Them's Fightin' Herds - Mane6, Inc
This update fixes some bugs and wraps up the last little bits of Salt Mines 2.0 that weren't considered "mission critical" during its debut. The dungeon UI has a new look, we've added music to the shop, shop dialogue has been expanded and slowed down a bit. There is also now a WIP difficulty selector at the beginning of Arcade Mode.

There will be more Salt Mines and Pixel lobby content coming in future patches: like more hats and additional dialogue portraits for Cap 'n Cash. We're also continuing to address bugs. As far as core features go, we believe we're in a good place until after 1.0., so keep the feebdack coming, but bear in mind we'll be shifting most of our development focus from this point on.

Let's dig into it.

Pixel Lobby
Salt Mines

The Salt Mines HUD has been redesigned for less clutter and increased visual clarity. Fonts have been updated, the HUD elements have had their size decreased slightly, and there are now the proper amount of colors in the difficulty level's progress bar.
  • The Salt Mines HUD now displays which button throws dynamite.
  • Fixed a bug that caused a really, really loud splash sound when dynamite exploded in water.
  • Fixed an issue where a player’s name would appear on fight clouds they weren’t involved in.
  • Fixed an issue where “Tremendously Terrifying” got cut off in the ending scorecard.
  • We've made some adjustments to the Boss Bear’s command dash:
  • It now has more armor points.
  • It’s now definitely projectile-invulnerable the whole way through.
  • You can no longer block during the command dash, which was causing a weird slowdown effect to occur.
  • Fixed a bug where the bear would “land” in midair if they were hit during the dash.

(Known issue: The notification at the very end of a mines run that displays the final message ends too abruptly. We'll fix this.)

General
  • The shop now has music! Aw yeah.
  • Cap ‘n’ Cash now have unique dialogue depending on which character you have equipped when you enter the shop.
  • Shop dialogue auto-advances a bit slower now. Stay a while and listen.
  • Cashmere has added lights to the shop booth in Reine City and a Dreary Place. Market research shows ungulates love lights. (No lights have been added to the shop booth while in the Pummeling Prairie. There seems to be some kind of magical interference in that place.)
  • There are now tracks leading into the (now less) hidden Salt Mines gate room in Reine City and A Dreary Place, due to recently heavy hoof traffic.
  • Fixed inconsistent capitalization on various cosmetics flavor text.
  • The match win counter on the combat HUD has been disabled for spectators, to avoid the appearance of a bug that caused it to tick up rapidly if a player disconnected.
  • Fixed a cosmetics error where Arizona and Velvet would be more naked when putting certain clothes on.
  • Fixed a cosmetic error where the Ludic...rous Sombrero would float over characters’ heads.
  • The Banked salt display on the upper right corner of the screen (by default) is now slightly larger.

Gameplay
General
  • There is now a dedicated graphic for “perfect” KOs. (Known issue: If you get a perfect and a time out KO simultaneously, it shows the perfect graphic instead of the time out graphic, but only if you're player 1. We'll fix this.)
  • There is now a difficulty selector at the beginning of Arcade Mode (though its still WIP look-and-feel wise.)
  • The announcer no longer asks if you want to play a rematch when the type of fight doesn't allow rematches.
  • Reference palettes made by Mane6 now just say “Mane6” instead of “Mane6 Original”.
  • A couple of backer palettes which previously read “Mane6” are now credited correctly. Yay for shrapnel fixes!

Arizona
  • Fixed a bug where Rebound’s animation would play faster against a Velvet opponent.
  • Magic Stomp’s input buffer window has been slightly reduced when cancelling out of other attacks, to prevent accidentally getting stomp instead of other deliberately input magic attacks.

Velvet
  • Made an animation adjustment so that during back throw, Velvet adjusts her position after the throw instead of during, to make it look more intentional. Nothing but appearances have been changed.

Predators
Prior to the bear updates in Salt Mines 2.0, the predators were operating with a set of mostly placeholder animations. In this update the wolf has received many animation improvements, particularly on dashes and 5C, along with some movement mechanics changes to fit them better:
  • Walk speeds have been lowered overall.
  • Dash speed and distances have been increased overall.
Them's Fightin' Herds - Mane6, Inc
Greetings all. Now that Salt Mines 2.0 has been released into the wild, here’s the latest on our future plans.

