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There Will Be Ink is a tactical action game for 1-8 players. Play solo or with friends in battles between stick figure armies drawn on a paper notepad, just like you used to draw in class instead of paying attention!

TWBI is a difficult game, where charging forward into the fray will rarely win a battle. Tactical thinking is essential. Assessing the battlefield, taking cover as needed, keeping an eye on troops positions: all of these are essential for winning the day. Or, if that sounds like a chore, switch to “arcade mode” and run & gun at will!

Features:

  • Fast-paced action gameplay with a focus on cover
  • Take control of any friendly unit on the battlefield
  • Play through 18 campaign missions, with another full campaign in the works
  • Quick Battle feature with random map generator to jump into the action while keeping things fresh
  • Unlock new recruit types as you play, including rifle infantry, assault infantry, snipers, medics, RPG troops, heavy machine gunners, engineers, laser jetpack troops, and flamethrowers, why not!
  • Full featured map editor – lay out a battlefield and jump straight into the action
  • Campaign Editor - string missions together into a campaign to play with your friends
  • Join a battle in progress for 8 player local co-op or vs. gameplay
  • Online multiplayer using Steam's Remote Play Together
  • Navigate dynamic battlefields, wading across rivers, taking cover behind trees, rocks, sandbags, and craters left behind in the chaos
  • T-Rex with jetpacks!
  • Compensate for weather effects like rain, wind, and smoke rising from burning buildings and trees
  • Earn training credits, even when a battle is lost, to assign new abilities to your troops
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Hey there, IndieDB-ers! I hope you are all keeping healthy and well during these times.

Much has changed with There Will Be Ink since the last update posted here, including a finished campaign, campaign editor, new hand-drawn art, badges, friendly fire, new units, music, sounds, stats, tactical commands, a whole lot of fixes and optimizations, and much more. This post will focus on the latest new features, like 8 player support, display support up to 8K, and a new background, but anyone interested in other details can peruse the backlog of updates on the TWBI dev blog.

I’m calling this version of the game “There Will Be Ink: Hopeful Edition”, because it’s not likely that anyone is going to be able to take advantage of 8-player local multiplayer during these pandemic times, but I’m hopeful that won’t be the case for too long a time.

There Will Be Ink - Beta 4.3 - Hopeful Edition

8 Player

I should mention that 8 Player multiplayer is a somewhat theoretical feature, as, for physical distancing reasons but also because I’m a one person team (and don’t have enough friends to play 8-player with, hah! Aw…), my 8-player play-testing consisted of me playing all 8 players simultaneously with keyboard & mouse. What a wild Sunday afternoon that was! I ran into nary a bug though, so far, once everything was in place, other than having to adjust the placement of some GUI items. More fine tuning will likely be needed, but I’m excited to one day test this out (or hear of someone testing it out) in the real world.

8K

Hey hey, another theoretical feature! 8K aside, I was able to real-world test the heck out of There Will Be Ink in 4K, and it looked pretty good, pret-ty pret-ty good. I mean, it was still poorly drawn stick figures and trees and rivers and so forth, but dang were those squiggles sharp! The majority of the sprites in the game were drawn at a 2x scale with 1920×1080 resolution in mind when zoomed right out, in order to preserve some detail when zooming in. Moving to 4K, there was the happy accident that sprites are rendered at 1x scale when zoomed out, and given the larger size (28″) of my 4K monitor (compared to my 10+ year old 23″ monitor), I found myself not needing to zoom in at all while retaining max detail. I bet it would play pretty nice on an even bigger 4K TV (or, theoretically, an 8K TV!). If, on the other hand, you have a 3K/4K monitor but aren’t keen on playing at that resolution, I’ve added resolution settings to the Options page. The game will detect your display’s native resolution and default to that, and all lower resolutions will be available for selection. There is also now the option to toggle between windowed and full screen mode, and windows can be dragged to resize at your leisure. I’ve not been able to test the game on super widescreen displays, but if anyone out there has been able to do so, fire a screenshot to hi@summitfevergames.com and I’ll send you a Steam key! (uh, and try to make the game look good in super widescreen).

