Out of Beta

I’m just preparing this post during a lull in the contractions and so on while we have baby #2 (don’t know if it’s a boy or another girl yet, we like surprises!). I had v1.80.6 of Revenge of the Titans ready yesterday by good fortune, so I’ve built it and uploaded and everyone should be able to download this final version by the time you can read this.

Wait… did I say final version? Well, yes, I did, because we’re no longer in beta! This is the version we’re going to put on Steam, and so we’re “finished”, except for a forthcoming (free) expansion in a few months time adding a few more buildings, just for fun. We really ought to get on with making a new game as soon as possible, because we’re still surviving on minimum wage and that’s not going to keep us in business for long. The Humble Bundle money will run out by Christmas which doesn’t leave a very long time to get another game selling. In fact it doesn’t leave anywhere near enough time – Revenge has taken 3 long years to make. Panic!

Anyway… we’re going to increase the price to $27.72 now seeing as nobody’s buying it anyway, and hope Steam can give us another 6 months’ money with which to get something approaching playable together and released into the wild. But for now, my next couple of weeks is going to be taken up with Steam panic and new baby panic. And getting around to the huge 3 week backlog of support emails I’ve been neglecting.

Humble Bundlers: download your update from your original Humble Bundle links, not Puppygames!!

Here’s what made it into the final release:

Bugs Fixed

  • Fixed: lasers now no longer blocked by crystals when firing at aerial targets
  • Fixed: droid bullets didn’t cause +1 damage after researching Biology
  • Fixed: at high difficulties, some gidrahs suddenly stopped moving so the level would never end
  • Fixed: droids caused serious performance degradation because of a brain glitch

Balance

  • Dropped pickups now last very slightly longer on the earlier levels
  • Cooling tower now less effective on shotguns, lasers, rockets and disruptors…
  • …and more effective on multiblasters
  • Disruptor nerfed to just 3 shots and 24pts damage
  • Rocket explosion radius nerfed to 48px from 64px
  • Rocket minimum and maximum range increased by 32px when plastic charge patterns researched; this should prevent rockets damaging their turrets so easily!
  • Heavy weapons now have very long reload times
  • Buffed sergeant droids weapons to ap 4, dam 8, stun 8 and doubled fire rate

New Features and Enhancements

  • You can now scroll past the edges of the map finally! The edges now fade out to black.
  • scale commandline parameter now works in fullscreen modes too
  • Droid AI now makes droids attack any target in range if primary target is not yet in range
  • Droid AI now causes droids to prioritise normal aliens if they are significantly closer than gidlets
  • Droid AI now ignores targets that can’t be hurt, similar to turrets
  • New graphics for sergeant droids and buffed droids
  • Lasers and disruptors will now also stop firing at targets they can’t damage
  • Saturn boss is now immune to laser fire
  • Titan boss now immune to disruptors
  • Clicking on a turret in build mode no longer reloads it

Internal

  • Weapons now express fire rate in rounds per minute, plus rounds per minute per cooling tower
  • Droid AI was unbounded; now limited to max. 128 steps per frame
  • Much improved font display & quartered texture memory requirements

Analysis

The most significant change you’ll immediately notice is that you can now scroll past the edges of the map (and it’s got this natty looking cool fade to black as well which makes the whole game look moodier and scarier). This sort of makes the flip-down HUD controls a bit redundant, but what the hell, they can stay in for now. At last! You can plonk turrets and things right at the bottom of the map with ease.

I’ve twiddled with how various upgrades affect turrets: some turrets respond best to certain sorts of upgrades. The multiblaster, in particular, is now very good with lots of cooling towers; the laser turret was always best with scanners; and so on. As usual the very best effects are achieved with the full complement of four of one particular type – so you’ve got a bit of a balance and tradeoff to work out there.

I’ve fixed the performance problem that using lots of droids caused. And the droids have received a fair bit of attention in the process. They should be noticeably more useful, though still probably not a total replacement for turrets. On Survival mode they are easily one of the best value buildings to buy though.

You can twiddle the scale parameter on the commandline for fullscreen mode now. You might be amused to try out scale=1.0 briefly but the graphics are naturally at scale=2.0 so they will be tiny and illegible, and I suspect performance might be a bit grim.

