Gang Beasts - Boneloaf
In the last month we have been finishing work on optimising the current public stages and testing fixes for issues introduced in the transition from Unity 5.4 to Unity 5.6, we have identified a potential solution for the current character distorting / freezing and other physics stability issues and have made successful tests with a patched server configuration. We plan to patch public servers over the next hour. Please post information if you still see distorting / freezing issues or missing geometry when playing online following the server update to help us identify if the patch is not working as expected. [1]

Server availability and stability will fluctuate for the next hour as servers are patched

Other than work on optimising the current local and online stages (this work is necessary for improving physics stability and standardising collision detections), we have also been working on games modes, a full replacement for the current UI implementation, physics and server stability, standardisation of costume and prop parameters (for existing and new objects), configuring the Unity post processing stack, localisations, and improvements to matchmaking and networking. We expect to publish multiple builds demonstrating this work in June and July with a series of posts giving specific information on the full release content for the game and current plans for post launch content.

[1] For reference there is no build published with this post; in tests we have recorded a small number of distorting / freezing issues in local games but instances were significantly less frequent than online games, we will monitor server stability and prioritise publishing modified client builds (with additional optimisations and fixes) when the solution for the distorting / freezing issue has been demonstrated as working.
Nidhogg

Once upon a time, playing a multiplayer game meant no other choice than gathering your friends around the living room TV and hurling fireballs and trash talk at each other in equal parts. Friendships were made over Goldeneye and destroyed in Mario Party. Experiences like these mostly lived on consoles, though, as PC multiplayer was mostly limited to LANing games like Warcraft II and Counter Strike before the internet gave way to the matchmaking and ladders of online play. 

Luckily, a bevy of indie titles have answered the call of gamers looking for a dose of that old-school same-screen nostalgia. Some focus on fierce competition, parroting the arena brawling of games like Super Smash Bros. Others can be every bit as frantic, but pit you and your friends against the game instead of each other. However it is you like to play, these are the best local multiplayer games on PC.

Cooperative games

Overcooked

If Iron Chef has taught me anything, it's that there is no truer arena than the kitchen. This is a sentiment Overcooked takes to heart, simulating the chaos and commotion of a multi-station restaurant kitchen. Two to four players zip frantically around increasingly complex kitchen arenas to prep and deliver orders as they come in. Some are simple: for tomato soup, for example, drop three chopped tomatoes in a pot, let it cook for a moment, plate the dish and send it on its way. But most are much more complex, requiring a delicate dance of chopping ingredients, cooking others, and assembling dishes according to the various incoming orders.

Success requires a combination of coordination, communication, delegation of duties, and fine-motor skills in order to meet the demands of the dinner rush. It's chaotic fun—just try not to burn the kitchen down.

Rocket League

This brilliant game of car soccer has captured us completely. At first glance this may appear to be a purely slapstick game about rocket-powered cars bumping giant floaty balls into goals, apparently at random, but go deeper and you’ll find a fiercely competitive game of carball that almost drove editor Samuel Roberts mad.

Rocket League is an excellent couch game because it suits quick pick-up-and play sessions and is easily played when fully reclined—we tested. Once you start to get a feel for the controls a world of trickshots and bold upside-down car-kicks reveals itself, and a moreish stream of cosmetic unlocks gives the game even more colourful personality. It’s worth experimenting with 1v1 and 2v2 if the default six-player matches seem too chaotic.

Death Squared

Death Squared is the type of puzzle game that can single-handedly tear friendships apart. For either two or four players, you control colorful cube robots trying to make it to specific spots on each map, but as each player moves the level shifts around them—usually with highly lethal results for your teammates. It’s a phenomenally clever and challenging puzzle game, but one of the most successful parts of it is just how much coordination it takes. It’s difficult for one player to “quarterback” the solutions to every level, which makes it more fun for everyone.

Another great two-player puzzle game to look at is Kalimba. It’s much faster-paced than Death Squared, but it similarly rewards cooperation. 

Castle Crashers

There’s a special joy in getting together with three friends and beating the crap out of everything. Castle Crashers revels in that joy—it practically bathes in it. Each player controls their own knight in a seriously warped fantasy kingdom, running to the right and slaughtering countless enemies through forests, towns, castles, dungeons, and more. Each kill gets you experience for stronger sword swings or better magical attacks. There are tons of weapons, animal companions, and secret heroes to find and fight over, too. Sure, you can play it solo (or online), but we love playing with friends right on the couch—coordinating the “cat-fish” fight is way more insane when your companions are right beside you.

Local co-op is really the bread and butter of developer The Behemoth, and they have more games worth checking out. Battleblock Theater is a great two-player platformer with full Steam Workshop support for custom levels, and the more recent Pit People is a more casual, controller-driven take on a turn-based strategy game.

Streets of Rogue

A roguelike mashed up with an immersive sim, Streets of Rogue is both procedurally generated and heavily systems-driven. You and up to three friends can take on random missions that can be solved any way you like, similar to other games like Dishonored or Deux Ex but top-down and pixelated. The game provides a shocking amount of variety and freedom for how simple it looks, making it an easy one to pass up. While it’s not strictly a co-op game, I think it’s fair to say nearly any systems-driven game can become a lot more fun (read: absolutely chaotic) when a group of people are tackling it at the same time. 

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

The brilliantly named Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes simulates that action movie scene where the plucky hero has to disarm a bomb by describing what it looks like to a bomb defusal expert over the phone. In the game, only one player can see or interact with the ticking time bomb and its myriad switches, wires, and buttons, while the rest of the players have access to a bomb defusal manual. The game was built for (and plays best in) VR, but even without an expensive headset it aptly simulates the tense conversation of trying to solve a puzzle where you can't see the pieces. Just remember: keep talking and nobody explodes.

