Today we are celebrating the 5th Birthday of Totem Tribe II: Jotun. It has been exactly 5 years since we launched the ALPHA 1 version of the game to the general public and now we are fully into BETA 1 Let's look back and reminisce about things that happened during these years.
So - what were the major milestones of the past year?
Nuclear Warfare was added to the Information Age - Atom Bombs, Nuclear Missiles, Mutual Annihilation Defense - all of those unlock completely different strategy to warfare.
Jet Planes were added to the Information Age - Jet Fighter, Stealth Fighter, and Stealth Bomber. Two of the later provide a whole different kinds of strategy due to their Stealth Capabilities, especially Stealth Bomber which can carry Atom Bombs.
Treasure Maps were added - you can find treasure map pieces and finally unlock treasure location on your world map.
Thornsville was added with Beta 1 launch and whole lot of different other things. Thornsville was a long awaited and quite unique quest location which allows non-liner playthrough and a lot of easter eggs.
Mines was added with Beta 1 launch too with whole set of 12 (first 9, and then 3 more) randomly generated locations. Later we even added mines inside player towns!
Movemont Bonuses were added - while not the most important part of gameplay it clearly adds some surprised while you are spending time on the world map.
Interface Improvements, especially Items Panel - we haven't forgot about user experience too, completely redesigning the Items Panel and finally making it actually useful.
Railroad Puzzle - a new puzzle added which for the first time in the game you can solve more than once after some time. Later by popular demand we have redesigned other puzzles so they can be completed more than once.
Alliance Packages were added to incentivize taking newbies into alliaces and to build up team spirit.
Mercenary Camps and Treasure Stashes improved town surroundings as now you can have more stuff to do inside your towns.
Hovercraft - a new transport unit of Industrial Age was added to replace an old trusty Brigantine. Hovercraft holds twice as many units.
Mentor - a new traveler was added who tells interesting stories which makes player more experienced and allows to meditate even without Altar, Temple, Church, or Cathedral, thus allowing you to reach level 50 in any age!
Quite a lot, huh?
Thanks to your support we were able to make it through another year, and closer to our ultimate vision of how Totem Tribe II should be. Yes, it may look like the game still needs a lot of work, and it's true, but we will do our best to make sure you have fun while we are slowly moving toward the full version release.
To celebrate today's Totem Tribe II: Jotun birthday, everyone receives gifts in the form of a Supporter's Key, Truce Proclamation, non-expirable Thank You Package, and 3 Lucky Coins.
Since we have recaped the last year let me share some insights with you for the things to come:
Gypsy Tabor - while I have decided to delay it indefinitely, it is still pretty close to completion and my guess is out of all major updates this will come out first. Hopefully.
Space Age and Science Victory - another major milestone to aim for, but unfortunately we are very early in the development of this thing so don't get your hopes too high. Definitely not this year.
Other Platforms - our stretch goal is to put this game to mobile eventually - tablets and phones, but before we will do that there is a lot of things that needs to be done, some of them you are experiencing like those buggy rendering engine update or recent music system update which caused quite some critics. I understand your inconvenience but it is inavoidable to bring this game to more platfroms and thus more players so please take patience. Our closest milestone in this direction though is Mac version. The Mac version is quite realistic aim and maybe even will be released until the end of the year. Maybe.
Grasslands Continent - Mujahidabad is close to being fully populated so new continent will be unlocked pretty soon. My guesstimate is - 1 month.
Global Wipes - the BETA system with apocalypse and individual wipes turned out to be good, which allowed us to focus on game features without pressue of global wipes and it turned out into more updates, so we don't plan and global wipes it the forseable future. I hope we will be able to pull out Space Age without global wipe too somehow, but it's too early to tell.
Now as this is 5th Birthday and is a significant Anniversary, let's take another look back to recall all game launches throughout all these years since the beginnning:
ALPHA 1. It all started with A1 when it was launched on the 22nd of October 2013, and only a couple of dozen players were invited. The game was far from what it is now - it had only Herald's Home, no other quest locations. There were no advisor quests, the Cash Shop was not available, and in general a lot of things were far worse than they are now. Those who played it, please leave us some comments about what other important things were not present :). Here is the old news post about Alpha 1.
ALPHA 2 was launched on the 23rd of December 2013, two months after Alpha 1, and just in time for Christmas. We were able to release it so soon after Alpha 1 because most of the new features that were added were partially ready when Alpha 1 was released. In Alpha 2 we added Opposition Hideout, advisor quests, Cash Shop, and most importantly for some people - more horses! There were only a couple of horses in entire Alpha 1 release. There were more people invited to participate as well, maybe up to 50. You can read about it in: news post about Alpha 2 launch.
