Dev Blog #75 – Something Old, Something New

Greetings everyone!

Contrary to the last couple devblogs, today’s post is going to be a little more succinct. I have some more info to share to on Update 6.1.3’s content blocks introduced last week, and the not-so-new systems tying them together, and I’ll also be touching on the upcoming Backer Build that will be releasing very soon!

Future of Interactive Events

Interactive events, the events wherein you interact with a single NPC and select a series of actions with the hope of *ahem* finishing the scene, have been in the game for some time now. They are, in essence, a minigame, where you start the game with a set amount of Stamina and try to achieve a goal before that stamina runs out.

The system, though fun and *ahem* engaging as it was, was not without its problems. The biggest of which was that no matter how templating I tried to do beforehand, the creation of one of these scenes was a complete slog. It’s the reason that there are only four of these scenes in the game, still, actually. Additionally, from a player’s standpoint, there were a lot of mechanics that kind of just didn’t work. The Stamina system led to some awkward moments that, when you think about it, were hilarious and completely nonsensical.

As I was writing the various content blocks for Penny, which you can read all about in last week’s devblog, I had found I’d written myself into a bit of a corner. I was trying to eschew mechanical updates altogether, and in doing so wound up in a position where I’d be stuck if not for expediting the development of mechanics planned for the future.

To put it into simpler terms, the Arousal Meter is back.

Scenes can be generated a number of ways, including isolated one-off actions to occur during normal scenes, or, kicking off looping interactive events on the fly. We’re gonna talk about the latter for now.

This post is already getting longer than I said it was going to be, so I’ll just break it down to bullet points.

  • Interactive Events no longer use Stamina, but rather are restricted by a set number of turns
  • Every turn, you’ll be able to select an action based on your preferences, or allow your partner to choose
  • The event ends when either the turn counter reaches zero, or you manually end the event
  • Both you and your partner have arousal bars which fill independently of each other
  • When the event ends, the ending you get depends on whose bars are filled
  • The rate that bars fill at is based on the characters’ preferences of the current action, as well as passive traits
  • Stamina will be re-purposed to act as a “currency” to initiate these scenes, and will refill daily

And that’s basically it! This system will replace the existing Interactive Events in time, and also allows the events to occur in more places, more naturally. The system is currently fully functional in Dev Builds, and will be playable in the upcoming Backer Build as well. Expansion of this system will occur naturally with the expansion of content blocks, as they’re all tied together.

Stamina will be lowered to a starting value of three, and scenes that require Stamina will be labeled as such in game. Initiating an interactive event will cost one Stamina Point, and the primary way to refill your Stamina will simply be to sleep. As it is now, you’ll be able to increase your maximum Stamina as well. Stamina revisions will be introduced at a later time.

What Are You Trying to Say?

Update 6.1.3 will be introducing a lot of new dynamic dialogue for Penny. That is, the things she’ll say at various points in the game will better represent the state of her character. In addition, this update will also see the initial rollout of player dialogue prompts!

At various points in the story, you’ll start to see new dialogue choices pop up for the player, complete with a new UI!

These are low-impact yet frequent prompts that serve to give the player a little more agency, while also allowing for some fun alternative dialogue. In Update 6.1.3 you’ll see these appearing at major story nodes, and they’ll continue to be expanded to wherever it makes sense.

Backer Build – Update 6.1.210

Let’s cut to the chase – The plan is for Update 6.1.210 to release to backers tomorrow morning!

It will include the 6.1.3 complete version of Penny’s content blocks, primarily viewable when you choose to “Spend Time With Penny” in the lab. You’ll get to experience the new Interactive Event system detailed above, as well as having a chance to see early implementation of the new UI refresh and player dialogue options.

This build will be a backer exclusive release, with the completed Update 6.1.3 releasing to everyone next month and including a much more complete update. Patch notes will release tomorrow as well.

That’s it for this week! It took a bit of doing but the end of the 6.1 update cycle looms on the horizon and John stands ready in the distance. As always, thank you all for your continued feedback and support!

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