Combat Upgrade, Endless Turn Bug, and Steam

Assuming I haven't screwed anything up, Valve is scheduled to release NEO Scavenger tomorrow morning at 10:34am PST. I'm a bit in the dark about this process, so I'm not sure if it just happens silently or what. So far, this is what I'm looking at:

Date to Release on Steam: 12/05/13 10:34 PST Ready for review by Valve: Check Reviewed and ready for release: Check "Your game is ready for release! We will attempt to publish your game on your requested release date."

Sounds good! (I hope.) And getting more nervous by the minute :)

By the way, we're likely to have an influx of new users with questions about how the game works, bugs, etc. I've done my best to pre-seed the forums on Steam with info they might need, in case they look there first (same subforums, stickies, etc.).

If you're interested in swinging by to help some newbies out, this is where it'll be once it goes live:

Do be gentle with the fresh meat. They're likely cold, confused, barefoot, and only wearing hospital smocks :)

Combat Upgrade

I made some changes to combat today, to address some of the complaints I've seen in various forum posts and videos. Namely, some people get confused by weapon damages and effects in the combat logs. I've described what I think to be part of the problem in the forums.

In my test build, I've adjusted the messaging for cut and blunt wounds to have a wider range of descriptors. And in particular, I've tried to push really violent sounding words into the high end of the scale, and milder words at the low end.

As a result, I'm hoping the wounds will sound a bit closer in the logs to what they actually are in the game logic.

Endless Turns Bug!

Also, while doing some testing, I think I finally figured out the endless turn bug! I found it by standing on a hilltop with a long field of view, and spawned 20 creatures into the surrounding hexes. Then, after watching them battle and fighting some of them directly, I was able to trigger the bug.

It turns out that it was due to creatures being deleted before the game was done accessing them. So if an NPC died in battle, and the battle needed to access that creature for something, it would crash. Crashing meant either turns advanced endlessly on the map, or the combat screen gets stuck with no way to continue.

The good news is that I think I can reproduce the issue reliably now. The bad news is that it's a hairy problem, and I may have to restructure turn-ordering. That kind of change is dangerous, and could cause other bugs. But at least we're making progress!

Other Changes

I also made a few other changes and fixes during the day. One issue was a dead-end outcome in Zom Zom's that needed plugging. Another was editing the flow of clues in a new encounter to only reward some paths. And finally, there was a bug introduced in the way the game stocked the junk store, from when I added the convenience store to the game.

Many of these bugs and updates were helped by watching Mathas's Twitch stream yesterday and today. I learn a lot by watching others play the game, and in this case, I get both verbal and written commentary on everything that happens. I also get to see bugs happen in real time, and what caused them. Very useful! I kinda wish I had discovered this sooner.

Anyway, that's today's progress report. I'll likely continue work on the endless turns bug tomorrow, and probably get clobbered by the Steam launch shortly thereafter. Tomorrow is likely to be an interesting day!