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Art by u/Ph00kie. Original post here

Hey everyone! It’s Sav and Tarn here this week


What's been going on this week?


Our teams are heads down at the moment on upcoming projects so let's just jump right into it! 

Thin Ice results:
1st: Tudor - 2 minutes and 43 seconds
2nd: tsp - 2 minutes and 46 seconds
3rd: skibimi - 2 minutes and 47.4 seconds
4th: Minus - 2 minutes and 47.8 seconds
5th: Gumball - 2 minutes and 48 seconds


This weekend's focus:


- BTD6 - 
Pile O' Monkey Money and T5 Insta Monkeys on sale.
Ongoing "Let's Take to the Sky! ~By Skye" Odyssey, ending Tuesday. 
"Debmaerts" Race this weekend.  

- BTD Battles -
Professor Evil appearing on a game this weekend. With a second tougher one starting Tuesday and ending Thursday.
Friday: MOAB - BFB, BFB Boosts Only, BFB Card
Saturday: MOAB, MOAB Card, MOAB Card Club - BFB, BFB Club
Sunday: MOAB, MOAB R3 Speed, MOAB Card - BFB Random 15, BFB Boosts Only
Monday: MOAB, MOAB Boosts Only
2x Medallions with Club Access on sale.

- BATTD - 
Ongoing collection event, ending Monday. 
Ongoing Martian games: Wizard attack, no trinkets and level 7 towers only. 
Adventure Time only, no allies and more zombies starting on Saturday.
Tuxedo Jake, Hunter Marceline and Character Bundle Pack on sale.  

- SAS4 Mobile -
VS on Friday, LMS on Saturday and Apoc with black box as rewards on Sunday. 
Sales on nantos, NV vet pack, epic pack and 10th premium gun set: T189, CM Starfury and Banshee

- SAS4 web -
Ongoing Blitz Championship with M1000 as rewards. 
Sale on Epic pack.

- BMC web and mobile -  
Daily monkey teams with Monkey Knowledge pack on Saturday. 
Knowledge Pack sale (ancient on mobile too). 

- BTD5 -
Monkey Team starting on Friday, rotating every three hours.  
Zebra counting for the leaderboards. Heli skin on sale. 

- BSM2 -
Double blops and boosters.

- Tower Keepers -
Hero battles rewards x2 and x2 Gem sale.
Ongoing Training Day.


Questions from the comments: 


I don't really care how you monetize bloons pop!, but I have some concerns. What is the heart counter in some of the screenshots for? If it is just a typical life system, how will it function? I really don't want to the bloons franchise fall into the same candy crush clone trap as other popular mobile game franchises.
Does bloons POP have microtransactions and is there a limit that for example you can play 5 times and then have to wait until the next day to play again? Because these two aspects appear in most free games, (for example Angry birds Dream blast)
What makes bloons pop different from an average bubble shooter game? It looks kinda generic for a bloons game
Bloons Pop Fireside Chat
We’ve bundled up a few questions here but also thinking about questions that came from announcement threads on Reddit, Twitter, and ISAB’s video comments. We super appreciate the questions and the legitimate concerns about how NK approached the game and monetization design, especially in light of the recent acquisition. We also super duper appreciate the many community comments about giving NK credit for our history of looking at common free to play systems differently and doing our best to use the fun side of some systems but resisting the dark side (paywalls, heaps of banner ads, taking control of when and how the player can play). Will try not to ramble on but some context helps.

History - The Bloons physics puzzle game got NK started. Even after BTD picked up Steam, we wanted to keep the puzzle side of the business going. When I joined 11 years ago one of the first flash games that we put together was Bloons 2, and we also made Bloons Blast. Pop 3 was already on the site, but none of these attracted players like the original, so we put it back in our thinking caps. We continue to enjoy puzzle games, especially ones with some skill and strategy, and that’s the collective mindset that’s guided Bloons Pop - to be the spiritual successor to the physics puzzle fun of the original Bloons but also to dig into the characters and abilities that we’ve grown since then.

MTG - The acquisition hasn’t influenced this game at all. It was under development way before those discussions happened and we haven’t made any changes in relation to the acquisition. We have had some smart feedback from the other MTG studios, and that’s been very helpful in balancing and UI design.

Monetization - Bloons Pop is a free to play game, just like Battles, BMC, BATTD, and SAS4. Bloons Pop is a casual game, and casual games can go to a wider audience if they are free. The wider audience is important to NK strategically, because there’s been enough time since the original Bloons puzzle game that there are lots of people who’ve never heard about it, and we want to get to those people. But free games have to make money, so yes there are ads and IAP. Ads are almost entirely rewarded - you watch them if you want to and if the value they offer (bonus shots, shuffling the shots in your inventory, one more chance if the Bloons have leaked, bonus rewards) makes sense to you. Full disclosure there are interstitial ads in the game, but only if you have not purchased IAP and if you have not done any rewarded ads over several levels. IAP is mainly about Monkey Money to help with powerups and building, Gold Pass for faster rewards, and value packs of powerups and resources. Just like our other games, most of those elements can be earned during normal gameplay, but for players who want to be able to spend on those items, IAP gives them that value.

