Koalabeast Games

Category: Features (page 2 of 2)

Speed Boosts Graphics, Client/Server and Material UI

The tooling for the map editor is coming along, hopefully we have something to show in a couple of weeks. On the same note, progress for the overall user interface is happening. You can expect the new user interface to work more like an application and less like a web page. Right now, it’s looking like we are going to use a Material UI framework for the user interface. This will provide us a smooth and simple UI that will scale well to smaller screens if needed.

We have speed boosts graphics! In TagPro Next speed boosts will be spinning discs that hurl a player when touched – we hope you like them. We also have the very beginnings of the client/server communication working. You can see both the speed boosts and the client/server in action in this week’s video:

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UDP, Floors, Parallax Scrolling and Live Map Editing

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We have some new graphics to show off. The basic floor tile and background are complete. The floor tiles have subtle differences instead of being completely uniform – we really like the end result. The overall theme of TagPro Next will be a technical one, thus the circuit board background. It’s likely we’ll have some subtle animations included in the background. Parallax scrolling is also implemented for the background which you can see in the video below.

We’ve begun working on live map editing. The goal is that the map editor will be implemented within a special TagPro game. So you’ll launch yourself into a game to create TagPro maps. This will allow you to roll around and test your maps while creating them. We are even planning on allowing you to invite your friends to your map editing sessions to assist you. Check it out in the video below.

We’ve made some strides in the UDP library. For those less technical, UDP is a different method of making computer talks with each other. For gaming purposes, switching to it should result in less noticeable lag. We’ve opted to write our own library for ordering and guaranteeing UDP messages – we’ll likely open source it.

It has been pointed out that the parallax scrolling in the previous video was wrong. The background was moving faster than the foreground. It’s been fixed here and looks a lot better.

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TagPro Next Status – 2015-05-03

We received a ton of great submissions from our ad for a game artist. After meticulously reviewing them, we narrowed it down to four artists. We’ve decided to work with each artist to create an animated flag asset. This will allow us to get to know the artist, their process, their style and the overall cost of bringing an asset from concept to final product.

We made some progress this week on the automated server spawning. The service is actually spawning servers now. We plan to integrate the code that estimates the best server layout with the code that does the actual spawning this coming week.

Continued progress on the world joiner. Its initial iteration is nearly finished and it should be ready for a code review soon. The joiner matches players by their preferred (lower latency) servers.  A rank matching system is in development and matches players together who are closer in skill. Because this may take a long time to find an exact match, the joiner will slowly increase the skill gap needed to find players with similar rank. The intention is to quickly find players with a similar skill. The measurement to determine a player’s rank has not been determined, but will most likely be based on recent win percentage. Research into skill measurement systems like ELO, TrueSkill, and Glicko systems is also being considered. Work to integrate the joiner and server spawner will need to begin soon.

As we are fairly certain the client will be built using React components, we’ve begun exploring the FluxThis framework for the client.

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The Next TagPro

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TagPro has been a side project for over two years and it’s been a lot of fun watching it grow. Through the growth I’ve met a lot of super talented folks that wanted to help and they have become my friends. steppin, AMorpork, NewCompte and ylambda care about TagPro just as much as I do and I’ve decided to share ownership of Koalabeast with them. We all believe with the help of the community, we can take this to the next level.

What does this mean for TagPro “Classic”?

For the rest of this post, I’ll refer to the current TagPro we love as TagPro Classic. We will continue to maintain and support TagPro Classic. Users should not experience a degradation in quality. As far as new major features, the code is considered closed at this time. However we will continue to fix bugs, implement minor features and create events. There are no plans to sunset TagPro Classic. We love TagPro Classic.

Announcing TagPro “Next”

We are completely rewriting TagPro from the bottom up – code named TagPro Next for now. Not just the game and graphics but the underlying server side architecture. Every piece of TagPro will be rewritten and vastly improved. We’ll also be laying down a much better foundation that will allow us more flexibility in bringing new features forward. While TagPro Next will be highly inspired by TagPro Classic, it will not be a direct clone – we aim to improve the gameplay, while maintaining the basic simplicity we all enjoy.

Platforms
Initial releases will be targeted at Steam, Web Browser, Facebook and Kongregate. Not necessarily in that order. Thereafter we’ll be exploring Wii, Android and iOS.

Price
Free with similar revenue model as TagPro Classic: Purchasing cosmetic only flair, ball skins (heh) and honks (maybe). There will be ads on the Facebook and Kongregate builds – that’s out of our control. We’ll probably have ads on the Browser version. TagPro will never be pay-to-win.

Some Initial Plans

The list below is very preliminary and not a complete list.

Polish
Lots of visual polish compared to TagPro Classic. The spike concept art at the top of this post is a good example of what we’re aiming for. We also aim to produce a polished user interface.

Ranked Play
Ranked team play will be a top priority in TagPro Next. Players will be able to form official teams and enter the match maker to find other teams looking for a ranked match.

Lobby System
We plan to implement a feature rich lobby system. There will be rooms (public or private) to hangout in and assemble matches.

Friends
A fully featured friend system.

Game Modes
The initial release will focus on the best game mode: Mars Ball. I’m kidding, it will focus on Capture the Flag. However we are designing the system in such a fashion that we’ll be able to easily introduce new game modes in the future.

Server Spawning
TagPro Next will not have named servers. Instead servers will spawn and despawn automatically based on players online and their geographical location. There will be a single point of entry for joining a game and it will place you in the best possible server at the moment.

Stats
We plan to do a much better job with stats. Each game mode will be able to share stats with other game modes or have completely unique stats.

Map Making
A map editor and tester will be built into TagPro Next.

Lag
Latency is always an issue, we aim to explore using UDP to reduce lag.

API
We will supply a proper API for modding as well as a server API for stats.

Community, What You Can Do

We can’t do this without your support. Much like I handled the initial development of TagPro in the early days, we plan to be very transparent with our progress. We plan to use this progress blog and while it will initially be rather bland as we lay down foundation code, we hope that it will become a place of unified excitement and criticism. We’ll also be updating /r/tagpro and /r/koalabeast with posts for subscriptions and discussion.

Keep Playing TagPro!
Keep inviting your friends and keep rolling. Your skills will carry over and we plan for some of the flair to carry over also!

Alpha Versions
Once we have prototypes, you’ll be the first to know. We plan to have some way of inviting TagPro Classic players to play alphas in waves. Likely based on time-played or special invite.

Beta Versions
We plan to have an open beta period just before we launch the steam greenlight program. We’ll need the community’s support to get past steam greenlight program.

Comments/Suggestions
We want to know what you expect out of this project. Community feedback has always been important while developing new features for Classic and Next is no different.

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