Fri, 16 Feb 2007
Howdy pardners! We've been a bit quiet since the start of the New Year because
we've been hard at work on fun fancy new features for y'all to enjoy. We
shuffled up the schedule a bit and we're happy to report that we've released
What are bounties, ya might be wonderin'. Well, bounties are a single player
campaign mode where an intrepid Deputy (that's you) is pitted against an Outlaw
(and sometimes their henchmen) in a series of games. Except that in bounty
games the goal isn't always to come in first place. Games can define additional
criteria like finishin' the game without losing more than five units or gunnin'
down more than ten of the opponent's units in the process.
When the Outlaw is finally brung in, the Deputy gets the bounty reward.
That's a healthy helpin' o' scrip and for especially tough outlaws, it might
include special Badges or even fancy Duds that can't be bought by regular folks in
the General Store.
We've also released full-length versions of our in-game music, written and
produced by them crazy cowpokes over at SomaTone Interactive Audio. If ya
reckon ya like the music in Bang! Howdy then yer in luck because now you can
get full length versions of the tracks fer listenin' to on yer iPod or other
fancy portable music playin' device. No need to go to your local record store,
you can download it directly from the General
Store in the game.
There are of course a small raft of minor tweaks, bug fixes and other
little twiddlin's that we are constantly doin' as a matter of course. For the
detail oriented among ye, we'll enumerate those more specifically:
- Removed Saloon chat and added "social parlors" where folks can hang out
and chat. We also sort the list of parlors based on how many people are in 'em
to make it easy to find the popular spots.
- We redid the tutorial interface and created a helpful display to get new
folks right into the fun.
- Fixed a problem where units were gettin' pushed through fences. Ouch!
- Redid the in-game interfaces to make player colors clearer. You'll notice
that some of the Outlaws in bounties are teamed up against ya. Could it be that
we might be adding team play some time soon?
- Taught the AI how to be fooled by Fool's Gold.
- Various other little bug fixes and small adjustments.
Astute pardners will also notice the Hideout
perched upon the hill there in Frontier Town. We've been making good progress
on Gangs and it won't be long before those will
be makin' their way out of the nest and into the wide world as well.
On top of that, we've got Boom Town
development going in full swing and we're dreamin' up all sorts of crazy
steam-powered robot antics and beaverin' away to make them a reality. It's
going to be a fair while before Boom Town is ready for public consumption but
we promise to keep ya entertained between now and then with all sorts of good
In the meanwhile, good luck bringin' in them Outlaws and we'll see ya
'round the Sheriff's Office,
- Sheriff Mike
Fri, 22 Dec 2006
Year End Roundup
Howdy pardners! The end of the year is fast approachin' and we here at the
Triple-O Ranch are gettin' ready to take a short breather fer the holidays.
Before we head off, I wanted to give y'all a quick update on the state of
development and let ya know what you can look forward to in the New Year.
We done got the game launched a few weeks back and we're durn happy about
that. Since then we've been ironing out a few wrinkles that poked their head
up after beta and we've been workin' on a bunch of excitin' new features.
Upcoming New Features
I want to talk about Gangs which have been
mentioned around these parts once er twice before. I reckon I can give you a
few details on what that's going to invole at least to start.
- Once a player has been playin' the game fer a while (exact criterion will
be explained later), they'll be able to form their own Gang.
- Other players can join an existing Gang whenever they like, and indeed the
whole idea to have a bunch of people in a Gang, so lots of little Gangs won't
be as much fun as fewer larger Gangs.
- Players in a Gang can hang out and chat in their Gang's
Hideout. There they'll be able to browse their
Gang's info, see who's in their Gang, if they're online and where, when they
last logged on, that sort of thing.
- In the Hideout, Gang members will be able to check out their Gang's
private Top Ranked lists. So they can see who's
the best in their Gang in each of the different gameplay scenarios and
- In the Hideout they'll also be able to play Gang
Matches. In a Gang Match, players from different Gangs battle it out and
the winner of the game earns Gang Points for their Gang. Gang Points can later
be spent by the Gang Leaders to buy cool stuff for the Gang.
- Based on the accumulation of Gang Points during Gang Matches, Gangs will
also be ranked on a Gang Leaderboard so that you
can see how your Gang stacks up against the rest.
- Players in a Gang will also be able to pool their resources to buy fancy
Gang Outfits. There may even be special duds
that are only available to high ranking Gangs.
In addition to Gangs, we've been doing some work on
Tournaments and an exciting new feature we're
calling Bounties. You'll just have to wait until
after the holidays to hear more details about those 'cause old Sheriff Mike is
only good for details on one major new feature at a time and I just done
finished tellin' ya about Gangs.
