Weapon Improvements!

Merry Christmas! Or, happy holidays or whatever you like. Hope you’re enjoying some time off!

Usually I like to fix up and release an old game for free around this time of year, but I’m just too busy for that right now (you can always check out the ones I’ve released in the past!) Since you don’t want to read endless blog posts about me fixing bugs, here’s a post about some of the improvements I’ve made to Bleed 2’s weapons and controls instead! I’ll mention a few of the unlockables after the break, in case you’re worried about spoilers.

First up we have the standalone versions of the pistols and katana! They mostly exist to accommodate Bleed 1 players who don’t like the combo weapon, so I worry they’ll come off like a waste of space to everyone else. I’ve tried to combat this somewhat by giving them interesting or unique properties — for example, the standalone katana’s flurry attack is weak-ish, but I’ve improved its area of effect, and it’s now great at taking out lots of little enemies up close, like the Chaff Spammer’s chaff.

I also recently changed the standalone pistols to have an alternate firing mode, similar to the original Bleed’s “akimbo pistols”. It isn’t super useful, but it is stylish as hell…! It’s also really hard to use, so I added some aim-assist on the pistol Wryn fires behind her. It was a bit more work than I expected to get her hands and body looking good no matter what contortion she was in, but it was a fun challenge while I was supposed to be relaxing.

Additional weapons and air-dashes are unlocked to use in Freestyle (“Freestyle” is Bleed 2’s name for “New Game+”) and once you have them all they’re a lot to keep track of. I just assumed dedicated players would manage it, but after playtesting Freestyle a bunch it’s a really REALLY cumbersome system. Everyone who thought they wanted to hold more than two weapons at once in Bleed, be careful what you wish for!! (You can still hold as many as you want though haha, don’t worry.)

Anyways, good ol’ Noobii had a great suggestion — now the number keys 1-4 correspond to the first four weapons in your loadout, allowing you to easily swap between them! It makes the game a LOT more smooth and fun when you’re going for really technical Freestyle runs.

You can also do the weapon-swapping with a controller — a menu option makes D-pad directions correspond to the four weapons, instead of moving Wryn around. There’s also another controller option to enable what I’m calling “manual fire” — it makes it so the right stick only aims, and a user-set fire button needs to be pressed to actually attack. Some players aren’t comfortable with the flicking motion to reflect, so hopefully this accommodates them… I have very firm opinions on how the game plays best, but I’m trying to allow people to do what works for them.

Finally, some “spoilers”: I’ve beefed up many of the unlockable weapons, too. Rockets move faster and have a larger area of effect, along with a new shockwave animation to show it. The Laser Rifle plays particle effects and a sound to let you know it’s fully charged, and its max-charged shots are composed of several rays (instead of the standard single ray) for easier aiming (and so the action better matches the sprite.)

I’ve basically made every unlockable weapon categorically more powerful than the pistols/katana, which is way different than Bleed 1. I figure:

  1. The pistols/katana can still shine in New Game
  2. The pistols/katana still have use in Freestyle because they’re the only way to reflect attacks
  3. It’s just more fun when cool new unlockable weapons actually feel powerful and worth using

So, uh, yeah! There’s my big ramble about the weapons and controls in the game! And if it all sounds like a bunch of bloated, over-complicated jabber, don’t worry! It’s all entirely optional and you don’t have to mess with any of it if you don’t want to.

Once more, have a wicked holiday! I’m going to try and stop working for two seconds!!