An 80's-themed 4 player co-operative arcade shooter roguelike. Born in the Rezzed 2013 gamejam, out on Steam Early Access June 4th 2014!

Do you want to play a game? Well now you can (with your friends) because there are tons of online multiplayer bug fixes, and this combined with general multiplayer polish are the focus of this week’s update!

We’ve been making sure we spend some serious time on fixing things that have been affecting the online multiplayer for some weeks now - since we’re almost done with new content we thought it was the perfect time! but we’re not resting easy. We’ve been making sure we keep the content coming down the line (see below for more) and adding more and more rooms to the level generator for the newest addition to our world set - Ghoul Squad. They should be more varied, fun and better looking than ever before!

Because it’s a dry week for screenshots, here are some fun bits and bobs we’ve been working on for future updates…

Gordon’s terrified of something… but what on earth could scare a big burly manly man like him?!

This is The General. He’s a new character specifically for the story mode, and is very early indeed. In fact all of the art shown here will be redone by Ewan as soon as he gets a chance!


John Strong nattering away. It’s so exciting to see all our heroes and villains come to life!

That’s right! We’re planning a full on story mode for the game, one which will be full of action, betrayal, the world in peril and (original!) cheesy one liners. It’s going to be daft, it won’t get in the way of the action, and with any luck it’ll be chock full of not only references and cheeky nods, but some actual emotion. Story is only ever good when there’s some truth behind it. Tango Fiesta’s story is all about being a hero.

We can’t wait to see what people think - but suffice to say we’re not going to release it half-finished because that’d spoil it all. We may well drop in something to test the systems behind the storyline in the wild, but it won’t be spoilerific!

Enough with the talk about the future though, here’s the full changelog for this fortnight’s update…

ADDED

- Added 14 new rooms to level gen for Ghoul Squad

- Added explosive pumpkins to Ghoul Squad levels

- Added skulls on stakes to Ghoul Squad levels

- Added piles of skulls to Ghoul Squad levels

FIXED

- Enemies are now using the pathfinder again correctly and navigating around levels, providing more interesting gameplay and challenge.

- Fixed issue where the gun wasn’t sitting in the correct location on the playercontroller (was over entire body)

- Fixed issue where guns weren’t always aiming in the correct direction

- Fixed issue where lobby chat wouldn’t appear/work for clients, if returning to the lobby from online gameplay.

- Fixed issue with incorrect weapon indexes being sent across the network in online weapon select

- Fixed issue where on confirmation of character, everyone elses character would be set to john strong

- Fixed arrow display issue with weapon select

- Fixed issue where lag, or potential crash, occurs in a rare case of killing enemies

- Fixed online pickup issue where clients would receive errors when a pickup is collected by anyone

- Fixed rare crash issue with the neutron napsack weaponry side effect (lightning chain)

- Fixed bug where game would potentially crash when joining an online game, and the lobby auto-refresh activates

- Fixed bug where the thrown weapon choice wasn’t being sent over the network when setting up players online

- Fixed bug with weapon select where you couldn’t re-confirm weaponry, if you back out of a choice and try to re-confirm


UPDATED

- Tweaked and polished the 40 or so existing rooms for Ghoul Squad

- Big performance and optimisation updates applied to the pathfinding system

- Updates to Enemy AI attack process

- Huge online performance and optimisation overhaul, specifically for pickups, enemies, bullets and objectives

- Updated the pipeline for hosting online games

- Increased interval duration for auto-refreshing the lobby browser

KNOWN ISSUES

- We’ve made big progress to resolving the big repro-able hosting bug, around 90% fixed while discovering remaining edge cases. If clients exit a game in progress, the the host follows and the same player tries to rehost, the game doesn’t get set up. A different host is a good solution. the perfect solution is to reboot the game at the moment. Sorry!

- Full Game Loop broken. Currently there’s a REALLY weird pathfinding bug that’s preventing the game from doing what we call a Full Loop. In other words, when you’ve beaten the Ghoul Squad boss, and the game tries to load Island-1 on New Game +, it will fail to load. We’ve getting a fix done, but right now the best thing to do is to just exit the weapon select menu after beating Old Ramishar.

So, what’s next? We’re going to be focusing on multiplayer even more, squashing those last hideous bugs, introducing Bosses to the online co-op, making sure all the worlds and enemies work right too. And then… well that’s a surprise isn’t it!

Until next time, peace…

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NOT UPDATE 15 - UNBEATABLE

What’s the change?

Spilt Milk Studios are moving to a fortnightly update schedule for Tango Fiesta while we prepare for the game’s full launch. As of the start of this week we’ve moved to this new schedule, and are hard at work making the game everything we know it can be.

The current aim is to launch the game in - or just before - December of this year. Obviously this is prone to slippage but that’s what the team here and at Mastertronic are working towards right now.

Why are we moving to this new schedule?

When we started Tango Fiesta we projected features, timings and costs, and these things are inherently inaccurate. In their wonderful-ness, Mastertronic are some of the most sensible and understanding people working in games right now, and rather than beat us up about the fact that we ‘missed’ our promised end date, they recognise the game needs more work, and will benefit tremendously from an extension. Not only that, but they’re helping us out while we make Tango the best it can be, making our lives easier where they can and giving us the exposure the game needs when we judge it to be ready for that.

