Droplet: States of Matter – Tiki Tectonics

Hey guys! Krayfishkarl here and welcome to another Droplet: States of Matter update! Early access 1.21 is now available! This update reworks the Tiki Tectonics level to take place in the first hub world switching places with Gale Vale.

As part of my ongoing effort to rebalance the game’s overall difficulty curve, one particular spot I had noticed players had trouble was the Gale Vale level. I came to the conclusion that it was far too challenging for an area in the first hub world. As such, the solution was to switch places with another level that was in need of a different rework. Tiki Tectonics was designed before sprinting was added meaning most of the platforming could be unintentionally skipped.

While still keeping the original Polynesian-inspired volcanic theme, I redesigned the level to serve as a better introduction to a central mechanic used throughout the entire game. Namely, the idea that standing near sources of extreme heat will gradually change you into cloud form.

Although players universally understand that lava is dangerous to touch, it’s not as commonly recognzied that standing near lava is hot due to convection currents. Therefore, I designed the level in a way that communicates this idea clearly to both new and experienced gamers alike. As an early game stage, I wanted to make sure it was easy enough to complete so that players are prepared for more difficult lava-themed levels later in the game.

Early on in the level, you have to stand near a pool of lava to turn into cloud form to proceed. I hint at this by placing boxes and other collectibles near the lava so that going near these areas causes the temperature gauge to appear. Thus, alluding to the idea that something will occur not just by touching the lava but also by standing near it. Once the player figures this out, the rest of the level introduces other ideas that build upon it such as combining the concept with ice form.

In other news, I’ve made a number of quality of life changes. Among the most notable is that whenever you switch between Droplet and Molly-QL, the character you’re not playing as will now slowly heal over time. This is to make swapping between the two of them a more viable gameplay option. To further alleviate the game’s difficulty, you might also find that crates now have a chance of spawning pizza that will heal you to full health.

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

Patch Notes

Gameplay

  • Tiki Tectonics reworked to serve as a better early game area.
  • New pickup item: Pizza. These will heal you to max health. They have a chance of spawning from breaking open crates. Lives were made a slightly more rare chance to balance.
  • The character you are not currently playing as will now slowly recover health over time. To balance this out, the checkpoint heal ability has been replaced with a new upgrade that makes you heal slightly faster.
  • Healing crystals now heal slightly faster.
  • Switched Tiki Tectonics’ and Gale Vale’s entrance portals for balancing.
  • Droplet and Molly-QL now consistently fire projectiles from their right hand.
  • Steam vent clouds now move slightly faster.
  • Relocated one of the hidden artifacts to another level.
  • Pick up items will no longer block your shots if you have remote collect unlocked.
  • Modified some internal logic with temperature difference zones.
  • Fixed an issue where player projectiles sometimes disappeared prematurely.
  • Extra sanity check added to allow you to refund your gizmos if you somehow have negative atoms (likely from having a save file older than the Frozen Fortress update).
  • Slightly moved a weather drone in Haunted Shipyard.
  • Replaced some enemies in Abyssal Fissure.
  • Jellyfish are now slightly bigger.
  • Fixed some misplaced water in Abyssal Fissure.
  • Bubble streams no longer push you around.
  • Fixed a bug where you couldn’t skip cutscenes under certain circumstances.
  • Tiki torches will now burn you if you touch the flames.

Graphics

  • Changed some animation logic in Droplet and Molly-QL.
  • Swimming bubble particles improved.
  • Fixed an oversized background model in Argon Town.
  • Fixed a bug where some assets from Misty Canopies were being loaded incorrectly.
  • Improvements to Pistol Shrimp projectile graphics.
  • Recolorings of Deep Sea Mines.

Audio

  • New music for Tiki Tectonics.
  • Fixed a bug where the music would get too quiet if you spoke with someone while the music volume was set to lower than the default.
  • Fixed an audio bug related to Molly-QL’s low health animation.

Controls

  • Crouching no longer counts as a momentum break. Momentum breaking can now only be done in mid-air. This is to make crouching feel a bit more fluid and more viable when crouching kicking large enemies.
  • You now move faster when crouching in ice form.
  • Improvements to swimming controls so that they are easier to handle.
  • Option to invert the controls when the camera is pointed upward in third person mode added.

UI

  • Health and ammo now always show up whenever you switch characters.
  • The health/ammo max message will no longer appear if you attempt to remote collect an item without having the ability unlocked yet.

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