Welcome to Life in Technicolour!
The “Life in Technicolour” update is all about the little things. The world is more beautiful, people are more friendly, and oh boy, just wait until you take your Joy.
This update changes both the stealth and social conformity gameplay of We Happy Few, and contains fundamental changes to our AI. The AI is rewritten to the point that this is basically a new game, and it sets the stage for significant changes to gameplay we’ll be making going forward. In the meantime, the world has changed, combining a series of technical and artistic improvements to make everything better.
We’d like to know what you like, what you miss, and everything else in between. Please be aware that really, the Wellington Wells you know and love is different, so old gameplay tricks may not work - it might be a bit surprising, at first. We’ll look forward to hearing from you, so please come and visit us on our forums, or on your social media of choice.
• Joy has been overhauled. Joy now has five stages: regular, on Joy, overdose, crash and withdrawal. Each stage has its own lighting, visual effects, and audio, and we hope you love the changes as much as we do. Enjoy safe experimentation!
• Joy mechanics have been changed. This is still a temp implementation, but there is now a penalty associated with every time you use Joy. Eventually, you will crash. There are also gameplay restrictions and impacts as you lose control of your character, so Arthur may be a little less effective than you’re used to.
• Stealth/Conformity rework. All AI archetypes have a new approach to conformity:
• There is now a conformity window during which an NPC will ask you to conform. If you do, they will let you go on, if not, you’re a dead Arthur. (Does not apply during curfew, obviously.)
• Conformity AI reworked to be more consistent depending on where the player is, what they're wearing & what they're doing. NPCs should more accurately describe what is causing them to be upset.
• The reasons your character fails to conform are now easily accessible in the status effect menu.
• All AI archetypes have a new approach to searching, and hiding spots have been slightly reworked. Bobbies are particularly good at searching.
• Stealth AI reworked for vision, noise, & distractions. NPCs no longer instantly see the player at long range and will investigate. Noise distractions will also cause NPCs to investigate.
• Peeper AI has been reworked to path and detect better. They are now unlikely to follow you into the wilderness.
• All AI should now work significantly better inside encounters. This overhaul may result in some weird cosmetic issues for this update.
• New dying behaviour for the “second wind” game style. Dying now causes you to reload your latest save, rather than respawn in your shelter/on a bench. This was a tough decision to make, but there are too many technical problems caused when we respawn characters. Permadeath you still die permanently.
• New manual saving ability. Have you been out collecting resources for hours and not run across any encounters? Well now you can save manually, so if you do get struck by lightning, you won’t lose your progress. Note that this still uses the slot based save system we have previously, so you’ll only have one save in each slot.
• New AI archetype: The Jubilator! These guys trawl the streets just trying to keep things clean. Of Downers, that is.
• New AI archetype: The Headmistress! I don’t really know what we were thinking with this (it was originally called a Peeper Pooper) but it’s pretty weird. I don’t know, let’s call it a tribute to Cuphead.
• Item prices have been rebalanced.
• Loot has been redistributed.
• Looting plants is now instant (no quick loot screen).
• Plague will no longer kill you. Just game things.
• Crafting tables are now tiered, and need to be upgraded in order to craft higher quality items. Birdwatcher does not have this requirement, just to keep it simple.
• Sunshine now has its own UI status effect, separate from Joy.
• Downer mode now pauses the game in the background when the player menu is open.
• Fully overhauled player menu: new Inventory, Journal, Map, Status, and Crafting screens! It’s much more lively, with much improved art, animation, audio and ease of use.
• Overhauled interactions: new bartering, new quick loot, and new container screens!
• New weight-based inventory. No longer will you need to play menu Tetris. Items now have weight, and are categorised so you can filter based on what you’re looking for (survival, clothing, etc).
• Quest items have no weight and are not droppable. No longer will the Motilene Harvester fly into the sky when you drop it. (Technically it will actually still do that if you manage to drop it, but that should be impossible.)
• Inventory expansions now increase the weight you can carry.
• There is currently no space limit in containers, although this may change in the future.
• The inventory screen has hat and shoe slots and these items are no longer equipped from the quick slots.
• The inventory screen also has more useful functional descriptions of items (work in progress), alongside the old flavour text system.
• New quick slot system! You now have two quickslots that are automatically populated. The top slot is for healing items, and the bottom slot is for other useable items. The idea is that these auto populate so that when you need them in a pinch, you can use them.
