Posts on Aug 2013

Build 866 – Interim Patch, Lots of Changes!

This is quite a big one, a bit scary to get it out over the weekend but Tom and Ryan need it out to be able to do some API work, so here it is 🙂 (As soon as the build server can bring it to you)

Summary of some major things that have changed, similar to last post:

Archer changes: Legolas shot, grapple hook, more fragile health among others! Pew pew, swing swing. It’s a whole new feel for the class, and it’s just getting started. We’ll continue tweaking and hopefully adding a bit of power after its had some more thorough public testing!

Boat changes: No more bashing team-mates with stolen boats before they convert! Dinghies don’t crush stuff! All sorts of good things.

Hall Changes: Halls can be flooded to turn them neutral again! We’re working on a way to work units into the mix, but it didn’t stand up to testing so at the moment it’s turned off.

Princess Mode: Currently in a half-finished port between the old huge huge map and the new level format there are some bugs (scores dont save or display properly properly) and some annoying map layout issues that will be fixed asap. Fortunately once the bugs there are ironed out the co-op challenge mode will be ready to rock in multiplayer!

Death camera: Also currently work in progress, MM didn’t quite complete it before he left :^( very sorry to those stuck looking at trees over the weekend! We’ll be evaluating weather to keep some form of this or not in the next few days, it will need a lot of changes if it’s to keep though.

Drill Changes: Doesn’t work particularly well under water, cools a bit slower, still doesn’t heat up when actually digging materials. This is to encourage using it for breaching and gathering instead of digging under the map for 20 hours in waist high water.

Walljump Changes: You can now wall run vertically for quite some distance, and only jump if you aren’t pressing towards the wall. This means overhangs are mandatory on any wall you dont want people getting over, and means getting out of pits and over ledges is much simpler. We’re considering making this a hold jump option (and will be toning down the height you can make with it).

Server Browser Changes: The server browser has been pre-emptively split into co-coperative and competitive tabs that sort on gamemode. This will be more relevant once the challenge multiplayer is released.

Starter changes: The starter now looks nicer and doesn’t have an inside-out twitter feed.

Please note: we’re fully aware there will be a few balance issues (likely in the favour of knights) this build! These will be addressed as soon as possible, likely with a patch Monday or Tuesday. Unfortunately we’ve got to push this one out either way so Tom and Ryan can get good API work done while they have some crossover time. Hopefully the added variety and fixes to known issues make up for the new issues that are sure to arise :^)

There have been a lot of changes and working this quickly it’s more or less inevitable that some bugs and other issues have snuck in without us noticing. Calmly report bugs and issues in the build thread or in the bug reports forum if you know how to use it.

Full changelog will be added either tomorrow night or on Sunday. I’ll keep my eye on the forums over the weekend but need some time to rest and recover, so don’t fret if I don’t get back to you right away.


Plan for the Rest of the Week

While MM is away I’ve been faced with a bit of a decision – do I work on CTF and delay the release of the current stuff further, or shelve it and try to get a patch out for TTH?

I’ve decided to go for the latter so that the archer changes can be trialled, the performance optimisations can be measured in practice and the larger map and angelscript issues (if there are any) can be identified.

To recap, the major changes that’ll be patched in are:

Archer changes:

  • Archer has no knife
  • Archer has grapple hook on right mouse button instead
  • Archer can overcharge his bow to shoot 3 arrows in quick succession. Holding the overcharge too long
  • Archer spawns with 30 arrows in almost all cases
  • Archer arrows have implicit knockback (eg even on boats, shielding knights, siege machines)
  • Archer arrows stun actors they hit if those actors are forced against a surface and the arrow is at full speed (allows combo shots if you manage to jump over a knight and full-speed shoot it downwards)

Large Engine Changes

  • Angelscript version increase to 2.27.1 – might make some old scripts not work as intended or break some mods, check the console for errors and the behaviour of anything, especially anything using angelscript classes. This was actually quite a pain to do, it broke the linux build for a while.
  • Tilemap underlying structure changed quite a lot – this one will only really matter to modders, it should be quite a bit faster CPU-wise though. Mods working with setting up tiles will need to pay attention to API changes.

