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Welcome to the Bscotch Ballyhoo!

2018 blew down our door like a strong-armed tumbleweed. We’re picking up momentum to make this our best year ever (20-GR8TEEN, ANYONE?) with more content, more new games, and more shenanigans than ever before.

The Bscotch Ballyhoo, this effervescent mini-magazine you’re reading right now, is one such shenanigan. Here we’ll be giving you a look behind the scenes, divulge secret strategies for our games, and share Ballyhoo exclusive secrets and content that those poor souls not in our mailing list could only dream about.

We want to share what we’re doing and make you chucklesnort that coffee you’re drinking right out of your nose holes. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the din of the Ballyhoo.

Highlights from this issue of the Bscotch Ballyhoo:

  • A free Crashlands comic (30 pages, oh my!)
  • A first-look and beta sign-up for Levelhead, our next game launch
  • Concept creatures from Scuffle Buddies
  • Secrets from Crashlands’ 1.3 Patch
  • A sneak peek at our new back-end (O_O)
  • Player stories about breaking everything we worked so hard to build
  • And a whole bunch more

Crashlands Comic

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If you ever wondered what hijinks Flux was involved with before being crashlanded, wonder no more! With this comic you can dive into the story of Flux and Juicebox before the events of Crashlands, back when Flux was just trying to pay down her student debt. The dynamic duo get into some dicey situations and masterful action sequences, as illustrated by Benjamin Sawyer, the beast of a comic artist who put this together.

Download the pdf fo’ free from itch, ya nerd!

Secrets from Upcoming Crashlands Patch 1.3:“The Embiggening”

Speaking of Crashlands, in 2017 we didn’t do a content update for the game. WHY?! Because we trapped ourselves in a hideous morasse of ports, technical improvements, and other non-glorious work. Why did we do that? Frankly, in retrospect, we don’t know. It was a dark time, okay?

Well we’ve turned our pent-up designer rage back to Crashlands these past few months and what have we found? More than a few places where our honed design skills can refresh Crashlands’ gameplay while preserving its charm. So we’re putting together a massive content update that will bring literally all of you back into Woanope for another round of play. Here are a few of the highlights from patch 1.3: The Embiggening...

Meaningful Weapon Choices

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The original intent behind Crashlands’ Axe, Sword, and Hammer weapons was to create a personal allegiance to a style of battle - whether a player was a dashing sword dancer or a brutish maul swinger. But to accomplish that we needed dozens more weapons in the game. We were short on time, money, and dangs, so we went with a simpler “a weapon is a weapon” model instead.

With Patch 1.3 we’re making good on that intention and tripling the number of weapons available to Flux. AND we’re tweaking each weapon class to be more varied, so that you can feel a difference in combat depending on what you’re wielding.

New game modes

If you’ve always wanted to build a monument to your narcissism with a pixel-art selfie on the map of Crashlands, but lacked the floors to do it, well… NOW YOU CAN! Creative mode gives you unlimited resources, invincibility, and instant access to every biome in the game. You can build to your heart’s content - provided your heart is content with a mountain of floors and furniture arranged to approximate your handsome visage!

And if you always HATED all those pesky words we put in Crashlands, we’ve added a Sandbox Mode to the game. It has just enough story to move you between biomes, and otherwise leaves you to explore Woanope at your own pace. Though you will have to beat every boss in order to proceed. Being naked, afraid, and lost in the woods with a saw and no purpose is the sweet marrow of the crafting genre, after all!

What have YOU done?!

All you Shenanites (Oooo a fan in-group name!) have been up to some pretty wacky stuff in our games, so we want to highlight your accomplishments and eccentricities in each issue of the Bscotch Ballyhoo. This time around we’ve got a massive fish-farming operation, an incredible visual glitch, and a min-maxxer who somehow got a 96% crit chance in Crashlands.

Dageki’s Fish Farm

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Farming up the Gongs, those rare Fish weapons in Crashlands, is always an endeavor. Rather than endlessly search for fishing holes, Dageki (@Dageki) made the fish come to him. This homebrew fish farm can be harvested with fishing magnets in mere moments, and produces such a volume of fish that getting a Gong is all but guaranteed.

RetroBananaManNL’s Glitch

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We’re honestly not sure what the heck RetroBananaManNL did to make this happen, but holy cow is it in an impressive explosion of our texture pages. It’s glitches like these that give us launch-week cold sweats. Thanks for refreshing our night terrors, ya scamp!

Prosto_Dima’s Crit

Shenanite Prosto_Dima (known as Lagger in the community discord) used juicemancy, a few choice trinkets, and sheer luck to get a near perfect crit chance of 96%. This is some serious optimization. So serious, in fact, that we now have to decide if this is something that should even be allowed to happen. HUNGRY FOR A LADLE OF NERF-SOUP, ANYONE!?

If you want to get highlighted in the next issue of the Bscotch Ballyhoo for your gaming achievements, hop into the community discord and share them. We’re keeping an eye out there for interesting stories!

