you are controlling next to a wall.
UI and Presentation
The speedometer is now centered onscreen, and the boost key is hinted when the player reaches the 40 mph “safe” speed.
Resources have been moved to the right side, and the armor is now in the lower-left, making for a less-cluttered interface.
Icons now fly to their locations onscreen with some more panache.
Easier to buy and sell in the store.
Loadout popup is easier to use.
Gamepad buttons are now prompted, and are put up instead of key tips if the gamepad is currently in use.
New key art is used for the title and loading screen.
Fixed some sounds in the store.
Cleaned up the targeting panel somewhat.
Tutorial dialogue and loading screen hints now include some gamepad hints.
Armor panel now uses an alternate visual
Offscreen objective pointer now pulses and shows over more UI elements.
There is an invisible, harmless barrier behind the exit square on terrain maps. This keeps players from moving “past”.
Loot drops now include a large variety of new drops, including some weapons with modifiers (such as high-density machineguns).
New levels of tires, armor, ram plates were all created.
The multi-rocket damage was brought down significantly, it was pretty silly.
Adjusted the price of repairs (chassis costs twice as much, armor costs half as much) and gas.
Large cities (the 5×5 ones) no longer generate in the overworld. They were cool but just stupidly complicated to get through.
Fixed some agent names so that females don’t get stuck with a male surname that looks like a first name.
Fixed some bad results from the procedural boss quotes.
You can download the newest gameplay (linked below) or check out this quick video showing some of the revised gameplay/gamepad experience:
I just wanted to take a moment to crow about Auto Fire’s new title image, which was commissioned from legendary car combat illustrator Denis Loubet!
This is super-exciting and my inner 1984 kid is absolutely nerding the hell out right now. He’s created art for a lot of my favorite things from that decade from Car Wars and Autoduel to Ultima and Champions. He did almost all the art for the original Car Wars pocket box, and created so many iconic works from that world. I feel like he was pretty instrumental in establishing what I thought was key to the Car Wars universe: The people and culture around the cars being as important as the cars themselves. It’s something that I think has been lost a bit and would love to be able to bring back.
In another coincidence he also just so happened to create the cover art for the very first game I worked on (which I only participated on for a couple weeks), and I even met him when I interviewed at Origin waaaaaaay back in 1993.
Anyway, it was super-exciting to finally have a chance to work with him! He did a fantastic job.
It’s been a while since I put out a video illustrating the core features of Auto Fire, but a variety of reasons made me sit down and capture some magic. Consider this a vertical slice, although edited for length: