v2.1.0: Next Fest update


Greetings surveyors!

I’m excited to release the build that will be available during Steam Next Fest, the week of June 19. It contains a plethora of features, enhancements, and fixes to delight a new audience. Continue reading for a new trailer—with the first footage from the upcoming Side C release—more about this update, its full patch notes, and what’s coming soon.

Enjoy!

Demo now live on Steam

The Steam demo is now available to download for Windows and Steam Deck. A new trailer has been assembled to celebrate this launch:

A variety of moving scenes across the Alpha Periphery system are on display.

Quick cuts show the portals which connect its musical playgrounds. Featured here are the moving sands and buried structures of Alpha Periphery B, the falling snow and icy cliffs of Alpha Periphery C2, and the sunrises and tidal waves of Alpha Periphery C. The trailer closes with quick cuts of each of the worlds eclipsing their parent star from orbit.

These worlds—and more—comprise Periphery Synthetic EP.

About the update

It was my pleasure to create Fishyphus for Games for Blind Gamers 2. However, the time to return to Alpha Periphery has come!

This update is the result of taking that long break from the project and returning with fresh ears. Its goal is to improve the overall audio fidelity and polish the experience for new ears. It would not be complete without a variety of smaller fixes, tweaks, and surprises to make it the best version yet.

Important: Previously I mentioned that this update would include the missing text for Side B. I was wrong about the time requirement, given the upcoming festival, and have adjusted my timeline for that.

Key features

  • Mixing enhancements. The overall mix is much louder and clearer, with nearly every synth receiving a tweak. For example, the collectibles are more directional and easier to locate without the scanner.
  • Scanning enhancements. Collectibles must now be scanned to be the target of navigational cues. This reinforces how using the scanner is integral to success. The behavior of these cues will better avoid objects that cannot be collected.
  • Playable instrument. A synthesizer has been added to the initial title screen. Its gamepad controls offer a variety of tonal and effect inputs for all folks, regardless of musical ability.

v2.1.0 changes

  • Core Gameplay
    • Required scan for collectibles to receive focus.
    • Maintained movement state across saving and loading.
    • Scaled thruster charge loss by current mode and turbo state.
  • Core Interface
    • Added a description for New Game Plus.
    • Added next and previous buttons to Destinations and Perceptions screens.
    • Fixed new systems not visible when carrying unknown materials.
    • Redacted unknown materials from the system synthesis screen.
    • Added pause to new perception indicator for screen readers.
    • Added pauses to destinations table for screen readers.
    • Fixed some incorrect labels for screen readers.
    • Hid game notifications visually when graphics are off.
    • Allowed more inputs to cancel music idle timers.
    • Added slider for Interface Hum Volume to audio settings.
    • Added toggle for Title Screen Instrument to controls settings.
    • Revised the manual to reflect the new features.
  • Core Audio
    • Added a playable instrument to the initial title screen.
    • Improved overall mix.
    • Improved dynamic range of audio settings sliders.
    • Improved which collectibles are audible and focusable.
    • Revised and improved directionality of collectible cues.
    • Added cue for when collectibles lose focus.
    • Filtered thruster sounds by current mode and turbo state.
    • Added an electronic hum when accessing menus while paused.
    • Revised interface cues.
    • Fixed a leak with the collectible cues.
    • Removed Doppler effect simulation for performance.
  • Core Graphics
    • Added visual cue to focused collectibles when nearby.
  • Cover
    • Reverted to default colors when graphics are off.
  • Side A
    • Added dynamic text to The Mission for New Game Plus.
    • Fixed tutorial missing when quitting and reloading before starting it.
    • Fixed an occlusion check for buried collectibles in scan results.
    • Fixed reactivity of sub bass at higher altitudes.
  • Side B
    • Fixed phantom portal spawns.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Upgraded desktop builds to Electron 24.

Flipping to Side C

The next development sprint will focus on implementing the underwater terrain for Side C. Subsequent sprints will continue with underwater movement, the new abilities, and synthesizing its sounds and music.

My goal is to release the Side C preview sometime this fall. Like the Side B preview, it will not ship with the full story text. All missing text will be included in the full Steam launch, which is planned for the end of this year.

It’s possible that I may support the EP with smaller updates as progress is made. However, my immediate priority is to finish Side C. ✌

Future considerations

Without getting too far ahead of myself, here are some other possibilities:

  • Optimizations. I’ve noticed that the EP can sometimes be unstable. I’m unsure whether it’s from the new features, or if it’s my six year-old processor, or that I have so many tools running and never restart, or if Chrome has grown less stable in recent updates. This may be hotfixed before or during the festival.
  • MIDI support. Ideally the playable instrument should support keyboard and MIDI inputs. I’d like to include that in a later update.
  • Firefox support. I recently updated my engine with experimental support for Firefox browsers. Porting those changes here could be a serious undertaking and take some time to get right.
  • More sides. After the Steam launch I’m committing to support the EP with additional free content updates. Here are two concepts I’ve been imagining for quite some time: gliding above the canopy of a thriving moss planet, and racing against the rising magma of an airless lava planet.
  • Other Steam releases. I’d love to publish Fishyphus and Wurmus on Steam. The biggest challenge is creating all of the graphical assets needed for the Store and Library pages. Yet, I believe that would be an excellent investment into my favorite smaller games.

Please let me know if there’s anything missing. Thanks for playing!

Wishlist on Steam

Files

periphery-synthetic-ep-html5.zip 779 kB
Jun 08, 2023
periphery-synthetic-ep-html5-demo.zip Play in browser
Jun 08, 2023
periphery-synthetic-ep-linux-x64.zip 91 MB
Jun 08, 2023
periphery-synthetic-ep-win32-x64.zip 95 MB
Jun 08, 2023

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Comments

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(+1)

Hey thanks for describing the trailer! It's appreciated. :)
And I'm excited about all of this, but especially the fact that even more sides are planned.  I feel like a hot, toxic and corrosive wasteland with jagged silicate crystalline shards and needle like protrusions of magnetic metals, on a planet baked by a nearby red giant, with no atmosphere, extreme heat, high gravity, whipping winds, rust or glass storms ETC, strange canyon like lava tubes with random eruptions ETC would be a cool expansion on your lava planet idea, where rising out of the canyons with lava following could be part of it.
I'm sure not all of that would be possible, but it's cool as hell to think about. :)

Nice details!

Without revealing too much, the original plan for the final side was not far from what you describe: an Earth-like planet with a twist. The hope was for the next few sides to support it, with abilities and narrative leading up to it. Of course, that’s over a year away, and things could change.

Did you manage to get the game working on your machine?

(+1)

I love this game so much. The audio scanner is extremely useful and does so much to describe the peeks and valleys of the worlds you explore. I'm looking forward to the full release.

Thanks you! It’s a labor of love, and I’m excited too.