“Off-Facebook” Privacy Settings

📢 Attention Thunder Run, Days of Valor, Mars Frontier, War Star Empire, and Battlefront Mars Commanders on Facebook:

Facebook has recently introduced a new setting toggle that allows users to turn off a feature that they call “Off-Facebook Activity”, and since then several Facebook Sharing campaigns have gone viral encouraging Facebook users to do so. We strongly recommend that you ignore any such advice it as it it’s been brought to our attention that turning off “Off-Facebook Activity” can remove access to our Facebook Game Apps on your account and subsequently cause various issues logging into the game.

What is “Off-Facebook Activity”, anyway? It’s a tool that gives Facebook App Developers the ability to share with Facebook when people are using their app. In the case of Thunder Run, we use it to tell Facebook when a player logs in, and when our system’s ability to do this becomes blocked the user, various errors can occur. You can read more about the specifics of “Off-Facebook Activity” here.

Rest assured, if you have already turned off Off-Facebook Activity and are having trouble logging in, your base and all of your progress remain safe on our servers, and you should be able to fix the issue by simply turning the setting back on. To do this, go to your Facebook Profile “Settings” Menu -> “Your Facebook Information” -> “View Off-Facebook Activity” -> “More Options” -> “Manage Future Activity” -> and then flip the toggle to it’s “On” position like shown below.

Make sure “Future Off-Facebook Activity” is toggled to “On”

As you might have already read the most recent edition of the Battlehouse Dev Blog, we’re also in the process of working on getting Thunder Run published on more platforms outside of Facebook, and offering new account login alternatives as part of our “Project New Horizons”. Stay tuned for more information on the next step!

Have feedback to share? Let us know over on our Thunder Run Discord Server!

Battlehouse Dev Blog, Issue #14: Developer Updates

📢 Attention Thunder Run, Days of Valor, Mars Frontier, War Star Empire, Battlefront Mars, and Firestrike Commanders:

Welcome to the 14th installment of the Battlehouse Dev Blog, a place where fans of all Battlehouse games can enjoy regular behind the scenes peaks into the minds of Battlehouse Developers.

We’re officially now in a new PvP Season, and while we didn’t make much progress on the Developers Roadmap this past season aside from delivering craftable Security Nodes, we have been working on a new large back-end project that we’re excited to finally talk a little bit about now in this Dev Blog entry.

The purpose of this new project which we’re internally calling “Project New Horizons” is to publish across multiple platforms to gain a lot more players, with a goal of gaining enough revenue to substantially increase our dev team size and release boatloads of new content. The first visible step of this project is the Kongregate re-launch that allows Facebook and Kongregate players to go head to head. Next steps include a downloadable client that will be published on several other platforms, like the Windows Store and Steam.

The downside to this project is it lowered the priority of a lot of front-end content. The Developer Roadmap still represents the front-end projects in the works, they’ve just slowed down a bit. After the Kongregate re-launch, expect at least one project on the roadmap to see some development cycles.

We’ve also been working on some projects that do their thing in the background.  The PvP end of season tournaments had some timer entries that were wrong due to typos. To prevent this, we automated the process that times the announcements and leaderboards. The next season tournament should go without a hitch in July.

Our VPN detection software and reputation filter has been integrated with the game engine. This has been quietly in the works for a while. A consistent complaint about PvP is that certain bad elements will have an army of alt accounts on anti-alt maps and hide behind VPNs so that our alt-detection system won’t notice them. Starting after the next end-of-season PvP tournament (July 2-July 9), all anti-alt maps will become anti-VPN maps.  Any player connected on a VPN will not be able to join an anti-alt map. If a player switches to a VPN while already on an anti-alt map, the player will be moved to a pro-alt map.

Now, we know that some of you have to use a VPN for one reason or another. Like our anti-alt policy, we will grant some exceptions to some players. We’ve started rolling out notices on the servers well in advance of the policy change, so if you start seeing messages warning you that you’re on a VPN, submit a ticket to our customer support team now by clicking the “Contact Support” link at the bottom of your game. If you meet the criteria, your account will be flagged as ignored by the automated processes that police the maps.

