It’s always good to have a plan.

As you know our plans very rarely work out, but we do keep trying.

Here’s what’s on the menu for this year so far:

Tribloos Series Plans

I’m very aware that Tribloos 3 hasn’t been as widely noticed as Tribloos 2. There are a number of factors here including our reluctance to push too hard on bundle sites with it – something we’re still not too keen on doing just yet.

But there are number of things we will be doing this year, starting in Februrary.

  1. Release of the Sound Track remixed and remastered!
  2. A re-release of Tribloos 1 for free on Steam (this has been requested lots)
  3. An update to Tribloos 3 itself – more news on this later

We’re hoping this push gets Tribloos 3 out there as much as Tribloos 2 did. Good luck little fellas.

Pioneer Re-release on Steam

Before I was part of the Bumpkin Brothers I released a game back in 2009 called “Pioneer : A Space Adventure” which was a mix of Star Control 2 / Freelancer type gameplay with an asteroids style perspective. I’m planning to re-release that (as you can’t buy it from the original vendor any longer) and get that on Steam. It’ll be very reasonably priced and features an 8 hour (based on feedback at the time) campaign. Again, more on that later, but you can still get the soundtrack on BandCamp.

It did pretty well for a solo developer with no Steam or other distribution mechanism. I think I sold around 20-30 copies at £10 each, which was big money for me as an indie dev back then!

I only stopped selling it because I had an odd exchange with an artist who was helping redo the GUI elements (for free) then stopped responding to emails. So the game was left in limbo with 20% new UI elements and 80% old. That’s going to be sorted out and the game will find it’s way on Steam with updated gfx!

This is really bad – but check out this horrid low res video I released in 2008 of the game in progress.

I’m sure you get the idea even if that doesn’t look very clean.

Newspaper Simulator Game

I’ve written a backend engine for a Newspaper simulator game that we are messing around with right now.

The game is “working” but I don’t have any visuals to show yet as it’s all back end stuff. However I’m hoping to announce a release date in February once I get a feel for how long it takes to create a proper scenario.

But the gist of the game is that you’ll be the editor of a series of newspapers deciding which stories to run and which opinions to put forward. All whilst trying to keep the paper selling and not upset the owners too much!

It’s working title is “Tabloid” and, again, I hope to be announcing more of this soon. However I did tweet this not too long ago…

A Programming game – currently untitled!

Oh gosh I’m very excited about this one. I’ve never made a programming game before but I’ve been chipping away at an idea I had late last year and it’s taking shape.

I’ve always been a big fan of games like ShenzenIO and ExaPunks by Zachtronics. This is going to have some similar elements but won’t be level based, it’ll be more of a living world. Again more to come later but not for a while probably.

I can leave you with this cryptic whiteboard scribble though. Not much to go on but maybe someone will guess what I’m making…

Finally, a word on Space Farmers 2

We’ve literally attempted to create Space Farmers 2 5 times over the last 5 years. One attempt per year. Each attempt has been different – you can read about some of them on this blog.

The big thing that always stops us is the networking. We always think we have it licked, then *boom* we get stopped in our tracks.

That doesn’t mean we won’t get there in the end though. We keep trying and our next attempt is approaching. Rich is currently heading this one up and has some neat ideas to give the whole game a fresh perspective whilst maintaining what made the first space farmers game a space farmers game.

Believe me when I say no one is more frustrated that the game never gets finished than us. But I really think this year is the year that stops.

So in summary…

  • New Tribloos content coming in February!
  • Pioneer to be steam released in March/April
  • “Tabloid” (working title) release pencilled in for June/July
  • Programming game (no title yet) pencilled in for before end of year
  • Space Farmers 2 is still coming!

2019 Hasn’t been my greatest year so far if I’m honest.

I’ve had quite a tumultuous personal life this year which has only just started to settle down (hence me actually thinking about posting here at all!)

Before I go on however I’d like to try and improve 2019 just a bit, so as part of the Steam Winter Sale all our Steam games are 33% off (they’re cheap anyway, so this is making them super cheap!)

