The State of 1.0

Since the launch of version 1.0 in late April, we’ve been focusing on improvements to the online experience in TFH to prepare for Evo Online and later Grand Stampede, including netcode enhancements, a reworked Classic Lobby, Battle Shrines, and more visibility on casual ranking.

Game balance has not changed much since the Early Access days, and it was important for us to keep it that way as we entered into the biggest tournament season TFH has ever seen, so players were fighting on familiar ground. Now that we’re on version 1.3 and have eased back into a “normal” development cycle, we’re planning some exciting new stuff to freshen things up a bit.

What We’re Working on Right Now

Fulfillment of Crowdfund Rewards

Before I get into game stuff, we wanted to touch on the fact that physical rewards are moving to production soon. That’s the movelist postcards, physical game copy, and physical soundtrack. If you’re getting one or all of these and your shipping address has changed since the crowdfund, please update it here: Them’s Fightin’ Herds on BackerKit

For instructions on how to redeem digital rewards, or to view a realtime roadmap of fulfilment progress on, check this post:
Backer Rewards Production Roadmap

For all other inquiries related to crowdfund stuff, please email

Training Mode Update (Game Version 1.4)

Later in September, training mode will receive a dedicated update that fixes bugs and introduces new features, including but not limited to:

  • Menu options organized into pages instead of one giant list (finally)!
  • Ability to toggle infinite Velvet level 2 (so you can slo mo to your heart’s desire).
  • Quick change character positions (this works with a button+direction input to get you to center stage, either corner, etc, without having to push the dummy manually).
  • A new input display for combo trials/recordings (it shows the entire combo at once instead of a scrolling list).

Linux/Mac Ports (Game Version 1.5)

Native Linux and Mac ports were promised during our crowdfund and are also a vital first step on the longer road to console ports. The Linux, Mac and Windows versions will all run on Steam together (no additional purchase needed) and will be crossplay-compatible with each othe

Shanty Update (Game Version 2.0)

A 7th character is coming to TFH: Shanty the Goat! If you haven’t already seen our Shanty gameplay reveal stream, check it out here:​

Development on Shanty is progressing well but she still needs a lot of testing, so as of now it’s still too early to tell when she’ll be ready for release.

When she’s released, players will be able to unlock Shanty by purchasing a DLC package that also includes her stage and Pixel Lobby avatar. All of our crowdfund backers will receive the Shanty DLC for free as a reward for helping us attain the stretch goal that made her development possible.

Regardless if you own Shanty or not, you’ll still be able to play against her online if your opponent has her, and she’ll also show up in arcade mode.

Here’s her completed Pixel Lobby avatar!


Balance Changes and Bugfixes

The introduction of a new character offers us an opportunity to shake things with a longer list of balance changes for all characters and (for the first time in awhile) a few universal systems. Whenever we make adjustments at this scale we’ll be moving up a major version number (hence going straight to 2.0).

New Pixel Lobby Map: The Woodlands

A new Pixel Lobby map will be introduced in version 2.0: the Woodlands, Oleander’s home turf. Along with a new map, there will be a surge of glorious new hats to unlock. You can’t stop the hats.

Here is one of our tileset tests. Disclaimer: this is NOT the final layout of the lobby itself, and further refinements to the art will be made in the weeks prior to release.


What’s Next (In No Particular Order)

Level 3 Supers (Game Version 3.0)

Exactly one person on our team does the combat stuff right now: Nappy. We’ve decided to continue holding on level 3 development until after 2.0 ships. You may recall that we’re already a decent way done with them (stream link here), but there is still a lot of testing and edge-casing to iron out, and we don’t want to rush it.

Story Mode: Chapter 2

Preproduction on Velvet’s chapter is currently underway. When Nappy finishes his work on level 3s, he’ll join the rest of the Story Mode squad to script out the boss fights and close things out.

Replay System

We have the backend tech to capture replays, but we are still in the process of designing the actual playback feature. When our engineers are free of training mode and porting tasks, we’ll be taking a look at this.

Ranked Play

Ranked systems are very hard to get right, so we are taking our time on this one. We’re still in the research phase.

Console Ports

Though we’re still far away from it, we did want to mention that the work on Linux/Mac ports (cleaning up code and such) will help with console port development later on.


