Indie VR gem COMPOUND has taken its Early Access status to heart. Over the last year, the game has seen consistent updates every month which have added new enemies, weapons, bosses, and more to the game. Developer Bevan McKechnie says the game’s demo has been recently updated allowing new players to get a glimpse of the changes.
Compound is an impressive but lesser-known roguelite VR shooter with a deliciously authentic pixel-art aesthetic. Having launched in Early Access on Steam back in 2018, developer Bevan “NotDead” McKechnie has been busy bringing new content to the game ever since.
In the last year alone Compound has seen 17 updates which have added six new weapons, five new mini-bosses, and two major bosses to the game:
There’s also been feature updates and fixes along the way. v0.5.1 added new hand models to the game with support for Index finger-tracking. v0.5.3 added ‘Mutators’ which change the gameplay in challenging ways:
- Gun Magnet (enemies drop weapons but you can’t reload)
- Damage Amplifier (all enemies die with one shot but so do you)
- People Populator (enemies have less HP, bullets move faster, and more enemies spawn)
v0.5.14 updated the game’s weapons to support ‘momentum reloading’ meaning that you can now articulate many of the hinged weapons (ie: swing shut the Revolver’s cylinder) by swinging them naturally; it also added a new enemy (‘KANi’ Reception Security bot).
v0.5.16 was a key update which added a Save & Continue feature. Compound is all about surviving as long as you can, but that meant that longer runs could become a time investment. With the Save & Continue feature, players can now store their progress between levels and resume at a later date.
The game’s latest update, v0.5.17, which went live today, brought balance changes to the game which its creator says were focused on “improving the smoothness of the difficulty curve while also giving Easy and Medium players access to more of the mini-boss content.”
According to today’s update, the game’s free demo has also been updated to bring it in line with the latest version of the game; it’s available on the Compound Steam page.
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We spoke with Bevan McKechnie about Compound’s latest updates and what he has planned for the future. In the near-term he expects to focus on adding more Mutators to the game, bringing the total count to “at least nine,” he said.
“Being a solo dev, my style of development is very organic. I like to add, remove, and change ideas all the time. This means I can never be 100% sure of how the game will turn out,” McKechnie told us as a caveat before listing some of his longer term goals for the game “in no specific order:”
- More map specific ‘hazards’, like the explosive barrels in the sewers.
- More variation to the early game.
- An overhauled unlock system
- A completely new tutorial system with audio and video instructions for clarity, with a bit of fun world building thrown in. The current one has always been a placeholder as no-one wants to sit around reading pages of instruction text.
- AI improvements, overall polish, and misc. QOL features.
- Many more story elements and multiple unlockable ‘endings’
- Some fun secret items for completionists
We awarded Compound the ‘Excellence in Indie Development’ award in our 2018 Game of the Year Awards and are happy to see that McKechnie has continued to show that it was well-earned recognition.