Patch time again

Ahoy there! I can put this off no longer, as a couple of showstopper bugs have been fixed. There’s a new build of Revenge of the Titans available, v1.80.11. Once again, Humble Bundlers should be downloading from their original Humble Bundle links when Jeffrey tweets that is is there (give it 24-48 hours or so), not from Puppygames (or you’ll just end up with an unregistered demo!) Have a look at what happened in this build and then I’ll explain the consequences:

Bugs Fixed

  • Fixed: if Smartbomb is selected, then another option on the build menu is selected, you lose the smartbomb
  • Fixed: having an active smartbomb when you die leave the game in “smartbomb mode” so you got a free smartbomb upon restarting the level
  • Fixed: divide by zero error at seriously high difficulties in Endless mode level generator
  • Fixed: endless level 51 and above became suddenly insanely difficult
  • Fixed: level generator never ends if it generates a duff level
  • Fixed: clicking generate new easier level on wasn’t having any effect
  • Fixed: spider droids and ticks unable to squeeze through some gaps, so they refused to move and the level never ended

Balance

  • More mines!
  • More barricades!
  • Difficulty eased on later levels
  • Brought crystals a little closer to the base
  • Disruptors buffed to 32pts damage
  • Lasers nerfed to 1-8pts damage / tick
  • Crystal scavenging nerfed to 10%, which should encourage use of refineries a little more eh?
  • Reduced agitation caused by use of droids and heavy weapons by a factor of 2 (and also, the effect of decoys)

New Features and Enhancements

  • Mod support using the mods= commandline parameter! Separate jar file paths with system path separators.
  • Using mods segrates you on the survival hiscore table
  • Crystal scavenge rate boosted to 15% then 20% if you choose one or both refinery permabuffs (in any order)
  • You can hover over a crystal now to get the amount of money left in it (reprocessors etc. notwithstanding)

Internal

  • Game now uses Java 6 and is no longer Moleboxed. No more virus warnings! But we’ll have lost a tiny bit of performance and startup will be a bit slower.
  • Increased memory parameters to -Xms64m -Xmx375m for 64-bit VMs
  • Removed AdaptiveSizePolicy VM parameter
  • Split up sound and graphics jars each into 3 smaller jars
  • Games now look for a patch.jar in the game directory which is used in preference to the contents of the rest of the jars
  • One nice big MSVC solution to build all the launchers executable using the same code
  • Dug up some license documentation
  • Did the code for the Scarecrow and Cloaking Device
  • Moved loads of static final constants into XML so they can be modded
  • Multiple mods loaded in order on the commandline
  • Gidrahs that fail to find a route five consecutive times are killed (cause of death: grid bug)
  • Diagonally moving gidrahs were allowed to plot horizontal and vertical routes but then prevented from actually executing them
  • Increased hint duration from 7 to 10 seconds

Analysis

Mostly what you’ll notice about this version is that it’s somewhat easier than before. You’ve got more mines and barricades, the heavy weapons and special buildings don’t make the gidrahs quite so angry, the crystals are a little closer to the base, and the overally difficulty has been tuned down a fair amount, especially as you get past Mars. It’ll still get hard if you’re doing really well, but with any luck, more people should have more fun more of the time in this version.

A subtle (and, honestly, not particularly relevant) change to crystal scavenging sees the amount of crystal recovered nerfed from 20% to 10%. That’s only a few hundred bucks in reality, but you can buff it again by researching the two refinery permabuffs (5% each). The idea of this subtle change was to encourage refining, just a bit more.

Under the hood, the game is now being deployed using JDK6 server VM (which is what all the Mac and Linux folks have been using all along anyway, so no change there). Also on Windows we’re no longer using the Moleboxed solution, for two reasons: firstly, because various virus checkers keep on finding false positives, grrr; and secondly, because the game now has mod support, albeit in a fairly hardcore manner. To create mods you’ll need to be proficient with XML editing, making JAR files, and tweaking your commandline. Suffice to say that this is a little bit involved and will require a whole blog post explaining it all, which I’ll get around to next week, and this will also coincide with me officially releasing the source code, which you will of course need to make any sense of the modding process.

