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New Update! 02/05 (WEAPONS BALANCE!)

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Hello Holodrivers!

Today is the day! Finally the new Weapon Balance patch is ready!

Today’s patch is going to change a lot of the gameplay, so be prepared to try some new weapons 😉
This is the biggest weapon balancing patch we’ve ever done!

Changelog

Server:

  • AFK Kick timer reduced from 120s to 30s of non-activity
  • Reduced lagger tolerance

Player:

  • Respawn invencibility time increased from 2s to 4s

Basic Weapon:

  • Damage increased from 9 to 10

Plasma Gun:

  • Initial Damage reduced from 10 to 5
  • Max Heat damage increased from 1.5x to 2.4x
  • Heat Decay time decreased from 1.5s to 1s

Minigun:

  • Damage reduced from 10 to 6
  • Fire Rate increased from 15 to 16

Intimidator:

  • Damage reduced from 12 to 10
  • Fire Rate reduced from 12 to 10
  • Range reduced from 54 to 50

Shotgun:

  • Damage reduced from 15 to 10 per bullet
  • Fire Rate increased from 1.5 to 1.65

Scattergun:

  • Base Damage reduced from 10 to 6
  • Base Range increased from 36 to 38
  • Bullet Scatter Delay increased from 0.2 to 0.25
  • Seeking Bullet Damage reduced from 13 to 8
  • Seeking Bullet Range increased from 34 to 36

Grenade Launcher:

  • Damage Reduced from 50 to 40
  • Fire Rate increased from 1.1 to 1.3
  • Bomb timer reduced from 3s to 2s

Shuriken Launcher:

  • Fire Rate reduced from 1 to 0.8
  • Max ammo reduced from 12 to 10 (6 to 5 per clip)
  • Shuriken timer reduced from 10s to 6s

Raygun:

  • Damage reduced from 8 to 7
  • Fire Rate reduced from 18 to 14
  • Range reduced from 52 to 48

Flamethrower:

  • Fire Rate reduced from 15 to 12
  • Flame DoT total damage reduced from 40 to 30
  • Ammo per clip reduced from 10 to 5
  • Max Clips count increased from 1 to 2

Brave Heart:

  • Damage reduced from 8 to 6
  • Fire Rate increased from 13 to 14
  • Range reduced from 52 to 50
  • Max Damage modifier increased from 2x to 2.5x
  • Minimun Health increased from 20 to 30 (meaning that requires less health loss to do 2.5x damage)

Bazooka:

  • Bullet Speed reduced from 85 to 70
  • Explosion self-damage increased from 35% to 80% (Now you will take more damage from your own bullet)

Phantomzooka:

  • Bullet Speed reduced from 85 to 62
  • Max ammo reduced to 4 (2 per clip)
  • Wall Speed modifier increased from 40% to 50% (the bullet travels 50% slower while inside walls)
  • Out of wall speed modifier increased from 120% to 150% (the bullet travels 150% faster when it leaves walls)
  • Explosion self-damage increased from 35% to 100% (Now you will take more damage from your own bullet)
  • The bullet will now explode after 1.5 seconds without hitting anything

Dematerializer:

  • Added a 0.5s unstoppable charge when you fire The Dematerializer.

And also lots of bugfixes

“Project Tilt” 2.0: A new beginning!

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It’s been a while since our last post, and some news are long overdue. In the past few months we’ve been on working on a lot of improvements in the game, and we’d like to tell us a bit about that, and also announce a few major changes that we’re very happy to see coming to fruition!

As we’ve already said many times in our Facebook discussion group and in social media in general, we’re focusing hard on our Steam version. We got greenlit in 2014, and our Steam launch depends only on ourselves, and this year we’ve made it our top priority to prepare the game to get there. We’re going to launch on Steam Early Access first, in a probably-soon date that we still haven’t decided – but, when we do, you’ll be the first to know!
Unity 5

About the changes: First, Unity 5

Probably the biggest reason we’ve been so quiet in the last months is that we decided to update the game’s engine from Unity 4 to Unity 5.

