The Vampire Survivors development roadmap has expanded “significantly”

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Pocle, independent developer, announced the vampire survivors The development roadmap expanded “significantly” as the game was a big hit.

The new development roadmap has been expanded to include more than double the number of playable characters originally planned, with more stages planned and the introduction of bonus and challenge stages as well.

Overview of the roadmap to version 1.0

When Vampire Survivors first released on Steam in early access, it was estimated at 60% content completion. The game had 7 playable characters, 22 weapons, 12 power-ups, 1 stage, and 23 achievements.

Thanks to the resounding success and support from players, new content has started to release at a much faster pace than expected and the roadmap has also been significantly expanded. The number of playable characters planned for version 1.0 of the game has been doubled as well as the number of stages with the introduction of bonuses/challenges. A dozen new weapons have been designed and a handful of new bonuses added to the mix.

Here’s where we are now (patch 0.3.1):

  • Playable characters: 15 / 24
  • Weapons and evolutions: 32 / 48
  • Bonuses: 18 / 20
  • Normal steps: 3 / 5
  • Special Stages: 2 / 5

That’s about 70% content completion for the new roadmap to 1.0, but that doesn’t even include the content that two major new gameplay mechanics will bring to the game.

The first, Arcanas, will arrive in April and unlock a whole new tier of viable builds and power creep.

Instead of the Story Mode mentioned in the Early Access Notes, we’re going to be implementing a major new gameplay mechanic, but one that’s yet to be decided, with some kind of Endless Mode being the main candidate.

That doesn’t necessarily mean Story Mode is gone forever, but the deep lore of Vampire Survivors requires a solid understanding of theoretical physics to be fully appreciated, so perhaps environmental storytelling and subtle clues are the way to go. to follow. Please don’t take this last paragraph seriously.

New engine, performance issues and promised features pushed back

When I first launched Vampire Survivors, all I wanted was to have a little game that would allow me to have fun creating new game content in my spare time. Thanks to your incredible support and a push of once-in-a-lifetime luck, the game turned out to be an incredible success instead.

Getting help from a few friends to try and fix all the problems arising from such a large player base became unsustainable very quickly, so I also started a side project to port VS to a standard game engine with the help trusted freelancers.

The port to the new engine is going smoothly and the game is already fully playable, mostly lacking polish and content, but we also ran benchmarks which show a tenfold increase in performance (and therefore framerate).

The good working of the port is the reason why some features promised in January have not yet been developed on the current version, such as key remapping, increased responsiveness when switching screens, localized text that corresponds to the available space, etc.

It’s just more efficient to implement these things directly into the new engine, and the same goes for game performance and hardware compatibility.

While there can be a lot of stuff drawn to the screen in VS, the real bottleneck is the physics calculations which are stuck on using a single CPU core, which is why even the does not having powerful modern hardware guarantees smooth gameplay. Unfortunately, this hardware list includes the Steam Deck, with the game’s performance dropping to an embarrassing slideshow near the end of a run, while other graphics-intensive games run at 60fps.
The new engine will also ensure that VS runs like butter.

We aim to release the version on the new engine this summer. The executable will be completely different, but Savedata will be moved of course.

Mobile version and other games

Vampire Survivors was originally released on Android, in just a few test markets, and it performed terribly. It was so bad in fact that I just decided to stop developing it and move it to PC instead. With the new engine, the game is perfectly playable even on mobile, so hopefully we should see a proper version hitting the stores soon!

In the meantime, if you want to play on the go, there is of course the Steam Deck option, but I would also once again recommend playing Magic Survival on Android, which is the game that inspired the original Vampire prototype. Survivors. I doubt I would have started developing VS if I hadn’t played something as good as Magic Survival as other mobile games in the same genre tend to be the usual Ads & Microtransaction machines with a bit of gameplay attached.

vampire survivors is now available on Windows PC on Itch.io (it’s like a demo and is not updated) and Steam.

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