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How we did in a year, how we're doing, why we're so slow.

Greetings ToGverse,

So we have some new updates on Barkley 2, and where things are heading. There is a lot of info in here so I’m going to skip the formalities and hit this H.A.R.D.

We’re pushing the game’s release date by a healthy margin.

I know … shocker! When it all boils down though, I think we should blame all of you, the backers. Yeah that’s right, I said it! The reason is we are about where we would have been development-wise if we had made a $35k game. But instead, we’ve spent a little more money, and have only about one-half of a $100k game. Meaning since our Kickstarter had such great success, we’ve expanded Barkley 2 in considerably huge ways.

I would say the game has tripled in size overall from our original idea and we are loving how this bad boy is going to turn out. We think the direction that we’ve locked in on is going to blow some pants off … not our pants though, we honor our Stretch Goals. This, however, has brought us to the current concern were facing in development: keeping the game this size. We’ve seen too many times projects pursue grand schemes regarding its scope and depth, only to fall short or even completely. We are being very careful to avoid this. By moving methodically, we’re making sure what we work on FOR the game is definitely on the road to what we want to be IN the game.

We have, for the most part, avoided the enticing pitfalls that come with indie game development: intricate concept art that doesn’t benefit the game, overly involved and produced sequences that distract from development, or fancy but wasteful, one-use effects. We’ve been focusing on design, code, and the basics; balancing and justifying each prototype on paper before we work it into the game. It’s taken a LOT longer than we’d hoped, but possibly just as long as is necessary. I think I’d be the first to admit that while we ToGsters collectively know how to make a game, releasing a game at the magnitude of Barkley 2 is a feat we haven’t attempted yet and are still learning the ropes for sure.

We’ve made a few swaps in personnel as well, with some of our coders moving on to real jobs and some diminishing their roles in one way or another. But that has not come before we have a rather large portion of the systems of B2 already in place; which is going to save us in the coming months. We are now moving into a more content-oriented stage of development and are actually looking for another coder! This person would be working on lightening the load of creating all the actual content in the game. This means effects, special AI maneuvers, and specific set-pieces, also called “all the fun stuff.” There is a lot of it too. (Skip the rest of this nonsense if you are or know someone who’s interested and head down to the bottom of this update for more info.)

What We Have Done Recently

We have our first example of the fully realized gun’s fuser up and running. As of this moment, it mixes 23 gun’stypes, 80 materials, and a combination of over 100 prefixes and suffixes (think Diablo 2) and by doing so yields a total of just over 72 million permutations. That’s probably enough but we’re not done just yet and that count will definitely be changing by development’s end.

Now what do all of these do? Welll that is mostly a secret, but here is a little breakdown of the part’s of a gun.

  • Gun’stypes: This is your Shotgun, your Hunting Rifle, and your Flintlock Pistol. Types determines the behavior of the gun: how it shoots how often, what range and what power. Standard stuff, no doubt, but we’re also adding Flare Gun’s, Beam Weapons, even a Mitrailleuse. More gun’s than you can shake your gun’s at. 
Molto Gun's Sprites
Molto Gun's Sprites
  • Materials: These represent the makeup of the weapon and modify performance as well as special attack attributes. That Copper Shotgun not fast enough? Try fusing for a blaster made of Brass … but how do you get there? Later on, start working towards a Mercury gun, or lighten your weapon altogether by making it Paper. 
  • Affixes: Gun’s can be bred to have a vast array of affixes and this is where the real strategy of Barkley 2 lies. Using an affix that can lower the Might of an enemy that has heavy equipment will slow the enemy’s movement speed as well. It’s the player’s choice on how that can work with his or her arsenal. You could have a gun with two affixes that both lower effective Might and then fires a foul pool of BIO-damaging sludge at its feet. With the low Might the enemy can no longer move, and cooks away in your corrosive trap! There will be various Prefixes and Suffixes that can be inherited by a gun and are read the same way as in Diablo II. The gun I just pulled up on a random drop: Flooding Firewalling Muscle Musket of the Beekeeper.

As you may have seen on our twitter, toadstone just finished a new Swamp Tileset and it is bonkerz good. The Swamps is the newest area we’ve been working on, and has been revamped with a totally new look compared to the one we used for our Indie MegaBooth trailer. This area will feature some unique combat compared with the rest of the game. Everything in the Swamps is built to kill, more than just fight. That means you’ll be facing a lot of enemies that you can’t actually defeat. Mosquitos pester you until you let them gain in number; at which point they could fly off with your very life essence. Beware the Werecrocs that swim just below the bog’s surface; you cannot hit them as they advance.

Toadstone's Newest Masterpiece
Toadstone's Newest Masterpiece


In humongous news, last week, the GZ STORM, aka Doug Beach, aka Jesse Ceranowicz, aka Dave Sand, aka Dig Bench completed a month-long residency here at ToGcentral. As you all know since you have his poster above your bed or child’s crib, we’ll spare you his Legendary Tale as the lost ToGster who singlehandedly created the GameMaker Version of Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden.

We had ourselves a grand time and after team building exercises were completed, he set to work on fixing up some crucial spots of Barkley that needed his own brand of coding salve to properly mend. He capped off the Quick Menu, which will give you the ability to swap back and forth between your gun’s and also manage your inventory and abilities. After helping us complete the gun’s fuser mentioned above, he also put in the basis for the Zaubers. These offer Zaubermancy as a supplement to your gun’s arsenal and are used to change the field of battle in many ways. We’ve been playing with gravity and time as two of the uses to Zaubers and we want them to be more indirect forms of combat, yielding to your gun’s to actually deal out those D-M-Gs.

