It’s been a while since I last wrote on the blog, and let’s be frank, regular updates are not my strongest point 😛 . But that doesn’t mean that I’m not busy working on your favorite game!
Let’s start with a short summary of the Alpha21 release. I received a lot of positive comments about the immigration mechanic, which surprised me quite a bit. I thought that it was less important than the free furniture placement in Alpha20, but maybe I underestimated how much the random immigrants were getting on people’s nerves 🙂 . In any case, I’m very happy about the feature. Alpha21 was also important because I fixed a few long standing bugs and compatibility issues, and it’s also the first version where FPS stays at decent values throughout the game.
Working on technical stuff has taken a LOT of my time and energy in the last two years, and it feels really good to have most of it done, especially that it’s not really something that I enjoy. There are still things that I would like to fix, like a better saving framework and rendering improvements, for example, but they’re mostly optional and don’t stand that much in the way of a 1.0 release.
After releasing Alpha21 I spent a couple of weeks taking things slow, and planning out the next update. Meanwhile, there has been a great initiative by SoftMonster aka Keeperman to gather player requests for new content on the Wiki. Many of the ideas are very good, and I decided to implement a bunch of them in Alpha22. Here is a list of the ones that I picked, if you are curious. I mostly chose things that are easy to implement and don’t modify the gameplay significantly, in other words I went for the ‘low hanging fruit’. But I’ll keep looking at the request page in the future, so if you have anything on your mind, please add it!
Besides new content, the new update will feature a tutorial and key mapping customization. The tutorial will be full blown with a dedicated non-random map, and will teach all the basics of the game from controls to gameplay. The main goal is to keep players from leaving the game within the first hour, which happens a LOT now. I also do that often when I play other games, and I think that a good tutorial can be a tremendous help to keep the player’s interest. I’m also curious if any veteran players discover anything new.
I’ve already started working on the tutorial and it’s going really well. I’ll post some screenshots soon. (I’m not sure though if this is a very interesting topic for players who already know the game 😛 ). The next blog update will coincide with the 2nd anniversary of KeeperRL’s Steam launch, so I’ll try to write a bit about my thoughts and experience with Steam EA.
A few weeks ago I discovered the chat feature on Steam, and that I can create chat events, and invite players. We already did one, and today at 7pm UTC is another one! To enter you need to the Steam client installed, although you don’t need to own the KeeperRL on Steam.
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