After some time, here is the next release of Block Around. Even if the game is not finished yet, it's getting closer to its beta state, meaning that big changes are more unlikely to happen. Well, score rating will change, so extra-lives won't be so easy to get passed the first levels and you will be able to reset your profiles once the beta stage is reached.
World 2 and 3 are now complete. There were some change in the first levels to reorder them. Just something about the difficulty curve. The last world was still a bit rushed and will require some adjustments. But as continues are still missing, it will be a bit hard to get there.
After some real games, some issues and frustrations popped around. The changes are rather subtle but can have a big impact on the game.
The most visible one is about the respawn blocks (the green slimy ones) as they do not turn themselves into blocker blocks (the pink ones). When they are hit, they just let the ball pass through but you can still place the paddle on them for bouncing. This change eases level 1-Final a lot and make the game a lot less frustrating with blocks on the sides of the screen.
The attraction of the ball has been slightly changed too, to make it more controllable. The paddle (and other things that attract the ball) now make attraction basically only from the side, and not from merely the front or back. The biggest change is when the ball bounces on the pad, it is not attracted anymore right after, making aiming a lot more precise.
Along the other changes, new sounds were added, like when gaining or losing a life, or when reaching a clear bonus threshold. Some visual effects were added too, even if there still miss a few ones. The game is becoming a bit more lively, and the first world background was changed for something more consistent with the style of worlds 2 and 3.
There is still a big amount of work to do on the menu screens, control assignment, hi-scores tables and continues. The clear bonus is very likely to be earned during the level instead of at the end only for extra lives and less all-or-nothing when there are only a few blocks left with a high-speed ball.
The 2 players mode will be delayed after the first release, along the arcade edition. Using an 8 direction stick as the default control will require some gameplay adjustments whereas the home version is meant to be played with a mouse.