🌱 Dev Update: A Vegetable Patch
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  1. #1
    Matt's Avatar

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    June 24th, 2016
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    Los Angeles, California
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    🌱 Dev Update: A Vegetable Patch

     




    Hello there and welcome to another monthly progress report, sent straight your way by our castle's most trusted carrier pigs.

    Due to the world recently going topsy turvy, we got about a week behind in getting this month's written progress report to you all (but thankfully the update/changelog itself was already pushed out earlier this month). It's been a crazy world out there in this pre-Quillian era, but our little team here has been managing alright with fairly minimal disruption. For now, we've locked ourselves away in Castle PixelCount and bolted all the doors.

    In the midst of it all, a few of us on the team have taken to discussing what our "desert island top 5" games, movies, and records would be. (Though personally, if I was on a desert island, the only record I'd want is for long distance swimming.) In the meantime, we've been diligently keeping ourselves as healthy and sanitized as we can. We hope you all are faring alright as well. Fortunately, the only health concern of mine lately has been randomly getting hiccups. I'm hoping for a cure, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Unsurprisingly, it seems all these recent events have left many folks with a lot of sudden time on their hands. Of course there's many entertainment options these days, such as Castle PixelCount's favourite DIY TV programme starring Count Dracula giving his castle a revamp. Or our favorite never-actually-released Netflix show: You're British, I'm British, My Son's British. Though thankfully, to truly help us pass the time, we still have a whole game left to make! Let's just hope the world returns to normalcy at a faster rate than your average Early Access developer.





    As for the update itself, this one serves as another incremental step towards implementing things like the relationship mechanics as well as our gradual rollout of aging for all our NPC's. Yet we also want to make sure that adding to the game's map is done in relative tandem with adding to the game's mechanics. So for this month's update, we've included a nice handful of new regions as part of a haven called Mellowfields.

    Mellowfields is a peaceful little part of the map to visit where you'll find big gardens and small townsfolk. Almost everywhere you look you'll see lovely (and large) things growing. Though it is important to note that this is just our first implementation of these regions, as there's still quite a bit more we have left to do with them. Regions take a lot of work to make, which is why we typically approach the addition of new regions as a multi-update process. This update takes care of our first step, which is to simply add the physical people and places into the game world.

    That means things like: making the initial level designs themselves, adding those designs into our engine piece by piece, adding in the new art, adding in layers for things like where the player/characters can walk, adding in all the NPC's and their sim/schedule behaviour, adding new items/collectibles, writing dialogue for the new NPC's, writing music for the new regions and shops, and then connecting the new regions to the rest of the world map. So this update includes all these first steps, but rest assured there's still much more to come with Mellowfields (and other havens too, like Summerdown).

    Of course, we worked on far more than just Mellowfields this update, ranging from adding new things (like picking a spirit during the wedding ceremony) to improving existing things (like new art for farm growables). There was also quite a bit of behind the scenes system and engine work done, which by their nature aren't always visible on the surface of these updates.

    So read on below for the highlights and, as always, hit that link at the bottom for the full changelog.






    Changelog Highlights

    Below is a general overview of noteworthy items this update includes. As usual, these are just a few selections from the full list of changes made, so be sure to drop by the full changelog to see the proper list. Lastly, for any of you players who enjoy getting more frequent yet experimental updates of ours, you might be interested in checking out our development branches.

    New Haven: Mellowfields
    Welcome to Mellowfields, our initial implementation of a new farming haven in Quill! This haven includes:
    • New character and environment art.
    • Quirky new NPC's.
    • A glimpse of the Master Gardener (though gardening skills are intended for a future update).
    • New lovely music for regions and shops.
    • Sheep, a new animal type! Currently they're for riding only, but don't have a broader purpose (yet).
    • Plus some new items of different kinds. Some can be found around the world, some can be grown as crops, and some can be bought from the Goods Store...including a new item to spice up married life. (As it happens, we've lately been spending a lot of design time on the importance of items and their purposes in the game. Our next update is intended to get as far as we can on that.)

    Status Info Screen
    This is our first pass of a new Status Info screen, available via "Back" button on controller or "L" on keyboard (by default). This gives player's access to info like active buffs from food, Goddess effects, and partner info if you're married.

    Marriage Spirits
    No, we don't mean liquor. The marriage cutscene now includes an interactive section where you pick a spirit which gives a bonus to stats for both the player and their partner. (For existing marriages prior to this version, a random one is currently assigned.)

    Billy & Milly Aging
    As part of our gradual rollout of NPC aging, Billy and Milly can now grow into adults.

    New Dialogue, Interact Range Tweaks, & Other Fixes
    In addition to the new stuff, we've also done quite a bit of polish and quality of life improvements for the gameplay experience. We've also hopefully resolved several reported problems as well. As always, we'll continue to sort through your feedback/bugs and push out hotfixes when necessary (as well as a few experimental branch and preview branch updates over the month.)

    Full Changelog
    Jump on over to the full changelog to check out the entire list of additions and fixes.






    It's always exciting for us when we add new people and places for players to explore, so we hope you enjoy your time visiting the new locales. Don't hesitate to let us know how you get on in your community corner of choice (Discord, forums, etc.).

    Our next update will likely focus on getting in some remaining relationship features plus further improvements to the current gameplay experience (particularly in regards to overall item purpose and implementation). Then, once all the core pieces of the relationship system are in place, we'll take a step back and review the system as a whole and polish it up to a point where we're comfortable marking it off our roadmap and moving on to new milestones.

    In other news, one of our team attended DreamHack Anaheim recently and set up a floor demo of the game! This was one of our first times doing something like this and it was quite an exciting experience for us. To get a full account of how it went (with pictures), you can drop by our most recent Dev Log issue.

    Though for now, we better get back to work here in our quarantined quarters. As always, we'll have another one of these updates and progress reports ready for you next month, punctuated by our usual flow of Dev Logs in between. Stay safe out there and we'll see you all again soon!

    Love,
    PixelCount


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  2. #2

    Join Date
    August 6th, 2019
    Location
    Texas (USA)
    Posts
    11
    Loving the game so far! I'm still reserving my heart for my one true love, Ash Brown, until he finally figures out how to age (or when I can marry a child).

    Stay safe, sanitized and sane!

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