We at BlueLine Game Studios are happy to announce that we have just launched a Kickstarter for our newest game Lost Cities! It uses the same great engine that we started with Hive and have been growing over the years for our other games. The game will be available for Windows, Mac, and Linux as usual and we hope to use the Kickstarter to fund a bunch of translations and a few other new bells and whistles. We hope you'll take a few minutes to check out the Kickstarter:
It turns out the issue is that some database upgrades - that we made in the last few days - had decided that "\" was not a safe character. So any time we were trying to place a piece to the top-left of another piece (in Hive notation this is like "\wG1") we would place the piece ON TOP of the other piece instead.
This is fixed! Now you can move to the top-left of another piece successfully again ;) The fix was on the game-server so there is no Steam update required.
Please let us know if you run into any other issues!
So, Hive is on sale which is good because more players (yay!) but it seems like we created a bug somehow, in the last few days.
Really not sure what we could have changed that's related to this... but somehow, when piece placements are coming in, we're seeing stuff like new pieces being placed onto the Hive (even Spiders, etc... which aren't allowed to be on the Hive ever, much-less during placement).
Really sorry for the inconvenience, but wanted to let you all know that we're aware of it & actively trying to fix it!
Mac: fixed crashing that would happen in various versions of OS X on various machines. It was due to several versions of Mono crashing in different ways on different versions. We found an old version that works consistently.
Old "Steam Notifications" have been deleted and any games that end will now get their notification deleted once both players have seen the end of the game.
GamePad support for BlueLineCloudSignupDialog is no longer broken... can fill it out correctly, or skip it and play without an account just like with keyboard/mouse.
Made resizing the window conform to the ratio instead of using leterboxing.
The Online Game Menu Screen doesn't flicker when the list reloads now.
Made Alert dialogs center in the screen correctly (they were slightly off-center before).
Made it so the buttons on the main menu are not partially covered by the tiles on the left.
Made it so that asynchronously created games also have the opponent's name added to the serverName when the 2nd player joins.
If you like the digital board games that BlueLine makes, you should consider getting more of them since they're all on sale right now! (for Othello, only the two-pack is on sale... for reasons). Our game Tatsu is the newest game by John Yianni, the same designer as Hive! http://store.steampowered.com/app/445070/
Do you own some of our other games already? If you buy 3 or more of our games and you don't have "Simply Chess: Premium" yet, when you play Simply Chess, you will be presented with a Steam Code for Simply Chess Premium as a way for us to say Thank You for being our loyal customer!
NOTE: The Steam Key appears when the game would otherwise show you a Cross Promotion, so it's not immedaite. Basically: finish 4 matches, then from the Main Menu, go to start another game and it should show up.
There is no special occasion for this update, other than that we've had a ton of fixes piling up and I really wanted to get them out there... so we did it!
Windows, Mac, and Linux all have these fixes & should be as identical as they can be.
Rules bug!! Pillbug was able to use its special ability right after being moved. (thanks for reporting this, andypie!)
The build is about 100megs smaller on your hard-drive. This is mostly due to changes in the compression by cutting out the Monogame content pipeline.
The buttons for the second-player in a Lobby had regressed to not be mouse-clickable anymore (hotkeys still worked). Thanks dani_as0 and bentley_maniac for the reports.
Fixed regression that was causing log-spam of loading SDF fonts.
Fixed the occasional crash on Mac/Linux that occurred especially when entering the Online Game Menu screen very quickly after starting the program.
Fixed the case where you Leave a game during LoadingFromServer, then started another game (eg: local, or just a NEW online game) and the game thought it was still loading from server... forever.
Fixed game-reconnections (if it says "Loading from game server..." at any point during a game, now it should succeed again. That was broken for a while... we just didn't notice because that only happens in weird cases anyway).
Fixed the use-case where a host starts a game asynchronously with the opponent moving first, then a guest joins and makes a play, then the host would previously freeze in "Loading game from server...". Creating async games and having the opponent move should be fine now.
Game warned "this game is rated" when forfeiting, even if it was not rated.
Due to the work we've been doing on our other games, along with the various issues that have shown up in the Hive forums on Steam, there have been a ton of changes since the last big update.
Everything mentioned here is now pushed for Windows, Mac, and Linux (some might have appeared slightly earlier on Windows).
If I've been keeping track of it correctly, here is a fairly complete list:
A handful of FNA/OpenGL fixes which will make the game work on more of the Intel HD Graphics cards that had problems, but not all of them.
A smaller log file (again)
Better display of users with Apostrophes in their names, in the Online Games Menu Screen (OGMS).
Fixed a rare crash in the OGSM ListView.
Added visible Menu button to the game screen. This makes the game now fully functional for mouse-only players. This is actually pretty important for accessibility. See the "Accessibility" section of a recent Khet announcement for more info on this.
Made it so Passes get sent to the server by the last-mover since we know that player is online. This keeps the activePlayerId in sync better.
