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  3. Steven the Sperm: VERSION 2.0!

Steven the Sperm: VERSION 2.0!

It takes 6 months to develop a baby, but it took about a year of on-and-off work to bring you this update, so that must mean it's twice as good as an actual human child! …or maybe that's not a good way to phrase it, but you get the picture.

But yep, you saw the title - Steven the Sperm has now reached version 2.0! Lots of games don't even reach that point! I bet you're wondering what this means - well without further ado, I present you with:


[h2]Major Changes[/h2]
  • ENGINE UPDATE! Steven the Sperm now uses the Clickteam Fusion 2.5+ engine! My greater experience with this engine allows me to bring you all the updates listed below, as well as provide better performance (both from an engine standpoint and a personal optimization one), and a RIDICULOUSLY smaller install size:

      1.3.8 Full = 762 MB -> 2.0 Full = 88 MB (About 88% smaller!)
      1.x Demo V6 = 305 MB -> 2.0 Demo = 24 MB (About 92% smaller!)
  • CUSTOMIZABLE CONTROLS! If the default arrow key/WASD or Xbox controls aren't to your liking, now you can change them! It's also worth noting that the Xbox controls will let you enable a left-handed/'southpaw' layout which uses the right stick for moving and the d-pad as buttons. Check out the section on the revamped options screen.
  • TIGHTENED MOVEMENT! In 1.x, there was a slight delay between rotating and actually moving in that direction - this was especially noticeable while dashing, creating a sort of unruly 'swinging' effect. In this new update, rotating will now instantly change the direction of your velocity, making movement much more precise, predictable, and smooth. Veteran players may have to slightly readjust their muscle memory, but new players will have a much easier time learning to control Steven.
  • INGAME ACHIEVEMENT TRACKING! Getting an achievement will now create an in-game popup with the title, description, and reward. There's also a new achievement screen which will help you figure out which achievements have been unlocked for your save file, and what the requirements are to unlock each. Much easier than having to open up the Steam overlay and remember which ones you've already unlocked, especially if you've already gotten all the achievements before.

[h2]Minor Overall Changes[/h2]
  • Improved visuals in some areas. Some of the hand-drawn graphics in 1.x like the "Skip/Next" buttons and "Stage Complete!" text were particularly ugly and clashed with the rest of the game, so they've been replaced with nicer alternatives. The high score screen also no longer has a bunch of random crap flying around it, making it easier to read. Along with those, there's also other minor improvements like nicer quality backdrops on stages, fixes for some errors on a few of the story slides, re-drawings of a few red notification circles, and improved placement for buttons and text.
  • Volume can be toggled with the + and - keys. No more fiddling with the volume mixer! The game starts out at max volume.
  • Added the option to skip death animations. If you don't want to wait for death animations, you can turn them off in the Options menu. When you die, the stage will immediately reset.
  • Next/Skip buttons can now use whatever you have set as the "Select" button (space or Z by default). In 1.x, they were set to either clicking or moving right... this sucked and was really confusing, so now you just use "Select" like every other game on Earth. The old methods still work though, so don't worry if you're used to it.
  • Checkpoints can now be used in the stage select. Just note that they won't save if you quit the stage.
  • When the boost meter is refilled, a sound will play. Helps for when you're in a high stakes situation and don't have time to look at the meter... which is all of the time. No more spamming the dash button hoping it'll work!
  • Time requirements for medals have been adjusted. Times that ended on strange numbers like "1:26" are now more standard ("1:25" instead), except for the final stage where the time is based on an enemy.
  • Improved cosmetic tracking. In 1.x, head and body cosmetics were basically just plastered over Steven with no care to actually follow his bodily movements when he swims. Now they do. Wahoo! I also added a cool new animation for when you die with some cosmetics you unlock from 100%ing the game, and the blue body cosmetic is a lighter shade so you can see Steven's face.

[h2]Feature & Stage Specific Changes[/h2]
  • The High Score screen now plays a sound and highlights the entry when your score/time is on the board (or not), and two special songs can play depending on if you get a #1 score versus a #1 time. The former helps you know if you're even on the board, while the latter gives a nice little flavor.
  • Enabling something will no longer change the pitch of the music. Keeping it vague to avoid spoilers. This might be the most controversial change of this update, but I felt that the downwards pitch shift in music created a tone that was more depressing than fun. I kept the shift on the Title Screen though, since it's funnier in the short time you're on it.
  • Much improved Tutorial. Gone are the stupid pacer test bells and screen overlay with confusing, multi-sectioned button prompts and slow-mo until you fulfill them. Now the tutorial is actually understandable and doesn't destroy the pace. Buttons for both keyboard and controller are shown comprehensibly, and the explanations on how to play are better. The tutorial also now explains what the white cells do.
  • Various small improvements for Stage 5. Added back the checkpoint, zoomed in the camera just a little more, and completely changed the challenge when you enable a feature.
  • Huge Improvements on the final stage. Added back a little intro section from an early beta that ties it in nicely with the previous level. Most importantly, the physics for the stage's enemy and their phases have been tweaked to be more fair and less glitchy, helping balance the more random elements of the stage to make it more enjoyable yet still challenging. Also, the hidden help mode that was available if you failed too many times has been removed, so now you have to actually play the game. As for the other help you can unlock, the timer will now pause when it appears, so you don't have to worry about losing any time from it.
  • Changed what happens in 5 Challenges when something is enabled. Again, no spoilers. It's really cool and something I was only able to do (within my skill level) with the game engine switch, so make sure to check it out when you're able to.

So, those are the changes with the 2.0 update! I think they go a long way in making the game feel much more complete. There were a few things in 1.x that I thought were bad or flat out unacceptable, so I'm extremely proud to bring all the changes above.

It's shocking to think that Steven the Sperm came out all the way back in 2018. Believe it or not, while the whole "about a year of on-and-off work to bring you this update" thing I wrote at the beginning is true, this 2.0 update actually dates back in concept to late 2019 - so technically it took about three years for this update to come to fruition! I had a basic engine port back in 2019, but it wasn't until last year that I decided to focus in on making 2.0 happen and add in all the stages and things. I've been extremely busy with college, and since I'm only one person with no budget to hire programmers and artists and etc, making games is a very difficult and time consuming process for me. But I'm happy to finally have this update out - yes I could've been working on other things, but STS really needed this facelift and I'm happier to have a better product as my first that I can provide everybody.

I sincerely hope everybody has fun with this new update! Be sure to let me know of any glitches or bugs I may have missed. And a huge thanks to everybody who has ever, or will ever play! We're coming up on four years of STS, woohoo!