Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gamescom 2011

Last week Junebud attended the biggest gaming event there is; Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. It's the world's largest games event with over 254.000 visitors, about 4.400 journalists and 505 exhibitors from 33 countries attending. The purpose of the trip was to attend some important meetings, demonstrate the game and look for interesting contacts. It was me, our CEO Ola and Junebud's producer Irene, who were sent to represent the Junebud Crew. Here are some pics from the adventure!

Berlin. While waiting for the connecting flight to Cologne, we visited the Holocaust Memorial.  

Irene looking for the way to hotel in Leverkusen.

Finally in Cologne! Ola in front of the Cologne Cathedral.

Everything's set and ready. Waiting for the crowd to show up.

At the entertainment area, hanging out with some space marines. So awesome! 

The Battlefield 3 booth displayed a real fighter jet. How do you top that?

Gamescom is the world largest gaming event with more than 250.000 visitors. The sound of all the games on display, the people and the music, is unbelievable loud.

A super cool promotion for Guild Wars 2

An ork and his caretaker.

The Guild Wars 2's massive booth. 

Me and a really cool guy dressed to promote the new "Golden Eye: Reloded"
Our booth had many interested visitors

Girl cosplaying as Alice from "Alice: Madness Returns"

The beautiful Cathedral of Cologne, seen from a late night party

That's it for now. While waiting for the next update, why don't you check out the MilMo Comic? It can be found over here:



 Sara is the Community Manager at Junebud. She also works with Quality Assurance (QA) and scripting. She's got a bachelor's degree in game design, but likes the social part a bit more than tweaking numbers. She usually spends her time moderating the forum, scripting and planning new events.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

PvP Arena Strategy Guide

This post is going to be devoted entirely to the new MilMo Arena PvP mode, or the "Deathmatch Minigame" as we prefer to call it. The minigame was envisioned as "MilMo meets Quake 3 Arena meets Mario Cart meets Bomber man". But this isn't going to be a design post. Today I'll give you a complete brain dump on what I've discovered about the gameplay during the first two weeks of playing. First off will be an explanation of all the basic rules, then I'll go into advanced tactics and some cool combat tricks. A sort of crash-course on how to dominate in the Arena I guess. Here goes..

Basic rules
The goal of the game is to defeat the other players using melee, ranged weapons, bombs or even gravity. Note that everyone starts out with zero player level and the same two tactical assets; their legs and a rusty short sword. There is no persistent skills, equipment or stats.

Level up your weapons!
Weapons are obtained by smashing the white hovering capsules and picking up the blue weapon bubbles contained within. There are five weapon types: sword, axe, club, bow and gun. You may only carry one weapon per class at a time (that's max 5 weapons), but each of your weapons can be upgraded twice (that's a max weapon level of 3). Whenever you grab a weapon powerup of a type you don't have, you're awarded a new level 1 weapon. If you already have a weapon of that particular type, the weapon gets upgraded - for a maximum weapon level of 3.

There are three types of pickup besides weapons.

  1. Pickup abilities and ammo to win the game
    Powerups: these have an instant effect on your character. Examples include hearts, super jump (green shoe), fleet footed (red shoe) and the two types of ammo; arrows and cells.
  2. Beware of these!
    Powerdowns: Avoid the red bubbles at all costs. The skull will drain you of one heart, and the caltrop will slow you down, which is really bad for you in the Arena. 

  3. Abilities: These are yellow bubbles that won't be used on contact, but will be mounted in your onscreen ability slot. You may only carry one at a time. To use an ability, double click it or simply press 'F'. Most abilities affect your speed and health. The only offensive ability is the bomb.

    Here, have a berry...I mean BOMB!
A simple system for Arena domination
First, think of each of your "lives" in the Arena as being divided into three phases:

Phase 1: Get moving
As soon as you spawn, get moving or you will die instantly. Find a speed powerup, get away from any ongoing fighting and get to the upper floor. Think of the basic Arena map like this: the top floors are for preparation, the ground level is for fighting and the basement is for risking a horrible death.

Phase 2: Get equipped
Avoid getting into a fight without a level 3 weapon! Go find some weapon capsules as soon as you can. Your goal in this phase is to remain undetected or atleast un-engaged until you are big and bad. Stay away from all other fighters until this is the case. The ancient chinese general Sun Tzu (author of "The Art of War") famously noted that a general should never go to battle unless he was 100% certain of winning. This principle is very useful in the MilMo PvP Arena.

Phase 3: Fight!
Once you have collected one or more level 3 weapons of choice, a speed boost and preferably a health boost of either kind, you're ready to go fighting (you may also want to pack a bomb and plenty of ammo).