• New quick slot HUD that doesn’t look butt ugly. Finally. God we were sick of those things.
• New in-game 3D waypoints! Now you no longer have to keep looking at your map to get where you want to go. We are genuinely shocked at the improvement this has made to the game. You can turn these off in the options menu if you like.
• "Show quest location on the map" option available in the journal menu.
• New stat tracking system! You can now find out how many people you’ve killed (or not killed), along with a wide range of other statistics. This should be just a first pass, so we’d love to hear what you’d like to track. This is current in your notes screen, but hopefully it will have its own home one day.
• New telemetry (data feedback) system! In case you were worried that you hadn’t given us much feedback, worry no longer! When you start the game on PC, you will now be given a prompt to either enable or disable our player telemetry system. Basically the stats that you see in that menu, as well as a couple of other things, can be sent directly to us so that we can review, and balance/adjust the game. No pressure, but if you could help us with this information, it really will help a great deal. (Note that we do not currently collect this data on Xbox.)
• Fast travel is now available! When you complete each shelter’s challenge, you will unlock fast travel. This allows you to travel more easily back and forth between each island. You will need to unlock each door in order to use it.
• A large number of new tooltips have been added to the game, to help explain some of the more esoteric game mechanics. If you can think of a loading tip that might be good, let us know!
• When an NPC is bleeding, a bleeding icon will appear next to their health bar.
• Sleep widget tells you what sleeping for ‘X’ amount of time will do to your vital stats (e.g. thirst/hunger). It also won’t let you sleep if it would kill you.
• Dying UI icon shows you how close to death you are in the dying state.
• New encounters!
• The Slaughterer’s Apprentice
• Start Spreading the News
• Cub Reporter
• I Sing Body Electric
• The Great Stink
• My First Jubilator
• The wonderfully named “Odds and Ends quest 3”
• Old Soldiers
• Speaker’s Corner Redux (reworked version of Speaker’s Corner)
• Ruined Church (simple location)
• Cellars (simple locations)
• Bee Hives (systemic)
• New shopkeeper: The Dealer! He’s a bit of a grouch.
• Arthur’s arms now change based on the clothing he is wearing. We call these “arm variants”.
• New tree variants! We’ve reworked our old trees and created new ones, so there is more variation in foliage.
• Upgraded filler buildings in the Garden District! We’ve gone back and retextured our old fillers/made new ones, so that there is more variety/believability in the GD world generation.
• New fake global illumination!
• Better fog! We have a new, cheap fog implementation which means more fog at night and on certain states of Joy.
• Plants now move slightly in the wind.
• Histoplasma mushrooms now have less-placeholder visual effects.
• The Doctors make a surprise appearance. However, they’re not really all there yet. They will become full AI later on, but for now enjoy the sneak peak.
• Minor improvements have been made to the intro shelter, to help players fully understand where to go and what to do.
• Keys now actually distinguishable from one another.
• Various (too many to list) improvements and fixes to existing encounters.
• Facial animation added for NPC grunts.
• Female compliment machines now join their male companions. They are not any less creepy.
• An ungodly amount of NPC audio variation has been added.
• A huge range of audio events have been added, to increase ambiance.
• Improved dig spot variation.
General / Technical
• New community translation system! Steam users now have access to the Steam Workshop to download and create community localizations. This is to supplement the official translations that we will be providing on 1.0. And also to supplement our sometimes very creative French. We hope this will mean that more players can understand the weird and wonderful world of Wellington Wells.
• New level streaming system. Instead of loading in full islands, we now have a dynamic streaming system that loads levels in/out based on your distance from them. This is a major technical change, and should mean that you no longer have loading screens between islands. This may be a little imperfect on Xbox One systems for now.
• New video streaming system. In order to improve performance, we have built our own video streaming system. Video should now work seamlessly, and Windows N or K users will no longer need to download the Windows Media Framework in order to play the game.
• New animated loading screens. In the rare cases that we still use loading screens (eg fast travel or loading into new games), you’ll see some nice little stories from Clara and Sarah.
• New intro loading video.
• Tentative support for HDR rendering. If you have a HDR TV or monitor, we would love to hear your feedback on how this is looking.
• New publisher (Gearbox Publishing) and release date (April 13, 2018). Surprise!
• A number of very rare crashes have been addressed.
• Various performance improvements, including significant reduction in memory footprint and general improvements to framerate.
• Many more smaller bugs have been fixed.
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