This is all the big stuff we wanted to mention, but it’s not an exhaustive list! There are plenty of little things that will go out alongside each of these updates.

As Shanty and other immediate features move along we’ll be sharing more about them. Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

Aaron Stavely
President, Mane6

Last Sunday we capped off our Grand Stampede broadcast with a teaser reveal of our 7th character, Shanty the goat! Take a look:

Them’s Fightin’ Herds – Goat Reveal Teaser

The character is still a work-in-progress, and we’re doing a gameplay preview stream Friday, Aug 14th at 3PM PDT on If you can’t make it to the stream, don’t worry, we’ll be putting the video up on YouTube the day after.

When Shanty is finished and released to the world, players will be able to unlock her by purchasing a DLC package (price TBD) that will also include her stage and Pixel Lobby avatar. Backers of our crowdfund (all tiers) will receive this DLC for free.

We plan to produce a bonus Story Mode chapter for Shanty after the main plotline is complete. Owning the Shanty DLC package will be required to play this bonus chapter.

Following up from our previous news post, at last here is the announcement for our brand new tournament!

Grand Stampede is an international online tournament for Them’s Fightin’ Herds, hosted by Mane6. This event is a celebration of TFH, how far it’s come, and all that we’ve built together with our players, both in the game itself and the surrounding community space.

Grand Stampede will take place across two days from August 8 – 9. There will be no entry fee and no participant cap. The event will be streamed on Mane6’s Twitch channel:

To be eligible for registration, you must be located in one of the following regions: North AmericaCentral AmericaSouth America, or Europe (including Russia). There will be one bracket for the entire event across all eligible regions. There will be one Grand Champion.

While the event is international, we unfortunately do not have the resources to make the event global while still maintaining a quality experience for viewers and participants. We selected eligible regions based on a number of factors: where our players are concentrated, the distance between them, the time zones they’re in, and the logistical bandwidth of our crew. To our players located in Asia, we recommend you check out the quality regional tournaments organized by BananaSoup.

For prizes, everyone in top 8 will receive a physical medal engraved with their handle and place in the tournament (that means we’ll need shipping info if you get that far). The top 3 will each receive an exclusive ingame trophy hat to wear in the Pixel Lobby, reflecting their place (bronze, silver, or gold). Our Grand Champion will receive a special prize: we’ll add a custom palette to the game for one character credited to and designed by you (subject to technical and legal constraints, of course).

Signups are open now. Head over to to register. Please read ALL of the rules! You must join the tournament Discord server in order to participate! And… good luck! We’ll see you in a few weeks.


Last week was a lot, and it all happened very fast. We’d like to take the time to expand our thoughts on what’s happened (and is still happening) in the fighting game community at large, and how we plan to help.

On Thursday we made a statement announcing our decision to pull Them’s Fightin’ Herds out of EVO Online 2020 in response to serious allegations of misconduct levied against EVO cofounder Joey Cuellar. The EVO team shortly thereafter decided to cancel the event. Since then, they announced the removal of Joey from the organization and a commitment to change. We’re glad to see that they’re listening and steps are being taken, but there will be a long road ahead. We wish EVO’s new leadership well in their efforts to earn the community’s trust again.

As for other ongoing situations, we will respect decisions made by community leaders in related games and events. Things seem rough right now, but despite all that’s happened, we believe it will all lead to a safer and more accepting community.

Them’s Fightin’ Herds was built in part with the idea that fighting games can, and should, be enjoyed by everyone. We were excited for EVO Online and how it brought many fighting game fans into our community, and vice versa. With over 1300 entrants worldwide for TFH, we know all of you were just as excited to play as we were to watch. We want to keep that excitement going and give everyone a place to come together to help the larger fighting game community heal.

That’s why we’re hosting an event of our own. We’re going to make it the largest online TFH tournament to date, and to help us pull it off, we’ve assembled a team of top community organizers who are already laying the groundwork.

Another announcement is coming with more info, including when this event will be, how to sign up, which regions will be able to sign up, and y’know… what the event will be called.

Please take care of yourselves out there. We’ll share more soon.


It’s been almost two weeks since the release of Version 1.0 and Story Mode Chapter 1. Now that the dust has settled (and a much-desired break has been taken), I’d like to offer up our thoughts on how we feel the release went and what’s next for TFH.

