They Are Billions - Numantian Games


Greetings!

As you probably know, before launching They Are Billions on Steam we had a presale campaign with special limited editions in which one of the rewards for supporting the development was to appear in the game credits.

As appreciation to all our awesome backers, we have produced a theme song for the game credits as a tribute to the more than 3,000 people who, through their support and collaboration, have help us to make this project a reality.

The theme song was composed and directed by our great composer Nicolás Diteriks, who also played the piano. Alice Dixit has lent us her amazing voice, and they are both joined by a wonderful group of talented performers: Lucas d'Angelo on the guitar, Igor de Ferran on the bass and Pablo Ramirez on the drums.

We hope you like it. On behalf of the entire team, thank you all very much for your support!

https://youtu.be/DZhhIAwu7Xs

Note: The new credits will be available in the game in the next version.

Collector's Edition and Price Change

We are now very close to the final release of They Are Billions that includes the new Campaign mode, with more than 60 hours of play. From this week the base price of the game will no longer include the Early Access discount and its final price will be $ 29.99.

We are also working in the collector's edition, that will include the soundtrack album remastered to the highest quality and the digital book "The Art of They Are Billions", that contains hundreds of images with sketches, tests and final artwork of TAB. The Collector's Edition will come out as an extension (DLC) so anyone who wants to can upgrade from the basic edition. Its price will be: $6,99.

And that's all for now, see you soon in the next update: Tactic Missions and the Heroes!

*If you are a backer and can’t find yourself in the credits, please let us know at: gomez@numantiangames.com. We will be updating the credits in the game with every new version.
They Are Billions - Numantian Games


Greetings!
As we mentioned in the previous update, we hope to launch the final game with the Campaign in June. We are working very hard on all fronts in parallel: Missions of the Campaign, new interface for the Campaign, testing and balancing, cinematics, voices and sound effects, new units, translations, and some other surprises we have planned.

The name of the Campaign will finally be The New Empire, which we believe summarizes the goal of the campaign very well: to build the new human civilization, after the zombie apocalypse, under the leadership of the Great Emperor, Quintus Crane. In addition, this New Empire mimics the ancient human empires, especially The Roman Empire, both in its aesthetic and in its imperialistic and conquering behavior. And all of this mixed with a rudimentary steam-powered technology and a world devastated by zombies... What do you think?

Campaign Dashboard

We have almost finished the new interface for the campaign. There are still some icons missing - we are using provisional ones - but, we can show you the most important elements. We hope you like it. The interface has the same Steampunk touch as the rest of the game, but we also wanted to bring it closer to the New Empire, with its symbols and flags.



From the Dashboard you can access three sections using the large buttons on the top right: Campaign Map, Research Laboratory, and Hero Stats Screen.

On the Campaign Map, you’ll find the map that grows and unveils as you advance in the campaign. From there, you can consult the available missions and start playing them.

From the Research Laboratory you can unlock new research that grants you access to improvements for your colonies. Click here for more information.



Finally, from the Hero Stats Screen you can see all the Hero related information including the tree of improvements. We will talk about this in the next update.

Also in the Dashboard, you will find the following elements:

  • Progress of the Campaign (in the center at the bottom).
  • User account screen where the current difficulty level and the button to change it appear at all times.
  • Total Empire points that represent your power within the Empire, necessary to dispose of your army in swarm attack missions, and overall campaign score (both bottom right).

Swarm Attack Missions



As the Campaign progresses, you will find swarms that will block the way of the expansion of the Empire. You will have to destroy them by placing the defense units and structures of the Imperial Army.

In these outdoor missions you will have to face a swarm of infected, which you will have to destroy while defending the Official Outpost located in the center. If the Outpost is destroyed or infected you will have lost the mission.

When you start the mission, the game will be paused while you use the Outpost to select the units and defenses to deploy. Rangers and wooden barriers will always be available, as well as all the units and defenses that you have unlocked from the research tree so far.



Each unit or defense costs a certain number of Empire points. Once they run out, you’ll be unable to deploy more defenses. When you have finished with the deployment, just press the Start button and the game will begin and the swarm will be unleashed.

Use the terrain as a natural defense, and plan which type of defense is the most advantageous, according to the size and types of the swarm. The attack missions are very fast, and a little crazy, and very easy to lose. :) In any case, we think they are great fun. May Fortune be on your side!