In testing out the game at various resolutions, I encountered some scaling issues, which have since been fixed. The worst scaling issue I encountered was that the pause menu buttons (exit battle, surrender, etc) were not even visible at 4K. Unforgivable! It is all fixed now. Ok, I forgive me. For the most part the GUI does not scale, but given the minimal amount of GUI items I didn’t see it as a problem. Please let me know if that’s not the case for you. The game *should* scale up to 8K, but again I don’t have the means to test this. At any rate, no detail is likely to be gained going beyond 4K (hopefully not too great a number of There Will Be Ink’s several pairs of fans rushed out and ordered a 8K displays before reading this full post). One last note: while performance during battles is mostly unaffected at high resolutions, it may take a dip when navigating between menus (the page flippy effect). Lame! I know. But fret not, for I’ve added an option to disable the page flippy effect on the Options page. I’ll see if that can be optimized in the future, so the people who only play the game for its menus can enjoy it in 4K as well.

Other Stuff

This update isn’t made up of only theoretical features, no indeed. There was a pretty noticeable bug relating to performance on maps with lots of trees when one or more trees caught fire. That has been fixed, and I did a good bit of related optimizing around trees and fires and smoke. Also, fallen trees can now catch on fire, because why not! There is also a snazzy new alternate background, the yellow paper pad. For the time being I’ve set it as the default on the Alpha & Beta campaigns. It can also be selected from the Campaign Editor. Enjoy it in all its pale yellow glory! Random map generation via Quick Battle has been improved to avoid wacky tree patterns and also trees spawning on top of rivers. Tooltips for units and HQ abilities have also been added to the Quick Battle page (thanks for the suggestion, ResExsention), and mission tags on the “Missions” page are now a bit bigger and have been tidied up. That’s pretty much it for the big things. Check out the changelog below for a full list.

In addition to the above I’ve been thinking about single player badges, Steam achievements, new abilities, and an additional unit. I’m also trying to figure out the new campaign, and I’ve been making maps and an alternate set of units along the way. Three of the new units are actually in the game and can be tested out, if you know where to find them 😉

There Will Be Ink

Changelog

New Features & Content

  • Added support for up to 8 players (local multiplayer & Steam Remote Play)
  • Added support and optimization for 4K (and, theoretically, 8K) displays
  • Added new background: Yellow paper pad (can be assigned in Campaign Editor)
  • Added display resolution settings to Options page
    • Max resolution will be detected and set as default (“Auto”); lower resolutions can be selected
    • Also added option to disable “Page Flip Effect”, which relates to menu navigation. Disabling will improve performance on high resolutions.
  • Added support for windowed mode and the resizing of the game window

Changes & Enhancements

  • Significantly improved performance when trees are burning and there are many trees on the map
  • Optimized how fire/smoke affects performance
  • Optimized how trees and tree shadows are drawn
  • Added tooltips to Quick Battle page for units and HQ abilities
  • Adjusted placement of end-of-battle stats to scale with player count (up to 8 player)
  • Updated Mission Tags on Missions page (larger, with text & icons formatted to properly fit)
  • Improved random map generator (ie Quick Battle) (should avoid odd patterns and trees & debris spawning on rivers)
  • Fallen trees can now catch fire
  • Slightly increased cover amount provided by fallen trees
  • Lasers are now visible in Hardcore mode
  • Adjusted positioning of rank & behaviour icons on player GUI so that they don’t overlap
  • Updated art for cargo plane shadow
  • Optimized how draw depths are determined eg. when units go behind trees

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed crash bug that occurred when para-units tried to fire when Friendly-Fire was disabled (including in Arcade Mode)
  • Fixed bug where flamethrower could be used to put out fires (?)
  • Fixed bug where the wrong campaign name was being shown on the main menu after a campaign was saved in the Campaign Editor
  • Saving a campaign in the CE no longer resets the default campaign to Beta
  • Fixed bug where pause menu options were displaying at incorrect location for resolutions other than 1920×1080
  • Exiting Campaign Editor now clears the currently loaded campaign settings
  • Game credits and victory/defeat text now displays at center of screen on non-1080p resolutions
  • Fixed bug where fire continued to rise when game was paused
  • Fixed bug where powerup/etc text and icons continued to rise when game was paused
There Will Be Ink - Beta 3.0 - Now with lasers!