First of all (for those who missed it) we recently did a Story Mode commentary stream (in which I already announced much of what I’m about to say in this post). Check it out:

So then! Checking around, reviews for Story Mode have been positive overall and we’re getting a large influx of new players. If you’re new to TFH, welcome! Now that 1.0 has been released, there’s a whole lotta post-launch content we’ve got planned that we’re very excited to talk about. But before I get into it, it’s important that we go over our plans to address the #1 piece of criticism we’ve received about Story Mode so far: the difficulty.


A lot of players have been telling us that Story Mode combat encounters (mainly bosses and bird enemies) are just too hard (to the point of frustration) on lower difficulty settings. We’re releasing a patch this week that should help with that.

First, the AI needs to be easier to hit. We’re altering the frequency that AI blocks attacks and supers at lower difficulties.

Second, and more importantly: Story Mode does not currently teach players anything at all about TFH’s combat mechanics. From our perspective, this is the greatest contributing factor towards entry-level player frustration (over anything the AI is doing): not knowing how to fight.

Both AI tweaks and mechanical instruction are necessary to bring this all in line, because at the end of the day, we’re still a fighting game. Even if we gave players millions of health and the AI did only one attack, people are still gonna get tossed around if they don’t know how to block or what their most effective moves are.

We believe we’ve succeeded in teaching movement mechanics through the platforming trials, but conveyance of basic combat systems (how to anti-air, simple combos, and high/low blocking) is most definitely missing. To be completely honest: we had planned to include small combat tutorials in Story Mode with the original release, but they didn’t make it in time.

Brief tutorialization of fight essentials will be added into the earlier parts of Chapter 1. Emphasis on brief. We’re confident these expanded segments won’t interrupt the flow of things too much. We just want to offer a starter kit, so Tutorial Mode isn’t a prerequisite to wrecking face in Story Mode.


Now, here’s an overview of where our priorities currently stand for post-launch development. Including, but not limited to:

Fulfillment of Crowdfund Rewards

Check this post for instructions on how to redeem rewards, and to view a roadmap of our current progress:

If you need to update your shipping address, you can do so from Backerkit:

Linux/Mac Ports

These were promised during our crowdfund and are also the first step on the road to consoles. Windows and Steam-dependent things in our code must first be genericized to give TFH the flexibility it needs to exist on other platforms. We’ve already done a lot of this work before the 1.0 release, and it’s now the engineering team’s highest priority.

Console Ports

We have started researching the process to get TFH to consoles, but our Linux/Mac work must be further along before we can start production here.

Online Play Enhancements

We’re working with Mike Z to bring his improvements to the existing GGPO netcode in Skullgirls to TFH as well, which will make online matches even smoother than they already are. While we’re at it, we’re taking another pass at our Pixel Lobby spectating system, and adding a few quality-of-life features like password-protected lobbies and fight request blocking.

Training Mode/Combo Trials Menu Restructure

Yup, it’s a mess! We’re tackling this one as soon as we release the improvements for online play listed above

7th Character: Goat

The time has come for goat development to begin! She’ll be receiving near-full attention from Nappy (our combat design director) from here on out, with a design reveal and progress streams (while she’s still cardboard) happening as soon as we get things working at a base level.

Game Balancing

There are existing balancing issues and bugs we’d like to address, and goat will inevitably create new ones. These will be worked on in tandem with her development. Some will be patched before and some as goat releases.

Level 3 Supers

Development is already a decent way along in this area (check out our preview steam here), but as the saying goes, “the last 10% takes 90% of the work”. We need extensive balance testing before level 3’s are ready to roll out. Our aim is to begin work in this area after most of goat is complete so we can release it all at the same time… BUT… that is very definitely a best-case, blessed-by-the-great-priestess, S-rank, platinum-plated, rolled-a-20, 360-no-scope plan. Please understand, it’s still way too early to tell. Be prepared for us to make the call that goat is releasing before level 3s, depending on how development goes.

Story Mode Chapter 2

Preproduction on Chapter 2 (featuring Velvet) has already begun with Anu and I working out the specifics of narrative, overworld, and scenarios. Because Nappy will be needed to finalize the fight side of things (and he’ll be working on goat), goat will be released first. Afterwards, he’ll join the rest of the Story Mode squad to help finish things out.