General Changes

  • Halls have units in them – this hasn’t been properly tested yet and will need some work, but the basic idea is that a hall will become easier to take for a time if people are spawning out of it faster than tickets regen.
  • Halls drown when they have 2 or more layers of water in them – this state can be reversed with sponges. Drowned halls are for all intents and purposes the same as a neutral hall but you cant convert them until they are cleared.
  • You can buy an extra migrant at a hall for 100 gold! The migrant is bound to the hall, not the team, so you can still take the enemy stronghold with 10 military supplies factories :^)
  • Builders and archers start with the basics they need to survive and do good – 30 wood for ladders or blocking a door in the builder’s case, 30 arrows in the archer’s case.
  • The starter has been cleaned up a little, the layout improved, twitter feed fixed, and it has manual resolution entry for those with non-standard resolution screens like on netbooks.
  • Builders get materials when breaking solid constructed tiles. Short but sweet, makes forward building a little more feasible, and also less of a pain in the rear to “clean up” team constructions that honestly suck.
  • Dinghies do no damage. “Sorry” to those that have been abusing this. Much sorrier for not patching it sooner :^)
  • Servers are now split into competitive vs cooperative – we’ll make this a little more mod friendly asap but basically the modes are split based on how much fighting other people you’ll do.
  • Save the Princess mode is now several separate levels, using the new “Challenge” Framework, which will be finalised soon to allow for campaigns to be built for cooperative servers.

That’s it, off the top of my head. so, quite a lot of changes, which is why I want to get it out before they keep piling up and another week goes by with you guys stuck with old bugs.

Feel free to give your thoughts in the thread, some of these are somewhat debatable and most of the game flow related ones have easy to tweak variables in the scripts for those that want to revert them – the archer knife being a notable exception to that rule.

More info coming soon, it’ll mostly just be cleaning and testing until friday though!


“Challenges” days 2-4


We aimed to make a release Friday but unfortunately this is the nature of software development. I stumbled on some major road blocks, couldn’t release a test version until today. So only today did we have a chance to playtest a bit.

There are 4 types of Challenges working. They use a pretty convenient map + config file format. They can be sorted pretty easily in campaigns, just by dropping them into a folder. I still need to make a GUI in the main menu to select the campaigns or individual missions.

I split “Save the Princess” mode into 7 separate levels. Making it more fun and convenient to play in multiplayer. This should also make it easier for people with performance issues. I also made some significant lighting optimizations, so the next patch should be really good at addressing FPS issues.

Last but not least we played a bit of TDM today with the following changes:

  • new archer grappling hook
  • a new archer “charged shot” aka Legolas shot
  • knight shield slide knock/stun
  • improved wall climbing and running

We played for a couple minutes but I have to say I’m pretty stoked. The combat is MUCH more interesting for BOTH classes. I especially like the archer changes and the new trick movements you can do on walls and corners. These changes make KAG remind me more of Quake, which is pretty funny but cool.

This is the last bit of summer here in Poland and I decided to take a break for the rest of the week. Pretty unusual because I don’t like taking breaks from what is – a dream job. I’m sure this will help me rest a bit and kick more ass in the upcoming weeks before releasing the game on Steam.

See you next week. Geti should have CTF ready in the meantime. Have fun!


CTF Day 3 – Nostalgic sounds and General Progess

I was sick yesterday, sorry for the delay. Counting it as a write off and calling today day 3. On with the show :^)

Today I added the old CTF sounds to the mode for things like getting the flag, capturing it, it returning to base and so on. I also had to add things like it returning to base to test these, so that’s done too. There’s also a nice blinking HUD nag for any flags trying to return to base:

(…yeah I might work on the blinking some more, haha)

Some fun bugs were fixed, like the flag base getting killed in a collapse and the flag trying to get trees to pick it up because they aren’t the same team as it. Fortunately the trees couldn’t actually pick the flag up, but it sure spammed the flag pickup sound.

I realised I hadn’t shown the tents yet, so here they are (significantly closer than they might be on a real map)

One of the testers remarked “Tents are now a palace” – palace or not I think they certainly look much swankier than the old ones. Your feedback will of course be appreciated though!


