ISSUE #82                              THE VALE, QUILL                              9 AUGUST, 2020                              ONE BRASS

The Short Report

Hello again and welcome to yet another issue of our dev log in which a few of us check in to tell you how things are progressing along. The past couple of weeks have been spent tending to some business-ey odds and ends as well as making some needed improvements to the beginning bits of the game.

Work has also been coming along in regards to better connecting the player with NPC's as well as our ever-continuing task of adding more aging characters to the world. We also revealed a new character that we'll be adding to the game in some future update, which you can take a gander at below. Though to keep within the spirit of these short reports being short, we'll let the individual dev logs below get into all the details. Thanks for reading and playing and we'll see you again soon!

Recipe for Improvements

(Lead Designer)

Been a strange few weeks with business distractions and an emphasis on planning. I also got whacked by a painful toothache and some sort of bug (nothing viral thankfully) that put me out of action for a few days.

Work-wise, we had some discussions to make the start of the game better. Currently it doesn't really set up the story or world, has little excitement, and the first tasks are boring. We went away and brainstormed and now have a new start that doesn't deviate wildly - you still wake up and meet your sibling, etc. We designed a little section before you wake that is very interesting and the whole first day or two are much better for it (though this is all yet to be put ingame).

Additionally, I changed the start area to be a little wider and a bit prettier so you get to run through more lavender. Mr Weekes (our environment artist) and I are also sorting out the recipes and we'll be putting some of them in the shops, some with Hubbard, some in family chests, and some in houses (though they will need permissions to gain). There are quite a few new recipes and hopefully most will be useful as we continue to get effects in.

Neal and I also discussed visual variety in the levels so I will be looking at easy wins I'm tempted to tweak the layout of Burial Grounds and Cuckoo Wood, which are a bit messy in places. Evergreen to finish first though!

Exciting times are ahead and we will of course share any news as soon as we get it. Stay safe!

Minding One's Business


The last few weeks have passed by in a bit of a blur. Intentions of dialogue work were put aside as some pressing needs occurred for a business focus that meant writing some documents, investigating various options, and putting together some exciting plans. It was funny how much writing the documents reminded me of writing reports for school with some nostalgia given how long has passed since having to work on that kind of info. At the moment can't really say anymore details about what it was for as it is an ongoing bunch of work at the moment that has yet to be finalised, but it is exciting for the future of the game.

Though I can say some of the plans were about gauging all the remaining work for the full launch version of the game and putting together some estimates of how that might pan out. In doing so I was struck again by how hard it is to estimate these things between not really knowing how long anything will take and the way that the estimates often come out based on the expectation of 100% efficiency from start to finish. I tried a few different approaches to the plan but am still not entirely satisfied with it - feels like a case where the available tools could be better. The plans will be something we can share more on with the finalising of business.

Now that the business focus has reduced somewhat, things are ramping back up on game progress. The break probably did me a bit of good as I've found it a bit easy to get lost in the details and now coming back to it fresh I can see ways to conclude some outstanding work and allow me to move along for everyone's benefit onto the remaining new areas.

Recently I've added NPC letter gifts as an initial step towards more NPC connection with the player. These should be getting some more improvements in the coming days to be more flexible for use. I've also spent some time setting up all the aging characters for the Vale and Summerdown as a small further step toward aging work. Next up I've got remaining item setup work to do plus dialogue and NPC stories to start looking into, so plenty to go on in addition to picking away at business ends! 'Til next time, wishing everyone all the best!

What the Stats Dragged In

(Production Manager)

Due to a small mountain of tasks I'm chipping away at I'll be keeping my update this week short but sweet, like a haiku to your crush. It's sometimes easy to forget that our little venture here is, by all accounts, a small business. So every now and then we find ourselves having to catch up on business-related odds and ends. This helps us keep the gears of this development machine well oiled but also helps us adequately plan for the future.

Between all that we have still kept ourselves busy with game-related progress as well of course. (Which my cohorts talk a bit about above.) On my end, my hands have still been busy with some community related tasks such as wrapping up that player survey I recently discussed - namely on sorting and organizing the final results. Our next dev log I'll probably give a brief look at some of the survey's stats, for those interested.

In other news, I've been getting various parts of our website and community channels updated on the back end servers, which can sometimes make for rather unexciting work from the outside but is still a necessary and important part of having an online presence such as ours. Additionally, Discord has recently made deeper server analytics available and I've been having a fair bit of fun going through it all and seeing what insights they may hold for how our team and our players use that particular corner of our community.

Perhaps I'll also piggyback a few of our Discord stats onto the survey stats the next time we talk. Until then, take care of yourselves and each other. Cheers!

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