Ultrabundle

By now, some of you may have noticed the existence of a certain Ultrabundle floating around on the Puppygames site. This is an experiment to see what happens when you, er, sell stuff ridiculously cheap. The results are quite interesting. Apart from a slight problem when Markus accidentally tweeted about it just as it went live (instantly killing our server as a deluge of Minecraft fans descended upon its weedy single core 1.6GHz processor with 512MB of RAM and 10mbps ethernet connection), it seems to be doing pretty well.

To cut a long story short, and following the tradition of the Minecraft stats page (except less, hm, dynamically updated at the moment – maybe Chaz should pop that on the front page!), we’ve sold 300 Ultrabundles in the last 48 hours, and even while I typed this blog post another 3 came in. 4 sorry. Although that is something of a mockery compared to the 15,000 sales at three times the price that Minecraft made in the same time period :)

In traditional Puppygames style it’s not without its teething troubles of course. We’ve got a small problem with international characters in addresses sent from BMT which I’ll be thinking of a way to fix, which causes your registration not to “stick” and you have to keep registering – annoying. And Linux users using Sun JDKs are having some problems running Droid Assault, though it seems to work fine using OpenJDK here on Ubuntu.

Unfortunately… I’m just about to move house. Like, in about a few hours’ time. So I’ve got to pack this computer up right after the blog post and I won’t get back online for a few days to fix anything or deal with any troubles. Chaz will man the email support and fob everyone off (politely) until I get back online again.

In other news – we were supposed to be releasing Revenge of the Titans 1.61 tonight but I completely forgot I was moving house when I wrote the schedule. So instead we’ll release it on Hallowe’en, and after your brains have been fried in Minecraft Hell, you can unwind with a short burst of the extreme frenetic terror that is Survival Mode. Survival Mode is awesome. I think it’s my favourite bit of the game so far.

Chaz Edit: if you’re having Linux version problems there’s some help (maybe) after the jump…

Edit: and if you’re having problems with Ultratron and you have Norton installed read on too…

Linux issues

Big thanks to ninjaguardsheep and Steven Saus for the following info, which has been collated from www.omgubuntu.co.uk. Please bear in mind I’ve no idea what any of means – so any mistakes please point them out :)

Hopefully Cas will fix things when he’s back online …

Droid Assault error:

Linux users receiving error ‘JNLPSigningException[Failed to validate signing of launch file. The signed version does not match the downloaded version.]‘ will need Open JDK packages for your distro installed for Droid Assault to run.

Ubuntu users can get it by opening a terminal and entering: sudo apt-get install icedtea6-plugin

Other distros can get it here… icedtea

Creating launchers:

The .jnlp files are installers not launchers for the game. After installing they *should* put a launcher on the desktop. You will have to activate these by giving them permission to run as programs – right click, select properties and check ‘Allow executing file as program’ under the permissions tab.

Only Ultratron is creating a launcher on the desktop:

(using Ubuntu) Edit the properties as above and then copy it twice for Titan Attacks and Droid Assault:

cp Ultratron.desktop TitanAttacks.desktop
cp Ultratron.desktop DroidAssault.desktop

Edit the properties for each. You’ll see a path that looks like this:

javaws “/home/USERNAME/.netx/cache/http/www.puppygames.net/applets/ultratron.jnlp”

Change ultratron.jnlp to titanattacks.jnlp or droidassault.jnlp as appropriate. The icon files are:

/home/USERNAME/.netx/cache/http/www.puppygames.net/applets/invaders_icon.gif
/home/USERNAME/.netx/cache/http/www.puppygames.net/applets/droidassault_icon.gif

You should have functional launchers at this point.

Also, if you move these launchers to the .local/share/applications folder in your home directory they will appear in the menu.

Norton

Ok, so I’ve only had one report of this happening so far, but I’d be surprised if there was just the one case of this knowing Norton/Symantec, so I’ve added this to our support page too …

Game will not start, and desktop shortcut is missing it’s target file.

Norton has been reported to delete ultratron.exe when installed… without telling you!

You’ll need to reinstall the game, excluding the game’s program folder (eg. C:\Program Files\Ultratron) from scanning. This folder will need to be added to both the Scan Exclusions section and the Real Time Protection Exclusions section in Norton’s settings.

73 thoughts on 'Ultrabundle'

  1. Rawr, bought it. I probably wouldn’t have bought those games otherwise, but 3 games from a friendly indie developer for 5 bucks is just too sweet a deal to pass up!

