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Not for TREND.  Not for CORPORATE ATTITUDE.  Not for STONER.  Only true DOOM-MURDER HEADS.
Not for TREND.  Not for CORPORATE ATTITUDE.  Not for STONER.  Only true DOOM-MURDER HEADS.
Not for TREND. Not for CORPORATE ATTITUDE. Not for STONER. Only true DOOM-MURDER HEADS.
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As we pile on to Barkley, A Humble Vidcon with Heart Reveals Itself

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Greets to Thee,

So we have a slightly different update today, one that I hope will hopefully bring us good tidings and less chidings. But here goes:

In the long-ass course of Barkley 2 Development, two particular ToGsters have been working in in parallel on a lot of the content creation of the game. This means, minigames, menus, our cutscene and "event" system … (you know, pretty much all the stuff we've been avoiding showing anyone…)

Everyone's favorite Finnish bog hermit, laz, and "The Vidcon Don" himself, GZ, have been working incredibly hard on the game, and through their collaboration something a bit more … S.I.N.I.S.T.E.R. has been brought to life:

POZZO JELLO CRUSADE

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

Check out the game HERE.

In their free time, GZ, helped laz put the ol' "HD REMIX" treatment onto an old game of his from 2005. ToG stepped in to help publish the game and we also used it as a test run for Steam app sales.

The game is a little puzzler vidcon that sneaks up on you. What at first may seem rather elementary turns out to be more like middle school or at least summer school level … They also went through and added a few secrets … one of them might even be … ahem, something pertinent to Barkley itself.

Here is what is included in this release

  • 40 Puzzle levels of Intenze Action
  • An "indie-first": full TELEDILDONICS support
  • Aforementioned Secrets
  • Characters, colorful and otherwise like:
  • Pozzo the Eponymous Jello Janitor
  • Herbert a Supervisor with "Everything to Lose"
  • Reginald the Dream Angel
  • The Forest Imp … who follows his own dark agenda.
  • PC Only … for now, and probably for a while

ToG is especially proud to include the TELEDILDONICS support. It is no secret that as We The People move away from the physical bounds of intimacy in favor of the virtual realms of satisfaction and pleasure, our most bosom desires will be fulfilled by someone or something where separation by thousands of miles is considered nothing more than a "mouse-click away."

We are very aware of the lengthy development of Barkley and another offering of a vidcon while we "take our sweet time" might come off a little uncouth. We just want you to know that the profits from this game go straight to the people who made it: laz and GZ. They and the rest of us at ToG are essentially working for free on Barkley at this point to get it done, so if you are interested in checking out Pozzo, just know that it's going to two upstanding fellas who are sacrificing a lot of their time to help keep Barkley 2 as their main focus.

News on Barkley

Work continues. We added a rather unique aspect to the game, that we're not sure exists anywhere else: procedurally generated menu borders. That's right, as you navigate the extensive menus in the game, the information described therein tend to be rather dynamic. For example, if meet certain requirements, you might be able to rent certain equipment as well as just purchase it. Since the inherent nature of the game is to represent itself based on player knowledge and not just what has been designed, we want the menus to adjust and take the form of whatever you the player have the options to do.

So menus adjust to what you have the ability, and by that, they need dynamic borders. A single line that just stretched out is too boring. Frankie made a bunch of pieces here:

We'll keep at this damn thing and we hope to have a good visible VERTICAL SLICE in the next few months.  Thank you again for waiting.

As Kurzweil once said "the only thing that's gonna get me in bed with that Sexy Blue Hedgehog is Patience."

The Gun's Kingdom Family: RIFLES

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Rifles update here, the second of the Gun's Families These are similar in behavior to the breakdown of the Handguns in that they have representations of both single-shot-high-damage, and automatic-lower-power attacks. Rifles allow the player more distance to the enemies, with combat generally taking place on the extreme ends of the screen.

A Note about Game View

If you notice, our game view is very zoomed in. We run at a native resolution of 384x240, but we use some shaders that require twice that resolution to work, so you'll be playing the game at effect 768x480). 

