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Community Question: Restoring Team Balance

Thanks everyone who posted suggestions for Community-based Community Questions! One that immediately piqued our interest came from Humate and concerns the small and yet precarious matter of balanced teams. Playing in a match that has significantly more players on Team A than on Team B isn't fun for anyone, so we'd like to get your thoughts on the following this week:

What's the best way to rebalance teams that have wildly different amounts of players on them?

We've assembled a few of the most common things in the poll for this week's Community Question. Please cast your vote for your favourite or, if none of them seem adequate, suggest all-new ways of tackling this age-old multiplayer problem. We look forward to your suggestions!

Paul Wedgwood Joins Ukie Board, Will Help Shape Ukie Policy

Splash Damage's Executive Chairman and WarChest CEO Paul Wedgwood has been elected to the Board of UK games industry trade body Ukie. Ukie is dedicated to turning the UK into the best place to develop and publish games, and as a Board member, Paul will help shape what Ukie does for the UK's games industry. The Board also includes SCE MD Fergal Gara, Eidos's Life President Ian Livingstone OBE, and Sports Interactive's Miles Jacobson OBE. Here's what Paul had to say about his appointment:

"I’m absolutely delighted to be appointed to the Ukie Board. UK based developers and publishers are leading the transition to digital distribution and I’m looking forward to helping Ukie shape the UK into the best possible environment for creating digital entertainment."

You can find the full list of Ukie Board Members here, and there's plenty about Ukie 's mission to be had over here. Congratulations, Paul!

Get Early Access to RAD Soldiers!

RAD Soldiers is now available in a handful of countries, including Canada and Scandinavia, but what if you live elsewhere and can't wait to get your fingers on the game? If that's you, we've got good news! We're giving away 50 early access tokens that'll allow you to play RAD Soldiers before it's available worldwide, and they include that special scent of exclusivity.

To enter our giveaway, head on over to the RAD Soldiers page and throw your hat in the virtual ring before 29 September. Good luck!

RAD Soldiers expands to Scandinavia, Ireland, and New Zealand with Big Update

Following its Canadian debut, RAD Soldiers has just been released in several additional countries, including Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and New Zealand! If you live in one of these countries and have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you can download RAD Soldiers right now!

We’ve also just released a huge update for RAD Soldiers, addressing much of the feedback we've had from players, and adding several new features and improvements. For a detailed look at all the new goodness, check out this juicy blog update over at WarChest.

RAD Soldiers Update: Canada, Front-end Menus and Release

RAD Soldiers has been in limited release in Canada for two months to thoroughly test its proprietary multiplayer back-end to make sure it’s ready for a worldwide audience. Ever since launching in Canada, the RAD Soldiers-focused corner of the internet has been alight with the following questions: How long does it take to test these things, and when will RAD Soldiers reach the rest of the world?

A shiny new blog update over at WarChest addresses both of the questions and reveals what the RAD Soldiers team has been up to recently. It's a delightful mix of unforeseen issues and brand-new game features - if you're looking forward to RAD Soldiers, give it a read!

Community Question: Powering Class Abilities

Community, all of our games have featured special abilities that are usually tied to the combat role you've selected. Be it the Medic's health packs or the Lieutenant's airstrike marker, these abilities are usually limited in some fashion to prevent them being spammed. For example, we've had energy meters that would slowly replenish. Another popular approach is to have each ability on a separate cooldown timer, so using one ability doesn't preclude you from firing off another. What we'd like to know from you today is if you have a preferred approach for how abilities are powered in our games:

In a multiplayer shooter, how should your character's special / class abilities be powered?

Cast your vote in this week's Community Question poll and do let us know in the comments why you think your preferred approach is the way to go. We look forward to your replies!

Community Question: Spread vs. Recoil

Guns! They're a big part of shooters and, one might argue, the main characters you interact with. But how does one differentiate similar weapons from one another to make every single one a meaningful addition to the arsenal? Beyond obvious things like rate of fire, the two main protagonists we're looking at here are spread (increasing/decreasing the cone of fire based on distance to target) and recoil (kickback exhibited by the weapon while firing it). This brings us to this week's community question:

What's your preferred way of differentiating weapons of the same type in a shooter?

Please cast your vote in this week's Community Question poll and do share any thoughts you have on the issue in the comments. We look forward to your replies! Pew.

Sign-ups Open for First RAD Soldiers Tournament Ever!

RAD Soldiers is currently in limited release in the frozen kingdom of Canada, and to celebrate, TrackBase has organised the first RAD Soldiers tournament ever. Sign-ups for the tournament are now open and will run until 10th August. Proceedings will kick off after with group stage matches followed by a knock-out phase.

If you've been playing RAD Soldiers, sign up now and enter the tournament - it promises to be great turn-based fun and you might even get to play against some of the folks who helped make RAD Soldiers.

New RAD Soldiers Update Adds Push Notifications

Those of you that are part of our Canadian RAD Soldiers stress test can now download a new game update for RAD Soldiers, adding push notifications. If you choose to enable them, you'll now get a notification when Important Things Happen, including:

  • You receive a turn back from your opponent
  • A new multiplayer challenge arrives
  • A challenge you've sent has been accepted
  • One of your matches is going to expire shortly
  • One of your matches has ended

In other words, with notifications enabled, you'll now know the instant one of your games is ready for your tactical brain-thoughts, which should make playing matches faster and more efficient than before.

To update the game, you'll need to be signed into the iTunes account you used to download it in the first place. Once you've done that, just head to the App Store and check out the Updates tab.

Do you have any suggestions for how to improve RAD Soldiers? Post them up in the comments or in our feedback forum!

Things You Were Too Afraid to Ask: Laurens 'Xoliul' C.

Jubilations! We've got a brand-new staff interview for you today, shining our very inquisitive spotlight on Laurens, the only certified Belgian in the office. You may remember Laurens as the man behind the awesomely fantastic Brink Nerf Gun from a few months ago - turns out he works on video games, too. As one of our Technical Artists, Laurens is the vital glue between artists and programmers, ensuring there's nothing standing in the way of awesome art for our games. Here's a slice from Laurens's interview:

Why did you want to work in the games industry and how did you get started?

I guess I never really grew up and still prefer to play with and build guns, tanks and little soldiers, things just got a bit more advanced as I got older. I used to build a lot of little models and gradually moved on to doing this in 3D on the computer, being shown basic 3DS Max when I tried Architecture in university helped a lot. I also fiddled with game config files when I was younger, it was fun to tweak numbers and experience the results ingame. I ended up studying “games” in Belgium. I was one of the first people to ever graduate from that course.

To find out more about Laurens's work here at Splash Damage, his tips for breaking into the industry, his Dopefish nightmares, and much more, read the full interview.