Bomb Sworders — Currently in development. Steam page here

A couch-multiplayer game about bombs and swords. And hitting bombs with swords. And explosions. And avoiding explosions.

The Boost Update

(Coming soon)
The Boost update (v0.7.9) will bring a bunch of changes both significant and small

New Item: Boost

Initially designed with multiplayer in mind, the boost item first comes to Race Mode — Zip, zoom, and bounce around levels at ultra-fast speeds.

A future update may bring the item into other modes if some balance issues can be satisfactorily addressed…

Support for up to 8 Players

(on platforms that allow it)

AI in Battle Mode

Previously cordoned to the bowels of Tutorial Mode, the AI has finally broken free into Battle Mode proper! On the character-select screen, just press the “Add AI” button (you can watch the scrolling bar at the top of the character-select for specific instructions)

  • Currently only supported on Verticality and Treehouse levels
  • Some improvements are still coming
  • You can increase the difficulty by adding more AI opponents + turning on Handicapping in the Mode Options panel (press Options/Menu while Battle Mode is selected on the mode-select screen)

Misc Changes

  • Better filtering of sword-joystick overshoot
    • Greatly reduces, and possibly eliminates, the potential for joystick overshoot* to cause a sword swing in the wrong direction.
    • The naive filtering I did before seemed pretty decentâ„¢ — on average I saw maybe 1-in-300 sword swings experiencing this problem. But one day I came across a controller that had it occur about 1-in-20…
    • Because the new filter is more “intelligent” it also let me lower some of the thresholds for triggering sword behavior — which might make it feel a tad more responsive.
    • * “joystick overshoot” being where you release the joystick and it returns so fast towards the zero point that it actually shoots past it and returns a value in the opposite direction from where you intended.
  • Several new characters
    • fish
    • bot (for AI only)
    • possibly another
  • Refined options menus
    • Easier to understand and more space efficient
    • For keyboard/mouse players: Control remapping and other settings are now available in the character select options. (We still recommend playing with a modern gamepad controller if you can)
    • More options — including item weighting for Battle Mode. Then because Cannons Mode and Dynamiter Mode can now be recreated using the new options, those modes have been eliminated.
    • Further polish on the control-remapping feature.
  • New song(s)
  • Tweaks
    • ThrownSword
      • The sword-hittable area more closely matches its visual shape
      • More reliable physics responses at high speed
    • Stunned State (after falling into lava)
      • You can pick up items — but those items *won’t* immediately kick you back to the normal state
      • Various new ways that a teammate can rescue you
      • *testing* You can swing your sword while in stun (offering some defense against enemy thrownSwords)
    • More team color options. The colors will continue to be tweaked over time — for greater color-contrast but also to try to make them as color-blind friendly as possible
    • The handicapping option — which creates free blastZones for the losing player(s) now scales the number of free blastZones to the size of the level
    • Slightly easier-to-spot limbo bombs
    • More sounds: things falling into lava, items colliding, additional interface sounds on the menu screen, etc
    • Race levels unlock as you complete prior ones
    • All tutorial levels start unlocked — so people can pick and choose specific things they want to practice

Bug Fixes

  • Menu screens
    • Rapidly exiting and entering the Character Select area could make some character-select boxes invisible
    • Fixed error with attempting to load leaderboards when in Steam Offline mode
  • Gameplay
    • Under certain conditions a thrownSword hitting the ground could fail to play a sound
    • Stopped thrownSword from continuously making ground-contact sounds when it’s on a moving platform
    • Better enforcement of: if you jump off a pickupable (dynamite, freezer, thrownSword, etc) then you do *not* pick it up
    • Fixed issue where a player trying to rescue a teammate from the stunned-state could potentially leave them immobile
    • More reasonable speed output when hit a fast moving object with your feet
    • Fixes related to the owner of a thrownSword dying while that thrownSword has items attached
    • Fixed issue with ownership transferring to items attached to a thrownSword
    • Fixed interaction between temporarilyInvincible (an attribute you have when first revived from Limbo) and lava
    • Prevent “mega” jumps from potentially occurring for a newly revived character who had initially died while moving really fast
    • Fixed the potential for characters to teleport a massive distance under certain, very specific circumstances. (Never saw this happen in a public playtest.. but once I knew how to do it, it was fairly reproducible…)
    • Screen Expand settings now work in Race Mode
    • Improved the timing of round-beginning events
    • Fixed issue where limbo character was unable to create limbo bombs/cannons
    • Remove a super rare case where a team with all its players in limbo could still have non-limbo bombs, cannons, etc created on the play field.

