First off, I hope everyone is staying healthy out there. These are strange times.
I’ve been working on a few aspects of There Will Be Ink, many of which are out today in the new update, live now on Steam and itch.io. In addition to that, TWBI is 30% off until Monday, March 30th! Perhaps the biggest feature of this update is friendly fire. I’m also happy to have finally added a Flamethrower unit to the game. I’m still working out the balance, but so far it is a pretty fun unit. Explosions now set any resulting corpses on fire, which in turn can spread fire to units, trees, and buildings, and fire can spread between all of those as well. It adds a nice bit of colour to the game, and such much fire of course!
Aside from that, I’ve been working on some new campaign missions and deciding where to go with that. I will likely wait until the new campaign is complete (or nearly so) before releasing it. In addition to the Flamethrower, I’ve been working on alternate versions of Rifle, Assault, and Sniper units. As there are no new campaign missions, you’ll need to fire up the map editor or use Quick Battle to create a random skirmish in order to take the Flamethrower for a spin. Quick Battle has been spruced up a little (details in the changelog below), and there is now a slider for rivers for further customization. I’ve laid down a new music track, called “The Frantic March”, which I feel is not quite finished but which I’ve included to freshen up the existing soundtrack a little. Other new features include new stats for “Deaths Avenged”, “Comrades Destroyed”, and “Friendly Fire Deaths”, along with a new badge for the player with the most deaths avenged. Some balance changes have been made, such as adjusting the movement speed for Rifle, Assault, and Sniper units. Abilities on the Barracks page can now be de-selected to have ability points refunded, effectively allowing for unit respec. In Hardcore Mode, instead of enemy spawn rates being doubled, friendly spawn rates are halved. This makes things a little less chaotic and puts more emphasis on player survival than just kill count.
That’s right! Now you’ve got to watch where you’re shooting (or not). Friendly fire is enabled by default in Sim mode but can be toggled in the Options page if it’s not to your liking. It doesn’t shift the balance or difficulty to any great degree but adds another level and some fun stats to compare at the end of a match. The AI mostly avoids friendly fire, but not so much that they don’t occasionally make mistakes. Snipers are at an advantage, that their rounds will not hit friendly units, even when Friendly Fire is enabled. Friendly fire is always disabled in Arcade mode and always enabled in Hardcore mode.
The new flamethrower unit is maybe about what you would expect, but there are some details to keep in mind. Flames will pass through cover objects, like trees, rocks, and sandbags, but range will be affected in such cases. Flames do less damage as they near their range, but they have a good chance of catching units and buildings on fire, which will continue to do burn damage over time. Walking into a body of water will quickly put out a fire! Flamethrowers explode in a fireball upon death and leave a scorch mark on the battlefield.
New Features & Content
- Added new game mechanic: Friendly Fire
- Always off in Arcade mode, always on in Hardcore, and can be toggled for Sim mode (on Options page)
- Added new unit: Flamethrower!
- Added new music track: The Frantic March
- Units can now catch and spread fire
- Fire can be spread between units (dead or alive), trees, and buildings
- Added stat: Deaths Avenged
- Added stat: Comrades Destroyed
- Added stat: Friendly Fire Deaths (displayed in parentheses next to total deaths)
- Added new badge: Vengeance Award (player with most deaths avenged)
Changes & Enhancements
- Quick Battle: Added “Rivers” slider to Quick Battle (allows to cycle between no river and 3 variations)
- Quick Battle: Building placement now varies somewhat on the x plane
- Quick Battle: Trees generated now include variations 3 & 4
- Quick Battle: “Rocks” slider renamed to “Cover” and now generates logs as well as rocks
- Quick Battle: Tree & Cover sliders now show between 0 and 10 of their object type based on slider value
- Balance: Changed Hardcore Mode so that friendly unit spawn time is doubled instead of enemy spawn time halved
- Abilities on the Barracks page can now be deselected, in which case ability points are refunded (ie ability respec)
- Updated AI to avoid friendly fire (when enabled)
- Sniper rounds only hit enemy units (eg. when friendly fire is enabled)
- Players can now cycle end-of-battle stat pages independently
- “Battle Efficiency” stat now takes “Comrades Destroyed” stat into account
- Balance: Reversed move speed of Assault & Rifle Infantry (Assault now faster)
- Balance: Reduced move speed of sniper
- Engineers can now only defuse one mine at a time
- Added keyboard quick-select keys for Zaponeer (8) and Flamethrower (9)
- Increased the corpse object rotation speed of units killed by explosions, why not
- Added confirmation sound when saving a map in the Map Editor
- Enemies Killed By Mine stat now properly tracks whether mine layer is currently alive/player-controlled or not
- Same fix for grenade kills
- Fixed bug where campaigns made with Campaign Editor were not advancing past second mission
- Fixed bug where mine defusing didn’t work when the other team had an engineer present
- Quick Battle: Trees will no longer appear over HQ or ammo crates
- Quick Battle: Ammo crate can no longer appear over buildings and should generally be in a more visible space
- Fixed crash bug that occurred when playing map with parachuting Zaponeer where Zaponeer jetpack has not been unlocked
- Fixed (for real this time) bug where units killed by RPG were not animated properly
- Getting vengeance reward now clears “reloading” state of weapon if reloading
- Fixed bug where bullet+ GUI sprites (when ammo is > 100) were drawn at double scale
- Fixed bug where MCODES were being added to subsequently loaded maps in the Map Editor