Pixel Heights Analysis of B2
Pixel Heights Analysis of B2
 

Looking at the 384x240 resolution, the HUD is 30 pixels tall. X114JAM9 and most of the common enemies of the game are about 44 pixels tall. This only leaves 166 pixels of y-height combat potential. There is a little more range on the x-axis and we are building maps around that fact (you'll be moving more left to right than up and down in combat areas.) So the action of the game is taking up a huge amount of the screen.

This is generally a lot closer view in than most games. Look at how big your character is in Titan Souls:

Titan Souls from Devolver Digital
Titan Souls from Devolver Digital

We feel that the close view, and the combat built around this view, gives a more "encounter-based" feel to the combat, and this hopefully intimates the turn based encounters of the previous Barkley: focus on character animations, attacks, zaubers, balls, slams, brasts and the like. You'll be dealing with 2 or 3 enemies at a time, then moving onto the next "encounter." Since those 2 or 3 enemies are all you can really see on the screen at a time.

If you'd like to know where we got the inspiration for such a close-up view, check out this great write up of The Chaos Engine and compare Barkley to the Amiga 1200 version. 

The Chaos Engine for Amiga 1200
The Chaos Engine for Amiga 1200
 

Okay so back to Rifles. These gun's will give you the maximum range given the viewable area of the game. Keep you distance and you'll be able to "brast from beyond."

Reminder of the stats:

  • DMG - (damage) the overall damage rating the gun delivers.
  • RTE - (rate) the firing speed of the gun
  • CAP - (capacity) the amount of ammo the gun can carry
  • SPC - (special) this could be considered the magic power of the gun, it increases the power of special affixes and properties any gun can have.
  • K+S - (knockback and stagger) while separate systems, gun's and their bullet's deliver a certain amount of force to the target that can knock them down or interrupt their attack
  • RCL - (recoil) how much this staggers or knocks you back when you shoot it 

Now to the gun's:

"Rifle"

Rifles
Rifles
 

Standard boring, and common. Handy to pick off those pesky Tengus in the Mountain Pass while they are still perched on their roosts and not aggressively circling above you. 

  • DMG - medium
  • RTE - low
  • CAP - low
  • SPC -medium
  • K+S - low
  • RCL - low

"Musket"

Muskets
Muskets

Much like the Flintlock Handgun, there is a fused-delay before your shot. This allows for much higher affinity to your Special attribute.

  • DMG - medium
  • RTE - very low
  • CAP - very low
  • SPC - very high
  • K+S - medium
  • RCL - low

"Hunting Rifle"

Hunting Rifles
Hunting Rifles

Faster and more versatile counterpart of the Rifle. You'll gain a speed bonus while brasting with this bad boy.

  • DMG - medium
  • RTE - medium
  • CAP - medium
  • SPC - medium
  • K+S - medium
  • RCL - low 

"Dart Rifle"

Dart Rifles
Dart Rifles
 

Low ammo but very high affix power, also attributes various combat effects due to the darts it fires.

  • DMG - very low
  • RTE - low 
  • CAP - low
  • SPC - very high
  • K+S - none
  • RCL - none

"Sniper Rifle"

Sniper Rifles
Sniper Rifles
 

Extremely powerful, low capacity. If you time your shots to your heartbeat, you'll gain a huge boost to affix power.

  • DMG - very high
  • RTE - low
  • CAP - very low
  • SPC - variable
  • K+S - high
  • RCL - medium 

"Assault Rifle"

Assault Rifles
Assault Rifles
 

Fires 3 round bursts, but lacks the pinpoint accuracy that benefits most rifles. Lots of ammo.

  • DMG - low
  • RTE - high
  • CAP - high
  • SPC - low
  • K+S - low
  • RCL - medium
Rifles vs Tengus
Rifles vs Tengus
That's it for rifles, next up are SHOTGUN'S.

The Gun's Kingdom Family: HANDGUN'S

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Sean in the comments asked a question so we're gonna start answering it.  His question: "What are the different gun's pros and cons?"