That's all for now!
In the next update we will tell you about heroes and tactical missions.
See you soon!
They Are Billions - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

Zombopocalyptic steampunk RTS They Are Billions is in the final stretch of production, and developers Numantian Games reckon that it’ll be done by July. Unlike many games leaving early access, they’re not just tying a bow on it and pushing it out the door. Instead, they’re bolting on a seemingly massive, branching story-driven campaign on to what is currently just a zombie horde survival game. In a big developer blog update today, they shared a shambling horde of details on the campaign’s story, structure, how it differs from Starcraft or Age Of Empires and some Spanish screenshots.

(more…)

They Are Billions - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

Zombopocalyptic steampunk RTS They Are Billions is in the final stretch of production, and developers Numantian Games reckon that it’ll be done by June. Unlike many games leaving early access, they’re not just tying a bow on it and pushing it out the door. Instead, they’re bolting on a seemingly massive, branching story-driven campaign on to what is currently just a zombie horde survival game. In a big developer blog update today, they shared a shambling horde of details on the campaign’s story, structure, how it differs from Starcraft or Age Of Empires and some Spanish screenshots.

(more…)

They Are Billions - Numantian Games


Greetings!

Today we’ll talk about the World Map and some other elements about the upcoming Campaign Mode of They Are Billions.

The World Map

If you followed the development of our last game, the RPG Lords of Xulima, you should know that we love World Maps. They’re a great way to put the player directly into the context of the game while showing their progress. Every game should have one!

In They Are Billions, we’ve taken the integration of World Map with the game even further. For an RTS game, having a world map where you can design your own strategy is a must. As the World Map is unveiled as you progress in the Campaign we will just show a few pieces to not spoil anything. Also, sorry about they are still in Spanish.

Some words about the game setting: They Are Billions is set in the 23rd Century, two hundred years after civilization has collapsed from the pandemic that turned billions of humans into hungry, infected savages. In this lethal world, there’s just one city left standing, Empire City. Built by Empire Leader Quintus Crane, it has prospered and grown inside a huge meteor-impact crater. The Great Crater border serves as a massive natural barrier allowing humans to live safely from the infected.

Quintus wants to expand the Empire outside the Great Crater. Your role in the game, as a young general chosen by Quintus, is to command the reconquest of the wild territories where the infected roam free. And this is where the game starts. You have no knowledge of the world other than what you unveil by progressing in the campaign. In the first mission, called "The Hidden Valley", you’ll have to build the first colony using only the most rudimentary technology (tents, rangers and hunters).



Once a mission is successfully completed, the surrounding parts of the world map will then be revealed, granting you access to more missions.



After the first mission, you’ll have several options to choose from. Select a mission to see all the info: description, goals, rewards... Also the level (difficulty) of the mission will be displayed with red skulls, ranging from 1 (easiest) to 5 (hardest). The level of development of your colony (what technologies you have chosen to research), and your play style, will also impact the difficulty of the missions. Use all this info wisely to choose your next target in order to progress in the campaign.



Some missions are blocked by swarms of infected as you can see in the first screenshot. You’ll need to obliterate them before you can continue on that path. We’ll tell you more about the Swarm Attack Missions and the Empire Army in the next update.

What are missions like?

In a few words: They Are Billions is They Are Billions, and not Starcraft, Supreme Commander, Age of Empires or any other game. They Are Billions has its own style and philosophy of play and we will always remain faithful to its essence. They Are Billions is about survival in a world devastated by billions of infected. It’s about letting players develop their strategy as best as they see fit, adapting to any adverse situation using their skills and resources.

There won't be missions be scripted such us "create exactly three units of this type; build seven structures in this place price; rescue four snipers that are in this position and then destroy this damn town while such a character is directed to... and if you do not do exactly that, the mission will fail... ". No thanks. That takes away the player's freedom, going against They Are Billions’ spirit. The campaign will be similar to the survival mode but on a grander scale. Of course each mission will have objectives, but they’ll be more like "Build a colony of 10,000 settlers on the "Poisonous Swamp", or "Get rid of all the Frozen Lake Giants". How you achieve that goal will be left entirely up to you.

It’s true that tactical missions will rely more on narrative and ambiance because they’re more about exploration. You’ll be able to roam freely inside the abandoned human strongholds where they take place.


What about Tutorials?

At Numantian, we’ve never been big fans of game tutorials, especially when the tutorial is external to the game. We prefer the game to be as self-explanatory as possible, with all the necessary help integrated into the interface, becoming easily visible just by moving the mouse. We like to learn through experimentation and exploration instead of following a step-by-step guide. What could be more boring?! Having said that, the survival mode is quite brutal for inexperienced RTS players. That’s why, during the campaign, some game management basic-information messages will appear at the beginning. We’ll keep them to a minimum, so they won’t become a nuisance to the experienced players.

