Capes for owners, and small Patch 3 release

November 5, 2018 by Michael Sanders

Patch 3 this week is a very small one. Most of the team are busy with some vacation and personal commitments.

This past week, however, I did spend a good amount of time querying the old item system, organizing and cleaning the owners of cape items, and giving out Capes to the original owners. With this patch, you should now have all the Capes you did prior to the Harmonious Prelude update!

Changelog since Patch 2
Bug Fixes
  • The code for queuing to matches has been refactored entirely, which should address issues we’ve seen with queued spectators not getting into a match properly, and multiple bots spawned in the wrong matches.
  • Fixed some mask items not being properly colored after selection on the Customization screen
  • Fixed a problem with the berimbau.exe process staying open after exiting the game.

Since a few days were lost by everyone, we’re spending this week on working with authors to get former items in-game, as well as the new versions of items in the item store. I hope to also have some of the background emblems in-game by the end of this week.

Harmoniouis Prelude Patch 2 Released!

October 29, 2018 by Michael Sanders

Heya everyone!
We’ve just released a new update for Blade Symphony!
We expect to continue this trend of releasing updates every Monday.

Changes since Patch 1:

Bug Fixes:

  • Fix FFA duels forcing to Classic Style in serverside, regardless of client option.
  • Fix matches not ending when map timer was zero. We’re hearing this is still happening after Patch 2, however, so we’re hoping that Patch 3 will finally address this.
  • Remove ragdolls of players that are spectators within a match.
  • In workshop previews, don’t show character model when previewing a mask.
  • FFA scoreboard shows the correct value for duel victories.
  • Greatly improved lag compensation.

Item changes:

  • Added Festive Ryoku Kabuki mask
  • Added Kräftig Konzertmeister Longsword (formerly Zweihander)
  • Added Kobushi Key Item (formerly Nagamaki, now combined with grip.)
  • Added Ryoku Backward Cap
  • Standard Ryoku Kabuki returns as a free unlockable item.

We hope you have a lot of fun playing this update, you can join our Discord[] if you want to get involved, give feedback and join our community!

Workshop, Itemstore and Harmonious Prelude Patch 1 release

October 22, 2018 by Michael Sanders

Hey there everyone,

First, I wanted to say thank you to the people who supported us and the release of the Harmonious Prelude update for Blade Symphony. It was a stressful, albeit fun, week of last minute testing and patching. We’re very fortunate to have had the turnout we did, and are happy the update is finally out. Before I delve into the the release of Patch 1, I want to address a few topics. These are things that I really should have provided more clear information on prior to release, but I got caught up in the work leading up to the release.

What the Harmonious Prelude was and wasn’t.

Back in March, I made a news post discussing the Future of Free-To-Play. Under the Release section, I made it clear that we would first be releasing a large update, Harmonious Prelude. I tried to make it clear in Discord and in news posts, that this was the predecessor to Blade Symphony going Free-To-Play. I apologize if I wasn’t clear enough.

Here’s why we did Harmonious Prelude:

  • Prior to this update, the workload required to create models, textures, and load them into the game was not conducive for adding lots of content. As we know, a Free-To-Play title has to have lots of free and purchased content to be successful, and a variety of options for players. As a result, it must have a pretty fantastic pipeline for artists and developers to add this content.
  • Additionally, we were using our own item service which was a massive headache to work with, as it was very old. We switched over to using Steam’s Inventory Service, which meant a ground-up rebuild of how we handled items.
  • We also had a poor build and deployment system, by modern standards, which meant we couldn’t rapidly release builds as much as we wanted to. The benefit to this meant that we could also create a build pipeline conducive for more platforms, which is why we have Mac and Linux.

The feeling was, and still is, that with a big update and a price reduction from $4.99 to $0.99, that this would feel like a good bargain for new players. However, some still feel like it’s not good enough for current players. Which leads me into:

What is going on with the Item Store

Free-To-Play games just get more players. Period. Lower barrier of entry, means more people downloading and trying. However, in order to sustain a Free-To-Play game, that went from making little money to no money, the developers have to sell something. Since Steam doesn’t offer a micro-currency system, we had to get rid of the in-game notes currency (RIP.) However, it meant that we could use the Steam Inventory Service to sell items we felt were premium. Upon launch, we went live with four items on the Item Store.

Unfortunately, these were already items that were available for players prior to the Harmonious Prelude update. The long-term plan was for a variation of these items to be available on the item store, but they were not completed in time. For example, a variation of the Ryoku Kabuki mask will be available on the Item Store. Here’s what it looks like so far:



When the new variations for Ryoku’s Kabuki Mask, Resonant Phase, Flame Song and Cardboard Tube are complete, then these variations will appear for anyone who purchased them. The original variations will be put back into the game as items freely available to unlock. As much work as we could to improve the pipeline for new content, I didn’t expect that many of our old models and source files would be in a bad state. Many of them need to be re-made from scratch, or we don’t have the original assets for. My hope is that we can get all of these items complete within the next two weeks.