Enter the Gungeon

Another game that’s not strictly co-op, but Enter the Gungeon is a lot more fun with a friend sitting next to you. It’s a bullet-hell roguelike where you shoot bullets at bullets who are shooting other bullets at you. Do keep in mind, Enter the Gungeon is hard, and you will likely die a lot, ally at your side or not. But its co-op is integrated extremely well, and the punishing difficulty doesn’t feel as harsh with a friend to help. It’s a great combination of genres in a lovely pixel art wrapper, and one of the few games on this list that likely won’t make you extremely angry at your ally.

Broforce

This 2D shooter is a pastiche of both ‘80s movies and side-scrolling arcade games—it’s a very fun combination. You and up to three friends play as ‘parody’ versions of characters like Rambo (here called ‘Rambro’), the Terminator (‘Brominator’) and even more contemporary choices like Will Smith from Men In Black, or Neo from The Matrix. The fun comes in how these characters’ weapons all differ, as well as Broforce’s physics-driven level design, where every single block of the environment can pretty much be destroyed. While there’s not a lot to it, the variation in enemy types and environments mean this is a perfect couch game for a 30-minute burst of fun.

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is a bit like if FTL was multiplayer and everything happened in real time. You and up to three friends each control an avatar on a lovely colorful spaceship careening through space. There are various stations to man, such as weapons systems, engine, shield, and map, and players have to run their little avatar from one to another as threats present themselves. It’s a hard game because you almost always need to be in more places than you can manage, constantly running from station to station while bumping into your shipmates. But a well-oiled crew can make piloting the clumsy ship incredibly satisfying, especially during Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime’s huge boss fights.

Hive Jump

Hive Jump is a procedurally generated ode to Super Metroid for up to four players. The levels are randomized each time you play, but with hand-designed rooms and challenges scattered throughout. You get new guns and upgrade your troops as your team descends further into the alien hive, and Hive Jump features a pretty cool respawn system that’s sort of like permadeath-lite. You can respawn on death, but only if you manage to keep a transponder on your back safe from enemies, which incentivizes players sticking together and helping each other out.

If you want another retro roguelike co-op option, 20XX takes the jump-n-shooting of Mega Man and puts it into procedurally generated maps for up to two players. 

On the next page: competitive games and arena brawlers like Nidhogg, Towerfall Ascension, and Videoball.

Competitive games

Crawl

A competitive dungeon crawler with a top notch retro styling. Crawl is a four player asymmetrical hack-n-slash where one player is a hero fighting through a dungeon, while the others inhabit the monsters and traps scattered throughout. Whoever gets the last hit on the hero takes their place, and the game ends when either the hero manages to defeat the dungeon’s boss (also player controlled) or the party loses to the boss for a third time. You get new items and improve your hero while also leveling up and improving the monsters you can control, so you’re growing stronger no matter which side of the struggle you are on.

Another great (and free!) little co-op game from developer Powerhoof is Regular Human Basketball, which is exactly what the name implies. 

Worms W.M.D.

The Worms series has always been a gem of competitive local multiplayer, but I was less than thrilled with many of the recent 2.5D entries. Worms W.M.D. gets back to good ol’ fashioned 2D animation, and it’s absolutely lovely. It’s one of the best Worms games in a very long time, with all the physics-based skillshots and tricky ninja ropes you may remember alongside some cool new tricks. The series has also struck a great balance between randomization and skill, making it great to either just have some fun with or settle hard-bitten scores. 

Brawlhalla

Wish you could play Super Smash Bros. on PC? Well so do I, but I’ve learned to live with the crushing disappointment that that's literally never going to happen. Luckily, Brawlhalla is here to ease the pain a bit. It’s a fighting game that shares Smash Bros.’s percentage-damage system and screen-launching deaths, but it’s also based around picking up different weapons that each have a unique moveset. It doesn’t have the recognizable characters of Smash Bros., but it’s still got some nice character design that does a good job of letting Brawlhalla stand on its own two feet. Brawlhalla is also free-to-play, making it easy to hop into with some friends if you want to give it a shot.

Another good Super Smash Bros. stand-in is Rivals of Aether, which has been in Early Access for less time, but has more of a focus on unique characters with special abilities than weapons. 

TowerFall Ascension

A lot of single-screen deathmatch games are content to offer a single way to play, offering a lean, lightweight experience by doing one thing very well. TowerFall Ascension is a much more comprehensive offering than most. In its basic form, up to four players jump around 2D levels pinging lethal arrows at one another. A finite quantity of ammo makes it important to snatch arrows from the bodies of fallen foes—or grab them out of the air, if you're quick enough—and powerups, environmental hazards and shifting maps keep this process interesting. But there's much more to the game than that. In two-player co-op you take on a series of survival challenges against increasingly varied and interesting enemies. A page full of special rules and mutators allows you to create new game modes on the fly, from giving everybody bouncing arrows to creating a single invisible super-player who the others have to hunt.

Often mentioned in the same conversation as TowerFall is Samurai Gunn, which keeps the one-hit-kills but trades bows-and-arrows for, you guessed it, samurai swords and guns. Matches are a bit quicker and more frantic, but every bit as fun.  

Duck Game

In the future—1984, in this case—pixelated ducks compete in a violent, ever-changing bloodsport. Join your friends in team deathmatch and blast each other with shotguns, lasers, grenades, and tons of other weapons. The matches are quick, with a single shot taking you out, and the map changes after each round which never lets you get comfortable or bored. Plus, there are mini-games that serve as intermission from the carnage, and a button dedicated solely to quacking. It's a fun, silly, and frenetic game that's hard to stop playing.

