At long last, Vidar is available on Steam Early Access! Buy it, review it, love it, mourn the death of several NPCs. You know, a usual Tuesday.
This has been a period of a great deal of reflection for me. Macro forces in the geopolitical world feel like they're punching me in the gut (for those who may be reading this and may not know, my dad and his family all immigrated from Iran, and many are still there) and I'm trying to smile and celebrate this milestone in a 3-year project of mine. What started out as a hobby as become a full time career...and hopefully today will sustain that for at least a little longer! I've met some amazing people through this journey that I now can call friends, and have been treated as a peer and equal in an industry for which I've had zero preparation, zero training, and zero education.
I hope that the world is enthusiastic about what I have made here during this time. And that the game gives some people some amount of enjoyment, reflection, or whatever it is they came to Vidar for.
This upcoming week my attention will be on bug reports, primarily assessing priorities and quickly addressing any game-crashing or game-breaking bugs. After that, attention will turn back to the next content patch, "Blinded Me With Science," which is designed to 1) further round out the Dark Cave and 2) add additional puzzles in those places where there is only one slotted. I hope to also add a few little features that will make the game smoother as we go, and by that time, I think we'll have the Steam Overlay (finally) for the Windows Version.
We've had a few patches since the last post and I'd be remiss not to include notes here! See you in Vidar, friends!
A Little Something
Bring Him Home
Bury the Hatchet
Hair of the Dog
The Second Son
War Never Changes
Giving a key item to Csaba for charity will now fail the following quests appropriately, and will not freeze the relevant NPCs in a dialogue loop:
What a fun and strange week this has been. After the last content patch went out, I focused on fixing additional bugs in the demo that I discovered back in Austin. The demo is ever-more-stable, and those fixes made their way into the main game as well, including various rare crashes and bugs, text fixes, etc. These were all made because I was showing Vidar at yet another event, Playcrafting's Halloween Expo!
Sorry for the blurry picture, I only had my phone!
This time, Vidar had its own entire room. We had a spooky set-up replete with blacklights and cobwebs (to celebrate the addition of Spiders in the last patch, of course), big banners and plenty of candy. Still more bugs were discovered (of course, right?) but the demo was so delightfully stable! And my favorite thing, instead of people asking "when is this going to be released?" the question instead was "is this released?" That gave me quite the confidence boost, to be sure.
Next week we'll have the "Union" content patch which has three pretty unrelated quests (plus a reworking of one quest), and that's slowly driving me crazy. One of those quests - "Family Time" - is already done, and I'm glad to have it, because it fills an interesting roll in the game. Assuming the necessary conditions are met, "Family Time" is only available for one day; if you don't receive it then, you'll never get it. Once you receive it though, you can take your time to complete it. It's an interesting mechanic that I think encourages repeated exploration of Vidar, which is something I want to encourage. Expect more of these types of quests to come in future content patches.
We've given out Steam keys to nearly everyone who got one through the Kickstarter. The only ones left are the handful of Linux users, and I think we'll be able to get them taken care of next week. Then onwards to those who requested direct download.
That's all for this week - make sure to get your tickets for GaymerX East so you can play Vidar with me!
This Alpha Build marks the first of what I'm calling "content patches" for Vidar. All told, it includes two new quests (plus an overhauled third quest), a new zone, a new puzzle mechanic, and some new additional functionality. The goal with this patch wasn't just bug fixes, but something much more, to continue to increase the content where it felt lacking (here, primarily focused on the Dark Cave).
For a bit of dev history, the Library was actually in one of the earliest prototypes of Vidar, several years ago when I was still using RPG Maker default assets. Once Becca's art started coming in, I never rebuilt it, and it was languishing in a back corner for years. You could get pretty close to it in various demos, and the entry was even in the Dark Cave Alpha Month I did about a year ago.
So I'm happy that it is finally making its triumphant return all these years later, particularly because Mihaly was feeling a little lackluster overall. As was Dani; I took the opportunity to inject a quest for her here, and start her down an inheritance path that will be more fleshed out in a later content patch.