  2. Wow, incredible price indeed. I feel like I ripped you off! Probably gonna buy it 2 more times once I have more money ’cause you certainly deserve it!

  3. Well, I did not see any announces concerning the bundle Saturday. I just came on the website to check advances on you latest game.
    I believe that this offer will make noise and will get attention. but for the moment no news of the bundle on linux Gaming News, Linuxgames or Linux-gamers.
    Those website may draw more attention as soon as they spread the word.

  4. I already owned all the games but I spread the love wherever I could – i.e. on my community forums and on the RPS forums (hopefully they’ll pick up the story!).

  5. Bought over the weekend after seeing a new about it on another website.
    Unfortunately I can no longer enjoy ‘Revenge’, issue when running it (mismatch between the signed version and the downloaded content).

    1. That’s odd – sounds like similar thing to Droid Assault problem Cas mentions above, but didn’t think Cas has made any changes to Revenge – is this latest version? Linux?

        1. Please fix the download of droid assault so that it works with the official sun-jdk/jre, too. Installing icedtea is just an ugly workaround.
          I really like the games i could try already and was surprised to read that you encourage sharing the games with family and friends in the registration email.

      1. I use Linux as well (Archlinux 64) and Revenge was working months ago.

        BTW, Droid is runing as long as I do not try to redefine the keys.

        Installing the last official JDK doesn’t help, I’ll try with another JVM. Very weird.

  6. Really great games ! And having access to demos before buying them is a definite must on Linux, since driver problems can just break everything…

  7. I already own revenge, is it possible to gift the copy in the bundle to my brother? You can say no. It won’t change my purchase. :)

    While I am asking questions, is it possible to buy a bundle as a gift for a mate?

      1. Yes he could use my copy, but I want to purchase him him his own, so it is bound to his email address, I will just order 2 and see what happens.

  8. Thanks for the tip about creating launchers in Ubuntu, assigning them icons, and adding them to the menu. I hope this will be resolve in the next versions though – users do not have to do this nowadays, especially not with purchased software.

    I have two additional problems:

    1. using your tip about coppying the newly created launchers to ~/.local/share/applications directory creates the launchers in the menu, but it places them in the “Other” category and not in the “Games” category.
    2. There seems to be no method of uninstallation. This is a serious thing for linux users. We want to be able to uninstall everything we install.

    PS the games are great!

    1. The game’s located inside ~/.java. You can even delete the whole directory to “uninstall” all the JNLP games you’ve ever played on your computer.

      1. Thanks Dave, but I guess that a directory like ~/.java would be used by other apps as well! Not to mention that there are more game files under ~/.netx, and who knows where else.

        My point is that in order to be considered ready for linux, these games should support basic OS functionality like automatic creation of launchers in menus and an option for complete uinstallation. The best would be to pack it up in a package, so it could be installed, create launchers and be uninstalled like any other app.

        1. It depends on which java runtime you use. WIth sun-jdk/jre the icons on the desktop are properly installed, files are installed in ~/.java and can be uninstalled via “javaws -uninstall” or via the “javaws -viewer” gui. This doesn’t work with droid assault because of the errors mentioned above. openjdk seems to download files to .netx and seems to fail to create the launchers but enables you to install droid assault.

          1. Hmm. I use sun jre but still got only ultratron launcher on the desktop (and nothing on the menus). I don’t have the javaws-gui program; is it included in some package I should install?
            Linux programs should be installed using the existing linux packaging methods, which ensure proper uninstalling and launching. If this is not possible for some reasons, they should come with clear uninstall scripts and readmes.

            1. I meant, I don’t have the javaws-viewer program. Running javaws alone give me an option to remove puppygames certificate only…

    2. Yep, I’m sure Cas will look into the various issues when he gets back – we’ve never seen quite so much interest from Linux users before :)

      1. Woohoo! Thanks Chaz!

        Cool games such as yours are on short supply on linux, and it would be a pity to lose this momentum on something as trivial as OS integration.

    3. I think if you add
      Categories=Application;Game
      at the end of the .desktop, the menu item should be placed in the right category.

  9. Is there a twitter message I can retweet? Can’t find much except for the indiegames.com tweet, which doesn’t seem to be officially related to puppy games.

  10. Bought the package and Revenge of the Titans a few days ago. Have been playing non-stop. I’d write odes to you, but it would take away valuable game time. I’m glad I was able to reunite with Droid Assault after I heard about it a while ago from someone. Love it all <3

  11. Big fan of Titan Attack, also a Linux(Ubuntu) user. Also having the launcher problem where only ultratron creates a launcher icon on the desktop.