Gang Beasts

It's still—still—in Early Access, but Gang Beasts is already a hoot of a party game, featuring a series of deadly arenas in which to awkwardly punch, kick, drag, pick up, and throw your friends around. Struggle to control unwieldy balloon characters as you and your friends fight to the death in levels containing meat grinders, moving trucks, Ferris wheels, and speeding subway trains. The difficulty of steering your character is part of the appeal, and making things harder is the fact that you'll be laughing uncontrollably as you fight to climb back up the side of the ledge you've been thrown off, or struggle to free yourself from the clingy grip of another player.

Nidhogg

Nidhogg is one of the best one-on-one competitive games on PC. As a fighter, it’s a Bushido Blade-like struggle for one killing blow as two pixel fencers advance, parry, lunge, dive kick, and disarm each other with staccato bursts of button presses. It’s beautiful (you really have to see the sprites in motion), weird, and takes great skill to master. It’s also a lot of fun to watch, especially thanks to the tug-of-war competition format. Rather than a best-of-three series of short bouts, the players are competing to advance across a stage. Kill your opponent, and you get the right-of-way to dash toward your side of the level. When they respawn, they have to return the favor to gain the right-of-way and take back territory. On top of the drama of each duel—which usually ends suddenly—each match is an easy-to-read struggle for progress, with lots of opportunities for comebacks and upsets. When the winning player makes it past the final room, a crowd cheers, and the titular dragon gobbles him up. Congratulations!

A sequel, featuring multiple weapons and a grotesque claymation art style, is expected later this year

Ultimate Chicken Horse

Isn’t the name clear enough? It’s a platformer combination of Horse and Chicken. You take turns placing platforms, obstacles, and traps around a Super Meat Boy style level, trying to make it too hard for your opponents to complete but not so hard that you can’t complete it either. As the map fills up with ways to die, you can eventually remove blocks or rearrange them, so it sort of balances itself through the course of a game. It’s not the easiest game to just jump into with friends as platforming skill will seriously come into play here, but it’s easy enough to pick up for people unfamiliar with the genre. And frankly, it’s an awesomely unique concept that you won’t really find anywhere else.

Invisigun Heroes

A newer take on the one-hit-kill same-screen deathmatch that was pioneered by the likes of TowerFall Ascension and Samurai Gunn, Invisigun Heroes mixes things up by making everyone invisible, appearing only when they shoot. Matches are tense, as it's as much about tracking your enemies' locations as it is keeping a bead on your own. Certain terrain types help with that, showing footprints or splashes of water when you walk, and bumping into a crate lights it up in the color of whoever made contact. There's also a variety of class types, each with it's own unique abilities—an exploding recon sensor and a complex doppelganger power are two highlights alongside more standard fare like a terrain jump, bullet-reflecting sword, and boring-but-effective dash attack. Various game modes also help keep things interesting, ranging from territory-control to a somewhat weird coin-collecting scheme—but nothing beats the standard deathmatch.

Sportsfriends

A compilation of quirky competition. Sportsfriends envisions four ridiculous new sports—although one, Johann Sebastian Joust, is only compatible with Mac and Linux. That's a shame, but not disastrous, as the remaining package is still great. The best of the bunch is Super Pole Riders, created by QWOP's own Bennett Foddy. It's entertainingly chaotic, as two teams of pole vaulters attempt to move an overhead ball towards their goal. Primary tactics include performing a proper pole vault, or using the pole to guide the ball along its rope. You can also play defence, using the pole as a barricade to smack an opponent away, or jumping on their head to force a respawn.

Also included is Hokra, a four player game about filling in blocks of colour; and BaraBariBall, a Smash Bros.-like arena game but with goals to score and almost infinite jumping. As a whole collection, Sportsfriends is intense, entertaining, and varied. 

For a bit of a lewder take on Sportsfriends' minigame collection, the more recent Genital Jousting offers similar goofy gameplay but paired with silly, floppy, cartoon penises.

Videoball

Sport distilled down into its essence: this is the pure videogame version of soccer, with a ludicrous range of options. Colors, scoring rules, arenas—there's a lot here to tweak to your own liking. The joy of Videoball comes in tuning into the timing of shooting and blocking. You are an Asteroids-like triangle, and the tap of a button (the game uses only one) fires a stream of small triangles out of your ship. These are good for dribbling the ball forward. Hold the button, and you power up the shot for a slam dunk—but if an opponent hits the ball with their own slam, it reverses direction while retaining all its momentum. And if you hold the button too long, your powered up shot converts into a defensive block. The pieces are incredibly basic, but there's insane headroom room for endless competition, as in any great sport.

Gang Beasts - Boneloaf
For the last month we have been working with Coatsink to move Gang Beasts to Unity 5.6 [1] to exploit performance improvements and make use of the expanded NavMesh, lighting, text rendering (TextMesh Pro), particle, post, camera, and debugging tools. The work to move to Unity 5.6 is done and most stability and rendering issues associated with moving to the current Unity 5.6 release have been identified and fixed.

Testing for the 0.5.6 beta build (published with this post) has ended, please flag any issues with Boneloaf support (support@boneloaf.co).

The 0.5.6 Early Access beta build has online support for the elevators stage, modified and optimised geometry for the subway and elevators stages, and a series of other optimisations, fixes, and modifications to UI, networking, and character and costume stability. The 0.5.6 beta also has a modified win state for the melee game mode and a provisional scheme for removing idle players from official servers (see the changelog section of this post for information).

