Posts on May 2014

Zombie gamemode added! Storm2D 0.050 Alpha coming soon.

Some awesome Storm2D maps made by VirtualTT

Functional games

Games should be designed around specific functions.

I wish more game developers looked at it this way. I’m playing a game because I want it to do something for me. For example I’m playing this AAA racing game. I only play it because good car racing gets me into the zone. The game has excellent racing and car mechanics that get me into flow so I feel like I can kick ass and then the feeling lasts for a few hours and it transfers into other things I do later in the day: like coding games :).

Specifically racing cars does gets me in the zone. However the developer is clearly not aware that I’m playing the racing game just for the racing. Shocking?

Let’s look at what the game does:
* it makes me wait for the game to load for a few minutes
* it has to get me through pointless questions like “do you want autosave to be on?
* "do you want autosave to be really on?”
* “are you sure?
* forces me to pick a user account although I’m the only one playing
* the main menu is actually 3D and it has to load for a couple seconds
* there’s pointless mini cut scenes after whatever racing event you choose like I give a shit about the “story” or environment
* every menu option is artificially slowed down by some animation
* there’s an announcer which is there to help you but just annoys the crap out of you by saying stupid shit like "you need to catch up to win the race!” after you’ve crashed, tumbled and wrecked your car – thanks a lot for the advice and fuck you.

You get the point. Clearly all of these are just an effect of the designers showing off their After-Effects skills and an over-the-top budget. It has nothing to do with my purpose of playing the game. I “hired” the game for a specific task and everything that doesn’t get me there interfers with that and should be removed.

I’ve been playing games nowadays only to get into the state of flow.

Games serve me a specific function which is flow, but there are many other reasons we play games for example:
* we need to kill time for 15 minutes
* we want to forget for a minute about our problems
* we want to immerse in a different reality
* we want to feel adrenaline
* we want to feel nostalgia
* we want to be creative and build something
* we feel like kicking somebodies ass
* we want to learn a skill
* we want to experience a story
* we want to get into the zone
* we want to do something fun with friends

So this is a different way at looking at gaming. It’s not that you want to play an FPS or space game or a zombies game. This is thinking about what the game does for you. NOT what it is about and NOT what you can do in the game. Games serve you in some way. You play them because there is a task that they can do for you. So again:

What should the game do for you? – NOT what it is about.

Cartridge games serve a function. They are there for you. They accomplish a task for you:
You want to feel something specific – we got a game for you.
You want to LOL really hard – we got a game for you.
You want to have fun for exactly 12 minutes – we got a game for you.
You want to experience a full story but only got 3 minutes – we got a game for you.
You want to get into flow with a game specifically designed to do it as fast and reliantly as possible – we got a game for you.

We’re working on it so keep in touch and think what function could a game serve you specifically and hopefully we’ll have a game exactly for you.


Build 1120 – Balance, Modding and Fixes

Hey guys, kinda small build this time but there’s some nice little changes in there that will help server owners tweak their play experience how they like, and hopefully see a rise in novel modes.

  • Config Vars
    TDM especially has benefited from the addition of more variables exposed through a config file – even the old RTDM mode is now possible through simple config file changes. CTF has also had most of its costs exposed through a config, though some of the more involved ones were left out. We’ll see how much use they get before going the extra mile. Older players keen to play some RTDM again should be happy about this one anyway!
  • TDM Tweaks
    TDM economy has been tweaked a little bit (as part of getting the config working) – there is a minimum of coins each round, but you can also save up in between rounds to help reward good play and allow for maps without a trader on them. The round plays a little more like counter strike now, on maps with a trader at least. We’re seeing more item use overall, but not too much spamming of any one item (except maybe bomb arrows 😉
    Shops can be turned off completely from within the config file as well, and all costs can be adjusted.
    Traders are also always neutral, so they don’t protect one team and hinder another (though they can be used as makeshift cover).
  • Swap Channels Option
    Linux users rejoice! Lucas has added a swap channels option for those suffering the flipped audio bug.
  • Spectator cam kicks in faster
    Small tweak, but those sick of looking at their corpse for 5 seconds after dying are in for a treat :^)
  • Fixed “Corner Hitting”
    The longest standing bug still in KAG has been fixed! Hitting through corners is no longer a thing.
  • Keg Tweaks
    Bombjumping with kegs has been fixed, and the keg is lighter. The keg dropping on hit is still in, as we feel this provides a much more interesting mechanic. It’s been moved a little backwards to help with it getting shot off your back by arrows. Keg explosions are now also symmetrical, the “down” line of the explosion isn’t strangely weak any more.
  • Knight Shield Direction Unlocked
    The shield direction in air has been fully unlocked to allow shielding to the side while in the air more easily. The shield angle has also been subtly increased (not anything like what it was though)
  • Longer CTF Build Time
    By default, the CTF build time is now 180 seconds instead of 120, so the pre game castles should be a little better prepared. We’ll be observing the issues this might introduce with rushing being non-viable, but it shouldn’t make too much of a difference.