As we shift the team into the drastically less-crunchy post-release period, we now have time to return to regular development updates and progress streams. It will take us a week or two to discuss and agree upon a schedule, but we’re committed to providing detailed, frequent, transparent updates on how things are going as best as we can.

If we didn’t mention something in this update it’s because it isn’t maximum priority right now. As we get further into the big stuff and as time allows we’ll be looking at all the other things we’ve expressed an interest in adding to the game. Please continue to offer feebdack!

Whew! That’s all for now. Until next time, watch for the upcoming patch!

Aaron Stavely
President, Mane6

The 1.0 release of Them’s Fightin’ Herds is now live, which includes Chapter 1 of Story Mode!

To celebrate, we’re doing a dev commentary stream for Chapter 1 next Friday, the 8th, at 3pm PT on our Twitch channel:

This post here contains the patch notes for 1.0:

We also just launched our online merch store, which offers the small collection of items we’ve had for sale at prior events. See this post for full details:

And… check out our fancy new trailer!

Last night we submitted our draft build of Story Mode to a small closed community testing group. Long story short, they uncovered a number of major gameplay issues that need to be addressed before we feel Chapter 1 is ready for release.

We have a plan to get everything up to the standard of quality we’re looking for, but we’re going to need more time to do it. One more month, specifically. So, the launch date for our 1.0 release (and Chapter 1 of Story Mode) is now April 30th.

All the pieces of content we set out to create for Chapter 1 are finished and working. This extra month will be used to tweak numbers, ensure edge cases are handled, and squash bugs. Expect us to ramp up posting of spoiler-free Story Mode snippets on our social media accounts to provide a window into how things are shaping up while we work to bring this chapter to a completed state.

I also wanted to address the question of whether or not the current global situation has been affecting development. The short answer is yes. The same real-life disruptions happening to everyone else in the world are also happening to us. Thankfully, no one in our development team is sick (right now), but many of us are responsible for the care of family members that are at high risk. While not a primary contributor to the reason for our delay, it is certainly, most definitely not helping any.

Thank you all in advance for your understanding. We’ll continue providing the latest info up until our new release date.

Aaron Stavely
President, Mane6

Most of you have heard by now: the release date for version 1.0 of Them’s Fightin’ Herds is April 2nd, 2020!!

We first made the announcement during our Story Mode Preview stream last Friday. In case you missed it, here are the links to the VoD:


To commemorate the occasion, we’re making a formal post about it. But first, surprise! We just launched a… BRAND. NEW. WEBSITE. You can check it out right now:

Some notes about the new site:

  • still works, but it redirects to (for now).
  • is no longer a thing. We rolled all that content into the new site across the Media, Team, and Contact pages.
  • The Book of Lore has been archived, but it is still accessible from the footer menu. Please remember that it is no longer considered canon!

Now that the confetti has settled a little bit, we’d like to take the time to provide some facts about what this release is, and what it isn’t.

TFH has been on Steam for Windows PC in Early Access for a little over two years and has since reached a feature-complete multiplayer experience including online play. Version 1.0 ships with only one additional major feature: Chapter 1 of Story Mode.

What is Story Mode?

Our Story Mode features a unique combination of four types of gameplay. For demonstrations, follow the links to be directed to specific points during our Story Mode Preview (still a work-in-progress).

Navigate through settlements and dungeons in a top-down retro-style overworld. Scavenge for secrets to achieve 100% completion.

Chat with NPCs about… whatever you want to talk about! Our conversation system features dynamic, branching dialogue to allow players to breeze through or stay awhile to dig into the lore.

Minigames and Challenges
Tackle a variety of platforming courses, overworld minigames, and dungeon puzzles.

Boss Fights
Unleash everything you’ve learned against “ascended” boss versions of predators and cast members.

The narrative will move in (mostly) chronological order with each chapter focusing on one member of the cast at at time. In Chapter 1, you play as Arizona. Chapter 2 (when it is released) will feature Velvet. We’ll reveal which characters are in what order for future chapters at a later date.

What’s Next?

We consider version 1.0 to be TFH’s graduation from “Early Access” into  “Full Release”, but this does not mean the game is “Done”. We still have a huge list of improvements to make, new platforms to port to, features to add, and post-launch content to produce (like new characters).

