There Will Be Ink – Beta 9 – Heroes, Mountain Biome, Night Missions

Hello there! There Will Be Ink, Beta 9, is live now on Steam and itch. There are some neat new features this time around, which I cover in a little more detail below. Check out the full change list at the end of the post for some smaller additions, changes, and fixes. TWBI is also on sale right now until March 7th as part of Steam’s Remote Play Together Sale. Check it out! I’ll likely be doing a coop stream at some point right on the Steam store page. Keep an eye on the Steam page or Twitter account for further details about that.


At the end of a campaign battle, there is a chance that each surviving unit will be promoted to a “Hero”. That chance is increased by the unit’s rank/xp, and there can be a maximum of ten living heroes at any one time. Heroes are given names and persist between battles within a given campaign. When selecting a mission, active heroes can be deployed from the top of the mission select page:

There Will Be Ink Beta 9 Hero Deployment

By default, active heroes at the end of a battle will be automatically deployed on the next battle if you continue directly to the next mission. This can be disabled in Gameplay Options. Heroes can die just like any other unit (though, instead of instant death, their health is reduced by 90% if hit by lighting), but they can be ranked beyond the “one star general” rank up to a four star rank. Ranking up grants bonuses to such things as accuracy, speed, stamina, ammo capacity, and evasion. Heroes don’t replace any existing units in a given mission, so they can be very helpful additions during some of the more difficult battles. For balance reasons I’ve disabled them on a couple campaign missions. I have some ideas for ways to expand the Heroes mechanic, but for now I want to get a feel for this basic implementation. If you’d like to add your own names to the pool of possible hero names, just add one name per line to “HeroNamesFirst.txt” and “HeroNamesLast.txt”, located at “%localappdata%\ThereWillBeInk\Units\”. (To overwrite the existing pool, add hNamesLast.txt and hNamesFirst.txt)

There Will Be Ink Beta 9 Mountain Pass


The new mountain biome, for lack of a better word, includes a couple of unique features: First, it is often snowing in these levels, and snowy weather now reduces movement speed by 25%. Second, there is a new, impassible mountain terrain type. The terrain features look like little mountain peaks, and units cannot walk over them or shoot through them (unless they have a jetpack!). Before this new terrain type, there wasn’t really any unit pathfinding, for the most part, so it took some time to sort that out and to get the AI to behave properly around mountains. Mountains are present in the new campaign missions as well as in the Campaign Generator and Quick Battle setup as a terrain type. There are likely still some kinks to smooth out with mountains, which I’ll keep an eye out for.

There Will Be Ink Beta 9 Mountains

Night Missions

In addition to one of the new campaign missions, Campaign Generator and Quick Battle missions now have a slight chance of being night missions. During those battles, the level will be mostly dark except around friendly buildings and in the direction that friendly units are facing. Units will be in full stealth until seen by a nearby enemy or if they fire their weapon. After becoming exposed, a unit can run and hide and recover their stealthy state.

There Will Be Ink Beta 9 Night Mission

Up Next

You may notice that the version number is now up to 0.9. You would be correct to assume that version 1.0 is not too far away! There are a couple campaign mission-specific mechanics I’d still like to implement, but otherwise my focus will be on finishing the campaign, improving and expanding existing systems, adding missing art and sounds, and just a lot of general tuning and polishing. I have a lot of ideas beyond that, but I’d first like to see There Will Be Ink in finished, 1.0 form before letting the scope creep any further. Stop by the Discord if you have any feedback or questions, and for more details on the update, check out the full change list below!


New Features & Content

  • Heroes – At the end of each battle, there is a chance for a “Hero” to emerge. Heroes persist across battles (but can die like any other unit), have names, and continue to rank up
  • Mountains – Includes impassable mountain terrain (new art, pathfinding, AI) – added as new CamGen and Quick Battle biome plus new missions and new terrain group in Map Editor
  • Night Missions – Can only see what friendly units can see; firing weapon blows cover for a period – rare chance for CamGen/QB missions to be night missions
  • Three new mountain campaign missions: “Becraggled”, “The Darkness, The Blackness”, “The Pass”
  • Added volume sliders for effect and music volume
  • Added new menu music

Changes & Enhancements

  • Changed “Surrender” to “Retreat” – units flee towards the edge of the map
    • Still counts unit progress/xp and also allows for Heroes to emerge
  • Speed bonus granted per rank reduced from 15% to 8%
  • Snow missions now reduce movement by 25%
  • All bullets now cast shadows and follow height mechanics when shooting at or from a height
  • Desert missions now reduce stamina regen by 50%
  • Increased max missions for CamGen from 30 to 36
  • Reduced base life of StickMan boss by 500 (~17%)
  • Recoil no longer changes aim direction for gamepad controls
  • HMG has less recoil/aim error but uses new “aim lag” mechanic, so it’s more accurate but slower/harder to aim
  • Units who kill a Hero unit display “H” above vengeance icon; killing those units grants an instant promotion (if below rank 4)
  • Added colour-coding for “Official” (green) and “Legacy” (olive) campaigns during campaign selection
  • As with mouse aiming, gamepad aiming now displays faint cursor for intended aim and dark cursor for actual aim
  • Added stat to track buildings destroyed
  • End-of-battle notifications now have a backing, use a more readable font, and take longer to fade away
  • Made slider button slightly opaque
  • Optimized code related to detecting hostile projectiles and avoiding friendly fire
  • Optimized calculation of target distance in many cases
  • CamGen: Made beach defense missions (hopefully) less difficult
  • Units will no longer try to access ammo crates that are not yet onscreen (ie parachuting)
  • Default menu option when starting a new game is now “Campaign”

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed reload speeds all being the same (and too quick in most cases)
  • Fixed sandbag and mine detector not properly working
  • Fixed missing tanks in “C’est L’A(r)mour” and “All in a Line”
  • Fixed shotgun and pistol possibly not working
  • Fixed sights resetting when swapping weapons
  • Fixed rare crash bug related to flanking
  • Fixed issue where things like paratroopers and landing ships would continue to spawn when game is paused
  • Fixed issue where units sometimes wouldn’t stay still when raising flags
  • Units should no longer go offscreen when finding a clear shot or flanking
  • Fixed issue where tanks and creatures (ie worms) were causing map loading issues
  • Fixed unit speed between player- and AI-controlled units being inconsistent
  • Fixed jetpack walk/fly speeds being inconsistent
  • Removed debug text from StickMan boss (oops!)
  • Fixed jetpack unit heads & legs separating during takeoff & landing
  • Fixed rare hang bug related to crates dropping near players at the edge of the map
  • Fixed rank icon alignment issue
  • Fixed some Tutorial 2 bugs

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