In the last month we have also been working with partners to finish the optimisation of stage geometry and physics simulations, expand enemy AI abilities and pathfinding, setup game modes, debug new costume parts, fix camera issues, and rebuild and optimise menu and in-game UI (some of the optimisation work is exposed in the 0.5.6 beta but work on game modes, AI enemies, costume parts, menus and UI, and camera and post effects can’t be exposed for playtesting until a later build). [2]

The list of modifications and fixes made in this beta build are:
  • fixed an issue with character postures on the costume customisation screen
  • fixed stage specific issues with baking lights and re-baked light maps for some stages
  • implemented a scheme for removing idle players from official servers (the current server session will end and show the message “You were kicked due to inactivity” if inputs are not frequently sent to each player) [3]
  • implemented online support for elevators stage
  • modified formatting for UI text and modals for legibility
  • modified server disconnection messaging to give more information
  • modified the default win state for the melee games on official servers to two round wins per stage (to give players that lose the first round a round to fight in before the stage can cycle (spectating players can join from the next round or the next stage if the stage has ended) [4]
  • modified Steam API authentication messaging (Failed Platform Entitlement) with summary information and instructions
  • modified Steam ID names to not scale with distance in non-VR games
  • modified the stair light fixture on subway to support swinging from it
  • optimised the geometry for subway and elevators stages (made less significant optimisations to geometry for other stages)
  • renamed “survival” game mode to “melee” [5]
[1] we expect to make the full release build of Gang Beasts with Unity 5.6 later this year when the full set of launch content (game modes, stages, and costume sets) are fully tested and playable

[2] we have also been working on minimising and removing exploits and deviations in local multiplayer and online multiplayer game modes, please flag exploits and other issues in the comments

[3] this implementation will be reviewed and modified if removing idle players is exploited or otherwise compromises gameplay)

[4] similar to Street Fighter if World Warrior’s were gangs from Beef City and had mass brawls not tournaments

[5] for reference “melee”, “football”, “waves”, and “sandbox” are the four game modes planned for the full release of the game (other game modes will be added in a series of free post launch updates)
Gang Beasts - Boneloaf
We have finished testing on the 0.5.5 beta build (published with this post), the list of modifications and fixes made in the 0.5.5 beta build are:
  • added provisional AI enemy costume sets waves gang members for testing
  • fixed an input issue that made character input(s) submitted when invoking the pause menu to span the menu (sending the same set of character inputs as the pause menu is exited)
  • fixed an issue that stopped the audible playback of concussion SFX when characters are rendered unconscious
  • fixed an issue with the server filters implementation that ignored Canada (Montreal) and UK (London) geographies when selecting / deselecting all geographies
  • fixed an issue with calling the pause menu that could stall the game if the menu is invoked immediately before joining a server
  • modified colliders on the chute stage to optimise and stabilise physics simulations
  • modified colliders on the subways stage to optimise and stabilise physics simulations
  • modified the attachment trigger volume for the UID 23 Hobo_woollyHat (HEAD) costume part
  • modified the billboard panels on the billboard stage to make them removable
  • modified the hat attachment implementation to limit the scope for rotation
  • modified the server filters UI implementation to support the selection / deselection of the Canada (Montreal) and UK (London) filters with keyboard and controller input
  • replaced the loading screen and interstitial screen system with placeholder hint content and rasterised compositions of stage geometry (to show the next stage loading)
Current issues identified with the 0.5.5 beta build are:
  • 4th wall is still climbable on the subway and vents stages
  • dynamic and static friction parameters need modifying for falling meat paste sacks (to modify and stabilise the velocity of falling meat)
  • missing colliders on the open rucksack model (UID 173 costume_rucksack)
  • missing section of building geometry at left of gondola and elevators stages
  • the screens masking stage loading can fail to dismiss in some context
  • enemy AI are persistently aggressive
Please note the 0.5.5 beta build replaces the 0.5.4p2 beta build for server compatibility (moving between the default and “unstable” builds on Steam will download the same 0.5.5 beta build)
Gang Beasts - glumjamesbrown
Patch notes for the Gang Beasts 0.5.4p2 beta

We have finished testing on the 0.5.4p2 build (published with this post), the list of modifications and fixes made in the 0.5.4p2 beta build are:
  • added provisional hat re-attachment support to test attaching removed hats to character heads (when the base of a hat collides with the a non-hat wearing characters head from a congruous angle)
  • added voice SFX for audio feedback on the character selection screen
  • modified the burger hat costume part to support full detachment (to standardise hats and address the burger hat exploit)
  • modified the water volume on the buoy stage to test inflicting accumulative harm to characters that are colliding with the water simulation (to limit the scope for exploiting character forces to move grabbed ice fragments to escape other characters)
Please note the 0.5.4p2 beta build has the full set of modifications and fixes listed in the Fixed 0.5.4p1 patch notes and has full support for two new server geographies in Canada (Montreal) and the UK (London).

Current issues identified with the 0.5.4p2 beta build are:
  • 4th wall geometry is climbable on multiple stages
  • billboard panels don’t break on the billboard stage (panels will be made breakable in a coming build)
  • stage masking UI plane is not rendered when playing online if local is played previously in the same session (quitting and restart the game if you have this issue until it is fixed in a coming build)
  • concussion SFX and some other in-game SFX are muted or fail to play
    * dynamic and static friction parameters need modifying for falling meat paste sacks (to modify and stabilise the velocity of falling meat)
  • invoking the pause menu immediately before joining a server can stall the game at the server joining screen
  • missing colliders on the open rucksack model (UID 173 costume_rucksack)
  • missing colliders on yellow pipes structures on chutes stage
  • missing section of building geometry at left of gondola stage from a local game
Information on the Gang Beasts 0.5.4p1 beta and 0.5.4p2 beta

We have identified an issue with the 0.5.4p1 distribution that made it inaccessible, we are working on a second patch build (0.5.4p2) with some additional fixes and improvements and currently expect to publish this build later this week.

We have pushed a patch release in the last hour to address issues identified with the 0.5.4 build (published yesterday), the list of modifications and fixes made in the 0.5.4p1 beta build are:
  • fixed an issue with inaudible arm velocity SFX
  • fixed an issue with inaudible concussion SFX
  • fixed an issue with the meat paste falling on the chutes stage
  • modified game audio to balance SFX and other audio
  • modified the truck colliders a second time to address issues with specific colliders on the trucks stage
Patch notes for the Gang Beasts 0.5.4 beta (published Thursday 2 March 2017)

The Gang Beasts 0.5.4 beta build published with this post has a number of fixes, optimisations, and other modifications including improvements to the input mapping system, the gondola and trucks stages, the SFX and the orbit camera systems.

We are still working on other stability fixes and minimising in-game exploits and other annoyances and expect to have more examples of this work in coming builds.

Following the 0.5.4 build Coatsink will be pushing out support for two new server geographies in Canada (Montreal) and the UK (London) with full support coming from next week.

Please note the 0.5.4 beta build replaces the default 0.5.3 and ”unstable" 0.5.3 beta builds for server compatibilty (moving between the default and “unstable” builds on Steam will download the same 0.5.4 beta build)

The list of modifications and fixes made in the 0.5.4 beta builds are:
  • added VOIP indicators for spectating players
  • added a second speed to orbit cameras (two camera inputs in the same direction of travel accelerates the camera orbit, camera inputs in the opposite direction of travel slow or stop the current camera orbit)
  • added per player support for resetting custom input bindings
  • fixed an issue that made the game unresponsive if launched in the Steam Client offline mode
  • fixed an issue that stopped playback of the warp SFX when music is muted
  • fixed an issue with kigurumi tails clipping other geometry on the costume customisation screen
  • fixed an issue with leg costume parts that made characters show irregular visual artefacts
  • fixed an issue with the current truck colliders on the trucks stage
  • fixed horn SFX on the trucks stage
  • modified VOIP and name labels to lock them to the bounds of the screen (to indicate when an offscreen player is talking)
  • modified the suspended platforms on the gondola stage with hinged side gates
  • modified the horizontal and vertical building geometry in the gondola stage (to mask the scale of the building)
  • modified the volume of menu and UI SFX
  • optimised SFX performance
Current issues identified with the 0.5.4 beta build are:
  • concussion SFX is missing or not audible (should be fixed in 0.5.4p1)
Gang Beasts - glumjamesbrown
Patch notes for the Gang Beasts 0.5.3p1 beta (published Thursday 16 February 2017)

We have pushed a patch release in the last hour to address issues identified with the 0.5.3 build (published yesterday), the list of modifications and fixes made in the 0.5.3p1 beta build are:
  • patched an issue that stopped local games from ending on the vents stage if the game is set for more than 1 win
  • fixed an issue that made the waves game inaccessible
  • fixed an issue that stopped the forces on the vents stage from pushing or pulling characters when the fan blades are spinning
Patch notes for the Gang Beasts 0.5.3 beta (published Wednesday 15 February 2017)

Since the 0.5.2 build was published last month we have been working with Coatsink to patch keys issues introduced in recent builds and recent versions of Unity and are publishing the first batch of optimisations, fixes, and other modifications in the 0.5.3 beta.

The 0.5.3 build has numerous bug and stability fixes but we are still working to fix issues with the multiplayer camera, vents glitches, costume exploits and conflicts, inconsistencies with lift forces and concussion times and expect to push these fixes to Steam for testing in coming builds.

We have also started work on a full rebuild of the UI, localising for multiple languages, and a more standardised testing process (with additional resources working with us to identify and fix issues).

The list of modifications and fixes made in the 0.5.3 beta builds are:
  • added online support for the vents stage
  • fixed a number of controller input issues on the pause menu

  • optimised / modified the vents stage to stabilise fan animations and standardise timings
  • fixed a server issue that erroneously shows the “you took too long to load” message
  • fixed a server issue that made loading screens dismiss prematurely
  • fixed a server issue that made the server connection process repeat if many players connect to an empty server concurrently
  • fixed an issue with the localisation parser that would crash the client if a stage is won by a player with a less than (<) character before a greater than (>) character in their SteamID
  • added a setting for finding the currently available microphone to the audio menu
  • fixed an issue that shows the failed entitlement messaging in error

  • fixed an issue that stops the scores from increment on the incinerator stage
  • fixed some railing issues on vents
  • modified the camera for the trucks stage (stop or cycle orbit direction with the inputs mapped to left and right camera input)

  • modified the ordering scheme for selecting from saved costumes

  • modified the saved costume implementation to not save non-customised characters (to stop duplicate copies of non-customised characters from saving)

  • modified the game sound to fade out when the stage ends
  • modified the character preview implementation on the costume customisation screen to stabilise character physics when replacement costume parts are cycled
  • modified the coin screen animations to reduce the time it is shown on screen
  • modified the default volume level for SFX
  • modified the music and other audio for the containers, elevators, ring, towers, and wheel
  • modified the quick join debug messaging to reduce the number of text strings on screen
  • modified the server and client processes for monitoring scene loading (to avoid contexts that stall connecting clients at the stage loading screen)
  • temporarily added an online timer to force rounds to end after 5 minutes have passed (the timer will be replaced with stage escalations at a later stage of development)
Please note the 0.5.3 beta build replaces the default 0.5.2 and ”unstable" 0.5.2 beta builds for server compatibilty (moving between the default and “unstable” builds on Steam will download the same 0.5.3 beta build)
Community Announcements - Boneloaf
Update Wednesday 11 January 2017

We have pushed a server fix for the glue hand issue and patched 0.5.2 build that addresses a keyboard mapping issue. Please tell us if you still have issue with the 0.5.2 build as we continue to identify and patch issues in preparation for the next build.