    Either way, great games, Next paycheck I am getting revenge of the Titans, keep up that linux love.

    Also, how are sales going? Linux sales accounting for a large amount of em?

    1. Had a couple of hundred Linux sales! More than we’ve ever had before in total. Tightwads :) Now I know the secret to your wallets etc etc.

      It has to be said though that the Linux sales are causing a disproportionate amount of support time, but that’s probably because we’ve never had so much linux feedback before. Our main issues concern screen resolutions / fullscreen / compiz incompatibilities, and deployment icons.

      1. <3 Well, here is one linux guy that will be paying full price for revenge of the titans as a show of support for you guys

  12. The deal is very good and I’m supporting the deed and your Linux friendliness more than knowing if I get some time to play it. Unfortunately I’ve got a problem trying the bundle.

    - I bought it and it’s registered by the bank as finalized (BMTMICRO-INFO.COM) 24/10
    - I’ve got no confirmation e-mail so I don’t know how to get any code or what I need to unlock the full game
    - I’ve sent e-mail to support here but haven’t got any response yet

    I don’t know what to expect. Shouldn’t I expect some confirmation, some code? Otherwise how do you unlock the demo to become the full game?

    I’m kind of lost here. I do buy games for Linux at times for support, but this is the first time something like this happens.

    Cheers!
    /Kimo Lee Faste

    1. Hi Kimo, you might want to check your spam folder – we’ve definitely sent you an email. Even so you don’t actually need any codes. Just enter your email address when the games ask you and they register. It’s as simple as that. Also, I haven’t got any email from you yet – are you sure your email is working at all?

      1. Yes, I’ve checked spam folders. I used the inbuilt mail function on this web site. If my e-mail address works for registration, then OK, I’ll give it a try after work.

  13. Bought It too. Sadly I don’t really have any time to play the games :( , but I wanted to support Linux games. :)

    1. you can just leap in and play for a few minutes at a time :) They save and restore at exactly the point you left off each time.

  14. Well, halloween has been and gone, and no update! :( Is it me, or is the game so much harder now? I’m struggling just on the bloody moon levels… or is it that you’ve artificially increased the difficulty by ramping the price of certain technologies up? (which if that’s the case, then its cheap and unfair) But when I say struggling, I mean simply to survive completely unscathed, whilst having enough resources to purchase the next bit of useful tech for the next level’s onslaught. Or is this due to the game being on hardest difficulty? (don’t understand why, it’s not like I’m doing THAT good or anything… haven’t had more than 10,000 in the bank at any one time)
    Droids are bloody useless, they seem to only appear in this game solely for the benefit of introducing a specific type of enemy that can only really be destroyed with them, rather than as an alternative way of attacking the titans throughout the WHOLE game, making them scenario (enemy) specific means that you’ve lost potential for even more epic battles, as well as curtailing players strategies in dealing with the alien menace; you’ve ruined my dreams of having the screen filled with the little buggers blasting away….
    I have to be honest and tell you that I’m not finding the game as much fun anymore, which means I’m not playing it as much; and when I do play it, I’m finding myself reseting the level more, or even going back several levels to try different tech routes. Why is there a tech tree? Surely people don’t need babysitting, it’s not THAT complicated…. I can’t understand why you’d pander to those who want quick fixes and everything explained to them???? Although maybe it’s due to you wanting to appeal to the largest demographic? (I can understand this to an extent, but not at the expense of watering the experience down!)
    The in-game u.i. (score and tech) is still infuriatingly getting in the way whilst playing and obscuring the view…. whilst having the small buttons/arrows on the tech pane is an interesting idea, it’s still far too clumsy and cumbersome and not very practical in the heat of battle, so this still needs addressing; why not just have the tech pane as a single lane instead of two? Or, how about this; remove the ‘bar’ behind the score/tech so that the gameplay area is visible? The enemy a.i. is great at finding weakness in your defense, and I admire how it appears to adapt depending on turret placement etc.
    Finally, what’s with all those medals/achievements? What is their purpose? Gaining a medal is not some kind of reward, as it has no beneficial effect on the game experience…. I mean cmon! “Yay, I killed 200 titans/end of level boss” – their a bit pointless…. but then most ‘achievements’ in games are, a pointless exercise that has no discernible outcome or effect on a players experience, just a patronising ego-massage and a doorway to futile bragging rights…. please remove them!
    Okay, rant over

    1. Hello Mr Candle, thankyou for your angry rant :) Ph34r not! Changes are afoot, but rather than just release a bunch of balance tweaks and bugfixes and not much else we’re spending a little bit longer and putting Survival Mode in this weekend for your testing pleasures.