We also shipped a little patch today to fix a few bugs and tidy up some
other bits. Here are the details on that:
- We added a "Waiting for players to connect" window during the very beginning
of a game where before ya sometimes had to stare at a black screen.
- We fixed some problems with picking up and dropping nuggets.
- We added a few new badges (play more games to figger out how to get 'em).
- We fixed the matchmaking code: it should now properly compare rankings and
not put you in a game with a player that's ranked much higher or lower than you
if you have "Near my rank" selected.
- If you are logged off due to being idle, or because your connection to our
server failed, or because the server rebooted, we now pop up a little window
telling you want happened and allowing you to easily restart the game and log
- We fixed a problem where Pardners could sneak into locked Back Parlors by
watchin' games and then clickin' Back to Parlor.
- We fixed some problems with Trains and the Engineer card. We also made the
Trains move a random number of spaces between 1 and 4 every tick instead of
just one. Watch out if yer standin' on them tracks!
- We now inform the players if tie breaker points were awarded at the end of
a game. Ties are normally broken by checking to see who did more damage during
the game, but if that's a tie too, we randomly assign an extra point to
determine the winner.
- We tweaked the Bonus point handling a bit. If you drop a Bonus to pick up
another one, you don't get any more points. We also lowerwed the points for the
Bonus Star to 25 from 50 because we reckoned 50 was too dang much. Ya also
don't get any points fer picking up a bonus that grants an influence to yer
unit (like Lucky Horseshoe) if yer unit already has an influence.
- We added the ability to register a complaint about another player if
they're being a dang pest. You can click on a player's avatar picture during
chat and select "Register complaint..." from the menu.
- There are no doubt various other bug fixes and tweaks that I'm fergettin'
so if there was somethin' buggin' ya before this release, give it another shot
and see if we ain't done fixed it.
Some of ya may have also noticed that we started doin' some advertisin' on
Penny Arcade. If yer a Penny Arcade
reader, then a fine Howdy to ya. We'll be doin' more advertisin' in the New
Year and hopefully you'll start seein' a heck of a lot more cowpokes turnin' up
That's about all I got to say to ya fer now pardners. It's late and even
the Sheriff has to sleep from time to time. Y'all be sure to enjoy yerselves
durin' the holidays and we'll do the same. Expect to see us back refreshed and
excited come the New Year.
Merry solstice to you and yours,
- Sheriff Mike
Tue, 28 Nov 2006
Howdy pardners! I've got a few bits to jaw at ya, and some details on a bug fix
patch that we put up today. Firstly the patch notes:
- If your computer gets too far behind in animating the moves (which happens
on computers with less powerful graphics accelerators), the game will stop
doing animations for a bit and just jump pieces into place to help you catch
- We changed a few of the Badges, mostly name
changes and image tweaks.
- We modified the Pardner Chat tabs so that
they'll maintain the history of your chat with yer pardner seamlessly if you
move between the Saloon and other places where the tabs are shown in a popup
- We added fancy new visual effects to Wendigo
Attack and dropped the number of Wendigo that are shown during an attack
to one to hopefully make things work better for computers with less powerful
- We now ignore players that have not played a scenario in the last two
weeks when computing the Top Ranked lists. You
got to keep playin' to hold onto yer title.
- We fixed a bunch of bugs: the coloring of the Battered Fox Skull Hat, a problem with changing your
Handle, a problem with the Thunderbird AI, a
problem with matchmaking with "Include previous towns" checked, a problem with
the Lightning Card and various others that would
require a heap o' technical jargon to explain.
The next thing I want to jabber about is the end of Beta. We're going to be
declaring Beta to be ended this Friday, December 1st at
High Noon (Pacific Standard Time).
What does this mean exactly? Well the main thing is that players are no
longer going to get a free ride to the Indian Trading
Post. They'll have to buy a ticket. But it also means that we're going
to be givin' out our Beta Tester Rewards, which
I reckon yer all going to enjoy. You'll be gettin':
- One free ticket to Indian Trading Post.
- One official Beta Tester Badge.
One thing to note is that everyone who registered and logged on during the
Beta will receive the Beta Tester Badge, but
only those players that played at least 20 Ranked
Games will receive the free ticket to Indian
Trading Post. We reckon that ya aught to have done yer job if yer gonna
get paid fer it.
So if ya got friends that ya think might like Bang!
Howdy, tell 'em to get their hide on over here and sign up fer the Beta
because it's their last chance to get a free ticket to ITP.