Workshop changes, and returning to normalcy

Many people are understandably frustrated with the lack of ability to use the Steam Workshop like it was prior to the Harmonious Prelude. Please do not fret, it will be like the old days soon. There are two types of Steam Workshops: Subscription-based and Voting-based.

Prior to Harmonious Prelude, Blade Symphony had a Subscription-based workshop. This meant that, anyone could subscribe to an item, and they would have it until they unsubscribed. The downside to this, was that authors could not sell their work if they wanted to. For a Free-To-Play game, it wouldn’t make sense not to allow authors to charge. After all, anyone who does work on the game, should be paid. It will help support Blade Symphony longer term.

Now, Blade Symphony has a Voting-based workshop, similar to Rust or Team Fortress 2. This means that the community must vote for an item to get implemented into the game. Once it is approved, the developers work with the Workshop Author to implement it, and it is released with a new game update. However, the downside is, that we’re not able to offer items for free (apologies if I said otherwise, I was misinformed.) Even if we could offer items for free, it would severely screw up the economy by having free items that are marketable floating around.

Our answer to this, is to integrate it directly into the level-progression system. So now, if an item gets voted up, the author will work with the developers to add it so that anyone can unlock it based on their level. We’ll also offer the chance for items to unlock as a playtime reward (x items per week for playing,) but that’s new, so more on that later.

In summation, in order to allow Workshop Authors to sell their content (if they wish,) we needed to move over to a more flexible Workshop type. Once Valve gets back to us on approving items, I will be working with authors to implement their items, and hopefully you can wear construction cones and television sets on your head once more.

What’s happening now

There’s been some bumps in the road. However, we’re committed to this game for the foreseeable future, and Free-To-Play is still in the cards. Since we’re not dealing with a completely different Steam App (The Blade Symphony Beta,) we’re going to be releasing weekly updates. My hope is to release a patch every Monday that represents the last week of work.

As far as what we’re tackling? Right now, it’s not very clear. We have a good amount of bugs and small fixes that we know we want to get in, that either were too low priority to get in with the Harmonious Prelude patch, or things that we only discovered once the patch came out.

After that’s done, we’ve merged in Valve’s new Panorama code, which will make creating and modifying menus (something we need to be better at, prior to becoming a Free-To-Play title) much easier. Additionally, we’re having conversation about doing further changes to the content pipeline so that our artists can create new content directly from their modeling and texturing program of choice. Additionally, we’re eyeing some game modes for integration, and a potential new platform.

Patch 1 Release

On to the exciting stuff! After about three weeks of taking a break, and doing a lot of necessary back-end work, we put time into fixes and updates last week. We’ve released Patch 1 and are already hard at work on a Patch 2 release for next Monday.

Changes since Release Candidate 4

  • Added Style Selection button when in the Free-For-All (FFA) game mode. This can be accessed by holding the Tab button.
  • The challenged player will be forced to play using the Style of the challenger for the duration of the duel. After the duel, the Style of the challenged player will return to what it was prior to the duel.
  • When not in a duel, the symbol representing the Style that a potential private challenge opponent is currently in will show below their name.
  • Bots will now automatically accept challenges in FFA.
  • XP can now be gained from private FFA duels.
  • Added convar bb_queue_bot_discrimination. When set to 1, bots will not immediately leave a match when a player joins it.
  • Added Italian Translation! Thanks Alixey!
  • Updated French, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Korean and Japanese translations.


  • The map now no longer immediately changes if players voted to change the map. The server will wait for all duels to end.
  • Shurikens damage players in FFA properly, regardless of the player being in a private duel. Shurikens do not lock on when not in a private duel.
  • Ragdolls should no longer be drawn if the player is a spectator
  • Players can again suicide while in Control Point or Free-For-All mode, unless during a cut scene or intermission in a private FFA duel.
  • Reverted earlier attempts at misguided lag compensation. This should address some issues high-latency players are seeing.
  • Bots should no longer go between ready and unready states at inopportune times.
  • Made changes to the slowdown to hopefully correct it occurring at the wrong time. Unfortunately, for now, we have to reduce the time the slowdown occurs for.

Known Issues

  • Queuing to a match still does not perform correctly if there are more than 2 players queued in a single match.
  • Ragdolls from other matches are being showing in the player’s arena, but should disappear when they are despawned.
  • Players bodies are disappearing when they ragdoll in Free-For-All.

FREE WEEKEND, MASSIVE UPDATE! Harmonious Prelude for Blade Symphony is out, and on a Free Weekend!

September 29, 2018 by Michael Sanders


After three years of hard work, learning, and a lot of mistakes, the Harmonious Prelude update to Blade Symphony is out NOW! And to celebrate, we’re having a FREE WEEKEND to invite everyone to play. We’re so happy for the results, and will be doing weekly updates, we can’t wait for you to try it!

