Weekly Dev Log for July 20th, 2020

Weekly Dev Log for July 20th, 2020

Hello everyone, and welcome to the Weekly Dev Log for July 20th, 2020, detailing all the changes that have happened since July 13th, 2020. Note: Devs that don’t appear in the weekly log are not necessarily away or not doing work, but may be working on things currently not announced or backend work that doesn’t need to be detailed.


Work continues on getting Update ready for release. As mentioned last week, this update will feature not only Steam Workshop Vehicle Support and Track 2 of Bedzoom, but will also include an improved Main Menu, the return of Global Chat, a built-in crash reporter, along with a bunch of other bug fixes and improvements. You can read more the contents of this update here.

New Main Menu

@macdguy started working on a new Main Menu, in an effort to make the user interface cleaner and less cluttered. The main menu featured in is still in progress, but conveys the general idea that we’re going towards.

New Main Menu WIP

Accelerate Progress

@Johanna continued working on Sunrise Isles, 99% finishing Track 1. Her next task is working on Track 2 of Pine Valley.

@Wheezwer worked on artwork for the start line, checkpoint banners, foliage, and other art for Sunrise Isles. She also started working on concept art for Nightcity.

@Will finished the music for Nightcity, and continued working on music for Sunrise Isles.

Accelerate: Sunrise Isles WIP


@Caboose700 worked on building and integrating a in-game crash reporter, which will appear in the event of a fatal error, allowing the end user to quickly give a description of what occurred, and upload the crash dumps automagically.

@macdguy did some work on Workshop Condos, which would allow a user to upload their condo save data to the workshop for anyone to download. He also worked a bit on co-op condos, and “continuous gameplay”, which would allow players to choose a next map without having to go back to the main menu and create a new server.

@madmijk worked on fixing colorable items, rewriting some of the base code to make it more flexible. This involved touching a bunch of items to reflect these changes. He also worked on a fix for Planetary Piano where sometimes notes wouldn’t appear.

@Sketchman continued working on the player grouping system, and also looking into integrating the new server browser.

Wrap It Up

That about covers everything that happened since July 13th, 2020 at PixelTail Games. See you all next week!

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<3 PixelTail Games


I like that main menu WAY better!


The menu is amazing, eye catching, simplistic. I love the updates, even the little things. Keep em coming! Great work!!


I haven’t commented in a while, but wanted to say that the Sunrise Islands map is looking phenomenal, and possibly one of the best looking maps yet. The modelling, design and light work that has been put into it is absolute kudos.

The Main Menu however is what made me comment. Immediately as we got the notification of devlog in our server, the reactions were immediately negative. I know it’s still a work-in-progress, but so far it looks a bit like there’s too many empty space for the most part. Despite the separator on the middle of the options, it also puts the Appearance, Collection Book and Workshop Editor on the same level of importance as the main three things, which is something people check less, unless they’re specifically looking for those options.

The fact that the Game World selection has a scroll window shows a problem on itself, especially when there’s only one single element to justify that scrollbar. I really don’t think that the menu should have more clicks added in-between to reach a game world when the current usability of the menu is very straight-forward and accessible, and has three core points of content (Lobby, Condo and Game Worlds) all laid out with a very clear order of importance. I go to the menu, and I immediately know what I have available, without having to jump between option-to-option to figure what is what.

If there’s anything I like about this menu is the News and Community, and is a much better improvement over the ‘rounded square buttons’ that the current menu had added to it and also had clashback. Personally, I feel like the best thing would be just to pick on that entire section and paste it on the existing menu.

The work on Accelerate recently has been great and possibly the favourite Game World of most of us folks who still play regularly, but honestly, that main menu was such a big turn-off that it needed a comment.


It’s important to know it’s a work in progress.

The empty space is on purpose. The previous menu had way too much going on and players who don’t know the game didn’t know what they were looking at. Not everything needs to be filled to the brim with information. However, it is also intended for the background to be animated so it’ll help with the dead space.

Appearance and Collection and Workshop are important aspects of the game. Appearance is a huge part of a social game, it’s one of the most important aspects. Collection is your tracking in the games overall - another important pillar that shows your progress and history while playing the game. And workshop is slowly getting more prominent features.

This part is a work in progress. I aim to reduce the vertical spacing of the games. I left the scrollbar for now because I wanted a vertical list and those game world’s aren’t out yet. The bottom part of the menu for community is collapsable.

This was carefully considered and talked about. The pros out weigh the cons. We can’t slam all this information on one screen. And we are preparing to add more features like Workshop Condos which would only increase the menu clutter.

There’s also some more reduce in clicks that I want to takcle with the game worlds.

The added click has also lead to a reduced click in other sections of this menu. When you click on the Condo section for example, you no longer have to click on host your condo, it immediately goes to that menu.