Much earlier in the year as I was first joining the team, I made a prediction that we’d be reaching 1.0 by the end of Summer. Well... that’s in two days. Suffice to say, looks like my estimate was inaccurate (unless I meant the southern hemisphere’s Summer, ho ho).

Level 3 supers and Story Mode are the only two remaining hard requirements for us to consider the game a full release. They aren’t ready yet, but we’re in the final stretch. It looks like we’ll still be able to make it to 1.0 by the end of this year.

So… what happened?

Long story short, Salt Mines 2.0 blew out its time budget about threefold. Online multiplayer is probably the most difficult, complex area of game development there is, and we’d advise other indie developers out there to approach it with caution. It took maximum effort and ten weeks to complete this feature (and there’s still more we wish we could’ve done), but it’s out, we’re satisfied with the result, and it’s about time we brought the rest of the game home.

Many of you have been asking: why we did we choose to focus on Salt Mines over Story Mode? That’s an absolutely fair question. We know there are a lot of players more interested in single-player content, but we believed this was the right move to make. Here’s our reasoning.

Salt Mines is our attempt to solve three large problems that today’s fighting games don’t seem to have answers for: (fun) alternative modes, thriving online lobbies, and engaging ways of unlocking cosmetics that don’t involve microtransactions. We see an opportunity for TFH to stand out among the giants and have a better chance of making it long-term if we can succeed in these spaces.

This issue has been on the dev’s minds since the beginning of the project. The original Salt Mines (available when the game first launched) was only a shadow of the intended design. It was fun in its own way, but didn’t really accomplish its goals. We felt it was necessary to update the Salt Mines to its final form, and that it needed to go out as soon as possible. It’s a very experimental feature by industry standards, so the more time we have to observe play, gather feebdack, and fix bugs, the stronger it will be (and the more likely it will make an impact on fighting game history), by the time we’re ready to leave Early Access.

We admit it seems a little crazy, but it was a calculated risk. Hopefully that provides some clarity on our thought process behind this whole thing.

Now, let’s talk about what’s next!

Level 3 supers are pretty far along. We’ve been working on them in secret along with Salt Mines 2.0. They’re very close to done: completely functional, but still in need of final animation, effects, and sound. We’d hoped to include them in the last patch, but during the final weeks of development it became clear we needed to pull everyone in to help with the mines.

Level 3s for all six characters will go out in October. Included with (or close to) this release, we’ll also be updating the structure of our menus.

After all that’s in the bag, we finish up Arizona’s chapter of Story Mode. Though content-rich, it won’t be nearly as complex from a developer perspective as Salt Mines, so development should go much more smoothly. Then, at long last, TFH will be ready for 1.0.

Alright. That’s all I got for ya’ll this time. Thanks for the read. If you’re interested in the long-form explanation, I first made this announcement during yesterday’s ManeCast stream. Starts at 6:52.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. We’ll be in touch.


Aaron

Production Manager, Mane6
Them's Fightin' Herds - Mane6, Inc
We've got a pretty substantial update to round out a bunch of Salt Mines stuff. Most notably, your salt bank is now persistent. It no longer expires after 4 hours of server inactivity. Also we've got some further tweaks to Tianhuo and throws in general.

Pixel Lobby
Salt Mines
  • The large center map has been reworked to improve traversability. One-way dropdowns have been removed and various corridors have been widened.
  • The boss bear has undergone some top-level rebalancing in an effort to help the final showdown reach a conclusion faster:
  • The boss bear’s base max health and scaling max health have been reduced.
  • The boss bear’s health melting speed increases over time the longer they go without catching a player. This mechanic resets when a player is caught.
  • The boss bear now heals more from defeating players.
  • The boss bear’s movement speed has been increased and is now slightly less susceptible to ice physics.
  • Dynamite chests now cost 60 salt (up from 50).
  • The maximum amount of dynamite a player can carry at once is now 10 (down from 30).
  • Reduced the chance health orbs spawn in salt ore before bear event to 5% (down from 10%).
  • There is now a roar sound effect that plays when the boss bear spawns, and when the boss bear defeats a player.
  • When a predator npc fight times out, the player always wins, regardless if the predator had a life lead.
  • Fixed a bug in the salt mines dynamic music system where the “level 3” layer would start too early (at difficulty level 4). It now advances every odd level as it should.
  • Fixed a few places on the map where the boss bear player could get trapped behind salt rocks.
  • Fixed a rare issue where desyncs could occur during boss bear fights.
  • Fixed a bug where salt ores that replenish during the bear event were yielding as if it were the first difficulty level. The ore now properly yields according to the salt scaling value reached before the final showdown phase began.
  • Fixed a bug on the pixel lobby controls card where “throw dynamite” did not replace “wardrobe menu” during the salt mines preparation phase.
  • Tian’s HUD portrait is now on fire.