  • New Level Progression!
    • Gain XP by playing in duels, your performance determines your gain
    • Move up levels to unlock new items to add your character, or show off in the scoreboard.
    • Rewards unlockable via Level Progression:
      • Swords
      • Masks
      • Character Skins
      • Armor Attachments
      • Armor, Chat/Scoreboard and Glow Colors
      • NEW! Intro-screen background Emblems
      • NEW! Sword glow types like Fire, Toxic, Pulsating and Velocity


  • Multiple Matches per Arena
    • Multiple duels can now take place within the same arena. Players can can queue to fight or spectate in any match.
    • Each match has its own Style set (Arcade or Classic,) when crated.
    • Previously, only one duel could take place per arena, for six players dueling per server. This means that for larger players, ten or more players won’t have to spectate.
    • Matches can be created and joined by holding the TAB key.




  • Arcade Style
    • Arcade Style is a more accessible way to experience Blade Symphony, resulting in a better learning experience for new players, too!
    • Arcade Style uses one sword type, attacks are one string per stance, charge tiers use the same animation, and there is no side canceling.
    • The traditional style of play available prior to this update has been named “Classic Style.”
    • Style Indicator
      • Colored Kanji representing the style is shown behind the stance indicator
      • When not playing inside a duel, there is an indicator in the bottom left of the screen to help remind you what mode you are playing in or watching
      • All indications are hidden during a duel, so as to ensure a minimal HUD
    • Players are prompted when joining a server, to select their Style
    • The choice of Style within the scoreboard affects the Style of any match the player creates.

  • Bot Incentive System
    • As incentive for players (especially new or those in uncommon time zones) to join servers, bots will spawn upon connection. Players will be able to duel bots while waiting for more players.
    • Fighting a bot will result in ¼ of the normal XP gained by fighting human players.
    • Number of bots that spawn when player joins can be changed using bb_duelbots_num_bots, with default as 6.
    • Spawned bots randomly choose Arcade or Classic Style when creating matches, which  can be changed by server owners or selected in Offline Training.
    • Spawned bots will leave the server as more players join, which can be toggled on or off using bb_duelbots_proportional, with the default as 1
  • Final Blow Slowdown
    • The killing attack on an opponent results in a 2 second time slowdown. This helps emphasize how the duel was ended, and makes for very endings!
  • Notification Area
    • Various notifications like players leaving and joining the server were cluttering up the text chat, so they’ve been moved to a special Notification Area.
    • Duels starting and ending show in the Notification Area.
    • Notifications are contextual to the duel the player is watching or playing in. If a player is queued to fight, or currently within a duel, any notifications regarding other matches will be hidden.
    • Unlockable player chat colors are respected in Notification Area
  • New Tutorial
    • The Tutorial has been rewritten from scratch to account for Arcade Style, and more includes more readability and text changes.
    • Tutorial now displays large full-screen popups upon ending a Chapter, so that the player can save their progress and come back later.
    • The end of the tutorial now has easier bot difficulty for new players.
  • Larger and uniform Arenas
    • Monastery, Winter, District have had their arena’s flattened, made to be slightly more square, and expanded in size. This should make for a more even experience on every map.
  • Bot appearance and difficulty
    • Bots now select their own names, masks, swords, avatars, and armor attachments.
    • Bots now have multiple difficulties that can be selected by the player using the convar bb_force_bot_difficulty.
      • 0 – Dummy, the bot does nothing
      • 1 – Easy, the bot will not throw shurikens or charge attacks.
      • 2 – Normal, the current state of the bot
      • 3 – Hard, this is the same as normal, but we’re working on it!
    • Bot difficulty can be forced to be easy with
  • Players can start a vote to change the map
    • Call vote option to change the maps is presented in the UI, navigable by pressing ESC and going to “Play Online” and selecting Call Vote.
    • Maps are presented in an ordered list, populated based on the player’s own maps.
  • New in-game music
    • Faction specific music plays while in the Customization Screen, that corresponds with the faction of the player’s character.
    • Meditation music will now play when players sit in a duel or FFA.
  • New loading screens
    • Backgrounds of loading screens use the Steam Trading Cards art, and feature the animated Blade Symphony logo. These pieces were too cool not to show off!
    • Loading screens now show detailed information about loading, such as “Downloading files,” “Changing connection”, etc. to ensure that players are never without perceptive output.


  • New graphical improvements
    • For players that want a more saturated and vibrant experience, we’ve added a custom tonemapper that is on by default.
    • Players can turn the tonemapper off by pressing ESC, selecting Options and toggling “Tonemapping” in the Video menu.


  • New graphical improvements (continued.)
    • Added Cascaded Shadow Maps, which allow for lighting in more complex situations
    • Many rendering system optimizations, hopefully resulting in higher framerates!
  • Accessibility for everyone!
    • Added 32-bit and 64-bit game client and game server. Both are accessible for 64-bit uses, due to any extenuating computer configuration.
    • Added Linux 64-bit game client and game server.