We are hoping that this will make the PvP tournament a more competitive and exciting event for players going forward.

That’s all for now. Keep up the good fight, Commanders!

Stay up to date every day on what’s being developed on the dev-tracker channel here.

Looking for an update on where the Dev Team currently stands regarding various community suggestions? Check out our “Voice of the Commander” trackers here:

Like what you see in this Dev Blog, or have suggestions on things you’d like to see addressed in our “Voice of the Commander” trackers? Let us know over on our Thunder Run Discord Server!

FS: COVID-19 – Impact, Helping You Play & Stay Safe

This week in Firestrike:

COVID-19 – Impact, Helping You Play & Stay Safe

Attention Commanders,

As COVID-19 is making it’s way across the world, our utmost concern is the health and safety of not only our employees, but also our valued players while we all traverse through this difficult time together. During this time, we urge everyone to follow all guidelines established by both federal and local authorities. If everyone does their part to help mitigate the crisis it will enable all of us to come out the other side of this much sooner.

In the meantime, to help ensure that our players have ample opportunities for entertainment while many of us will be spending more time at home in the coming weeks, we’re offering a “one purchase per player” 50%-off gold sale, and extra free daily combat and base repair kits – both of which can be activated any time throughout at least the next 4 weeks.

  • If you currently have a different sale offer running in-game, the 50%-off sale will start as soon as your current sale offer period ends.
  • The extra free daily repair kits will be claimable via the “Daily Login Reward” system. The repair kits will show as the new reward for the “Daily Login Reward” system, but the normal daily rewards will also appear when you go to place the kits in your Warehouse.
    • The home base repair kit has an expiration time of 18 hours, and the in-combat instant repair kit has an expiration of 30 minutes.

We hope this gesture makes an otherwise stressful time in everyone’s lives even the smallest bit better. More than that – we hope you all stay safe!

Sincerely,

~The Battlehouse Team

Battlehouse Dev Blog, Issue #13: Mid-Season Roadmap Updates

📢 Attention Thunder Run, Days of Valor, Mars Frontier, War Star Empire, Battlefront Mars, and Firestrike Commanders:

Welcome to the 13th installment of the Battlehouse Dev Blog, a place where fans of all Battlehouse games can enjoy regular behind the scenes peaks into the minds of Battlehouse Developers. It’s been a little over a month and a half since we released the Developer Roadmap. Let’s take a look at what’s been done, and what remains to be done:

All Games – Improved Player Preferences Interface – Done!

We promised mousewheel scrolling, toggle-able scrolling direction, chat vertical orientation toggles, and screen shake toggles. We delivered all of this, including the addition of mousewheel scrolling features to 18 different UI components that weren’t in the original scope.

FS – Sapper Unit – Done!

This new unit added many new features to the engine.  It changed “invisibility” from a constant property to one that can be toggled, it added “detector” as an ability, and added failure chance mechanics to detection.

All Games – Power generation/damage mechanics overhaul – Feature Complete

The engine support is done and the feature is being tested in War Star Empire. Deployment to other games is awaiting our results.

MF – Unit levels, Radiation Tower, and EMP Cannon – Mostly Done

The EMP cannon isn’t done, nor are the levels for the Curiosity, and the Opportunity Central Computer defender, but the Detonator, Phantom Detonator and Elevation Droid have up to L13, and the Radiation Tower is in game.

BFM – Elite Dragon – Done

The unit is in game and ready for the next event to bring it to life.

WSE – Dragon – Not Started

This is a small project and won’t take long once started.

TR & DV – Vault update – Done!

Both games got a massive boost to Hardware protection. Now there will always be enough for base defender repairs and a bit extra to allow a cheap new project or “seed funds” for an expensive one. No matter what, when you log back in you’ll have enough left to get back in the fight.

All Games – Stats display – Pending code review/testing

The impact effects code is done and undergoing testing. It displays the name of the effect, its strength, and its duration. A lot of unit special abilities will no longer be a mystery as a result.

All Games – Security Node Crafting update – In Progress

The code for refunding all of the old Security Nodes is in place. The crafting system for Security Nodes is about 70% complete. The armed TOC means the UI has to be reworked to allow for two craftable slots on the same building. The range indicator for the Security Nodes has not been started.

