KarBOOM 0.3.3 is out now
Check out KarBOOM open alpha 0.3.3 on the KarBOOM downloads page!
What has happened since the last update?
KarBOOM's last public update was 0.2.4 back in February. Since then, KarBOOM has been featured in the May issue of PC Gamer UK, the 7.11.11 issue of c't, and on Rock Paper Shotgun last week. Each feature was very exciting for me, and I'd love to hear about any others you find!
There are a few reasons it took so long. One is university: I'm still a student working on this game whenever I can. Another is quality: KarBOOM had a few show-stopping bugs in 0.2.4 I wanted to take care of; some were very difficult. Another is distraction: When trying to figure out what was causing problems I'd often receive suggestions or think of things I could relatively easily implement.
A lot! It's explained in detail in the readme in the download, but here's a short summary of most of the more significant changes:
- Play with up to 48 players -- I personally prefer smaller, more personal bouts (one on one is a lot of fun on the smaller arenas), but who am I to stop you?
- Choose your own car -- yes, I finally put together a menu where you can play as your favourite colour -- assuming another player hasn't already taken it;
- New surface types -- sticky tar, slippery ice, pits and, as always stay off the grass!
- New levels to suit different mutator combinations and player-numbers;
- Improved graphics and visual effects -- brighter cars, shiny ice, explode in your car's colour or in a huge pillar of light if you're knocked off the arena;
- Awards -- at the end of each round, get acknowledged for cool or uncool things you did, whether it's hitting someone's weak-spot in mid-air for an "Air Show", sliding the most for "Dust Bunny", or getting "Bullied" out the arena more than anyone else;
- Mutators have been tweaked to take advantage of life-limit mode where they previously didn't -- set the limit high on tag or hold the flag and watch as other players bleed lives over time before exploding.
- Account-less hosting -- I can't always host games, so I want to make it easier for other people to. Hosting a dedicated server does not require an account. If you do want to host and you're behind a router, make sure to set up port-forwarding (you can choose the port in server setup).
What's "open alpha"?
"Open" because it's free and publicly available, "alpha" because it's not feature complete. I've got lots of ideas for new features, but many (perhaps most!) of KarBOOM's features were implemented after players suggested them. I'd love to hear feedback regarding what features work well, what can be improved, what you'd like to see added to the game, as well as any bugs.
This is the first time I've described KarBOOM as "open alpha", and I'm doing so because I am not certain what the final version will be like and under what business model it will be distributed. While I figure this out, this version and future "open alpha" versions are free and will stay that way. Any version I release for free will continue to work with KarBOOM's serverlist system for the foreseeable future.
What's with the "login" screen?
Logging in is only required for playing online -- all other features can be accessed offline by clicking "play offline". Logging in requires an account which you can create for free at KarBOOM.net. Accounts require email activation, and can be used in-game and on the forum. This way if you recognise an in-game player name from the forum (or vice versa), you know they're the same person. Or people, since several players can participate from the same computer in online play by means of gamepads or sharing the keyboard.
Accounts are by no means mandatory to enjoy the game -- I (and many players) believe KarBOOM multiplayer is at its best when played with/against people next to you -- share a keyboard and/or grab some controllers to see what KarBOOM is really all about.
Why do cars explode on grass?
Maybe all the cars have severe grass allergies. Or maybe the fastidious groundskeeper in charge of these arenas has access to an orbital heat weapon. No one's really sure.
Where can I give you feedback?
I'm glad you asked!
- IndieDB -- IndieDB is a fantastic way for developers and fans to communicate and follow each other's games. If you have an IndieDB account, click "track this game" on the right to be notified of any KarBOOM updates, or comment in any section of KarBOOM's IndieDB page to give me feedback.
- KarBOOM.net -- Create a forum account at KarBOOM.net and give me feedback there. There are sub-forums for suggestions, bug-reports, announcements, and setting up online games with other players.
- Twitter and Youtube -- I'm JibbSmart on Twitter and Youtube. If you comment on one of my videos or mention me in a tweet, you can be sure I'll see it sooner or later.
Will it run on my computer?
I hope so! KarBOOM requires Windows (XP or more recent) and relatively up-to-date drivers. Some private testers trying to run the game with Intel onboard graphics were unable to, but if you have a real video card you should be fine. If you don't, it's probably worth a try anyway -- it's only a 20mb download and you don't need to register an account or anything unless you want to join an online game.
Follow @JibbSmart (that's me) on Twitter to make sure you don't miss any KarBOOM news, screenshots, and updates. Don't forget to track this game to get notified whenever I update KarBOOM!