  • Added MacOS 64-bit game client.
  • Accessibility for everyone! (continued.)
    • Added language support for 9 new languages! To help us complete localization for all Steam supported languages, click here[].
      • Dutch
      • French
      • German
      • Hungarian
      • Japanese
      • Korean
      • Portuguese
      • Russian
      • Spanish
  • New game engine
    • Rebuilt from the ground up in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive branch of the Source Engine. Previously, it ran on the Portal 2 branch, which makes for a 7 year difference!
    • Characters can no longer change active stance (but can change desired stance) while charging.
    • Networking Changes:
      • New priority layer for players origins, both local and external players.
      • Player origins are no longer rebuilt using cell bits
        • Increased accuracy and update rate of player position
      • Completely rewritten lag compensation system
      • Fixed numerous prediction errors in hitting and jumping
      • Affects both player movement and sword tracers
      • Tickrate has been increased to from 60 to 64 ticks per second
        • Interpolation values have been changed and much improved to reflect this.
        • cl_updaterate & cl_cmdrate updated to 64 also.
        • Moved to the Source 2 networked sockets system
      • Game servers use half tickrate for simulation.
      • Max and default rate has been increased to allow for more players on a single server
      • Added ratelimiting for usercmd and string commands to help prevent bad/ddosing clients.
    • Performance Optimizations:
      • Threaded world building
      • Players’ bones are cached and only setup once per frame instead of multiple times per frame.
      • Multiple changes to Winter, District and Monastery for better rendering performance.
      • Tracers and FX are not simulated when not rendering.
  • Fixed a bug where some achievements that were based upon consecutive actions would not reset when that consecutive action was not performed.
  • Fixed sword and scabbard position being 1 frame behind – very noticeable on lower framerates.
  • User Interface
    • Removed GetSatisfaction link
    • Added Discord link
    • Modified forum link to point to the Steam forums
    • Text for in-game performance profiler is now larger
  • Discord Rich Presence
    • Show what character you’re playing as, and in what arena you are in in each map with cute little pictures!
    • Join people straight from Discord! (Ask to Join)
  • Crash reporter
    • Let us know what went wrong easily by using this handy tool that autostarts when you crash, and automatically sends us all the info we need to debug your crash!
    • You can, if you choose, give a description of what you were doing when you crashed which may help us.
  • Software Development Kit
    • We’ve included an SDK for Blade Symphony! Get access to everything you need to make levels and models at the click of a button!
    • Includes Crowbar model compiler. Thanks ZeqMacaw!

Free Weekend, Release Candidate 6 and Language Support!

September 25, 2018 by Michael Sanders

This is an incredibly busy week for us, putting final touches on the build, for this week’s release of the Harmonious Prelude update! What better way to encourage people to play Blade Symphony, than with a Steam Free Weekend! Alongside this Thursday’s release at 10am US Pacific Standard Time, Blade Symphony is taking part in a free weekend to celebrate the update!

Get a look at our latest work on the Beta, since we’ve released our second-to-last Release Candidate (before “gold master,”) on Steam. Update now to get the latest, the changelog is below.


If you’re an incredibly detail oriented person, with experience in spreadsheets, large text files and Regex, OR you’re someone who knows a non-English language very well, we need help with putting Blade Symphony into as many languages as possible!

Slowly, more languages are being imported from our translation tool to various Google Documents located here. Anyone can view, but not anyone can edit. If you would like to help in some form or fashion, please talk to us on our Discord! The more languages we have, the more inviting this is for a broader audience.