Be sure to head over to and see what the legend actually makes on his own time, be sure to play the Potato Adventure games.

ToGsterz in Armz
ToGsterz in Armz

We’re already working on the next time he can come down from his cold throne in the Great White North to add more fuel to the Vidcon Revolution.

Where we are going from here:

As I mentioned above, we are looking for someone who’s well-versed in GameMaker who can help with adding all the various code-heavy effects and enemy AI states that the game needs. If you have a resume or a poem or something to let us know that you want to join the Vidcon Revolution, send it over to We have a budget to pay as well, but definitely looking for someone who has the time and the G.U.M.P.T.I.O.N. to help us from now till the game is released.

From there, we’re moving in to high gear on content creation. We have been pretty short on updates this past year, and that’s going to be a lot easier to change now that we are generating some of the more visual content that is indicative of the game itself.

You’ll start to see more videos popping up too. We want to show you how Zaubers are looking hopefully from their inception, maybe a peek at the gun’s fuser and all the different affixes that’ll start getting polish pretty soon.

Also we’re remaking the Wasteland Tileset to match the palette, quality and range of the Sewers and Swamps and also branching out into the Mines and the Mountain Pass, both new areas.

One thing we’ve been slacking on pretty strongly are BOSS BATTLES. We hope to have one of our myriad ideas as a prototype soon!

We hope you stay tuned!

One more thing:

MAGfest 2014 is coming up in less than a month and us ToGsters are just 25 minutes from where the convention takes place.  We went last year and had a hecka good time, so this year we applied to show off the game and our heralded Wizard Booth and we approved!  So if you happen to be heading to National Harbor, MD on January 2nd, come by and see us.  We'll post more updates about it later, along with a video of what you'll expect to see in the new demo build.

Scott Arsenault, D'argo, and 18 more people like this update.


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    1. Johann on December 27, 2013

      I can wait.
      (btw Toadstone is fantastic)

    2. Filthy Liar on December 12, 2013

      I'm looking forwards to this. Take your time. Please update a little more often.

    3. Jeremy on December 10, 2013

      I don't care how long it takes, just do your best and actually put a game out in the end.

    4. Missing avatar

      Karl Schneider on December 9, 2013

      It's good to hear you guys are practicing restraint.

      I could only cringe when I heard Tim Schafer hired celebs to voice his 4M budget adventure game. No wonder they so quickly went over budget.

      I'm getting similar vibes from PE and WL2 - that budgets are drying up. Things just seem like they're being overextended. Plenty of other KS games have already been delayed 'indefinitely'. Look at how 'Clang!' turned out - I backed that game because I liked the concept, but the developers barely produced a half-functioning demo with $500k. Sheesh.

      But you're already sort of ahead by using Gamemaker. Your costs should be low as a result. It's almost too bad you're using it though, I'd love to contribute code (for free even) if I could, but I'm not experienced in that scripting language. If it comes down to it, where you can't find somebody to lighten the load, maybe try opening up an SVN with a basic framework of the game? I'd certainly give a whack at writing an AI system and submitting it, if such a thing were left open the community. But that's maybe a bit of a pipedream? I'm sure you guys want to keep your code closely guarded.

      Wish you guys the best, keep us updated. The art continues to look fantastic, I'm hyped to play the game just to see it alone. Good sprite art like this - not that pseudo retro crap - has been a rarity.

    5. Steve Dietemann on December 9, 2013

      Take all the time you need to complete the game to your undoubtedly high standards. The world is still young and in the immortal words of Miyamoto-san, "A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad."

    6. Sean Seyler on December 9, 2013

      While I'm not super on about the delay, it's understandable. I appreciate the consideration that's being given to make sure the vidcon happens - so long as it does, as a backer I won't be disappointed. Well, unless the vidcon is the worst vidcon yet, which is guaranteed.

    7. Missing avatar

      Paul D'Elia on December 9, 2013

      Good stuff guys, take your time. I wasn't expecting the greatest vidcon ever vidconcescrated to be done in short earth years time anyways.

    8. Reaktor on December 9, 2013

      Of course we wanne play B2 NOW, but nobody wants a rushed and unfinished game. Take your time to make all the weapons and zaubers and just make the best game you can.

      The screenshot looks amazing, especially all the parts in the water. Reminds me a little bit the bitmap brothers style. Keep up the good work!

    9. Jag on December 9, 2013

      Keep up the hard work guys! I can't wait to play this vidcon M.A.S.T.E.R.P.I.E.C.E.

    10. nick on December 9, 2013

      So wait till decembers release to say its not coming. Classy. Any word on local multiplayer or if this will support my NES Power pad? You know, for co-op?

    11. FlamingFirewire on December 9, 2013

      Just keep up the good work everyone! Considering all the other games I still have to play, I don't mind waiting longer for this one :)

    12. Will Lewis on December 9, 2013

      The swamp tileset at PAX looked kinda archetypal. I like the pictured one – it's a bit more unique!

      Also, I hope that Buckaroo Belt of the See Saw Sugar Daddy is an item.

    13. Whitney Kemper on December 9, 2013

      So what's the new release date?