Monday, September 25, 2017

Minions of Masters, Masters of... Esports?

Minion Masters!

You fought devastating battles against countless opponents. You mastered your minion armies on the flying arenas, handled assassins, snipers and living statues. Prowlers were unleashed, fireballs thrown, rampage done. Even undead skeletons and creatures like golems couldn’t stop you. But we think it’s time for a new challenge. Bigger, harder and way more competitive: eSports.


Minion Masters Goes Competitive


We want to introduce you to some plans we had recently. Plans, that turned out to be very interesting for all of us. We had some talks to several community members and one thing came up every now and then again: Minion Masters has the potential to become an eSports title. We checked, we discussed, we educated ourselves and finally gave keys to some people who work in the eSports scene professionally: members of the Project & Community Management at the Electronic Sports League, ESL.

When we finally got feedback, we were overwhelmed. The ESL professionals gave Minion Masters green light to be played besides known and popular titles like Counter Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Dota 2, Overwatch and many more. We have the opportunity to present Minion Masters in the ESL Go4 Series. That series contains 4 weekly cups with a final cup at the end of each month. Professionally hosted and executed by the ESL.

„When does it start? Can’t wait to unleash my competitive minion army!“


In order to start the ESL Go4 Series, we want to have your opinion first! In the end, it’s you – our community – who decides how successful Minion Masters can become as an eSport. Therefore, we have set up a simple poll. The question is:

“Do you want an ESL Go4 Series before or after release?”

We have to ask you, because competitive Minion Masters at the Electronic Sports League will only be effective and meaningful, if there are enough players, who compete against each other. Events at the ESL are public and it should be our common goal to present Minion Masters and its amazing community in the best manner we can, with the highest competing player count we can. So, we should easily reach 500 votes to do it before release, right?

Here’s the link to the poll!

Voting will last for 4 weeks and we will publish the results afterwards. In case we cannot make it, yet, we will start another vote later this year.

King Puff and his fabulous competition


There’s more in the pipeline regarding Minion Masters as a competitive game. Most of you know Dipshit & FFA. And, while this is not about them only, we want to shout-out special thanks to them and the whole King Puff Cup crew for supporting Minion Masters and it’s early tournament scene. You guys are amazing! What’s even more amazing: The King Puff Cup returns! Here’s everything you need to know right now:
   
Tournament date: Saturday, October 7th, 15:00 CEST. The tournament will go on until every match is played.
Format: Single Elimination (Double Elimination will be played if there’s 16 teams or less)
Prize pool: There's a prize pool of 4,000 Rubies & 60,000 Gold in total split amongst the best 3 teams.

Please watch the Steam Community Hub for additional information, which will be announced in the next few days. And also bookmark our official Subreddit for regular information about Minion Masters, the competitive scene and to discuss with other players:
https://www.reddit.com/r/MinionMasters/

Now, we advise you to play some Minion Masters – because we need you to get ready for the next mission!

Cheers from BetaDwarf!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Frontier Expeditions


New upcoming feature for Minion Masters - Explore the world and travel foreign lands to find new Minions and exciting challenges!


We have been hard at work on a new MASSIVE feature for Minion Masters and we are finally ready to tell you about it!

EXPLORATION
World exploration will allow you to explore the world of Minion Masters in between matches. Whenever you play matches you will be rewarded with supplies that you can use to explore the part of the world you are interested in.

PVE BATTLES
As you explore, you will encounter both rewards and challenges, and you will be able to fight Minions you meet in special PvE battles. These battles may require you to think differently or search for power ups that can help you to overcome particularly challenging battles.


MINION SPECIFIC ENVIRONMENTS
You will be able to target environments that are known to be populated by certain Minions. This will increase your chances of finding a certain Minion.

PLAY ANY MODE WHILE EXPLORING
Exploration is for everyone, you can get exploration supplies from both Battles, Team Battles and Drafting.