I made pickups a tad easier to grab, but they’re still going to be particularly tricky on later levels. This is deliberate. Harvest some crystals, you lazy sod!

Oh and the game may now be playable on G4 and G5 Macs… but I have no way to test this as my G5 died. Any takers? It’s likely to be fairly slow on everything except the fastest G5s mind.

So there we go. Steam release 7th March. Source code to follow in April I think.

82 thoughts on 'Out of Beta'

  1. Sweet I’m glad this is the final version, RoTT is very polished now and all the updates were getting annoying. Just wanted to let you know I’ll definitely be buying the next game you make to support you guys and because I’m sure it’ll be awesome. Keep up the good work!

  2. oooh. like a walk in the park with a rabid pitbull. thanks for all the hard work! congratulations on your forthcoming miracle, i just had one myself. good luck getting another game out with her/him blessing all over your life. i confess, i’ve actually played RotT with my boy in one arm, bouncing on a yoga ball. not sure if you could add a metal for that?

  3. Awesome. Completely answers my comment on your last post asking what version is gonna be final 😀

    Great work!

  4. Making this game part of the humble indie bundle was an awesome gesture – I think you’ve earned a ton of goodwill with PC gamers everywhere already. As cool as a free expansion would be, I think it would be even cooler for you to stay in business! If you really want to spend more time making an awesome game awesome, please charge us for the expansion =)

  5. You are doing it wrong you are supposed to decrease prices when your sales are going bad, now no one will buy it, make it 99$ if anything and get top sales on steam then raise the price.

  6. All of this sounds really good.

    But I hope your not going to try selling revenge on Steam for $30.

    The most that Indy games go on there is $20, and those have to be considered “top tier” by everyone to even get that price.

    Have afew promos and sales on Steam with a good cheap price and I can guarantee you’ll make quite a bit of money. The mere look of the game will be enough to get people interested and the good community buzz(that’s all of us) will close the deal.

    Good luck!

    YOU BETTER HAVE A STEAM FORUM!

  7. I knew this day would come and all awesome drawn out updating sessions must come to an end. It’s been a great ride and I have thoroughly enjoyed play testing every release since it was put on the humble bundle. I hope all goes well with your new baby and all your future projects. I look forward to your next great game. Until then, Cheers! 🙂

  8. congrats, I certainly think it’s ready (assuming the “so fast they’re slow” bug is fixed).

    I don’t know what kind of contract Steam makes you sign, but you might also try distributing it here: https://developer.impulsedriven.com/#publishing.
    -As a user, I like impulse because the content is often DRM free. Also, it’s the main distribution source for Stardock games, who make a lot of really solid and deep strategy games. I think your game would fit right in as a casual alternative for strategy gamers.

    Also, since you’ve got a nice linux version, you might try selling it in the ubuntu software center: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SoftwareCenter
    You may want to check out this video: http://www.jupiterbroadcasting.com/?p=2874 for a developer’s perspective on selling software on there.

    I really think this game has some great potential, given the popularity of netbooks, and the fact that it runs on netbooks of any platform. It also speaks well to linux users, who appreciate independent developers a lot. Best of luck with your kid and I’ll hype up your game to all my gamer friends.

    1. Hm I’ve tried contacting Ubuntu on several occasions and on each occasion I’ve been completely stonewalled. Never mind, maybe they’ll listen eventually.

      We’ll probably be in touch with Impulse and Gamersgate and Direct2Drive etc. as well eventually. Though in reality their revenues are likely to be simply dwarfed by Steam.

      1. cool, I’m with the others, that $30 is too high a price point. I probably wouldn’t have paid that for the game, even after playing the demo, and I think it’s a really solid game. I think ~$15 is reasonable or ~$20 if you’ve got it bundled with the other games. The thing that got me to buy games like torchlight were the cheap deals they were offering. Otherwise I wouldn’t have given them a second glance. keep on building them games!

      2. I’m with Emile and others. You will or will not get higher revenues at $27.72, but you will surely lose some of the launch momentum. Only one indie game – out of 169 – costs more than $20 on Steam. So think it through.

