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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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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