All Games – Mine and Ambush Crafting update – Not Started

When complete, Ambush Points will become craftable instead of purchased in the store and there will be scroll buttons so the number of Minefields isn’t hard-capped at 28. You’ll be able to trade in your old Strike Teams for an ONP refund, but the blueprints will still be used.

All Games – Consumable Ammo – Not Started

When complete, this will change the way certain weapons work. Players will not see anything right away, since it’s only one step in several towards the finished project.

Right now, there’s only one way to balance how often a player can use an ability is its cooldown stat. Most weapons have cooldowns of less than a second to a couple of seconds.  Some abilities are powerful and shouldn’t be used more than once or twice in a fight. Long cooldowns can be easily “cheesed” by retreating and attacking again.

Instead of relying on cooldowns, we’re going to add the ability to require consumable ammo and items to certain powerful abilities. Examples would be the UH-60’s troop deployment (instead of having them commit suicide to launch the troop), the future Elite UH-60’s troop deployment, and the future Elite Sniper’s stealth ability. The ammo/item would be stored in an invisible equipment slot on the unit and would just appear as an ammo counter in the unit’s stats.

This would be an internal mechanic until the rest of the needed support structure is done.

All Games – Build/Research Time updates while building/tech is in progress – Not Started

When complete, this will check for updates to build and research times when you log in. We’ve planned some time requirement nerfs (mostly in certain buildings), but the current system only records when you started and how much time you needed when you started, so it doesn’t update if the time is reduced later.

We’re going to fix that. It will record the total time needed when you start, and check when you log in if this has changed. If it has, it will update the time remaining. This update function will check the times whenever you apply a build time boost item, and will adjust the time accordingly. Be warned, removing the boost will increase the time back to where it was (otherwise you could store multiple build time boosts and apply/remove them multiple times in order to get buildings instantly for free).

All Games – On-Shoot Event Triggers – Not Started

When started, this will add under the hood features. Right now, units and buildings can trigger an event based when they get damaged, when an enemy comes near, or when they get destroyed. This is used to spawn response and security teams. A mechanic needs to be added to allow events to trigger when a weapon or ability is triggered, so that the UH-60 and Elite UH-60 will be able to deploy their troops without committing suicide.

Sadly, projects seven and ten won’t make much difference to players in the coming quarter, since we’ll need to add the ammunition crafting and delivery mechanisms before they can be fully implemented. We’ll get there with time.

Stay up to date every day on what’s being developed on the dev-tracker channel here.

Looking for an update on where the Dev Team currently stands regarding various recent community suggestions? Check out our “Voice of the Commander” trackers here:

Like what you see in this Dev Blog, or have suggestions on things you’d like to see addressed in our “Voice of the Commander” trackers? Let us know over on our Thunder Run Discord Server!

FS: User Interface Improvements – January 30th Patch Notes

New this week in Firestrike:

User Interface Improvements

Heads up, Commanders!

This week we made a some highly desired “Voice of the Commander” centric updates to the game’s user interface:

  • Mousewheel scrolling support has been added to multiple portions of the UI: Achievement Categories, Change Rank, Battle History, Battle Logs, Leader Training, Equipment Crafting, Relocate Base, Regional Map Bookmarks, Equipment selection for buildings and units, Clan info, Choose Clan Symbol, and Logistics Dispatch now all support wheel scrolling.
  • Map bookmarks, Achievements, and Player Settings now support “click and hold” scrolling. If you don’t have a mouse wheel, you can still enjoy the fast, smooth scrolling. Just click and hold!
  • The Map Bookmark scroll buttons have also been changed from “left/right” to “up/down” to provide for a much more smooth scrolling experience.

Enjoy the quality-of-life game improvements, and don’t delay on unlocking the all new Sapper Unit during this week’s Event!

To see where the design team currently stands on various Community suggested features and game improvements, check out the Firestrike “Voice of the Commander” Tracker.

For a sneak peak at what’s coming up down the road, check out the “Developer Roadmap” in the most recent edition of the Battlehouse Dev Blog.