There Will Be Ink - Beta 3.0 - Now with lasers!

News

New unit, missions, visuals, tutorial, and much more!

There Will Be Ink - Out Now On Steam Early Access!

There Will Be Ink - Out Now On Steam Early Access!

News

There Will Be Ink is now available on Steam (Early Access)! In addition to that, a new update has been released, Beta 1.1, with some interesting new features...

There Will Be Ink - Now in Beta!

There Will Be Ink - Now in Beta!

News

Much progress has been made with There Will Be Ink this past month, making this perhaps the most significant update yet for the game. And so we are drop...

There Will Be Ink - Alpha 5.0 Public Release

There Will Be Ink - Alpha 5.0 Public Release

News 5 comments

Fancification, Accessibility, Battle Sounds, Engineers, Airstrikes, Sidearms, Vengeance... This new release of There Will Be Ink has it all!

Comments  (0 - 10 of 30)
ResExsention
ResExsention

Just came back after forgetting about IndieDB and oh boy this really has come a long way. Sad to see that it's become paid -- but I do understand that we need to live. I'd be more than happy to buy it, actually -- and if you're still active here would you rather me buy it now and give proper feedback?

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summitfever Creator
summitfever

Hey! Sorry for the very late reply (I really wish IndieDB gave notifications for this sort of thing). Version 1.0 of the game is not far off, and at that point I will likely drop an updated demo version here. There was a sale recently on itch and Steam, if you were able to catch the game there. Any level of feedback is helpful :)

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ResExsention
ResExsention

Oop.., That early April Spring Sale?

Regardless, sounds good! Though tbh, Steam's generous refund policy does already kind of count as a demo. :P

What version will this be leaving Steam Early Access?

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summitfever Creator
summitfever

It was a custom sale from March 25th to 30th. Probably I should have run it a little longer though. I know, I'll put it on sale again!
Itch.io
There we go, 25% off until Friday, and it includes a Steam key.

You're quite right about Steam's refund policy being like demo access, heh. I'll likely still drop a demo here on IndieDB for anyone who doesn't use Steam or itch.

I'm not sure I understand your question about which version will be leaving Steam Early Access. It will be what I consider the finished game, though I plan to keep updating after that.

Cheers!

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ResExsention
ResExsention

Thanks, then.

Anyway, I've already made up my mind. I'd love to help support this venture. I'll be doing it on Steam, though -- sale or no sale. Courtesy of the messy world of economics, buying it in my currency is somehow half a USD cheaper. xD

EDIT: Could we have modding support in the future? I'd love to make custom units.

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summitfever Creator
summitfever

Thanks so much! If you get a chance (in due time) to leave a Steam review it would be very helpful and much appreciated.

As it happens, your purchase makes my 100th sale on Steam. I feel like you should win an award or something ;D

I've thought about opening up access to unit/weapon attributes and graphics, yes. It would require a bit of redesign and is behind some other priorities right now, but it may happen down the road. For now there are the Map and Campaign Editors, and I'm working on a set of alternative units (analogs to the base set, but with different weapon stats/art/sound) for a new campaign to be released with version 1.0. Also down the road I'd like to add some more varied unit sets (eg. a fantasy set, a sci-fi set, etc).

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ResExsention
ResExsention

Now that you say it, I'd like to have a time machine that lets me travel into the future... And, you're welcome for the purchase.

By the way, you may wish to optimize fire a bit... If I turn up the tree value to maximum in a Quick Battle and then start spraying fire all over it quickly becomes pretty laggy.

Also, tooltips for the unit icons when you hover over them in the Quick Battle setup, please?

EDIT: Also, where can I report bugs to you? I keep getting a crash whenever I load in a beta campaign mission. Apparently you forgot to set some friendlyInWay variable before reading it... Oddly, it only applies to Arcade mode...

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summitfever Creator
summitfever

Thanks for the feedback! The lag issue with trees burning is fixed (or greatly optimized) for the next build. I keep delaying that update's release as I make more optimizations and other changes, but watch for it early next week. I'll try to fit in tooltips for unit icons in as well, good call.

Bug reports are best sent to hi@summitfevergames.com. Alternately I'm quick to respond to anything posted to Steam comments. I'm also making it a point again to check here regularly, as I don't seem to get any notification when new comments are posted.

