Dev Blog #94 – Update 4.0 Preview

Greetings everyone!

It’s been a pretty wild couple of, what, months now? In light of everything we’re dealing with right now I thought you all might appreciate a deep dive into the upcoming major Update 4.0. This update is slated for later this year and, in addition to Chapter 4, will be introducing some huge systematic changes to the game. Several of these updates have been long requested, so I’m really excited to show off what we have in store!

We’ll kick things off by addressing some of the major shortcomings of the game, and how we intent to course-correct.

The Company – A New Perspective

As a text based adventure game, there’s a certain unavoidable “blandness” to the gameplay experience. There’s no room for flashy UI’s or bombastic special effects, and the vertical scrolling layout of the engine doesn’t lend itself well to hand drawn images or 3D renders. As such, the most logical decision was to take The Company in a different direction altogether. I’m excited to reveal…

The Company: Sophie Gaiden S – (ザー・カンパニー・エープリル・フールズ)

The Company is being fully converted over from a text adventure game to a full fledged JRPG in a modern setting. You’ll get to experience the same excited story you’ve played through a thousand times now in a vividly realized 2D world full of reimagined versions of your favorite characters.

Pretty incredible, right? We can now finally represent all the characters and locations as originally envisioned, while still maintaining the original dialogue!

Now you can all argue on Discord whether Penny should have red, blonde, or BLUE hair! But don’t think for a second that we’ll be shlubbing on The Company’s signature lewdness. Oh no! In fact, we’ll be able to portray that special element of the game even more explicitly than before using in-engine scene generation!

Hello nurse, am I right?

Of course all that’s just the tip of the iceberg, as the real purpose behind today’s dev blog is to outline the host of mechanical updates being made in 4.0. There’s a lot to go over, and I’ll go over the changes in more detail in a future devblog, so for now I’ll just let the release notes speak for themselves.

The Company – Update 4.0.0

Content Updates

  • Chapter 4 has been added to the game
    • Chapter 4 will span from November through to the beginning of Chapter 5
    • Expect deeper insights into the inner workings of The Company!
    • Focus will be on major players within The Company’s ranks, including Lenny, Craig, Annie, and the guy that comes and gets you at the beginning of Chapter 2 to see Julia
    • Major events will include Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years
    • Things will be better in Chapter 4, I mean, they have to be… Right?
  • New content will be added for Saya
    • Saya has set up a new vacation destination within your dreamscape!
    • You can visit Saya’s Island any time you go to sleep, or by using the new Water Pipe item purchasable from Ash’s dealer
    • While on the island, you can perform various tasks such as shaking trees for wasps, breaking fishing rods, and accruing crippling debt
    • It will all culminate in the promise of an ISS event with Saya after 8 years and several delays
  • Penny’s content has all been overhauled. Again
  • Tasha has been removed from the game and replaced with Aubrey
    • Aubrey is Tasha, just Aubrey instead
  • Tasha has been added to the game as the new front desk girl
    • She like the old Tasha, who is now Aubrey, only this is Tasha
  • The Brothel has been removed from the game
  • New events have been put in place to transition into the next several updates that will be focusing on Dom John
    • To clarify, this is content that involves the relationship between Dom and John
    • They’re living their lives one quarter mile at a time, and you get to be a part of it
    • Expect between 9 and 12 updates focusing on this content, contracts pending
  • New content added for all store clerks!
    • You can now return used items if you kept your receipt
    • You can now try clothing on before you buy it
    • Occasionally you’ll find slightly damaged items which you can demand to receive for 80% off, adamantly refusing to instead buy any of the perfectly fine pieces of the same item
    • You can now ask to speak to their managers
  • Do to lack of interest, futa transformation for the MC has been removed
  • Westane x Haseo content has been added
    • It will not be pleasant. You will not enjoy it.
    • It is not optional.
  • All main NPC’s now have main and side quests, each featuring several steps
    • These will all be tracked in the new Quest Tracker
    • Generally, these will be simple fetch quests, escort quests, and Magic Eye puzzles
    • All saucy interactions with the NPC’s have been moved to the end of their main questlines, which require all sidequsts be completed first
    • Expect bugs

System Updates

  • To best embrace the new JRPG direction of The Company, several system level changes are being implemented
  • Serum Crafting overhaul
    • Crafting serums is now a rhythm game
    • You’ll play through increasingly difficult stages to prepare raw materials while Penny dances in an idol costume in the background
    • Depending on the grade you received in the preceding stages, you’ll encounter a boss stage of varying difficulty
    • Defeat the boss stage and you’ll receive one serum!
  • The ISS system has been converted to a turn-based battle system
    • Every action has an element associated to it, and every companion is either resistant or receptive to different actions
    • An ATB gauge will keep the flow of interactions moving smoothly, allowing both you and your partner to take actions
    • You’ll be able to summon other NPCs depending on their relationship to both you and your partner, but let’s be honest, you’re doing this for you
    • Once your gauge is completely filled, you’ll be able to activate your Limit Break. It doesn’t do what you think it does
  • Dating system overhaul!
    • Before being able to go out on dates or day trips, you’ll be tasked with building a vehicle
    • You’ll have a wide selection of parts and weapons to equip your new ride with, and you’ll need them to clear the new bullet hell mini-stages standing between you and your date!
  • You no longer receive a regular paycheck
    • Instead, all money that you would normally receive during a normal playthrough of The Company has been hidden away in various dressers, closets, chests, trashcans, pots, bricks, and animals around the world
  • Game time now synchronizes to real time
  • Daily cooldowns will reset at 2:00 AM GMT

Fixes

  • Diana deep sighs more
  • Reduced enemy spawn rates around resource nodes
  • Converted all media to uncompressed tiff and avi formats
  • Updated Dom John route initiation to make requirements less clear
  • Converted all volume measurements to weight
  • Disabled restart button in sidebar, not sure how that got turned back on…
  • Fixed literally every single spelling and grammar error in the game, but I forgot to save after
    • Still counting it, though
  • Updated MC’s physical description to closer resemble appearance in the book
    • Pale, hairless, and ripped
  • Fixed wardrobe malfunctions
  • Fixed spline reticulation parameters
  • Got my tires rotated
  • Organized random events
  • Discharged static events
  • Reset timed events
  • Enabled Penicorn content for John
  • John has been removed from the game

I hope you’ve all enjoyed today’s special preview for the upcoming 4.0 content update! I’m excited to share more info with you over the coming years and can’t wait to get back to working on it. I hope everyone’s staying safe and healthy out there, and as always, thank you all for your continued tolerance!

8 Comments on “Dev Blog #94 – Update 4.0 Preview

  1. How will this affect those playing on tablets or the like? I like the current game engine simply because I can play it on my tablet and no need for a computer

    • For people in your situation we’ll be supplying a set of PDFs that you can print out and use to play the tabletop version of The Company. It’s basically the exact same thing, only you’ll roll dice for things like serum checks and whatnot.

    • When can I play it?
      (It’s not an April fool joke right?)

  2. Little bit late to the party here, but man this seriously made my day. Those spline reticulation parameters were really getting annoying. And you just NOW rotated your tires?

  3. Hey Westane!
    Just finished playing through the latest public build, thanks for the great game. I’ve seen more contributed scenes popping up, are you still open to getting more? I’ve written a simple one for each store in the mall to hook up with the saleswomen. Another simple one to hook up with Julia, and one to hook up with Lauren. I’d be happy to share what I have.

    Thanks again!

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