Bang! Howdy

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Bang! Howdy
Bang! Howdy Logo.png
Developer(s) Three Rings Design
Publisher(s) Three Rings Design
Engine jMonkey Engine
Platform(s) Any with Java, incl. Windows, Linux, Mac OS X
Release date(s) 2006-12-01
Genre(s) Strategy, Western
Mode(s) Online single- and multi-player

Bang! Howdy is an online free-to-play strategy game published by Three Rings Design and released on December 1, 2006 after public beta testing. The game can be played through a client or in-browser. Three Rings Design's website tallies the total number of players, at 500,000.[1]

The setting mixes elements from a variety of related genres, such as steampunk or Native American myth. Several of the players' available units are entirely mechanical, including artillery and a "steam gunman", a robot boasting large wagon wheels for movement while wearing a cowboy hat. Other, more conventional units include cavalry and gunslingers. At the 2006 Game Developer's Conference, Three Rings described the formula as "Chess + Mario Kart + Real Time/ Turn-Based + Steampunk Westerns + Secret Sauce".[2]


Initially conceived as an insect-themed game,[3] the primary mechanic of Bang! Howdy is designed to get around the problems of both real-time and turn-based strategy. Michael Bayne, project leader of Bang! Howdy, described RTS as "overly complex and too fast-paced", and described turn-based strategy as "no fun when it's not your turn."[3]

Bayne described the development approach as episodic, with the plan of getting the core game released quickly and working on new towns in turn.[3]

Presently, the game development has been stopped and no new future game updates are expected.[citation needed]


Bang! Howdy won the Technical Excellence award from the 2007 Independent Games Festival,[4] and was a finalist for the Seumas McNally Grand Prize.[5]


  1. ^ "Three Rings Design website". Archived from the original on 8 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  2. ^ Slashdot coverage of Bang! Howdy at the 2006 Game Developers Conference
  3. ^ a b c "How The West Will Be Won: Michael Bayne on Bang! Howdy". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 18 October 2006. Retrieved October 2, 2006. 
  4. ^ GDC: Independent Games Festival Awards Topped By Aquaria, Gamasutra
  5. ^ 2007 Independent Games Festival Finalists Announced, Gamasutra

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