I had to run a few errands in town today, so part of the day was disrupted for that. I did manage to get a few hours of quality time in cafes and the library, though. And it was fruitful for connecting some plot points and generating ideas for factions, their motives, and quest ideas. We'll have to see if I can add any or all of them, but I like where they're going.
I also did some more encounter work when I got home. This was largely angry dialogue writing, and I managed to have a bit of fun with it. I hope you'll agree when you run across it!
Today, I connected a lot of loose ends in the encounter I've been working on. I also thought of a couple interesting conversation branches to try, which might add more interactivity. And doing so also gave me an interesting idea for player rewards.
I also managed to fix a pretty major bug today. While streaming NEO Scavenger on Twitch.tv, SirTwiggy ran into an issue loading a save file where he had explored a large portion of the map. In his travels, the game spawned at least 84 creatures that were all walking around at the time of saving.
More work on encounters today. I spent most of the time writing dialog for one of the NPCs, and trying to figure out which clues to reveal vs. not, and how to make it sound natural. Like a lot of my writing, I find that large, structural stuff tends to be harder than low-level detail. I'm comfortable writing sentences and descriptions, but I have a hard time deciding on major events and plot direction.
Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. Ours was a bit busier than usual, as we had to do a supply run into town for some hardware. We did get some frozen pizza, though, so it wasn't a complete chore. I still miss real pizza (and if we're being picky, this pizza in particular), but frozen isn't bad after months of doing without!
It was mostly back to nuts and bolts development today. One of the first items on the list was making changes to the way stores work in NEO Scavenger.
Previously, there was the junk store, and that was it. The junk store was a hard-coded feature in the game. A few encounters let the player buy items, but I had to code a specific encounter branch for each of those items.
Schalart emailed me last night to let me know that a Twitch.tv streamer, SirTwiggy was doing a NEO Scavenger live stream, so I decided to pop by. I only caught the tail end of the stream, but I had a lot of fun watching.
I took a bit of a break from web development today, as I await Valve's review. Instead, I turned my attention to one of the new encounters that needs writing.
I've long had a space set aside for another encounter in the DMC, but hadn't written it yet. Klaus recently finished an illustration for it, though, and with the inroads to the encounter dead-ending at this encounter's doorstep, it's time to get moving.
Hope everyone had a good weekend! We had a pretty quiet one here. Quiet and rainy. Good for gaming :)
Most of today was spent working on a request form for Steam keys. I think I've nearly got it working on my test server now. In tests, I've been able to do some validation on whether the user is logged in and owns keys, and then request a Steam or Desura key via a link. Then, any subsequent time the user clicks those links, they just see the key that was originally given to them (basically, for future reference).
Well, I officially pulled the trigger on Steam today. Technically, this just means it's open for review, and Valve will get back to me once they've looked it over. And from there, we'll discuss launch details. However, it's a big step!
Today, I think I finally finished all of the necessary steps to setting up Steam Early Access for NEO Scavenger. Technically, I think I just have to click a submit button, and Valve will get back to me once they've had a chance to review my materials. And from there, we determine a launch date, pricing, etc.
Yesterday's work on updated marketing materials continued today, and it's starting to look near-done. I still have some gaps to fill, but I think most of the checkboxes Steam requires are just about checked.
First, however, I got a new illustration from Klaus. It's another DMC location, and I should be able to wire that in soon. I may have additional artwork to be done, but I think I'll likely cool down soon on new art as I write to catch up. That should keep me pretty busy, once I figure this Steam stuff out.
Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend (long weekend, for many of you). We had some house guests, so it was actually a pretty active weekend here. Hot springs, suspension bridges, borscht, and coffee. Mmm.
Klaus sent a new concept draft today, and it's looking good so far. I had a few suggestions which I sent back, and I'm looking forward to seeing the result!
We had our first major snowfall today. I guess winter has finally come! Unfortunately, that means driveway shoveling at random times, and today was no exception. We also had an adventure where we retrieved our car from a ditch. See what fun winter can be?
Apart from heaving snow around, I managed to put together scene direction and a spec sheet for a new encounter illustration. I've just sent that off to Klaus, and hopefully he'll have some fun with it. This one should show some interesting culture, which isn't always a feature one sees in apocalyptic art.
Today was mostly research and PR work, in the wake of yesterday's 0.980 launch. So far, 0.980 seems to be going pretty strong. There are a few minor bugs reported, but no major bugs yet. That is, if one doesn't count the bandits stealing your sleeping bags :) (I've made a note to look into this.)
If one thing came up more than anything else as a result of the last build, it was folks asking about Steam. "When will NEO Scavenger be on Steam?" And "what about Early Access?"
I've just finished uploading new beta build 0.980b and demo build 0.980d, which includes a new area called The Great Black Swamp, cannibalism penalties, new items, and quick recipe improvements. Beta users also get a few new encounters, encounter updates, and new ways of getting electricity.
Updates Included in Both the Beta and Demo
Both the beta and demo include the following changes:
Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend. It's finally starting to snow here. We had our first dusting this morning, and it's easy to see the snowline on the mountain across the valley. Time for another season of cold feet and hands!
I've decided to pause for a moment to see if I can wrap-up a build for you guys. It's been months since the last one, and there have been quite a few tweaks and new bits of content added. There's still a ways to go before even the critical story path is done, so rather than wait, why not upload what I've got so far?
The early part of the day was getting a spec sheet together for some concept art, and I'm pretty excited about it. The scene presented a mental block the last couple times I tried, but now, I'm feeling like it can be much more interesting. Hopefully, Klaus sees potential, as well!
After that, I set about fixing some issues that folks have reported in the game. Flashlights were sometimes working when inside held containers, some encounters were double-deducting charges, and there were some redundant UI calls that I cleaned up.