As in the campaign, you’ll start with very few buildings and units, but the learning curve will be much more progressive than in the survival mode. To be honest, They Are Billions was meant to be played in the campaign mode first, and only after that, in the survival mode, and not the other way around as it has been. :)


Campaign Score, Permadeath and difficulty

Another often controversial subject of They Are Billions is the Permadeath system that makes it more similar to rogue-like games. We’ve always thought this was the right way to go because it works perfectly for this type of game. It enhances the tension and fear that the colony will succumb to the infection. This way, the game is experienced much more realistically. Recording and loading would ruin the game experience because your decisions while playing in permadeath have real risks and consequences while if you are allowed to reload the game, your actions don't carry risk anymore as you can go back in time, so to speak, and redo it in another way.

The campaign has 50 missions, which total 40-60 hours of play. Obviously the permadeath system won’t apply to the whole campaign. It’d be tragic to have to start again after playing for 40 hours! :)
During the campaign, the permadeath system works as usual. You can exit the game and continue the same mission when you want, but you can’t reload an old game. If you fail the mission you’ll return to the campaign map and decide whether to start the same mission again or start a different one to gain some improvements by developing the research tree.
But be aware that this doesn’t mean that you can repeat the mission over and over again without consequence...

The campaign score, which will be equal to the sum of the scores of all completed missions, will be displayed in the campaign dashboard. Each mission has a maximum score based on the chosen difficulty chosen, and that you will earn when you successfully complete the mission. Watch out because each time you fail a mission, 10% of that score will be permanently deducted until you reach a minimum of 10% of the original score. By doing this, we’ll reward you for finishing each mission with the least possible attempts, and we’ll avoid metagaming situations like, “I start the mission and explore everything and with that information I start the mission again.”

Regarding the difficulty, we’ve implemented quite an original and effective system. Instead of selecting the difficulty level at the beginning of the campaign, and not being able to change it again, you can set it at any time from the campaign dashboard. That difficulty (accessible, challenging, brutal...) will only affect the mission you are about to play and, of course, the mission score (the score factor). This way, if a certain mission is too hard, you can always make it easier, but at the cost of losing victory points.

Unlike in the Survival mode, a mission score will only depend on its level and the selected difficulty, and not on the number of settlers, wonders, or lost units ... This is because we prefer not to encourage artificial game strategies devised only to increase the score. If you want to raise your score, select a higher difficulty level.

We believe this to be the fairest system. Focusing the game on getting the highest campaign score will encourage you to play with greater challenges, and also to replay the campaign at more difficult levels to reach a higher score that, by the way, we’ll publish on the Global Campaign Leaderboard. Game on!

Development Scheduling

We’re 100% focused on finishing the campaign so it can be released as soon as possible. If all goes according to plan, that will be June 2019. The gameplay will unquestionably be finished by then, as it’s almost at 75% right now, but other elements like the video cinematic, voices, translations, or other stuff may take us longer than expected.

Therefore, we’ve decided not to add new content to the survival mode until the full game with the campaign is released. Working on the campaign modifies everything in the game, while updating new content for the survival uses a lot the development resources, and we firmly believe that most players prefer to have the campaign sooner than having an updated Survival but with a more delayed Campaign.

Having said that, the exciting news is that with the big launch of the campaign, the survival mode will be updated with two more themes and features like new units and structures. If will be finally the 1.0 version!

Of course we’ll continue updating the game to fix bugs and other issues. And while you patiently wait, you can play the more than one thousand custom levels already available in the workshop. Indeed, the editor came much earlier than what we’d planned precisely to give more content to the players while giving us enough time to develop the campaign.

And that's all folks! In the next update we will talk more about the campaign and the swarm attack missions.

See you soon!
They Are Billions - Numantian Games


Greetings!

Today we would like to tell you a bit more about some of the upcoming features of the Campaign: The Train and the Research System

The Train

During The Campaign you will mostly have to deal with reconquering a big territory currently occupied by the infected. In this future world there is just one city standing: Empire City, where most remaining humans live. At the beginning of the game, the Emperor commands you with the task to expand the empire throughout the infected territory. You’ll have to build colonies that will be connected by a railway network.

In the campaign, the train will always play a role in the colony-type missions. In these maps the Command Center will be located next to the railway tracks that will run across the map.

