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.

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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.

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They Are Billions

The developer of zombie plague RTS They Are Billions has released an official level editor that will let you build your own survival scenarios—and play through other custom creations via the Steam Workshop.

After you subscribe to a level in the Steam Workshop, you'll be able to play by hitting 'custom levels' when you launch a new game. The level editor has been in testing for a while and when it launched on Thursday more that 80 player-made scenarios were ready to go. Another 40 have been added since—the levels include a full episodic campaign called the Emperor Series and lots of ultra-hard challenges.

They also include a level created by developer Numantian Games called The 50 Days Challenge. As the name suggests, you have 50 days to build up your colony before the final swarm of zombies arrives.

As for the editor itself, you can access it in-game (hit 'more' and then 'launch editor') and it'll let you create a map from scratch or edit a randomly generated one. You can add custom events and scripts to help build a narrative for your level, and it supports multiple languages. You can find an official guide for it here and if you're stuck on anything then look in the comments on that page, where the developers are helping to troubleshoot problems. You can visit the forums here.

In a Steam post announcing the editor, Numantian also updated fans on the long-awaited campaign mode for the Early Access game. Now that the level editor has launched, the team said they will "focus on finishing the campaign mode", and are aiming for a spring 2019 launch.

Thanks, RPS.

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

Steampunk zombiefest RTS They Are Billions may not have a campaign yet (it’s coming), but I reckon this latest early access update might be more important in the long run. Released yesterday, developers Numantian Games rolled out their Steam Workshop-integrated editor after a couple weeks of testing. Players can build scenarios both hand-crafted or procedural, with custom rules, complex scripting and new victory conditions. They also released a new official challenge scenario – even with reinforcements, can you finish your defences when the horde is only 50 days away?

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They Are Billions - Valve
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They Are Billions - Numantian Games


Greetings!

After two weeks of testing the level editor and the workshop, we are glad to announce that it’s finally ready. Thank you very much to all the players that joined the editor testing group and shared their feedback with the developers. Right now there are more than 80 levels to enjoy, and we’re sure there are many more to come soon.

The editor and custom levels access is now available with the new version of They Are Billions: V.0.10

Playing Custom Levels


It’s very easy and straightforward. Just start the game and press New Game. There are now more options to play: Survival, Community Challenge and Custom Levels.

Select the Custom Levels option to access the Levels Dashboard. You will find there the list of all the levels you are subscribed to. Just select the one you wish to play (in some of them you can configure the map type) and good luck! :)

How to Get New Levels



In the custom levels dashboard there is a link to the They Are Billions workshop. Select the levels you like and press the Subscribe button.

You can do it directly from the workshop steam page here:

https://steamcommunity.com/workshop/browse/?appid=644930

Press the update button in the dashboard for a refreshed list of levels including the new subscribed ones.

Every workshop item has its own steam page, go there to give feedback or any other info to the level creator.

New Level from Numantian: The 50 Days Challenge!



One of the features of the level editor is that you can make the game generate a random Survival map and then modify the events, scripting and narrative to bring a new survival experience to the player.

We have created "The 50 Days Challenge" which is a survival game with just 50 days to build your colony before the Final Swarm arrives. But don’t despair, you will not be alone in this task. The neighboring colonies and the New Empire will try to keep you from joining the hordes of infected by sending help periodically.

Hope you like it! It’s a super fast game and a real challenge!.

The Custom Levels Editor

There are three ways to launch the Editor:
- From the game main menu, go to More => Launch Editor
- Or just press and hold the SHIFT key when starting the game and the editor will be launched automatically.

- In the installation folder you have a LaunchEditor.bat you can use to launch it directly.

These are the main features of the level editor:
  • Map creation can be manually crafted or let the game generates a random survival map when the game starts.
  • Custom events.
  • Custom scripts to enhance the narrative.
  • Advanced ZXCode language (variables and functions) to create complex gameplay mechanisms.
  • Multi-language support.

Of course, it will be updated periodically to include more features to create. One of the upcoming big features will be custom modding of game rules (units, structures, stats...).

The Level Editors Guide
Before playing with the editor we strongly recommend you read this short guide we have prepared. Here it is:
TAB Editor Guide

Forum & Support for the Editor & Workshop

Please, use this forum for all related info about the editor and workshop, comments, feedback, new features or bugs reporting. Also we will update there the development progress and version changes log.
They Are Billions Workshop Forum

The Campaign


Now it the editor is ready we think it can expand a lot the content of They Are Billions so we can focus on finishing the campaign mode. We know all of you are asking us for the estimated launch date but we cannot give an answer yet. We would like and we will try with all our workforce to release the campaign on next Spring 2019. At the same time we will improve the Survival Mode with two new Map Themes and expanding the features of the editor to allow you to create even more awesome levels.

And that's all! We hope the editor will bring lots of fun and surprises for the great community of They Are Billions players.

See you soon!
They Are Billions - Numantian Games


Greetings!

This is a quick update for the players that wishes to test the Editor and Workshop features of They Are Billions. For the rest of players, please ignore this update, and wait to the public release. We will announce it here as usual.

