New Major Patch: Early Access 0.55.0!
Hello hello! Are you all having a good new year so far? Has anyone abandoned (or maybe completed?!) their resolutions yet?
My 2020 has thus far been full of snow and sickness, though thankfully both gradually disappeared earlier this week.
I'm very excited to release update v.0.55 - aka the first update of the year! It's a real big one this time, so I've decided to make this update a bit more fleshed out than usual.
The march to v1.00 gets ever closer! Thanks for stickin' with me.
A number of new relationship systems have been added to the game. This is to make building friendships with villagers more interesting and consist of more than just talking to them until their hearts increased to max.
The two primary features are social networks and Lockhearts.
- A behind-the-scenes "social network" feature allows for your interactions with villagers to influence other villagers related to them
- Villagers now have relationship values with each other as well as the player
- You can now negatively impact your friendship with a villager with actions they dislike
- Several villagers now have Lockhearts that prevent your friendship from deepening until they're cleared
- (Note that many methods for unlocking Lockhearts are not yet available)
- Relationship values have been rebalanced
- New dialogue has been added for every villager, especially for higher friendship values
- New visitors have been added
Players now earn experience as they perform hobby actions. Experience is earned on a per-hobby basis; this means that fishing makes you better at fishing but it won't make you better at growing mushrooms (like in real life!)
I had hoped to also add ability trees but ran out of time. You can still gain experience and ranks in each hobby, but for now it's mostly superficial.
- Players now earn XP and rank up their skills based on their actions
- Stamina has been re-balanced - generally, most actions require more stamina than before
- Stamina restoration from food has been increased
- Lowered sickness chance
- Added a number of new dialogue interactions related to your experience and hobby rankings
Art & Graphical Improvements
My never-ending war on art rages on unabated. This time I tried to focus on colors and interiors.
Beyond improving the look of the overall game, the main goal has been to reduce the overall number of colors to make things feel more consistent.
I also added a huge amount of new furniture and decorations to give rooms more interesting and completed looks. Houses are still a bit generic, but it's improving quite significantly.
This will be continue to be a constant point of emphasis leading into the final release later this year.
- A number of trees have received seasonal sprite changes
- The spring tileset is overall more spring-like
- The summer tileset is now more saturated and colorful
- Colors in general should skew more pastel
- Lighting has been adjusted in a number of spots
- Adjusted a number of bad shadows
- Added tons and tons of new furniture items and decorations
- Color and dimensions of more furniture items have been standardized
Improving the UI is as important as improving the overall art of the game. I've made a series of small but important changes this release.
- Most notifications now appear as a proper UI element on the side of the screen instead of over your head
- Notifications now persist between screens
- The opacity of several UI elements has been adjusted so it's easier to read
- A few areas of text aliasing have been removed
- The End of Day screen has been reworked and should flow a bit nicer
- IMPORTANT: The game is not saved until it tells you the save is complete, so don't close out until you see that!!
- Certain text and phrases have been standardized
General New Stuff
For this update I tried to break out each major feature into its own category. These are items that are still important but don't otherwise fit anywhere.
- Added a number of new "flavor" creatures throughout the world
- Fish health bars now reflect their remaining HP (before it would decrease at a set value)
- Added a number of few fish, treasures, and critters to collect
- Added a number of new forage items (herbs and flowers)
- Flavor creatures now have more complex behavior
- A number of villagers without homes are no longer homeless
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) the majority of work I've done in the past few weeks has been under-the-hood type of stuff. It's not glamorous or even interesting work, but it's necessarily to set a strong foundation in order to launch v1.0 later this year.
The more immediate upside to this is that I've surely (though inadvertently) fixed a number of bugs, performance issues, and other technical snags in the process.
- Fixed a rare crash related to thunderstorms and blizzard weather types
- Fixed rare crash related to selling some usable items (like food or medicine)
- Fixed a large number of collision issues, particularly with interior furniture items
- Fixed performance issues for lower end Mac and Linux platforms
- Improve randomization elements
- By request, I've added a new feature to Three Wall Island that lets you enable Dev Mode
- (Dev Mode) Press Page Up while in Dev Mode to advance time
- (Dev Mode) Press Page Down while in Dev Mode to advance season
- (Dev Mode) Press F2 while in Dev Mode to bring up debug teleport
- Added a message to the Three Wall Island raft to make it less abrupt
- Steam icon now links to forums, not the Store page
- Fixed camera weirdness when trying to cast your rod
- Fixed a few issues with Glimmer collision and layering while in the mail room
- Fixed several embarrassing typos
- Cleaned up a huge number of other bugs I didn't bother to document because I am a bad developer
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