DevBlog #26: Plenty of progress
Welcome once again to WalkScape development blog!
Note: If you’re trying to log-in into Portal using Firefox browser, it might not work. There’s an on-going issue with Firefox. Using a different browser will work.
Now that we're getting closer and closer to WalkScape's much anticipated closed beta, I'll keep updating the list that clearly indicates how much work there is left to do, while also showing some other interesting things that have happened.
Splash/concept art created by Sorgo for Jarvonia’s religious capital, Azurazera
Closed Beta To-Dos
So let's begin! Here is the updated to-do list!
The updated to-do list
As you can see, we've made significant progress in the last two weeks. We have added a lot of content and completed cloud saving, character creation, and made progress on NPC shops. Additionally, we have added the ability to create more than one character.
I have also added two new items to the list. These items were originally part of the "other minor features," but I separated them to make it clearer.
With the recent progress, we plan to start adding and getting the game approved on Google Play and AppStore in the next two weeks. Although the game is not ready yet, the review process and setting up the store pages will take some time, so we want to start early. The game will be downloadable for everyone, but only those with a beta invite will be able to authenticate and access the game.
For the next development blog, you can expect more content to be completed. We should also have item banking and NPC shops completed, and make progress on some of the minor features.
NPC Shops part 2
Another feature that has made significant progress is the NPC shops. We have been working on the buying and selling mechanism, although I wasn't able to complete it entirely for this development blog. This also means that money has been (finally) added to the game.
Temple of Azurazera is considered the holiest site for Jarvonians to visit
In order to make the shops more interesting, we have implemented a few design choices:
- Some NPC shops offer higher or lower prices for certain types of items compared to the usual rates.
- NPC shops have a limited supply of items. This supply is specific to each player and is not shared server-wide. The shops are updated at 12:00 UTC+0. Please note that an online connection is required for the shops to update. However, in offline game mode, a connection is not necessary.
- Certain shops will provide discounts and offer special items at specific times. For example, farming shops may sell seasonal goods based on real-world time, and so on.
With these features, we believe that the shops have become much more interesting than simple stores with infinite supplies.
Frosthook Emporium is the place to go for purchasing your fishing supplies in Jarvonia
As always, we are open to hearing more ideas for NPC shops and buildings! The next development blog will include screenshots of the completed buy and sell mechanism.
Some minor features that were implemented
We also made several minor implementations over the past two weeks, which I will briefly cover here.
1. World map pathing
During my stream on W Love Games, I was asked to include path visualization that goes beyond straight lines between locations. Initially, I thought it would be too much work, but I was mistaken.
After implementing a new system for routes, I realized that I could create a special tool in the development tools for drawing paths. As a result, the paths in the game now appear more realistic. The character follows these paths on the map, allowing you to see your character actually walking on the roads, and so on.
The new routing system improves the visualization of connections between elements on the map, making it appear more natural.
2. Improvements to Dev Tools
We have introduced sorting, filtering, search, and copying features to the dev tools. This allows for faster creation of content and provides a quick overview of the balance through the use of filtering and sorting.
Dev tools now include handy tools to help me create content even faster
3. New server
We have also set up a new server for the game that is more capable of handling increasingly complex tasks. This was necessary primarily for cloud saving and NPC shops. The WalkScape Portal will gradually transition to using the new server instead of the old one.
4. Content additions
Furthermore, as discussed in the last development blog, a significant amount of new content has been added to the game. This includes dozens of new items, new crafting recipes, new activities, some new locations, and more.
Recipes to smelt some bars in-game
5. Cloud saving
Cloud saving has been implemented in the game. During the implementation, I realized that adding multiple character support is not as difficult as I initially thought. As a result, I enabled the creation of multiple characters even for the initial version of closed beta.
At first, the idea of having multiple characters may seem unnecessary. After all, the game takes a significant amount of time to complete, especially in the full release. Why would anyone want to create multiple characters?
