Aeternum: Season's Greetings

The wait is finally over.

snowflake

Aeternum on Xbox Live Indie Games has been updated to version 1.2.1, which brings with it a few changes.

  • Firstly, my apologies on Arcade Mode. It was intended to be a “limited lives” mode more akin to an arcade experience, without the “power as health” mechanic the normal game has. So, all difficulties now correctly start you with 3 lives (instead of 3, 2, 1, 0 for Normal, Hard, Demonic, Lunatic respectively). If anyone prefers this mode, should make it quite a bit more fair now!
  • Adjusted contrast on the bullets. All bullets should now skew a bit more towards being colored rather than being bright white, which should in turn make them even easier to see against bright backgrounds (like the moon in stage 1).
  • Made the boss indicator fade out when you’re under it. No more disappearing player/bullets behind the indicator!
  • Added sound effects to Candynce fight.
  • Fixed visibility of main menu GamerTag. Now you can see it on every page of the menu, not just the top level.

But most importantly, this patch finally closes this first chapter of events in the Aeternum universe, by adding a 5th Extra stage, with an entirely new boss fight!

You can fight Winter, the prisoner in the sub-space closet, by beating the normal game on any difficulty, with any number of continues. All you have to do is beat Greytail once in a full game (not in Practice) and you can face the greatest challenge yet!

Aeternum is now $2.99 on Xbox live Indie Games. But if you bought it previously, just run the game and it will prompt you to update for no additional charge.

The additions include another 2 audio tracks by Jesse Bishop. These tracks have been rolled up into a re-release of the Sound Track, which you can still download for free at Jesse’s Bandcamp page.

snowflake

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  • Jaimers

    Seeing as it looks like you’re remaking things for the PC port, might I suggest a way to skip the intro of the Extra Stage?
    You can go through the dialogue fast but with everything together it’s still long enough to be considered annoying when you just want to spam credits.

    • If you turn the dialogue option off in the menu before starting, it actually cuts out nearly all of the animation.
      But I think since it seems to be a fairly non-obvious thing that it does that, then I should probably do something about that.
      Thanks for the feedback!

  • Jaimers

    Ah my bad in that case. I guess while I’m here I might as well give you my two cents on the other modes.

    For arcade mode I think to make it feel more like an arcade game experience it would be better to make the player not lose so much power upon death, seeing as you’re usually pretty screwed if you die once, especially in certain areas. I feel that this is balanced in the main game through how you accumulate panics, which essentially become your “lives” in that so so speak. Arcade mode in that regard just becomes a “don’t die ever” mode, I think not losing so much power balances out with the limited amount of lives you get.

    Pacifist mode seemed like a neat mode until I found out you can’t use the shield haha. I think that might be going a bit overboard in my opinion as it might make things almost impossible especially on the higher difficulty levels. The last wave of orbs on stage 2 seem to be a guaranteed hit on everything above normal for example.
    I don’t think adding bombs would break things too much and I think I speak for many if I say that a beatable challenge is always more fun than a “see how far you can get” one.

    As for other implements, an in-game online leaderboard is always a good thing to add to your game and it will increase the replay value for many players as they can oversee their progress on the board.
    And I think a quick restart option was already mentioned. You can restart pretty quick by suiciding but a restart button is always appreciated.

    • For the Extra mode cutscene stuff, I think the fact I’ve had a few people bring it up means it’s very much a failure on my part. Going to see about how I can make it more obvious in a future revision.

      I see what you mean on the Arcade mode power loss. In fact, I came to the same conclusion in order to implement an Easy difficulty on Normal mode, and for the new Arrange mode in the imminent PC release. Marking this down to do some testing with a lower power loss in Arcade mode too. Right now, it’s a 75% loss, whereas the new Easy difficulty and Arrange mode are only a 50% loss.

      Pacifist was kind of a quickie drop-in when I put out the first release. I figured since people usually like to try it anyway, I might as well build in an enforced version so it could have its own scoreboard. Unfortunately, I didn’t end up spending too much time on balancing it. Although if you think the orbs are bad now, you should have seen them before I fixed their despawn timing, lol. In order to do bombs, I’ll have to find some means of awarding them, since you can’t stock back up on power. Just about the only interaction you have is grazing, so maybe I can make grazing also recharge the power meter at a relatively low rate to reward bombs, yet keep them from being utterly spamable. This also goes hand in hand with another change I made, in that in the PC version bombs don’t count against you for the boss spell bonuses.

      I’d love to have online leaderboards, but it would mean hosting them somewhere and developing a whole secure means of submitting scores. It’s a whole lot of hassle to do and maintain and support on my own that I can’t really afford both timewise and financially at the moment. We’ll have to see how successful the PC release is. Unfortunately, getting on Steam is basically impossible for a niche little game like Aeternum, or that would have been the perfect platform for doing leaderboards.

      And yes, I was kicking myself when KennyMan brought up a Restart menu option. It’s already a part of the new PC release.

      Thanks again for your support and suggestions!

about

WastedBrilliance is an independent video game development studio run by Brooks Bishop. With contributions by Nate Graves, Jesse Bishop and Geoff Schultz.