This would cause sensory overload. We have way too many things being displayed all at once and we are adding more sections of the game in each part of the game in upcoming updates.


just made an account to say that the new main menu looks WAY better than the old one and I can’t wait to use it. Some people just can’t handle change, but this is nice :slight_smile:


This perfectly describes an issue right now. I have to admit, I’m having mixed feelings about the Main Menu, but leaning towards the positive side, and there’s probably so much room and adjustments we haven’t been introduced to yet to fill up the main menu. It is true that some people can’t handle change, which is why I have some fears about this new menu, but thinking about the pros on a deeper level, this might be an good thing, even better.

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Awesome Devlog! Sunrise Isles looks beautiful, especially with the boardwalk section. Can’t wait to play it!

I am also liking the new menu though I wanted to provide a couple suggestions for things that could be improved:

  • Darken the backgrounds for the main buttons like Plaza / Condo / Game Worlds / etc. just a bit. They’re clear enough but it does get a bit hard to read some of the parts with the bright sky directly behind them. It might be even more difficult if the background is animated too.

  • Move the “Quit to Desktop” button to the main section (maybe just above where it says “News and Community” but in the style of the Plaza / Condo / etc buttons. Now that we have more space, it’d be nice to have the quit button be in a much more noticeable area. I remember having some trouble finding it when I first got the game so I think it’d be a welcome change.

  • This one is really just a minor nitpick, but in the Community section, the Forums / Feature Roadmap / etc. buttons are not lined up and I just noticed this so it’s bugging me :stuck_out_tongue:. Other than that, I think it would be a good idea to add some of your other community links there. I feel like there are probably a lot of players who aren’t aware that you guys have a Twitter, Patreon, Ko-fi, or Redbubble page so it would help. I’m sure some people might be opposed to the merch / Patreon links, but I think the Twitter link at least would be a nice addition.

I know it’s still a WIP thing, but I’m definitely really excited to see the new menu when it’s finished up :slight_smile:


I have a solution for the Game World issues about the menu. A simple quick launcher UI that is togglable that shows the game worlds on the main menu.


Will it be possible to select the new and old interface in the main menu ?

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Omg the new main menu is so bad, the empty space serves no purpose and just makes the information you want to see/read smaller, all it does is make the ui worse to use, why would anyone think its a good idea.

There is no reason for Appearance, Collection Book and Workshop Editor to have the same prominence as the other three options. New players have little reason to go to appearance as they won’t have money to customize their avatar and since you can change your appearance elsewhere in the game it simply isn’t going to be used much by more experienced players, same with the collection book and most players aren’t even going to touch the workshop editor.
Those options should be smaller and out of the way of the main 3 options so new players don’t pick something they can’t do anything with, while your at it might as well make make the 3 main options that both new and experienced players are going to want to interact with a lot bigg-oh wait, that’s the current main menu.

Now to be fair the current main menu isn’t perfect, but this is going in all the wrong directions, this is just going to make it harder for new players to understand the menu instead of easier, while making it more annoying to navigate for experienced players. Now if you really want the main menu easier to understand?
You could make the news tab smaller and cut it out with it changing images, it just makes it distracting. Get rid of the discord button, it becomes pointless as soon as you join the server anyways.
Have Plaza, Condo, and Game Worlds be big buttons that you can select from anywhere on it instead of a specific part, give the buttons a brief description of what they do like you already have with the new main menu.
Have the help tab be it’s own button so that new players can actually see it as they definitely do not see it as it is now.
You can make the tabs more distinguishable from each other, have the selected tab your on be smaller then the rest and maybe combine some tabs together as obviously the less tabs there are the easier it is to understand.

I’m in the positive camp here. Think the new menu looks great. I like the ‘tap to expand to the right’ method.

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Not really a fan of the new main menu. The unused space doesn’t look appealing, and adding more submenus makes traversing menus much more annoying. Despite it being just one more mouse click, it seems so unnecessary when the games are readily accessible from the main menu already.
On a lighter note, the new Accelerate map looks very good, it nails the beach aesthetic nicely.
Also, downloading condos from the workshop is AMAZING!! It’s something I have always wanted, because why should someones work go to waste and become lost media?

There’s a lot of reasons for this. Appearance is incredibly important to new players, it’s a big part of social games. You can also use workshop player models right off the bat. We also want to add a one-time unit reward for new players so they can customize first game start off.

Collection is the place to track your game progress, which is also very important. Workshop is about to get more use with workshop condos and other features like the Accelerate Vehicles. I didn’t like workshop editor being tucked away in the top right corner. I think it’s important to embrace workshop modding.