Because Barkley 2 is #GamesAsArt … I thought we'd start with one of the more emotionally devastating systems in the game: Gun'stypes

We have 25 different Gun'stypes in the game. They are separated into "The 5 Families."  Today we'll showcase HANDGUN'S, known by some as the "workhorses of the gun's." Known by others as "The Gun's of the Kings." And far fewer as "The Patron Saint's of the Gun's."

Handgun's are characterized as medium-range, standard damage, low weight, and high ammo capacity … you know, like every other game ever. Before we break them down however here is a brief write up of the qualities of each gun.

  • DMG - (damage) the overall damage rating the gun delivers. 
  • RTE - (rate) the firing speed of the gun 
  • CAP - (capacity) the amount of ammo the gun can carry 
  • SPC - (special) this could be considered the magic power of the gun, it increases the power of special affixes and properties any gun can have. 
  • K+S - (knockback and stagger) while separate systems, gun's and their bullet's deliver a certain amount of force to the target that can knock them down or interrupt their attack 
  • RCL - (recoil) how much this staggers or knocks you back when you shoot it 

There are more qualities to a gun, but that's a good start … 

Now to the gun's themselves:

"Pistol"

pistols
pistols

Standard boring, gun … you'll probably get a lot of these and then melt them down for scrap to refill your other gun's. 

  • DMG - low 
  • RTE - high 
  • CAP - high 
  • SPC -high 
  • K+S - low 
  • RCL - none 

"Flintlock"

flintlocks
flintlocks

Arcane gun that needs to allow a fuse to burn to fire a shot. (There is a delay from when you click to when you actually shoot.) Good for affix magics. 

  • DMG - medium 
  • RTE - very low 
  • CAP - medium 
  • SPC - very high 
  • K+S - medium 
  • RCL - none 

"Flare Gun"

flare gun's
flare gun's

Highly specialized gun that lobs shots over enemies and obstacles. One of the few AoE-type gun's. Nearly no ammo. 

  • DMG - very high 
  • RTE - very low 
  • CAP - very low 
  • SPC - low 
  • K+S - high 
  • RCL - none 

"Revolver"

revolvers
revolvers

Better DMG than the PISTOL counterpart but loses ammo capacity and speed.

  • DMG - high 
  • RTE - medium 
  • CAP - medium 
  • SPC - very high 
  • K+S - high 
  • RCL - medium 

"Magnum"

magnums
magnums

Upgraded version of the Revolver that intoduces extreme stopping power and very high affix power.

  • DMG - high
  • RTE - medium
  • CAP - medium
  • SPC - very high
  • K+S - very high
  • RCL - medium 

"Machine Pistol"

machine pistols
machine pistols

The only automatic handgun. Good for crowd control and smaller, harder to hit enemies.

  • DMG - very low
  • RTE - very high
  • CAP - very high
  • SPC - low
  • K+S - very low
  • RCL - low

The intent is to have pistols as the basis for most exploring and adventuring in the game.  They can also deal considerable damage if you breed them properly (but that's for another update).  Here you can see some combat using a pistol, machine pistol and then flare gun.

X1 battlin' swampsters with handgun's
X1 battlin' swampsters with handgun's

 Next ... we'll cover RIFLES.

Timely Update 2 ... "Bakely ain't dead."

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Here is the short/long scoop:

Liam is writing this, that's me. Also called bhroom. A few months ago, at the beginning of the year, we started putting together some updates about the game: systems and other things that would get anyone still waiting for this damn vidcon excited. Problem is … we knew that if we stared updating the same gosh darn tootin' thing that always happens would happen: We'd send 2-3 updates quickly and then we'd sink into silence again because we (namely ME) have such a difficult time deciding what footage of the game is "up to snuff" to show and what isn't.  

My goal was to start updating and then NEVER STOP until the game is out. So I held off, and in doing so, completely abandoned my duties here on Kickstarter. It was a baka move and I apologize. Someone wrote to me and said "what the FRUDGE is going on with your Kickstarter?" and I just … well let me tell you I "flipped my wig" and hopped on here to write this.