EXPEDITION RELEASE
We hope to release first part of the Expeditions in October, but we will try hard to do it before if we can :)

Cheers!
@Baboonlord

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Minion Masters now with 2on2 Team Battle

BetaDwarf Summer update 

Hi all!
We hope you're enjoying the summer and wanted to give you an update on how things are going here at BetaDwarf along with a gift and some cool news :)


King Puff Cup Minion Masters

Here at the office we're super excited to see community made tournaments. The 6th King Puff Cup has just been announced and this ongoing initiative fills us with extreme energy, enabling us to do 10 squats every morning at scrum!
Thank you so much 3FFA, B4dhabit, Dipshit and HotDog <3
Join the cup here


Minion Masters for Xbox One - for fun!

We have partnered with Microsoft after one of their game scouts got to Platinum league in a weekend and afterwards eagerly reached out to us.
Quickly after that we struck a deal, and at E3 they announced that it would come to Xbox One and Win 10. Pc and Xbox will have cross play and share player base, so it will be one big happy family :)

2 vs 2 Team Battle for Minion Masters, oh yeah!

We have spent most of our development time on Team Battle for MM. Since early on the community has been making around six million posts per day about adding Team Battle to the game. 4 months later one of us randomly noticed one of those posts, while looking for Mana Puff fan art ;)
The posts convinced us and now we're really psyched to finally see how it works in the team battle event, and we will then use whatever we learn from this event to iterate on it, and ultimately release it as an awesome new permanent mode in the game.


From left, Kristian (Programmer), Peter (Designer), Steffen (CEO).
Trying out lunch in the sun - which makes us sympathize with Vampires!

Personal updates

- Alex (Animator) has tried out crossfit after years of regular weight lifting and is by far the strongest dwarf on the team now (6'4" 200 lbs).

- Steffen (CEO) has started playing a ton of co-op board games with his girlfriend. (The secret plan is that this is a build up to make her skilled at strategy games and ultimately enable her to play MM).

- Kenneth (Lead Programmer) had a weeks vacation in Turkey where he broke his toe and destroyed his phone as apparently it wasn't one of those that could capture underwater pictures in the swimming pool...

- Martin (Lead 3D) has ordered desk fans for everyone, to cope with the stifling heat in the Dwarf Fortress. Note that he uses 6 screens, so maybe that's why he was sitting in a pool of sweat and consequently took the initiative to get some proper air circulation going. Modern technology is great!.


Your FREE new Minion:

A gift for you - Armored Scrats for Minion Masters!

We've made a code for you as our dear ready, to be used in Minion Masters for a limited time period, as a reward for reading our blog.

Use this coupon code within Minion Masters:

B28-9K7-EGH

To use the code, enter it in the in-game shop. Look for the “redeem code” button in the top right.

The code is valid until July 19th, 2017.

















2 VS 2 TEAM BATTLE EVENT!

JUNE 28 - JULY 12

It’s time to try Team Battle in Minion Masters!

You can now play with friends or with strangers. You have two new individual league rankings for team battles, and both can give rank rewards!


TELL ME MORE!

SUMMER SALE

ON ALL OUR GAMES!

Have you tried all the games in the FORCED universe?
  • FORCED - is a challenging Co-op adventure 
  • FORCED SHOWDOWN - is a deckbuilding rogue-like action game 
  • MINION MASTERS - is a fast going realtime CCG

DISCOUNT

-90%
Store Link

DISCOUNT

-75%
Store Link

DISCOUNT

-55%
Store Link

DISCOUNT

-55%
Store Link
View More

Have a great summer!

FORCED LOVE!
BetaDwarf <3

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Ratbo Visual Update

Hey everyone!

We thought it would be fun to share our thoughts and processes behind the upcoming visual update to the Minion Master "exterminator": Ratbo.

New Model:
This is one of the first in a series of main character updates we are doing to some of our older character assets so expect more in the future :)
 
In case you missed it, the Ratbo character is an homage/joke/lolz play on Sylvester Stallone's Rambo character.

