Today, we have a development update, the results of the Patron Pal Poll, and also the bi-monthly budget report. Continue reading “Development Update: September 18th, 2017”
First off, to all Patrons, there is a poll this week! Head over the Patreon and fill that sucker out so I know what you thought of the survey in a less-than-scientific-but-more-than-chaotic manner.
Patron Pal Poll Next Week
Since I don’t have time for it right this week, a Prototype 3 Poll will be issued next week. This is to find out what you, the adoring public, thought of the various parts of Prototype 3. It will be sent out to Patrons since they, obviously, are the ones who actually played the damn thing.
The Art Front
After a fairly well-received prototype release to Patrons, I’m whipping the artists to get back to work on completing all the missing art. We’ve already got a few new shadings and dialogue poses done, and Hund has redone his shading style for the dialogue portraits to unify the style among all the different portraits (as well as speeding up the normally fairly slow process of shading). We’ve also got a much better pose for Blythe’s dialogue, since Chicken wasn’t really happy with the first two passes.
Sprites continue to be done. Urimas has nothing to do for a month. Maybe I’ll get him to work on super secret stuff?
The Coding Front
I’ve received a number of bug reports and have basically cleared them all up, at least to my knowledge. If you’re a patron, the bug-fix patches and releases should be in your message inbox. If you’re not a patron, then congratulations: You won’t get stuck or deal with bugs when you get to play Chapter 1.
I’ve also taken a few suggestions on improving the overall gameplay. I’ve fixed up some of the debug menu stuff, changed a bit of the timings, and have a few features I want to add to make the game just that much smoother. For example, I want to add a Skillbook Library to the campfires. Any skillbook you’ve found but couldn’t understand is added to a list and you can re-read them at campfires instead of having to backtrack.
The Dialogue Front
I have an associate writer/editor/pornographer working on going through the dialogue and narration to deal with spelling errors and pacing problems. This individual has done editing work with me before and should help to smooth out the problems that are attendant with having written some scenes months ago but still having them in the game.
Editing work should easily be done before Prototype 4 goes live.
Some bonus content is also in the pipeline. I am currently cleaning it up and finishing off the edge cases before it goes for testing. This extra content concerns werecats and features a quasi-timed event (where the timing is based on battles and not seconds).
We may be getting extra artistic help to add the new content, but that’s not finalized yet so I won’t say any more. There will likely be an update next week.
Prototype 4 Status
Prototype 4 will probably become Chapter 1’s full release unless a major bug is discovered. The only thing preventing it from coming out right now is that the art isn’t completed and there are a small number of bugs/improvements I want to deal with.
I do not have a date set for Prototype 4, as it depends far more on the artists than on me.
- Finish all character dialogue art. (Just Breanne/NPCs left!)
- Finish all transformation art.
- Finish bonus content involving Werecats. (In Progress)
- Add Library functionality for skillbooks.
- A number of outstanding, non-critical bugfixes.
- Dialogue editing for pacing and content.
Yes, that’s right. After months of hard work, Prototype 3 has been released for testing and feedback to the good folks over at Patreon. Thanks guys. From the bottom of my heart and the blackened, shriveled heart-shaped object that my artists use instead of a proper functioning organ.
If you believe you should have received a copy but did not, please send me a direct message on Patreon and I’ll see what I can do.
If you would like a copy right the hell now:
Please either pledge on Patreon or send a donation directly to paypal.me/SaltyJustice along with a message on Patreon indicating the name you donated from, and I will send you the Prototype 3 download links ASAP.
What is Prototype 3?
The list of changes is very long. Very, very long: I will be posting a full changelog on the forums. For now, I’m looking forward to the wide range of feedback, suggestions, bug reports, nagging, and threats that always accompany a major release.
What happens now?
Our next priority is to finish off everything that is incomplete in chapter 1 and do the full release, which will be public (Patrons will receive the Debug-Unlocked version of the full release, the public can go suck a lemon).
I expect this will take a few weeks, depending on the productivity of the artists and the quality/quantity of the bug reports and suggestions. I’m not going to pin a date on Chapter 1 until I’ve had a chance to discuss it with the artists in detail.
I need help and the walls are closing in or I saw a bug!
Please report it on the forums and take a deep breath. If the walls are closing in it’s because of a panic attack, not a coding error.
Your panic attack is not a bug, it’s a feature…
I’ve been doing some balance testing with the team and some folks that I trust from previous projects. The original balance was pretty awful, all things considered, but so far everyone is really liking the balance changes I’ve been working on.
If you’re coming into this from Prototype 2, here’s a rough idea of what’s different:
- There’s a lot more enemies.
- Enemies are generally weaker.
- Mei and Florentina get a lot more from level-ups.
- Mei and Florentina level up a lot faster.
- There are more mechanics added (Powerful Blows, new abilities, loot drops, upgrades) that add a lot of variety to the battles.
- There are more enemy types available. There are also higher tiers of enemies (Cultists of Rank 2 now exist).
- There are three bosses in the game now. Each one requires a particular strategy to beat: You probably won’t be able to brute-force the fight!
- There are more support items to use to heal yourself and buff yourself during combat.
- Combat flows a lot faster and smoother (animation timers were reduced, health-bar animations are paced better, etc).
- Most of the display bugs from combat are gone.
- Enemy positions were shuffled around so you likely won’t run into super-tough enemies unless you’re really not paying attention.
Hoo-wee, that’s a lot isn’t it?
I also have been tracking roughly how long it takes various players to get to various stages. Urimas, who likes to kill things but doesn’t read most of the flavor text, says it took him 2 hours to reach the Quantir Mansion (following the game’s advertised path), while Scarrfish, who tends to read more flavor text and explore more, had just met up with Florentina at the 2 hour mark.
If you’re just playing the main storyline, you’ll probably take about 3 hours to finish Chapter 1.
If you’re looking to see all the content, I’d estimate it’s 6-8 hours to finish everything, depending on how good you are at combat and avoiding enemies (and how fast you can read).
Pretty darn good for an indie game, right?
The Home Stretch
So, pretty much everything on the “Need” list for Prototype 3 is done. I’m trying to get the artists to put out as much stuff as possible for Prototype 3. Anything not in Prototype 3 will be finished for Chapter 1’s full release (and the release delayed as necessary).
Once again we’ve had a fairly productive week! Unfortunately, this might be the last highly-productive one on the coding front for a while. Time will tell. I’ll keep you lot posted on developments as they come.
I expect we’ll still easily make the End-of-August target.