Changes since Release Candidate 5

  • Bot Population System
    • As incentive for players (especially new or those in uncommon time zones) to join servers, bots will spawn upon connection. Players will be able to duel bots while waiting for more players.
    • Dueling a bot will give 1/4th the XP normally gained from fighting a player.
    • Number of bots that spawn when player joins can be changed using bb_duelbots_num_bots
    • When the player joins a server, a bot will leave the server within any match that the player joins, freeing up space for more players. All bots should be gone when the number of players in the server is greater than or equal to bb_duelbots_num_bots. This can also be turned off by using bb_duelbots_proportional
    • The bots are displayed on the server browser, so that the player knows they can duel bots.
    • In the future an XP bonus will be given players that stay around for more players to join.
  • Final Blow Slowdown
    • The finishing blow on a player, will now result in a small 2 second slowdown for emphasis on how the character was killed. This is really cinematic and cool!
  • Single Player Pause System
    • If the player is in a listenserver (localhost server,) and presses the ESC key to bring up the main menu, the game will pause. Bots will not move.
    • As it applies to listenservers, this means that it will apply to the tutorial.
  • Changed XP bar to display XP for current level and next level, instead of overall XP
    • 0 – Dummy, the bot does nothing
    • 1 – Easy, the bot will not throw shurikens or charge attacks.
    • 2 – Normal, the current state of the bot
    • 3 – Hard, this is not implemented yet
  • Stance and Style Indicator
    • The colored Kanji lettering that represents the style is now shown behind the stance indicator
    • This symbol only appears when readied in or spectating an empty match, or while spectating a duel
  • Spawned bots now choose between Arcade Style and Classic Style at random when creating matches
  • Players can now start a vote to change the map on the server. The maps are presented in a fancy way, and the list is populated based on the player’s own maps.
  • Scoreboard now no longer displays the player’s character level while in spectate
  • Vanguard can temporarily not switch stances while charging. Vanguard is receiving charge animations, and this change will be reverted upon their completion.
  • Shurikens no longer track to targets on 2 vs. 1, 2 vs. 2, and Control Point modes
    • Unfortunately, a situation could occur where one player could sit back and endlessly shuriken while another attacked.
  • Friendly Fire is now enabled by default on 2 vs. 1, 2 vs. 2, and Control Point modes
    • Having this disabled caused the parry system to be held back, since the player could just throw numerous balanced and heavy attacks, to stun their opponent when their opponent parried.
  • Modes that are not duel will now default to Classic Style
  • Style overrides on game servers (using bb_tactical_server_override) will now be shown on the client
  • The join match button should be disabled when in a match now
  • Changed Style Screen descriptions to be more accurate.
  • The last hit of a round is played in slow motion (bb_duel_last_hit_emphasis)
  • You can now pause the game fully, and take a break without risk of being murdered several times while playing the tutorial and when fighting bots in singleplayer.
  • Classic Style
    • Increased Katana damage to 0.90 from 0.85
    • Reduced Phalanx’s Balanced String 2 Tier 1 damage from to 20 from 24
    • Reduced Phalanx’s Fast String 1 Tier 1 damage from 9 to 6
    • Increased Phalanx’s Fast String 1 Tier 2 damage from 14 to 15
    • Decreased Phalanx’s Fast String 2 Tier 1 damage from 15 to 9
    • Increased Phalanx’s Fast String 2 Tier 2 damage from 14 to 15
    • Decreased Phalanx’s Fast String 3 Tier 1 damage from 14 to 9
    • Decreased Phalanx’s Fast String 3 Tier 2 damage from 18 to 11
    • Decreased Phalanx’s Fast String 4 Tier 1 damage from 10 to 9
    • Increased Ryoku’s Fast String 1 Tier 1 locktime from 0.28 to 0.33
    • Increased Ryoku’s Fast String 1 Tier 2 locktime from 0.28 to 0.33
  • Classic Style and Arcade Style
    • Increased Feint cancel percent from 0.35 to 0.51
    • Increased Feint cooldown time from 0.75 to 1.5
    • Increased Feint cancel cooldown from 1.0 to 2.3

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a Windows crash when changing resolutions
  • Fixed a Linux crash when the multi-hit indicator was displayed
  • Fixed escape menu staying up after selecting a style on the Style Select screen
  • Fixed sword tracers casting shadows
  • Fixed ragdolls sometimes appearing in other matches
  • Fixed not being able to cycle between spectators when spectating a single player
    Fixed stance indicator to be covered up by scoreboard
  • Fixed level overlaying on top of player names, long player names now receive ellipses
  • Fixed chat bubbles being leftover from players leaving a match, or by invisible players
  • Fixed issue causing voice communication to not function correctly
  • Fixed numerous issues related to scoreboard display and match destruction
  • Fixed screen going black during duel introduction
  • Made Control Point score be kills / death temporarily. Will instead be score / kills in the future.
  • Fixed style toggle button not properly scaling in nonstandard resolutions
  • Fixed Vanguard and Phalanx having their experience swapped
  • Fixed issue causing player’s outfit colors to be set, and then fade out.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the user to connect to a server if ESC was pressed with a server highlighted in the server browser.
  • Implemented multiple changes for upcoming transition of Workshop items to Marketplace items
  • Fixed an issue causing links from the Main Menu to display while in a server
  • Fixed Left and Right click not changing players or arenas while spectating
  • Fixed Ctrl not switching view type while spectating
  • Fixed the counter not being reset for achievements requiring actions to be completed consecutively.
  • Fixed a bug where if you performed no actions in a duel you would gain -2147483648 XP.

Release Date, Teaser Trailer, and Release Candidate 5 for Harmonious Prelude

September 7, 2018 by Michael Sanders

We’re coming to you with a special update today. Not only another Release Candidate update, as we’re two weeks since the last one was released, but a teaser trailer as well! This video is hopefully the first of many, to show changes we’ve made in the Harmonious Prelude update over the last two years. Expect more in the coming weeks that will explain these changes.

Check out the trailer below for the Release Date for the Harmonious Prelude update to Blade Symphony!