- Sheriff Mike
Thu, 02 Nov 2006
Welcome to the Indian Trading Post
Pardners, we're pleased as punch to announce that
Indian Trading Post is now available on the
public beta server. It's been a long road, but we're mighty happy with how it
all came together. We've introduced a pile of new stuff to the game.
There are three new Big Shot units:
- The Storm Caller attacks his opponents with
a bolt of lightning that chains to anyone unlucky enough to be standin' next to
- The Trickster Raven transforms from human
to raven form to fly from place to place around the board.
- The Revolutionary is an inspiration to his
team. He gives a 10% attack bonus to all allied ground units, and when he is
killed, all currently dead units on his team are immediately respawned to
There are four new stock units:
- The Dream Catcher attacks by flinging
nightmares at her target which cause them to run in terror, reset their
initiative and drain some of their health into the Dream Catcher.
- The Buffalo Rider rams her target with a
mighty buffalo. If she starts her attack from far enough away, she'll knock
them back into the next board space.
- The Thunderbird is our first
Spirit unit and has the ability to attack its
target on the way to its destination instead of moving first and then
- The Dog Soldier is a tank of a unit that
stakes himself into the ground to avoid being moved when attacked by the
Buffalo Rider or the Dream Catcher. He also gets a small additional attack on
every tick which damages all enemy units that are standing next to him.
There are three new gameplay scenarios:
- In Wendigo Attack the players battle it out
while trying to survive the onslaught of the deadly
Wendigo. Only by carrying a
Sacred Talisman or standing on a
Petroglyph of Protection can they avoid an icy
- In Totem Building players work to build the
most and the biggest Totem Poles using different
kinds of Totems that they pick up around the
- In Forest Guardians players cooperate
rather than compete and do battle against the dastardly
Logging Robots who wish to decimate the forests
to further the expansion of their
There are over a dozen new cards and bonuses
even more new badges
to be discovered.
We'll be workin' away to fix all the bugs that will no doubt be uncovered
now that all this new code is getting some serious use. In the meanwhile, enjoy
and we'll see ya down at the Big Bear Saloon,
- Sheriff Mike
Wed, 18 Oct 2006
Ridin' 'em In
We been out roundin' up them dogies for quite a while now and we reckon it's
just about time to ride 'em on in. We been fixin' bugs and polishin' up both
Frontier Town and the old
Indian Trading Post and we got some changes to
- We added a Character page to the Barber
where you 'kin pick which avatar poses should be used in which situations (like
yer Victory pose and yer Wanted Poster pose). You 'kin also use it to change
yer Handle if ya done picked a dud when ya first signed up.
- We redesigned the Saloon user interface to
make things a bit simpler and clearer.
- We finished up the Friendly Folks system so
now at the end of a game, you 'kin give yer opponents a thumbs up if ya like
'em real good and want to be matched with 'em again, or a thumbs down if they
bugged ya and ya don't ever want to be stuck in a game with 'em again.
- We fancied up the Badge display a bit so
that now it shows ya a shadow of Badges that ya ain't yet earned. But let it be
known that it don't show ya all the unearned Badges, just Badges from a series
that ya have at least one of already. There's plenty of surprises lurkin' in
- We also wired up some of the Card Packs in the General Store to be
unlocked by certain Badges. Most of y'all will probably already have 'em all
unlocked already but for a new player it'll add some fun and excitement when
they earn them Badges.
- We now display influence icons next to
units in the game when they have an influence (like
Hustle). We already had 'em in the
Unit Status display in the corner, but sometimes
it's hard to tear yer eyes away from the action long enough to look up
- We also now display a question mark over the head of a Unit when their
Advance Order is canceled because it is no longer valid. We'll also be adding a
question mark that lingers on their Unit Status display until the next time you
select the unit, but that didn't make it into this here release.
- We wired up the Ranking Levels, so now you
can see in yer Wanted Poster how well ya stack
up against the other cowpokes. The ranking order is: tenderfoot, cowpoke,
Scofflaw, Rebel, Law Breaker, BANDIT, OUTLAW, RENEGADE. We'll stick that list
somewhere that folks can easily find at some point.
- You 'kin click on the Cowpokes in the High Score
lists now and check out their Wanted
- We also added a bunch of fancy new particle effects and more great sound
On top of that, we done fixed so dang many bugs that I can hardly keep
count. A great big thanks to Sheriff Mark for his hard work on that front.
As I mentioned at the start of this here ramble, we can finally see the
light at the end of the tunnel and we're dang close to lettin' y'all head on
over to the Indian Trading Post. Here's a
screenshot of a new gameplay mode called Wendigo
Keep yer ears peeled and if all goes according to plan, the next thing ya
hear from me will be "Welcome to the Indian Tradin' Post!"
- Sheriff Mike