Design - There is no energy system in Bloons Pop. As long as you win, you can play as many games as you want back to back. There is a lives system, so if you lose too many games within a certain window, you would hit a wait timer. For us, this is more about having a consequence for losing - if you can lose over and over again, there is little incentive to think about your playstyle and try to do things differently. Game design theory is pretty clear about a bit of risk improving the fun factor and sense of accomplishment. We don’t expect to make any money from lives - we don’t even have a stand alone “lives” IAP (full disclosure limited time infinite lives are part of daily rewards and IAP packs, because every once and awhile it feels good to be risk free). Of course you can’t talk about lives without talking about difficulty, and for this we’ve structured the game to throw a few tougher levels in each 10 level set after level 20, and these are marked as Hard or Extreme levels. Careful shot choice, paying attention to Merge Megas, and using the grindable powerups may be needed to pass these, but they are not paywalls. Replays have different shot seeds, so while the level is the same, your Monkeys, Heroes, and Megas might be better for your play style on the next attempt.

TL;DR: NK has done our best to make Bloons Pop a fun and super replayable free to play game without using the dark side. Please check it out soon and tell us whether we’ve lived up to our intent. Thanks for reading - Scott

Will Churchill be on Bloons Pop?
Yes!

Will the new game be on steam or just mobile?
It will be on iOS and Android at launch!

who is Big Tex?
Scott, NK’s COO. The bald one from the AMA. Game launches are all hands on deck, so lots of people take screenshots that can end up on app store pages.

How are monkeys pushed into the battlefield(track) in a way only they can see and not us players? (When we buy them, they appear instantly on the spot we place them...)
We’ll need to defer this question for when Dr. Monkey is next in the office.

Who is the one inflating the bloons is it fellow bloons or Prof.Evil
We think it’s Prof. Evil, we just don’t have the proof yet! 

What is The Monkeys Favourite Map?
Depends on the monkey but a lot of them like park path or resort! 

The glue gunner has a small thing of glue on him and has infinite glue, is his tub of glue like a tardis, or how does it work?
The machine on their back keeps making more as they use it! 

Do the monkeys have phones, and if they do, do they have mobile games like Angry birds
They do and they love mobile gaming. 

Did you remove bloonchipper because it sucks?
I see what you did there…

Do the NK employees ever come together and have co-op games or battles tournaments?
All the time! Though there’s some you should avoid co-op with.

what does the monkeys do if they run out of bananas? do they get more or do something else?
We don’t talk about the banana shortage of ‘07… it was a dark time. 

Hey Devs!? Just logged into the blog for the first time. I was curious as to if there were plans for an SAS5. SAS4 is such a fantastic game and I’m really really hoping you guys have at least looked into it. Any good news?
Welcome to the blog! :D We do really want to make a SAS5 but we also wanna make sure it's exactly what we want so while there have been discussions about what the future SAS game will look like, nothing has been set in stone. 

Is there any cannon relationships between heros?
Jones has some strong feelings towards cannons

Super Monkey sure looks handsome. Do you agree?
Shhh, don’t boost their ego even more! 

What's your favorite BTD music track that isn't Street Party?
Sails Again. Who doesn’t like a sea shanty? 

Will battles 2 will be worked at the same time with bloons pop or battles 2 will be affected by bloons pop?
BTD Battles 2 is being worked on by our Scotland studio while Bloons Pop! Is being done in the Auckland one. :) 

How much time to you spend answering questions for blogs?
Hours sometimes! 

How can heroes call out DDTS when they cant see camo?
They just sense them.

Bow or sword?
Sword! They are just so cool
Bow! They are just to kill you before you reach me with your sword
(Sauda and Quincy approve these messages) 

NK channel get 100k subs in last time, can you show your silver pressbutton ? (If you don't have it yet, show button in next blog)
Whenever we get it, we’ll be sure to show it to you all!

What happens if Gwen wore a fox suit
She’d be a Firefox. 

How do the moab class bloons keep going at the same speed even though their propellers and fins are extremely damaged? do they have hidden back up thrusters that are naked to the human eye, or are they just that determined?
They just float along

Since you said there are old monkeys, how can we tell apart from an old and experienced monkey, to a newcomer monkey?
The monkeys who whiff? Newbies. Those times where your monkey just manages to get some good RNG and save you? Veterans. 

What makes pink bloons so fast?
Pinkness!

If you could add one thing to the game, and it would just magically happen with no work required, what would it be?
Cursor scaling :|

What type of games do the Monkeys play?
Most of the Monkeys we know play this weird game where they throw objects at balloons.

Who's the monkey on a sheet of monkey money?
Not actually a monkey. It’s a monke, back before they invented the “y”.

What does the ninja use to distract the bloons?
Shiny things… Shiny, sharp things...

Does Ben secretly listen to Mariah Carey?
Don’t we all? 

Have a great weekend and happy gaming! 

- Sav and Tarn