Archive for December, 2010

All About Enemies

Bubble Tanks University

Since Bubble Tanks 3′s release we’ve gotten a lot of questions regarding enemies such as:

  • Why can’t I find the enemies I made?
  • How does the game choose which enemies show up?
  • When does the game find new enemies on the server?
  • How does the game stay balanced?

In this article I’ll run through all of these questions  and explain how the whole enemy thing works as well as provide you with all you need to make Enemies that are frequently found and used.  Very soon we are going to start featuring some user created tanks so we are excited to see some amazing tanks of all types!

The Big Question: Why can’t I find my own tanks?

The answer has to do with game balancing.  Essentially what happens is as you are swimming around the game says “I need a fighter enemy” or “I need a mini boss”.  These unit types are at the heart of how BT3 balances the game and chooses enemies for you to fight against.  When you enter a bubblefield the game might look for 3 units of a DeadHead type, a 2 units of a Small Fighter type, and 1 unit of an Early Heavy type.  It are these types that allow the game to pull in the appropriate enemies at the right time- you don’t want to end up with 4 mini bosses or 3 heavy units every bubblefield at the start of the game.

Once it knows what types of units it wants you to fight, the game has to do two things: 1) know how to tell the difference between a fighter and a heavy tank and 2) know where to get these tanks, from your local machine, the server, or elsewhere.

The answer to item #1 is Unit Definitions.  Each unit type has a definition that tells the game exactly what constitutes that type, and it is VERY specific.  For example, the Small Fighter type is designated as a class 1 tank with difficulty either 1 or 2, exactly 1 gun point, speed of 1.9 to 3.5, 15% or less bubble complexity, returns 2 to 5 bubbles, and has 4 to 8 life.

BT3 Tanks

These guys look tough!

That’s pretty clear to the game what it is looking for and unless you make a tank that fits all those exact properties, you didn’t make a Small Fighter.  That’s okay though, because we have a number of different unit types and for the most part there is a unit type for everything.  But you didn’t want to make a Small Fighter anyways did you?  Who cares about a little Dead Head?  Not you.

Although there are a TON of really cool enemy tanks made by players on the server, over 75% of them have a difficulty rating of 8 or greater.  There are only 4 unit types that have a difficulty in that range: Super Fighters, Very Heavies, Fighter Mini Bosses, and Heavy Mini Bosses.  And you have to go far out to see all of those (at least 20 or so bubblefields out), and when you do, the game only needs so many of them.

The number #1 reason players don’t find their created tanks is because they make tanks that are too difficult.

So there you go!  Most players are out to make the most awesome killer tank ever that destroys EVERYONE.  That’s awesome.  But the problem is that you often make enemies that the game finds too difficult.  You know what the game wants a lot of?  Small Fighters.  Early Heavies.

Alright, so the game knows what makes up a Small Fighter.  The next thing the game needs to know is where to get the tanks from.  Based on your selections at the start of the game, that will determine where the game looks first.

If you want to increase the likelihood of seeing your tanks, select Local Tanks ONLY.

Because there are a number of pre-built tanks that are local as well, this does not guarantee you’ll see your units, but it makes it FAR more likely because the game won’t pull tanks off the server.  If you make a Light Heavy and you only have 4 tanks that fit that unit type, you have a 1 out of 4 chance instead of the server’s chance of picking your tank out of hundreds.

BT3 Editor

You can edit some settings via the Enemy Info tab.

Additionally, we’ve done more to make it so that users tanks can come into the game.  If you select your source to be any type other than just Hero Interactive Tanks only, the game adds a number of unit types such as Open Fighter and Open Heavy.  The definitions for these types are much more lax so more user created stuff can fit them, but it does make the game slightly less balanced.

Finally, how often does the game find new tank types?  There are two triggers: 1) distance outward and 2) total bubblefields traversed.   Most of the triggers to do a search are based on you moving outwards.  We don’t bother loading up Very Heavy tanks when you are within the first 5 Bubblefields, that would be a waste.  We also do searches as you keep moving, so even if you spiral, you’ll eventually see some new easy types.

Is this system perfect? Definitely not.  It’s got a lot that can be improved.  We definitely need a way for players to test out their enemies and that’s on our to-do list.

Want to know what the definitions are for all of the standard types?  You can download the OpenOffice file below:

DOWNLOAD ENEMY DEFINITIONS (Microsoft Excel)

DOWNLOAD ENEMY DEFINITIONS (OpenOffice)

GO TO OpenOffice.org

Happy Holidays!

Whelp, everyone here is getting ready for the Christmas holidays and are heading out. Hopefully, we should have another decent sized update for Bubble Tanks 3 next week. In this next update we are planning on addressing some of the bugs and lag issues. Additionally, we are looking to make the game auto-save every time you change your tank. Instead of the “Continue from last won game” option at the start, you’ll have the option of continuing with the tanks from your last game regardless of where you were.

We will still be uploading new tanks over this holiday break.