Fixed an error when a pillbug-enabled mosquito moved an enemy disabled-mosquito. Thanks to user Quodlibet for reporting this!
Elo Ratings can't be replayed from Steam Notifications now.
Fixed some really bad edge-cases that were caused by playing an online async game, then leaving it, then finishing a local game in the same run of the program. This should solve a lot of the more mysterious bugs that were being seen.
Since the last release of Hive, we rewrote our entire font rendering system to use a more scalable system. On users with huge high-resolution monitors, they should now be able to see the fonts as clearly as someone with a standard monitor. The new system is "Signed Distance Fields". For the curious, here is a youtube video that shows the general way in which they work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGZRHJvJYIg This change also allowed us to completely re-write how string-measurement works. After a ton of obsessing over the details, you'll notice that now, text is centered better in several spots in the app, and the Chat box looks less wonky. This is all due to being able to measure text very accurately.
Hive runs at a slightly lower resolution than our other games (so the fonts tend to be larger) and the fonts actually look REALLY nice in the latest version (I may have been staring at fonts too long).
Sorry that I waited so long before releasing that huge batch (we usually do more smaller releases) but I hope the changes make the game a little nicer for everyone! :)
Happy Holidays & Happy New Year! - BlueLine Games (Sean & Geoff)
It's been more than a month since the last announcement about Hive releases, so here's what's new:
Fixed a weird edge-case bug for some async games which had passes in them, and then would not let users re-connect to the game.
Fixed the Online Game Menu Screen crash that was happening on Mac OSX.
Redid our release-process to remove a bunch of un-needed assets that were left around but weren't being cleaned up. This leads to less hard-drive space being used for the game, and significantly less bandwidth used for the initial install. This was a pretty big change. If you were to install Hive game 3 times (once on Windows, Mac, and Linux) the total download required would have been 909.4mb and now it is 583.5mb... for installing on all three OSes, the total hard-drive space required would have been 321.4mb, now it's 247.9mb. :)
The logFile now has a .txt extension instead of .log. This makes it easier for users to open it, and makes it easier for us to open on our mobile-phones so we can provide support to people even when we're afk.
Reduced some of the log-spam so logFile.txt will be smaller.
Added "Join Steam Group" button.
BlueLine Games has released our next game, "Simply Chess"! It's a straightforward Chess game made to be widely-accessible and is geared towards casual and intermediate players.
Also unique: this one is Free-to-Play! To encourage the widest use (we felt that Steam needed a flourishing Chess community) we made ALL FEATURES FREE. After a couple of matches, you'll see a 7-second cross-promo for one of our other games. If you upgrade to Premium (~$4.99) then you won't see the cross-promos (soon, if you own all 3 of our games, we're going to remove that promo automatically, so you won't have to have Premium). Since 7-second cross-promos aren't such a big deal to most people, you can think of the $4.99 is kind of a donation to say thanks... and we do appreciate it! :)
This style (free-to-play) is likely just a one-off for us and our next planned game will likely be sold the same way as Hive, Khet, and Reversi. People love Chess but very few people want to pay for it since there are so many free Chess features scattered across different platforms... even if you bundle a ton into one game, people don't feel like it. I've always wanted to be able to play Chess on our engine, and now we can! :D Also, we're hoping this increases the number of people exposed to our game engine, so people might consider taking a look at our other games... which should grow the Hive, Khet 2.0, and Reversi communities! :)
As usual, we've been improving our Board Game Engine in the weeks since the previous update. We ended up with a large number of improvements. Hive was doing pretty well, so there was only one significant bugfix, but there are a lot of little improvements to polish more of the edges.
This release is for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Fixed the occasional 1-second stutter in the UI. It would happen about once every 40 seconds & it appeared at the previous release. Really uncool... but totally fixed now.
The occasional disappearing buttons in the OGMS are fixed. In some rare cases, all of the buttons would be missing from that menu & you'd have to restart the game. That wasn't fun!
LogFile.log is no longer part of the build, so if you "Verify Integrity of Game Cache" in Steam, it won't make you download the logfile over again.
The BuildID is now in the log-file. This is useful for detecting if someone's Steam client is being stubborn and not upgrading their version of the game.
Upgraded to Steam SDK 1.34 (newest version).
2D rendering improvements (mainly visible on the Rules and Online Game Menu Screen (OGMS) on slower computers, especially as we get more games in the OGMS at once.
Thanks for being along for the ride with us! Hive is our first game & it's been a lot of fun to keep updating it regularly since it's initial release back in March of 2014!
If you like Hive, please give us a rating on Steam :)
In the meantime, it seems that we now have more games going on in the Khet online lobby than Hive right now... we can fix that right? ;) I'm going to put Hive on sale, hopefully starting Aug 6th (tomorrow... or today if you read this in more than like... 20 minutes?). It's been a pleasure watching this game & the community grow! Thanks for the privilege! :D