NEO Scavenger Update v1.14: Autosave! And Modding Fixes.

NEO Scavenger is now officially updated to v1.14! Since the test builds have been relatively stable, I've just finished updating the default builds to 1.14 on all sites. The "test" links are no longer necessary, and have been removed for now.

This updates the following builds:

New changes include:

  • Added optional autosave feature to save game at the beginning of each new turn.
  • Added ability to choose whether encounter map labels appear on minimap by adding =0 or =1 at end of data. If missing, assumes minimap label added.
  • Changed crowded map labels near DMC gates to be invisible on minimap, so only gates visible.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed communal barrel fires to be destroyed in extinguished fire recipe.
  • Fixed a bug in loading screen that prevented log from being added to clipboard if error in XML file.
  • Fixed a bug that misreported 0.0 charges on charged encounter items.
  • Fixed several null pointer bugs when loading save file that included content missing from currently-installed mods.
  • Fixed a null pointer bug if game tried to load recipe scrap for missing recipe.

The big change here is the new autosave feature. It'll try to save the game at the beginning of each turn so your progress is not lost in the event of a power outage, crash, or other event. It is enabled by default, and can be disabled on the options screen. Note that permadeath is still active, and your save will be deleted if your character dies.

Also, some modding enhancements made their way into this build. The loading screen logs should now be fixed in the event of bad XML format. And minimap labels can now be controlled by modders. An =0 means no label, while =1 means a label is added to the map. Default assumes a label is added.

Finally, the number of charges in an encounter item are now correctly reported, among some other null pointer fixes.

As always, if there are any issues with the new build, let me know on the forums!


ra1's picture

ShinyLoot is no longer in operation - although they are keeping the doors open for a short time to allow people to download updates.

Rovlad's picture

Did a playthrough last night, would be nice if weapons would report their effective range, like spear 1-3, bow 1-10 (20 with ranged perk) etc.

dcfedor's picture

@ra1, hm, looks like their download window may finally be closed? I'll update my docs. Thanks!

@Rovlad, the combat UI is definitely near the top of the overhaul list for the sequel. There's a lot wrong with it, and range is particularly obtuse. I'm hoping to experiment with a more 2D combat system than the current 1D (range-only).

As for reporting weapon ranges, I'll have to see if there's a way to satisfy that need without listing specs on everything. Hiding stats for combat was a deliberate choice, as I wanted folks to use intuition and experience rather than focusing on numbers. But you're right that it can be confusing without them!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

matthewgareth1's picture

This might sound weird but i kinda dislike the way you added auto saving EVERY TURN, but atleast we have an option to turn it off so thanks.

By The Way could you make it so its disabled by default


dcfedor's picture

I can understand your frustration, and that was a big reason I left it as an option. Not everyone wants the game updating the save without their say-so.

That said, a large number of players have been burned by crashes or other issues (power outage, Windows update, etc.) closing the game before they can save it. And since the game saves when you quit anyway, the autosave doesn't really change anything.

Only users who try to bypass the save&quit feature are likely to be adversely affected by this change, and they're probably advanced players who won't mind turning it off :)

(It should stay off, by the way, once you've set it. If that's not the case, let me know!)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Rovlad's picture

I can see where you're coming from, there are not that many items in the game to begin with anyway.
Could be better to leave it up to players to experiment and find what works for them.

Rovlad's picture

There should always be a way for comparing existing and potentially new equipment though. I mean, if when you pick up a new backpack, you can instantly see if it's better or worse than your current container(s), then why shouldn't it be the case with weapons? How should one guess which one is better, multitool or a monkey wrench, without going on wiki or digging through xml, or relying on combat experience (in which mistakes, and death, are quite final)?

You should definitely not put in TOO much metagame information, since the game isn't even too combat oriented (it encourages choosing your fights and running away if there's nothing to be gained from killing your opponent). There is no need to report exact amounts of damage done in combat, for instance. Range, on the other hand, is a much more useful information, plus upon seeing "spear, range 3" one can much better picture distances in combat.

It's not for NEO Scavenger (while it certainly serves as a great example), since hopefully you're more or less done with it and are moving on. It's just some thoughts you could apply to your future projects. Have a great day, Dan. :)

dcfedor's picture

I agree. One shouldn't have to exit the game to get necessary info, as it ruins immersion and is inconvenient.

I don't think I'd want to show something specific like "Range 40m," since that's the sort of info that forces min-maxing instead of role-playing. (And would be unrealistic, to boot.)

But you're right that the range difference with skilled vs. unskilled use should be made clear. And I'm hoping that whatever system I use for combat in the future will present an opportunity to show range better.

Ideally, I want people to look at wrench and a crowbar, and intuitively know the crowbar is slightly longer, offering a bit more range. Ditto for a spear vs. a crowbar.

When it comes to ranged weapons, I may even be able to use scale to imply reasonable ranges, and/or visual effects to show the projectile falling short or something. But it's definitely going to be a consideration!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Anase Skyrider's picture
Anase Skyrider

I don't know if this will be useful for NEO Scavenger, NEO Scavenger 2, or whatever other game you may be making in the future. But in looking at it from the perspective of simply the first NEO Scavenger...

Perhaps, in doing more of what you've done with other traits like 'Medic' and 'Botany', add a basic vs. detailed description system for weapons and their ranges, which can only be expanded upon into more detail with additional traits. The basic idea, of course, would be incredibly broad-brush descriptions like "Short-Range, Medium-Range, Long-Range" for the basic descriptions. This wouldn't reveal that, for example, fists have a 0-1 meter range for attacking, while the spear has a 0-3 meter range (they could both be short-range). But it would begin to introduce the idea of weapons with different ranges, and could get the player to think about it. What items go into short, medium, and long, are up to you to figure out (if you like the idea).

If you don't want everything easily revealed at once when the details are unlocked, then let me suggest that the 'Melee' trait only reveals details about the ranges of melee weapons, while not revealing the range details on ranged weapons (like guns), and vice versa with the 'Ranged' trait. This would require the player to get both 'Melee' and 'Ranged' in order to see these details, making it more of a consumption on the part of their trait selection.

You also don't even need to necessarily give out the numbers for the ranges once the details are unlocked, and could instead opt to just give more sub-divided category names like "Short-Range", "Short-Medium-Range", "Medium-Range", etc. But a system that's anything like what I've described would, I think, fit into your game a bit, if you don't mind sacrificing a bit more of the difficulty.

That's my suggestion. I hope it was useful and worth-while. Have a good one.