Like what you see, or have more awesome feedback to share? Let us know over in the “firestrike” channel within our TR Discord Server.

Good hunting, Firestrikers!

FS: Health Bar Color Updates – January 23rd Patch Notes

New this week in Firestrike:

Health Bar Color Updates

🐲 Happy Lunar New Year, Commanders! 🐉

We’re celebrating with a quality-of-life update based on your player feedback. Players across all Battlehouse games have been requesting more visual cues about the health of units and buildings, and this week we’re here to deliver. Health bar colors have been updated to the following scheme:

  • Buildings and units with health at 0% to 10% will have a red health bar.
  • Buildings and units with health at 10% to 50% will have an orange health bar.
  • Buildings and units with health at 50% to 75% will have a yellow health bar.
  • Buildings and units with health at 75% to 100% will have a green health bar.

To see where the design team currently stands on various Community suggested features and game improvements, check out the Firestrike “Voice of the Commander” Tracker.

Like what you see, or have more awesome feedback to share? Let us know over in the “firestrike” channel within our TR Discord Server.

Good hunting, Firestrikers!

FS: New Sapper Unit – January 16th Patch Notes

New this week in Firestrike:

New Sapper Unit

Are the recently updated mine defenses causing your attacking forces some trouble? Fear not, Commander. The all new Sapper Unit is here to save the day, and help keep those mines at bay. Firestrike’s version of the Sapper will detect mines, shield other units from mine damage, and decimate enemy buildings in the process.

  • The Sapper is the best unit in the game for damaging buildings.
  • Contains a 75%-chance of detecting enemy mines.
  • Reduces landmine damage to nearby units by 25%.

Unlock the all new Sapper Unit today in this week’s Event Prizes Store!

Like what you see, or have more awesome feedback to share? Let us know over in the “firestrike” channel within our TR Discord Server.

Good hunting, Firestrikers!

Clan HQ Community Moving To Discord

📢 Attention Thunder Run, Days of Valor, Mars Frontier, War Star Empire, Battlefront Mars, and Firestrike Commanders 📢

Later this week, our Clan HQ chat service will be officially replaced with the new Thunder Run Community Discord Server, which offers exciting benefits like voice chat, better moderation features, and official “Ask a Dev” events.

The transition will finalize this Thursday, January 9th, 2020, at which point Clan HQ will close and begin directing visitors to join our Discord server.

In addition to the main Thunder Run channels, players from other Battlehouse Games will find an “Other Battlehouse Games” section in the Discord channel list, where they can continue chatting about their favorite Battlehouse game.

If there is enough player demand for any particular game, the Community team may choose to create a dedicated Discord server for that game.

Thank you for being a valued member of the Battlehouse Community, and we hope to see you on Discord!

-Battlehouse

FS: Tactical Ops Center Level 16 – December 26th Patch Notes

New this week in Firestrike:

Tactical Ops Center Level 16

🎄 Happy Holidays, Firestrikers! 🎄

We’ve been hearing your feedback loud and clear, and we’re ready to celebrate the holidays with the big update you’ve all been patiently waiting for.  Effective today:

The Tactical Ops Center level cap is raised to Level 16, paving the way for new maximum levels for all buildings, turrets, landmines, and top-tier units.

Game Improvements

And that’s not all! We’ve also made some improvements to the settings menu interface!

  • The settings menu is now scrollable, allowing for more player preference options.
  • A new setting option now gives players the ability to toggle the mousewheel scrolling behavior for in-game chat, and regional map zooming.
  • Soon more setting options will be added that allow players to toggle screen shaking effects, and in-game chat window orientation. Stay tuned!

Like what you see, or have more awesome feedback to share? Let us know over in the “firestrike” channel within our TR Discord Server.

Good hunting, Firestrikers!