Changes since Release Candidate 4

  • Classic and Arcade Style screen
    • Screen shows when joining a server, allowing the player to set their intended style
    • Screen shows only for those that do have bb_player_seen_confirmation_screen set to 0
    • Clicking “Do not show again” checkbox will set bb_player_seen_confirmation_screen to 1
    • The choice made on this screen can be reversed by opening up the scoreboard

  • Scoreboard Style Toggle
    • Style toggle moved to the lower left, from being a small button at the upper left.
    • Features the Kanji lettering and coloring to represent the style
    • Style toggle is now shown in the lower left while spectating duels

  • Stance and Style Indicator
    • The colored Kanji lettering that represents the style is now shown behind the stance indicator
    • This symbol only appears when readied in or spectating an empty match, or while spectating a duel
  • Notification System
    • Notifications are now contextual to the player’s duel. If a player is queued for or fighting in a duel, notifications about other matches will not display.
    • Fixed a bug causing notifications to stack to greater than the default of 4 messages
    • Player’s chat color now appears in notifications and disconnect messages
  • Crash Reporter
    • Added a crash reporter to send crash dump files
    • In the future, the crash reporter will allow the user to add description about what they were doing before the crash
  • Classic Style
    • Reduced Pure’s Fast String 3 Tier 1 damage from 18 to 14
  • Player’s level now shows in scoreboard
  • Made +showbudget panel larger for performance evaluation

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed various buttons in the Main Menu disappearing while in a server
  • Fixed player’s level always showing as 1 during a duel’s introduction
  • Various changes to ensure less crashes related to ragdolls
  • Fixed fixed issue allowing the player to walk through tables and chairs in duel_monastery’s Library arena
  • Fixed intro camera on duel_monastery’s Courtyard arena
  • Fixed missing textures on duel_practice_box
  • Further performance optimizations on free_district and duel_district



Harmonious Prelude: Network overhaul with Release Candidate 4!

August 24, 2018 by Michael Sanders

Harmonious Prelude: Release Candidate 4 is here! Not as quick as the span between RC2 to RC3, but the hunt for the ghost hit issue and the networking rewrite took quite an effort.

Keep up with our shenanigans and on Discord, or follow us on Twitter.

Need to sign up for the beta? Do that here!

Changelog since Release Candidate 3
  • Networking has been completely overhauled:
    • Based heavily on the more accurate CS:GO networking systems.
    • New player movement and sword prediction and lag compensation.
    • Players shouldn’t feel much delay against 500ms+ ping players.
    • Deprecated previous lag compensation system.
    • Lots of miscellaneous improvements for accuracy.
    • Removed lag interpolation option from main menu.
  • NEW notification system!
  • Added match style icon to the backgrounds of matches to symbolize if a match happens in Arcade/Classic.
  • Added checkbox to only show Summary Screen after leveling up.
  • Classic/Arcade button is now hidden on non-duel game modes.
  • Sword type is now hidden in Arcade mode.
  • Removed shadow on spectator menu, to match Harmonious Prelude branding.
  • Updated bot cape functionality: Bots now only wear capes that can be unlocked.
  • Optimizations to District for better framerate in Alley and Rooftop.
    • More changes are coming, there’s always room for improvement!
  • Removed Subtitles from settings menu.
  • Tutorial Script:
    • You can now do cvars in the tutorial script without being in a bot context.
    • You can now do multiple arguments to a cvar or command
    • Added clientcvars for commands/cvars to change on the client (restricted to approved convars/concommands that are also limited by point_clientcommand)
    • Add sword keyname convars (value is itemid):
      • bb_tutorial_longsword, default: 2
      • bb_tutorial_katana, default: 6
      • bb_tutorial_foil, default: 22
      • bb_tutorial_scimitar, default: 16
      • bb_tutorial_jian, default: “14”
  • Tickrate has been changed from 60 to 64
    • Interpolation values and formulae have been updated to reflect this.
    • This also matches cl_cmdrate and cl_updaterate
  • New alert for customization screen for unviewed new items.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed ghost hits when playing in a high latency server.
  • Fixed bone and animation interpolation issues which butchered transitions.
  • Fixed misc. bone problems where the player’s legs could be messed up.
  • Fixed bots always joining a match in the last arena, if all arenas were occupied.
  • Fixed crash that occurred when players ready up for duels.
  • Fixed player duel stats: stats have been reset.
  • Fixed gravity networking (causing lots of prediction errors, even in live.)
  • Fixed usercmd issues causing prediction errors.
  • All classic/arcade changes now reflect on UI regardless of how they were changed.
  • Fixed footsteps being super loud.

Harmonious Prelude: Release Candidate 3 is out, and needs YOU.

August 7, 2018 by Michael Sanders

Not even a week after putting Release Candidate 2 update into your hands, we’ve got another! Mostly this week, we spent time working to get networking and prediction to feel as good, if not better, than the current version on Steam.

As always, please provide us feedback and help us hunt down bugs, by joining our Discord server.

If you haven’t signed up to try the Harmonious Prelude update, then head here!