        Oh, and congratulations! 🙂

  9. Briefly tried the demo, since HIB isn’t uploaded yet, and the fog of war is excellent! It really adds to the feel of the game. Personally, I would have it taper off more gradually, but even as is, it’s awesome! Hope the HIB updates soon as I cannot wait to sink my teeth into it.

  10. “WAIT until Jeffrey has tweeted that the new version is uploaded!” Jeffrey never tweeted about the last couple of updates. I hope he does for this one. I hate checking the HiB page over and over.

  11. Just wanted to concur with Brett, the ‘fog of war’ is a fantastic aesthetic look, now the levels look bigger and the atmosphere is even more ominous….
    I absolutely love the way the titans now slowly (or not) creep in from the darkness, creates an excellent feeling of foreboding (and makes boss fights even more compelling, hunting around the edges of the map searching for that elusive presence) 🙂
    Have only played up ’til level 17 pretty much just using droids (big thank you for the graphical difference between droid types that myself and a few others asked for!)
    Awesome update Cas, you stud!

  12. About the pricing: RotT is a great game, but not one I would pay 30$ for. I wouldn’t pay 30$ for most “major label” games, even good ones. I usually buy Indie games I’m interested in when they’re on sale for 5$ or less or part of a cheap package that includes a few interesting games. You might be glad to hear that RotT is what made me get the Humble Bundle, even though I already had Braid and wasn’t very interested in the other 3 games. The cool style pulled me in from the first time I watched the video on your RotT page. Getting published on Steam should bring in quite a bit of money and might prompt a few more reviews which are definitely needed, even with the press and fans you got from the HIB. If you can get the awesome style of this game across on the Steam store page you really cant lose.

    About the game: I just tried explosives in endless. They’re fun to use and very effective, and probably help a lot with spread out defenses. All mines have their niche, and so far (level 20) using mostly mines to kill everything has been a fairly viable strategy. I’m really surprised, I thought mines would be extremely boring to use.

    I also started a new campaign playthrough for 1.80.5, I’m only up to late moon though so I cant really give much feedback on the changes. Multiblasters are pretty nice now that they switch targets. The long reload time is fairly crippling, but I guess they need to have some sort of disadvantage. Looking forward to the changes in 1.80.6.

    Good luck with your baby, and don’t go crazy! We still need you! 😛

  13. The gids getting stuck bug is still around. Not sure about the campaign, but it’s been causing a lot of problems for me in endless. It’s especially bad with ghosts. Gids sometimes move very slowly and sometimes get completely stuck. In Endless 35 with about 37k$ it even happened right at the start of the level.

    Also it looks like turrets sometimes cant damage droids stuck outside the map border. They’re firing, but nothing happens. In that case I have to resort to blast mines. If I don’t have enough left I cant complete the level. Also if a ghost gets stuck out there I’m completely screwed, especially without x-ray scanners.

    Also droids can get stuck if they are too far from the closest gids. This problem is made even worse by the new droid limit because the parked droids still take up limit.

  14. The droids are still slowing down the Survival game, though not quite as much. At about 1 hr with 6 droid factories, it take about 3 seconds of real time to complete 1 second of in-game time.

    1. Actually, on a quick scan of the map, I don’t have that many droids out; probably about 12-16 (had close to 30 at an earlier point of the game). I sold 2 of the factories to try and gain back some speed, but the game is still quite slow. Not sure what could be causing the slowdown now.

    2. I can confirm that the Titans are still hanging out by the edge of the map and moving very slowly. They all didn’t completely stop like in v1.80.5, but about 80% stay put or move VERY slowly. With the addition of the fog of war it is difficult to determine how many are hanging out. Maybe this has something to do with the slow-down for the in-game clock…

      1. emI’m getting the same slow mob bug. This tends to happen at the end of the match when they’re “angry” I’m thinking it’s the same so fast they’re slow bug. It’s making the game nearly unplayable, and I can’t decide whether it makes the game easier, by giving me unlimited time to mine crystals, or harder, because I’ve got to spend money building blasters near the entrances, so that I can take out the mobs that are stuck. Either way, this bug is certainly tedious.