General
  • You can now run the game on the same machine you’re running a server!​​​
  • Banked salt is now persistent. It no longer resets after being logged out of a pixel lobby server for 4 hours. This means you will still have all the salt you haven’t spent if you come back, for example, a week later.
  • Players can now keep and spend their banked salt across different pixel lobby servers.
  • Cashmere has slightly adjusted the prices of hats in her shop.
  • The shop HUD now displays your current banked salt amount in the header.
  • Fixed a few typos in Cap ‘n’ Cash’s lines. (What -are- hands?)
  • Cap ‘n’ Cash now have additional lines:
  • When a player enters the shop already owning all the hats for sale.
  • When a player tries to buy a hat they already own.
  • The wardrobe menu now has sorting options:
  • Alphabetical A-Z.
  • Alphabetical Z-A.
  • Rarity Lowest-Highest.
  • Rarity Highest-Lowest.
  • There are new toggles in the lobby options menu:
  • Turn off the sound notification when an overworld salt chest spawns.
  • Set whether or not the chat box automatically closes after sending a message. (Auto-close is enabled by default).
  • Fixed various issues with lobby sound effects playing too loudly.
  • Fixed a variety of bugs that could result in rare server crashes.
  • Fixed an issue that caused duplicate player sprites to appear.
  • Fixed an issue that causes player sprites to turn invisible.
  • Fixed a long-standing issue where a player’s GGPO delay setting would, on rare occasions, not accurately represent actual delay. This was known as the “input delay” bug, and we believe it is dead.
  • The Kitsune Mask now occupies the face slot instead of the hat slot.

Gameplay
General
  • All characters' 6A (anti-air) attacks now get pushblocked as if they are heavy attacks.
  • Throw tech window has been increased to 17 frames (previously 15 frames, as of the last patch).
  • “Crouch teching” throws are now allowed, as TRM takes care of most of the issues this intended to solve.
  • Throw inputs while crouching will now cause a throw to come out rather than an attack, since crouch teching is now allowed.
  • Throws now scale combo damage to 50%, (down from 70%).
  • Counterhit throws now properly reset JD to 0.

Tutorials
  • Sections of the tutorial that talk about throws and throw teching have been updated to account for the recent changes made to throw mechanics.
  • Various typos all around the tutorial have been fixed.

Velvet
  • Fixed a bug that was causing Velvet’s forward tech roll to have the wrong number of hit-only invulnerability frames.

Pom
  • Airbud should now always groundbounce the default amount.

Tianhuo
Tianhuo has always presented unique balance difficulties. She benefited greatly from the changes made to the universal pushblock system in ways we did not anticipate, so we’re tweaking some numbers.
  • 2A now has 5 active frames, reduced from 9. (This was just an unrelated oddity).
  • 2C now causes less blockstun. It’s now -24 instead of -20.
  • 6A (anti-air) now causes increased blockstun vs airborne opponents, to make 6A > Volcanic crash setups a little more difficult to pull off.
  • Horizontal momentum retained on Firecracker Attack (2D) is now hard capped, to prevent instances of unreactible crossups.
  • Fixed a bug where Volcanic Crash could grab a pushblocking opponent.
  • Tianhuo’s Master Combo Trial 2 has been replaced.

Predators
  • Predator’s moves across the board now add more JDG, effectively making their combos shorter.
  • All predators are now capable of being counterhit out of all attacks, instead of only from throw startup and air attacks. (Whoops!)
  • Fixed an issue where predators were unable to block at the start of a fight.
Them's Fightin' Herds - Mane6, Inc
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Them's Fightin' Herds - Mane6, Inc
Live now! Mane6 on Twitch
Them's Fightin' Herds - Mane6, Inc
We're live now, showing off and celebrating our Salt Mines 2.0 update!