Melee tactics

  • Every melee attack slows you down by about 50%, so using a speed powerup or ability will give you a big upper hand.
  • Never chase a bowman or gunman with a melee weapon unless you have a speed boost. They will outrun you and turn you into either a pin cushion or a fried chicken.
  • Run in a zig-zag pattern to evade ranged attacks. Especially if you hear the level 3 gun being fired up close.
  • Be a predator: stalk people from higher platforms. Jump down on top of them when they least expect it and chop them into pieces.

    Stalk other players from above.
  • Swords have long range and fast attack speeds. Tip: The level 3 sword is the easiest level 3 weapon to obtain since you start out with a level 1 sword but no other weapons.
  • Axes do tons of damage. They are excellent for ambushes and for breaking up groups.
  • Clubs have lots of knockback. With a level 3 club you will completely dominate narrow places. I never stay around under the bridge unless I'm wielding a level 3 club, in which case I can easily bash any opponents over the edge and into certain death. Keep in mind, however, that death from falling does not yet award kills.

    Ranged tactics
    • Bows and guns take skill and will take plenty of practice getting used to. However, in the right hands even a level 1 bow can prove an extremely deadly weapon.
    • In the beginning you may want to save the ranged weapon for groups of people who stand around fighting each other. Firing into a group will greatly increase your chance of scoring.
    • Ranged attacks don't slow you down. Using a bow or a gun, you can harass melee fighters by firing at them while backing up. Their every attack will slow them down, unlike yours (watch where you're going though; before you know it you may end up backing into a wall or falling into the abyss).
    • The level 3 gun is the second deadliest weapon in the game. It's the one weapon that gives you a very clear advantage over other fighters with level 3 melee weapons.

      Bomb tactics
      • The bomb is without doubt the most powerful weapon in the game. Save it for groups of fighters. Run through them using a speed boost and drop the bomb in their midst without stopping. Often they will be too busy fighting each other to notice the bomb before it goes off.
      • Keep in mind that bombs hover! They cannot be tossed over edges onto fighters below (this is sometimes counter-intuitive but it can be used really creatively too) ...
      • The bomb splash damage goes through walls and floors. If you see someone on the bridge, put a bomb under it. Conversely: if you see people under the bridge, put a bomb on top of it.
      • If you are being ambushed close to powerups or weapon capsules, drop a bomb and get out! If you're lucky, your attacker won't notice the bomb among their new shiny powerups, and will stick around until it's too late.

        Misc Powerup and Ability tactics
        • Avoid picking up more than one fleet footed (red shoe) speed powerup at the same time! Otherwise you will simply become too fast, and will face a huge risk of missing a jump and falling to your death.
        • Use the F button to activate abilities, since stopping to click on the icon will be too intrusive on your combat flow.
        • I always use health abilities instantly, since health is always good for you and holding ability powerups will prevent you from picking up new ones.
        • Speed abilities, however, can be good to save for later. You never know when the need arises to chase somebody down, or to run away from a pesky level 3 axeman.

          • Using your ears will save your life many times over.
          • Listen for launch pads and jump pads: is someone following you? the amount of time between your own launch pad sound and theirs will tell you how close they are.
          • Listen for the bomb fuse: always listen for the sound of a bomb fuse. If you hear it; get out! Or die.
          • Listen for the level 3 gun: this weapon can kill you really fast. If you hear it getting closer, make a quick look around to see where it's coming from.

            Zoom out!
            The latest update of MilMo has an updated control scheme which allows for zooming the camera in and out using the mouse scroll wheel. As soon as you spawn for the first time, zoom out so you get a better overview of your surroundings. This will alert you to stalkers and ambushes, and will save you a few lives.

            Look intimidating!
            Whether you dress using free or premium clothes, a good idea is to look as scary or cool as possible. I have noticed how many people will play less offensively against someone who looks cool or dangerous. This is silly, ofcourse, since everyone has the same stats and the guy in the demon-armor could be a complete noob. It's just the way people are wired.

            What, you mean I don't look intimidating?!

            A quick word about matches and score
            Every game, or "match" is on for 10 minutes. The winner of each match is the player who obtained the most kills. The 10 topmost players are awarded ladder points. First place gets 10 ladder points, second place gets 9 ladder points and so on. These points will later determine your rank on the main MilMo PvP ladder, which can be viewed from the town screen. Note: currently you need to exit the game and log back in to see your ladder score updated since your last game.

            This little strategy guide is only scratching the surface of this new game mode. I'm sure in the time it took me to write this blog post, many new weird tricks and exploits have been invented. Nevertheless I hope you might find it useful!



            Today's post is made by Calle Lundgren, Game Director at Junebud. Calle has been making games for everything from the C64 to the PS3. He has also had time to help found a successful band and to start up Junebud! He has a hand in everything that goes on at the company - especially MilMo.