Hooray, a weekly update! …on a Wednesday.
If you’ve been keeping up with our casual updates, you know that our biggest priority right now is optimizing performance for console builds. At the same time, we are investigating all of the crash reports we’ve received related to Update 3 and still trying to determine the root of it.
For our Update 4 timeline, this may delay us, as well as our console release. Originally, the plan was plan was for Update 3 to be a Very Stable build of UA that we could use as a springboard for Update 4’s more ambitious NPC work. However, we were blindsided by some pretty serious crashes from new players as well as some returning players, and we’re still struggling to nail down the exact cause. As a result of our local QA, 505’s QA, and our external company’s QA who we hired out to assist us ALL missing these crashes, we’ve changed up our QA workflow to cover more specs as we move forward with testing. This also means that some significant time of Update 4 is being taken up to fix issues flagged during Update 3, and ensure they do not persist in the console versions. Obviously we do not want the game to take steps back as we release updates, so it’s important for us to be as timely as we can while being mindful of our limited budget for UA.
Update 4 plan was originally slated for late May / early June. We’re still tentatively aiming for that area, but note that our current priority is submitting builds to console so we can have something ready for this coming year. (These console builds are focused primarily on performance, which will in turn be reflected in PC’s Update 4). For those curious about Update 4’s overall status, most of the frameworks for the systems, new characters, and additional areas we want to include have been set up and require polishing and testing. There are some minor changes that you may be surprised to notice as well, such as the introduction of combat music…
There are also some features that we are experimenting with in the interest of making gameplay clearer. We had many new players mention that they didn’t understand combat or didn’t find it interesting and a LOT of feedback on the game UI. Both of these issues have been flagged and are under review from the team with various prototypes that we hope will make these systems easier to understand. We need to be mindful of our scope and budget with these, of course, and crashes and performance still have priority, but it’s a part of the work we’ve been kicking around.
The front lines will be quiet for awhile as I myself will be working on some QA as well as preparing some gif / video assets of our work for Update 4. I’ll be checking in every morning to see what you all think!