Patch notes for the Gang Beasts 0.5.2 beta

Since the 0.5.1 build was published on 30 December 2016 we have been working with Coatsink to standardise character movement, optimise and fix input issues, and to scale server capacity and stability as the Gang Beasts Early Access community has increased significantly since the 0.5.0 beta build was published (on the 23 December 2016).

Quick Join

The 0.5.2 beta build has had numerous modifications to improve the Quick Join implementation, specifically to optimise the management of server connections and make disconnections less frequent; if you have issues connecting to servers with Quick Join in the 0.5.2 beta build please test connecting to servers with low pings from the server browser.

Gang Beasts Server Tool

We are working on making a number of guides to give more instructive information on using and customising the Gang Beasts Server Tool and will be adding a specific sub-forum for the server tool (the previous Server Tool forum was made inaccessible when the tool was associated with Gang Beasts on Steam).

The list of modifications and fixes made in the 0.5.2 beta builds are:
  • added support for clearing custom input mappings for a single player (previous implementation only supported the clearing of all custom mapping)
  • fixed a an issue that truncated some server listings at the end of the server browser
  • fixed an issue where failures to connect to the master server showed the string “MENU_ONLINE_CONNECT_ERROR” and not the associated error message for the issue
  • fixed an issue with the default server filter settings that only populated the server browser with servers for the US West (N. California) and Asia Pacific (Sydney) geographies by default, the default filter now populates from “All” geographies to show all currently available servers
  • fixed an issue with the punch implementation that made the character punch when exiting a grab state in some contexts
  • fixed an issue with the quick join ping implementation
  • fixed support for mapping custom mouse inputs (for reference mouse inputs can only be mapped to a single player)
  • modified character lifting implementation (to make lifting objects and characters less erratic)
  • modified damage parameters (to make concussions less immediate)
  • modified drag parameters on characters to make character movement less erratic (this modification lowers the maximum potential length of throws *)
  • modified maximum angular velocity parameters for characters (to make character movement less erratic)
  • modified quick join implementation to make subsequent connection attempts if the current connection fails
  • modified quick join implementation to prioritise low ping, part-populated servers
  • modified the custom input mapping implementation to make input more stable
  • modified the ping implementation for server browser stored listings
  • modified the quick join implementation to give more instructive messaging
Information on switching to and from "stable" and “unstable” branches

To download the ‘unstable’ branch on Steam right-click on the ‘Gang Beasts’ game name on the Steam library page and select 'Properties' from the window that opens, from this window select the 'BETAS' tab and then the 'unstable' option from the dropdown menu (the menu labelled 'Select the beta you would like to opt into:’. To revert back to the last 'stable' branch select 'NONE- Opt out of all beta programs' from the same menu.

For reference switching between 'unstable' and 'stable' branches of the game forces the selected build to download to the Steam client (replacing the previously selected build).

Please note the 0.5.0 release replaced the previous default 0.3.4 and 0.4.4 "unstable" Steam Early Access builds, moving between the default and “unstable” builds on Steam will download the 0.5.2 stable build until the “unstable” build is updated to 0.5.3
Announcement - Valve
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Watch in horror and amusement as gangs of gummy miscreants fight to grab, push, pull, and force their enemies from suspended window cleaning scaffolds, neglected funfair attractions, and commercial haulage trucks.

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time
Community Announcements - Boneloaf
A number of issues have impacted online multiplayer gameplay since the 0.5.0 beta release on 21 December some of which were patched in a recent server update, the key issues were that have compromised online and physics stability are:

Concurrent Players

There servers had a significant escalation in the volume of concurrent players (peaking at ~160% or 2.6 times more players than the previous record high), to address this we have added additional server capacity and will continue to monitor contention for servers and scale capacity if the number of online players continues to escalate.



Player Hosted Servers

A high number of player hosted servers registered (or attempted to register) with the master server in the days immediately following the release of the Gang Beasts server tool (on 23 December 2016), this negatively impacted on the performance of the Master Server. A significant percentage of player hosted servers that successfully registered with the master server (player hosted servers that were shown in the server browser list) did not have port forwarding configured or were otherwise inaccessible stopping other players from joining them.

To address these issues we have temporarily stopped player hosted servers from registering as public servers until the implementation can be modified (remote players can still connect to player hosted servers with the Direct Connection option in the online menu).



For discussion and support for the Gang Beasts Server Tool please use the forum at http://steamcommunity.com/app/497110/discussions/

Physics Instability

We have been testing to identify the source of the physics inconsistencies introduced in the 0.5.0 builds and have identified the issue is with frame rate independence (making the game physics fluctuate significantly when running on different hardware specifications). We have been testing a potential fix for this issue and are publishing this as the 0.5.1 beta build concurrently with this post.

