Time for a quick update on Space Farmers 2.

Some Good stuff that’s happened

While, as usual, we’ve not had the time to work on things as much as we’d like some progress has been made. We’ve moved to a new library to help with the networking and have been performing some tests on how that performs. Also we want to make sure it’s a viable alternative to us writing our own integrated networking. This library supports the idea of *gulp* servers so we’re also looking at procuring some test servers and uploading the server software and trying all that out.

Something I can show is some basic pathing I’ve been working on for enemies! It’s nothing special but I can have a multitude of enemies following this path and all being tracked on everyone’s client. And when I say everyone’s I mean more than 2 people (woop!)

Next is getting basic weapons and enemy attacking sorted. This is leading to a game mode we’ve been calling “The Fridge” since 2012 (yep, that’s how long we’ve been talking about Space Farmers games for now!) It’s the same as a dungeon defenders mission or a Team Fortress 2 MvM mission.

I’ve got no idea on a specific timescale for this yet (this month I’ve got far too much personal stuff going on, hence a blog post instead of a video or anything) But I should have some further news next month on how some of this went. But here’s a picture of some prototyping for the enemy pathing I had going on:

(ooh, animated giff thanks to my new mobile phone!)

What else is going on…

In other news it’s no secret I’m fresh out of the release of Tribloos 3 which has slowed me down somewhat. The “What do I do next?” question every developer asks themselves after a release always leaves a feeling of uncertainty and unease. However I’ve thrown myself back into this as much as possible (around my full time work and family time) which Rich is fighting to simply get some desk space to work from (it’s a long story).

I’ve got a few ideas for what to do next. One of which is some DLC for The Tribloos 3 which I’ve made a tentative start on. The other is a top down RPG shooter game which I made a prototype for a few weeks ago. My plan is to incrementally work on these for a few weeks and see what excites me the most and then focus on that for the rest of the year. I’ll show some more details on the blog presently.

So that’s about it for today!

Just a quick notice to say that the Steam version is live! Go Go Go!

There’s also a bundle (which isn’t yet appearing on the Tribloos 3 page, but IS on the Tribloos 2 page) to get both Tribloos games on Steam for a bigger discount! Get the Tribloos 2 and 3 Bundle!

Thanks for everyone’s support in getting this far. Fingers and toes are crossed for this release now.

Also, check out the following recorded livestream that I did with my good friend Geoff “DangerGerbil” Davies over on Twitch:

Watch Tribloos 3, with special guest developer AndyBumpkin from DangerGerbil on www.twitch.tv

What’s Next?

For everyone who is interested I’ll be announcing the next Plushie competition on Facebook this evening! I’ll announce it here too of course.

I also have a Facebook ad campaign on the go, it’s a bit of a test as I’ve never done one before. So we’ll see how that goes.

Of course any suggestions are welcome on where we can send it for reviews/news.

What about after The Tribloos 3?

I think a lot will depend on how the game performs on Steam. We’ve got plans for other games in both the Tribloos series and, of course Space Farmers. We also have other game concepts we’re working on. The main issue for us is getting time to work on these projects currently, but as soon as we have anything to show we’ll post it here first!

Hey Tribloos fans, time for an update on the latest version of the game. 1.3 Brings some stability updates, a change to the default gfx driver (for windows users) and various improvements to the game itself.

These version are live on BFG right now! So check your client for an update.

Fixes:

Achievements

There were a number of achievements which were not…achievable! Oops, apologies for that. I changed the counting code later on in development and when the building ones seemed to work I wrongly assumed that “everything was fine”. I’ve now made the appropriate changes here and achievements are working as expected.

Boom Leaf Hover Text

You were all treated to my internal code system of the game here, if you noticed! It’s a bit of an obscure fix but details count right?

Changed GFX driver

So some people were experiencing weird issues with display with some gfx cards. I’ve changed the default display driver from dx7 to opengl. This can be overriden with a configuration setting. If you run into trouble either contact BFG or email me for help.

The Improvements

Static Backgrounds Option

From your user screen on the main menu you can tick a box which specifies if you want static backgrounds or not. This will pause movement in the following areas:

  • Flying Fortress (clouds/leaves when outside)
  • Pirate Ship (waves will be totally still)
  • Train (the train will not move)
  • Spotlights in circus

Vine Bush visibility

These now have lovely blue flowers which make them easier to notice on the tree backgrounds at the end of the first set of levels.

More story explanation

At the end of the first cutscene I have added some text which explains why the Tribloos split up and how that effects what level you can play next

End Of Level Arpeggio sound

Some users were describing that the end of level sounds were a bit naff – this turned out to be that my “clever” method of creating an arpeggio using a single sample failed. So I’ve created a full arpeggio recording now and stop it when the score bar finishes.

Things not yet done

Work on the Steam release have faltered over the last couple of weeks. I’m having to relearn some C++ to get the latest API stuff into a Blitzmax project for the achievements and I also want to put something more awesome in there that wasn’t in Tribloos 2. Look forward to more details!