Update v0.7.8.1

v0.7.8.1 brings a bunch of small changes

  • better interpretation of player’s intent for recoil at near-horizontal angles
  • more reliable, slightly-easier sword swing mechanics and animations
  • fixed an exploit where you could assign multiple jump buttons and then mash them all to climb super fast. (As one of the primary abusers of this exploit… I mourn the passing)
  • Exploder mode: once again displays a running-out-of-time graphic — accidentally had hidden it in the previous version as part of a larger-scoped optimization
  • fixed issue where items could fail some interactions with other objects after a player death
  • Race mode: fixed error when an enemy-owned bomb was near a target at the moment the level was completed
  • Race mode: easier to jump off stars
  • a couple minor tweaks to some race levels

That’s it for this update!
More coming soon(ish)

The Jogging Update

“The Jogging Update” (v0.7.8) brings our first pass at a new single-player mode: Race!

  • Grab the flag as quick as you can
  • Improve your score by collecting stars and exploding targets along the way
  • Compete against the playback of your best score (currently the white dot — in the future, maybe not a white dot?)
  • Compare your scores with others on the leaderboard

Race mode is also the first in-the-wild use of FlowCam — our camera controller. It attempts to allow precise control over framing while smoothly following the character. So far it’s been doing a great job of letting layout be more purely a creative task.

The update includes a few different race levels — all considered experimental as we continue to make more and continue to learn what works well and what doesn’t.

WARNING! As time goes on, race levels may experience significant changes — if so, the leaderboards for those levels may be wiped

Other changes are in v0.7.8 too

  • Improved AI on tutorial levels
  • Improved interaction between thrownSword and jumping
  • Other minor tweaks

Quick fixes v0.7.7.2

v0.7.7.2 has been released to the beta group!

Changes

  • Better thrownSword behavior near walls
  • Fixed potential inability to progress through new notifications
  • Fixed broken jump/dash after controller reconnect

The Groundwork Update!

v.0.7.7.1 has been released to the beta group!

This update focuses on getting the base stuff right (aka “groundwork”) but adds some new things too

  • 2 new levels added to the Experimental section: Crannies and Swordy Bombs
  • Rewrite of the controller handling
    • fixes issues when lots of controllers
    • better controller assignment, disconnecting, and reconnecting
    • when multiple buttons are mapped to jump (or dash), one button being pressed down no longer masks the inputs of the other buttons. (This allows an exploit, which will be fixed in a future update)
    • keyboard movement: the most recent directional-input takes priority (rather than zeroing-out the movement when both directional-inputs are held.)
  • Revision: jumping or dashing off an item will redirect that item’s velocity (and will enforce a minimum out speed)
  • Miscellaneous
    • improved AI on tutorial levels
    • more robustly freezes the game when the feedback form is shown (F10)
    • default keyboard controls now listed in the reference section

Minor Keyboard/Mouse update

v0.7.6.5 is now released to the beta group —
Thanks to those who provided feedback!

This minor update focuses on improving the (still quite rough) keyboard & mouse support.

  • Revised mouse aiming
  • Revised default controls
  • Better multi-monitor support: Mouse cursor is locked to the game window

Among other things, the default controls will be tweaked as time goes on.
* Additionally, note that in the current implementation, there is unfortunately some functionality on a gamepad that is not reproduced on keyboard and mouse. (use of recoil, aiming feet during limbo, dashing). This should be improved in the future.

There are 2 viable layout options in the current version:

layout 1

A : move left
D : move right
Space : jump
S : ghost

layout 2

A : move left
D : move right
W : jump
leftShift : ghost

others

E or Z or middleMouseButton : drop dynamite
leftMouseButton : aim sword (release to swing)
rightMouseButton : throw sword

Future updates will continue to address keyboard & mouse control but some ground work needs to be done before more polish/customization is possible.

The Malevolent Update

Update v0.7.6.2 has been released to the beta group!

We’re calling this one The Malevolent Update because it adds some sinister stuff:

  • 2 really (like really..) hard levels
  • + a new spooky song in shuffle on tough levels

There’s more too:

  • For Exploder Mode: Online high scores, songs start at random positions into playback so you won’t hear the same 40 seconds of music over and over and over, and the ability to skip past the score page so you can get into the next round quicker
  • First (very very rough) pass at keyboard/mouse controls
  • Misc changes: can jump on a stunned player to kill them, can jump on a ghost character, fixed rare timing issue with thrownSwords and limbo, automatically select the next tutorial upon completing one, added a notification reminding people about the F10 feedback menu

mode options

  • Rounds to Win
  • Handicapping: Whoever is losing starts the round with some free blast zones. Option only available when there are just 2 teams. In practice this has worked well, though I’m still searching for a clean way to do handicapping for > 2 teams playing..
  • Accelerate Endgame: Increases item generation rate after the first player dies.
  • Item Abundance
  • Limbo: When a character dies, instead of being removed from the game, they’re frozen in place. If they can cause a bomb to explode, they reenter the game.

Limbo has worked out really nicely so far in playtesting — provides hope for players who have died, but death remains punishment — all your blast zones are removed from the level when you die and the time spent in limbo is time that the other players are gaining territory with their blast zones.