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Dark Star Studios

Hack It - Alpha Released

3 posts in this topic

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Overview
Hack It is an RTS-style hacking themed game that involves the player, an intern working for a massive cyber-security company, testing their latest sotfware. The gameplay features a maze-like environment where the player must navigate objects called hacker nodes to their target, whatever they are trying to hack into, with a bunch of stuff in-between. Defender nodes defend the target system and will do anything in their power to stop you, if they find your hacking source then you're busted. Security nodes can be used by either side, hacker or defender, and they act as stationary sentries, they will eliminate any nearby enemy units. There's plenty of techno club music and helpful and occasionally humorous dialog to go around to keep you even further immersed into the cyber world. You'll be put up against some of the most sophisticated cyber-defense systems in the world, question is, can you Hack It?


Updates
November 21, 2012 - Alpha Build 0.0.7 was released today, more about this can be read below.
March 2, 2013 - Alpha Build 0.0.7.4 was released today, more about this can be read below.

April 21, 2013 - Alpha Build 0.0.8 was released today, more about this can be read below.

The Alpha
We are releasing alpha builds for testing so we can get some feedback and fix any bugs that just happened to crawl past us. The first build acts as a tease for the rest of them, the subsequent ones feature more levels and the overall game will improve during the alpha release cycle. The second build features the second level and defender nodes. The third and most likely final alpha build features the third level and the security nodes. They are all free to play and are downloadable on our website at http://darkstarinteractive.net/ (it's a long domain, we know). The website isn't finished so right now the only place to post feedback is here, as the website sections get finished such as the community section, we will start taking feedback there. All feedback is acceptable. Mac OSX, Windows, and Linux are all supported as of the release of the third alpha build.

The alpha is downloadable here: http://darkstarinteractive.net/hackit.html

The Team
We are just a small team of independent developers working on this game. You might only know us as Dark Star, we have actual names but here we will just use our aliases, let me introduce you to the team.

Skaven - Programmer, Artist, Web Designer
Elesser - Writer, Social (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
Dazkix - Composer, Sound Effects

That's right three people... very short credits.

 

Screenshots

Treat your eyes to something.

 

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Feedback

All feedback is accepted about the project, however please don't make negative comments (such as, "This game idea is really dumb.") without providing a reason why you feel that way. Likewise, if you like the idea please note what things you like and what areas of the game need improvement. We're just trying to create the best game that we can in our current capacity (remember, the playable alpha is not an accurate representation of the final product).

Edited by Dark Star Studios
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Interesting game. A few points:

  • The dialog has a few typos in it. Nothing major, nor is it necessary to fix right now, just look into your spelling when you do a first full release.
  • The speed of the hacker node changes even when the cursor does not move. If the cursor remains the same distance from the node, the node should move at the same speed, correct?
  • The defenders seemed to move faster than the hacker node so escaping them proves challenging. Turning corners help, just like in Pac Man, and the defender node seemed to hesitate while chasing the hacker in a straight line. Is that intentional?
  • I noticed when trying to go through the second (I believe) defender node's region, the defender essentially was blocking the entrance into its region and I could not get out. Only after a few tries did I get a chance to move out of the way, but then I faced the defender speed issue/hacker moving issue so I was constantly caught.
  • Another issue to look into: when the cursor leaves the game window, you should potentially pause the game. It was still running (and the nodes still moving) even when the cursor left the window and other windows were made active (didn't find a pause function so I just switched windows).

Keep at it. The game seems fun and promising. I'd gladly test it again, particularly if you could fix the hacker node movement issue. It made it a bit hard to outrun the defender, particularly when it almost brought me to a full halt.

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Now that I realize it, there's actually quite a few functions we forgot to add to the level one tutorial dry.png , pause is the escape key (where you can also restart the level, quit to the menu, etc.) You can zoom in and out using the scroll wheel. To stop moving altogether you can press and hold down the mouse (until we fix the moving problem). Holding left ctrl will zoom out even further, however texture quality will be lost (until we fix that as well). During the second level you can skip the most of the initial dialog sequence by pressing "t". One thing we did add to the tutorial was skipping lines of dialog by pressing "space", just incase someone doesn't notice. Some of these are "testing tools" which we created to test the levels faster, and won't make it into later, more refined builds. Thanks for the feedback! All of the other problems you listed will be addressed in the next build.

Edited by Dark Star Studios
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The third and final alpha build is now out for download, subsequent releases will be beta builds and eventually the final release, however the first beta build won't be released for some time so do expect a somewhat lengthy hiatus. The current version is, as always, downloadable at our website (see the link in the original post). It features a new unit, the security nodes which are "turret" units that fire packets of corrupt code (orange projectiles) at the player which will weaken the integrity of the player's code (this is displayed by the blue arcs around the hacker node). The security nodes also can be destroyed by this corrupt code if hit by the code anywhere other than their barrel or shield.

 

All of the known errors and bugs from the last build have been resolved except for one, occasionally the defender nodes get stuck outside of the level, the reason for this bug hasn't been found yet. If it happens, then just restart the level (or just effortlessly fly through it). So... yeah, that's all for now. Check it out and stay tuned for more!

 

PS: Future updates about the game's development will be posted here and on our site.

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