The train convoy will arrive at the colony once a day with a payload of colonists from Empire City to populate the colony. Therefore, in the Campaign, houses will initially be empty and "disabled" until the colonist arrive.



As well as adding realism and coherence with the game story and the style (steampunk), the train enhances the gameplay mechanism:

Structures cannot be built on top railway tracks:
That's something obvious of course, but it presents a new challenge to both expanding and protecting the colony. Colonies will always have those open gaps for the infected to sneak in. Make sure you place your units and towers to defend them well.

The train can destroy the infected:
The train will destroy all infected units that cross paths with it! But don't worry, your units cannot be harmed. They will just be pulled apart and let the train pass. This feature can be used to your advantage.

The Train won't come to the colony while it is attacked by a swarm:
So the train will delay its arrival the next day.

Colonists just arrive to the colony once a day:
So you should take this into account when deciding when to build houses, or other buildings.

You can upgrade the train by researching specific perks in the Research Tree:
So when it comes to the colony it will bring not just colonists, but also resources and gold.

The Research System

During the campaign you will have access to the Research Laboratory in between missions. There you can use the Research Points you have won by finishing missions, or found while exploring the Old Fortresses.

The Research system will have a really big impact in the gameplay. Consider that in the beginning of the Campaign you’ll start will a very low level of technology that will allow you just to build these elements: Tent, Wood Wall / Gate, Mill, Tesla Tower, Quarry, Sawmill, Fisherman and Hunter Cottages and the Ranger. And by contrast, at the end you may finish with highly sophisticated units and buildings that will allow you to develop much more powerful colonies than the current ones in the Survival Mode.

The Research Tree has more than 90 research perks. Some of them will allow the unlocking of new buildings or units. Others consist on upgrades for buildings / units, or general improvements for your colony. There will be a great variety of them, so every player can have a unique experience while deciding how to evolve their colony. It won't be possible to research all the perks in the tree, so make sure your research strategy matches your playing style!
But don't worry too much about whether you are choosing the right perks. The missions will be very open and can be played in different ways. As in the Survival mode, you will need to adapt your colony for every challenge. But also, you will always have several missions available so you can decide to play them in the order that better fits your technology level.

Here you have an preview image, sorry about it being in Spanish, we will translate the Campaign when is fully completed.



By the way, the current mayors system of the Survival Mode won't be available for the Campaign as their bonus and features interferes with the Research System that will be much more complex and deep and leave the Mayors system just for Survival and Custom Maps.

Some more features for the Editor (V. 0.10.16)

We have just updated the version, fixed some reported bugs and also added a few more elements, taken from the campaign, to enrich your custom levels gameplay and narrative.

Signs



You can place signs in the map to show more information (names, warnings...) about regions of different parts of the map. They are activated by units (with right click as any other interactive element).

Multi-purpose Machines: The Communicator and the Transmitter



You can place these machines in the map and set an script that will be executed when a unit interact with the machine (right click). These elements are useful when you need to trigger an event in an specific moment (instead of automatic events), and when a unit reaches that point in the map.
For example, you can now create more tactical maps where the player must reach and activate those landmarks to win the game.

And that's all for now. In the next update we will talk about the World Map and Missions!

See you soon!
They Are Billions - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

It’s rare for strategy games to go all-in on their story mode, but the initial early access success of steampunk zombie RTS They Are Billions has opened up the chance for developers Numantian Games. In a big development blog post on Steam, they declare their plans to extend the game’s stay in early access, with the scripted campaign mode debuting in its entirety on launch day. It’s understandable why they’d need a bit longer, as they’re now claiming the campaign will weigh in at an evening-devouring “40-50 hours of content”, though they’re not skimping on the other facets of the game.

(more…)

They Are Billions

They Are Billions developer Numantian Games has laid out its plans for 2019, which will see continued improvements and expansions made to the level editor and two new maps added to the Survival Mode. It also provided an update on the status of the campaign, which is taking longer than expected to finish but is still on the way. 

The developers will continue to add "more features, assets, and interesting new elements" to the editor, including interactive and ornamental assets, and of particular note, the ability to mod game rules. An option to create a campaign-like series of levels that must be played in order is coming, to ensure players are "following the levels and the narrative in the order decided by the designer," and an option to enable branching stories through some kind of persistent state is also on the table, although that's not carved in stone—the developers are currently "considering" it. 

