November 21st, 2016
Unicorn Poo: Making Games at OrcaJam 2016 
Tags: orcajam.

Last month we were honored to be the sponsor of OrcaJam 2016. The annual game jam is organized by the Victoria chapter of the Independent Game Developer Association (IGDA.org) and hosted at Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council's (VIATEC) very cool Fort Tectoria location in downtown Victoria.

OrcaJam is Victoria's annual 48-hour game jam that brings together local designers, developers, programmers, artists and musicians to make games for fun.

Two of our team here at Codename threw their hat into the ring and created a team for this year's event. Mark and Cory headed down to the venue and partnered with another local artist, Michelle, to create a game from scratch.

We spoke to Mark and Cory about their experience.

What was the theme for the game?

The theme for the game jam was 'The Witching Hour' which was not only a reference to the fact it was the Halloween weekend but a nod to the fact that game jams are about working through the wee hours and burning the midnight oil.

We decided to take that theme and create a game where the main character was a warlock and where the core game revolved around a witch theme.

Cory and Mark's Game: WhichSpells

What kind of game did you make (e.g. strategy, arcade, puzzle)?

We decided to make 'couch co-op' multiplayer game. It's a top-down, brawler where four players battle it out in an arena.

What is the key feature of the game?

Spell exploration and combinations. The ingredients for casting spells to attack other players are physical items you have to pick up. It's a race to see who can collect the most devastating ingredients first to win. Then the skill is to learn which are the best combinations.

Players must collect ingredients to make spells.


The five ingredients we had time to implement were Unicorn Poo, Frogs Legs, Sulphur, Eye of Newt, and Toad Stools. When you haven't got a spell equipped, you can dash for a speed boost.

The combinations would create the following effects:

  • Sulphur & Frog = Fireball
  • Toad Stool and Unicorn Poo = Nuke
  • Toad Stool and Sulphur = Grow Big

Unicorn Poop.

How did you decide on the genre?

We identified it as a type of game that fills a niche but is growing in popularity. It also gave us a chance to work on a project that was a proof of concept for a new game type outside of what we do at Codename Entertainment.

We all had different goals for the 48-hours. Mark wanted to learn more about working with the Unity engine. Cory wanted to experiment with UI and 3D modeling plus explore hand-painted low-poly 3D modeling.

Michelle was familiar with 3D modeling using Z Brush and Maya and showed Cory how to do it.

The game type also made it possible to get a small, well-defined scope within the 48-hours. We gave ourselves the best chance to end up with a game which was playable and that showed the beginnings of a project that could be something more complete with more time.

What was the biggest frustration point during the 48-hours?

Saturday night we felt a bit discouraged that we couldn't get enough variety of spells as would have liked. A lot of stuff went in last minute. There were a few art assets that weren't imported (new terrain, cobblestones missing etc.).

We also had a technical issue with 3DS Max and hooking up textures to the models. We figured out eventually but took too much time.

The Warlock.

What was the biggest win during the 48-hours?

People were queuing up to play the game, and it was satisfying to see. We believe our game was most unified regarding art style, gameplay, and music. We were proud of the fact we achieved a level of polish that was satisfying.

There was one younger member of the public at the end of the event that was very enthusiastic about the game. He spent a lot of time mixing items to create spells.

Another achievement we were proud of was that the discovery of the game mechanics was intuitive rather requiring detailed instructions.

As we were designing the game, we drew a lot of interest from some floating sound engineers who wanted to help. We gave an overview to two audio guys who were very enthusiastic. Even up until the last 20 minutes of game jam we were putting in more sound effects created by one of the guys who joined our team. There wasn't enough time to adjust mixing or levels, but it still completed the experience.

What would do to improve the game with more time?

We would implement more spells and combos for a more full experience. We'd like to tweak the arena to a perfect size and the areas we wanted. With those changes it would be closer to the original vision, we had for the game for the end of the jam.

Also, ideally some art needs to be reworked such as the ground texture and the artwork for the spell ingredients.