Join us here: Mane6 on Twitch
Them's Fightin' Herds - [M6] Anukan
At long last, Salt Mines 2.0 is finally here! We've also implemented fundamental changes to the pushblock system, shortened the match timer, and made throw teching a little bit harder to do. Since so many universal changes are going in all at once, we'll be keeping a close eye on how they affect each character individually.

The pixel lobby experience has been completely transformed now that the original concept for the Salt Mines has been realized. In addition: lobby controls, virtually all menus, and the text chatbox have received updates. Read on for details...

Pixel Lobby
New Feature: Salt Mines 2.0
  • The Salt Mines is now a timed event.
  • Players are scored and rewarded based on how much salt they have when they are defeated or time runs out.
  • Players can now mine salt ore in the Salt Mines by rapidly hitting (or holding) the D button.
  • Defeating predators yields salt rewards and progresses the stage of difficulty.
  • The higher the difficulty, the higher the rewards gained.
  • Players can purchase Health, Hats and Dynamite from chests that spawn throughout the Salt Mines.
  • As the timer draws closer to the end, Hat chests (which are normally contestable) will no longer be contestable, and players spend a period of time stocking up on salt rewards to further boost their score before the tally.
  • When the 'stock up' phase ends, the top salt earner is sacrificed to the elder gods and ascends. The FINAL EVENT begins, where remaining players fight for survival.
  • There are a set of bonus challenges that are given out to players who complete certain feats while participating in the Salt Mines.
  • Salt rewards from Salt Mines runs are banked, to then be spent at a vendor in the overworld to purchase additional hats.
  • Banked salt is a temporary resource. It does not carry over to other pixel lobby servers and disappears if a player remains logged out from a server for more than 4 hours.
New Feature: Cap ’n' Cash’s Cash for Caps Lobby Shop