      The difficulty level has crept up accidentally far too high – it turns out I was responding to people finding the game very easy due to a bug which allowed you to make a mint just before the end of the level. That’s now fixed, and the difficulty level has been seriously dampened down to ordinary mortal capabilities. Droids are a bit better, too :) Mostly by virtue of being rather a lot cheaper.

      As for the UI, well, that’s as good as we can get it I’m afraid. The best we can do is recommend you learn the most useful keyboard shortcuts and then hide the panel out of view. You can turn off the extra info and tips and such in the options menu from the title screen.

      And medals… they’re a bit of fun :) Learn to love them.

      1. Hmmmm, I was a bit angry wasn’t I…. Sorry. What’s that? Survival mode???? :)
        Well, it’s good to know that it wasnt just the fact that Im a bit crap at the game; I didnt know about the bug. Keyboard shortcuts? I didnt know about that either, so I’l have to find these mysterious shortcuts ye mention… and droids being cheaper, well; I am a droid lover…lets just say that you’ve rendered my previous rant completely void, kiss and make up…. in fact, from now on, you can call me by first name…. ass ;)
        Thanks Cas

      2. I don’t think the game is too too hard. I’ve beat everything without using the sell bug thing at the end of the levels. It is ALOT of trail and error, but to me that’s what makes the game fun. I focus on ways to make more money more efficiently – the money is always were it’s at. The droids are awesome and effective.

        1. Even I find the game too hard at the moment :) I definitely don’t want to make campaign mode too hard at all. It needs to be completable by 99% of the people who attempt to complete it. It’s also especially important that progress isn’t impeded too much as what you have researched in campaign mode is what you have available in Survival mode.

          1. With the latest version, I have the following problems with difficulty right now:

            * Cost of research is incredibly high. I remember when I told you that I managed to complete the game by skipping any blaster research and heading straight for laser etc. Well, that’s nixed now. It feels as if I can’t even afford mines!

            * For maps with crystals in the path of the titans, I really don’t know what to do. The only thing I’ve found is to scare titans away with scanners and a turret, but then you need to waste more money than you make. I can’t remember having this problem before, so I think it has to do with the path finding and aggressiveness of the titans.

            * The three eyed building-hunting titans are simply ridiculous with their speed and strength lately. The amount of money you have to spend/simply sacrifice the buildings… I think this again ties into both the research cost thing (mines used to take care of them) and the pathfinding/aggressiveness thing and just tips the scales a bit too far.

            * Again, something which ties into the above thing, is turret focus. I’ve had several occasions where my flank has slowly been eaten away by one of these bigger things, yet turrets have focused elsewhere. I’m guessing no AI in the world will replace your brain here, so the only way around it is to build new turrets at those locations or use the capacitor…

            * A missile turret without four scanners seems completely useless. Which means, it’s ridiculously expensive.

            1. In order:
              1. There’s loads more crystals in the forthcoming version. I accidentally made 1.6 way too hard to compensate for what actually turned out to be a bug.
              2. Just a couple of turrets will scare them away to some extent. Maybe some barriers to give the turrets a chance. Therre will of course be rather more choice of crystals in 1.61.
              3. They are a bugger aren’t they :) Be prepared! There are ways of dealing with them. I find mines to be most useful, or a blast cannon – and as there’s going to be rather more money around now, you should be able to research and afford one of those by the time you have to deal with them. Fortunately in 1.61 they’re a bit slower too.
              4. Indeed, the turrets try to aim at the thing that they think they can damage the most, within various rules. It’ll never be as good as manual control though, and that’s exactly what capacitors are for. $500 on a tool of precision defence – gotta be worth it! Powerful too. Especially against armoured foes like the 3-eyed moon gidrahs.
              5. Missile turrets are indeed deliberately like that, because once they’re loaded up with a few extras, they are awesome!

  15. Hello all,

    With some Java help from Cas, I wrote up a downloader script that allows Linux users to download Puppy Games games and keep each in their own private directory with their own private .java, etc. (i.e. not shared with the “global” .java in your home directory). This basically makes these games standalone, like their Windows counterparts.

    Intructions:

    1. Open a terminal, download the script, and make it executable:

    wget http://chinesetearoom.com/public/getpuppygames.sh
    chmod 0755 getpuppygames.sh

    It’s a bash shell script so you can just edit it to make sure it’s safe to run.