We'd probably also spend more time on clarifying the controls to make it even more intuitive just to help first-time players.

OrcaJam 2016 Recap


November 18th, 2016
Weekend Buff: Chilly November Nights 

It's starting to get chilly outside, so head inside and load up your favorite formation, because we've got nice wooly buffs for you to wear all weekend! The following Crusaders will get a buff this weekend starting from today until 12 pm PST on Monday 21 November.

  • The Bush Whacker - Critical Click Chance +4%
  • Sasha, the Fierce Warrior - Bulwark Ability +200%
  • Sarah the Collector - Base DPS +400%
  • King Reginal IV - Royal Grail Ability +200%
  • RoboTurkey - Gold Find +100%



Also, check out the limited-time Chilly Jeweled Chests that contain equipment for the five Crusaders above! (Please note: The chest will only contain gear for RoboTurkey if you've unlocked her.)
November 18th, 2016
Thanksgiving in the Commons 2016 
Posted in Bush Whacker 2.

Thank Goodness for Thanksgiving!

The residents of The Commons are preparing for a massive feast to celebrate the end of harvest season, and of course they need your expertise at finding things in bushes!

First and foremost, it's all about helping the chefs fill their food stations to the brim - and beyond. There's three of them for three types of meals, so you'll be collecting Meat, Veggies and of course Deserts to feed the hungry masses of Bushwhackia! Can you make all the Pristine Food? Keep doing turn-ins to achieve it!

On the subject of food - four of the guests have promised they would bring a dish to share, but they've forgotten ingredients.

And then, there's the problem of the Turkeys. Apparently, they need to be rescued in some fashion, so you'll need to get on that. You have the whole event to complete it.

Once again we're celebrating other harvest festivals around the world and hosting an inflatable surprise. They'll unlock as the event goes on. And tune in on Thanksgiving (or after, if you're enjoying your day off), for a fun show!

New for 2016:

We've added two new quest lines for this year. One surrounding a black event and with all this food around, maybe it's time we address the leftovers. Plus a tasty taste-test NPC.


Event Achievements - POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT!!

Achievements Returning in 2016:
  • Special Order - You helped all of the people prepare their special dishes.
  • Master of the Ways - You have helped cook each dish excellently for the pristine table.
  • Short Order Cook - You've helped prepare one of each dish.
  • Turkey Lover - You saved enough turkeys to guarantee survival. This year.
  • Historical Detective - You helped Bob the Historian investigate the Pilgrims.
  • Family Matters - You brought all of Brock's family together for Thanksgiving.
  • Parade Enthusiast - You watched the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Added/Changed for 2016:
  • Grateful Expenditure - You purchased all the Thanksgiving 2016 items.*
  • Fridge Fix-Up - You helped Fatima fix an old fridge and move it your ranch.
  • Thorough Taste Testing - You helped out Miss Mei enough to try all the different daily side dish samples.

We have 5 achievements from previous years' events, which may be earned by spending some Bush Bucks if a player was not present during the original years:
  • Thankful Decorator - You bought all the house items from the 2012 Thanksgiving Event.
  • Thankful Dresser - You bought all the player items from the 2012 Thanksgiving Event.
  • Thankful Shopper - You bought all the 2013 Turkey Day items.
  • Black Friday - You bought all the 2014 Thanksgiving items.
  • Thanks For The Stuff - You purchased all the Thanksgiving 2015 items.


* The Mini Golf piece is NOT included in the Grateful Expenditure achievement, and therefore it is not required to purchase it.


Pet Packs:

2016 Pets -- Available in Packs! COMING SOON!



2015 Pets Available for Bush Bucks



Woolly Lamb: Turns up to 30% of your Nothing wins into Gold.
Pilgrim Turkey: Increases your chance to win puzzle pieces by up to 15%.
Pilgrim Hamster: Turns up to 30% of your Nothing wins into Energy.



2014 Pets Available for Bush Bucks



Roboturkey - Increases your chance to win puzzle pieces by up to 15%
Hedgehog - Increases your chance to win quest items by up to 15%
Thanksgiving Goose - Turns up to 25% of your Nothing wins into Mana!



2013 Event Pets available for Bush Bucks:



Pilgrim Kitty - Increases your odds to win Quest Items by up to 15%.
Pilgrim Squirrel - Increases your odds to win Runes by up to 25%.
Turkey Hunter - Increases you odds to win Puzzle Pieces by up to 15%.

The event will run until Friday December 2nd at Noon PST!

Give thanks and feedback here!
November 17th, 2016
Kaine's Dinner of Doom 2016 

Detective Kaine's mother is at it again in Kaine's Dinner of Doom 2016. Her amazing Thanksgiving recipes are just too tempting, and things have gone awry again.

Kaine's brilliant scientist mother decided to apply her vast scientific knowledge to her culinary skills but didn't stop to think if she should!

Now the Kaine mansion is awash with various foodstuffs intent on making the Crusaders choke on them. Or more to the point, choke the Crusaders to death.

You can read about the two Crusaders, Momma Kaine and Roboturkey and the original two companion objectives here.

If you've already beaten last year's event, we're also introducing two new Crusaders and three new, harder objectives this year. These are available once you've completed the Tier 1 objectives and unlocked the Tier 2 talent.

New Objective: Attack of the Turkeys


There's a new Tier 1 objective, Attack of the Turkeys, to beat first. The feathered fiends have had enough of Thanksgiving, and different types of turkeys attack your formation. Don't let the fact they all look the same fool you, they'll be pulling out all the dirty tricks to avoid ending up on the dinner table.

New Crusaders: Paul and Petra Pilgrim.


The first of the two Crusaders is Paul the Pilgrim. He's an elf (because the Pilgrims were elves, okay) who shares a lot with Jason, Master of Shadows. You're going to have escort him all the way to area 300 while he wipes out your Gold Find by 100%. However, for every monster you kill, the debuff will shrink by 1%.

Petra the Pilgrim is also an elf who also came over on the Mayflower and shares a slot with Merci. Again, you're going to have to beat area 300 while she hampers your monster killing by redirecting your DPS to the furthest monster.

New Objective: Feast or Famine.


The remaining three new objectives starts with Feast or Famine where your Gold Find and DPS oscillate between zero and buffed all the way to area 400.

The Blood Harvest objective reduces your DPS to zero (there's a theme here!) in every non-boss area while Blood Glob monsters swarm you to area 450, apparently anxious to get to Thanksgiving dinner. Killing a Blood Glob causes one of your Crusaders to recover their DPS again.

New Objective: Doubleheader.


The final new Tier 2 objective is Doubleheader. Football players assail your Crusaders with random types of attack. You'll just have to wait and see. Beat area 500 and put the ole pigskin in the end zone. Score.

Can you stop the killer food before it's too late? Or will the enhanced tryptophan slow you down?

You have until Tuesday November 29th at Noon PST to control the madness!
November 14th, 2016
2016 Halloween Mansion Contest Winners 
Posted in Bush Whacker 2.

We've chosen our 2016 Halloween Decoration Contest Winners! If you weren't aware, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners are picked by the whole Codename Entertainment studio, while Community Choice was voted on by you, the wise whacker community! Our top three choices earn 250, 200, and 150 Bush Bucks respectively, while the Community Choice takes home a cool 50 Bush Bucks.

Without further ado here are your winners:

Facebook Winners


1st Place
Russel D.

2nd Place
Elizabeth B.

3rd Place
Jacek G.

Community Choice
James R.

Kongregate Winners


1st Place
Leelo82

2nd Place
SakhrAlDjinn

3rd Place
Banemax

Community Choice
vneoEPP

Armor Games Winners


1st Place
fldocgirl

2nd Place
LowRiders

3rd Place
fishcow

Community Choice
Oglethorpe1983

Big Fish Games Winners


1st Place
Flybaby

2nd Place
jelab

3rd Place
kede

Community Choice
groundedcoconuts

Games.com Winners


1st Place
Gr8Temp

2nd Place
rdn43

3rd Place
Jeffmorri2

Community Choice
a_museme

Addicting Games Winners


1st Place
lorvic83

2nd Place
Jen_kad

3rd Place
nightmousy

Community Choice
broomsquire


Congratulations again to all our winners! Your Bush Buck prizes have been added to your accounts!
November 11th, 2016
Weekend Buff: Veteran's Remembrance  

This weekend we're launching a special weekend buff. We'd like to take a little slice of your time to remember and respect those who have served in the military. The following Crusaders will get a buff this weekend starting from today until 12 pm PST on Monday 14 November.

  • The Washed-up Hermit - Base DPS +400%
  • Natalie Dragon - All Gold Find +100%
  • Sal, the Merman - All DPS +100%
  • Nate Dragon - Double Dragon Ability +200%
  • Ranger Rayna - Friend of Nature Ability +400%



Also, check out the limited-time Veteran's Jeweled Chests that contain equipment for the five Crusaders above! (Please note: The chest will only contain gear for Ranger Rayna if you've unlocked her.)
November 4th, 2016
Welcome to the Commons' Teleporter Hub! 
Posted in Bush Whacker 2.

Calling all Whackers!

Tired of opening and closing the world map to pick up quests at the Hermit's House, in Cloudland or Sanctuary, or turning in a Lock Pick quest in Port Blackwood, then popping back to the Flux?

Introducing a new and helpful way for you to get around Bushwhackia! The Commons' Teleporter Hub!

If you've built Brock's Masonry shop (to the west of the Town Hall) and are level 100 or higher, you can start building your Teleporter Network by talking to Eunice, the Port-Co representative in the Commons.

When you've completed the first teleporter station in the Commons, you will be able to seek out Eunice's friends around the world, in Quest Hubs and all the Fluxes, so that you can set up a chain of Teleporters to help out in your daily routines. Only one teleporter quest will be available to work on at a time, so it will take a few days to get it fully set up.



One of Eunice's fellow Port Co. employees, out in the wild world (well, just the Hermit's House.)


When you reach level 200, a second teleporter pad can be built in the Commons, and at level 300 you can build your 3rd pad. So depending on what quests you want to do that day, or how you want to get around, you can set a different destination for each of the Commons teleporter pads.

Plus, we've added 6 achievements relating to the Teleporters for you to achieve!

We welcome your comments and feedback on the forums.
November 4th, 2016
New Objectives & Tiered-Up Trouble Buff 

The mischief continues! We've added new Tier 2 and Tier 3 objectives for the Mischief at Mugwarts campaign. Battle through beefed-up versions of Invisibility Cloak, Accio Monsters, The Final Battle, and Fantastic Beasts, with the help of a powerful weekend buff.

Here's a glimpse at some of the Tier 2 additions:

Invisibility Cloak Tier 2


Beat area 550 with the invisible monsters attacking you, and two teachers taking up formation slots!

Accio Monsters Tier 2


Beat 650 areas of rushing monsters eager to attack you while their buffed health keeps them alive longer.

Fantastic Beasts Tier 2


Survive the Fantastic Beasts while escorting the Wizard to area 750, this time with the addition of two familiars along for the hunt in your formation.

To help you through the tough new Tier 2 objectives, there's a weekend buff. Starting today, the five Crusaders below will receive boosts until Monday, November 7 at Noon PST.

  • Jim, the Lumberjack - Sharpen Party ability +200%
  • Dark Gryphon - All DPS +100%
  • Gold Panda - All Gold Find +100%
  • King Reginald IV - Royal Grail ability +200%
  • Bubba, the Swimming Orc - Synchronized Swimming ability +200%



Also, check out the limited-time Tiered Jeweled Chests that contain equipment for the five Crusaders above! (Please note: The chest will only contain gear for Bubba if you've unlocked him.)