The biggest piece of news is too exciting to bury in the middle of a blog post.
Not only that, but we hit ALL our core goals, and one of the stretch goals as well. Here’s what we’ve done while working behind the scenes:
- Overhauled the pipeline for how the game handles inputs. It’s an invisible change, but a great one.
- Built Computer-controlled players. Surprisingly, they can take rounds off of the devs.
- Added a new character: Pink, the grappler! Pink has throws on all of their normals, it’s balanced, we swear.
- WINDOWS COMPATIBILITY! Finally, everyone can play BoxFighter.
Without the funding from our campaign to give room to focus full-time on our goals, it took a little over 2 years of hobby development to accomplish what we were hoping to knock out in months of full-time development. Many thanks to those who gave their support during this time. Your persistent interest and inquiry were the fuel we needed to keep the fire burning.
The end of BoxFighter’s failed Indiegogo campaign was a difficult moment for Timepiece Games. We were pulled quickly into other projects, and left BoxFighter simmering on a burner far in the back. Over the past two years, our team has gone through 7 moves, 4 new jobs, and 1 new game (under NDA, sorry). For a while, it seemed like the project was ended. As any game developer will tell you, creative projects like these take a lot of emotional investment, and we were tired.
Projects like BoxFighter have minds of their own, however, and they will come back to remind you that they aren’t done with you yet. We received a steady stream of questions about BoxFighter from fans, friends, family, and industry collaborators we met while promoting our game. We kept in contact, and took BoxFighter to the odd event for fun. Taking the time to step back from developing BoxFighter and connecting with our fans was hugely rewarding. Fresh, outside perspectives are always illuminating, especially when one has spent so long deeply embroiled inside something.
After things settled in our lives, we dipped our toes back in the water – tweaking mechanics, making balance changes, poking around with some new character designs. The characters we had slated out for our Indiegogo stretch goals are still halfway through development, and we’re looking forward to revealing them when they’re a little more fleshed out. A few months ago, the input pipeline fix was a big breakthrough. The engine handles inputs far more effectively now, and allows for computer-controlled input. As breakthroughs tend to do, this started building momentum on our development again.
Not long after we made it possible, the next of our Indiegogo goals were hit: Computer-controlled players.
We don’t have true AI playing our game. Yet. Currently running at 3600 APM with random Y/N toggles for each input on each frame, the quality of BoxFighter’s design has surprised us yet again by allowing random simulacrums to mash their way into being decent at the game. They have taken rounds off of everyone they’ve played, and make for entertaining matches. You can sometimes catch them streaming at twitch.tv/timepiecegames. Still, through these successes, we were quiet. Without hitting our core goal of a widely accessible version of the game, we felt that there simply wasn’t much to say.
A month after this breakthrough, our own excitement still high, we focused on fun development in a fervor. In the span of a week, a completely new character was built from the ground up: Pink, the _____ ______. (This character is so new, we haven’t applied all the traditional character design elements yet). We debuted Pink at a regional tournament: Bridge City Resurrection to the delight of those familiar with BoxFighter’s history.
Then, only a week after the debut, we did it. As you know, we managed Windows compatibility. This is not the “plays in your browser” version we were planning in our indiegogo last year, but the fundamental goal is still accomplished: BoxFighter is now universally accessible. We’re incredibly excited about this. We have already seen a huge growth of players on our discord, and have been hosted on streams that are not our own.
There are still some bugs to work out, as there always are, but the game works, and is fun as ever. Join us if you’d like to participate in the Windows beta by downloading BoxFighter through the link at the top of this post, and by joining our discord here.
In our next post, we’ll talk about developing an active gaming community, the development process of pink, and our plans for BoxFighter’s future.
Thank you for reading, it’s good to be back.