The modifications to the characters physics (which are listed in the change log in the 0.5.0 posts are not the source of the issues with physics inconsistencies), the issue is with the game physics not calculating independently of frame rate which manifests as lower (weak) forces for systems with lower frame rates and compromises character stability for systems with exceptionally high frame rates.

Quick Join

We are working on the Quick Join implementation to improve the management of contention for server slots with less frequent disconnections; if you have frequent issues connecting to servers with Quick Join please connect with the Server List with geographical filters (to index servers in proximate geographies) until improvements to the Quick Join implementation are published.

The list of modifications and fixes made in the 0.5.1 beta builds are:
  • fixed an issue with the character system to make the character physics work independently of frame rate
  • fixed missing collider on subway
  • modified amplitude of RingDing SFX to lower volume by approx. half
  • modified amplitude of warp SFX sample to lower volume by approx. half
  • modified the master server to manage higher CCUs (Concurrent Users)
  • modified the master server to make the server list populate faster

Information on switching to / from "stable" and “unstable” branches

To download the ‘unstable’ branch on Steam right-click on the ‘Gang Beasts’ game name on the Steam library page and select 'Properties' from the window that opens, from this window select the 'BETAS' tab and then the 'unstable' option from the dropdown menu (the menu labelled 'Select the beta you would like to opt into:’. To revert back to the last 'stable' branch select 'NONE- Opt out of all beta programs' from the same menu.

For reference switching between 'unstable' and 'stable' branches of the game forces the selected build to download to the Steam client (replacing the previously selected build).

Please note the 0.5.0 release replaced the previous default 0.3.4 and 0.4.4 "unstable" Steam Early Access builds, moving between the default and “unstable” builds on Steam will download the 0.5.1 stable build until the “unstable” build is updated to 0.5.2
Community Announcements - Boneloaf
Update Monday 26 December 2016

A number of issues have impacted online multiplayer gameplay in the last 2-3 days, the following paragraph summarises the issues with information on what work has been done to address the issues until full solutions are tested and published summarised in the next paragraph.

The volume of player hosted servers trying to register with the master server since the server tool was approved on 23 December 2016 has been impacting the performance of the Master Server. A significant percentage of these registered servers that were shown in the server list did not have port forwarding configured (preventing them from being joined by other players).

To address these issues we have temporarily stopped player hosted servers from registering as public servers (players can still connect to player hosted servers with the Direct Connection option in the online menu).

For discussion and support for the Gang Beasts Server Tool please use the forum at http://steamcommunity.com/app/497110/discussions/

Patch notes for the Gang Beasts 0.5.0 beta

Since the last Steam Early Access post was published at the start of December we’ve been working with Coatsink to test significant modifications and fixes to the character, costume, game mode and networking systems (the 0.5.0 build replaces the 0.3.4 and 0.4.4 Steam Early Access builds).

Servers will be intermittently unavailable for the next hour as servers are modified (the 0.5.0 build is needed to play online as pre-0.5.0 builds are not supported by the modified server scheme)

Thank you to everyone that nominated Gang Beasts for the “Better With Friends” Steam Award.

Online / Servers

Online multiplayer support in Gang Beasts has had numerous iterations since the online beta started in May and is now sufficiently stable and scalable to release in the default Early Access builds on Steam.

Currently the Gang Beasts online multiplayer supports the following server geographies:
  • US East (N.Virginia)
  • US West (N. California)
  • EU (Ireland)
  • Asia Pacific (Sydney)
  • EU (Frankfurt)
  • South America (São Paulo)
  • Asia Pacific (Tokyo)
  • Asia Pacific (Singapore)
  • Asia Pacific (Seoul)
  • India (Mumbai)
following the publishing of the 0.5.0 beta build we plan to add support for servers in US East (Ohio), and will then assess supporting server geographies in Canada (Montreal), China (Ningxia), China (Beijing), UK (London), and France (Paris) as and when Amazon Web Services, the server hosting solution we lease server capacity from, make these server geographies available.

For reference latency will be lower if you are can connect to servers close to your location (you can use the server filter to show proximate servers), if there are no servers in close proximity to your location please email support@boneloaf.co with information on your location. If you are playing from a location that is not close to the currently supported servers please test the dedicated server tool (published with this post) as a temporary solution until the server infrastructure is expanded to support your locality (the server tool should be available through the Steam tools section and support Windows and Linux currently, please read the readme.txt file distributed with the build for more information on the server tool).

The list of modifications and fixes made to the online and server implementation in the 0.5.0 beta build are:
  • added support for modifying the camera Y axis with the single player camera (mapped to left and right D-pad and left and right cursors keys by default)
  • added an lobby to invite friends to before connecting to a server
  • added support for playing with multiple local players online
  • added online support for the blimp, billboard, buoy, and container stages
  • added PTT VoIP (Push-to-talk Voice over Internet Protocol) support *
  • fixed an issue that could make input mappings fail online
  • fixed an issue that made servers ignore input held at round start (held inputs now trigger on round start)
  • fixed an input issue with servers
  • modified the scheme for storing and retrieving servers in the central server and refactored some backend server systems
  • overhauled the master server scheme (to improve stability and implement support for polyinstancing)
* the default mapping for PTT VoIP is right trigger on game controllers and the “C” key on keyboards

Please note the 0.5.0 build will replace the current builds on both the default and unstable branches

Please note the 0.1.0 Dedicated Server Tool will only have support for Windows and Linux operating systems initially (please read the readme.txt file distributed with the tool for more information

Local

Local multiplayer support in Gang Beasts has seen a number of improvements and fixes including, an provisional support for in game camera modification (single player only), support for playing online with multiple local players, provisional support for debug spawning (we plan to expand debug spawning support to form the template for sandbox modes in later builds), and a basic version of the revised waves game mode (currently limited to the grind stage).