At the moment, we’re focusing absolutely all of our efforts towards the completion of Chapter 1. Nothing else. Here is a list of the things we will NOT be working on until AFTER 1.0, including, but not limited to:

  • Linux/Mac ports (though we’re already a decent way through it).
  • Console ports (we’d like to be on consoles, but we can’t start until after 1.0 is out).
  • Additional characters (#7 is still a goat).
  • Additional chapters of Story Mode (just chapter 1 is in this release).
  • Level 3 supers (requires extensive balance testing).
  • Physical backer rewards (will be a few months to produce).
  • [insert game feature here] (sorry, chapter 1 is getting everything we have right now!)

And there you have it! Time to lock ourselves back in our caves while we continue working on the release. See you all next month.


The time has come to announce the date for our latest story mode preview stream (teased during the last development update). Join us this Friday, March 6th at 3pm PT on to see our latest progress on the road to 1.0.

Spoiler warning! We’re deliberately saving the juiciest bits for the actual release, but certain plot points, gameplay features, and NPCs will be revealed, then made into memes. It is inevitable.

After the story mode preview, we’ll be making some pretty huge announcements. Ones you won’t want to miss. But don’t worry, if you can’t make it to the stream we’ll be posting a summary afterwards.

We are very excited to be able to finally share our last few month’s worth of work with all of you. See you at the end of the week.

EDIT – Check out the VOD of this steam here:

Early Access Patch #25 is now live!

Please check the patch notes on our forums for details!

We’re excited to announce new availability for both the “Best Of” and “Complete Recordings” soundtrack collections for Them’s Fightin’ Herds. There’s a lot of particulars, so let’s begin with a short summary:

First, the “Best Of” collection may now be purchased here on Steam. Previously it was available via the musicians’ Bandcamp site (and it still is). It’s priced the same on both sites: $9.99 USD (subject to regional pricing on Steam).

Second, the “Complete Recordings” collection may now be purchased (for the first time ever), via Bandcamp. It’s split into separate packs that group tracks together by stage or feature, to make it possible to acquire smaller parts of the greater collection. Each individual pack costs $1.99 USD. We don’t have a bundle offering at this time.

Have specific questions? Craving details? Please, read on…


What’s the difference between the two collections?
The “Best Of” collection is our general-purpose soundtrack that contains all base stage themes, character themes, pixel lobby BGMs, title/menu BGMs, and a bonus Reine City chiptune track. It’s an easy-listening “traditional”-style album with 22 tracks (at the time of this writing).

The “Complete Recordings” collection encompasses absolutely every single variation of every track we use for the game’s Dynamic Music System, including all unique character themes for each of the stages and character select, in both looping and non-looping mixes.

I’m a crowdfund backer. Where do I get my soundtrack rewards?
As always, crowdfund backers who earned either of the soundtrack collections through rewards can retrieve them by logging into Backerkit.

Do these collections include high-quality audio formats?
Yes. All official soundtrack collections have both MP3 and FLAC formats. On Steam, the FLACs are an optional download.

Why is the “Complete Recordings” collection only available on Bandcamp?
The main reason we decided to do it this way was to avoid clogging up the market with too many SKUs. We feel it’s clearer to have the “Best Of” collection presented as “the soundtrack” while offering a central place to buy individual “Complete Recordings” packs if desired.

Will more tracks be added over time?
Yes. The game is still in development. As new music debuts (for example: in story mode chapters), we’ll expand the “Best Of” collection for no additional charge on Bandcamp and Steam. iTunes users will have to pay for the new tracks individually (sorry, there’s nothing we can do about that, it’s an Apple thing).

When a new track set becomes available, the dynamic variations will be gathered into a pack for the “Complete Recordings” collection to be released as a separate purchase.

Crowdfund backers will of course continue to receive track expansions according to their reward tier through Backerkit completely free of additional charge.

What happened to the pixel lobby track expansion on iTunes and Spotify?
At the time of this writing, we are still waiting for the musicians’ distribution “label” to add the latest tracks to those platforms. We are working on it and apologize for the delay. The process of releasing music on major platforms like those is more complicated than one might expect. When they finally do go through, we will make another announcement. Hopefully next time it will not take months.

Who gets the money from soundtrack sales?
100% of the proceeds from soundtrack sales (after platform fees) go directly to the musicians: Stuart Ferguson and Whitetail.

So ends the FAQ section. Thanks for your support, and enjoy the moosic.