Penguin Love

Happy new year, blog following types! We have been hard at work doing all sorts of magical things, and the first fruits of our labour are now ready. Behold, proper Linux distributions for Ultratron, Titan Attacks and Droid Assault! You should be able to simply double-click to install .deb files on Debian based systems, and for other Linux systems, you’ll have to unzip the .tar.gzs and figure it out yourself. I can’t manage RPMs yet I’m afraid. Webstart still works, but it’s crap, so stop using it ๐Ÿ™‚

I shan’t link them all directly here because there are many files involved. Instead, just head on over to the relevant downloads pages (linked above).

There are a couple of small internal changes:

  • The location the games save their savedgame files and so on is now all lowercased, and spaces have been replaced with underscores, which makes it a little easier to deal with from commandline shells. Unfortunately this also means your existing prefs and savegames, er, won’t be where they’re supposed to be. Ah well. It’s an excuse to play them from scratch, no?
  • On Windows I’ve finally gotten sick of the Creative OpenAL drivers breaking all our games, so I’ve renamed our OpenAL dll, and now there won’t be any confusion as to what it’s supposed to be using. Please note we haven’t done this yet for Revenge, that’s coming out in a week or so
  • And finally I’ve fixed an accidental breakage in our “DRM” which was causing the games to not failsafe properly in the event Puppygames is hit by some form of low-orbit ion cannon.

We’ve also added a couple of nifty features which got lifted out of Revenge of the Titans, which work on both Windows and Linux:

Specifying Viewport Coordinates in Fullscreen Mode

Adding the following voodoo to your commandline:

vx=<integer> vy=<integer> vh=<integer> vw=<integer>

will put your game into a fullscreen mode where the viewport (the bit that shows the graphics) is specified by the coordinates you give. This is useful for multimonitor setups which fool our games into thinking you’ve got one giant monitor. You can screw things up completely like this, so just be aware you can hold down ESC for a couple of seconds to quit any of our games.

Specifying Alternative Save Game Paths

This is particularly useful as it works across all operating systems – which means you can point all your games at Dropbox and they’ll sync across all your machines automatically. For example, add this to your Windows shortcut commandline paying careful attention to the quotes and slashes:

"home=\"c:\My Dropbox\""

and similar voodoo for the Linux commandline.

The whole commandline needs to be enclosed in those outer quotes, by the way; hence the internal quotes being escaped with backslashes.

What Else Have We Been Up To?

We have also been extremely hard at work making Revenge of the Titans a better game for everyone. This includes shooting a few sacred cows and generally radical alteration to the entire game, which we have fearlessly done, even though some of you will no doubt spit flames over it.

The main things that are changed are:

  • Research is now free
  • There are another 20 research items, and another (small) building, “tangleweb”
  • You no longer have to collect money from refineries, nor reload turrets. It’s all automated.
  • More balance changes than you can shake a stick at to accommodate these fairly radical changes

Although you won’t be able to see it for another week or so, I’m entirely confident the new game is far more awesome than it ever was. At first I worried that removing all the manual clickery was just going to lead to a dull game… it turns out no, it doesn’t change the game at all, it just makes your mouse finger hurt less. It’s still completely mental, but now the difficulty levels are very finely tuned to your actual abilities and how you want to play the game, rather than you always being broke and at risk of sinking ever deeper into the spiral of fail.

In short, you’re gonna love it. Patience!

102 thoughts on 'Penguin Love'

  1. I have to say I like the free research and less clicky for Revenge of the Titans. Lets me focus on actual strategy, rather than hop around the map reloading my defenses and hoping this new bit of science won’t kill me.

    Honestly, I was going to take advantage of the eventual open-sourcing of the game to fix the research costs, so this saves me some effort and means I won’t–technically–be cheating.

    1. The whole point of the game is the money! I used to replay levels, just to see if I really need that extra brick of a wall, or just to get a 500$ reward for a medal. On earlier missions, I counted titans to optimize the order and the number of reloads needed. A possibility to reload a non-empty cannon manually is crucial for the optimal spending.

      Free research would also change the game a lot for me. Hope, that there will still be a balance.

