Hello there traveler, welcome back. Your timing is impeccable as always, for we have a lovely new update made fresh just today!

We've certainly been keeping busy here at our magically metaphorical home of Castle PixelCount, with nary an idle hand in sight. One can even detect a bit of energy in the air, perhaps in anticipation for the first day of spring which, as it happens, is tomorrow: March 20th. It was nice having a bit of winter hibernation to focus on some background work and preparations, but we're rather looking forward to getting back to our usual pace of things.

For anyone who hasn't already heard via carrier pig, one such preparation we recently took time for was the Kynseed Roadmap. This handy map gives a detailed view of the short-term as well as a broader view of what to expect long-term. We'll be updating and adding to the map as we go and, as it happens, we've just marked a major update as complete mere minutes ago.

Let's Get Down to Business

Which brings us to today's news! The "Down to Business" update is out and ready for perusal.

This update includes our first batch of basic shop ownership mechanics and essentially lays a good deal of code foundation for shop related gameplay to come. We've focused specifically on the blacksmith shop for now, but a few updates from now we'll begin fleshing things out further. Things like staff management, business rep impact, customer variety/personality, constant balancing, and of course other ownable shop types. (In fact, if you check out the roadmap, you'll see that running the Goods Store is just a few updates away!)

Though for now, we'll be spending the next few days sorting through all the feedback and sending out any piping hotfixes that might be needed, fresh from the oven. Then starting next week we'll begin work on the "Gnome Pun Intended" update. This'll be more of a content focused update, including a brand new Fae region called Tir Na Nog, a new minigame called "Squeal or No Squeal", a Tinker shop, and even a return trip to Mr Fairweather - among other things.

For each of these updates (and especially for today's), we'll rely on your feedback and reactions. You've probably heard us mention incessantly that we're a small team, and that means we absolutely depend on hearing how you get on with these updates. So don't hesitate to report any bugs or general thoughts, ranging from the urgent to the trivial. We want it all.

For casual no-fuss bug reporting, you can drop them into the PixelCount Discord bug channel. For traditional bug reporting, or for bugs requiring a bit of explanation or screenshots, there's our bug report forum and Bugs@Kynseed.com. Dealer's choice.

Though for now, let's dive into the highlights from today's update! Give that scrollbar a tickle and read on below.

Own the Blacksmith Shop
  • Purchase the blacksmith shop by interacting with its ledger
  • Interact with the sign to open and close the shop
  • Use the ledger to manage the shop, check on profits, rename your shop, and so on
  • This update is for our initial batch of shop owning mechanics, with more to come in future updates
  • (The shop running tutorial is fairly basic for this first pass, so don't hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or need help)

Fulfill Customer Orders
  • Create, sell, and recycle blacksmith goods
  • Store crafted items in a shop cabinet
  • Greet customers at the counter before they get tired of waiting
  • Choose to either accept or refuse their order
  • If busy blacksmithing in the other room, you can tell customers to hang on to get a bit of extra time before they get impatient
  • All balancing (prices, rep, etc.) is first pass and will undergo numerous tweaks over development

Hire Staff to Run the Counter
  • Locals can be hired to run the counter for you
  • Use the ledger to see available locals, hire them, set wages, or fire them
  • Some staff will have better traits than others
  • More in-depth staff management to come just a few updates from now

New Fairweather Items
  • Trough (to assist with pig-related chores)
  • Rootways (a magical way to get around)
  • Home Sweet Home (keeps your farm close)

Other Additions
  • Updated art for growables
  • NPC chat/favour improvements based on feedback
  • Some new books
  • Put new common fish in
  • Snow in winter
  • Dandelions can now be picked up for later uses
  • Highlight effect added around majority of gatherables
  • Plus some fixes, optimizations, and background work (see below)
  • For a complete look at all changes, check out the full changelog

At its heart, Kynseed is a sandbox world. That's why we're pretty excited about this update, as it represents the first major set of mechanics to flesh out the variety of activities you can undertake. It won't be long before you'll be owning a handful of shops all across the land of Quill. Run a successful enough business and you'll surely become well known in your field (other than the ones you farm, of course).

Lastly, for those of you keen to follow the minutia of our game development journey, we do regularly released progress reports called The PixelCount Post - such as this recent example. Each issue contains personally written entries from the team where we talk about progress made that week and other interesting tales of development. You can look for these to get posted regularly in all our usual spots (many of which are linked below).

Thank you all for keeping us company during our winter hibernations and we look forward to seeing you again soon in Tir Na Nog!


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