From what we’ve experienced and found out from new players is that they have no idea what thing is what and that the menu is way too busy. While it’s nice to have large options, it’s very limiting and the more things that get added - such as Workshop Condos, the worse the menu will get. To add global chat back, for example, would make the current menu absolutely insane. You’d literally see every single option in the game all at once, which is not typical of what a menu should be about. With this new menu and the sub options, we can provide more options within each section of the game and keep information clean and useful for new players.

Showing the latest news in the game is something we really want to put emphasis on as people often miss out on what’s new in the game and the last update may not even be something they were interested in because we have different focuses per update.

We added the discord button in-game to provide a way for everyone to connect outside of the game easier and meet new people. While the game has that as well, it’s good to still have a community hub that’s accessible outside of the game.

This is actually sort of on purpose at the moment. The help menu is being redone, once it’s more refined I do want to remove it from the top menu.


I’m happy the main menu is getting a redesign as I wasn’t a huge fan of the current one, and at first glance it does look alot prettier and I’m excited about it, my only complaint is it still has the same problem as the current menu, there’s just stuff everywhere.

There’s three different lists of stuff on this one menu alone, and that’s not even including the chat, friends list and announcements pushed into the mix. This main menu is still too busy.

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You guys are doing such an incredible job with these Accelerate tracks. They all look so good! Can’t believe Workshop vehicles are right around the corner too.

  • Workshop Condos
  • Co-op condos
  • Continuous gameplay
  • Player grouping system

Stoked to see there is active development on all these systems!

As for the menu, I think it looks like a good improvement. I’m excited to get my hands on it to really get a feel for how it flows. I never did like having the “COMING SOON” game worlds displayed as soon as you open the game, it was just a reminder the game was incomplete.

I totally agree with this. I spend a huge amount of time in both the Appearance tab and Workshop editor. I understand the argument these shouldn’t take up same amount of real estate as Plaza/Condo/GameWorlds but I have no qualms with this layout. I think the subtle line divider is enough.

On a side note, Global chat is coming back! That’s exciting. I’ll admit, global chat was more problematic than I anticipated. It does make the game feel much more active and alive, but sometimes it just moved too fast with too many voices.

Also that chat went off the rails in the worst ways sometimes. I should have taken the canvas contents of a lot of people’s condos as a warning for what the community dialogue was going to look like. This isn’t unique to Tower though. And I’ve complained about this in the past, but I think ‘OwO’ spam is an absolute plague and I hope that meme is dead. Ironic or not.

That being said, I’d much rather have global chat filled with chaotic internet culture than dead silence.


I really don’t understand the “sensory overload” objection to moving chat/news/community to the bottom of the screen. It looks like it functions the same way as your inventory when looking at your hotbar as in you can push it down if you don’t want to see it. I also agree with how the game worlds were moved into a “game world tab”. I think that is a much better solution than displaying all of them on the main menu for no reason (there is so much going on in the game rn, its fine being a tab like plazas and condos). However I am definitely on the side of those that feel like HOW it was designed style wise wasn’t necessarily… perfect. At first glance I was definitely like “huh. okay.” Y’all definitely did your research on how you should change the functions of the main menu for the better, but the actual design and style needs more than light touch ups IMO.


Loving the features being worked on and the map looks awesome!

Since most of the discussion is on the menu though I’ll add my own two cents real quick. For the most part I actually really like it! I think splitting social / informative info into it’s own section on the bottom was a good call.
I definitely do like the first screenshot more than the second one though. I can’t really pick up on what exactly puts me off on it, but I think both of the screenshots would benefit a lot from some more containers. Having the floating buttons be directly on a colorful and busy background leaves the eye a bit more confused about where to go, which containers help draw the eye to where a section starts and ends. I think what most people miss from the old UI is that everything was very very visibly contained with some clear color coding. A grey container at ~60% transparency around the top menu (the plaza, condo, game worlds, etc stuff) might help.

Edit: Sorry for the EXTREMELY janky edit, I absolutely rushed this lmao.
But yeah, stuff like this. This little photoshop demo could definitely have some improvements (couldn’t get the inactive menu button colors where I wanted lol) but I think adding a container adds a lot more visibility.


I added a quick access panel now. It’s optional and it’ll remember if you have it expanded or not when you restart the game.


Ok, the quick access panel fixes concerns I would have had. I know I haven’t played in a long time (blame new releases and stuff) but I’m glad a lot of features, including Accelerate are making a good appearance.

I hope (unless it is already done) that the single player 60 FPS cap gets addressed. Most of the time (excluding Virus) I usually go into game worlds alone as a relaxing activity, and being capped at 60 FPS on High settings feels a bit strange, given that other titles on High/Ultra settings (not newest titles like NFS Heat) can run on said settings very efficiently at 90-110+ FPS.