We thought that it wouldn’t be such a big deal at first, since the compatibility between both engines is very big, but that ended up taking a few months of development. We had to change all of our shaders, materials, lightmaps, etc, and also do a lot of bugfixing. But other than that, the biggest thing is that we took the opportunity to optimize the game A LOT.
blog-post-announcement-02

Graphics optimization a long time needed

In the last updates we introduced a lot of new features and didn’t have the time to properly  optimize everything, so a lot of stuff needed some re-checking. Unity 5 also comes with some cool new features that help optimization, so we worked hard to make the game run on 60 fps on Unity 5 on most PCs. We’re still gonna have to test that with some people before launch, but we sure have come a long way.

So, if you haven’t been able to play for a while because the game was running too slow on your PC, don’t worry: we know what you mean and we are working on it.
blog-post-announcement-03png

Game interface in full HD

I don’t know if any of you noticed, but our current main menu UI is full HD (1080p) while the in-game one isn’t. The in-game interface is also not localized, being always on english. On top of that, we discovered that the user interface was a big bottleneck in the optimization, so it was the best time to fix all  of those problems for once.

In the next update we’ll release a new UI (which looks a lot like the old one except for a few changes) but that is much lighter, in Full HD and using a new technology, now ready to be translated to other languages. Yay!
Disarm Effect

Lots of new visual effects!

New engine and new shaders means that we also had to remake a lot of the particle effects in the game….So, as you can imagine, we also took the time to change a lot of them! Some of the effects were really old and could look better, and we’re gonna be on Steam soon, so we gotta step up!
blog-post-announcement-04.png

New environment art: BigRigs

This one we already spoiled a bit on social media, but the BigRigs collectors map got a big overhaul. It is the first of the maps to get environment art in the new style we’re working on, and it is a major improvement from the other ones.

For those interested in more technical aspects, on the Steam version we will have some features that make the game look much better and “next-gen”: real-time lighting, normal maps, occlusion maps, SSAO, etc.

An important thing about the new environment art is that we made it with a lot of future improvements in mind. The fact that we never got to fully determine a background story for the game was always holding us back in terms of art. So, in the process of making this map, we decided it was time to take a few steps back. This is not only the beginning of a new art style we’re developing, but also the start of a lore, coming to life inside the game.

The tutorial map will be the next one to get a facelift. We think it is super important that the first time players join the game leaves a good impression, so we’re starting from there. As soon as we finish it, we will start with another map.  Maybe you guys can tell us your favorite? Tell us in the comments!
blog-post-announcement06

So yes, we now have a BACKGROUND STORY for the game, and we’re starting to add it little by little.

Yes! That’s right. It was a feedback from many many players that they missed some kind of plot behind the robots fighting, and that they wanted to know what was the background story behind the game. Who created Dummy, the bot? Why do they fight? Why is there a chicken robot? Who’s the damned scientist?!

We finally took the time and sought help to fix this problem. We brought to our rescue someone who understands a lot more about narrative and stories than ourselves, and asked them to help us organize our ideas. Turns out we already had a lot of good ideas, a lot of things more or less decided, but we needed help putting them together and connecting the dots. We finally did it, and we hope we can share it with you guys soon!
blog-post-announcement05

The first thing you’re gonna see: Team identities!

The first thing that we’re gonna introduce are the team’s names and logos. Until now, when playing a team game mode (Team Deathmatch and Collectors Mode) the players would be assigned to the teams Electrify and Overclock. This was just a placeholder we created using the power-ups names loooong ago, and we thought it was lame but also a bit funny.

Now, our Dummies will fight on either Team Matrix or Vertex4, the two potencies battling for supremacy in the dummy-arenas-universe. The teams are sponsored by two rival super-corporations that are trying to take control of all things Dummy-related. I won’t give a lot of details just yet, you will discover more in time!
blog-post-announcement07

And the biggest change of all, coming with the Steam version: we’re gonna change the name of the game.

That’s exactly what you heard. In Steam, Project Tilt won’t be called “Project Tilt” anymore. We’re gonna give it a new name, that we have finally decided after a LONG, VERY LONG time, and we’re very happy about.

We know this may come as a surprise for many of you, and that some will certainly be disappointed to see the game they like and have been playing for a while change names all of a sudden. It’s not ideal to change a game’s name after we’ve built a community around it, but we feel it’s needed.

