News 22 Jan 2014
Hello everyone!
 
After a small delay at the beginning of the week, we've managed to corner a new blog post and string it up for your perusal.

There was a particularly good coverage of questions on the last blog post, so thanks to all who submitted, thanks to all who read, and thanks to all who will submit some more fine questions at the bottom of this one.


Are all the [web] games fully supported for Mac ?

All of our web games use Adobe Flash, so support for different platforms relies on Flash's support on different platforms. This means that some older versions of OS X cannot get the latest version of Flash and are therefore won't be able to run some of our newer games.

We've also seen some issues with very new versions of OS X (Mavericks) but we imagine that is just related to Mavericks still needing a little time to be updated on Adobe or Apple's end.
 
Most versions of OS X can play all of our games, but there are some older versions and outliers that aren't compatible at least for now.


I'm experiencing a lot of connection problems in Monkey City- I can either not connect to the server or I lose connection after a few minutes.

Before our updates to BMC last week it was possible for the game to lose connection but not kick you back to the main menu (or show any indication). This would result in the game letting you play, but none of your progress getting saved. The updates fixed this, so if the game isn't saving it won't let you keep playing.

This gave the appearance that connection problems increased, but it is helpful for us to find what is actually causing the problems in the first place.

We're working hard on getting these connection things ironed out so we can get back to making the game more fun to play.


Clan Challenge
 
Another week with no Clan Challenge. It's awesome to see you asking for these and thanks for your patience with us here.
 
For us to be able to have Clan Challenges we need to put little checks into games looking for specific things (such as when a ZOMG is popped, a Ruin killed or a track completed). The current selection of stats we can use are pretty limited, so we're always looking at ideas for what could be good to add in for future Clan Challenges.
 
We don't want to have a Clan Challenge be the same thing too often so we're hoping to get a few more cool things for CC's soon and get back to having them more regularly.


Could we get some news regarding SAS 4 or maybe an update to SAS 3?

SAS 4 is still very early in development, and our main focus is with Bloons Monkey City. As SAS 4 gets closer to being playable by the general public we'll start releasing more information. Until then we want to keep details under wraps.
 
SAS 3 (web) won't be getting any more updates. The code base for the web and mobile versions are completely separate, non-transferable and are managed by separate companies. That means it's impossible to have any content moved between them and we simply don't have anyone at NK to work on SAS 3
 

Do you guys have more building upgrades in store? Like for housings, banana farms and windmills? And are you guys going to implement boosts for certain monkeys from upgrading buildings?

Specific stuff here is hard to confirm unfortunately. We've got a lot of ideas for all of these things, but they're just as likely to be dropped than to be implemented. There's always a balance of what would add enough to the game for the time required to program it, whether players want that or something else etc.
 
We generally don't like to confirm content/updates like this because it's possible for us to just not make them, and then players will not be able to know if what we're saying is just an idea or something that will definitely happen. Not to say that doesn't happen a bit already, but keeping that kind of thing low is better (I think).
 
 
BMC Difficulty

Of all the aspects of Bloons Monkey City, difficulty in its various forms is the one brought up the most. The problem with difficulty is that it's completely different for every person who plays the game.
 

Because I wanted to make one, here's a partial list of things that affect how difficult BMC is for you:
 
- Map/terrain layout (placement of river, lake, and different land types)
- Order of tower/upgrade buying
- Random generation of difficulty curve for tiles as they get further from city centre (generally consistent, but a certain amount of "noise" makes cities different)
- Random round generation
- How often you are able to collect farms
- Player skill
- Willingness to retry a tile to get NLL
 
Randomness is often brought up as something undesirable, but there is a certain fun-ness that we like (and fans have expressed positive thoughts about too) about how the city and rounds are random/different for everyone. It keeps players on their toes and makes sure their strategy can be adapted on the fly for surprise lead bloons among other things.
 
Forgetting about randomness for a second then, how do we decide how easy or hard to make something? If it's different for everyone, there will always be someone who finds it too hard or too easy. 
 
From a design perspective we come up with a basic idea of what we want. Maybe something like: "We want this to be pretty easy and relaxing to play" or "We want this to be a real challenge, where the player needs to focus on their strategy" (the latter being the case for BMC). Once we have that reference in mind, we balance it based on us, the staff of NK and the people who are playing it first.
 
As we keep moving through the BMC beta, introducing new content/features, tweaking round generation and City Honor, fixing bugs that make the BTD games easier and fixing bugs that make the BTD games harder, we'll start refining the balance down to what we think is the most fun. For some of you it may be a little easier than you'd like, for others it may be too hard. We hope to be able to find a nice balance where we can please a healthy percentage of you.
 
 
 
 
Thanks for reading, and thanks for submitting some questions in the comment section (*hint hint*)
 
 
 
Aaron