New Dyson Version out now!

dyson screenshot

DOWNLOAD DYSON v1.08

Alex, Brian and myself have been hard at work to finish a new version of Dyson for the Independent Games Festival (IGF), and we are very pleased with the huge amount of progress we made. It is chockablock full of new content and improvements so we decided this is a good time to release it into the wild :D The game is still a work in progress, but there is much to enjoy nonetheless:

Gameplay

  • Pods

    The game now allows you to plant defensive trees which grow explosive pods. These pods launch themselves at enemy seedlings when they get too near and can be a formidable weapon.

  • Sphere of influence

    The camera is now limited to those parts of the galaxy that you have discovered. This goes hand in hand with a limit on sending your seedlings, which is now no longer unrestrained.

Help

The game now features a more sophisticated help screen that really does a much better job of explaining how the game works, yet isn’t obtrusive at all.

Levels

Dyson will consist of many levels, and here are five examples that show different aspects for gameplay. Most of the content is still procedural, so there is still huge scope for replayability. The levels will eventually be part of a much bigger campaign and will be very diverse in content.

UI

We have improved the UI specifically for this build, more and better information is presented to the player, but the UI will eventually be replaced with a system more appropriate to the visuals and style of the game.

Music and Sound

Brian (Milieu) has given us two new tracks from a bigger suite of music being written uniquely for Dyson! How cool is that? The two tracks now play after the known initial track. I personally love the new stuff to bits. He has also done a bunch of new sounds for us and the game really benefits from it.

Code

The code improvements are too numerous to all be mentioned but some major ones deserve a shout.

  • Installer

    We now have a nifty “proper” game installer, which extracts and installs the game in a Dyson directory without any fuss.

  • Linux version

    Thanks to KareemK and d0k, we now have a linux version. It is available from the download page.

  • Fullscreen

    The game can now be played fullscreen, which is a very nice experience. Trust me!

  • Scripting/levels support

    YES! This means we can now start adding tons of content to make use of all the game’s little features and mechanics. (Which we will be doing from now on)

  • Options menu

    The options menu now allows a number of thing to be toggled on and off.

  • Bugfixes

    Many bugs have been found and squashed, the game is getting quite slick. :D

Future improvements

We have some major additional improvements and features planned, for example there will be more to do ingame while playing the levels, or as I mentioned earlier the UI overhaul. Keep an eye on this site as we wil be blogging about these things in the future. :D

We hope you enjoy this new build, and we are keeping our fingers crossed for Dyson at the indie games festival!

As always we love hearing from you guys/gals so don’t be shy with any feedback!

Greetings from Rudolf and Alex.

DOWNLOAD DYSON v1.08

17 Comments

  1. Shmgs
    Posted 04/11/2008 at 12:05 | Permalink

    and i just downloaded the forum release a couple of hours ago before sleep. After running the installer can i put this onto a flash drive and run it on another computer?

  2. Alex
    Posted 04/11/2008 at 12:18 | Permalink

    Yep – should work fine. The installer doesn’t do anything beyond creating program groups etc and copying the files over. Dyson does not use the Windows registry to store any data.

    Good to know people are still reading the forum! :)

  3. Yserbius
    Posted 05/11/2008 at 05:09 | Permalink

    Thank you very much. I found Dyson when it was an underrated tigsource compo game (yes second place is underrated). I loved it but never really had the time to play it all the way through due to the lack of a save button. Thank you for a great game!

  4. Richard
    Posted 05/11/2008 at 08:08 | Permalink

    Awesome game!!! I LOVE IT!!!

  5. Alex
    Posted 05/11/2008 at 08:48 | Permalink

    Save game is on the to-do list. Sorry it’s not in yet – priorities were getting some more gameplay in first for IGF.

  6. CapnHulk
    Posted 06/11/2008 at 05:07 | Permalink

    I thought Dyson was an amazing little game before, but this update redefines the word. Great job.

    If I had to complain about anything, it’s that the difficulty jump from Level 1 to Level 2 is pretty steep. The procedural nature of the game can really screw you over sometimes as far as asteroid and enemy placement goes.

  7. Posted 13/11/2008 at 13:42 | Permalink

    I think this is a fantastic game and is soooo unque in many different ways, a save function would be good but then the essence is to win very quickly…

    All I can say is well done and ask whether somebody could show me how you created it

  8. Nate
    Posted 17/11/2008 at 18:50 | Permalink

    Fell in love with Dyson during the last build. Stomped through the first four levels over lunch today. I love the concept, and am looking forward with bated breath to further enhancements to the game.

    Have you considered, once the game is developed further, releasing on WiiWare? It looks to be quite amenable to wiimote control, instead of a target the wiimote could shift the -focus- from ‘roid to ‘roid.

  9. Posted 17/11/2008 at 20:49 | Permalink

    Hi :)
    Tried out the new build great and very unique game. at first in lvl 2 the enemies can seem overwhelming and agressive but as soon as you get a tactic going they are quite weak and not agressive enough. i found my self useing the same tactic for all 5 lvls and won no probs.

    SPOILER ALERT (but need to write this for the devs to see how i beat it easily so they can do some balancing)

    I start of by heding all my seeds to the nearest big asteroid as they tend to have the best stats.
    This will be my new “main base” as it will have better stats than my starting one.
    Then expand to the next big asteroid and try to block of entrys for the enemy. and you should never have more than 32 seeds on your big stats asteroids as they won’t produce new seeds then. The bomber trees are useful on on low stat asteroids cause trees take a lot of time to destroy. following this tactic i found it easy to beat the levels.

    But i really like the concept of this game, and the style is just great :) keep up the good work.

  10. Posted 20/11/2008 at 19:12 | Permalink

    Thanks everybody, we love hearing your feedback and are still developing the game. The best way to make sure we take into account your likes and dislikes is by telling us so keep em coming!

    I can tell you now though that we have some excellent surprises waiting in future versions. :-D

  11. René
    Posted 30/11/2008 at 17:59 | Permalink

    Hi guys, I just played the new version of Dyson, and even though the game was really fun before, I must say that the game experience has really improved! But when is network play being implemented? ;-)
    Seriously though, network play would be awesome, but I’m sure you’re already aware of that.

    I really think you should nurture the strategic element of Dyson. As it is now, it’s pretty strategic at the start to the middle game, but as soon as you have about 6 or 7 asteroids, you’re producing so many seedlings, that you will win by the bulk of seedlings. Currently, I don’t have a suggestion to how, but I really think the game should somehow be balanced so that strategy is still key to victory even though you have a lot of seedlings in the end game.

    I really like the defensive trees you have added, as well as asteroids can have a different amount of trees on them. That does add some more strategy to the game. I also like the ‘ring of influence’ you’ve added, although I really miss a feature like ‘rallypoint’. It’s a bit annoying mobilizing an army by micromanaging seedlings from one asteroid to another. And by adding the ring of influence, it’s now even more time consuming, as it requires even more moving seedlings around. I might sound contradictory, but I believe that it’s possible to have both things. Asteroids have the ring of influence, so you can only attack asteroids inside this ring, but you should also be able to automatically send new seedlings to any of your own asteroids.

    Well, that’s my thoughts. Really great game. I look forward to see where this is going. :-)

    Best regards
    René

  12. VD
    Posted 12/12/2008 at 23:59 | Permalink

    I’m new to… here, but I liked the original Dyson, and have been playing it a lot recently.

    Then I downloaded this version, and found out that it only had those level scenario things. Where is the random asteroid belt conquest game? Why do I have to be set up in certain pregenerated circumstances to play? It would be a very nice addition to add this game’s new functionality to the old Dyson asteroid belts.

    Or is this already there, but I can’t find it?

  13. Alex
    Posted 13/12/2008 at 14:27 | Permalink

    Hi VD,

    The scenarios are randomly generated each time you play, within certain parameters. If I recall correctly the third level is most like the original asteroid ring. We will be adding a sort of free-play mode, with level editing tools included, but that’s for a future release.

    In the meantime, just pick your favourite level and keep playing that one :)

    Another thing you could do is have a play with the level editing, and change the levels so they suit you more. Have a squizz at the scripting guide and see what you think.

  14. Posted 14/12/2008 at 06:14 | Permalink

    Hi Dyson team,

    v1.08 is great! I really love the spheres of influence and having the difference in asteroid stats actually affect the strategy. The beginning and middle stages of a game are really challenging and intense, but the final stage (10+ asteroids) is sort of anti climatic because of the lack of strategy required, the redundant actions to keep seedlings at the front line and the lack of detail in the zoomed out views. A rally point for each asteroid would help with the micro management.

    I found it annoying that the AI can jump from enemy asteroid to enemy asteroid without attacking them, while I can only jump between my own asteroids, and can’t recall seedlings at enemy asteroids until they have taken over. The result is that the AI can attack any of my unguarded asteroids and bypass roadblocks, which takes away some of the strategy of the game. It’s also difficult to see what’s going on in the final stages, as enemy seedlings are not very visible.

    Some small things:
    A save feature would be a great addition.

    It’s sometimes difficult to estimate the power of a group of seedlings since they will have such varying properties. Seedling count isn’t much help for this, perhaps an overall power stat would help that combines energy, strength and speed to estimate how powerful a group of seedlings are.

    Some of the AI colors are really similar and it’s difficult to tell who’s winning when they are fighting as the seedlings look nearly identical and there’s only an enemy count at each asteroid, not a count per team.

    Having the trees mature over time and produce more seedlings is a really nice touch, and adds a lot to the strategy.

    RPG elements (such as level, attribute modifiers) for the seedlings, trees and asteroids would be a subtle but intricate strategy addition.

    Dyson has a ton of potential and I’m excited to hear that you’re working on improvements. I would gladly pay for this game. Keep up the great work!

  15. Posted 14/12/2008 at 07:58 | Permalink

    I forgot: Some stats would also be nice, something to look at when you have beaten a level giving a sense of completion.

  16. James
    Posted 21/01/2009 at 15:42 | Permalink

    Great game. Can’t wait for the level editor and other new features. Keep up the good work!

  17. Ajit
    Posted 30/04/2009 at 13:27 | Permalink

    On the 4th level I’ve conqured all the asteroids but the game refuses to let me win :S
    Otherwise very cool game :)

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