Project Tilt was called that way as a “project” name – a placeholder to be used during the development. But, since we wanted to release it early and have people playing it from the start, we used that name until we got the final one. It took us two years to decide on a new name, and now is the perfect opportunity to change it.

 

A new beginning!

Project Tilt was always meant to come to Steam, and we also have plans for Playstation 4. We’re gonna enter a new phase now that we’re getting close to our goal, and we wanna do that with a new name, new logo, new art, and a background story to link it all together. Actually, the reason we were able to find a final name is because we could bring all the pieces together like this. For us, this is like a rebirth for Project Tilt and we’re gonna make it a lot better. 

So stay tuned, we will announce the new name and show some more cool stuff soon!

And don’t worry, if you don’t like anything we’re doing (not just the name, anything) feel free to tell us. We accept criticism and feedback, we love to read it and we reply to everything.

To end this all, we’d like to thank you for being with us in this journey! Seeing the players reaction to our game is our biggest accomplishment and is what keeps us moving forward. You guys are the best!

SEE YOU IN-GAME!

NEW UPDATE: Bullet FX & Account Creation Changes

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 A new update has been released!

We just updated the game with some cool stuff, specially for those who have not won their 50 Bits for verifying your e-mail!

Here’s the changelog:

Changes to the account creation process

– You can now freely change the e-mail you used to start playing Project Tilt BEFORE you verify it. (After verification your e-mail won’t be changeable anymore!)
– You can now request to change your password from withing the settings menu after verifying your e-mail.
– You don’t need to create an account before playing the game anymore if you’re playing on Facebook! (just accept the app and create a nickname) Later, you will be prompted to upgrade your account – this is an optional step in which you insert email address and password. With this “BitCake Account” you can play Project Tilt in any other platform (Facebook,ProjectTilt.com and others in the near future)

Game

– Changed the whole Tutorial ending screen. Now we explain the rewards the player gets when he/she finishes the tutorial.
– Changed all bullet sizes and shader effects (Normal bullets and Double Damage bullets)
– Small visual adjustments on Floorophobic so it reflects its collider better
– Small adjustment on BigRigs post-game so when you hop on a ramp you’ll fall on the vote capsule.

– Many many many bugfixes and improvements to the game Emoticon smile

Come play the game!
https://apps.facebook.com/project-tilt/

Weapon Balancing Update

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Hey everyone!
We made some adjustments to how some weapons work!

Here’s a changelog:

Minigun:
– Damage reduced to 10 from 12
– Spin decay time reduce to 0.75 from 2
– Fire rate reduced to 16 from 18

Bazooka:
– Fire rate reduced to 0.6 from 0.7
– Initial ammo reduced to 2 from 3
– Total ammo reduced to 4 from 6

Phantomzooka:
– Fire rate reduced to 0.5 from 0.7

Tell us what you think in the comments!

Try out the new balancing!
https://apps.facebook.com/project-tilt/

It’s Carnival in Tilt! – Update and Sale!

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Hey everyone! We decided it’s a good idea to start posting our changelogs in our blog. I’m trying to revive it for a very long time, and changelogs are always there and maybe useful for some people to see in a specific link. So here it is, our first one 🙂

 

FEBRUARY 14, 2015 – CARNIVAL UPDATE

It’s Carnival here in Brazil, so in the spirit of that we are giving you a surprise!

– Everyone will get a Speacial Giftpack with a Carnival Mask headgear
– Special SALE! If you buy Bits on the store you’ll get DOUBLE the Bits!