We are also looking to the future with Parts Pack #2! I’d say the theme of PP1 was “Locking”, this new Parts Pack will center around chargeable weapons: the longer you charge the weapon the more devastation it will cause when unleashed. We also have a lot of really cool enemy weapons planned (Electric bubbles and so on). Stay tuned.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Big Update – Version 1.02.3 is LIVE!

Alright everyone, version 1.02.3 is now LIVE on ArmorGames.com!  You can see the version number of the game you are playing in the top right corner of the menu screen.  If it’s not right, just do a full refresh.

This new version lets you continue from a game where you have beat the final boss (won), edit your tank at any time, and it allows you to toggle “All Tanks” at startup which will GREATLY increase the amount of user created enemies you will see.

You have to beat the game with this update in order to continue the game next time.  Sorry, but we can’t go back in time to see what tanks you used when you last won. :)

Big Update to Come Out Monday

Alright everyone, the update we were going to push out today is being pushed back to Monday. Here’s why: we are making it bigger and it’s including more.

Version 1.02.1 will come out on the 20th. Included:

If you beat the game, it saves your tank tree. You can leave, come back, and load up your tank tree starting at the max tier with your biggest tank. You are still placed at the center bubblefield.

Whenever you are in a bubblefield that has no enemies in it, you can edit your tank. In other words, you can level up at any time. Doing so though makes you restart that tier, so if you were halfway to upgrading you have to earn that again with your new tank.

There will be a new checkbox at the start of the game called “All Tanks”. This will make it MUCH more likely to get user created content, but the game will be slightly less balanced and you won’t be as sure what you’ll get.

And other bug fixes.

Today we added some new tanks to the game!

Seeeee you Monday!

BUG REPORT – Game won’t move past loading screen.

The following bug has been reported:

For some players, the game loads to 100%, they click continue, and then the game doesn’t do anything.

This bug has been moved to the top of our list and we will be addressing it first thing tomorrow morning.  Thanks everyone for the heads up.

BUG REPORT – Game crashes after logging in to unlock your Parts Pack

Some players have reported that when they went to log in to unlock their parts pack today, the game crashed and they got something messed up: see below…

This is because we made an update today and your browser is still using the old version of the game.  To fix it, all you should have to do is clear your browser cache and/or make sure that you are doing a full refresh of the page and downloading the latest version of the game. If you see the game downloading and the preloader is incrementing through the downloaded percentage, you know you are getting it fresh.

Game Update 1.01.1

We have just made an update to the game!

This version includes bug fixes, a new animated Hero Interactive logo, and more.

Also today we added 10 new enemies and 5 new avatars.

Tomorrow will be another update including the ability to edit your tank in between upgrades!

Email Server Was Down – Now is Up!

Hi everyone,

Due to the large influx of players and new accounts our email server went down a couple of hours ago.  We immediately began working on it with our service provider and now the problem should finally be resolved.  We received all of your comments about no confirmation email and that helped us to jump on this asap!

Just to make sure, we have re-sent everyone a brand spanking new confirmation email with their code to activate their account.  You’ll know if you were one of the ones affected by this problem if you receive this email.  It ends with:

******************************************************************************************
Please Note: Due to the large influx of new users, we have experienced some down time with our email system which should now be fixed.  This is a re-sending of youroriginal email in case you did not get it.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

******************************************************************************************
Everyone should have received this email if they were waiting to activate and this should get them in.
Thanks everyone for your patience while we worked this out!

Bubble Tanks 3 is RELEASED!

BT3 is Live!

Bubble Tanks 3 is finally out on ArmorGames! GO PLAY BUBBLE TANKS 3!

Bubble Tanks 1 was designed around some simple concepts: make a game that 1) allowed you to grow, 2) explore and constantly experience new things, and 3) choose your difficulty as you play by deciding how far out you want to go. Bubble Tanks 3 is the completion of that vision- New tanks will stream into your game seamlessly in the background creating a new experience and adventure each and every game.

I can’t begin to tell you how much blood and sweat went into this game, but I can sum it up best with a story about our team member Jason. This past Sunday Jason was driving 2 hours from his girlfriend’s place to come in to work. Michigan is very cold, and his truck hit a patch of ice and he rolled the truck over. He was upside down for 10 minutes until the police and medics could cut him out of his truck. He was alright, no scratches or bruises somehow, so when the medic asked him where to drop him off, instead of the hospital he said “Hero Interactive so I can work on Bubble Tanks!” I tell you this for two reasons: 1) God saved Jason so he could bring you this game. 2) That’s how hard we ALL worked on it.

Every month we are creating a brand new Parts Pack that can be purchased. These packs include 20 or more brand new parts, new enemies, avatars, and other features. Our goal is to release a new pack each month, that means a year from now the game could have a jaw dropping additional 240 new parts and features! Combine that with what’s in there now, and you’ll have more Bubble Tanks than you could ever hope for.

Bubble Tanks 3 is infinite experiences.

We hope you all enjoy it!