I know we’re still getting calls for when Space Farmers 2 might surface. The truth is we put effort in quite often into this. Earlier this year we had another really good go and ended up with something looking pretty good even! But Real Life again took hold and progress dwindled.

We do intend to make something Space Farmers related (and other games of course) over the span of the next 12 months. So please bear with us, we’re honestly doing our best to focus on our game development efforts as much as possible.

So, all that’s left is for me to wish you all a merry Holiday Season and a happy new year! Here’s hoping next year brings you all joy and happiness.

It feels like too long since I posted here. Plus our amazing plan of releasing a game every 2/3 months seems to have ground to a halt for various reasons. Time for a quick update then…

So I (Andy) have had a bit of time off work recently. I’m between contracts so thought I’d look at a new game engine I’d heard about.

I was sifting through my YouTube feed for Blender3D tutorials and noticed a few videos called “Why I moved to GODOT” or similar. Usually this kind of thing is clickbait-ish of course but I thought I’d give them the benefit of the doubt because I’d just watched his decent tutorial on sculpting.

Godot looked pretty amazing and I was naturally skeptical at first. However it seemed like it was gaining popularity for 2D projects especially so I thought I’d give it a go. Anyway, to cut a longer story short I’ve been working with it for about a week when I’ve had chance. The output has been pretty good so far! If you follow me on Twitter then you may have already seen this:

So I’ve had this idea for a game for donkeys years. It’s morphed from 2D to 3D back to 2D. I had aspirations for making it an MMO, in my imagination the whole thing is played out like a Pixar movie!…But I’ve decided to be vaguely sensible about it and keep it 2D and single player and focus on the gameplay/story I wanted most of all.

Disclaimer: Who knows, I might stop developing it! Life is…flukey at the moment and with family/work I’ve no idea what will even happen tomorrow at this point. Things will hopefully stabilize soon…

So the plan is that the game features two halves. The first is the world travel/exploration via a rail network where you’ll be able to activate junctions to new areas via a remote control device of some kind. I hope to have train battles as well as being able to upgrade and even personalize your train.

The second half of the game is the ground combat/exploration which will be a side on version of mass effect 2/gears of war style combat. Duck/Cover/Shoot type mechanisms. I’ve only really had chance to work on this for 3/4 hours so far including more learning about Godot. So not too much to show there but I will share this super early picture of a Tribloo I was using to test with.

(It’s not a Tribloos game – I’m just using that as a reference pic. That said I believe could have made Tribloos 3 50% faster in this engine!)

So things are moving at a nice steady pace at the moment. I’ve got at least another two weeks or so before I start another contract so I’m hoping things will continue to develop well for a while and I’m hoping to write an update next week with more news!


Announcing a series of tiny, experimental games by the BumpkinBrothers, coming soon to your android mobile telephone devices!

What be this?

Aha, yes indeed you may ask that. Actually you’d probably start asking about Space Farmers 2! But never mind that for now. The important thing is we have another game coming out asap. In fact by the time you read this it’s likely to have been released.

We’ll get back to other things after we’ve done this, ok? Honest, nothing would make us happier than to do Spac…*that game* but it’s kind of become our Half Life 3. Various versions have come and gone and…bleh, enough of that for now.

Good grief, tell us about this new game

Oh, yes. We have a new game!

It’s called POPSHAPE! It’s a small casual title where you control a large circle in the middle of the screen.

Smaller, coloured circles come in from all sides and stick to the side of the big ball (or a smaller ball if it’s already attached).

The idea is to try and connect 3 or more of the same colour together. Do so and they go POP! and you get some points.

That’s it pretty much. There’s a spiky thing to try not to hit with your clump of balls and if you grow too big and hit the edge of the screen it’s game over!

Click here to see it on the store! Or just search for Popshape on google play.

It’s free with ads (as everything is these days) but we’d appreciate it if you tried it out and let us know what you think.

Thanks for reading and-

Wait! Waaaait. Didn’t you say this was about Bumpkin Labs?

I mean, what is it and all that?