  2. Let’s hope the last level Ultra Titan is easier with auto reloads and collections.
    It’s had me stuck there for two weeks straight, easier level selected after easier level selected!!

    1. The UltraTitan was difficult? News to me. I got the thing on the first try, and that was after wasting 3k on an second (unnecessary) rocket launcher, though it did have me scared for a while. ๐Ÿ˜‰ What did it for me was simply building a blast cannon and couple of heavy cannons out of its range (with scanners etc). Ok, so that didn’t do much until I dumped a bunch of wall sections in front of it. These caused it to stop and have a one-person-party while my cannons provided the light show. ๐Ÿ™‚ Would have been even easier if I’d had any berzerks left. ๐Ÿ™
      I’m wondering if it sauntering around neatly behind my walls was a bug given I’m sure it could have crushed them if it wanted to.

  3. Good to see yer keepin’ busy!

    And awwwww reloading/money management/general clickery. I’ll refrain from further comments until I can give it a good playthrough, though.

  4. >> it turns out no, it doesnโ€™t change the game at all, it just makes your mouse finger hurt less.

    Thank you, thank you.

  5. Wow, Droid Assault is one of the most fun games I played (got to do better, I’ve almost fallen off the 30 Day Top Scores list:)

    Can’t wait to try the changes in the Titans (got it with the Bundle), that’s awesome and pretty overwhelming too. The previous version was really tough but great, hope it didn’t get too easy. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks!

  6. Oh my! Those changes so sound so….like I want them NOW!!!! Less clicking and more thinking is just want I want to hear ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Yay! That all sounds brilliant! I can’t wait to try it.

    No collecting\reloading means that now I actually have enough time to use some of the powerups!

  8. Auto-load by default and free research? Wow, “radical” is right.

    I thought the gameplay was fine (I finished the game on 1.72.1) the way it was. My only complaint was the crazy placement of minerals in the campaigns on Saturn and upwards (I argued on gamefaqs that no decent strategist would place a base so far from a reasonable cache of minerals).

    I’m not sure I’m good for all these changes, but hey… guess I’ll give it a go.

    Anyway, just curious: how do you guys discuss what changes (the more radical ones, moreso) you’ll make in games? How do you decide stuff like that, from a developers-responding-to-players standpoint?

  9. I’m really excited about these changes, I think it moves the game in a direction that will make gameplay much more enjoyable, without sacrificing the challenge. Or maybe I’m just elated that I won’t have to deal with being broke while always on the edge of failing.

  10. I really like the automatic refinery collecting. I most of the time just found myself clicking on refineries furiously for the first minutes of battles and hoping that no ghosts or other enemies get by which require manual actions on them. Now I can actually concentrate to observe my defences and see how well they actually function instead of madly jumping around the map and frantically clicking all refineries.

  11. I do like a bit of the clicky madness it will be a different game now but should be just as good, one thing though if people prefer 1.72.1 then it would be cool to fix the survival mode in that version so it doesn’t crash after 5min and we can continue with two versions of the game! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Yeeeha, sounds fun. Although I still haven’t finished the game so far (maybe I’m a bit too much of a perfectionist), I can’t wait to play the new version ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. *spitting hot fire*

    i don’t understand why people are having such a hard time with ROTT. it does require some strategic thought, but once you “figure it out” (and there are probably different way to do that) it’s really quite straight forward. and i liked da clicking, it was like tending to a delicate garden of destruction. it needed your help to trive.

    i do welcome a new challenge. even if it’s…easier?

    second the survival comment about fixing and keeping it the way it was, i wanted to try and play passed the 5 minute mark.

    1. you know what? i am using a track ball as a mouse, and the arrow keys to move about the screen (at first i didn’t realize you could do this using the arrows, but once i realized, it made playing so much easier.) i don’t know if this makes a difference between my game play and others.

      1. What we’ve done is effectively remove a pointless bit of manual dexterity which acted as a barrier to a surprisingly large number of people and adjusted the game around this. Have no fear, the game is not necessarily going to be any easier … there are just less excuses now!