Battlehouse Dev Blog, Issue #12: Developer Roadmap

📢 Attention Thunder Run, Days of Valor, Mars Frontier, War Star Empire, Battlefront Mars, and Firestrike Commanders:

Welcome to the 12th installment of the Battlehouse Dev Blog, a place where fans of all Battlehouse games can enjoy regular behind the scenes peaks into the minds of Battlehouse Developers. Without further adieu, here’s bh-nirgal to talk about upcoming projects in the current Developer Roadmap (all of these are approved by management, and the order of reporting reflects the order of release):

All Games – Improved Player Preferences Interface

Our user interface works in strange ways. Making them expand and scroll is not trivial, but it is necessary. By updating this interface to have scroll buttons and more options, we can give the player control over more comfort and ease of use options. This is a very high priority change and will affect all of the games. Once complete, the first options to be added will be toggle mouse wheel scrolling direction, toggle chat vertical orientation, toggle screen shake explosion effects. This is the first project and will be finished before there are any further new content projects for any of the games. Bear in mind, some content updates are already in the games and are just on timed releases, so you may see some new features activate even if this project isn’t done.

Firestrike – Sapper Unit

Our second project is the Sapper Unit for Firestrike players. You may have seen the preview of the mine detection code demonstrated on the dev-tracker channel. Firestrike will be the first game to get a detector unit, and it will be the Sapper. The main part of this feature is working, but a few things need to be fine-tuned to avoid breaking things. The Firestrike Sapper detects mines, but is not meant to disable or destroy them. Players will need to use their Sapper to guide other units around deadly minefields.  The Sapper is the best unit for demolishing buildings, so he’s a strong counter to the new HESCO barriers. He does poor damage against mobile units, so it shouldn’t affect the current rock/paper/scissors balance between the three uppermost tier unit types. Unlike the Thunder Run and Days of Valor version, this Sapper doesn’t die automatically after deployment and can carry quite a few satchel charges.

All Games – Power Generation/Damage Mechanics Overhaul

Our third project is a tech upgrade for all games. Currently, all of the games use power generators to determine the rate of fire for turrets. When damaged, a generator stops providing power. Under the current mechanics, a generator with 100% of its hit points provides 100% of its output rating, and a generator with 99.999% of its hit points provides 0% of its output rating. We can do better.

I plan to have two optional mechanics for generators, so they can be added into the game titles as needed. Generators can have the current maximum power output rating, a proportionate power output threshold (power output is equal to the proportion of remaining hit points), a half power output threshold (flat cut of 50% of power), and a zero power output threshold.

Let’s use the L9 Generator from Thunder Run as an example. It provides 4500 power and has 28000 hit points. Let’s give it a theoretical proportionate output threshold of 75%. This means that from 28000 hit points down to 21000 hit points, it would give a power output adjusted by whatever percent of hitpoints the generator still had. So at 26500 hit points, the generator has 94% of its health, so it would output 4230 power instead of 4500 power. Let’s give it a theoretical half power threshold of 50%. This means that down to 14000 hit points, it will output 2250 power instead of 4500 power. If a generator has both a proportionate threshold and a half threshold, it would apply the higher one first. Anything below the half power level would result in 0 power, so an L9 generator with those theoretical stats and 13999 hit points would then give 0 power.

By adding these as distinct stats, a generator could conceivably give proportionate power from 100% HP to 0% HP, or give half power from 100% HP to 0% HP. This means variety in games, and the ability to improve these stats as the building upgrades.

All Games – Crafting Update

Our fourth project is another large technology update. The only visual change players will see is that Ambush Points will become craftable and there will be scroll buttons so the number of Minefields isn’t hard-capped at 28.

Under the hood, this is a bit more complicated. A lot of our crafting systems were crammed together and had toggles to decide what got crafted and what interface was displayed. Around the time that Firestrike was released, a member of the team carved out the functions used for crafting turrets and made it a standalone feature. I expanded that feature to allow the system to deploy weapons to armed TOCs and Central Computers, armed buildings (you haven’t seen these yet), and armed barriers (you haven’t seen these yet either). What we’ll be doing next is making a similar standalone crafting system that handles “grid” items (like the Minefields with their letter/number names). Ambush Points will be a similar “grid” item.

Craftable strike teams will replace the current “buy it and drop it in” model in Thunder Run and Days of Valor. Unlike landmines, crafted strike teams will not self-destruct the item when triggered. The only major difference is you will no longer be able to accidentally buy more strike teams than you have ambush points for, since you’ll just craft one into your available ambush points.

