Greasy Food, Encounter Fixes, and Video Streams
I finished up the encounter item art I mentioned yesterday. Behold, baskets of greasy food!
These are the food options at a new urban location, with a slightly different vibe than The Red Gnome. Whereas The Red Gnome is one of the few places left that serves real soul food in the DMC, this location specializes in easier-to-obtain foods. Things that grow easily in vertical farms via hydroponics/aeroponics, like cabbage, soy, and sprouts. Or things which can be manufactured without farmland, like donair meat.
There may also be a "special" on the menu :)
With those items done, I went about hooking them and other encounter choices up to the editor. Branching conversations, bypassing obstacles, and making decisions all require items be provided to choose from.
I've started testing the various paths, bug fixing along the way. But I'm going to need more time to test all the permutations.
While I was at it, though, I also did some reorganizing on the starting encounter. I cleaned up the structure to be easier to maintain in the editor (using a hub and spoke structure to allow the player to examine each clue, rather than many-to-many connectors). I also found a few instances where the image or text didn't match what happened (e.g. showing/mentioning the dogman when the door was closed before Philip saw it)
And I also noticed and fixed a bug in the cryo facility when revisiting it, which prevents visiting the bank later.
Apart from encounter work, I also stumbled across a new YouTuber/Twitch streamer today. Mathas did a YouTube video this morning, and as always, it was very educational to watch. Hard to believe that I considered myself a UI expert once :O
While I was watching that, I noticed that he subsequently started a NEO Scavenger Twitch.tv stream, so I popped by for a while. And also as usual, it was good to interact with both the host(s) and players. Kind of like a chance for visitors to read developer commentary and "ask-me-anything" while the host plays.
Also, I say "host(s)" because his channel was brimming with colleagues of his, including several other big streamers. In fact, even Lemmy from Project Zomboid stopped by! Quite the post-apocalyptic party going on in there :)
I've been getting pretty lucky lately, with PR ramping up despite my feeble efforts. I'm very thankful for the positive reception and spreading popularity, as awareness is usually the biggest barrier for indies.
Plus, with Steam Early Access looming near (t-minus 40 hours?), we may be in for some interesting days ahead. I'll have to set aside some "offline time" each day to make sure development momentum doesn't get clobbered.
Again, though, I don't think I could've asked for better results so far. I seem to have hit a niche that was underserved at just the right time. Despite NEO Scavenger's clunky UI, bugs, and other shortcomings, it's something many say they've been waiting for.
With any luck, there are many more players like us on Steam, and enough to help me continue making games like this for a long time to come!