  • Introducing Cap ‘n' Cash, hat traders from Reine City on a mission to take your hard-earned salt in exchange for fabulous hats. What are they doing with all that salt? Who knows. But you sure look great.
  • Their stock rotates every Sunday at 0:01 a,m, and Wednesday at 6 p,m, PST. Numbers are subject to change based on the discretion of the shopkeepers...
General
  • The fountain in A Dreary Place has collapsed… So much for that.
  • The bounds of reality in the Pummeling Plains are now harder to escape from.
  • The game now remembers which voice channel you have set between play sessions.
  • Overworld salt chests now reward much more salt: 300 to the winner, 150 to the loser.
  • We now display notifications about the salt mines and salt chest battles in the overworld! If you prefer to go radio silent, you can turn them off in lobby options.
  • Predators and shadow characters in the salt mines now always appear to have 100% health when a fight begins, regardless of their actual health value.
  • Predators and shadow characters in the salt mines now have low friction in the overworld and can more reliably be juked/kited especially at lower levels.
New Lobby Controls
  • We’ve rearranged the controls for the Pixel Lobby. They are now:
    • A - Wardrobe Menu (in overworld), Throw Dynamite (in salt mines)
    • B - Quick Chat Menu
    • C - Cancel
    • D - Confirm/Interact
    • Utility 1 - Open/Close Text Chat
    • Utility 2 - Voice Chat (Hold)
    • Start - Options Menu
    • Select - Player List (formerly Leaderboard (formerly Chuck’s))
Improved Menus
  • There is now a “Master Volume” option on the main and pixel lobby menus.
  • The “Hold Magic button” menu is no longer a thing. Everything you could do in that menu is now in the pause menu. Everything that was inside the previous pause menu has been consolidated into a submenu: “Lobby Options”.
  • “Music Volume” now effects all music everywhere. There is no longer a separate volume slider for lobby music.
  • The “Music at Night” option has been assimilated into “Overworld Music”, which you can toggle on, off, or “Day Only”.
  • There is now an on/off toggle for music in the Salt Mines.
  • There is now a “Pixel Lobby Controls” display on the pause menu.
  • Lobby options now update in real time. You no longer have to apply your changes before exiting the menu.
  • You can now push pause or cancel to leave the lobby menu.
  • “Leaderboard” has been renamed to “Player List” and displays ping, overworld chest wins, run salt, and bank salt. "Score" was a vestigial stat and has been removed.
  • All lobby menus now autoscroll when you hold a direction.
Improved Text Chatbox
  • You can now press the Utility 1 button to open and close the chatbox. You can still click it with your mouse, if you prefer the old ways.
  • There are now scrollbars!
  • You can now choose to anchor the chatbox to the bottom left or bottom right of your screen via the lobby options menu.
  • When you press enter to send a message, the chatbox will now close.
Improved Wardrobe
  • The wardrobe has been completely overhauled. You can now see many more accessories at once and tab through different slots with a single button press.
Stages
  • 2D stages are now available. To turn them on, select from the “Show Backgrounds” option in the main menu. If you’re on a lower-end machine, you no longer have to fight in the void! Keep in mind they won’t be a 1:1 recreation of the full-fidelity 3D version, but we did want to offer something better than complete and total darkness.
  • The cave stage featured during Salt Mines and the Arcade Mode boss fight has been redone. We would like to make this stage unlockable for versus play later on, but that is not included for this release.
  • Pom’s stage has been redone, along with the nighttime variant.
  • We’ve temporarily removed some NPCs from Pom’s stage for adjustments to the new setup.
  • Pom’s rainy stage has been removed from the game permanently. There is no rain in Baaah’s Sheep State.
  • Velvet’s stage morning and nighttime variants are back with updated versions!
Gameplay
Mechanics Changes
  • Match timer seconds now count as real-world seconds instead of “Skullgirls” seconds (which are actually 1.75 real-world seconds). Take that, relativity!
    • The predator fight in Arcade Mode now has an infinite match timer, to account for the change above.
  • Pushblock distance is now determined based on the button strength of the hit you pushblock. Heavier buttons push back farther.
  • You can now effectively pushblock any individual hit of a multihit move. Before, there were certain multihits that locked you out for variable amounts of time, pushblock should now be much more responsive across the board.
  • Throw tech window reduced from 23 frames to 15 frames.
  • Throw startup is now considered counterhittable. This functions similarly to "Throw Reject Miss" (TRM), where if you attempt a throw tech too early (before the throw actually hits you), you are prevented from teching that throw at all. You will have to be more deliberate with your throw input timing to break free.
  • There is now an onscreen indicator during the throw tech window, to help players see it better.
    • Green is a regular, techable throw.
    • Red is counterhit throw (TRM or otherwise), which cannot be teched.
General
  • There is now a unique hitspark for throws.
  • Armored hits now have a special sound effect.
Velvet
  • Fixed an issue where Shatter A and C wouldn’t correctly spawn effects and hitboxes when input buffered from air blockstun.
  • Velvet’s air throw now has a wind sound effect.
  • Velvet’s stand throw now has an ice eruption sound effect.
  • Velvet's blocks and pushblocks now have an icy sound effect.
  • Velvet's supers now have new sound effects.
  • Various inconsistencies created by the frost effect from Velvet’s level 2 super have been fixed. It should now work like every other slowmo effect in the game. The amount the opponent is slowed has now also increased slightly as a result.
Paprika
  • Paprika’s basket explosion now has a sound effect.
  • Throws now have constrict sound effect. (Still missing the pop, however).
  • Paprika's arms no longer render above various other objects/pups/etc during her throws.
  • Paprika's edibles now make a squish sound when hitting the floor.
  • Paprika's player 2 intro now has sounds for when she is interacting with the fourth wall.
  • [6]4+C (Teleport) now has a sound effect when Paprika hits the ground.
  • j.C hitpause and gaps between hits increased very slightly to allow consistent pushblocks.
  • [4]6+A (Cartwheel) visual swipes and screenshake now align slightly better with hits.
  • [4]6+A (Cartwheel) top and forward hitboxes expanded slightly.
Oleander
  • Fixed an issue where two books showed up during C, j.C, and B. There can still be only one.
  • The beam effect during Study has been updated.
  • Fred has a new eldritch drone.
  • Fred's portals have new sounds.
Tianhuo
  • Fixed an issue where an extra ear would show up during j.A. Tianhuo has been instructed to stop drinking from the water pool downstream from the Industrial District in Huoshan.
  • Tian's Firecracker Flips now have a sound effect.
  • Tian's air throw now properly adds a hit on the first jab.
Pom
  • j.B hitpause now properly applies to Pom as well, allowing consistent pushblocking for every hit.
Predators
  • The bear now has an expanded moveset and many animation updates, as it’s now a playable boss in the Salt Mines. You read that right. There it is, a bear, a bear.
    • 2A is a multihit, the second hit is a low.
    • B travels further and armor both lasts longer and kicks in earlier.
    • C is faster, reaches further and autoguard kicks in earlier.
    • 2C is a sweep, and like the rest of a predator's move, is jump cancellable.
    • 6A is an unblockable anti-air as long as the opponent is rising upward.
    • 236x is a command dash. It's projectile invulnerable, armored and airborne.
    • Now has proper, unique and brutal throws.
    • Now has a functional magic meter, 2 charges max. It refills naturally overtime, but gains bonus meter after landing any of the bear's various grab options.
    • The bear's D leaps into the background which allows a barrage of stage hazard attacks, each costing a bit of the constantly draining magic.
    • The bear is totally invulnerable during this state.
    • The longer the bear remains idle in the background, the faster the rate of magic decay.
  • The snake’s venom projectile is no longer made out of poisonous cardboard.
  • The snake has a proper venom effect during its super.
  • Fixed an issue where the snake and bear could use super attacks without actually having meter available.
Them's Fightin' Herds - Mane6, Inc