Getting this much content done in 2 weeks was do-able, but maintaining a pace of these every 2 weeks will be difficult as we get to launch. That is, I wasn't able to do this and a lot of marketing, bug fixes, etc. So we'll see four more content patches coming before Early Access, and then a slight hiatus while final bugs are stomped, Steam is updated, and everyone gets hyped. If you want a preview of them, keep an eye on the What's Next page as we progress!
Speaking of Early Access...
VIDAR WILL LAUNCH ON STEAM EARLY ACCESS ON JANUARY 31, 2017
That doesn't give us a lot of time, so if you're one of the KS backers that has access to the Alpha, make sure you're playtesting so I can fix anything you come across!
Alpha Build 0.7.3.0
A whopping 80 Steam Keys were sent out this week! We'll have rolled out the alpha to everyone on Steam for Windows and Mac by the end of next week. Linux, and the remaining Direct Downloads, are close behind.
Back from a really excellent vacation abroad, and excited to tackle some more on Vidar. We're spiraling frantically towards Early Access, and the past few weeks focused on:
I'm by no means an artist, but I'm pretty proud of some of the modifications I was able to make to the Stranger to get a few more animations possible.
With more testers, more bugs in the early part of the game are being reported - ranging from small little nits in the text to crashes in some of the rarer quests. Those have been addressed, and, mercifully, the Continue screen now opens *much* faster.
Finally, a great deal was done on the upcoming Content Patch (which will include the Library) - while it won't be ready for release for a few more weeks, it's nearly done and feeling like a really fun puzzle :)
For those who like things in list form, here you go!
Alpha Build 0.7.2.0
A pretty egregious bug has been found in the Mac build, so sadly no additional Steam key distribution for now - but give it a hot second and we'll get there!
See ya next week!
It's here, it's here, it's finally here! This patch is a doozy, it includes a lot of fixes to various crashes, an additional quest with Vidar's littlest villager, and all of the improvements to the look and feel of the game. Most importantly, however, it has the ending. So, spoiler alert, if you're not quite ready to confront the Beast, turn back now.
The final confrontation takes place in the Ruins of Old Vidar, deep beneath the town. New mechanics and puzzles have been introduced for that section. Plenty of cutscenes have been added to increase the intensity.
Alpha 7 (v. 0.7.0.0) Patch Notes
As for all the rest, 5 Steam keys went out this week. I had hoped to get the Mac build out as well, but we've discovered a memory leak in that version, so I'm holding it back another week.
This week will be focused on getting the new trailer video ready, so it's unlikely I'll have a substantial patch ready by Tuesday. Fear not; I'll be releasing additional optimizations in September, and then additional content will start coming in October!
This week marked the conclusion of an effort to clean up the cave maps, and really make them feel more dynamic and more alive. Hopefully these puzzles will pop as much as the town now. Here's the progress made this week:
Another 12 steam keys were sent out this week. Becca is nearing completion of our new title screen, and I really can't wait to see that in game. We'll see v 0.7.0.0 next week, so I have a lot of bug fixes to do in the meantime!
Ugh I know, still no patch this week, and I hate to say it but probably not next either. Why? Well the entire conclusion is going into the game, and a lot of polish as well, and basically this ended up being a really big patch. However, a lot of progress was indeed made this week! Here’s what got done:
This is to remedy a few bugs discovered at the latest Playcrafting Expo Night!
Alpha Build 0.6.5.1
More of the same this week; fixed to crashes took priority, plenty of fixes to quest progression as well. Specifically, “Bury the Hatchet,” “Hair of the Dog,” “Historic Preservation,” “Sketched Out,” and “Words of Wisdom” should all be in a much better place.
Outside of these fixes, progress was made on revamping the library for the first alpha content patch that’ll come once this stuff is all sorted out. I also implemented a launcher and very rough patching system, the first step towards direct download distribution!
Until next time!
Alpha Build 0.6.3.0
Bring Him Home
Artifacts In Ice