Alpha 6 is Here: We’re Still Alive

April 7th, 2014 by Jon Tunnell

It’s been radio silence on the blog for a while, but no worries, we are still very much alive. This latest update was a huge undertaking, and was done in conjunction with a total overhaul of our website as well. I’m sorry that updates have been so far in between, I will try to stay more on top of them in the future (just like I say every time).

For this update, we have started the task of totally replacing the game UI. After a bunch of iterations, we have settled on a style that we feel is a great balance of fun and functionality. This is still very work in progress, and there are still a lot of parts of the UI that still need to be switched over to the new style. In addition to new UI, be sure to check out new official puzzles, new parts, some usability tweaks, part adjustments, and a new scenery set!


New Puzzles

15 new official puzzles have been added. Our last puzzle update was mainly made up of easy puzzles, this batch should give more of a challenge. Check them out, and share all of your crazy exploits and issues :-)


New Parts

Part Disposal: Plug this in and drop parts into it to make them disappear forever.
Flying Saucer: The flying saucer works like a blimp, but it moves vertically. It will fly up until it bumps something, then it will turn around.
Thread Bobber: Attach a belt to this to turn rotational energy into a pulling motion. This allows you to use a belt to pull a rope.
Sound Block: There are two types of sound blocks, “physical” and “powered”. Physical blocks will play a sound when they are hit by something, and powered blocks will play a sound when turned on. REAL SOUNDS COMING SOON.
Color Block: Color blocks function like sound blocks, but will instead show a color when turned on.


New UI & Usability Fixes

We are in the process of doing a total overhaul of the in-game UI. This is part one of the change, with the major game modes receiving an update. In the next update, the changes will be more refined, and the rest of the old UI will be changed.

  • New play screen
  • New workshop
  • New main menu
  • New game settings
  • New make mode
  • Belts and ropes no longer go off of the screen while playing a puzzle.
  • We changed how pulleys connect to ropes. Now you can just drag a rope over a pulley to either thread it through, or to unhook it from a pulley. This is a WIP functionality, let us know what you think about it in the forums.
  • Added curved ends to belts and let either unattached end be grabbed.
  • Added larger graphical handles to ropes and belts to make them much easier to grab.
  • Moved part help button to no longer be on top of wall handles.


New Part Art

New art has been added to a bunch of the parts. We have also added new “effects” that we are experimenting with. This includes things like stars above Tim’s head when he gets knocked out, and onomatopoeia for some special in game effects.

A NOTE ABOUT NEW LASER ART: The new laser art has slightly adjusted the collision boundaries for most of the laser parts. If any of your puzzles or contraptions use these parts, there will most likely be some part overlaps. If you have any creations using these parts, you should check them out and see if anything needs nudged around.

  • Fixed blurry textures on certain parts
  • New Laser Repeater artwork
  • Added new Domino artwork
  • Added new Red, Blue, and Green Laser artwork
  • Added new Laser Outlet artwork
  • Added new art for Laser Mixer
  • Added new artwork for the Mirror
  • Added new artwork for the Powerstrip
  • Sounds added for Tim’s voice
  • Play curse effect when Tim is hurt.
  • Chomp effect for Steve
  • Play boom effect at end of cannon
  • Eating effects for Waldo and Milton
  • Fight animation for Waldo and Milton
  • Chimney smoke when Tim gets home
  • Stars above Tims head when knocked out
  • New explosion (WIP)


New Scenery Set

We added a new basement scenery set. With this set, we tried a few new types of parts to help you customize your backgrounds. There is a pegboard broken up into sections so you can make it into a custom size and shape. There is also a chalkboard with a bunch of different drawings you can use to make it different every time. It’s a pretty fun set to play around with.

Part & Physics Changes

A number of physics and part behavior changes have been added. The biggest change being that the trapdoor stick and “match device” key will no longer interact with anything once pulled. Although this is not realistic, we found that having these objects actually interact with other things was more annoying than fun. It was no fun to have to create some sort of holder every time you activated one of these parts. There was also an extreme amount of differentiation on how they would behave based on the angle and strength that they were pulled at, which caused contraptions to behave very differently very easily. Because of these annoyances, we have decided to make them no longer a problem. Please give us any feedback on this change in the forums and let us know what you think.

  • Made Blimp get popped by flames
  • Fixed how explosions create holes in walls to correctly handle all various rotations of wall
  • Let Blimp be programmed so that it can go slow or fast
  • Toast won’t go through walls anymore
  • Removed collision borders from Match Device stick and Trapdoor stick
  • Made it possible for mouse, cat, and dynamite get sucked into vacuum
  • Add smoke trail to missile
  • Made Caution Wall (black/yellow stripes) not affected by explosions
  • Made Vacuum wind affect the Jack-in-the-Box head
  • Made initial Cheese state rotatable
  • Made initial Nitro state rotatable
  • Made Nitro explode when sucked into Vacuum
  • Made initial Big Wood Crate state rotatable
  • Made Big Wood Crate use default post physics callback
  • Don’t allow Vacuum to destroy (suck in) Recycling Box
  • Don’t allow Vacuum to destroy (suck in) Cardboard Box
  • Made Vacuum wind affect the Punching Fist
  • Made explosions affect the Punching Fist
  • Added Tea Kettle to the wind group
  • Adjusted Tea Kettle so it won’t be sucked into Vacuum
  • Made Rocket not sucked into Vacuum
  • Made Missile not sucked into Vacuum
  • Made Bottle Rocket not sucked into Vacuum
  • Made Dynamite not sucked into Vacuum
  • Made Steam Whistle affected by explosions
  • Added Steam Whistle to the wind part group
  • Made initial Bird Cage state rotatable
  • Made Balloon pop if sucked into Vacuum
  • Made initial Balloon state rotatable
  • Made initial Dripping Bucket state rotatable
  • Fixed bug so that Dripping Bucket won’t continue to create Water Drops after it has been sucked into Vacuum
  • Made Spring Trapdoor safe so that Tim and Nitro can bounce off of it without exploding
  • Adjusted Spring Trapdoor so it is affected by explosions
  • Made Lawn Mower Motor handle affected by explosions
  • Made moving Gears pop Balloon, Paper Lantern, and Blimp
  • Fixed Candle so it is blown out by Bellows and other wind generating parts
  • Only suck pin of Match Device into the Vacuum instead of the whole Match Device
  • Made Teeter-Totter only able to flip Electrical Switch when it is moving