But the Itch.IO version will be released soon. So for those that prefer a DRM Free experience, we’ve got you covered!

Let me know if you have any comments about the above

The BFG Forums are no more! Sad face ๐Ÿ™

I liked them overall as they gave a great way for me to respond to anyone who had bought the game. Specifically helping people out who were having problems with the levels. One of the big questions over there was how to complete level 10. This was due to the tuning forks!

So in response I made a video recently showing how this is done. Check it out:

Are there any other levels you’d like me to cover? Let me know if so. Next up will be levels 30 and 32…

Back in 2014 we both had a moment where our time went inversely proportional for game development time. From having tons of time to work on games to very, very tiny amounts of time to work on games.

I chose to spend that time working on a different title. It took sooooo much longer than I anticipated. But it got finished and distributed. And very near the end of that we started talking about developing a new game!

It wasn’t Space Farmers 2.

What?! You said you would be-

Yes yes, we know we said we’d be working on Space Farmers 2 next. But we had a really, really good idea for another co-op game. We spent a few weeks playing around with physics engines and wheel collider code to try and make it work. And while we still love the idea for [SECRETGAMENAME] we haven’t got the time to mess around with unity physics right now.

We will return to this mystery project, probably in a few months just for fun if nothing else. It might even become *part* of Space Farmers 2. But for now you can be assured we’re back on the case!

So c’mon then. What’s going on?

If you’re an avid fan (and good grief, we love you guys) you’ll know we’ve been messing with prototypes of the game engine for some time. The problem is we’ve not gotten very far with any of them. We started in Unity, then looked at Unreal and are currently back at Unity (mainly because we’re so much more comfortable in C# as a language).

We’ve split our duties to spread the load.

Rich is working on gameplay! How will the character be controlled? What kind of control modes are there?

Andy is working on networking! How will the client/server architecture work? How do people connect to the game?

We’ve been having online dev sessions most Mondays for a while now and that’s working out quite well. We’ve both progressed well and it’s almost getting to the point where we put our work together to create a proper prototype project.

Tell us about the new prototype!

We’re still trying to work out how we want this to play out. This is the current plan:

– Single Lobby that anyone can join and see others
– Some form of example game mode for 2 people
– Some form of example game mode for > 2 people

And, well that’s it at the moment. We don’t want to plan too far ahead otherwise we can’t stay agile. But we wanted to have a starting place where anyone could just load up and start a game. The first release may be even more basic than that.

Why are you planning to start so small?!

Well we don’t really see it like that. But the idea is to start with the fundamental basics. Get some feedback on the initial version of the net code, movement, shooting, etc.. And then put out as many updates as we can each month.

What we don’t want to do is make everyone wait 2 years until we have something half baked. We may as well show you the batter first.

We also don’t have a planned date for any of the above just yet. But like I said above, progress has been good recently. We’ve got a lot of work to do but we very much hope it’ll be worth it!

First off a big thank you to everyone who has bought the game so far on BigFishGames.

The Tribloos 3 Development Diary

I can’t publicly share sales figures but I will say they’re a bit lower than Tribloos 2. There could be any number of reasons for this such as people moving to mobile devices for their casual fix or people generally gravitating away from BigFish to other portals like Steam/GoG/GameJolt/Other. Or it could be related to the technical issues when the game launched. Or maybe because it’s been 4 years since the last game in the series. It’s hard to say but I’m not about to stop trying to get the game out there due to a slight hiccup at the start.

So we had a bit of a shaky start but generally feedback on the game has been really good from fans and newcomers. That’s really encouraging and now I’m looking at what’s next.
Continue reading “Tribloos 3 – One (and a bit) week on”

You can now get the first release of The Tribloos 3 from BigFishGames!

It’s available on PC and Mac and you get a 1 hour free session.

https://www.bigfishgames.com/games/14203/the-tribloos-3/?pc

We’re working on the Steam release but we have a mixture of technical and administrative challenges ahead of us before that happens. However an Itch.io release will be happening asap so you’ll be able to get the game DRM free very soon.

We’ll keep you posted!

Let us get straight to the Tribloos 3 trailer!

I think the Tribloos 3 Trailer is well overdue, don’t you? So here it is!

I was originally going to create a teaser trailer, then a story trailer and then a gameplay trailer. But they eventually ended up merging into a single trailer above. Look out for the game coming to Steam in the next few weeks!

The Marketing push begineth

Do you run or are aware of a games review site or youtube channel which you believe would like to share the Tribloos 3 trailer? Let us know and we will also send over a review code!

There will be further announcements on how to get your hands on the game and even one of our real life tribloos over the next few days. We’ll be running a contest, updating our Steam page in preparation and basically just sharing the heck out of it whenever and wherever we can.

As well as looking at our next project we am also preparing the demo version of the game for Steam. That way everyone can look forward to trying the game one way or another! It’ll be very sensibly priced of course…

Anyway, tell us what you think of the trailer. Get ready for release day which is pencilled in for the 12th of April 2018.