This update will allow the future release of new mines and strike teams.

WSE & BFM – Dragon and Elite Dragon Unit

Our fifth project is fairly small, and will be a new content release. War Star Empire will receive the Dragon air unit, and Battlefront Mars will receive the Elite Dragon air unit. This should be delivered during the development of the crafting update, since it’s a relatively simple process.

MF – Unit levels, Radiation Tower, and EMP Cannon

Our sixth project is fairly small, and will be a new content release. Mars Frontier will receive the Radiation Tower and EMP Cannons for their turret platforms, and will receive new levels for the Detonator, Phantom Detonator, Elevation Droid, Curiosity, and the Opportunity Central Computer defender. This should be delivered during the development of the crafting update, since it’s a relatively simple process.

TR & DV – Vault Update

Our seventh project is a fairly small content adjustment. The Hardware protection of the Vault in Thunder Run and Days of Valor will be significantly increased to the point that there will always be enough for base defender and base building repairs. There might not be much more than that, but even if you log in to a completely destroyed base you’ll be able to jump back into the fight. This should be delivered during the development of the crafting update, since it’s a relatively simple process.

All Games – Consumable Ammo

Our eighth project is a technology update. Players will not see anything right away, since it’s only one step in several towards the finished project.
Right now, there’s only one way to balance how often a player can use an ability is its cooldown stat. Most weapons have cooldowns of less than a second to a couple of seconds.  Some abilities are powerful and shouldn’t be used more than once or twice in a fight. Long cooldowns can be easily “cheesed” by retreating and attacking again.

Instead of relying on cooldowns, we’re going to add the ability to require consumable ammo and items to certain powerful abilities. Examples would be the UH-60’s troop deployment (instead of having them destroy themselves to launch the troop), the future Elite UH-60’s troop deployment, and the future Elite Sniper’s stealth ability. The ammo/item would be stored in an invisible equipment slot on the unit and would just appear as an ammo counter in the unit’s stats.

This would be an internal mechanic until the rest of the needed support structure is done.

All Games – Build/Research Time updates while building/tech is in progress

Our ninth project will be a function that will check for updates to build and research times when you log in. We’ve planned some time requirement nerfs (mostly in certain buildings), but the current system only records when you started and how much time you needed when you started, so it doesn’t update if the time is reduced later.

We’re going to fix that. It will record the total time needed when you start, and check when you log in if this has changed. If it has, it will update the time remaining. This update function will check the times whenever you apply a build time boost item, and will adjust the time accordingly. Be warned, removing the boost will increase the time back to where it was (otherwise you could store multiple build time boosts and apply/remove them multiple times in order to get buildings instantly for free).

All Games – Stats Display

Our tenth project will be the addition of “impact aura” stats to a unit’s display. This will show a new stat row for each “aura”, with its strength value. This will allow you to see exactly how much longer a stun will be, or how much more a slowdown will be. We’ll be adding an additional damage vs icon to finally record the difference between light and heavy vehicles in Thunder Run and Days of Valor. This is a project that will be open to player input, so if you have suggestions let us know!

All Games – On-Shoot Event Triggers

Our final project for the quarter is another technology update. Right now, units and buildings can trigger an event based on when they get damaged, when an enemy comes near, or when they get destroyed. This is used to spawn response and security teams. A mechanic needs to be added to allow events to trigger when a weapon or ability is triggered, so that the UH-60 and Elite UH-60 will be able to deploy their troops without destroying themselves.

Sadly, projects seven and ten won’t make much difference to players in the coming quarter, since we’ll need to add the ammunition crafting and delivery mechanisms before they can be fully implemented. We’ll get there with time.

Stay up to date every day on what’s being developed on the dev-tracker channel here.

Looking for an update on where the Dev Team currently stands regarding various recent community suggestions? Check out our “Voice of the Commander” trackers here:

Like what you see in this Dev Blog, or have suggestions on things you’d like to see addressed in our “Voice of the Commander” trackers? Let us know over on our Thunder Run Discord Server!