Koalabeast Games

We’d like to introduce our new TagPro developer: Gem!

We are excited to add Gem to the development team. She is a long time community veteran who has been very helpful through the years, especially on the league front. She has built several sites and tools to help with league promotion, draft and management. When she isn’t participating in TagPro, she works as a professional developer building awesome web applications.

All of us, Gem included, realize she has a checkered reputation in the /r/MLTP community. In the time we’ve been closely working with Gem, we’ve been impressed with her skills and poise. We know she is a hard worker and will be an excellent addition to the development team.

Gem will be initially getting her feet wet in the TagPro code by reworking the moderation tools and adding in some much needed features for leagues/private groups.

We look forward to working with Gem and her helping to build a higher quality product for you.

Welcome aboard Gem!

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Return of the Blog

It’s been a long time since our last update.  A full calendar year plus nine months.   We want to revitalize this platform and post more regularly about our technical work. It’s been so long we feel we should write an update. We’ve completely changed gears from working on Next and spent our time updating TagPro Classic. What follows is a timeline of our work since then.

By this point the community had made it clear we weren’t doing enough work on TagPro Classic. The hot topic was about getting new players to play the game. For a long time our primary source for new players came from AskReddit threads, and since being banned for vote manipulation we could no longer participate. The lack of new players was noticeable. We shifted our focus to develop more features for Classic.

Mentioning our plans for Kongregate blew up on us. As always it took us much longer than we expected to finish this up. There was enormous difficulty in building a user account system for Kongregate users.  This time-consuming task made it difficult to put other features in, and we also had little to report for a while since it’s all invisible backend changes. Not to mention it was summer and we step back to have fun in the sun. We still added updates in the mean time:

At this time the community was in full force meming hard on the volume slider. Some of it was pretty funny. Immense frustration with our lack of visible progress for Kongregate created an atmosphere of doubt we’d be able to do the job . We then created a new role for a community manager to help us with keeping a respectful communication channel with everyone.

This was where we had drawn the line for Classic, we met our initial goals for Classic and even went  further and put it on Kongregate. From this point it was unclear what we should do. The community still desperately needed more players and our efforts only minimally paid off. In addition more and more features are requested for Classic.

We realized at this point we can’t simultaneously work on two games. Splitting our efforts increases the difficulty to add features. All our attention had been on Classic and we had little time to work on Next. Members of the community who believed in that project saw no  progress while we kept saying in every monthly update Next is still planned. We needed to decide on one project. We tabled development on Next and attempted to keep the larger group of Classic players happy.

The community didn’t take this last update well. Our community manager helps us facilitate a respectful communication channel with everyone. That month of September we had several updates ready to be pushed into production once they went through a final code review. Our community manager tried to meet with us, but we couldn’t coordinate a time. We were unable to relay our progress, and our community felt abandoned. Overall a rough month.

Here we are today. We’ve announced in previous updates we’re working on a single world joiner. We want to use this to help reduce latency and spawn a simple matchmaking system. This is another idea likely to blow up on us. These massive updates take time, lots of testing, and patience. We have other features in the pipeline too. We’ll likely finish the smaller things before the joiner.

Be patient 🙂

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Cannons, Debris and Shadows!

Sorry for the long delay since the last update. I plan on doing a better job. However we are posting smaller updates on the twitter and youtube account if you like to subscribe there.

One of the videos posted on the youtube account concerned a proof-of-concept slingshot/cannon mechanic. It generated a lot of buzz and discussion on reddit after it was posted. That’s a good thing!

I wanted to share the latest version of the cannon which has had some polish applied:

There is a two second penalty when you enter the cannon, during that time the cannon will animate a loading sequence. The player being loaded can’t move but can be tagged – so flag carriers going for cannons beware!

Once manned, the player has five seconds to fire or eject before the cannon shatters them. We’re not sure about this game mechanic. On one hand we’re worried about people camping in the cannon. On the other hand since you can pop them with TagPro – maybe its fine with no timer. Or maybe the timer should just fire you instead of shattering you? We’ll probably try it a lot of different ways once we start serious testing with maps made for it.

You’ll notice some other things in that video: Shadows are starting to appear and we’ve completely revamped the shatter animation. Shattered debris actually slides around and takes physics into account. Makes for some pretty dramatic tags. It still needs some polish and we’ll  allow users to turn it on/off and maybe even an option for old debris to fade away. Here is a fun video of me stress testing the debris.

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