        Actually… the game is slightly easier to start with, but now has open-ended difficulty – it is no longer clamped at max 1.0 difficulty. The difficulty now increases forever as you get better and better. You should hopefully always be nailed on the edge of your seat panicing about something whilst playing.

  14. there has been a word out about opensourcing revenge of the titans a few weeks ago after a humble bundle goal is accomplished. the goal has been completed but i cannot see any updates.. any news?

    1. We’re finishing off v1.8, and when that’s proven to be bug-free enough we’ll be putting it on Steam, and when that’s all sorted and ticking over nicely I’ll finally have the time to get around collecting all the licenses together for the various bits of code in the game and zipping it all up for everyones amusement and delectation. Then we’ll start work on 1.9, which will add another 4 buildings, as a little treat for Easter, whilst at the same time get thinking in earnest about the Next Game.

  15. Huh. Guess I’ll have to play through the whole RotT campaign again. Oh well ๐Ÿ˜€

    — a happy humble bundle customer

  16. I hope this OpenAL-fix fixes the stuttering of Revenge of the Titans (it’s pretty annoying that the cursor “jumps” when the game stutters, you can’t build whole walls. This balancing stuff sure will be cool, but I liked the money balancing aspect of research, that you have to balance research against building defenses in the missions. Maybe it would have been better if you simply get bigger rewards for killed Titans than to remove the whole research prizes.

  17. AWESOME to hear all that. Going to be worth playing through a second time!

    I’d love to see some kind of “Free Play” option unlocked after beating level 50 tho – to be able to use all my unlocked items on a level of my choice, or unlimited money, or something like that…

      1. It does! Thank you for building it in.

        With survival mode, though, two things keep it from being the silly fun post campaign sandbox feel that I’m imagining.

        1. Almost no starting funds and instant attack means that instead of having a ball unleashing all my cool researched toys that I had at the end of the campaign, or refining the absolute perfect deployment without the worries of time constraints or terrain, I’m permanently playing catch up, even more so than most of the normal levels.

        2. It consistently crashes the game for me. Seems to be within the first 10 minutes each time. I’m going to keep playing so I can see if there’s a pattern to when it bombs. I’ll let you know if I find anything.

        Though maybe the update will change most of the above.
        Thanks!

        1. The crash bug we know about – happens precisely 5 minutes in, if you’ve completed the campaign – will be fixed shortly!

          Survival mode has been tuned a little and because of the way refineries now work, constantly trickling money in unattented, it’s not quite so fraught right at the beginning. The world selector now effectively chooses the difficulty level – Earth is very easy, Titan is very hard – and hence the speed of the advancing aliens. In the new version you can also choose the size of the map, and so choosing a large map makes it take rather longer for the gidrahs to appear. Oh, and you start with more money too!

  18. I read “You no longer have to collect money from refineries, nor reload turrets. Itโ€™s all automated.” and thought – “awesome.”

  19. i’ve uploaded videos of all saturn levels to youtube, in case anyone is interested. my goal was to get all the main medals awarded at the end of each level. it’s my first time uploading video so it’s a little special, but it’s enough to get my style of game play.

    just search my channel sherfumarcus.

    1. HAH. I saw those videos and saw your channel name and I was like, “holy crap! I know that name from somewhere. I JUST KNOW IT,” and here you are. lol

      1. yeah i’m all over here. i’m a nerd for this game, it’s a problem.

        thanks for watching ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Thanks for the alternate save path and less clickery. I think now I will play it from scratch again, especially because I can use Dropbox to sync my save to my notebook and back.

    1. Sync is not working between Win and Linux. Linux usses Foldername “.Revenge….” and Windows “Revenge…” without a dot.
      Or did i miss something?

  21. Everything automated? ๐Ÿ™
    New tech and buildings? ๐Ÿ™‚
    I look forward to giving the new version a spin, but just in case know that I’m getting some gasoline ready!
    p.s. toughen the droids up!!

  22. No more clicky click? I actually liked it. Clicking on stuff takes a percentage of your concentration causing you lack in the strategy department. Now it’s not more than a Tower Defense game.