Changelog since Release Candidate 2
  • Arcade Style
    • Updated Pure Fast Tier 1 lock duration to 0.60 from 0.50
    • Updated Pure Fast Tier 3 damage to 25 from 23
    • Replaced Ryoku Fast Tier 2 animation
    • Updated Ryoku Fast Tier 2 lock duration to 0.65 from 0.28
    • Replaced Ryoku Fast Tier 3 animation
    • Updated Ryoku Fast Tier 3 lock duration to 0.56 from 0.70, and damage to 28 from 30
    • Updated Ryoku Fast Tier 3 lock duration to 0.56 from 0.70, and damage to 28 from 30
    • Updated Ryoku Fast Tier 3 lock duration to 0.56 from 0.70, and damage to 28 from 30
    • Updated Ryoku Fast Left Tier 2 lock duration to 0.60 from 0.95, and damage to 16 from 20.
    • Replaced Ryoku Fast Left Tier 3 animation
    • Updated Ryoku Fast Left Tier 3 lock duration to 0.70 from 0.44, and damage to 28 from 22.
    • Updated Ryoku Fast Right Tier 1 damage to 15 from 12.
    • Updated Ryoku Fast Right Tier 2 lock duration to 0.60 from 0.95, and damage to 20 from 16.
    • Replaced Ryoku Fast Right Tier 3 animation
    • Updated Ryoku Fast Right Tier 3 lock duration to 0.70 from 0.53, and damage to 25 from 22.
  • Bots now have unique names, unique mask, item, skin and sword choices, matching avatars, and show BOT instead of a 0 ping.
  • Made Hammer DPI-Aware
  • Added red line to Harmonious Prelude logo to match branding
  • Flattened more brushes and added playerclips to areas on Monastery’s Courtyard arena so the player would not hitch or get stuck
  • Temporarily disabled CSM on Duel and Free Monastery in order to sort out rendering issue

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a large number of prediction and networking problems. It SHOULD be much better! Please let us know!
  • Fixed various selections on Game Settings, Audio Settings, and Video Settings not properly saving
  • Fixed the scoreboard showing empty arenas if a player was kicked or left in the middle of a match.
  • Fixed being able to hear death sounds from other matches in your arena
  • Fix sword and scabbard position on lower framerates
  • Fixed issue potentially causing players to receive the wrong item when unlocked
  • Fixed a number of localization string issues
  • Fixed compiles in Hammer not starting
  • Fixed various brushes and models on District from rendering in and out
  • Fixed one remaining control point indicator on Docks not updating
  • Removed extra area of space by the barrels in the Deck arena on Winter

Harmonious Prelude: Release Candidate 2 – Electric Boogaloo

July 30, 2018 by Michael Sanders

Hot on the heels of the initial Release Candidate update for the open beta of the upcoming Blade Symphony: Harmonious Prelude update, is another Release Candidate build! We’re going to try and release every week, because our sprints are every week, so expect fresh changes all the time! Also, be sure to hop in our Discord server if you’re looking for opponents or want to get information on the latest changes.

If you haven’t signed up already to experience the upcoming Harmonious Prelude update, then head over here!

Changes since Release Candidate 1


  • Classic Style:
    • Updated Phalanx’s Fast Forward String 3 Tier 1 tracer for 12.5% uptime reduction and starting slightly later
  • Arcade Style
    • Updated Phalanx’s Fast Forward String 1 Tier 1 tracer for 12.5% uptime reduction and starting slightly later
    • Reduced Ryoku’s Fast String 1 Tier 1 lock duration to 0.28 from 0.55
    • Reduced Ryoku’s Fast String 1 Tier 1 damage to 12 from 17
    • Reduced Ryoku’s Fast String 1 Tier 2 damage to 16 from 20
    • Reduced Ryoku’s Fast String 1 Tier 3 damage from 28 to 22
  • Changed Classic Rapier guard default convars:
    • bb_guard_obb_length set to 65 from 50
    • bb_guard_obb_width set to 15 from 5
    • bb_guard_recovery_heavy set to 0.55 from 0.85
    • bb_guard_knockback_fast set to 450 from 500
    • bb_guard_knockback_balanced set to 450 from 400
    • bb_guard_knockback_heavy set to 450 from 250
  • Spectating a single player in an arena defaults camera to chase mode.
  • Bots have been given random names fitting their emblem theme.
  • Smoothed the floor in many areas of Monastery’s Antechamber and Library.
    • Player/environment collision is now incredibly accurate in the Harmonious Prelude update. Let us know if you get stuck on even the smallest of things!

