We have just pushed the first candidate for our next update out to the “preview” branch on Steam and the “beta” branch on GOG.com! As we mentioned last week, this is a preview to our next update, which addresses the feedback that we have received in the past week and a half. You can read the initial patch notes here.
If you would like to help test this for issues (or just want to take an early look at what’s coming!), you can access this by:
changing to the preview branch on Steam (right click on We Happy Few in your Library -> Properties -> Betas tab -> select preview from the drop down list), or
changing to the preview branch on GOG.com (click on We Happy Few in your Library -> More -> Settings -> change Channel to Betas).
So! That’s exciting. We’re looking forward to seeing it in action. While you wait for the download, here’s some of what we have been up to this week.
Matt, Camille, Marc and I met with the design team this week to do a post-mortem on the quest & objective systems. The quest systems are a relatively recent addition to the game. The first quests appeared in the update right before PAX out of the preliminary feedback that you guys wanted more lore and history in the game, and we’ve learned quite a bit about what works and doesn’t work in the last 3 months.
The Early Access build was the first time we were pushing a very large number of quests and missions to the community, and with it came a lot of complexity in handling persistence (saving and loading quest states). Matt helped break down the atomic operations that occur in the scripting of quests, so that we could build more robust and easy systems that should be less likely to break.
We also reviewed two example quests, and looked at all the logical actions a player could take that might break or impact the quest’s narrative logic. For example, what happens if you kill the NPC? What happens if you steal the loot he was supposed to reward you with? Should the NPC have lines for that situation?
Our attention in the next two weeks will shift to supporting the level designers with more robust tools to create missions, and then we’ll be reviewing the quality and replayability of individual missions while Matt improves the world generation.
It’s been quite the interesting first week! We’ve had a lot of feedback and, in my case, some clear cut priorities for UI. Among the top requests were better and more responsive map markers, custom map waypoints as well as quest tracking.
The state of the map markers is a bit unfortunate. Since putting in the functionality, we’ve explored different ways of handling them and, as a result, have had wildly varying implementations, with the results that we’ve seen. The good news is we now have a clear idea of how each marker should behave and will be updating most of them to conform. Our preview update should show a marked improvement, but we’ll continue to work on them until we consider them up to par.
The first improvement on top of the existing functionality is tracking. It is now possible to mark an encounter as active in the journal and that encounter and its objectives will be highlighted on the map.
More importantly, tracked encounters appear on the compass no matter where you are in the world:
I also added custom waypoint functionality, allowing players to drop a marker anywhere on the map that will then show on their compass:
I’ll be sure to polish the actual appearance of these elements, though. It might be good programmer art, but it’s not sufficient.
This week I've been working on bug fixes, some props for encounters, as well as a few new signs for the Garden District. I've also started working on arches (work in progress) to help break up the visual space in the Village.
Fixing bugs like a pro, did a light pass and made this new bridge!
Hello there, folks…
Hope you guys are enjoying the game as much as I am enjoying watching you all play. It’s been a long past few weeks for me, filled with lots of bug fixes and realization to levels like The House of the Inventor and Blood in the Streets. Thanks for all your comments and suggestions on our Early Access release. It’s so awesome to be able to support a community of gamers who care so much about what we are creating.
With that said, this week was mostly bug fixes peppered with planning for realization and concocting more challenging situations for some of the other Encounters that I am tasked with. To put it simply… Bugs, Balance, Presentation – rinse and repeat.
Here are a few screenshots of updated areas you guys have probably already played through.
First is The House of the Inventor, Faraday got herself a Big Red Button, she has no patience for those who waste her time, and she’s not afraid to let you know.
And here is a nice screenshot of an updated area in the encounter, Blood in the Streets -- I’ve revamped the placement of the buttons needed to complete the quest and made a lot of general improvements to the flow of the quest with emphasis on providing the player lethal and non-lethal ways to complete the quest.
This week I fixed a bunch of issues related to savegame in a lot of levels, basically bugs that would occur if you quit/reloaded at least once on this game.
New Doodad for the Garden District:
*visual content may change for improvements
Some more are in the works, I should have more ready for next week!
3 new sewer levels:
These places are scattered through the world. They are meant to be simple, yet interesting places to explore and find a bit of loot. Maybe there’s a story behind each of these places… who knows? ;)
Thank you for tuning in!
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