        The rest of the gameplay is really solid. I’ve been playing with explosives and find that spreading rockets around and using mines on bigger guys is a viable strategy (at least through the moon). I also like the way the rocket upgrades work now.

        1. Hm that’s pretty serious, I’ll have to investigate further. Can’t figure out how it’s happening at the moment. This is definitely 1.80.6 you’ve got there yes?

          1. Yeah, I upgraded to 1.80.6 and still had the bug after starting a new game…I never uninstalled first, so I’m going to do that and reinstall and see if I get the same bug, I’ll also copy and send you a save file when the bug happens. Let me know if you need anything else. I’m running it on 64 bit debian if that matters.

    1. Indeed they do – I recommend getting the upgraded battle droids research asap for them to be really effective – add in research for reactors and link them to your droid factories = 🙂

  15. Been playing through the game some more and there is still a typo with the barricades, specifically the “boff” says there’s 30 when there is actually 42 titanium.

    Finally, the only thing left that I would add to the game that I think would make it complete is the addition of an opening cinematic. The best thing about this is you already created one. The video below time 0:08 – 0:40 would make a nice opening before the title screen.

    Revenge of the Titans development video 3 – ‘Hoff Battle’
    http://www.youtube.com/user/Puppygames001#p/u/4/82-FqGj11m0

  16. Is it just me or is there too much fog of war?

    I dislike not being able to see where they’re coming from, roads near them, or blasters I place near/in the fog.

    Is there a tech. to increase the decrease FoW?

    1. There is no tech to decrease FoW. Its sole purpose is to add to the moodiness of the game and is a welcome addition. The map is big enough so you don’t have to put a turret right at the edge. You don’t need to see them immediately since there are indicators of where they are coming from anyway. It is unlikely this will change.

      1. Actually it had a completely different purpose, which was to hide the gidrahs popping into existence just beyond the arrows 😉 It just happened to look really nice too.

    2. Correct – you’ve still got a general approximation of the titans starting points…
      and why in hell would you want to place anything right next to spawning points on the edges, when in all likelihood it’ll be destroyed quite rapidly? Unless you gotta mine crystals, that’s when strategy and clever choice/use of tech comes into play…
      Besides, the f.o.w. has been LONG overdue!

      1. If you put blasters at the very edge of their range and as close as possible to the spawn then the titans wouldn’t attack them. So right when they would spawn you could get a few good hits on them before they would start to move out of the way.

        That’s how I used to get through Earth anyway.

        1. I can see why you might dislike the f.o.w. then, with that tactic, but your liable to get your ass kicked in later levels!
          (particularly when they start getting smart)

  17. Regarding the new price point – as it was said by other people previously – don’t.

    Plants vs. Zombies are $10, and you are not even in the same league. Chances are you won’t get a single purchase.

    vvvvvv is $5, and it’s a much, much better pricepoint for a retro-game like RotT (which is not complex and niche enough to justify a higher pricepoint).

    And yeah, kickstarter suggestion seconded. “8-bit funding” might be a good idea as well.

    1. It appears to be selling just as well at $27 which is slightly inexplicable because there’s a 50% off coupon! And – I think Revenge is easily in the same league as PvZ. And Revenge is most certainly not a retro game, nor is it remotely simple. It’s every bit as complex as Starcraft. In fact it’s a little more complex than Starcraft.

      We won’t be needing any funding in any case.

      It looks as if I’m going to have to do a blog post explaining pricing to people as gamers appear to be notoriously ignorant about how marketing works…

      1. I also always thought that RotT was simple and not really challenging, but it’s actually quite complex and has a lot of replay value (using different strategies etc) and it’s faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar more challenging than Plants vs Zombies, which is so super easy and like 80% of the time you are using the same towers (or you are doing it wrong !) and PvZ has next to no replay value (it turns out to be retarded farming for stuff you don’t need).

        So I guess 27$ might work, I wouldn’t spend that much on it, but to be honest RotT is the only game I played besides Braid off of the Humble Bundle.

        Cortex Command seems really odd and very beta-ish and the developers appear to be dead (no blog entries on their dev-log for months)

        Osmos is quite fun, but gets boring after like 1 hour and it wont get better after that.

        Braid is really amazing, but the most time I spend with RotT theorycrafting and figuring out different strategies and starting builds :).