Before releasing the Custom Levels Editor and the Workshop integration we would like to test it further with the community. So, for this reason we have enabled the Editor features under the Test branch of They Are Billions (v.0.10).

Accesing the Test Branch

To access the Test Branch you just have to open the properties panel of They Are Billions on Steam (right click on the game, select properties option). Then, under the page Betas, select the Test branch and let Steam update the game.

This version hasn't been completely translated to all languages yet. That's why you will find some English texts in some parts of the game. We are planning to release The final version on November 25th that, as we always do, will be translated to all languages.

The TAB Editor

There are two ways to launch the Editor:
  • From the game main menu, go to More => Launch Editor
  • Or just press and hold the SHIFT key when starting the game and the editor will be launched automatically.

As we are planning to heavily update and expand the editor, the interface will only be available in English for now. Our intention is to have it translated to all the languages that They Are Billions currently supports when the game is finished. Nevertheless, you can create levels in any language you like,. Indeed, the editor allows you to create multi-language levels.

The Guide

Before playing with the editor we strongly recommend you to read the short guide we have prepared. Here it is:
TAB Editor Guide

Testing & Publishing your Levels in the Workshop

You can test your levels locally in your computer before submitting them to the Workshop.

The Workshop is still private and only accesible for the members of this group. If you wish to test the Workshop now, please join to the Numantian Games group here.

Workshop Forum & Support

Please, use this forum for all related info about the editor and workshop, comments, feedback, new features or bugs reporting:
They Are Billions Workshop Forum

And that's all for now. We expect to launch the Editor & Workshop to the public on 26th of November.

See you soon!
Oct 20, 2018
They Are Billions - Numantian Games


Greetings!
Just a quick update to talk about the new version published 0.92 and some news about the incoming Level Editor.

New Version V 0.9.2
It is just a minor update. It fixes some problems and bugs and also improves the general performance. It also includes these new features:

Custom Keys

Now you can customize most of the keyboard commands available in the game. You can do it from the Options screen, under the controls section. You can even assign several keys for the same command if you like.




8 New Achievements



We have added some more achievements that make the Survival Game more challenging and spicy:
  • Open Mind
    Win a Survival game (Score Factor >= 100%) without using walls, gates and towers.
  • Soldier Wrath
    Win a Survival game (Score Factor >= 100%) with just Soldiers in your army. No Attack Towers allowed.
  • Ranger Revenge
    Win a Survival game (Score Factor >= 100%) with just Rangers in your army. No Attack Towers allowed.
  • Sniper Slaughter
    Win a Survival game (Score Factor >= 100%) with just Snipers in your army. No Attack Towers allowed.
  • No Towers Needed
    Win a Survival game (Score Factor >= 200%) without using Attack Towers like Ballista or Executor.
  • Peaceful
    Win a Survival game (Score Factor >= 100%) with no new units trained.
  • Unstoppable
    Win a Survival game (Score Factor >= 100%) without pausing the game.
  • Best General
    Win a Survival game (Score Factor >= 100%) with no casualties. No Attack Towers allowed.

The Game Editor

We expect to release the game editor in about two weeks under Steam Workshop. With the game editor players can create and share custom levels. The editor will be updated from time to time, growing in added features.

These are the main features included in this first version:

- Full map creation: Theme selection, terrains, forests, mountains, ornaments...
- Adding any game elements: Buildings, Doom Villages, treasures to loot, ruins, units...
- Adding interactive elements, like displaying a message when a unit enter in a selected area, or creating Units (Infected) generators.
- Create your own story by customizing the start, game win and lose, game events, neutral characters that join your colony. All of these with your own style and writing.
- Full control of game events: Roaming infected groups, swarms, win conditions, send all infected to the Command Center, grant or remove resources to the colony...

What do you think? We are confident that you will create great and original levels with this first version. Here you have some screenshots:




And that's all for now. See you soon!

[UPDATE 12/11/2018]

We have delayed some weeks the launch of the editor as we have been improving it heavily. The reason is because we want to make sure that all levels and content created with the editor will be always compatible with all future new versions of the game. Also we have added some cool features that were missing in the previous version:

  • Custom Survival Levels: You can let the game to generate random maps (as the Survival Games) and just customize the narrative, events and scripts to offer your own Survival Experience.
  • Custom Scripts: We have improved this part a lot. You can now interact much more with the player (dialog, menus to choose options...), and a lot of cool things to make very interesting levels.
  • Multi language support: You can create multi-language custom levels to reach a wider audience.
  • Custom Pictures & Sounds: Decorate your story and narrative displaying custom pictures and playing custom sounds.
  • New Custom Level from Numantian: The 50 Days Challenge! A extreme and super fast survival game where you will need the help of the colony neighbors to succeed.

First we will activate the Workshop and Editor for the Test Branch. We will announce it here very soon. And after that (for 26-29th Nov) we will make it public for all players.

[UPDATE 15/11/2018]

We have just published the Custom Levels Editor Guide.
...

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