ISSUE #68                              THE VALE, QUILL                              29 SEPTEMBER, 2019                              ONE BRASS

The Short Report

Last week we pushed out the "In-Between" update. For those reading these weekly dev logs, you'll know that this update was a slight detour from our intended roadmap destination. Instead, we went back and polished up some existing features before pressing onward into new update territory. This resulted in a sort of 'in-between' update, though we still managed to pack in quite a few new bits whilst polishing old bobs. So head on over and read the update announcement for all the details.

Since pushing out the update, the team spent the remaining time last week focused mainly on two things: addressing feedback/bugs for the update and planning out details for the relationship update. For the latter, something we've been considering is releasing smaller incremental updates as we work towards the bigger 'named' updates (aka, the ones specifically listed on the roadmap). So rather than waiting for only the big updates, there'd instead be a more consistent flow of smaller updates that will lead up to the big updates. We're still working out the exact timing we want to commit to, but think something along the lines of monthly updates, with our development branches being more frequent than that even. Alongside each update we'd share a changelog like usual, plus a brief progress report on how the next bigger update is coming along and how development is going in general.

No doubt one of the benefits of being a small team is the freedom to be agile and make small course adjustments like this as we go. The first few days of this next week we'll pin down specifics on the above as well as put together our final plans for the relationship update. By Wednesday we'll be kicking off work on the relationship update proper, and we look forward to letting you know how it all goes when we talk again next week!

A Score of Lore

Rather than fill in another 'I worked on the same stuff as last week' post, I thought I would share out some lore, facts, and such from in the game. So here are 6 Goddesses that watch over Quill. These are:

Druida - Goddess of Orchards
Naida - Goddess of Fertility
Freyl - Goddess of Fields
Morwenna - Goddess of Beasts
Hyalis - Goddess of Death and Rebirth
Aurore - Goddess of Seasons

There are also 2 other deities that are revered: Solnir (God of the Sun), and Luminos (God of the Moon). Additionally, the days of the week in Quill are:


Each of these days will eventually affect certain actions done on those days. (Crops have a better chance of having an extra star when harvested on Freylsday, for example). There are also 4 Fae realms accessible from Quill, which are:

Tir Na Nog - Home of Gnomes and Fairies
E'ergreen - Home of Dryads, Mossmen, Pucks, and Green Children
Briar - Home of Fel (hare and fox tricksters/shape-changers)
Voide - Home of the Shimmerkyn

That's it for now! More next week, unless the ransom is paid.

In-Between the In-Between

A continued theme of odd weeks following last week's eventual completion of the recent "In-Between" update! Releasing an update tends to be a rather busy time with game development (or at least it is with our style of development which is to be working on it until the last hour or so before release). Trying to finish any last minute improvements while fixing bugs and in some ways hoping and praying that any changes will not create new issues that slip past testing due to a much tighter window 'til the release. We are, I hope, getting better at this with practice and trying to adjust based on learnings from update release to release!

With the update released, there's then the nervous anticipation of what reactions will be. Will it all be good or will something not work? Will there be a blocking crash? Will players be happy with changes or prefer the old version? It's a scary and exciting situation to be in because the possibilities are endless and you can never be quite sure what will pop up. Nor when it will pop up, because sometimes you might catch players at the right time to try an update but other times (like perhaps now) there's so many new games appearing that trying an update for our game might be lower down the priority list of some players.

Then once the aftermath of the release is done and any immediate issues get fixed, then attention starts turning to the next update and starting the cycle all over again. I've been trying to use these moments as a point for a bit of more reflection lately. Moving back from the details and figuring out what went right or could go better next time is a very valuable piece of information that oftentimes gets a bit lost in the flow of whatever that next urgent pressing task is. I think what we're coming round to is looking at ways to have more consistency in our process, to find ways that control this cycle a bit better when previously we've let it be dictated by the size of the roadmap update. By focusing more on delivering updates at a consistent pace in time, then we have more opportunities to release fixes to issues as we go and more times where we can reflect and adjust our aim as necessary.

I dunno if the above makes that much sense or not from an outsider perspective and, in a way, I'm writing it to try and understand more myself! I guess I'm just trying to share how releasing an update feels and how the feeling comes up of wanting to continuously improve based on it. With this game there is lots more to learn right now because there is lots more of it to make! So with that in mind, I'll leave it here for now to get back to that work and wish you all a good week!

The Weight of Waiting

The relationship update is coming next! I have tracks waiting in secret aching to become part of the public build. Tracks I've been wanting to show you all that can now finally be implemented! I see goals listed on our Trello board (aka, our task manager) referring to the regions I've written for already and I get all excited!

It doesn't happen often for me that I have to keep work secret for a long time. It's quite a grueling experience to be honest! Once I've finished a track, or often even long before that, I want to share it with everyone! I want to get feedback on it and to know what people think of it! But often now I have tracks sitting on my hard drive for quite some time before most people ever hear them.

So if in the future you're running through a place called Mellowbrook, or the Whispering Path, or Outlane, and many more, you'll know that the music there has been waiting patiently to be heard. And right then and there it finally gets to do what it was made to do: to reach you, and possibly affect you. Which I hope it does!

Catching up on Catching Up

I spent the majority of last week getting caught up on all manner of things that had been piling up. One was getting these issues of The Post current, as we'd developed a backlog of issues that needed posting due to changes around the Steam site (which I share more info on in the last issue). The short version is that the new Steam site has a different way of formatting news text and images, so I had to reformat the text I'd been using for these issues as well as all the theming images I use. Thankfully by Tuesday I had gotten all caught up on that.

The next thing I had to prepare was the announcement for the "In-Between" update to get pushed out on Wednesday. These are generally quick to write up, but they still require a handful of images and GIF's to give them some flavour - all of which take a bit of time to make, of course. Plus, I have to format the announcement three different ways as I post it on three different platforms (our forums, our Steam news page, and Kickstarter). That doesn't include all the supplementary places I post as well, such as our Twitter or our Discord.

Remainder of the week (Thursday and Friday) was spent taking in feedback on the update and forming next plans with the team (the latter of which is mentioned more in The Short Report above). All said, it feels good to have gotten caught up on those and other tasks that had been piling up. This'll give me a slightly clearer schedule for this upcoming week when we kick things off with a more frequent incremental update release schedule as well as beginining exlusive work on the relationship update, which I imagine I'm probably looking forward to just as much as the rest of you! Drop by again next week and I'm sure we'll be happy to ramble all about how it goes.

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