    I do like the DEBs for the Ultrabundle though! I bought it several weeks ago and I omfg hated Webstart.

  23. So that means that autoloaders and autocollectors are gone from the tech tree? That’s great, there are enough turret upgrades already anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. What the fuck, again?

    Can’t you please fix the silo imbalance from the last version and rename it Revenge Classic before you pull these stunts?

  25. Wow! Sounds great! Free research makes me doubtful, though… It was quite satisfying to be able to try to mine more crystal and build less weaponry in order to snag the next greatest research upgrade…

  26. Glad to hear there’s less clicking, as I found the challenge of keeping track of monotonous tasks detracting from my initial enjoyment of this game.

    Great work and I’m glad I unintentionally bought this game from the Humble Bundle, as this accidental discovery was the best game of the lot. Still haven’t made it past earth!

  27. I guess my wrists will thank you… but could you please add the current clicking madness as an extra gaming mode? “Understaffed”? The current mode really has some merit.

    Not having a constant shortage of clicking will make powerup collecting too easy. As it is now I have to skip collecting powerups when things are rough.

    1. Trust me, you won’t want to have the clicking back, ever. And collecting powerups doesn’t seem to be any easier. And you really need to use them all as well.

  28. Thanks for the update! Sounds great! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I’ve got two issues only:
    1) I’m a Humble Indie Bundler and I haven’t seen the update yet. What’s the hold-up?
    2) for the love of all that’s sacred in coding, could you please append the version number to the file names! XD

    Cheers and thank you for the awesomeazing game(s) for Linux. I owe each one of you a nice cuppa ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Well I’m glad research is now free, that said, your going to have to make sure that all the excess money that comes from not having to save up for research doesn’t make it TOO easy for us to building spam and whatnot.

    I’m sure you have it under control, keep up the good work, cant wait for the update!

  30. Finally, custom save paths across operating systems. You are quite awesome ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope I didn’t badger you about that too much.

    Thank a mil,
    Eric

  31. God, I hated when you guys didnt get enogh sales to get a pie and a pint, (teehee) but now I hate that there too much going on that you dont notice me…
    anyway now that its this popular(ish) I think its time for take 2 on the puppygames/revenger of the titans irc channel

  32. I applaud the decision to eliminate manual reloading, since it really doesn’t make much sense in terms of technology (why do you need to when you got lasers?) and gameplay (it seems to be artificially increasing the clicking amount without increasing strategic depth), and I have sent in feedback regarding this issue in the past..

    However I would suggest keeping the ability to do a partial reload manually, since it is very beneficial to:

    A) Force a reload while there’s not as much pressure on your defenses to be ready for the next big wave.
    B) Change reloading timing so your turrets will end up reloading in turns rather than all at the same time.

    Same for refinery, make it automatic, but still able to force a partial extraction manually to grab critical funds when required.

    On the other hand I’m not too sure about free research, because having that in place makes the entire research much more strategic – do you spend big and hope you can get by, or spend little and have more defenses?

    It also makes each level having MUCH more replayable since you want to keep changing your strategy to extract the maximum credit from it while spend the least. (Also get more Medals for even more credit)

    1. Fear not, you can reload manually still for precisely those reasons. Refineries you simply don’t need to touch – they just constantly generate an amount of money determined by the number of reprocessors attached to them (themselves, a nice simple flat $500 each now) at a rate determined by the number of collectors you’ve attached ($250).

      Free research is pretty much essential I think given the vast seas of whining I’ve sailed ๐Ÿ™‚ And it is loads better with free research… not least because we’ve added another 20 research items. So many now in fact it is impossible to research all of them before the final level, so you’ve got some built in replayability and choices to make there! Which are all far easier without money getting in the way of your chosen path.

      We’ve solved the problem of how much money you start the level with by tuning the game appropriately. You should find the game now essentially rewards great play (ie. finishing with loads of money) with good, proper hard levels, but if you fare badly, it should relent and give you easier ones. All dynamically tuned throughout the level, too, and much better than before. Difficulty is now unlimited as well. The better you are, the crazier it gets, forever.

