Golem v1.02 Patch Notes

In the world of Golem there are no proper names; Everyone is named after a common object or action. Like “Scratch” or “Pocket,” for example. Well, Twine has a friend named Patch that lives down the road. His house is infested with dunebugs that chew holes in his socks, but he doesn’t know what to do about it. See, this is the kind of elaborate world-building you get in a Highwire Games game!

Fixed in Golem Patch v1.02

  • Left-handed Mode. Also known as “easy mode” since so many attacks come from that side.
  • Support for the Nav Controller. Who even knew this 10 year-old optional peripheral to a controller peripheral to a camera peripheral for an obsolete console had so many fans? Well apparently quite a few of you have one at the bottom of a drawer somewhere because announcing support for the Nav Controller generated a lot of excitement. And you know what? It is pretty great, even if we had to hack support for it into the engine ourselves.
  • Direct movement control with a stick. You don’t have a Nav Controller? Well — while you wait for one to be delivered — you can still use the left stick on your DualShock for direct movement control. And now there is an option to turn it off, which ironically should help people realize that it is on by default. It also automatically suppresses the Incline Controls to prevent conflicts between movement inputs.
  • Allow option to disable adaptive turning. If adaptive turning isn’t for you, there is now an option to disable it and rely exclusively on the Quick Turn buttons. There is also an option for Very Slow adaptive turning, which in our tests allowed players to comfortably explore the world, but still make the small adjustments necessary for combat. You may want to try that first.
  • Foot-Focus-Friendly Incline Controls. One of the biggest challenges of tuning the Incline Controls was guiding players toward their optimal use. We found that some segment of players interpreted “Lean forward” to mean “Look down” and were trying to play by craning their neck and staring at their feet, which is quite uncomfortable and totally unnecessary. To help these players, we slowed your golem down while looking at your feet to encourage them to look up and gradually learn that only a slight forward shift from the waist was required to move forward at the golem’s maximum speed. Instead, they began complaining that their golem was too slow while they were looking at their feet… Lesson learned; We have removed the slow down.
  • Quick Turn options. Select from more angles, turn off the blink, there’s even an instant turn for Maximum Comfort. These are especially useful if you are playing without the Adaptive Turn.
  • Trophy granting, music timing, physics damping and other miscellaneous bug fixes. Ideally you will never even know these issues existed, so let’s not dwell on them too much.

Another Patch in the works

Here’s an “interesting” thing about console development. To patch a game you must submit it to platform certification, the same testing process that is required to release the game in the first place. In busy months like November, that submission must be scheduled far in advance. In our case, we actually scheduled the patch submission long before the game was even released, assuming there might be changes we wanted to make after launch. Unfortunately, that also meant that the timing for the patch was set in stone, and some of our planned improvements to Golem were not ready in time.

So it turns out that Patch has a younger cousin that lives a little further down the road. Here’s what we are planning for the next version:

  • Continuous Smooth Turning. Specifically, the ability to turn an arbitrary amount via button input. We weren’t satisfied with how our implementation felt, so we’re holding it back until we can figure out a better solution.
  • Super-sampling Bug. In addition to other anti-aliasing techniques, Golem renders each frame at a higher resolution than necessary and down-samples the results. This allows us to have a higher perceived resolution and a much smoother look. However, this can conflict with the PS4 Pro’s manual “super-sampling” option and leave the game looking very low resolution. For now, make sure to turn off the manual super-sampling option on your PS4 Pro and if the game still looks pixelated, rebooting seems to fix the problem.
  • Another Move. Some games use two Move controllers to represent two hands. These games also allow players to use the second Move as a sort of virtual movement stick because the Move does not have an integrated stick. In Golem, there is one Move representing a single sword. There doesn’t seem to be a need for a second Move that is only used as a virtual stick when players can just use an actual stick in their second hand. We are considering it anyway.
  • Hard Mode. There are videos of players fighting two golems at once, or beating a difficult Storm golem with a rusty sword, or backing a giant Stone Golem off a cliff to kill it. We are looking into adding a post-game mode that is designed to be exceptionally difficult and feature these unusual scenarios. Is that something people would be interested in? If so, let us know!

We don’t yet have timing for the next patch release, but will update you as soon as we know.