Also here’s a changelog of the updates:

– Lobby news are now clickable and contextual! (If you click on a Weapons rotation news it’ll take you to the loadout screen for instance)
– Free Weapon Rotation is now AUTOMATIC and will happen every 3 days! (thank god, says [Dev]Ashkental)
– You can now use the chat if you’re spectating a game! (If you join a match while people are on the Post-Game Screen)
– Improved loading screen between matches
– Fixed opening empty holopack bugs
– Added a pretty new loading before some important server calls
– Added some cool new art to popup menus!
– Moved the AUDIO/VIDEO options to its own sub-menu
– Added option to disable Music in the In-Game options menu!
– Fixed Background music playing on the Post-Game Screen even if you had disabled it before
– Added and remade a bunch of localization stuf Emoticon smile
– Fixed some other bugs! Emoticon grin

So GO PLAY!
https://apps.facebook.com/project-tilt/

Crossroads Part I: Character Design for Project Tilt, or How Project Tilt was Once About Paper Craft

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So, the story behind Project Tilt’s main character is a very winding one. Project Tilt was, for a long time, a game without any art, without any idea of theme, and without a character. It was a long process that is, actually, still happening, and we all learned a lot. I’m going to make a series of posts about it, and I hope you guys enjoy it and comment back with your opinions! 🙂

Early Investigation

When I joined the Project Tilt team around May last year, the project was going on for about five months but we had nothing more than a big pile of sketches and no idea of what to do with them. So we started an investigation of what we wanted out of our game in terms of language, to start building the beginning of our art direction.

Early sketches

Early sketches

All we knew was that we wanted the game to be fast and crazy, with a kind of explosive humour, but not explicitly violent. Just cartoon-ish explosive fun. Like Team Fortress or Smash Bros, with a bit of nonsensey-ness from cartoons, like Invader Zim, Dexter’s Laboratory or Adventure Time (who doesn’t like that?).

Comical, Crazy and Charismatic

Comical, Crazy and Charismatic

So we made the graph below, comparing the humor and tone that we wanted out of Project Tilt with other similar games. This might seem weird, but it was useful to put everyone in the team in the same place: sometimes each person in the team is thinking something different and we can only find that out in the worst way. That’s why this kind of investigation is useful, and since I was new in the team, I wanted to align my ideas with the rest of the team’s, and also to see if they were all aligned between themselves and if our ideas made sense.     Btw, the app I used to make that graph is a very cool web app called Mural.ly. It’s a great way to creat moodboards and communicate visual ideas to a team 🙂

A Starting Point: The Character!

We needed a character to begin with. The character was central to the game’s concept, since the idea behind Project Tilt has always been that every player starts the same: we have no grinding and your level doesn’t change your power in the gameplay. Our character had to be cool enough for the player to like him and want to play with it, but also had to be customizable so players could differentiate themselves and show how much they played by the items they have, and how their character looks. So, we looked first at the requirements of our project:

  • The character had to be highly customizable;
  • It had to look charismatic on its own, but even cooler when customized;
  • The customizations would be other 3D models on top of the character, like in Little Big Planet or Modnation Racers (this is a decision we made early on before starting the design process, since it also involved technical things about the 3D modelling and the way the game would be programmed);
  • Our customizations would include garments and hats of any kind, even if very different from the theme of the game (Ex: Pirate hat in a robot character);
  • The character had to hold a big and visible weapon – for gameplay reasons, since the weapon had to be readily recognizable;
  • The head of the character also had to be pretty big, so hats would be easily seen and become important to the experience.
Proportions - at the same time we were studying the proportions to fit our game

Proportions – at the same time we were studying the proportions to fit our game

With this in mind, we took a look at some real-world references that could be useful, like Lego toys, Toy Arts, and Paper Craft. We studied games that used those kind of references and tried to decide which ones we liked the most and fitted our game more.

Nailing Down to One Theme

Then, we chose some options that we liked and started brainstorming and making sketches. From those sketches, I decided to make a presentation to the team. The theme of the game is something that everyone should be excited about, and a short presentation is a nice way to make everyone informed about everything at once, expose your arguments, and make a decision from there.

Toy Art Sketches

Toy Art Sketches

Paper Craft Sketches

Paper Craft Sketches

Cartoony Robot Sketches

Cartoony Robot Sketches

All the three ideas were loved by the team, the robot one because it was actually the original theme of the game from the beginning, the toy art looked cute, and the paper craft looked very different from what other games were doing. And we wanted to try something different so we got really excited about the Paper Craft theme.  And on top of that, we were thinking we could name the game “Paper Crash”and it would sound awesome! And it would! So we decided to take that route, and the characters would be robots made of paper, being made in large quantities in a crazy lab and studied by awkward scientists. All the game could have a low-poly papery look. And so we began a long road of paper-robot drawings!