      1. Sounds great, when I really think about it, being funds limited when researching only makes sense if you can research more than 1 tech at a time when you can afford it, otherwise it only hinders you when you’re poor but no benefit when you’re rich.

        As for the new “unlimited” difficulty, it is really satisfying to get good enough so that the difficulty levels off, hopefully there’s something there to really “acknowledge” the player’s skill in replace that mental reward.

        Anyways this has been the only game I’ve played from the Bundle, great job!

      2. If we can’t unlock everything in the campaign then that means in Survival we will never be able to see the game in its fullest! Will there be an option or cheat to play with everything unlocked in Survival? Maybe if we beat the game everything is unlocked in Survival?

        1. As it happens (and this is already implemented), any research you ever take in a particular player slot is permanently added to Survival mode. So you can unlock it all by replaying the last 10-20 levels and taking different paths through. Different research also creates different randomly generated levels, so you won’t just be playing the same game through over again.

    1. Hmm. Good question. I think there’s still a couple of little things to do… but then I’m going to see a company in Eastleigh tomorrow about iPad porting, and then on to World of Love in London all Friday. So perhaps Saturday.

      1. Please make it Saturday? I have a dreadful graveyard shift on Saturday and Sunday and I will need something to do then >_>

      2. A mobile version of RoTT!? That would be amazing! I would definitely get it for the iPod touch; there aren’t any stand-out strategy games on the iOS.

  33. um… cas… waiting patiently on ROTTS 1.8 // you’ve prolly had more than enough pie and pints… now bring it! heh, good to see you migrating to steam.

    sincerely,

    sorted

    (a concerned ‘beta’ payer, heh)

  34. …craves for the new version ;_; i canยดt believe how often i have checked this page since the last post.. always waiting for an update all through the week.
    then hearing it will be probably on saturday x3 canยดt wait at all~ iยดll probably sit here refresh the damn thing every 5 seconds until the update is out

    think of my poor F5 key and release quickly please!

  35. I have 1.72.1 all uninstalled.

    Where is 1.8.

    I need it.
    I hunger it.

    wait, will have to wait for the humble folks to update though :\
    bought the game with the HIB

  36. I was hoping to play 1.8 this weekend as I had some free time, but alas, no such luck. Next weekend perhaps?

    1. How come HIB buyers cant download directly from this site?

      I tried that once but it wouldnt let me register my email, which was the same email I used to buy HIB.

  37. Humble Indie Bundler here, just want to echo the thoughts of the previous comments and say that I’ve been eagerly refreshing this page for any updates, and checking my feedreader every single day. I know you guys must be busy and/or have things beyond your control hindering a quick release, so this is just me adding to the pile and hoping for a release within the next few days. ๐Ÿ™‚ Keep up the great work!

  38. Arrrgh bugger it! We haven’t quite finished 1.80 yet (as it has become known). I think it’ll be up in the next 24 hours though unless some disaster occurs. If this version works out ok we’ll be getting it put onto Steam ASAP as well so we’re trying to make sure it’s as right as possible.

    Humble Bundlers can’t download from Puppygames because we have no idea who you are! We send the Humble version off to Jeffrey at Humble Bundle, Inc. and he takes care of hosting it and sending out a newsletter or tweet or whatever it is he does to tell everyone about the new version.

    1. I guess we can wait a little longer.
      I got HIB for Braid and can’t stop playing Revenge of the Titans.
      Awesome game.
      I can’t wait to see what you make next.

    2. Oh.. I figured you would just be able to use the email that we used to purchase the HIB for authentication purposes, the HIB dl page didnt strike me as permanent.

      Ah, well at least the steam version will be up soon, I assume everybody who owns the game can download new versions from there.

    3. Thaks for explaining, Cas :]

      I hope soon in HIB we’ll see versioned downloads as well. If versions are not something you guys forgot, I’ll just bug Jeff abou it on IRC ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Cheers and thanks again for the wonderful games! ๐Ÿ˜€

      P.S. It’s still a bloody pain to type dark gray text on dark gray background, because your website’s CSS doesn’t have background and textbox colours set.