Bug Fixes

  • Numerous bugs fixed involved with player data table, interpolation, networking and prediction.
    • We’re always staying cognizant of the feel of the Beta. Our work never ends here.
  • Fixed “ghost” hits.
  • Fixed crash when two fullscreen confirmation boxes were shown at once.
  • Fix crashes related two callvoting.
  • Fixed player items being reset when joining a server, selected items are persistent again.
  • Fixed player sometimes not receiving items.
    • There are still issues with players receiving items and proper XP. We’re investigating.
  • Fixed footstep and jumping sounds not playing.
  • Fixed players not showing on server info details screen.
  • Fixed missing capture point on cp_docks and wall indicators not updating.
  • Fixed broken materials on Community.
  • Can no longer customize your character during the tutorial.
  • Fixed spectators showing the wrong label viewing a match.
  • Fixed various spectator menu button state issues.
  • Fixed IK stuttering when sheathing a sword.
    • This has revealed a new issue; character feet are not firmly planted during the sheathe animation. We will take a look at this.
  • Fixed Discord Rich Presence connection failing and not launching Blade Symphony.
  • Sword tracers and FX will no longer continue receiving updates when not rendering.
  • Endcaps on particles bound for immediate destruction will not be played.
  • Hammer will no longer close if the Puny Human SDK launcher is closed.
  • Removed various debug information for previous “one dot” connection issue.

Harmonious Prelude: Release Candidate 1

July 25, 2018 by Stephanie Briles

Everyone has been extremely patient while we work to release the Harmonious Prelude update, across our Discord, forums and social media pages, we can’t thank you enough for the support during development! There are still finishing touches before release, but we have a Release Candidate for testing. Today, the latest build is available to anyone that signed up for the Harmonious Prelude Beta.

If you would like to try the Beta and help find bugs, then click here to sign up!


We have more updates on our work below, and also keep updating our visual changelog “What is Harmonious Prelude” page. Check both out, to make sure you’re prepared!

Updates to our last post

Our last post included tasks to complete before offering this Release Candidate, so here’s a follow-up on our work:

  • “Fixing sword, character and item materials that were broke due to the engine migration.”
  • Sam identified what was needed to keep visual fidelity in the game, it looks great!


  • “Open up the testing of this release quality candidate to a wider audience. Those active in our Discord and on our forums.”
  • This is the beginning of the test effort for the Harmonious Prelude update, we’re excited!

  • “Completely re-compile shaders and solve crashes preventing full re-compiles.”
  • Sam’s first task was to fix our shader issues experienced over the last 9 months, all done.

  • “Having a release quality candidate available on the Blade Symphony Beta; Windows 32-bit game, dedicated server and SDK, 64-bit game SDK, OSX 64-bit game, and Linux 64-bit game and dedicated server.”
  • We’re happy to say that, as opposed to the current Blade Symphony release, the Release Candidate boasts seven different Steam applications that are stable and properly compile


  • “Recompiling all maps and fixing brush related issues.”
  • Some wouldn’t compile, but we’re also making map changes. More on that at the bottom.

  • “Integrating the proper translations for the game.”
  • Unfortunately, this is a massive effort and we’ll do our best to update you on it as we progress.

  • “Implementing item pictures for color items, emblems and unseen character masks.”
  • Now when an item is unlocked, you see the same fancy picture in-game that shows on Steam!

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  • “Transitioning the workshop into a vote-based system for item curation.
  • This will be an easy change, once some workshop items have transitioned into curated ones.

  • “Transition specific quality workshop items to curated items.”
  • There are many pieces to this puzzle, including working with the authors. More on that later!

  • “Properly testing the Win/Linux dedicated server and shipped tools.”
  • Game servers are running normally and with the help of Gwydion Brain, a talented level designer expanding arenas and fixing graphical issues in maps, is serving as our tools tester!


  • “Properly testing the free-to-play API and backend.”
  • We’re hoping that the fantastic Harmonious Prelude Beta testers will help stress the system!

  • “Complete the Harmonious Update release trailer.”
  • Trailer complete, thanks to our friend Jack Conradsen. Look forward to this soon.


  • Properly testing the free-to-play API and backend.
  • We’re hoping that the fantastic Harmonious Prelude Beta testers will help stress the system!

  • Properly testing the game client across all platforms.
  • Some platforms are more stable than others, but that’s where we need your help!

  • Properly market this update.
  • A plan is established to bring as many fresh faces to Blade Symphony as possible!

What we’re hard at work on

Here’s some more things that we added since the last blog post:

  • New sword effects are being implemented for maximum customization
  • Multiple sword effects will be unlockable, Pulse Glow, Toxic Glow, Holy Glow, Blue Fire Glow, Velocity glow and many more! Here’s some work-in-progress screenshots.


  • New tonemapper changes
  • These changes will lighten up the maps a bit so they won’t be as dark as they previously were.

  • Exciting new crash reporter technology
  • Blade Symphony will be able to report crash information to Github so we can better understand what went wrong.


  • Finishing the summary screen (end round) to a degree that matches the original concept and offers a positive experience.
  • This still has some work to do, better animation, some sound effects, but it’s almost there.


  • Finish the Discord Rich Presence integration.
  • Josh finalized integration, and it’s really neat to challenge someone all the way from Discord.