New Beta and Demo Builds: Fixes for Endless Rags, Jar of Eyes, Crafting

Yep! Another new build! I've just uploaded beta 0.957b and demo 0.957d. There were still a few annoying item-related bugs left from the stacking overhaul, and this build aims to fix them. The changes include:

  • Fixed a bug that caused degraded items to stay in place, generating debris infinitely (e.g. endless rags).
  • Fixed quick recipe bug that caused missing ingredients to be accepted.
  • Fixed a bug that caused duplicated items in crafting.
  • Fixed a bug that caused recipes and newspapers to randomize in crafting and save/load.
  • Fixed a bug that caused Jar of Screaming Eyes to be missing in Flash build.
  • Removed extra neck and ring slots, and made remaining ones allow stacked items.

Hopefully, that should stabilize gameplay enough for the weekend to be a bit safer. No drowning in rags, or extra branches/boiled water, etc.

As always, if anything else pops up or seems to be broken, let me know. And thanks for your patience with these changes!

Comments

mdqp's picture
mdqp

I am not 100% sure about this one, but is it possible that tiles change if you walk away and then go back? I think I had a river near the cryo facility, but I found a hill when I got back. As I said, I am not 100% sure, though. I'll keep my eyes open, to see if it happens again, or if it's just my memory playing tricks on me.

dcfedor's picture
dcfedor

I had one player mention the new water tiles changed form at night to the junk shop tile, and back again in the morning. When I tested it, though, I couldn't see the change happen.

If you notice it happening again, or especially if you find a way to force it to happen, definitely let me know!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

mdqp's picture
mdqp

I have another bug, a minor one: From time to time, the bottle of water seems to "glitch", the image of the bottle gets cut, leaving behind only a "piece" of the bottle, that occupies a single square in the inventory. Consuming the water inside usually fixes the situation (I never had this happen with an empty bottle, so I don't know if it's related to having water inside it). I can't figure out what triggers this bug, usually I am carrying a normal bottle, and when I check my inventory later, it has turned that way.

Edit: Looks like the reverse also happens: A normal bottle glitches if you drink water from it. Also, while the graphic glitches, the bottle itself actually keeps occupying the same number of squares.

taylynne's picture
taylynne

woooh! new builds. I haven't been able to play at all lately, nice to see there's a new build for me to play/test.

I'll keep an eye out on that bug that was mentioned as well.

Valek's picture
Valek

Is anyone else not getting this update? Desura isn't showing an update, and even uninstalling and reinstalling, I'm getting version v0.956b.

mdqp's picture
mdqp

I download the game from here on this site, and I have no problems. Did you try getting it from here? Maybe the author forgot to update the version on Desura...

Valek's picture
Valek

Thanks for the reply.

I have the Desura version, so I don't think I can download the game from this site. I think you're probably right, and Dan just hasn't had the chance to update the version on Desura yet.

mdqp's picture
mdqp

You should be able to "connect" your account here to Desura: http://bluebottlegames.com/main/node/1015

I got the game in a bundle, and I can download it from here, now, so it should work for you too, I guess. I hope this helps. :)

Valek's picture
Valek

Hey, thanks, I didn't know about that! I appreciate it! :)

mdqp's picture
mdqp

Another bug/glitch: I was sleeping, and a monster attacked me. I put the crowbar I had in my hand in the "crafting" container, because I had no free space on the floor, and picked the the rifle I was carrying. Once I managed to scare the monster I automatically went back to sleep (or resting, I am not 100% sure). When I woke up the crowbar disappeared, since it had no place on the floor, and the game removes items from the crafting grid automatically. I guess that overcrowding the floor could cause similar issues even in other situations, but I didn't do extensive tests on this one.

dcfedor's picture
dcfedor

@mdgp, thanks for showing Valek how to use the connect feature. Hopefully, Valek is up and running with the new build now!

Regarding the lost crowbar, that's a shortcoming of the UI right now. The game empties the crafting area at the end of each turn, and if there's no space on the ground, the item disappears.

I haven't yet decided how to handle crowded ground spaces. I may have to make the space bigger and add a scrollbar/tabs, but that seems clunky.

Changing the crafting UI might also help avoid this situation, but that's still a bit further down the feature priorities. I made a note of the problem, though. Thanks!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

mdqp's picture
mdqp

I was glad to help, since I knew how to fix the problem. :)

By the way, I have a question: would it be possible, in the future, to change the way botanic works, and make sure it automatically recognizes poisonous and safe food without having to lose a time slot? It would solve the recipe exploit, and it would make sense, in my opinion (I mean, if you know what kind of mushrooms are edible, you will recognize them at first or maybe at a second glance, you don't really need to take your time to analyze them).

Since you brought it up, do you have plans to change the UI in the future? While it's good for most things, I feel that for combat and events it's a bit slow (it's just a minor thing, though).

Valek's picture
Valek

Valek is indeed up and running with the new build! ;)

Have you considered having an overflow area, that isn't shown on the screen, that is sort of a safety catch for problems like the one mdqp had? The area would be off screen, and non-accessible. But the way it would work is, any items that didn't fit into the ground area (for whatever reason) would be stored in this off screen area. Then if room was made in the ground area, perhaps by destroying unneeded items, the Organize button could be pushed, and items would be moved out of the overflow area and back into the ground area, as space allowed.

dcfedor's picture
dcfedor

I'd like to change the botany skill to work like that in the future. It might be something I work on at the same time as the "more crafting" feature, since it's using a related system.

And the UI is always up for discussion. I may not be able to fix everything, but I'd like to make it more intuitive/convenient. UI changes tend to be big projects, though, so I try to test smaller fixes first, before rewriting major systems.