  39. I’m guessing you are the process of getting this game onto the Mac App Store?

    (Btw, is that the reason you chose to streamline the gameplay?)

        1. Uploading right now… at 40kb/sec. So it’ll be a little while… actually the Windows and Mac Puppygames versions are there now. Linux and Humble Bundle will follow over the next few hours…

          1. awesome. I bought it from the HIB (thats if you remember my email) so I will just demo the Puppygames version till then ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. So to be clear on the update method for HIB, do I need to use the HIB webpage to download the newest version with each update? Will this version be done as soon as you are done uploading? Or is there an in-game update mechanism? (sorry for barrage or questions).

    1. A) yes you have to use the HIB to download the HIB version of Revenge
      B) No, its when Jeffery Rosen of the HIB updates the HIB Version.
      C) no ingame update.

      1. I hope Mr. Rosen updates the page often…pirating the game looks pretty tempting if it means better update functionality, and I’ve already paid…man this DRM/key per platform stuff annoys me.

        1. You know, Its considered bad form (in addition EXTREMELY rude.) to mention that you are considering pirating someones game ONE THEIR OWN WEBSITE.

          Anyways, according to twitter Mr rosen is getting the current RoTT 1.80 build but due to circumstances (slow internet) it may take a while.

          and yes Mr. Rosen does update the games quite diligently, he made it clear from the onset that all HIB purchasers would be indeed entitled to future updates of the game.

          1. I don’t think its bad form…usually developers are receptive to concerns of the player base. A big issue with pirating of big-studio games is that the pirated versions are indeed easier to use then the legit ones laden with DRM. Also consider that I’m not some random person who read about this game on a site and came to complain; I paid up, and will voice my opinions on this stuff. I’m not sure how else I was supposed to say that when pirating a game improves functionality, it is usually to the detriment of the developer (which big-box studios don’t get). Not that this is a (huge) loss of functionality at by any stretch, but still having to wait for some third party to update is no fun.

            Anyways I didn’t know how to get the point any differently. Uh…what kinda went without saying is that I still think its a great game and all that, and do acknowledge limited resources of the dev. But of course complaints and frustrations (even minor) are more powerful motivators to post sometimes…so…I’ll just own up to it. I should not have so directly “threatened” to pirate. Probably could have mentioned it in some other manner…Thanks for pointing that out Kane w/o flaming.

            1. Flaming accomplishes nothing, I rather have a discussion about it then “OMG U PIERAT SCUM OMG FK U WTFOMGLOL” Yes I agree DRM is irritating, annoying, anger inducing, frustrating, but also a sad part of the modern gaming market, now there are DRM methods I have used that have given me no problems (Steamworks and Securom <_<) . and there are DRM methods that are just bad and obviously concived while consuming a potentially lethal dose of Heroine/Cocaine. Example: Ubisoft's always connected to internet, save game on some asses server DRM and Games for Windows Live (sometimes, generally I have had no problem with it (Fallout 3) minus the experience with the PC port of Gears of War.)

              But lets take a look at HIB, the games are DRM free, they have no copy protection what so ever, versus the "DRM" that PuppyGames version uses, (Which I have not dealt with and thus cannot speak to its level of obtrusiveness or ease of use) and I would rather have to wait for someone to just upload the updated build rather then dealing with any TRUE DRM in that sense.

              1. The puppygames version doesnยดt really use any DRM, i have the ultrabulnde from PPG and Revenge from the bundle.

                The only thing you do with the ones from Puppygames is that you unlock the “demo” you can download for free from their site and with your email and then you can play as you like.
                And since they give you a free version you can play and donยดt have to download anything else to enjoy the full game there really is no other option so they get their pies and pints.

                I donยดt really think Edward has a clue about DRM and just wanted to complain because he has the game from HIB and thus not getting it at the same time as puppygame buyers. :/
                Wich really is no deal at all..

  41. I gave up the game (1.72 v) after noticing that when I closed my eyes I still saw titans coming around… and then I realized that you have made all major changes you promised. I cannot evaluate the result yet, I cannot tell you if free research or auto collection are good ideas, but at least my congrats for your effort.

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