Greetings all! We've got an update on the current status of Salt Mines 2.0 and how the release will be handled, as well as a look at our upcoming stream schedule.

I mentioned during our last Manecast stream that the release of Salt Mines 2.0 was estimated for sometime in August. You might have noticed that it is no longer August...

Though we've found ourselves in need of more time to finish things up, development has in fact entered alpha phase and is currently in the hands of our inner circle of community testers. We are very, very close. Everything's playable. All we have left to do is balance tuning and bug squashing. It will soon be yours.

Our intended goal is to release to the public by the end of this week. When Salt Mines 2.0 and the surrounding patch is ready for release, we're considering the mines to be in open beta for a total of one week. Treat it like a normal patch. Everyone will get to play and you don't have to do anything special. We just want to acknowledge that we'll probably need to push updates rapidly during the beta period to respond to feedback and catch the more elusive bugs.

This is probably the biggest update we've ever shipped. There will be a truly massive amount of goodies for the pixel lobby and impactful gameplay changes to the combat side of things. We're very excited for you to play it.

Now, let's talk about streams. Here’s what we’ve got lined up:

All streams take place at 3pm PT / 6pm ET on http://twitch.tv/manesix

This Friday (9/6) - Lindsay's Casual Work Stream #5​
  • Lindsay works on the art for one of the six custom fightstick rewards promised to top-tier donors of our past crowdfund campaign.​
This Sunday (9/8) - Sunday Stompin' #3​
  • First to ten featuring Hamit (Pom) vs ItsAk9! (Velvet) with commentary from the dev team.​
This Monday (9/8) - Salt Mines 2.0 Post-Patch Stream​
  • Oreo of our QA team overviews and expands upon the new features of the latest patch.​
Next Friday (9/13) - Manecast #3​
  • The dev team meets with members of the community to discuss what's next for Them's Fightin' Herds.​

That's all for now. Thanks so much for your patience. The update is on the horizon.

Aaron
Production Manager, Mane6
Them's Fightin' Herds - Mane6, Inc


Small patch going out to improve performance on the new stages and fix an issue with Oleander's new Study effect.

  • Fog effects on Tianhuo's and Velvet's updated stages can now be disabled using the Weather Effects setting in Game options. Please let us know if this improves performance on these stages.
  • The Stage Select screen now displays the updated versions of Tianhuo's and Velvet's stages as well as the Training stage.
  • Fixed various prop layering errors in Velvet's update stage.
  • Added snow pileups around the corners of the shops in Velvet's updated stage.
  • Enhanced the look of the statue in Velvet's updated stage
  • Oleander: Fixed a bug where the new beam effect on Study would not reposition properly during a crossup
...

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