Build should be out across all platforms within the hour. Be sure to leave your comments in the build thread on the forums.

As always, have fun!


Build 1110

Quite a big balance patch this time, with a few experimental changes in the mix too. Let the changelog begin:

  • Knight Shield
    The Knight shield angles have been tweaked a lot – they should provide less cover overall, meaning that more arrows and explosions are likely to hit their mark. Specifically, the shield angle has been reduced from a whopping 220 degrees to somewhere between 130 and 160 degrees, depending on what you’re doing specifically with the shield at the time. Be a little more careful, knights.
  • Kegs
    Kegs now can take much more of a beating, leading to less premature detonation. There’s a catch, however – kegs now get dropped when they’re hit, meaning someone can shoot or smack the keg off your back. People with kegs will need to be a fair bit more careful if they want to keep a hold of it; try to provide support for anyone on your team carrying them! Kegs also change their owner on getting picked up now, rather than on throw, so that the correct person gets the kills.
  • Explosives
    Explosives now can’t actually destroy ground blocks – they’ll chew structures just fine, but will not remove any blocks The blocks will need to be removed by other means (sword, pick, drill, bolt, boat, pick your poison).
    This should help reduce the background terrain erosion a lot, and give builders more control over the flow of the battlefield, while still allowing blockades to be bombed down. Bedrock “eating” keg explosions should also be a fair bit better, and kegs should _not_ kill through walls that absorbed the explosion – of course, some dirt walls will not absorb the explosion even though they are not destroyed. This is experimental: we’ll see how this goes, it might need a bit of tweaking, but we’re tired of the massive erosion that happens to every map, every game.
  • More Heads
    6 new heads (3 for each gender) have been added; Gurren Lagann heads for everone sporting kamina glasses or anime avatars on the forums, messy red hair heads to service that niche, and sk8r boi/gurl heads for those who miss the bad old days.
  • More Killfeed Icons
    No more Keg causing “fall” icon! The drill and saw icons are stlil missing though..
  • Traps and buildings
    Traps and buildings should be a little more viable long-term, as platforms and wooden doors take less damage from swords, and trap blocks cannot be damaged by swords at all.
  • Optimisation
    The way the run flags for each script are calculated has been optimised so that the checks are only carried out a maximum of once per frame per blob. We’ll work more on optimising this as well, because there’s still overhead associated with checking all of them even when they aren’t needed.
  • Cost Tweak
    Bombs now cost 25c in CTF; an even 100 for 4. Mines are now 60c so they see more use. Burgers are now purchaseable from the quarters/inn/kitchen, and the cost of healing items has generally been decreased. Archers can now shoot burgers to make ranged support via healing more possible (it works with fish too, but they can be tricky to come by in some games).
  • Weight tweaks
    Corpses are now medium weight, so that lugging one around slows you down a little. Kegs are now heavy weight, so they slow you a lot.
  • Run Through Doors Exploit Fixed
    Self explanatory.
  • Fixed Smooth Shader
    First change by our long time support guy Lucas/Furai – the smooth shader should now work properly for all resolutions instead of just the default!
  • No Light from Buildings
    This facilitates underground stealth bases more easily, and encourages lantern use.
  • Modding
    Joining modded servers has been made less “scary” and annoying – the warning window only shows up on your first day of play. Servers are also flagged as modded less frequently, most notably maps, mapcycles and config files wont trigger a server as modded. Script changes will trigger a server as modded, as will any loaded mods (naturally). Hopefully the increased ease of joining and increased exposure in general will help kick the modding scene into gear :^)
    Mods verified with and uploaded to the API should now Auto-Update, though I’ll leave it to Tom to explain the specifics in the thread as I’m not 100% clear on them.

I think that’s about it – quite a lot so there might be a few issues, but it should be fine for the weekend. Have fun!


Edit by Tom: Server auto-updates explained here

[wpvideo Vbl8CXxU]

Storm – penetrating rambo bow

Development is coming along well – We’ve added customisable game modes, new character class abilities and redone a lot of the weapons. Download for free from

Next things I’ll be working on: Mod support and vehicles. 🙂

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