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Weekly Journal - Map markers, thoroughfares and sewers!

NailaNaila Moderator, Compulsion Team
Hey everyone,

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.

Programming Team

Guillaume

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.
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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.

Camille

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.

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More importantly, tracked encounters appear on the compass no matter where you are in the world:

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I also added custom waypoint functionality, allowing players to drop a marker anywhere on the map that will then show on their compass:

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I’ll be sure to polish the actual appearance of these elements, though. It might be good programmer art, but it’s not sufficient.

Art Team

Marc-André

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.
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Emmanuel

Fixing bugs like a pro, did a light pass and made this new bridge!

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Design Team

Hayden

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.
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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.
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  • NailaNaila Moderator, Compulsion Team

    Mike

    Hey guys, 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:

    image

    *visual content may change for improvements

    Some more are in the works, I should have more ready for next week!

    3 new sewer levels:
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    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!

    Team Compulsion
  • OtherbuttonsOtherbuttons Member, Moderator, WHF Friends & Family
    Oh no, did Faraday change again? I must know for fanart purposes. 8o

    Also those arches are lovely. Very Totnes.
  • I am 100% restarting my game just to generate the new bridge and play "Blood in the streets" again, thanks for the updates. Now I need to wait until it comes to Xbox, which may take a while 0.o
  • NailaNaila Moderator, Compulsion Team
    @Downer101 I am not sure the bridges are in the game yet, Emmanuel just finished them :)
  • That's ok, progress is progress, the community know you are working hard with everything you've got. It is impressive how much you can complete considering your size. :)
  • As a Xbox One player can I expect updates to the game as often as Steam? Also will we ever be able to op into an experimental branch of the game?
  • fromthewoodsfromthewoods Member, Moderator
    This is amazing! Can i really expect these weekly? Im amazed how fast you guys were on responding to complaints, the tracker seems so nice! I wont try this out just yet tho, gonna make a bunch of weird stuff happen in my current game first.
  • NailaNaila Moderator, Compulsion Team
    @evan_mc Yes! As often as PC. There will just always be a few days delay because we need to go through certification every time on Xbox. Today we are testing the update on PC to check if nothing explodes. Expect the update next week on Xbox :)

    @fromthewoods Yes ;) you can see all the previous one from the last year!
  • Can t wait for it
  • Oh my goodness, your art team is fantastic and on point! I'm loving all of these gorgeous new additions.

    Keep up the great work, very excited to see what the next update brings!

    P.S. - Please be super kind to yourselves (e.g. delicious treats and lots of sleep) as it's probably a really busy, exhausting time for you all right now. Much love from Australia <3
  • New art and areas to explore look great! Can't wait to see all this work its way into the game over time.
  • edited August 2016
    First of all, I really appreciate this weekly journal from the development team, I really like to see how things are evolving and how much improvement you are making on the game. You are listening to players and that's very important. Keep up the good work, guys. I can't immagine how hard you are working on this project but when you'll see the results you will be proud of yourselves! I really believe in this project and I know that I won't be disapoionted at the end of this process. I enabled the beta program on Steam.
  • Any new updates about when the Xbox one update will be available?
  • NailaNaila Moderator, Compulsion Team
    @PrincessMandey

    We are finalizing the update on Steam this week and pushing it to Microsoft this Friday which means it should hopefully be available early next week.
  • Thanks nail a! I can't wait I love this game!!!!!
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