        Machinarium is actually also quite a lot of fun, but I don’t dig that kind of game too much.

        So the bottomline … if it sells for 27$ why should he change it 🙂

        1. Indeed. But we’re not even selling it for $27! We’re selling it for $14 in reality (and that’s what’ll it will cost on Steam too). We can offer all sorts of crazy discounts whenever we want and it’ll look like a bargain. There is a method to our madness!

          1. Here we go again, with all this ‘retro’ talk regarding RotT – for crying out friggin loud, it’s NOT bloody retro!!!
            @ Igor Savin, it’s pretty insulting to Puppygames to state that RotT isn’t in the same league as Plants vs Zombies (the one and only way this is actually true is in the amount of exposure that PvZ has) Besides, PvZ is a ‘casual’ game created for the casual gaming market (people who don’t really play games) whereas RotT ISNT casual – so thats an pretty unfair comparision…..
            Likewise, to then go on and state that (of all games you go and choose!) Vvvvv is worth $5 (NO IT ISNT! YOU GOT RIPPED OFF) as its ‘retro’, and that RotT is also ‘retro’ and therefore only worth $5 as it’s NOT complex enough…?*
            again, insulting and demeaning. These guys have spent the last three years of their spare time (what with job, family and other commitments) slaving away on this game, and you come along and piss all over it saying its not worth shit?!?!
            [edited by Cas for naughty words!]
            *and PvZ is REALLY REALLY COMPLEX! (sarcasm), besides its been out for how long?!?! with how much of a media fanfare behind it?!?! Don’t believe the hype!

            1. Well said.

              I own both PvZ and Vvvvvv, and neither of them are as good as RotT. PvZ has received more press and to be fair overall has slightly more polish with cinematics, cutscenes, etc. but at its core it’s garbage. Additionaly Vvvvvv is barely worth $5 and, except for sound, is Atari quality. RotT is easily worth the price. All it needs is some better press and word of mouth.

            2. Yeah, I literally played Vvvvvv for about two minutes before deleting it…twas just the demo, so no wasted funds….
              Seriously, ‘Don’t Look Back’ by Vvvvvvv’s creator is such a better game, and its FREE!
              As for cinematics/cutscenes – thats a fair point… really all that RotT needs is an intro – just like the cutscene you mentioned Brett – the battle of Hoff, and maybe something similar for each progressive world; that’ll keep Chas busy for a bit!!!!
              Btw Cas, didn’t realize that *%^k was a naughty word, but apparently not shit or piss! 😉 my apologies!

              1. I don’t mind swear words, but you’re not allowed to be mean to people for having an opinion 😉
                I don’t agree with his opinion but it is interesting to hear it, because when someone says something, there’ll be another 1,000,000 people thinking the same thing. So it’s useful feedback from that perspective. See for example the Reddit thread – quite a few worthless opinions there, but, there are quite a few of them…

                1. Thanks for the link Cas, now my blood is boiling from everyone calling RotT ‘retro’!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😉

                  1. and saying it’s just another worthless td game, followed up by complaints that there are “too many” out there. well fine. we don’t need any more cod, bf, et cetera, we’ve got PLENTY of fps games. >>

                    People make more of a genre either because they enjoy that genre, or because there are people out there who enjoy it. I, for one, enjoy td, rts, and tbs games, and I clearly welcome more of that genre. Some, like pvz!, get redundant and have absolutely NO replay value.

            3. How can people not like VVVVVV? It’s pure genius IMO. Fast paced action and unique game mechanics, very little repetition of challenges, plus great music. It’s a little short (I can beat it with all trinkets collected in 40 minutes), but because almost all the challenges are unique it’s still fun to replay, even if it’s the same every time. I must have gotten at least 10 hours of sweet sweet fun out of it so far, and I still replay it every once in a while.

  18. Erm… can anyone clue me on what’s the deal with Behemoth (saturn end boss). He came in and destroyed me just like that – of four lasers and two missile launchers I had nothing reacted to him (and I activated berzerk and froze the sucker, so it’s not like he could have caught them while on cooldown) – is he flat-out immune to these or something? X.x

    1. Supposedly, he is now immune to laser blasts. Not sure about rockets, but lasers definitely. On top of that bezerk isn’t as effective as it used to be and the bosses typically have more hp than they used to.

