This week was pretty much entirely backend work. With the Steam Summer Festival starting this week I’ve been trying to get the game as ready as possible before the demo is available. This is mostly chalked up to fixing bugs but there have also been some other things I’ve wanted to change for a long time.
Before I get into it, I’d also like to mention one other thing. During this festival Steam gives developers a few options for things you can do to spark some attention for your game. I’m not much for streaming and such but one of the options is doing an AMA for your game. I’ve decided to do that. I have no idea how popular it will be but if you’d like to ask me something about Verdant Village, or development, or I guess whatever really the AMA will be held in the game’s discord. The AMA will take place at 12:00 PM on June 18th CST. I’ll make a text channel for the AMA which will be obviously named so check in there if you are interested. Below are links to the discord channel, and the actual steam even in case you keep track of things that way.
DISCORD LINK: https://discordapp.com/invite/TJ7FtQ3
STEAM EVENT: https://steamcommunity.com/games/1236900/announcements/detail/2251184123738133186
Onto what actually happened this week. Last week I spent most of my time redoing the UI of the game, basically just consolidating functions and making things more uniform and efficient. This week I tackled the remainder of that work, as well as the inventory system. The inventory systems, I.E. managing your own inventory, chests, shipping, shops, etc. were some of the first things I made. Over time a lot of stuff has been added to the game and what has essentially happened is that I made individual systems for each thing. For instance, cooking had its own system, the forge had a system, alchemy had a system, etc.
In general, this is considered poor practice when coding. The name of the game is reusable code. In short, you want to have a few versatile functions that can accomplish what you want and accept a variety of arguments in order to accomplish tasks. Whereas before there was basically a separate system for every GUI in the game, there is now one system that functions for everything. In general, this is good, but it should also help with inventory-based bugs because there are now only a few points of failure instead of tons.
All the work this week won’t likely have any visible differences for you as a player. That is assuming I didn’t break anything while ripping out and replacing probably the most critical system in the game. This was something that needed to be done mostly to pave the way forward and I wanted to get it out of the way while the game is still in alpha.
Things have been fairly content dry while I’ve been working on systems like this. I mentioned last week, I think, that this will probably remain the case for a while. I’ve got a couple of things I think I’d like to add, but for the most part I think the coming weeks will be focused around stability of the game and polish. I think early access on Steam is growing closer and closer here. My guess at this rate is some time around the end of July, but that could change based on how things go. I’d prefer for there to be none (or at least very few) bugs, by the time I put a price on this game.
Other than the system reworks there wasn’t too much else done this week. A few bugs where fixed but bug reporting has been mostly quiet, which is probably good based on how much I’m changing in the backend. Most notably, there was an issue introduced in 0.2.5 that made it so that no matter what building you tried to have Simeon build for you, you would always end up placing a chicken coop. If you ran into that, it should be remedied in this patch.
Other than that, there are two things that are both patching related. First if Ethan (the red-haired archeology guy at the digsite) wasn’t moving or was unresponsive for you that should be fixed this patch. The patching system was still rough around the edges when he was put in so if you missed a particular patch, he would show up, but he wouldn’t move, nor would you be able to talk to him. Aside from that I feel I should say it here just in case. I doubt this will affect most people, but I’ve changed the code to not allow you to load a save if it’s last save was from version 0.1.8 or earlier. As I said before the patching system was a bit rough back then and in the hopes of not having people encounter more weird bugs from that time, I’ve just restricted the save version.
Verdant Village V0.2.6 Full Changelog
-Fixed a bug that wouldn’t allow Simeon to build anything that wasn’t a chicken coop.
-Implemented new text injection system on a few dialogue instances (changes shouldn’t be visible to the player).
-Reworded the dialogue around the lockbox quest for Lylah to make it more apparent what you are supposed to do.
-Fixed a bug where the player’s inventory would not visually update after finishing a quest.
-Fixed a few bushes near the castle that were no z ordering properly.
-Fixed a bug relating to closing the sleep GUI if you hadn’t specified an amount of time to sleep for and pressed the sleep button.
-Fixed a bug where you could still close menus while specifying an amount of a stack to split using shift.
-Fixed a bug where the mines level GUI would overlap the new gold UI under the clock.
-Fixed a bug with Ethan where he wouldn’t be interactive or move if you had missed the patch, he was introduced in.
-Fixed a bug that made Mattias’ quest (the one to get a fishing pole) invisible to the player if you missed a certain patch.
-Changed loading to only allow saves that are from patch 0.1.9 or later. This is mostly due to the volatile state of the patching system early on. If you were to patch up from earlier than that you may encounter more than a few bugs due to shoddy patching.
-Redid pretty much the entire inventory system and all the systems that touch it, whole weeks’ worth of work, one itty bitty entry in the patch notes.