The main reason for having multiple characters is to experience different game modes. For example, you can have one character for the ironman mode and another character for online play. Additionally, in games like these, some players enjoy creating challenge characters. They might attempt to complete as much of the game within a month using a fresh character, or they might limit themselves to a specific region in the game. Having the ability to create multiple characters also means that you don't need to purchase multiple subscriptions for more than one online character.
Testing character definitely represents the actual number of steps I take
Portal Updates Before Closed Beta
As a final step, we have been planning a new feature for quite some time now, and it should be released before the closed beta.
And what is this feature? Well, it's polls.
At first glance, polls might seem a bit boring as a feature. However, our intention here is to draw inspiration from other games, where tough game design choices and game direction will be determined through polls. You can also find these polls in the game itself and vote there, or on the WalkScape Portal.
The first use of these polls will be to prioritize the implementation of the next features after the closed beta is released. We believe that you, as players, will have the best understanding of what feels like it's missing from the game, and we will work based on what most people feel should be added.
There are also a few other things that are currently being worked on, but we will provide more details on those at a later time!
Until next time
We are working hard to release the game before the end of the year. Hopefully, you can see the massive progress we have made in the past two weeks. In a few more weeks, we hope to reach a point where we can release it on app stores.
Stay safe, and keep walking! See you again in two weeks ❤️
Amazing progress. Keep it up. We are getting closer!
The hype train is building
Cant wait and nice communication concept about the progress!
That sounds great. Hype 😂👍👍👍 And thanks for all your effort.
Great to see the final touches for the closed beta coming in, sad that I don't get to join it but just makes me super excited for open beta if it already looks this good.
Have to give massive props for the noticeable improvements when it comes to the artwork, seems like the new intern is producing quality work and mx's pixel art has improved a lot (especially love the fishing shop!).
Also might I suggest for polls, especially for the one about the features required for open beta, to make sure to keep track of voters' status regarding whether they have access to the closed beta or not and how much they have played. Those votes should weigh more than the others, because they will have hands-on experience.
Love yall and the incredible work you're doing!
@SmellyAlex: the closed beta will have more waves of new players coming into that. If you didn't make it to the first wave, it doesn't mean that you couldn't get access later down the road!
And thanks for the great feedback. The stuff you said about voting weights makes a lot of sense. I think we could implement a function for us to see weighted results, where voter's closed beta status and their in-game progress (total steps basically), could be taken into account. This weighted info would not probably be publicly visible, as it's a bit demanding to calculate and update for everyone.
And I agree that our art has been getting better and better! Sorgo (the intern) is still getting warmed up and we'll keep teaching her, but the work is already very impressive. And maxchill's isometric building interiors + world map work has been superb, and now the whole game feels very cohesive art wise.
Quick question @schamppu, are steps shared across multiple characters?🏃🏼♂️💨
Towards the end I see this sentence: "We are working hard to release the game before the end of the year."
Does this mean a full release or the closed-beta release?
@Spectrah, they reffer to the closed-beta.
Great Devlog, excited to see all the progress!
Also @Bo_Brussen from the image and joke in the devlog it seems to me like characters have separate walking counters, but hopefully Schampuu can clarify!
Keep up the great work; getting hyped for the Beta release!!! Plz don't sleep on Firefox, I know you have other priorities, but +1 for supporting open browsers! :-)
@Bo_Brussen @Ryan: each character gains steps separately, meaning you can only contribute steps towards one character at a time. Otherwise the system would be very confusing, and lead into some unwanted situations.
@z3cka: We are already working on a solution. If that doesn't work, when WalkScape Portal is converted to use our new server it should at least start working.
@Spectrah: Closed-beta release! Full release is still far in the distance.
@z3cka : yeah I'm a huge defender of having multiple browsers (monopoly is bad). Unfortunately a recent update in Firefox broke the login functionality, for quite obscure reasons. I'm currently abroad, and sick, but I'll try investigating the problem once I'm healed and back home. At worst, as schamppu said, Firefox support will come back when we fully switch to our new backend system :)