The initial scope was inaccurate because of unforeseen things like bugs, and systems that took longer to build than we thought (hello online multiplayer!). Also it’s down to some of our inexperience working together as a team. No doubt the fact that it’s our first game of this type had something to do with the inaccuracies in our estimates too, and despite being absolutely unashamedly proud o the progress we’ve made over the past 7 months, we just don’t feel Tango Fiesta as it stands is quite ready for sending out into the big wide world of v1.0.

It was always going to be a tight schedule, and the game (any game!) would benefit from a few more months of work, so we’re very fortunate to be getting that chance. Not to mention, some of the pressures of that weekly update schedule indirectly led to some of the slips that we’ve seen, so it’s going to be nice to have a little less stress and a little more time to think things through as we work towards the final release candidate.

How are we going to structure it?

We’re planning to spend a little less time every week on the game, because of various commitments (more on those below) but over the space of each fortnight we’ll be making the game better, les buggy, more fun and have more features - and hopefully you guys and gals will begin to see the result of all our hard work every second Friday.

This month we’re focusing on AI and online systems. We want to make sure everything working as intended in terms of enemy behaviour and design, and also to give the online stability and functionality issues our best shot. Part of this is down to team availability (again, see below) but mostly it’s because the online portion of the game has been ‘behind’ the offline for too long and we want to make a stand!

The following two months will be carrying on with other small systems we want to add (medals, storyline, that kind of thing), polishing up everything in the game so far (art tuning, audio balance, gameplay tweaking) and as mentioned earlier every second Friday dropping a really nice update on you guys. I hope you’re looking forward to it as much as we are!

So then, those commitments we were talking about…

Those Commitments

As we’re being funded and published by a publisher, we’re being paid to work for all the time we put in to Tango Fiesta. As you may have seen in the news, a month ago Mastertronic almost had to call it quits as a business, but thanks to their strong leadership and some smart decisions, they’re fine now.

What that did mean, however, is that during the period before this we were looking at the schedule for Tango and thinking “umm, we’re not quite going to get it all in by the end of august…” but the team at Mastertronic were understandably prioritising getting their business in order and so the fine details of scheduling were relegated temporarily. Obviously with hindsight it’s because they were going to be fine with giving us a little extra budget, but at the time we were getting a bit worried!

Anyway, that all had a knock-on effect. All of us on Tango have rent to pay. We’re normal human beings like everyone else, and life can be expensive. We needed to make sure that we were all ok assuming the worst - and that meant securing work for after the end of August. We all managed to successfully do that in different ways, but what it means is the following:

Andrew J Smith (Project Lead): on Tango Fiesta ¾ of the time per week than he was before, working the rest of the time on a second opportunity with Andrew Roper.

Andrew Roper (Code): on Tango Fiesta ½  the time he was before. He’s managed to pick up some part time work on two other projects, one with Andrew J Smith

Ewan Brock (Art): for September, he’s on client work elsewhere. From the second week in October and for all of November, he’s with Tango Fiesta full time.

Gavin Harrison (Audio): no change, all good!

This all means that each fortnight we should be able to get the same amount of work done as we were in a single week previous to this change, but without the insane pressure of a weekly update so we’ll (hopefully) make fewer mistakes, introduce fewer bugs and basically do a better job of it all. Which is something we’re very happy about! It also means that, as the other opportunities come and go, this time we dedicate will fluctuate - but again I’ve stated the worst case above so if there are any changes to our time, it’ll be to put more on Tango than we initially thought.

Progress this week

So I should cover what we’ve done already since the start of September.

Well, we’ve entirely fixed the player weapon issues (aiming and drawing depth) so that they should all be hunky dory now, and we’ve also addressed some issues behind the scenes with our level editor which will allow us to create more content and new rooms for placement in each update we do.

First on the list is more Ghoul Squad stuff, then some extra Killionaire work. And finally we’ve also made some progress with a long-standing but not very obvious AI bug. Some people had noticed a lot of enemies had stopped roaming around… well now they do once more! We’re aware of an issue with pathfinding, and we’re half way to a fix.

What’s next?

We’re going to spend as much time as possible while Ewan’s away on the online, as I mentioned. We’re also keen to create new content for you and keep polishing with each fortnightly update though, so expect a few treats in each game update. We made sure Ewan had done a bit of extra work before he left so that we can implement some of that in his absence. We’ll see what happens!

Thanks for reading this really long and picture-less post. I’m sorry if you’re a bit disappointed that we’ve not got a weekly update this week, but I promise this is for the best. We’re working as hard as we can, and are not stopping until Tango Fiesta is the best co-op action game this side of Zelda Four Swords Adventures!

Yours devotedly,

the Tango Fiesta team

(Andrew, Andrew, Ewan & Gavin)

xoxo

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UPDATE 9 - BRAND NEW CHARACTER

We’ve added a lot of great new stuff this week, and we hope you enjoy playing with it all. First and foremost, as we’ve been teasing, we’ve introduced a brand new playable character!