Perdoname… forgive me...

So I'm here to catch everyone up. First and foremost, we haven't moved away with your money but we have indeed moved to other places recently. ToGcentral (the house where we’ve been making B2) is sadly, becoming no more … because people get married and people have children and people become adults and no one is bitter about it at all but these things happen … (I'm talking about my brother, bort). So ToGcentral is moving to New York and will be up and running at the beginning of June. (Also bort is still working on the game, he just has a real life now as well.)

I'm going to start updating ASAP, within the confines of the Forgotten Palace of ToGcentral … as the walls crumble around me.  

Now to the vidcon:

We are currently piling on content, NO FUCKING LIE.  At the same time, we're trimming some of the fat that was generated from a 4-years-long development.

Bisse (who is also currently also moving to a new house), has been making some really awesome leaps in the combat and some of the lingering systems problems that have stuck around for a while. Here is the Dev Dump that he's been maintaining this whole time your boy was not updating this kickstarter.

We have GZ (the original programmer of Barkley: Gaiden) back on the job and he's steamrolling through all the cutscenes the game (there are … a ton) and adding a extra ton of flair and polish to some crucial "main quest" events.

Laz is still an idiot and adding just as much nonsense as he normally does.

And Frankie is still working through the absolutely insane task of making 2025 individual gun's sprites. He also just sketched out the final boss(es) today and they look … haunting … they will haunt you.

I can swear to you that the game is so much more stupid and big and dumb than what we ever thought it would be. We've had to cut a few corners, but I think that pales in comparison to the other corners we've painstakingly rounded off into oblivion.

Oh!  and we also have the BBALL TACTICS GAME that is becoming a completely standalone thing as well as part of the game itself. (Johnathan is moving currently as well but when he settles down we're gonna start cleaning that up too.) Once that is finished we're going to heave that out to all the backers as a download and as part of a "taster" for the release of the full game (yep, we're actually gonna release this thing…)

Pull off the warm-ups and hit the court, because the 6th man has spoken and other basketball terminology.

I'll start running through the comments and messages and responding to everyone now.  Please send me more, ask about the game.  I'm ready to answer, and also ready to start streaming some really cool development in the coming days.

I'll update again on Friday with cleaner, more specific details about where we stand in development.  I'm well aware this update was just fluff to let you know we are still around.  Friday, it's happening!

Semper Games...

Timely Update #1: PAX Thoughts

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Mystical Greetings backers and nonbackers and all pets.  The ToGsters have recovered from the obligatory conference illnesses.  Frankie, Pasty and Bhroom are ready to report what went down in "The Windy City."

Here is a breakdown of what all went down at PAX.

Demo-ing Barkley 2

In all honesty, the first time we showed Barkley at PAX Prime two years ago, the game was a bit faked. It definitely showcased what the intent of the visual and feel of the game would be … but the systems inside, the mechanics, were very simple and very unbalanced. All that has changed as the ToGsters have shaped and molded the game into the giant heap it is now.

This heap is playable though, and represents truly that we think the finished product is going to be. Which we think means it is GOOD.  In the last update just before PAX, we showed some screenshots with what we thought/hoped/prayed would be experienced in the live demo. We can safely and assuredly say now that that we showed was what people got!

In a very satisfying and redemptive way, the game performed as we planned. What we predicted would happen generally did with most players, and even more so: our tips to G.A.M.E.R.S. on how to survive, how to thrive in the game, when followed, were extremely effective. We are still a little bit away from actual Player Experience TeSting (P.E.T.S.) so that wasn’t really the ultimate goal of the show. We were looking for proof, outside of our own internal development, that the game could be played by the general public and understood.

