ZpellCatz DevRecap Feb '23 + Version 0.96.0

February 14, 2023

Hey there, fellow Catz! Today I want to talk about the progress of the last months and the changes of the new version (prologue / demo).

AI Upgrade

Last time, I talked about Familiars in ZpellCatz. Familiars can be controlled by a friend in local multiplayer or by an AI for moments when there are no friends sitting next to you. ^^
In order to be able to switch back and forth between those two control schemes, I had to upgrade the AI systems for better pathfinding.

The cool bonus: The enemy controlling AI also benefited from it! Enemies get stuck in corners less often and multiple melee enemies that hunt your cat hero do a better job at cooperating as a group.

Kudos to Cory Koseck (7ark) for their Unity-Passfinding repo. I used that one as a starting point and adjusted it to my needs. The red nodes on the image above show blocked paths, the blue nodes with green connections show possible paths.

Floor Visuals

One of the reasons that I started a crowdfunding campaign for ZpellCatz last October was to collect money in order to be able to polish the art a little bit. Thanks to the support it was possible to add some assets from matching "low poly / polygon" asset packs. One of these new additions are floor visuals!

The floor tiles are intentionally kept plain and monochromatic so as not to take the focus away from the combat action. But they look a lot better than the simple flat ground before.

Familiar Skill Trees

Next to the AI update mentioned before, I've also continued to work on the Familiars themselves. Today, lets have a look at the skill tree of them.

Each Familiar has a set of 4 active skills that unlock one by one over the first few levels. In addition to this, Familiars have passive skills called talents. Most talents affect the Familiar as well as your cat hero. Talents come in a "select A or B" fashion and can be respected for free in the village.

The first two available Familiars are Loki and Bashu. Loki uses high damage ranged spells (fire and nature element). The active skill "Heat Nova" also reduces the resistances of all enemies hit.

Loki's talents provide offensive stats like critical chance, spell power or faster cast.

In contrast, Bashu uses melee spells (lux and storm) and it is able to take a lot more damage than Loki. Two of Bashu's four active skills scale with max HP as well as spell power, so it's able to deal some damage even if you build it very defensively.

Bashu's talents provide defensive stats like block chance, life on hit or hit points.

Note: All info here is in development content and subject to change.

"Down to Earth" Update (0.96.0) February '23

*** General ***
- Fixed ingame texts
- Adjusted AI pathfinding to get stuck less often
- Minor pause menu UI adjustments
- Fixed strange tooltip positions near screen edges
- Added floor visuals

*** Quality of Life ***
- Double clicking a cat's save file now starts the game with that cat

*** Balance ***
- Fixed wolf and fox AI to feel more like "hit & run"
- Flathead enemies (zombies) now have increased defense / HP
- Early enemy types (stars, ducks, urchins) now use more interesting spells

*** Engine ***
- Game engine update
- Library updates

Full Changelog

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