    2. Run the script with “-h” to see the help, for example:

    ./getpuppygames.sh -h

    This will show you that the script takes one argument (an acronym for each of the four games).

    3. Run the script with the game argument. For example, to download the Ultratron game files run:

    ./getpuppygames.sh UL

    This will create an Ultratron directory from wherever you ran the script, download all the game files into it, and also download a shell script to run the game. Similarly for TitanAttacks (TA), DroidAssault (DA), and RevengeOfTheTitans (RT).

    4. Run the game, for example:

    cd Ultratron
    ./ultratron.sh

    cd TitanAttacks
    ./titanattacks.sh

    cd DroidAssault
    ./droidassault.sh

    cd RevengeOfTheTitans
    ./revengeofthetitans.sh

    That’s it!

    Note that if the game files get updated on the Puppy Games web site (esp. for Revenge Of The Titans), they will NOT be updated automatically in your local copy. For already finished games like the rest, this should not be a problem.

    Seamoss

    1. Thanks Seamoss!

      I hope that with the next games, we linux customers will get an experience which is equal to that of the other gamers, i.e. functioning (and deletable) menu items and launchers, easy un-installation and automatic updates, without having to use the command line.

      The reason why we were all excited about your games was that they offered polished gaming experience out of the box, which is still uncommon in linux. Hack-ish workarounds, such as this script (no offence), are a sort of a step back in that respect. They prove that you still have to be a computer geek in order to play on linux.

      1. They certainly prove you’ve got to be a computer geek to write games for linux :) I have no idea how to actually make a proper linux installer or anything yet … it’s all a steep learning curve and uphill battle. The next release at least I think will be in the form of a tar.gz which you can simply extract somewhere.

        1. I think distributing via jnlp was a rather good idea. Installation can’t be easier than one click on the homepage. Most linux users just don’t know about the graphical frontend to the apps installed via jnlp i already showed in http://i.imgur.com/RDTfX.png . Perhaps you should mention it on the homepage.
          I’d be fine with distributing it via tar.gz, too but that is even more work for the user because this means still no package manager integration. You could deliver the best user experience for a wide range of linux distributions if you use the free https://build.opensuse.org/ (perhaps you get some help from your linux users like seamoss … or me :D ). This buildservice would automatically spit out packages for openSUSE and other Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva and Debian after you feed the packaging instructions to it. This way you would reach most of the big linux distros out there.

            1. OK, since the demand is so great, I spent some time tonight packaging Ultratron for Linux:

              - Debian & Ubuntu (or any other Debian derivative) .deb:

              http://chinesetearoom.com/public/ultratron_2.3-1_all.deb

              - RedHat & Suse (or any other derivative) .rpm:

              http://chinesetearoom.com/public/ultratron-2.3-1.noarch.rpm

              Please keep in mind that my personal Linux machines are all running Debian stable so I have no real way to test on other Linux distributions. However, the .deb should almost certainly install in Ubuntu, and the .rpm should work on RedHat (Fedora) and OpenSuse (I generated the rpm using alien on the deb but it’s a pretty simple package so the translation should work fine).

              These packages will install Ultratron using your favorite package manager under /opt/ultratron and should create appropriate icons and desktop entries for the game (look under Games in your main desktop environment menu – it should work for both KDE & Gnome). Uninstalling with a package manager should also clean everything up. Running the game will create a private $HOME/.ultratron directory in your home directory where it will keep its own private .java, .Ultratron, etc. so multiple users on the same machine should have no problems.

              If there is enough interest for people to test and work out any bugs, I can package the rest of the games as well. I can also hack a simple updater that will download the latest jar files from the Puppy Games website “on demand”.

              Let me know how it works out for you – I’ll check this blog for comments.

              1. Multi[le yays!
                The .deb package works well for me on ubuntu 10.10 64-bit. Even the automatic unlocking and re-registring went smoothly (although gmail identifies the unlocking link as spam).
                This should be published in the linux gaming community!

  16. An excellent bundle! Purchased it right away, no questions asked. Also mentioned it on Facebook. Hopefully that will result in more sales for you! The best of luck!

  17. Still no .tar.gz for the Ultrabundle games? Works very nicely for RotT (got it in the HIB2).

    (Seamoss’ script is down…the whole site, actually, otherwise I’d use/modify that…)

  18. Hey i love the games from puppygames, but i have some kind of problem with my ultratron since a friend registered hsi game on my pc, is there anyway to like unregister his and register mine?

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