Pirate Paper Robot Science - Paper robots have a heart too :{

Pirate Paper Robot Science – Paper robots have a heart too :{

Some references that we used:

Retro3D by ~ABELOroz on deviantART

Retro3D by ~ABELOroz on deviantARTMonster Life mobile game characters

Monster Life mobile game characters

 And here is a link for a project with a paper aesthetic that looks really cool: https://www.behance.net/gallery/Power-Giants-lowpoly-paperworld/7890183

The Paper Craft Path

The drawings were going well and during that time our 3D modeller, Daniel, joined the team, and we had him modelling everything we could so we could test as early as possible!

Papelez - One of our concepts for the PaperBot

Papelez – One of our concepts for the PaperBot

The PaperBot - One of the first concepts

The PaperBot – One of the first concepts

But the problem came when we actually transported the drawings to 3D models and put them in the game. We made simple textures and rigged the 3D models of the new ideas and used Unity 4’s Mechanim to transport all the animations from the old placeholder robot character to the news ones. Then we could rapidly make early tests by playing with the new models. And the result was… Well, not so cool. We tried lots of things, with lots of silhouettes and shapes, but it looked like the pointy corners of a Paper Craft models didn’t really fit into the game. They didn’t look good in the camera, and we weren’t really happy. Of course a lot could change with lighting, shader and more texture work, but it looked like no matter how we tried changing the shape and working a bit more in the texture, it didn’t look the way we wanted.

The Turning Point!

So, we had to make a rational decision to make things work. We decided to make a test in the same way we’ve been doing, but with one of our robot ideas. We all loved the first concepts and would like to see it back anyway, and it would probably work out. So I started drawing some robots and our 3D artist modelled them and we made some in-game tests. And it looked A LOT better from the start. We learned a few things from that too: – First, the rounded corners looked a lot better than the pointy paper ones. Our character is really small in the game, so his shape has to be simple and easy to understand from a distance. The paper pointy corners were not easily readable. – A more rounded head was also much clearer to see in the side-scrolling camera view. Our robot shape right now is actually still not so round, but it is a bit, and it allows some of the character’s face to show even if we are seeing it completely sideways (a pretty common thing in a side-scroller game). We were really happy with the result and started working in the design of our robot non-stop! The only down-side was losing the opportunity to use that name we liked so much — but we can save that for a next game. 🙂 It was still a lot of work to get to the version that is in game now, and even that one is still not done.

After that…

In the next part of the post I will be explaining how our design came to life and what we learned with it! Also, if you are insterested in seeing creative process in character design, here are a few links! Sackboy is one of our favorite characters of all time, and our biggest reference in terms of customization. In this link from Media Molecule’s blog, they explain the process behind the creation of this awesome character: http://www.mediamolecule.com/blog/article/from_yellowhead_to_sackboy/ And this is their Flickr with lots of pics from the process: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mediamolecule/sets/72157625338372788/ If you want to see more, this is a video from the Modnation Racers team talking about character customization and how they made it unique in their game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfx0xCHNC70 If you have any questions, tips, feedback, feel free to comment below! 🙂 We are happy to discuss anything with other developers or people who just appreciate Project Tilt and what we are doing. See you in the next post, and in-game!

BitCake Studio @ GameFounders – Week 1!

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Hey People! Ok so we’re in the middle of April right now but we’ll give a retrospective of our GameFounders experience week-by-week until we arrive on where we are right now! 😀

Week 1

Ok, so the rest of Week 1 was CRAZY! After we wrote that First Post we had 2 very awesome, crazy and exhaustive days with mentors!Some of them are the best mentors we’ve had since the program started!

Here we were, 5 Brazilians with this crazy Multiplayer Game showing it to some of the guys from Tencent, Hidden Path and other crazy big companies on the FIRST WEEK! It was mind numbing, and exploded our heads so many times with knowledge that we didn’t know what to do next!

By the time week 1 ended we had changed our WHOLE development plan 2 times.

Tutorial!