Re: combat/events being a bit slow, what do you mean, specifically? My main complaint about combat is that the message window is too dense, and it takes too long to read messages each turn to see what happened. It'd be nice if there were other UI elements to depict fallen/recovering/stunned, etc. Plus, it'd be nice if each turn's messages all fit on-screen, rather than requiring scrolling each time.

Re: item overflow, I think that might solve the problem, but it may also be confusing. I think some players wouldn't know why objects were appearing on the ground out of nowhere, and might report it as a bug. The ground should probably just have infinite space, I just need to figure out how best to show that.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

mdqp's picture
mdqp

I am glad to hear you thought the same thing about the botany skill, I can't wait to see that in the game! :D

The combat/event problem is that you always need to confirm the choice you make, and if you were fiddling with the inventory before, you might forget to remove the drag/drop option, which is an option that is only useful in inventory management and it can be kind of annoying, since you get into battle because you were scavenging, most of the times (I know I never try to enter a battle if I can avoid it). I would imagine something like buttons for combat and events, instead of moving around tags, without the need for confirmation (you press the button, you get the result).

Yeah, you can get a long list of messages which can take some time to scroll, but you already get fallen/recovering/stunned status listed under the character, so I don't think you need to create other UI elements for that (but having each turn's messages fit on-screen would be a nice thing). It would be nice to have a model like the one shown in the condition screen, so you can see what happened to you and your enemy without having to read it (but I don't know how easy/hard it is to do, and if it would be a problem to make it all fit into the screen).

Item overflow isn't a big problem, since players can destroy the items, but it would be nice to have infinite space (or a big enough one). You could organize it in pages, maybe? (I guess 10 pages of the current size are more than enough to fit anything)

A question: the characters that appear when you scavenge are created the moment you trigger the alert? Because my game is slowing down, and I wondered if it was because of the many times I got found out while scavenging, and the resulting increase in the enemies numbers...

Valek's picture
Valek

I usually don't even read the messages in combat, because combat takes quite a few turns, and as you mentioned, it takes too long to read the messages (and scroll). What I would like to see is-- you know how the player's character is outlined in green on the combat screen?-- have the player and enemies have auras around them; Green, yellow, and red, at the very least (and maybe a couple in-between colors), that indicate the general health of the player and enemy. That, in addition to status updates (like "fallen", "bleeding", etc.), would make it easier to see what's going on, without having to read the messages at the bottom.

Also, as mdqp said, it would be nice to just be able to click on what you want to do in combat, and have that action executed automatically. Rather than the back-and-forth, going between the action and the confirm buttons, that we do now.

dcfedor's picture
dcfedor

Re: combat, so are you guys saying that the main issue is the tediousness of moving the mouse from left to right all the time? Do the hotkeys help at all? For example, if you click a battle move, then hit spacebar, does that make it better? (There are also hotkeys 1, 2, 3, 4 to switch mouse modes.)

One reason that I'm reluctant to make a single click advance encounters is because it sometimes makes sense to allow combinations of items as a choice. For example, when scavenging certain areas, players often choose multiple items and skills to modify their results.

Re: scavenging slow-downs, that could be one of several things. It's true that attracted creatures are spawned at the time of the scavenge outcome, though they tend to be pretty light on the cpu. A bigger cpu hit comes from lots of loot. Spawning a large number of items, plus arranging them all in the ground slot, takes a bit of processing. Did you notice the slow-down corresponding to loot at all?

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

mdqp's picture
mdqp

It's kind of annoying, even if you use the spacebar, and it feels like a wasted move, anyway. I know about the hotkeys, but I usually don't notice the problem until I click on the tag and it doesn't move to the other side and remains "attached" to the mouse pointer (I know it changes shape, but it's not too noticeable, since there are 2 green pointers).

I am not saying to change the UI for everything, but would it be possible to have a different UI for the fights? A single UI can hardly fit all the situations properly, and combat features prominently in your game, so a change on how it works might be worth it. Of course, I don't know exactly how hard it would be to add different interfaces in your game, so I would understand if you told me you don't see the benefit of introducing such a change.

As for scavenging, I think it would make more sense if you just gave the players 3 options (being sneaky, balanced or being through) and give them different multipliers based on skills and equipment related to each choice (or maybe automatically pick the best traits/items for those possible behaviours). It currently boils down to this anyway, as those are the approaches you can strive for (and it would actually increase possibilities, giving a choice even to those that didn't pick skills related to scavenging). Right now it's simply done manually by the players, but I am quite sure that the majority goes for the "destroyer" approach (no sense in being undetected, if you can't find anything, and even when you have a high chance of loot you can get a lot of garbage, so aiming for the largest possible booty is actually the only really viable option if you try to get by that way).

Yeah, I got a lot of loot, too, I guess that's what's slowing things down. I will start destroying everything I don't find useful from now on (they would just be scavenged by my enemies anyway, which would be bad... I just have a hoarding problem when playing these kind of videogames, and even the 100000th dirty rag feels like it could be of use, sooner or later... :p).

Of course, those are just suggestions, feel free to disregard all of them. I already like your game a lot as it is, I am just naming the very few things that bug me about it. :D

Valek's picture
Valek

Yes, Dan, I think moving the mouse left to right all the time in combat is tedious. I don't use the space bar too often, because I like to kick back and relax, when playing the game. So, I often put my feet up, recline, and just have one hand on the mouse (no hand on the keyboard).

I agree with mdqp; You don't need to change the entire interface, I would just change the interface for combat, so that you don't need to click 'confirm'. As you said, you sometimes need more than one option for scavenging, and I think the interface works well for that (you're not having to go back and forth between actions and 'confirm' twenty times, like you do every time you're in combat).