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Why we’re closing www.ProjectTilt.com and slowly moving away from the web version

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Holodrive has now been on Steam for over a month, and this is a new big era for us in BitCake Studio! We’re enjoying it a lot, hope you guys are as well 🙂

Steam has always been our goal and a dream, and the web was an AWESOME way of getting there and building a community at the same time. With the web version we gathered more than 800k player accounts, LOTS of player feedback, made the game change so much for the better, and made lots of friends. The best about developing a game in the open like that was that we could see people’s reactions to what we were building, and it actually mattered for some of them. That’s the best thing ever!

That being said, we always loved having the game on the web – even though there’s a LOT of prejudice around it – and we would keep it there for as long as possible if we could. But circumstances aren’t always what we want, and the events of the past year have made it pretty unpractical for us to keep the web version going.

First, Google Chrome blocked some plugins, including the Unity Webplayer.

If you started playing Project Tilt a while ago, you probably remember that around April last year, it started getting really hard to play the game on Chrome. Until in September it wasn’t possible anymore.  A lot of our players moved to Firefox and loyally kept playing, but that stroke us pretty hard. Even so, we took our time and launched on Steam only when we were ready, and I believe it was the right choice.

Unity offers a solution, and that is porting the game to WebGL, a new technology that runs on a browser without the needs of a plugin. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t work for us.

WebGL has been around for a while and it got a LOT better in the next few versions. Still, from what we tested so far it’s still not enough to run Holodrive. The development process is not so smooth, the build sizes are much bigger, and overall the technology still has some limitations that we can’t overcome right now. Maybe in the future we will be able to make a WebGL build and publish it, but for now it’s not possible, and the tendency is actually that Holodrive will become more and more complex with time – we’re adding more art with modern graphics, more game modes, etc – and it might not be possible at all.

Lastly, Unity has announced that it won’t support the Unity WebPlayer anymore, starting on its next update.

So, if we want to keep using the most updated Unity version, we can’t export to the web. That’s a big blow, too. We would love to keep publishing to the web, but giving up updates on the software we use is very hard – we use a lot of features in Unity and every new version brings fixes and improvements to the tools we use daily. In the short-term it’s not a big problem, but in the long-run, for a game that is still in development, and in Early Access, it’s terrible.

So, after a lot of thought, we decided we’ll have to step away from the web sometime soon.

We’re doing it slowly, though, and we’re gonna wait until the game is bigger on Steam before we do that. A lot of people are still getting the Steam version through the waitlist and we’re working on some major changes for the future. A lot is still to come!

Our first step will be to close the www.ProjectTilt.com website, and this will happen in about two weeks, on June 14. A lot less people play on Projecttilt.com  than on the facebook version, and even the name of the game is not right on this website anymore. Closing the site will also make it easier for the team to release newer versions, since making builds for many different websites + Steam takes a lot of time. The Facebook version will still be live and updated for a while, at least until we have made the game bigger on Steam.

We hope you guys understand the change and why it’s important for the future of the game, and don’t be mad at us. As always, we just want to make Holodrive bigger and better, and we’re working hard for that. The Steam version is where the real action is happening right now, and we want all of you there, together with us <3

P.S.: Don’t forget:  if you still don’t have a Steam Key, you can subscribe to get one here or you can buy the Supporter Pack here.

With love,

The BitCake Studio Team

See you guys in game!

A new name revealed!

By | General | One Comment

So here we are again, last time we talked about our new beginning. How Project Tilt has changed and will change in the coming months for the Steam release. Last time we said we were gonna change the name of the game, but we didn’t actually share the new name. This time we’re going to dive deep into the subject and actually announce what the game is going to be called in the future! HYPED? We are!

Remember this?

Remember this?

Project Tilt

In the beginning there was Project Tilt, and there was a reason for that. It was a name that we came up with that told players the game was a work in progress and it was going to evolve over time. Tilt was also an easy name to remember, but the main reason why we chose it was because in Brazil the word Tilt is used to refer to something that broke or has stopped working. This definition of the word came from pinball tables, when you tilted them they stopped working and the word TILT would light up indicating this state. In the game robots were trying to break each other, trying to make each other “Tilt”. But this is not a very common use of the word outside of our country nowadays, so in the end the name loses part of its meaning.

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A new name? Why?

Ok, so we decided to change it. Let’s start by explaining a bit better why we felt the need to do so at all. As we said in the last post, Project Tilt was always a “project” name. We came up with it very early on so we could better explain what we were making and also have something to call our game. We didn’t put much thought behind choosing this name, because we just wanted to share it with people and see what the reaction was, we didn’t even have a plan for the story of the game yet. Although we know some of you really like the name, we ultimately felt that we shouldn’t keep using a project name until the end.

