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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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Two TagPro Next Videos!

As a reminder: Nothing is set in stone! Let us know what you think. The gate graphics are just mocks right now.

Some things you’ll notice: Many tweaks and physic changes – but still quite a bit different than classic. The flair on the pucks. The scoring system is a win-by-three system. We have some special effects going on. We are beginning to implement the announcer: FLACCID GRAB! We implemented the auto-panning when respawning due to the popular classic userscript. We are no longer hiding spawning-players from opponents that have TagPro, instead players will spawn with 1 second of untaggable status.

LuckySpammer makes quick work of the competition playing TagPro Next

Long Game of TagPro Next on GeoKoala!

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What the Puck?!? 12 Minutes of Alpha 1 Gameplay

Alpha 1 is getting close! We tested the current build last night with the moderators and were happy with the results. Although there are still some issues to work out.

You’ll notice we are pucks instead of balls in this build. This is something we are seriously considering changing in the next game. Physics-wise, we’ve always been pucks and when you play next, you feel like an air-hockey puck. If you listen closely, you can hear the pucks tapping each other and walls.

The lightning bolt on the pucks is a mock idea of “stickers”. The idea is that stickers can be acquired and arranged on your puck however you like. We’d ensure that X% of the puck color stays visible to ensure team identification. We think this would give players are lot of fun individuality without becoming distracting

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Lucky and Ankh get rekt by cz and OmicroN in first TagPro Next match

Sorry about there being no sound. I decided to record the first match ever on a whim and screwed it up.

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Game Play Screen Shot and Alpha Update

screen

We took some time to play test the client with some of the TagPro moderators today. In this shot you can see the system of random names that will likely take the place of the Some Ball system. You can also see the word bubble indicating who is HONKING. Yeah, I gave in.

We are working hard towards a first Alpha. This initial alpha will be bare bones and small. The goal will be general testing of the client and to get feedback from the users concerning the movement changes. We’re shooting for roughly a month from now but we’ll keep everyone in the loop if that changes.

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How to Volunteer for TagPro Next Alpha Testing

In the future, we’ll begin alpha testing very early builds on the TagPro Next client. If you’d like, you can help us by volunteering to be an alpha/beta tester for TagPro Next! Initially, the alphas will be far from complete games – they will be very early builds mostly aimed at testing basic game play mechanics. We want to make sure TagPro Next is a fun game, so we think it’s important to get feedback from the community early on. To be considered for testing, just go to your profile and opt-in:

Be honest in your selections, we’ll be running a lot of alphas that target certain situations. For example, we might run an alpha phase for users that prefer a certain browser or have low frame rates in Classic.

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Ball Faces? Bomb Respawn Animation and 45 Degree Walls

We’ve made some strides in some of the backend work. The UDP implementation is going well and we hope to be testing it soon in a standalone client. As a reminder, UDP is a different network protocol than what your web browser uses (TCP). Using it in the standalone client will result in less perceivable lag than playing in a web browser.

While it’s not polished yet, we do have a rough draft of the bombs respawning:

respawning bombs

We’ve also introduced 45 degree walls into the engine, however we still don’t have the walls rendering with final graphics. Hopefully we’ll have that wrapped up next week:

45-degree

Community Feedback Request: Do you want faces on the balls?

We want the community’s feedback concerning faces on the ball. I myself use the googly-eyes addon when playing TagPro and love it. It gives the balls a little personality. A newer addon was posted to the subreddit recently that was well received. And it just so happens our artist sketched some face concept art for TagPro Next couple of weeks ago:

faces

If we implemented faces, they would likely serve a revenue model for us. So along with being able to earn new eyes, mouths and facial hair (to mix and match), we’d have some that could only be bought. Since it would be part of the revenue model, it’s unlikely this would be a feature that you could turn off. Again, this isn’t something that is currently planned; we want to know what the community thinks and we’ll go from there – so let us know:

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Walls and the Bombs That Don’t Blast Through Them

It’s taken a while to nail down the wall art. We wanted them to be visually detailed (complete with shadows) but still have a simple method for texture pack artists to override the look. We’ve met that goal and now feel comfortable showing the concept art for walls:

Big Time Concept Art

This is concept art. Not all of the tiles represent their final form – but the walls are very close to their final look. Small details like the yellow striped warning panels and the air vents will be positioned by map designers. We plan to have more of these subtle visual modifications that help map designers spruce up levels.

The button and bomb are near finished. As well as some wiring that will optionally run along the floor visually indicating what buttons control. The bomb’s respawn animation will feature the doors quickly opening, and then bomb rising out and arming itself. The button you see featured in the art has a timer attached to it for delayed actions – this is something we are considering doing.

Right now, bombs can’t effect players through walls. This is a pretty interesting change from TagPro Classic. It will be fun to see how this plays out in map designs and play testing. However sometimes map designers want a bomb that can only be detonated remotely and not by touch. In classic, we often would put those bombs behind walls. In TagPro Next, we are considering making another version of the bomb that is surrounded in some kind of impassible wiring so the bomb can’t be touched or passed through when deactivated. Or maybe there is a tile that is impassable like a wall but blasts can pass through.

Here is a video showing some of the early bomb mechanics:

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