In Other News…

I haven’t been able to update the Steam depot to v1.80.11 yet because our Valve rep is either away or busy or otherwise indisposed in some way. This also means we haven’t yet got the Mac port onto Steam either. Sorry folks, there’s nothing I can do about this yet. Also: if you want to see the Ultrabundle on Steam, ask Valve 🙂 As with Revenge of the Titans, we will be able to provide Steam keys for existing customers.

I am trying to sort out the Steam keys thing! I’ve just been waylaid for the last week and unable to get on with serious work. I’ll notify the world with a blog post when it’s ready as there are so many of you want Steam keys. <edit> We originally stipulated that the Steam key would be a one-way conversion but this is not the case – your Steam key is totally free of strings attached.

Some people have asked, and here it is: I tweet as @princec1234 though I don’t say much.

We are in the process of talking about an iPad version of Revenge of the Titans, but we’re not sure exactly how far we can get with it just yet. We’ll keep you posted if the project gets the go-ahead.

And finally we’ve been doing lots of thinking about our next game. Or at least, some bits of it. We really want to get on and start writing it as we’ve got precious little cash spare to spend on fiddling with Revenge of the Titans forever. As of right now we’ve got about 16 months’ money to develop the next game with, less if we do the iPad port and it tanks, which it very well might if Apple decide not to feature it. So game design caps are on! Brains are boiling! Pencils are being chewed at an increased rate!

54 thoughts on 'Patch time again'

  1. yay! for 1.80.11!

    I already have the HIB on steam so I wont ask for a PG ROTT key :V
    Gonna play the new build now.

  2. Superb! The source code will finally be out!

    Maybe instead of an iPad version you could consider an android port? Or both?

  3. Glad to see the game’s going to be a bit easier, thanks for the buffs Cas! I do not think you should try to port this game to the iPad. You guys are perfectionists (as seen by the insane number of patches you’re releasing at the moment) and the effort it would take to port over RotT into a usable, intuitive, and worthy version would be absurd. You guys should focus all of your time and money to developing the next game so it’ll be the absolute best it can be, and maybe (if you have any free time? please?) finishing those last couple buildings (scarecrow? cloaking shield? tank factory?) to fill the “coming soon” spots in RotT.

    Good luck and peace,

    Xorlathor

      1. We won’t be doing the port ourselves, we’re going to pay a company to do it, so it shouldn’t impact a lot on our time.

        1. Maybe not time, but money? And I doubt any company could do the job as well and put in as much detail as you guys do. 😛

          1. I think the investment on iPad is worth it. It’s a big market these days, so it could be a good funding resource.

            But as Anon said, I think an Android port would be good too. The Android market is growing at an exponential rate lately, and shouldn’t be ignored. It could also be a good resource for funding.

  4. Aaand one more thing: your valve representative sucks. Valve representatives do NOT disappear for week-long vacations without giving any notice, they do NOT not respond to contact, and they do NOT forget to bring a laptop on their forbidden week-long vacations so they can still upload new versions of the game their supervising.

    Get a new one Cas.

  5. Good to see mentioning of the source code again; I was getting worried you’d have forgotten about it.. 🙂

    Any idea yet under what license you’ll release the sources?

    1. A “Please don’t bother me again with this code” license of some sort 🙂 It’s already mostly available here but I haven’t attached any licenses to it or anything and not all the code is mine.

  6. You’ve coded scarecrows and cloaking devices. Any idea of when they’ll be available for in game use?

    1. when Chaz gets around to the graphics 🙂 We’re going to take a little break for a while though and just try to get some stuff done on the New Game.

      1. 🙁
        what….?
        Your gonna make us wait even LONGER for the additional tech?
        but…….it’s been so long already…. (sniff)
        RotT isn’t truly complete OR balanced until this is ready. Fingers crossed that Chaz get gfx done asap; I’m not playing RotT until the tech isn’t “?” anymore…. (good thing Im patient isn’t it)

  7. I’ve got a Humble Bundle version so it’s no trouble for me but the one way ticket thing may be trouble for anyone else that uses some combination of Linux, Windows and Steam as Steam has no Linux support. I take it that there is some reason why it has to be one way?