Success in Early Access has convinced the developers to make a more ambitious campaign

Speaking of campaigns, They Are Billions' is still in the works, but the plan has been changed somewhat. Success in Early Access has convinced the developers to make a more ambitious campaign than they'd originally envisioned—"like a new full game with 40-50 hours of content"—but of course that means more time is required to pull it all together. Interestingly, they've decided against putting it out as part of the Early Access release, but will instead hold it back for the full launch. 

"We've just got one chance to release the full finished game, and we would honestly prefer to be known as the ‘slow developers’ that have released a great RTS, than the ‘rushed developers’ with an average game," it wrote. "We will perform all the testing internally here with our team of testers and, of course, we will keep on updating you about the campaign details here. We believe is better not to release the campaign 'in pieces' as it would delay the development, and it would spoil everything. We want to surprise you with the full campaign." 

Two new Survival Mode maps, one the easiest and the other the hardest in the game so far, are coming soon, and will be the biggest expansions until full release. New Infected units have been completed and Empire Heroes are being made (they're being held back for the campaign, though), as are new research upgrades such as the Laser Titan, which certainly sounds intriguing.   

"Once the Campaign is released we are thinking about adding new game modes and integrating some elements of the Campaign to the Survival," Numantian wrote. There's no indication as to when that will happen, but there is a handful of new screens that you can check out down below.   

They Are Billions - Numantian Games

Greetings!

First of all, happy New Year! We hope your New Year is off to a good start. We’re very grateful for how exciting last year has been for our studio. There are big plans for this new year and we are sure that it will be too for the great community of They Are Billions. Now, let's talk about the development of TAB, What are we working on right now?

The Level Editor

We continue expanding and improving the game level editor as it has proved to be very successful amongst the community. There are already more than 500 levels published, some of them really complex and sophisticated. We're amazed of what you’ve achieved so far, thank you very much guys!

Step by step, we will include more and more features, assets, and interesting new elements to enhance your awesome designs. Some things we are working on are the modding of game rules (all the game stats and parameters), new interactive assets, and more ornament assets to decorate your levels.

Also we are going to allow users to create campaign-like series of levels where the player must play them in order, so they need to finish the first one to unlock the second, and go on. That will be very useful to those great series you are creating so you can make sure the player is following the levels and the narrative in the order decided by the designer. We are also considering to incorporate some kind of persistent state through the series that can be used to create things like branched stories.

The Campaign

This is the big challenge for this year! We know you have lots of questions about it, let us answer some of the most common ones.

What happens with the Campaign, Why it is so delayed?

First, let me say that we really understand your impatience. The launch of the Campaign has been delayed from our first estimations, so we fully understand you can be a bit disappointed. But, be aware that all this extra time means that we are developing a much more ambitious Campaign than we originally planned. Given the success of TAB, we feel the responsibility to develop the best possible game. We've just got one chance to release the full finished game, and we would honestly prefer to be known as the ‘slow developers’ that have released a great RTS, than the ‘rushed developers’ with an average game.

Think that the Campaign is going to be like a new full game with 40-50 hours of content! We have literally created hundreds of new graphics for the Campaign. Indeed, the investment in the Campaign has been much larger than for all the Survival Mode.

When can we test and play the Campaign?

We’ve decided not to partially release the campaign under Early Access, but release it fully at the same time that we officially launch the game out of Early Access. We will perform all the testing internally here with our team of testers and, of course, we will keep on updating you about the campaign details here. We believe is better not to release the campaign "in pieces" as it would delay the development, and it would spoil everything. We want to surprise you with the full Campaign :)

Will the Survival Mode be expanded?

Yes. The current Survival Mode will receive two new map themes very soon. One will be the easiest one, and will be the first to be played, and the other that will become the hardest one to play, even more than the Desolated Wasteland. These will the biggest expansions to the Survival Mode until the Campaign is finished. We will give you more details about them in the next update.

Will there be more units in the game?

Definitely yes. We have already several new infected ready and, right now, we are working on the Empire Heroes. All of them are been reserved for the Campaign. There will also be new upgrades that players can research in the Campaign, like the Laser Titan. Once the Campaign is released we are thinking about adding new game modes and integrating some elements of the Campaign to the Survival. That’s the future we are working on!

And here some more images from the Campaign, hope you like them:






Next update we will talk about the Research System in the Campaign. See you soon!
They Are Billions - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Ollie Toms)

They Are Billions is the video game equivalent of spending time assembling some sort of mechanical thing – a rocking chair, let’s say, with various interlocking parts. And then, as you step back to view your good work, the cat springs up onto it and, eyes locked with yours, lets loose a magnificent, four-tiered modernist turd right into the middle of the seat.

(more…)

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