New wall run + jump move.

“Challenge” mode day 1

Today I introduced end game statistics for the Challenge mode on individual server maps. These include:

  • fastest time
  • fastest team time
  • individual times
  • most kills
  • and so on

This is all done in scripts so anyone interested in modding can see how to do their own stats system. These stats can of course be expanded later into other game modes.

I started making a small parkour map by copy pasting an old jump map by splittingred :). I’m still testing out ideas for this. The thing I know is that I want parkour maps to have a time limit of 1 minute not longer.

To make these climbing/running maps more fun I fixed a big issue with walljumping which is – too much pushing backwards when you don’t intend to (especially when jumping around corners). In place of that you can now essentially run a wall matrix style by pressing movement key in the direction of the wall and tapping jump.

I’m not sure this should stay so don’t be surprised if it’s not there on release :).

Max was strangely missing today, I hope wild dinghos didn’t kidnap him. He should post an update tomorrow.


New cooperative game mode “Challenge”

This is MM, as promised I’ll explain a bit what I’m working on this week.

We’re in a bit of a hurry (typical), so we decided to split work with Geti (not typical), so he makes CTF and I make a completely new cooperative game mode.

The “Save the Princess” mode was pretty well recieved and we decided to go along that line. This new mode is:

  1. cooperative multiplayer or singleplayer
  2. it’s called “Challenge”
  3. it’s like a condensed version of the Princess mode
  4. it’s meant for 4-8 players
  5. very small maps
  6. rounds will be fast – ranging from 30 secs to 2 mins maximum
  7. no spawning after death
  8. every map in the cycle should be a unique Challenge
  9. typically every Challenge trains a particular skill used in the game (but not necesarilly)
  10. not all Challenges are combat ones

Some types of “Challenges” that you will encounter are (not all will be available in first release of course):

  • Kill all Red
  • Save the Princess/Hostage
  • Escort the Migrant
  • Retrieve the flag
  • Capture the hall
  • Capture the boat
  • Cross canyon as fast as possible
  • Escape the flood!
  • Parkour and climbing…

Will keep you updated,

have fun!


CTF Progress, Day 2 – Interruptions

There were some hiccups that swallowed a fair bit of today moving some fairly large tilemap changes into the main branch. They wont cause any outward change of appearance but performance and  Caused a few “hilarious” bugs, like being able to build tiles “into” dirt for digging.

We also updated the version of angelscript – leading to a lot of the more “fiddly” scripts having a few bugs and crashes. Hopefully the overall fixes and performance improvements help out in the long run though.

CTF so far has been mostly fixing bugs in the gamemode and adding intended functionality to the flags and their holders, which I won’t bore you with a gif of.

More progress to be made tomorrow with most of the interruptions dealt with tonight, sad to have a slow day but glad to have these two large elements off the TODO list as well.

Will keep you posted, MM should go into the details of what he’s been working on tonight as well – a cooperative slant on the game :^)


CTF Progress, Day 1 + Other news

So, this week we’re splitting the workload between MM and I – He gets the cooperative multiplayer side of things, I get to make Capture the Flag.

This isn’t a carbon copy of classic. I want to address the myriad issues that were present in classic’s CTF, the largest planned changes being

  • Spawn point and flags separate objects – eliminating stalemate at the tent.
  • Layout of number of flags, location of flags up to map maker
  • Saving the flag takes time (no more 1 frame flyby returns)
  • Compatibility with low and high player counts via clever map design.

Here’s an animation of how progress is going so far. It also shows one of the large things changed about archer – he now has a grappling hook for getting around the map.


Note that the work is very rough, but you can already take and capture flags (without interrupting your own flags). Turtling the flag points will likely be standard practice, but note that to cap and therefore win, you need to have a way in and out. This should prevent entombing without being to restrictive on fort design.

I’ll talk more about the archer changes as it’s nearer to release, we’re aiming for the end of the week for at least the archer changes (and the usual slew of fixes) if not a playable CTF + co-op as well.

Stay tuned, and tell your friends :^)


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