ALPHA 3 took us significantly longer to release (2nd of June 2014) because there were so many additional features to be added. We added a whole new age - Classical, and an entirely new payment system which includes various rewards and bonuses. The new Jungle climate zone was added, and random monsters were also new to this phase. The inhabitable space was doubled because of the new climate zone. We invited even more players this time - we now have over 200 players. Here is the Alpha 3 news post with details. More importantly though, is the work that has been done behind the scenes. We can tell you that we have started to rework our codebase, which in the long run will allow us to do things faster and better..
On the 11th of September 2014, we did not launch a new alpha stage, however we did add 2 new quest locations - which is a big deal for those players who have been fans since original TT1/TTG and who wanted more of the old-school experience.
ALPHA 4 was launched on the 8th of December, 2014. We had planned to launch it before Christmas but we did so quite in advance. The Alpha stages were larger by this time - the new Medieval Age made the game significantly larger and more complex, not to mention all of the smaller updates in-between Alpha launches. Aside from Medieval Age. which was the big thing for Alpha 4, we had also launched a new world map with separate large continents. More new players were invited in Alpha 4 so the community got slightly bigger. Old news post about Alpha 4 launch.
Random Caves were added on the 13th of May, 2015. While not as large as the Alpha launch, I still consider it a significant update with the amount of work involved, (we had been working on it on-and-off for almost a year) and taking into account how much time people spent (and still keep spending on it). Liked by some, hated by most, it still keeps people busy and does not get old so quickly because of it's random nature. I bet a lot of you haven't met both bosses in those caves yet (wink wink). Old news post about Random Caves launch.
ALPHA 5 was launched most recently - on the 31th on August, 2015. It has been our largest Alpha launch so far in all aspects. It is the largest in terms of people started, in terms of new content added, and even in terms of donations (thanks a bunch!). This Alpha not only added all-new Renaissance Age - which all of you are yet to reach - but also the all-new snowy climate, and the towns became more varied with puzzles, quests, enemies, and mini-games.
Other noteworthy updates: There were numerous features added in-between those Alpha launches that were slowly shaping the game. New espionage system, ability to lend world resources, protectorate functionality, artifacts, treasure hunting, item crafting and other manipulations, war trophies, and many more.
Travelling Characters were added. They added some life to your stale towns. Some of them were trivial, while others were deep and even had large quests (think Necromancer). We are going to add more unexpected events to your towns in the future.
ALPHA 6 was launched on the 23rd of March 2016. This was the biggest event of the last year and featured loads of new content. Industrial Age was introduced along with all those new units and buildings, and a pack of quest locations such as monster dens, a whole new desert climate, Tesla minigame and many more. You can review the news of alpha 6 launch here.
Ongoing interface changes. In 2016 we finally found time to improve game interface and to make it more convenient and less buggy and laggy. New minimap with icons, new build menu and upgrade screens were highly regarded by players and today we are also adding some more eye-candy to the interface. You can compare how game interface looked back in 2012 at our facebook page. In the future we also plan to redesign how advisors work, so all those annoying Zweistein popups will go away.
Numerous balancing updates can be easily overlooked. They are those minor bits that might be hard to notice at first glance, but shape the game's fundamentals and make it fun to play. I am talking about things like Tavern building, prolonged beginners' protection which smoothed out the early gaming for newbies, destruction balancing which made it more reasonable, alliance balancing, improved movement speed of all units which made the game more fun, and finally - the most recent easier recovery from destruction. By the way, in today's update we have increased timers for easier recovery x2.
ALPHA 7 was launched on 1st of December 2016 kicking of with huge amount of new content. The long-awaited Karfaree quest location was added which have been in development for 3 years, Anomalies - a new set of locations was added, new tiles minigame, 4 new politics, interface improvements and many more. See the old news post for details.
After A7 and before A8 there were numerous updates which introduced Rage mechanic, Joint Attacks, New exploration (remember how tedious it were before?), new unit - Militia, major balance updates like cutting down construction time almost in half!
ALPHA 8 was released on 17th of July 2017 and again had a pack of huge additions - Information Age, Culture Victory, new places of interest - making world exploration even more interesting, candy minigame, and many more. See the news post about it for details.
After A8 and before Beta 1 there were also a series of major updates like adding Guerrilla and Crusade, Treasure Maps and Treasure Spots, balance tweaks including early game ones and more.
BETA1 was on 6th of March 2018 with Thorsville, Random Mines, Apocalypse and individual wipes, new VIP System, new apolcalyptic minigame, movement bonuses and many more. The Beta 1 is where we are now and it is still planned to run in forseeable future.