Oh yes, sure! So BumpkinLabs is the name of the initiative we launched several years ago and did absolutely nothing about…

Until Now

Bumpkin labs was always our description of our more experimental titles that we never got round to making. Well we made a couple of them but never finished them enough to release them into the world.

So POPSHAPE is the first of our new mini titles that we want to release over the next few months. The next game is already well underway and we have about 4/5 more planned after that.

Stay tuned for our next game coming very soon!

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”

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.

This being the third game in the series I wanted to do something a bit different and special. It needed to be something real and tangible.

So before this…

For Space Farmers we’d created Papercraft models of the two main characters. We did small ones and 6 large ones which we took to events. We actually had a hard time hanging on to them.

There was one instance back in 2014 when I left two large Papercraft Space Farmers next to someone else’s Occulus Rift overnight. When we came back the next morning there were two things missing and neither were the rift. Another time we were at Insomnia 52 (I think, I lost track of the numbers back then) and I remember spending a good 30 minutes politely saying “no” to a lady who was trying to blag one off us. They were too personal to me! I took ages making the plans and crafting them by hand.

Really what I should have done is Sold Them! But at the time I didn’t think that would make any money and it would have required me to tidy up the plans to make them presentable. Maybe we’ll make them public one day…

Wasn’t this supposed to be about Tribloos 3?

So when I was thinking about what I wanted to do this time it was obvious that Papercraft just wasn’t going to cut it. I’d toyed with the idea of making Tribloos styled items or toys before but very rarely got past the “wouldn’t it be nice” phase.

But this time, with the game almost complete back in November 2017 I decided to actually try it out for fun. So I contacted Mari at PictureToPuppet, an Edinburgh based group who turn child’s pictures into real life puppets. Check them out.

They’ve turned out fantastically, because they’re hand made they’re all slightly unique!

Want one?

We’ll be giving them away as part of competitions and giveaways over the next few months! So stay tuned to the blog and, probably Twitter and Facebook.

Also let me know what you think!

Spacey Farmers! The farmers in SPACE!

Yep, it’s time for a small but significant Space Farmers update.

With Tribloos 3 literally in the end stages of development (sorry it’s taken so long, but I hope you’ll all try it!) I can say that Space Farmers 2 development has, well, kind of started again.

We spent some time the other evening reviewing the tech demos that Rich has put together. Some of them are awesome fun! We’ve also been looking at some interesting Untiy assets and libraries we could potentially use to add some absolutely crazy nonsense into the game.

I think I can safely say we’re excited and terrified at the prospect of jumping into the deep end of SF2 development again. And I think anyone who’s looked at the Steam support forum can guess why.

Single word: Networking (is annoying)

So to give ourselves a break we’ve decided to make the game to use Photon PUN as a 100% solution. Rather than having it as a 3rd fallback option. This could end up being costly for us if things don’t work out. But getting people connected took up more than 50% of both our development and support time with Space Farmers 1. We just can’t drag ourselves through that again.

If you’re so inclined you can check out Photon PUN over here. We used Photon in the last game as, like I said, a 3rd fallback option. It was for if we couldn’t get the two methods of P2P connection working. It was also used for Lobbies.

In a way I always had a (ironic) chuckle* when someone would email us saying the servers are down. Because there were no servers in SF1. Aside from Photon which, as far as we could tell, worked 99.9% of the time.

The PUN system is built for Unity and makes use of the Photon Cloud network. It’s always felt pretty speedy and based on the traffic we had for SF1 we should be able to keep the costs down enough to keep the game running long term.

So this is why we’re choosing it as the new way forward.

Great, I think, so what’s next?

Once T3 is out of the door (at least for acceptance testint) we’ll be announcing more of a roadmap for where we’re going with the game. Along with a plan for regular updates for anyone who’s interested. We’ve got a ton of plans and thoughts but we also want to make this game for you as well as ourselves.

Okay, stay tuned as always. There’s going to be a bit of focus on T3 as we move into final testing/release so bare with us and we’ll have more SF news for you soon.

* THIS IS A LIE. I ALWAYS CRIED