When we made the old version of Ratbo it was basically just a “Scrat” body that we squashed and pulled around to give it a slightly different body shape. We then added hair and a bandana, that looked somewhat like Rambo's and that was basically it.
We felt that since he has now become a playable character he deserved an update to bring him up to par. Especially his body and face badly needed a complete overhaul, but also an overall poly increase and texture update was needed. His minigun already looked great so we wanted to keep it as is.

We started off by making a new sculpt. A sculpt is a VERY high poly model that we make, and then bake that down on to our low poly in-game asset:

It was very important to us, that the character still felt like the Ratbo we all know, so his body proportions were kept the same. To look more like Rambo though, we felt that he really needed to get more “ripped” :) So we added a lot more muscle, defined the shapes better on the whole character and added detailing.

Next up was the low poly and texture We increased the polycount drastically so he's on par with the newer player characters and this is the final result:

 
Another thing we changed was his drooping eye. It was supposed to match Stallone's slightly uneven face, but it just didn't come across very well and simply looked like a mistake.

Thanks for reading! 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Our new game Minion Masters - Hurry & get it for FREE!

Dear Dwarf family!

We're excited to announce our third game Minion Masters. We've always been excited by the idea of a PvP game in the FORCED universe and this is exactly it! It's a strategic and action packed game, where you choose awesome Minions and a Master to lead them against your opponent - in crazy real-time battles. Before I tell you about the awesome fact that we're giving you the game for free, watch this quick teaser about it:
https://youtu.be/S1hyVHrdqCI

Hurry and get access for free!

So let me be totally honest about how this works and what we're offering you. Minion Masters will release December 2nd on Steam Early Access and it will cost $19.99, this price includes a "Premium Upgrade DLC".  

What you can get for free is:
  • Access to the game even before it's released.
  • Access after the game is released without spending $19.99.
  • And if you're playing on Nov 12 - A nice extra reward ;)
To get free Access sign up on our community site before 12th of November.
Check out the event for the extra reward here on Facebook

Why are you giving it away for free?

Online games require a community, but the right community!
We need a certain amount of people to make the game fun for everyone, but we also need to make some money from it for it to make sense. So we decided to reward you - our community and your friends with free access first of all. It's a perfect fit because you probably already value our games so if you don't want to purchase anything in the game, you will still bring better vibes in the game than others would - right? :)

Newcomers to our community would then have to purchase the Premium Upgrade to get access to the game, which should ensure they have a higher interest and commitment to it - instead of being random Scrats.




I have some more thoughts, if you have the time
In recent years, many online games has started as premium games (games that are bought once), but after some time some converted to free to play games, to get the needed amount of players.

The ability to convert to free to play is not always planned from the start. For instance, Evolve and Heroes of Newerth were both premium games until they converted. This resulted in a lot of conflicts since the games were not built or communicated as that (not pointing fingers as the industry is constantly changing so it was harder for them to know).
Consequently we've decided to prepare for that from the start and try to be as honest about it as possible, to avoid disappointments and frustration.   

Minion Masters is build with an in-game economy like many free to play games have, but it will also launch with a price and it may stay that way for a long time or maybe even forever..
However if there seems to be a need for more players in the future, in order to maintain a healthy player base, we have the ability to change it without changing the game as others have had to do. 
We would simply make it free and the Premium Upgrade DLC would be available as a DLC for $19.99. 

The Premium Upgrade gives you a lot of instant progress and customization possibilities, but more importantly it adds a permanent XP boost to your steam account forever which is why we call it a Premium Upgrade. With this DLC, the progression will feel more like a premium game, but to avoid pay to win, we’ve focused on making everything in the game achievable without paying, you would just need to play more.

This is all why signing up now is the perfect way to check out our awesome game completely free, and if you then feel the need for the premium upgrade or other stuff - that's possible, but you can also just keep playing for free and return the favor by being available for a good battle every now and then.