      1. I mostly activated ‘zerk for the “no reload” benefit (and I believe the I saw recent changelog about bosses having less not more hp, but I digress). Just tried restarting the mission just to see if anything reacts to him – tried regular blaster, heavy blaster, laser, missile launcher – neither of these even shot at him. The only thing that I saw reacting to him was blast cannon.

        1. Hm, I may have made that Saturn boss a bit too hard now… the natural blast cannon is indeed the only weapon capable of hurting him. You can buff heavy blasters with 4 reactors to achieve a minimal effect but that’s going to get expensive. Or assault cannon, too. And of course researching alien anatomy and biology will yield a small increase in damage. However, that still leaves only one weapon that can hurt it.

          Bah.

          I predict 1.8.7 being released at the weekend… (will also investigate mysterious slow gidrahs and stuttery sound as well)

          1. The Saturn boss is a bit difficult, but with a few powerups and some excess cash he is still easy enough. I did some rough experiments and found that it takes roughly 9k investment with a few powerups to kill him using ~8 blast cannons and scanners exclusively. This seems about right for the next to last planet boss.

            Also, 1.8.7? Wasn’t 1.8.6 the final release?

            1. Immutable law of programming – there is always enough bugs and/or potential enhancements to merit another patch. No exceptions 😛

              And while I try not to comment on the difficulty of Behemoth being just right – having boss monster hittable by only one specific weapon, especially one which due to how game works you could simply not have avialable (with rockets being less teamkill happy this version I think it is potentially possible) – is never a good thing. (And I find the level hard enough without Behemoth being near-invincible. Dunno, maybe it’s the higher amount of money I somehow managed to get previous level coming back to bite me in the ass, but between keeping track of how my regular turrets are doing, keeping track how my refineries are working and zapping waves upon waves of ghosts I barely had time to pick up a powerup here and there, leave alone worry about setting up additional line of turrets which I’m not even using since a few levels especially for the boss. Hell, first time I tried I didn’t even notice behemoth in all that commotion until he was right at my base ^^”)

              1. Ack… I meant “And while I try not to comment at the difficulty in general, I have to disagree on behemoth..” there. Kind of lost train of thought there mid-writing.

  19. I’d say I don’t think 27.72$ is a good price, but a lot of indie games (good and bad) sell AT that price. Not to mention the logic behind it, plus some people WILL pay 27 for this game, because they honestly LIKE it and want to SUPPORT the devs. Not everyone is cares about the price per se, and I’ve met a lot of people who would pay 40 $ or so for an indie game just to support the devs.

    Congrats on the baby! 🙂

    and I look forward to getting this up and on steam. I’d like to just update it via steam, and I’m sure it’ll sell more

    1. To get the best out of those metal guys, once you’ve got the droid factory make sure you’ve also researched (in no particular order)
      reactors (place next to droid factories to increase production rate!)
      xenobiology + alien anatomy (increases blaster damage)
      you also need to research… refineries + heavy blasters + phase amplifiers …to be able to research advanced battle droids
      Even without reactors, you’ll be able to make your way through Earth and most (if not all) of Moon just using droid factories…. even on the hardest setting.
      Enjoy!

  20. Awesome!

    You guys should get a RotT shop going with T-shirts and other stuff with the artwork from the game – it is beautiful and would totally get it. 🙂 Should help you along until the next game.

    And congrats for the “newborn”! 😀

  21. Oh and about that final version thing, I hope you’ll still be around patching problems 🙂

    Congrats on the baby!

    1. Cas already mentioned that there is going to be a 1.80.7 next weekend and then there is the 1.90 expansion (free) in a few months so…yeah I would assume so.

  22. Congrats on coming out of beta status! RotT is my favorite game from the HiB. It has lots of replay value. I’m still a bit bummed I can’t cheat in it anymore though.

  23. Right, I’m gonna have to release 1.80.7 because I need the bugfixes testing before we put it on Steam! I’ll begin uploading. I’ve got a pair of fixes for audio stuttering and a fix for the aliens practically stopping.

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