Meet Conchita!

She’s five feet three inches of pure dynamite!

This short-fused sister is about to explode, just as soon as you download the update and get playing! She’s our smallest character yet which means she’s light on her feet, nimble, quick, can sprint for ages and sure knows how to handle herself. She’s slightly more accurate and faster on the reload than her giant ‘roided up male counterparts, but this is all balanced by having less health and doing slightly less melee damage too.

Let us know if she’s your new favourite!

We’ve also spent some time overhauling the results screens so that’s a LOT closer to how we want it in the final game, and…. we’ve introduced a level select and a snazzy way to choose a level too! Feast your eyes on this hi-tech solution to your progression-related woes:

Can’t get more 80’s than VHS, baby!

We’ve also added some new multiplayer-only ‘secret’ objectives which should add a bit of back-stabbing-flavoured spice to your games.

ADDED

- New Level select screen added post-character selection

- New playable character, Conchita, and matching UI!

- Two new bonus objective types for multiplayer

- Let Off Some Steam

- Double Cross

- Chance that these will activate on completing the 3rd objective in a level

- Added new sound sets for Conchita

- Added save file indicator for when the game is saving

UPDATED

- Mission results screen updated to become more dynamic

- Mission results screen updated to handle correct character choices

- Hero stats have been tweaked

- Updated Coastal music layers

- Props and tiles now react differently to explosions and bullets, on a prop dependent basis

- Updates to the Coastal and Jungle level room layouts and generation system

FIXED

- Fixed weird offset that was occuring on Bionic Cop’s confirmation panel

- Fixes to the grenades

- Fixed issue with legacy save-files not converting correctly to newer formats

- Fixed issue where the number of times being downed in a level wasn’t been tracked correctly

Conchita’s also going to be the feature character (and has helped us prep for) next week’s update… Who Wants to Be a Killionaire! We’re hoping to introduce a whole new world of challenges, traps, enemies, bosses and weapons - let’s see how much we can do in just one week!

We’ll be back, and not just in a re-run…

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LEAVE ANYTHING FOR US?

The biggest addition to Tango Fiesta this week is something you’ve all been waiting for - a brand new Objective type, the Radio Mast! You’ll have to fight your way to it, and then shut it down - but haccking the damn thing triggers an alarm and enemies are called in from afar to protect this iron girder comms tower.

If you’re in co-op you’ll have to cover each other while the hacking takes place, but in singleplayer the challenge lies in making sure the area is clear and then choosing your moments to retaliate.

Speaking of co-op, if you’re playing locally you can now have new players dropping in at any point in the game, with full character and weapon select functionality too - twice the fun, half the hassle!

Of course we’ve not rested there! We’ve also added some new tricks and traps to make your heroics even more… heroic! Land mines now appear occasionally, and pose a threat to both you and your hapless foe. If you spot them in time, you can use them to your advantage… but be careful because they really pack a punch!

Before:

After:

Not only that, but we’ve added explosive barrels, and those parked Jeeps you may spot around the place now do just what you’d expect - they explode!

We can’t wait to hear what you think in the forums and over on twitter, so let us know how these changes affect the game!

FULL CHANGELIST:

ADDED

- Added Join in progress gameplay when offline (unstable online, we’re patching this in later)

- Added new objective type, the Radio tower.

- Added landmines into the game.

- New sound effects added into the game

- Explosive Barrels added

- Explosive jeeps added

UPDATED

- Music layers now activate over the level time-span, instead of all at once.

- Radio guy now plays a sound when calling in support

- Updated pause menu to allow drop-out when in local co-op

- You can now backout of weapon-selection in between worlds.

- Updated death animations for enemies

- SFX tweaks

- Environment explosions now damage props correctly

- ATK sprite updated

- Radio Towers & Radio Support now use legitimate spawn locations

- Changed parachute stance to new parachute anim

FIXED

- General performance updates when playing online [client side]

- Fixed Miller artwork not being rendered correctly

- General fixes to the animation system, including fix for the feet not behaving properly

- Fixed ambient sounds being played in the wrong level

- Fixed hunter explosion not damaging the player

- Fixed the weight on the radio support, should no longer slide forever when killed.

Hopefully you enjoy it all!

WHAT’S NEXT?

Well, over the next fortnight we’ll be introducing content from our very own gladiatorial futuresport gameshow - Who Wants to Be a Killionaire! And of course, as with each new world we introduce, we’ll be giving you new bad guys to fight against, new weapons to fight with, and new characters to fight as!

Meet Conchita!

She’s a bad ass chick who gets caught up with John Strong when they’re both forced to compete in Who Wants to Be a Killionaire! she’s rough, she’s tough, and if you so much as look at her wrong, she’ll call your bluff.

And then, because I can’t resists, one more tease… with some context…

"Uplink underground, uplink underground. If you say that one more time, I’ll uplink your ass, and you’ll be underground!"

Don’t touch that dial!

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I forgot to update this video here last week, so here’s last week’s diary!

Sorry!

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