Week 1 had some great feedback on our Tutorial, we realized our Tutorial wasn’t as good as it could be, we had some metrics in place to check it but they sucked. Our funnel looked like this (no picture because it doesn’t exist anymore, sorry):

  • Player Started Tutorial: 100%
  • Player finished Tutorial: 50%

WTF Right? We didn’t track all the steps, out of this metric is only possible to identify you have a problem but you can’t point out where exactly it is coming from! So we figured we needed to work on our Tutorial, but not only that, we needed to work on our whole New User Experience for Project Tilt.

Retention – a driver of success

We also had a very, very good talk with Mark Terrano from Hidden Path. He talked to us about game feel and how we could improve our gameplay by adding stuff like Camera Shakes, he also gave us some tips on lean development. Having worked with Valve, he shared some insights that the Steam company has on how to develop games.

First of all, go watch In-Game Economies in Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2 here

One key thing you always have to have in mind: Retention. That’s a recurrent theme in all of Valve’s talks, retention drives not only a games success but also its financial success.  Its easy to hear someone saying it, other is REALLY understanding how important retention is as a driver and how to measure and improve upon it. Mark helped us a bit, but we’re still working on this (and will be for some time). In the future I expect doing a post on this topic, so stay tuned 🙂

Our Retention problem

So Project Tilt had a pretty big problem with retention, our numbers were bad (we measured it using www.gameanalytics.com) and we needed tips on how to deal with this.

Continuing with the mentors, when we told them about our retention problem we couldn’t really say what was happening. We clearly needed to do some deep digging and discover the reason behind why players weren’t coming back to play Tilt! What we figured out (through metrics and pure observation of player behaviour) was the classic multiplayer problem. A quick tip: if you are doing a Multiplayer only game you WILL go through this unless you have a publisher or someone to market your game or do User Acquisition – even Awesomenauts had this problem.

  1. User finishes the tutorial, logs in the game and there’s no one to play with
  2. User finishes the tutorial, logs in the game and there’s Hebertpro (level 500) and BossofallBosses (level 300) killing all the noobs

This is classic. You can’t do matchmaking and separate Hebertpro from the New Player because you don’t have enough players to fill those 2 rooms that will be created, but if you don’t do matchmaking you’ll keep loosing those players that repeatedly dies to Top Players – classic dilemma.

Solutions? Well, mentors gave us plenty! I bet you thought of some already: Add A.I. bots? Check. Add Single Player? Check. Add Time Trial? Check. Do matchmaking? Check.

Do Bots? We could… It would delay new features and many additions to the game for a month or two… Single Player? That could be potentially simple, would it fall in line with or vision for what Project Tilt is? Probably not. The solution will come on a future posts (because by that time we didn’t know enough about GameFounders, what the program would have and we only had gotten through 2 Mentoring days).

How is your Monetization?

Monetization was also a hot topic on our discussions.

How do we monetize the game? That’s a question that has been popping up every time we speak with a mentor (even now)… “We don’t”, that’s our answer. “We have a prototype store in place that we were using to gauge players interest in buying customization stuff to show off, but no one buys anything anymore”. That’s the only thing we could say at that time, we had a small plan and a vision for what our monetization would be, but we had more urgent matters to address.

Facebook? Don’t stay there.

Oh, and Facebook? Our friends at Aquiris had warned us about how Facebook is not very good for monetization. Don’t ever say your game is only on Facebook. The platform is on a rapid decline by now, no one plays there (even worse for our target audience), its hard to monetize and you can potentially scare investors by saying that. We needed to work on this and Greenlight was our first step.

End of Week 1

So we ended Week 1 like this:

  • Our Tutorial was terrible, the metrics and the way we measured it was horrible
  • Retention is something that we need to tackle, and fast
  • Monetization is a huge interest for every mentor and we needed to know how to talk about this
  • Facebook sucks
  • Social Media!

One thing we did as soon as we got there was starting our Social Media campaign.

Since we got to GameFounders, there hasn’t been a day without a post on Project Tilt’s Page. This has almost single-handedly made our retention WAY better 🙂 (more on a post later)   So that’s how Week 1 ended! We were screwed! We didn’t have a clear focus, yet we had many things to do! Our heads were spinning and we couldn’t think straight, the dust had just been thrown on our face and we needed to wait for it to settle.

Week 2? It was awesome tho….