Make games with us this June

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Each year we declare a weekend to make video games alongside all you beautiful Shenanites during the Butterscotch Shenanijam. Last year over 300 people participated, creating more than 130 games in just 2 days - and more than 50% of participants were first-time jammers!

Are you invested enough in your own happiness to join us for a weekend of creative lightning-bottling? Is that too deep a question for the Bscotch Ballyhoo? WELL I DON’T CARE, IT’S 20GR8TEEN! Get the event on your calendar (June 8) and sign up with the 80+ jammers already there on our itch page.

Get to know Levelhead

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Whenever we make a gigantic game (Scuffle Buddies) we occasionally take a step away to let the game breathe. To some of our game dev friends, the idea that we take a break from a game to launch smaller games seems like insanity. And maybe it is, but it’s a strategy that’s worked well for us, and our fans, in the past. Both Flop Rocket and Roid Rage came out of breaks during Crashlands development (which spanned more than 2 years).

This December we hit a good break point on Scuffle Buddies and turned our minds toward a smaller project that we could get into your hands ASAP. That project is LEVELHEAD.

Levelhead is like Youtube for level makers. You can build your own levels with a huge suite of platforming genre staples (barrels, portals, moving blocks, and puzzle elements) then play through and publish them to the community. If people dig your style of level design, they can subscribe to you and get your new levels whenever you publish them.

Levelhead is also a precision platformer, which means it’s just plain fun to run around in. If you’re a fan of Super Meat Boy, Super Mario, or any other Super-Prefixed game, you’ll dig the running and jumping we’ve got going on. Plus, the character is a Bureau of Shipping droid-in-training named GR-18 (because it’s 20GR8TEEN).

Here’s a tiny, never before seen alpha gif of the editor, and of someone smashing bricks with GR-18's chrome dome.

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Join the Beta

If you want to help Levelhead become the best maker-game it can be, head on over to the Beta application, and hop into the community discord to hang out with other levelheads.

Scuffle Buddies concepts

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Speaking of Scuffle Buddies… for our lovely Ballyhoo readers we wanted to spill the beans on a few Buddies from the game: Crashunk, Telosseus, Ransak, and the adorable Felivity. Note that these Buddies will probably change going forward, but we figured it’s high time SOMEONE SAW SOMETHIN’ from this monstrosity we’ve got growing in the background.

Yes, the game involves monster trapping. No, you don’t use the ball from the title artwork to catch buddies. I mean how could you use a ball to catch a monster? Where are you getting that zany idea?! That doesn’t even make sense!

Dev-Tips: Roid Rage edition

Roid Rage (or Roid Rampage, as it's known on the App Store) was one of our rapid dev projects. In the game you play as an unpaid Intern for the Bureau of Science. You're given a ship without brakes and sent into an asteroid field that's dotted with that lucrative and powerful technomagical energy that saturates the Butterscotch universe - Juice. Your task is to pilot your freedom-loving ship and nab as much Juice as possible before you inevitably slam into an asteroid and get ejected into the cold vacuum of space.

Most players can’t manage to collect more than 6 Juice in this game. That’s the equivalent of surviving in space for about 12 seconds, so we thought we’d give you n00bz a pro-tip from behind the curtain so you can fly in style like Elon Musk's Tesla:

Never fly vertically, and fly the diagonals!

Why? Your ship is always centered on screen and flying at full-speed, which means the corners of the screen are the furthest away from your ship (thanks, Hypotenuse!). Flying the diagonals gives you milliseconds more reaction time to dodge those career-ending asteroids.

If this tip works for you, send us a tweet @bscotchshenani with your new high score. We'll pour out a drink for all those interns sacrificed in the name of your juicy ambition.

Sneak peek at our new back-end, Rumpus

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By back-end we meant web-infrastructure, of course. What did you expect?

Adam’s been in a cave for the better part of a year learning how to create websites that aren’t uglier than sin. As the result of all his hard work we’re just a few weeks away from the full launch of Rumpus, which will be the more handsome, faster, and generally more likeable brother to BscotchID. It also lets us use this slogan:

“Rumpus is our back-end”

Teehehehehehehe - Ah, childhood, how we miss it.

Our comedy podcast, Coffee with Butterscotch

“Listen. I’ve got real strong eyelids. I don’t know if their equipment can handle it. I need to be able to cooperate…I’ve got snapping turtle eyelids.”

Listen to one of our recent podcasts that includes stories about Sam’s Lasik and the training Seth is putting himself through in order to someday get the procedure. Join the 1,000+ weekly listeners and have some laughs with (or at) us! The (explicit!) podcast is available everywhere you want it, and probably some places you don’t.

Here’s to 20Gr8teen!

We’re really excited for this year, for our games, and to share more than ever with you. Stay tuned for the next issue of the Bscotch Ballyhoo, featuring the next chapter of the Crashlands comic, more player stories, and more behind-the-scenes goodies.

Have a mighty February, you beautiful Shenanite.

Stay frosty,

Sam

Butterbally Shehoohoogans