EDIT: I was able to replicate and resolve the Arcade mode crash bug. It turned out to be related to paratroopers trying to avoid friendly fire (which is disabled in Arcade mode). The fix will be part of the next update. Thanks for bringing that to my attention!

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Guest
Guest

Stuck on level 2... am i just bad or am i missing something? very frustrating when you're stuck

Would like to see it play like "totally accurate battle simulator" where you decide how many /what type of characters / where to place, and rewards for using less resources.

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summitfever Creator
summitfever

Hello there! Thank you for the feedback. It is indeed a pretty challenging game. I've since added tips that show up on the main screen (for the next build) to help players out. Hiding behind cover can be very helpful, and so can running and rolling. For instance, for level 2, one strategy is to charge forward and taking cover behind a boulder, then fall back as needed. That being said, I may reduce the number of enemy troops on the second mission. You can also level up your unit's abilities from the 'Barracks' page. Even when you lose a battle, you get points for any units defeated.

I like your idea about choosing what type of units. I've thought of implementing something along those lines at the start of a mission and may yet do so. There are also barracks beyond level 2 that spawn new units.

Thanks again for the feedback, and I hope that helps!

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ResExsention
ResExsention

Oh yeah! I get it now. I agree about being able to recruit units with some sort of currency you earn at the end of a scenario, as well as keeping the infinite spawning barracks. I disagree about where to place, though. I think they should just be clumped together in some spawn zone, since such a change would make this more of a battle simulator than a tactical action game. You know what this makes me think of?

Stealth missions. The AI, if set, will only attack those in say, a certain range. This makes for some interesting stealth scenarios and makes the player focus less resources on units. Making the AI also call for help might be useful, too. I don't think this could be that hard to implement in, perhaps version 0.9.0 or something. I'll let you work at your own pace but will definitely pick up any more updates that come our way :D

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ResExsention
ResExsention

It seems like you've got the attack script quite polished already, too. I think your code is somewhere along the lines of "go in range of enemy and shoot" and "if enemy is close enough use grenades". I think you could use the "go to" part to make the AI follow the player as well if set, instead of being omniscient sometimes.

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summitfever Creator
summitfever

Stealth missions are a great idea. I've been having similar thoughts as I plan out AI behaviour states and the possibilities those might provide. I'm excited to get to work on the new campaign, once I get there, and for what sorts of levels players might make, if I can get anyone playing, hah.

That is pretty well the AI behaviour, yeah, along with taking cover when fired at (or just when attacking, for ranked troops), resupplying, etc. Units will follow their current target, but they refresh their target fairly often as well, which makes them easily distracted I suppose. The new AI states should make it easy to have sentries, and I'm hoping for some level of calling for help as well (eg for nearby units to notice if their comrades are under attack).

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There Will Be Ink
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summitfever
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Latest tweets from @summitfever

There Will Be Ink - Beta 4.3 - Hopeful Edition TWBI now supports 8 player local coop, with the hope it can be used… T.co

Apr 21 2020

A yellow notepad, to mix it up #twbi T.co

Apr 13 2020

There Will Be Ink is 25% off until Friday, why not! Itch.io #indiegames via @itchio

Apr 13 2020

I haven't yet had a chance to watch this, but @Pentadact's Game Maker tutorials were very helpful in getting me sta… T.co

Mar 29 2020

There Will Be Ink is 30% off for one more day. Check out the fiery new update! Itch: Summitfever.itch.io Steam… T.co

Mar 29 2020

TWBI beta 4.2, "There Will Be Fire!", is now live on itch & Steam, and 30% off until Monday! New features include… T.co

Mar 25 2020

There Will Be Ink just got a little bit fancier, with all new (shoddily) hand-drawn art! Beta 4.1 is live now on it… T.co

Feb 24 2020

New Update: There Will Be Ink Beta 4.0! Campaign Editor, Badges, Missions, Abilities, Fancification… Live now on St… T.co

Feb 13 2020

There Will Be Ink beta 3.1.2 is out today, featuring fixes, optimizations, and a new tutorial mission. Yep, it's a… T.co

Jan 13 2020

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