    1. The one way ticket is only for Puppygames customers as far as I know. So no worries if you’re using Humble Bundle, I’d say.

  8. Are you still planning on adding Steam achievements? I’ve been holding off on playing because I’d like to wait until achievements are in.

    (Or will you achievements be awarded retroactively?)

  9. Are Steam achievements still on to do list? I’m not playing the game saving it for the time when I’ll be getting achievements. 😀

  10. Humble Bundle customer here; tried downloading the new version, keep getting a corrupt file error when I try to install it. Just a heads-up. Are other people having the same problem?

    1. No, the new version worked fine on my PC. Hmm, maybe because I installed it over the old version?

      1. No that’s just an internet glitch I think. Try contacting Humble Bundle, Inc. to see if they can verify the integrity of the files.

  11. Why are people wanting Steam achievements so bad? The game already has in game medals. Why is another record of your achievement so necessary? Who are you trying to impress with your Steam achievements?

        1. wait wait I see what you pointed me to now, when im not lazy (which may be a long time) ill check it out 😛

    1. Hey, I think this last patch worked quite well. Didn’t decrease the difficulty too much though. And I didn’t notice any heavier performance decreases. Well done!

  12. Now it’s time to say that I found a bug: when I researched the reloader for turrets I got the medal for having researched the droid factory, LOL

    Now I have arrived on Titan!

  13. I noticed for me there is a slight graphical error on the base when loading a save game, anyone else notice this?

        1. 1.80.10 has it but it occurs differently then in 1.80.11 oh well whatever affects gameplay none.

  14. Just came to post about the Eurogamer review. Was nagging in there downloads comments section for a couple of weeks seeing if they’d review it and I come home to see they’ve given it a full review. Awesome!

    1. Steam will auto-update it to 1.80.11 but Cas has yet to go in touch with this valve rep to do the update. you just have to wait a bit.

  15. That one-way steam ticket deal means giving up on Linux support…
    I’m not at all affected because I don’t use Windows or Mac, but I can see some people wanting to play the games using Steam (for the achievements or whatever) while still being able to play them on Linux.

    Pity seeing them having to make that choice.

  16. Well, your difficulty lessening seems to have massively enhanced the difficulty for me. The extra researches to increase your scavange rate left me behind the curve with research. I can’t complete a level because too many of my researches are useless, an understandable problem what with the lack of information.

    This game is frustrating. You make the wrong choice and several hours are wasted forever. And there’s nothing you can do to fix this. Even the lower difficulty levels don’t seem to be much different in difficulty. I told a friend of this, which convinced them not to buy.

        1. So, what’s the score here exactly? Do you refuse to lower the difficulty? Have you not discovered the various alternative ways around not having any particular piece of tech? (No one tech is required to defeat any alien – some make it a bit easier, is all) And what’s this about “wasting” time? Are you being paid to play?

          1. Aha I see:
            “In game, there’s a research mechanism that you use to get new towers and powers. I made the wrong choices for research by focusing on harvesters and not weapons and I was screwed in the final level of world 2. There was nothing I could do. You can’t go back on research. The only thing I could do is restart. So essentially, because of poor game design for hours were down the drain. I felt intensely stressed. This stress ruined the day of a girl I was with. And that failure, sense of defeat made me feel crappy for several hours.”
            Dude, stop talking shite. You only had to go back a level at the very most. Maybe you could have just hit the Easier Level button once or twice instead. Or even used a different strategy. Hm? FWIW I always get the harvesting tech first too. The ability to make more money is probably more useful than the ability to blast aliens. I bet you died with $10k in the bank as well. But come on, whining about losing all over the internet and advising people not to buy our game because you can’t figure out how to play it is lame. How about asking for help or advice first?

    1. Tge game is pretty hard at max difficulty, but :
      * first, it actually IS very progressive. In the “start hard, finish insane” sense, yes.
      * second, you can lower difficulty pretty easily in game. In fact, at minimum difficulty the game is more or less a joke.

      As of I, I love this game, and the only true problem in term of difficulty is that stabilizing the difficulty to something else than “hard” is pretty boring (since you may have to make easier level one or more time each level)

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