June 11 2019 Weekly Update


#1

Morning everyone! I took an unexpected work break from Wednesday to yesterday, but I’m back in the office catching up on posts. So here’s what’s up:

What are you up to?
I was making a new UA trailer for the console release for the last two weeks, which I shared a rough cut of with our KS Backers on Discord. Super secret. This week, I’m taking a crack at updating the official KS Game Manual this week with our Update 4 Lore, as well as the Art Book.

How’s Update 4 and Console work?
Still working on Update 4 for PC, which should match or release a few days earlier than the console release. Both of those are slated for before the end of this month. Console has been blocked the last couple of days on certification issues which is a little frustrating, since the entire process stops if a single flag is raised, but that’s apparently pretty normal for console development. As I’ve talked about before, OSE Boston’s internal team is mainly handling the console port with some assistance from another external contractor, which has slowed progress on Update 4. 505’s main priority after Update 3 was console release, which is why the bulk of Update 4 work was already started during Update 3’s development.

Mac and Linux?
Following up from my post in April, our external Mac and Linux porters have been taking a swing at UA for the last month or so once the work for Update 4 has slowed down. Mac/Linux release should still hopefully align with our Update 4, which should release before the end of this month. If not, we expect it should release a few weeks after Update 4.

Checking in on the external developer’s progress logs, it looks like they recently resolved some shader and visual glitch issues, some of which were unique to launching the game from Steam.

How’s E3?
Rich, Walter and Paul are at E3 this week pitching System Shock 3 and our unannounced project. We won’t be able to share news on either until a publisher is finalized.

In the office, we’re still trucking away on Update 4 / Console / Kickstarter work.

Speaking of which, I’ve gotten an influx of emails and DM’s from backers who need their address updated on BackerKit. The easiest way to reach me is to email us at support@otherside-e.com with your registered BackerKit email and with your new address.
I have to manually update your addresses so that I can make sure Fangamer’s copy of addresses is also updated. Physical copies should start going out this summer / relatively soon, so if you are moving and want to make sure your physical copy is in safe hands, I might suggest putting down a relative’s or close friend’s address if you’re concerned.


#2

Thanks for stopping by. It looks like we are getting ever closer, to the absolute finish line! :D


#3

Unannounced project Hmmm please be Thief 4
I wish🤔


#4

I hope it is absolutely NOT a Thief title!

Those first two games… were like fully functioning self contained works of art!

Cant we just… let it all go, peacefully, somehow???

Why not… make a NEW game, that is ALSO brilliant, and ALSO uses, brilliantly, the mechanics of the Thief series. Why the constant need for, and ultimate sheer disappointment of, reboots of ancient classic games???


#5

Hello, slipknot!

I’d still like all the makings of a proper Thief game, without it having to be Thief, especially if the writing can’t come close to Dark Project, let alone Gold and Metal Age. Everything that can build that world. Them modular bits I keep bringing up.


#6

@sluangkhot Sam, I tried to track down a recent roadmap but couldn’t locate one. Could you elaborate on the development schedule beyond update 4? For reasons I can’t recall I had in mind that update 4 is the final version of the game, is that correct or did I just imagine it?


#7

Phantom, there has been talk of possible work beyond upd 4 but I imagine that will depend heavily on sales. In other words, not set in stone.

Also, we’re not entirely sure what’s in upd 4 yet i.e. how far did they get with implementing NPCs and further side-quests…? (we do know that dialog is not being considered).


#8

Flug is correct.

The way our current development schedule has worked since launch is:

  1. Assess whether there are any major bugs or crashes reported after a new update
    1a. If there are, coordinate priorities for a hotfix between OSE and 505. This means delegating resources (ie dev time) to making sure we can handle it.
  2. If there are no major blockers, internally assess if there are any additional updates we would like to have. After Update 1 (implementing the Save Anywhere system), it became very important for us to connect all of the levels via the Grand Staircase for Update 2, for example.
  3. Pitch and coordinate with our publisher for any update work we would like to pursue.

As such, we have not determined whether there will officially be an Update 5 until after Update 4 is released. However, we worked on Update 4 under the assumption that it would be the last for UA.

As for Update 4’s content itself, I can share some tidbits under the spoiler tag below.

Pulling these notes from the official build notes, which should be released alongside Update 4 either next week or the week after.

Update 4 Feature Spoilers

Quests to locate 1 of each Faction NPC (a Deep Elf, a Dwarf, and a Shambler), Dahlia the Outcast, and an updated Fane (the Outcast) are confirmed included for Update 4. Each of these grants you their own unique reward if you find them. Note that some of these characters have been locked away in new areas that have been added to the levels. I highly recommend searching through the levels again and keeping a sharp eye out for any new doors, and perhaps meddling with the water levels again.

  1. Three new beast types added; a “Headless”-type creature called the Bellum, a poison Bellum variant that lurks closer to areas with lots of water, and a “Shadowbeast” variant that is invisible. There is usually only one of these creatures per level, and are more frequently found in the less explored areas, where better treasure may be.

3/4/5/etc. Wider variety of loot added to treasure chests to balance the tables and make exploring more interesting, fixed inventory stacking, added combat music so it’s clearer when you’re no longer being tailed, added a melee “shove” that creates distance between you and an enemy, and a couple of other QOL improvements.

Many of the bugs fixed for Update 4 were actually ones coordinated between the community and us, such as:

  • fixing New Game+ unlock
  • spacing out subtitles for ending sequence
  • fixing Mana Leech highlighted outline
  • fixing metal doors that wouldn’t open
  • fixed bug where the Sun Key would not appear for the final level
  • fixed some Feat-Achievements which did not properly trigger for players
  • significantly reducing force of held objects encountering other obstacles. Should be easier to hold things against doors and less likely to shatter those pesky water bottles against walls.

#9

Wow! Thanks so much for the reply. I did not expect so much information back, I greatly appreciate it.

My reason for asking is I am flirting with the idea of doing a Let’s Play series with commentary (my first). And based on what you’ve stated, I think update 4 would be the right time to do it. Let’s Plays of Ascendant are seriously lacking, most of which being early after release and not progressing very far into the game. I’d like to provide one complete and possibly beyond NewGame+.


#10

That’s how I feel looking at the YouTube videos of UA too! So many of them are pre-alpha footage of pre-Update 1. The game has progressed a lot since then!

If you need any interesting commentary notes, I would be happy to send over some fun facts about the levels. Similarly, if I time this right, I should have the Game Manual released a little after Update 4, which will contain some lore backstory for some of the areas, monsters, and characters. In the style of the original UW1, I think it’s interesting to be immersed both in and outside of the game.


#11

Update 4 is sounding very like the “finished for real” update, and I’m guessing that any future updates are more likely to be polish than major functional changes.

That’s why I’m aiming for after Update 4 for the big modding stuff to happen, …at least assuming 505 or OSE haven’t said “please don’t” by then!


#12

Thanks Sam, a good update.


#13

So Underworld Ascendant PS4 edition has a release date set for June 20th (via the official PS blog).


#14

That lines up with our approximate deadline for submitting the build internally! Wasn’t sure if it was announced anywhere publicly yet.