The list of modifications and fixes made to the local game in the 0.5.0 beta build are:
  • added modified scenes and geometry for blimp, billboard, buoy, subway, vents**, and containers
  • added provisional support for single player camera adjustments (with D-pad or cursor keys)
  • added support for playing with multiple local players online
  • exposed the debug spawning system in local (currently does not have support player-controlled characters and some nav meshes are missing) ***
  • fixed an issue in local game modes (with more than 4 players) giving false server disconnection errors
  • fixed an issue that could make playing a local game with more than 4 players fail
  • setup the waves game mode for local games (currently only the grind stage with default grey AI is available for the waves game mode)
** the name of the fans stage has been modified to vents (the original name for the fans stage)
*** debug spawning is disabled for online for official servers

Stages

We are still working to finish modified geometry for stages but are close to having final geometry on most stages (excluding colour grading and post effects), the list of stages modified for the 0.5.0 build are:
  • blimp (optimisations, blimp geometry and colouring, beef city geometry, fog sphere)
  • billboard (optimisations, billboard and scene geometry, beef city geometry, fog sphere)
  • buoy (optimisations, water implementation, beef city geometry, fog sphere)
  • chutes (optimisations, scene geometry, escalation geometry)
  • containers (optimisations, container geometry, beef city geometry, fog sphere)
  • elevators (optimisations, provisional glass break particle system)
  • incinerator (optimisations, scene geometry, fire particles)
  • subway (optimisations, scene geometry)
  • vents (optimisations, scene geometry)
Menu / UI / messaging

We’re still working to standardise the game menus, UI, and messaging to remove annoyances and make key content more accessible, the 0.5.0 beta build fixes a number of issues with game menus and a modified score screen (with star shaped balloons for points), the key modification to menus, UI, and messaging:
  • added support for saving menu and character costume settings
  • added support for storing some settings (last character selection and other game settings)
  • fixed an issue with the Steam overlay triggering the in-game pause menu
  • fixed an issues that stoped local game modes from pausing when the pause menu is invoked
  • modified input mapping screen to show keyboard and game controller mappings concurrently
  • modified online menu UI to work with the new lobby system
  • modified server browser to show more server entries per screen
  • modified the score screen shown at the end of each round to prioritise score information (we are working on solutions to show other key information and metrics contextually in game)
  • modified the temporary main menu background to improve legibility
  • modified the loading and interstitial screens to only show a new stage is loading
  • modified when loading and interstitial screens show should now only appear when a new level is loaded
Character

Character movement, force parameters, concussion system, and targeting hierarchies have been modified to improve game play and the character customisation system has been exposed for testing, the full list of modifications to the character and character costume systems are:
  • added a grab delay to the jump implementation to stop characters from targeting posterior objects and enemies when jumping
  • added the costume customisation system ****
  • fixed a field of view issue that stopped elbows from triggering
  • fixed a targeting issue to make characters prioritise anterior grab targets (over posterior grab targets)
  • fixed an issue in the character hierarchy that triggered inconsistent leg behaviour
  • fixed an issue that made characters slide vertically on walls when grip fails
  • fixed an issue that made kicking forces and movement inconsistent
  • fixed an issue where melee attacks would apply forces incorrectly (should be less prone to physics explosions)
  • fixed an issue that limited grip parameters when climbing from a jump state
  • modified and optimised character movement forces and timings
  • modified colliders on character feet for stability
  • modified concussion parameters (to reduce length for long concussions)
  • modified damage parameters for body parts to make them take more damage to the chest, waist, hips, arms, and legs on collisions (head, stomach, crotch, hands and feet parameters have not been modified)
  • modified drag forces on characters (to make lifting and throwing characters less difficult)
  • modified force parameters for climbing to make climbing less difficult (some surfaces will still be difficult to climb until grab targets are fully populated to all stages)
  • modified force scaling in damage calculations (to inflict more violence than other collisions)
  • modified force parameters for punches, head-butts, and kicks to standardise character movement
  • modified front and rear sliding to make characters elevate their legs immediately before sliding
  • modified kick parameters to limit spamming
  • modified targeting hierarchies to contextually prioritise anterior targets when jumping or falling
  • modified the character breathing simulation to improve character stability
  • modified the character’s vertical field of view (to reduce the frequency that characters target objects below their feet)
  • modified the climbing implementation to contextually offset targeting per arm
  • optimised the object targeting system for stability and performance
  • restored contextual elbowing (for contexts where enemies are immediately behind the character)
**** saved costume customisations could be lost or corrupted on subsequent updates while the system is in development

Information on switching to / from "stable" and “unstable” branches

To download the "unstable" branch on Steam right-click on the "Gang Beasts" game name on the Steam library page and select "Properties" from the window that opens, from this window select the "BETAS" tab and then the "unstable" option from the dropdown menu (the menu labelled "Select the beta you would like to opt into:". To revert back to the last 'stable' branch select "NONE- Opt out of all beta programs" from the same menu.

For reference switching between unstable and stable branches of the game forces the selected build to download to the Steam client (replacing the previously selected build).

Please note the 0.5.0 build replaces the 0.3.4 and 0.4.4 Steam Early Access builds, moving between the default and “unstable” builds on Steam will both download the 0.5.0 build until the “unstable” build is updated to 0.5.1



Please post issues you identify with the 0.5.0 build in the comments for the pinned post at http://steamcommunity.com/app/285900/discussions/0/152392549356421433/
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