There hasn’t been an update on the game for a while (I mentioned earlier that there wouldn’t be much going on until a bit after the holidays were over), and since we’re just now getting back to work on it more heavily, the next update will take a bit.
Yeah, this is long. Lots to go over!
As for myself, I’m working on a new system “under the hood” for dealing with things like status ailments, and various temporary and permanent effects on players.
The way it worked in the prototype is that it just sent a command to add or remove some adjectives to the description of something on the player, like in the “queen’s dozen” quest.
This was a quick and hacky way to do it. Similar to how it is in CoC with entire descriptors just being replaced. But the prototype was just something I wrote in about 6 weeks, so… yeah. When I wrote the new engine and rewrote much of the client, well the old system wasn’t working right with the new bits anymore. So there’s bugs here and there due to that with some changes staying when they should clear, and persisting into a character reset.
This is the real last bit of old prototype code to replace, then it’s all new code besides some for the interface, after this new system is implemented.
Anyway, the new system, well I haven’t fully designed it yet, but, it’ll be something objected oriented. It’ll work a bit like quests or clothing do. Something that can be attached to a player, and have some triggers for what to do when it should be affecting them or not. That object could then also be modified. Like one of the advantages of how quests work on the engine is that they can be changed wile a player has them, like to change the area they’re pointing to when something happens or just over time, and so on. Similar could then be done with this new status effects system to progress them over time or content being done.
Fulca, our writer who has been working on a good deal of content the past few months, is working on finishing up some writing for a large bit of extra content for the plantgirls, and working on making them more of a bunch of different individuals than… well this same repeated encounter you get a lot right now.
The second thing they’re working on is more to the basement content of Outpost 833. That one railroading bad-end is being removed, and replaced with a new area that’s part of a long sort of winding bad-end that you can possibly escape from, and there will eventually be a lot of different paths and choices in.
The third is finishing up some content with a new species that was added to the Wilderness, that ties in with Kent.
Together we’re also working on generally polishing and finishing up what’s there, doing some rewrites here and there, and add some new ways to deliver content.
Over the next few weeks, you’ll see these additions showing up on the test server. Once I can get a release polished up, then Alpha 3 will come. It won’t be completely publicly open just then, but I will be giving out more keys then, and then an open beta shouldn’t be too far off after that release.
For Alpha3, for it to be “ready”, the things I’m looking for is for it to, well, just basically feel like it’s about ready for beta. The previous releases all had some bugs because there were parts to the new engine rewrites that I just couldn’t get to. Besides the aforementioned issue like with the eggs quest, and making sure that 99.9% of people don’t have connectivity issues, I think I’ve ironed out all those kinks in the new engine.
I also want the content to be a lot more polished. Some content need rewrites, which takes a good deal of effort that doesn’t really add new content, but gives a more uniformly good experience across the game.
I namely want the plantgirls content to be a better experience, and not that same thing popping up that can get annoying. I want more variety with the amphibious aliens. And Gail simply needs a big rewrite, which is daunting since that’s about 15k words worth that mostly needs to be done over and rescripted in a better way.
So I can’t give an exact time table. It depends on creativity and such. Once the game is publicly playable by anyone, I think it should be a lot easier to bring in new writers onto the team and things should smooth out then. And at that point, the engine will be at a great point, too. Right now, I’m taking things steady until then and making sure it’s something I’m happy with.
As always, you can always check on the dev tracker to get an idea of what content is being added and updated on the test server.
Oh, that reminds me. Another thing I’m planning on doing soon is to have the dev tracker show when the client or server are updated. It currently shows content changes, but when there’s actual version changes to the game, basically.
And I’m going to add something to the front page of the website that shows how many words of content are on the main server and test server.