First of all it’s a very bad thing to have PROJECT in your name because it denotes a sentiment of something that’s still being made, still in its infancy – not ready. For instance, Kinect was called Project Natal (a placeholder name like ours) before it had a real name, so people would have something to call it but at the same time know that it wasn’t ready yet.

Another thing is, nothing in the game actually Tilts. A lot of games nowadays, especially mobile games, use the accelerometer in some mechanics, in which the players has to “tilt” the phone to play. When we showed our game, we actually had people saying things like: “oh yeah, I can see this thing tilting” as if we were going to add some tilting mechanic to the game at some point.

“Tilting” also means “choking”, or getting so nervous you can’t make decisions properly. This term is very often used in Poker or other competitive games. We actually thought this would be a cool meaning we could utilize, since our game is so frantic like the robots are not thinking. We had lots of cool ideas using the word “tilt” or “tilt mode”, but after some research we realized the term is too intrinsic to poker already.

If you search Tilt or Tilt Game or Play Tilt you’ll find a bunch of poker games or other media that are not related to our genre, which could be kinda confusing. So, in terms of SEO, the word Tilt is not an easy one to work with. We would have trouble building more web presence with it.

We also know that by changing our name we are actually making our current Google results “irrelevant”, so that also defeats the point. The thing is we don’t have so many pages, we still don’t have a proper game website (only a company one), and even though we have many articles about the game spread around the web, we can still redirect all our old links to new ones.

So we wanted to move on and choose a final name, a name that fits, that seems like ready for primetime, a name that people could connect with, an unique name that people would easily find out there.

So we’ve chosen…

HOLODRIVE-LOGO

What is a Holodrive? Holodrive is a Holographic computer made by Holocorp, designed to be an interface of communication between you and your robotic best friend, Dummy!

Do you know the machine that you use to open Holopacks? That’s your alpha Holodrive! The Holodrive is your holographical storage drive, everything regarding your Dummy robot is kept safe in this personal device. Whenever you open your Album to check your collection of customization stickers and your performance indicators you’re actually accessing the Holodrive’s interface. All this data is stored there so whenever your Dummy explodes in battle you can safely rematerialize it and keep destroying your opponents.

But how and why did we choose this name? I’m going to tell you something… It wasn’t easy coming up with it. As we developed the game during the past three years, the thought of changing the name never left our minds. We knew we had to do it sooner rather than later, but it was never a priority. Now we feel that the time is right for the game to be reborn as Holodrive.

One of the main things we had to do in order to find the name we liked was coming up with a backstory of the game. What are the character motivations, what’s the world they live in like, who is the robot you control, who made it and things like that. This has not only guided us in finding the name, but also helped us in the shaping of our new environment art (coming in the Steam version). Now we know why things are where they are, who put them there are why are the robots (Dummys) fighting all the time!

So, when are we going to change the name? What is going to change for you who’s playing on the web? For now, nothing. We will change the name of the game alongside the launch of the Steam version!

Signup for the Beta

Steam? Good news!

And speaking of Steam we have some good news!

Now that we’ve announced the new name we can start sending keys for you, our most hardcore players, to try the game on Steam before its release!

All you have to do is click here and fill the form with your real e-mail! If you’re one of the lucky players, you’ll receive a Beta key to play Holodrive before everyone and will help us shape the game to be the best it can before the official release! Remember that keys are limited, so hurry up and register!

SIGN UP FOR THE STEAM BETA!

It’s Easter in Tilt!

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Hey guys, we’d like to wish you a HAPPY EASTER!
And to celebrate we’re doing a huge sale! Check it out:

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A FREE GIFT FOR EVERYONE

Log in to the game at anytime from now to April 8 to get a free Bunny Ears hat!

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DOUBLE BITS IN EVERY PURCHASE

Everyone who buys bits now – and all the way to April 8 – will get double the number of bits they would usually get!

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EXCLUSIVE BOX BUNNY SET

We’re also making our first exclusive sale set! For only a limited time, you will be able to buy a special pack that comes with the full Box Bunny set, and also a few holopacks and legacypacks!

Here is another image of our new set:

Box Bunny Set

Our first season-exclusive promotional set! What do you think about it? 🙂

And here is a short making of we made of the process of creating this set:

Box Bunny Making of

Box Bunny Making of

Tools, a developer best friends

By | General, Programming | 8 Comments

Olá galera, eu sou o Perdiga ( ou Vallcrist ( ou Jefferson ) ), o último dos programadores da BitCake a se apresentar por aqui. 🙂 O post de hoje vai falar de uma coisa muito importante pra qualquer equipe de desenvolvimento de jogos ( principalmente para aquelas que usam Unity, como a BitCake ), as ferramentas! O que são ferramentas? Ferramentas são coisas que buscam