New Demo and Beta Builds, and Internet Woes

Been a rough day at the office today. Internet has been in a constant state of flux since 6:30am. I managed to get a few forum posts in during the limited uptime, but for most of the day, been operating internet "dark."

The good news is that less time spent on the internet translated into more productivity! Both the beta and the demo get an update today!

Demo Updates

Normally, I don't back-port many of the new features of the beta into the demo. The demo is meant as a chance to sample the gameplay of the beta, and paying customers deserve a more fully-featured product. That said, there have been some very good usability enhancements and bug fixes made in the beta recently, many of which are the result of both demo and beta players helping to report and test bugs. Adding these changes to the free demo will hopefully make the game easier to understand and less frustrating, which I'm hoping will encourage more people to become supporters. So here's what the free demo received in today's update:

  • Fixed a bug in rifle ammo which caused it not to fit into rifles with attachments (scope, strap).
  • Fixed an item swapping bug that allowed water to be placed directly into non-waterproof containers.
  • Fixed shoes so they can be worn on either foot. (After all, you're trying hard not to die, who cares if your right foot is wearing a left shoe? It's probably not the right size anyway!)
  • Added colored messages to floaties, conditions, and message window. Also, floaties appear over the relevant creature more reliably now.
  • Made scavenging only deduct one move when complete, rather than when "Scavenge" button pressed. (Allows player to change their mind and not lose a turn)
  • Fixed bug that caused roof collapse when scavenging open fields. (Roof? What roof!?)

Beta Updates

The beta build has all of the above fixes, of course. In addition, it also had new features added, such as sneaking, more item info in tooltips, random loot with hints for some 30 crafting recipes, and these new features in today's build:

Using lockpicks while scavenging an abandoned office tower
  • All Demo updates mentioned above.
  • Lockpicks are now in the game, and increase scavenge loot chances when combined with the lockpicking skill in certain locations.
  • Lockpicks now appear in random urban scavenging loot, as well as the store on some days.
  • It's now possible to craft lockpicks using the lockpicking skill and 8 small parts.
  • Fixed an issue where the "Rest + Heal" button was colliding with the "Sneak" button.

And the beta will continue to receive updates as I work. Hopefully, this sounds reasonable to most folks. I'm doing my best to strike the right balance.

How to Play NEO Scavenger

My internet down time has also given me some time to start working on an instruction manual! Many players of both the beta and demo were confused about certain features and processes. Also, some players said that they were surprised when they realized what features they were missing after learning about them.

To help with these problems, I started writing an How to Play page for players to read and reference during play. It's not finished by a long shot, but it's a good start, and should hopefully begin to answer the many questions players have about playing NEO Scavenger. Take a look, and if there are sections you'd like to see addressed next, let me know in the forums!