Mainly this revolves around a pretty tight game loop (ie. the repeating mechanic of the game that players learn, practice and perfect in order to progress). On the surface Barkley 2 looks like a top down shooter; it definitely is, but the extremely small view port of the game (384x240px scaled), proportionally large enemies and player sprites, and a big honkin’ HUD taking up ¼ of the bottom of the screen push the game into a much-intended encounter-based Role Playing Game. That’s right, we talkin’ RPGs. A-RPGs!

The game loop rewards players for moving slowly and deliberately, encountering each enemy, dealing with it in whatever gun’sfashion they choose, and then moving on. Players should constantly be checking stats and inventory to decide whether their current excursion is moving positively, or if they need to return to the nearest Utility Station and smelt down some gun’s for more ammo and engage in some selective gun’sbreeding.

Avoiding turning this update into a game mechanics discussion (that’s for later), here are two game concepts that we’ve talked about but will make these paragraphs easier to understand:

  • Gun’ssmelting – In the utility station, players can SMELT down their undesired wild gun’s that they’ve picked up while exploring. The derived SMELT POINTS from this action are used to refill your main, named (and tamed) gun’s. 
  • Gun’sbreeding – This is how you level up your gun’s. You breed two gun’s together and their genetic material (which is derived from their own parents) are passed down into a child gun. This is also performed in the Utility Station. 

Bhroom explains a little about these processes and more in this video from PC Gamer's coverage:

Enemies are fast and accurate, and the game punishes general run and gun behavior. But we also saw that if you have the appropriate gun’s and equipment, a faster and wider game loop is achievable through discipline and clever breeding. On the other hand, going too slow could end up yielding too few gun’s drops from enemies to keep your smelting and breeding sustainable. This could end up sending you back to an easier area to stock up on weaker gun’s, or worse … find you face down in the junk and muck of the Cyberpocalyptic Wasteland.

So with all the systems in the game now, and with them firing in a seemingly desired sequence, we have paved the way for PURE CONTENT CREATION. This is what we’ve been striving for since that fateful PAX Prime two years ago, and we’ve finally achieved it. We’ve been building and growing content this entire time as well, but now it’s just a matter of taking what resources we’ve created and connecting the proper hooks. (Before you ask: 11/11/2023)

Demo-ing Tactics: Ballre

Tactics:Ballre or Bball Tactics or BBTTX was also on display for people to get their grubby little paws on. Since GameMaker gives us the ability to export to a variety of platforms, we were able to get it running, on all things, An Android TV for PAX.

While the game itself will be single player within Barkley, we wanted to engage convention goers a little more by having a multiplayer build (nevermind that the AI isn’t ready yet anyways). It worked really well! With the art and animations up to speed on the minigame, which is aiming to have the scope and depth of Blitzball, relatively, we are moving forward with some gameplay and mechanics clean-up and then getting the AI up to par.

And since it was running on Android already does that mean it’s also touch-capable and can scale to any tablet or phone, or in this case television, form factor? You bet your rump it does.

Beyond that thinly veiled teaser, there isn’t as much to report on Tactics yet. We’re cleaning it up getting it ready for both insertion back into Barkley 2 proper and also following avenues about it being a standalone game.

Check out this article and video belowfor a very solid synopsis of what Tactics: Ballre is going to be.

The Cyberdwarf

The Cyberdwarf definitely pulled his weight at the show! First of all, look at how glorious this is!

Secondly, we sent “the man behind the ball,” aka Kyle, a build for him to play up on and learn some of the lingo of the Cyberpocalypse. Not only did he cover the game we sent tremendously, but he was able to pick up the slack of the booth while Bhroom and Frankie were pulled in one direction or another. He did an amazing job and assuredly made his mark on PAX, Seattle and the entire Western Seaboard both emotionally and ecologically for years to come.

PAX Rumble 2015

We participated in the PAX Rumble … it was pretty much right up our alley. You can watch us here and here … sorta. Bhroom has effectively never watched wrestling so the jargon and swagger was a little lost, but Kyle played exceptionally well given the two blaring teal LEDs in his eyes and cyberpunk gauntlets wrapped around the N64 controller..

We’ll be back, Seattle … oh and okay one more Cyberdwarf: