Illustrious Incubating Islands

Quickly tagging in again to give an update on work over at the Steambirds Alliance birdcage. For those that missed last week’s blog post, the big news is that the servers will be open to everyone that has a Steam key from next Wednesday 16 May for 5 days, kicking off with our weekly stream at 10am PST over here. Want more details, like where to find a key? Go check out last week’s blog post. The team is excited to have everyone join us and see all the cool stuff we’ve been working on!


This week is another that brings us more steambirds for the Steambirds! New variants continue to come in; the Duster variants we mentioned last weeks have hit the skies, the Shield Maiden variant fabrication has finished they are flying straight for us, with the Hog’s variants chasing close behind. We’re also planning ways for the variants to be more various, and with that in mind we’ve made a color plan for player paints to give everyone the creative color capabilities they crave! The birds themselves are looking a little cooler now as the quest portraits have been updated giving them a pop of light and more contrast!

One particularly cool thing that’s in the game now is the new particle effect for the paladin swords! The color of your laser saw changes with it’s tier so everyone can quickly see how strong you are.

As for the cats, the Arena Dungeons have been undergoing some changes, with some environment revisions and they’ll both soon be populated with models made to fit them! Empress Meowza’s chambers have also started to look a bit different and construction continues on them so look forward to seeing that either with your steam key or on our weekly stream!


One of the big holes in the new quest system was the old quest system we ripped out when installing the new system. The old system was designed to solve two problems: 1) give the players something level-appropriate to target, to give them a bit of a goal to work towards, and 2) to help players find the remaining setpiece bosses so they can take them out and get to Meowza.

Good news: we have installed a new “island quest” (colloquially called the “mega quest” in casual parlance). The island quest is a mapping through the new quest UI onto the old system: it uses the same targeting logic, but uses the new UI to make things a bit more transparent, answering questions like: Why are you targeting these enemies? What do you hope to achieve? The island quest is still a work in progress, but we’ve started working on it and will be rolling it out over the next week or so.

Other quest changes:

  • Maps for setpieces upgraded to have more control over placing nearby minions, like in dungeons
  • Join/activation improvements
    • Allow quests to be joined, even if nobody is currently playing them (WIP)
    • Can override quest requirement for joining
    • Unit encounter/join/activation radius can differ from unit to unit
    • Updated activation/join on setpiece bosses
    • Turned on joining by default so we can test it more easily
  • Setpiece testing/experiments and brainstorming for future ideas


  • Improved UI
  • More feedback and error messages
  • Localization
  • No mixed currency prices


  • Workaround for a bug where items might (rarely) disappear. Working on a better solution to preserve the backend functionality that was “worked around”
  • Load testing for Meowza dungeon
  • Added a stun bullet effect
  • Tutorial updates:
    • 2 new short versions of the original dungeons that skip the inventory section and have alternate dialogue
    • Added new weapon test for Quad upgrade
    • Switched item pickups to Engines for Quad dungeon
    • Boss is bigger and scarier