Thank you for listening :)

Finally, remember to Sign up to ensure your free Steam key for Minion Masters now, and join us in battle on November 12th! :)

Thanks!
Baboonlord & the rest of BetaDwarf

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Why Plastic SCM works so well with game development

BetaDwarf is in the business of making games, and today I'd like to go over one of the tools that we use that allows us to keep track of our code and assets in our projects, Plastic SCM. Version control systems are an integral part of game or any software development process. They allow many users to work on the same project at the same time, with minimal conflicts. There are many options available for version control in the world and it can be hard to figure out which is the best to use.

Before we picked up Plastic SCM we were using a private git system, with the freely available software SourceTree. While git is a great version control system for text files (code files), it struggles greatly with binary files, such as models or textures. While using git our project was around 25 GB, and a full download of the project from git could easily take a few hours. Aside from issues with handling binary, managing a private git repository often proved painful, with many hours of troubleshooting when the repository became corrupt, for one reason or another. We also had numerous stability and usability issues with SourceTree.

A screenshot of the Plastic SCM branch explorer, here you can see our latest patch branch.

When the problems with git finally became too much we started to look elsewhere for version control systems, thankfully we stumbled over Plastic SCM. We have found Plastic to be extremely user friendly, fast and stable. The user interface for Plastic SCM is fantastic and it is much more user friendly and feature extensive than SourceTree was. Updates from an empty repository takes half an hour or so for our over 40 GB project. While I would often fight with git for hours in a day when problems arose, Plastic has more or less run without server interaction for over 8 months. Plastic is also very good at merging conflicting changes between team members, we mainly use this for text files and the three way merge supported by Plastic has been rather good to us. Plastics branching system is great, and works very similar to git, so we were right at home with the system with minimal introduction.

A screenshot of the Plastic SCM recent changeset query, we are at over 6000 commits and going strong!

All in all Plastic SCM has allowed us to not have to worry much about version control, and instead focus on making a great game. As source control is used all the time by all members this is quite a blessing. So if you are working on game projects out there, it would be worth checking out Plastic SCM, as it handles the day to day of game development much better than git. If you would like to know more, visit www.plasticscm.com for more information and a download.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Our PAX East journey

Hi everyone,
It’s been a while since we updated the blog, we’ve had a lot of stuff to do these past few months as we prepared for PAX East. At the same time we were trying a new direction for the game, so things got really hectic at the office, but we managed to get all our stuff done with only 2 days of crunch!

Previously, when we went to conferences we’ve usually had to work in overtime (and overdrive!) for a week, but this time we managed to focus enough that people could go home to their girlfriends and complain about all the issues they didn’t get to fix that day :)
Now what does it actually mean, going to PAX East?Well, we were going there as part of the Indie MegaBooth, and we had a 10x20 feet space to exhibit on.20150306_152439.jpgThe booth fully set up
We spent all of the day Wednesday preparing this, 8 stations in total with 4 using mouse & keyboard and 4 using controllers.And then it started, tens of thousands of people flooding into the halls. Our booth became so packed people had to wait in line to play, and we had so much fun meeting old and new fans of our games!IMG_20150307_112641.jpgAll packed, and this wasn’t even the busiest!
It was so busy we almost didn’t have time to check out any other games, but at least we got to play Overwatch. We had to, I mean, who isn’t a Blizzard fan? ;)
20150307_004543.jpg

This is Romer, our Audio Designer and Booth Setup Artiste Extraordinaire
But now we’re back, and what did we actually get out of it?We got tons of feedback on the new direction of the game, people love the focus on a Rogue-like with Deckbuilding, but a lot of people also ask if there’s going to be Co-op.We also got a bunch of very flattering articles that press wrote about us.And last but definitely not least; we got almost 700 new people into our Closed Beta!
The community is building up, and we’re going to be taking good care of them, but that’s a tale for another time.

Thanks for reading!-Christoffer