Bug Fixes

  • Adjusted dynamix rope for cords
  • Fixed Dynamic Rope Segment so electric cords aren’t so bouncy
  • New publish dialog
  • Fix full screen mode
  • Effect tweaks
  • Help tweaks
  • New helps
  • Fixed recording dialog flow.
  • Grid offset tweaks.
  • Use puzzle bounds to center official puzzles
  • New default layout
  • New palette window
  • Settings tweaks
  • Settings dialog WIP
  • Fixed up code to always process groups of clone parts in the same order by using the shape’s hash id.
  • Turn off the io and cc2dx texture logs by default as they are spammy and actually slow down startup
  • Include border width in padded bounding box.
  • New puzzle options background
  • New music dialog
  • New load/save dialog
  • Move help button
  • Load/save WIP
  • Fix offsets for new puzzles
  • Fix screenshot offset
  • Shrink simulation controls a bit
  • Play control can move
  • Disable scrollbars in non-active windows
  • Add border offsets to button bar windows
  • Set default description. Fix scrollbar height when wrapping occurs.
  • Fixed description message
  • Background color tiles work.
  • Disable buttons underneath background color drop down
  • Fix modal dialogs to really be modal
  • Progress dialog for publishing.
  • Fixed bug where puzzle pieces were sometimes hidden
  • Remove width from popup.
  • New popup. Fix stash always reloading everything.
  • Better child window management
  • Let rope segment use approx distance
  • Fixed divide by zero crash in rope code
  • Fixed a determinism issues with cloned group of parts
  • Slight change to rope segment code to use a faster method
  • Set publish window always on top.
  • Windows fixes for publish dialog
  • Made Pulley Belt artwork a little wider and adjusted drawing of where they are attached to look correct
  • Added a “Dripping” and “Not Dripping” goal state for the Dripping Bucket
  • Fixed code to correctly draw the debug attachment lines
  • Fixed the location of the selection box when the other end of a completely unattached pulley belt is grabbed
  • New exit test mode / resize
  • New play controls for make mode
  • General part selection fixes to make GUI work better
  • Let rope be grabbed from either end
  • Clean up so part info is returned from the part defs instead of the arrays which are currently being used to create the part defs (preparing for eventual JSON or other loadable data definition of parts)
  • Fix thumb offset
  • Add dots to layer window
  • Layer star and better slider positioning
  • New slider for layer panel
  • Always hide title label of contraption window.
  • New contraption window UI
  • Move background creation to root state
  • Do not return stash files that are missing preview or level files
  • Check for missing image file in stash
  • Do not use possibly non-existent buttons in state check when toggling physics.
  • Fix capitalization
  • Modified the code that allows parts to be rotated in GUI so that rotation can be set to specific grid values
  • Added new chipmunk collision callbacks for combination begin/separate calls
  • Fixed rope attachment code to make sure that attached ropes are always disconnected
  • Added an inactive var to the chipmunk Constraint class – to be used later for some parts that will need constraints to be turned off and on (Ratchet Clicker will probably need this)
  • Add font padding to title
  • Show subscribed / unsubscribed in community browser.
  • Better best-fit algorithm
  • Next puzzle respects current difficulty level
  • Filter easy/medium/hard
  • Puzzle card tweaks
  • Fix crash in community browser.
  • New pagination controls for play mode.
  • Editor’s choice working!
  • Make play window match the puzzle boundary ratio
  • Fix bug where full screen does not cover taskbar.
  • Fix windows compile errors
  • Fix a bunch of animation related issues
  • Display error message when movie recording cannot begin
  • Flip pool cue 180 degrees when dragged out from the part tray
  • Ignore clicks in tab control when it is not in the top window
  • Save window layouts on exit.
  • Ctrl clicking on OSX now emulates right click.
  • Make sure we don’t double count parts in containers / boundaries.
  • Made Cat not have bad collision with Mouse
  • Adjusted code in a few places to protect against overflow bugs.
  • Fixed overflow bug in missile that was keeping it from exploding.
  • Fixed Steam Whistle so it sets mGoalState correctly
  • Added popped as a goal for Paper Lantern and also fixed how it was setting mGoalState
  • Fixed Solar Panel so it correctly sets goal states
  • Added eaten as a goal state for Mouse
  • Fixed setting of goal state on the Laser Mixer
  • Fixed how goal state is set for the Laser Repeater
  • Fixed CM-920 and Gear collision bug
  • Adjusted draw layer of front of boxes and pipes
  • Fixed new bug with Gears where parts wouldn’t collide with them when the gears were rotating
  • CM-1080: Powered state of Laser Outlets are now set correctly
  • Fixed light indicators so they properly go away
  • Adjusted draw plane of the Teeter-Totter
  • Made Double Striker animated correctly when relit
  • Fixed collision shape so there aren’t gaps nears the edges of Mirror
  • Disconnected Rope when the body it is attached to is sucked up into the Vacuum
  • Fixed collision shape of the Laser Inverter to removed gaps near edges

Enough text, enjoy this video of some new Alpha 6 parts and art!



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