Droplet: States of Matter – Argon Town rework

Hey guys! Krayfishkarl here and welcome to another Droplet: States of Matter update! Early Access 1.34 is now available! This update graphically overhauls the Argon Town hub world.

Argon Town is the second hub world in the game, featuring a medieval German-inspired castle town. The cold, snowy environment leaves the player in ice form as the default. This is to help the player get used to the idea that changing between states of matter can be a slightly different process depending on the temperature of the surrounding area. To stand out from other ice-themed levels in the game, this area has a cozy winter wonderland feel – to better convey that this is a safe area where the player can relax. To further emphasize this, I redid the background music to have a Christmas-y feel to it.

I wanted to take a second pass at this area to bring it up to standard with the other hub worlds. One of the key features I implemented was that each portal now has a distinct landmark associated with it so that players can more easily remember where they are located. I also made the area much more organic and naturalistic in shape to give it more personality.

In other news, I have graphically updated the game’s title screen to take place in the Galactic Science Festival. Prior to this update, the title screen was among the few remaining areas to still use BSP brushes from early development. I thought that it would be important to provide a great first impression to players as to what to expect in terms of graphical fidelity.

A surprising amount of technical work had to be done to make this change possible. Because the title screen takes place in the actual Galactic Science Festival and not a copied-pasted version of it, I had to significantly modify the way the game loads levels. In the end, it did give me the opportunity to address some longstanding technical debt which should make for an overall smoother back-end experience.

That’s all for now! And with that, thank you for following the development of Droplet: States of Matter!

Gameplay

  • Overhauled Argon Town with a new layout. Reduced number of atoms by 100.
  • Updated collision of searchlights.
  • Code refactor on enemies that throw boomerang-style weapons.
    • Adjusted their collision.
    • Thrown weapons no longer pass through walls.
  • Adjusted the chime area for the pink crystal in Crystal Quarry.
  • Cannonballs now last slightly longer before despawning.
  • Fixed bug where Helium Floaters weren’t firing at the correct trajectory.
  • Adjusted distance that pusher blocks retract.

Graphics

  • Graphically updated Argon Town.
  • Graphically updated the title screen.
  • Graphically updated the TV on the stage at the Galactic Science Festival.
  • Changed some materials on the festival stage.
  • Updated Windswept Ruins’ sky to include the red star.

Audio

  • New music for Argon Town.
  • New music for Dr. Ruby Dium Phase 1.
  • Tweaks to Dr. Ruby Dium Phase 2 music.

Text

  • Fixed some dialogue that stated an incorrect number of total artifacts to find in the game.
  • Fixed a bug where Dr. Ruby Dium’s taunt line wasn’t loading correctly.

Misc.

  • Changed some logic with how the title screen determines whether it’s done loading.
  • Added extra checks to ensure the game state is properly cleared in certain scenarios (i.e. starting a new game, getting a game over, etc.)

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