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:
Sorry for the late blog post this week, I think the holiday threw me off. That, and my usual weekly planning has been replaced with daily planning, since I feel like this game and all that it entails is just changing too quickly.
Since last week's post, I've deployed three patches, mostly in anticipation of the wonderful Anna Geek's stream of Vidar. Watching her play, compared to Hyper RPG's stream, was a lot of fun. For starters, Anna was focused much more on strategy and puzzle solving. And romancing the blacksmith, which as it turns out, is not an option in the game. Seeing some of the different puzzles, and the different quests that Anna chose to pursue, was also helpful (particularly since both channels share a great deal of the same community).
Several more preview articles came out this past week, including some favorites from:
Not everything is sunshine and rainbows, and I'd be remiss to not talk about it here - this is a dev blog, right? This past week, I had a triple-whammy of rejections from Indie MEGABOOTH, IGF, and SXSW. That, and the fact that there's been no super-major press interest in Vidar since the store page launched, has been rough for morale. It's ok, though - we all push through!
Just a scant two weeks until Early Access launch. I hope you're ready - I hope I'm ready!
On this past Wednesday, I launched the Steam store page for Vidar, along with the trailer video. In connection with all of that, there was a huge press blitz that involved a few hundred emails. If you're curious about the nitty gritty of all of the press outreach, you can read my post on Gamedev.net. Since Wednesday, we've had a few fun mentions across the interwebs:
And we've also got some people doing LetsPlays on Youtube and streaming the game on Twitch. The biggest so far was HyperRPG yesterday with their show "MalikaVision." We had a steady 300 people in chat, and it was great to see someone play the game for so long! Vidar's randomness becomes more apparent the more people die off - the first day or two is kind of always the same. Five hours into the game in HyperRPG yesterday, you could really feel it.
I've been trying to keep up with all of these people playing the game now, and so we actually had two patches go out this past week with some bug fixes and quality of life improvements. That will likely be the cadence for next week as well.
Stay tuned for more coverage!
This upcoming month will be characterized by "aggressive polishing" of Vidar in anticipation of Early Access. However, tomorrow we launch the Steam Store Page and a huge press blitz, so not a ton of development happened this week. A few little clean up items here and there, though, so I thought it merited a patch.
We've also finalized the Linux downloader - Kickstarter backers who game on Linux and don't use Steam will finally be able to play the game. That brings us down to only those backers who were looking for something on itch or some other platform. We'll have updates for them shortly.
Check back tomorrow for the trailer video as well!
Happy holidays! I'm still mid-Chanukah right now and up to my shins in latkes, but whether you're celebrating or not I hope you've had a fabulous few weeks. Lots to talk about today!
First, today is the release of the final pre-Early Access content patch, "Room at the Inn!" This includes activating the first Town Event in Vidar, "Wake." Vidar is all about experiencing and exploring death from every possible perspective, and so the celebratory/party tradition from so many cultures and embodied by the wake is definitely a welcome addition to the game. If you find yourself exploring the library while Dani dies, make sure to pour one out for her.
Rozsa is also keeping a better watch on who is staying at the inn these days. The various NPCs that can move in and out will find their plans foiled unless there are a sufficient number of rooms open and available. This particularly impacts Csaba, Tomi, and Cecilia; if they are looking for housing but the inn is completely full, they'll need to look elsewhere.
This patch also includes new ways through each of the Ice Cave maps, and new puzzles in the Ice Cave that feature the simplest sliding box. Just a little push can make a huge difference when it comes to slipping around.
Second, we finally have a Mac launcher! Mac-using Kickstarter backers who wanted a non-Steam version of Vidar are finally getting their copy of the game, leaving only our non-Steam Linux backers. We're hoping to get them taken care of next week. This version of the Mac build also includes functioning key bindings and various other Mac-specific bug fixes.
Third, next week marks a big date in the march to Early Access. The "Coming Soon" Steam Page will launch on January 4, which will allow you to wishlist the game. It will also activate the Community Hub on Steam, where those who already have the game can share screenshots, reviews, LetsPlays and more. To celebrate, on the 4th we're also releasing the Early Access Launch Trailer! It's a huge day around here, so mark your calendar.
Fourth, Vidar will be making it's last pre-Early Access showing at Playcrafting's Winter Expo on January 26, 2017 at Microsoft in NYC. This event is always so good, I couldn't pass it up even though it's days before launch and I'll be going crazy. If you're in town, we'd love to see you - early bird tickets are $8 so make sure to nab them before the price goes up.
Fifth, please welcome Razbury Games' new community manager, Roderick Sang! Roderick had played games intensely on his Gameboy Color and N64 as a kid but never thought of himself as a gamer until the Gamecube came along. It was when he started playing through “Skies of Arcadia: Legends” that Roderick realized that video games, and RPGs especially, would be an important part of the rest of his life.
After graduating college and finding himself at a loss for what he wanted to do, Roderick eventually discovered a burning passion for Storytelling and Sound. Consuming radio and podcasts voraciously and reflecting on why some games’ use of audio were more memorable and impressionable than others, Roderick has started down the path of educating himself on Sound Design.
He can currently be found working on an interactive story that use sound to further immerse the reader into the role of the main character, creating a YouTube series on the various demons in the Shin Megami Tensei line of games, as well as producing his own podcast on why people play video games. You can learn more about him on his website, YouTube, or Twitter.
I'm thrilled to have Roderick join the team to help out with all things social media and community. You might find him around the subreddit, the Official Wiki, the twitter account, the facebook page, the Steam Community Hub (next week!), or any of the other myriad places Vidar lives these days.
Ok, that's enough news for one week, right? Let's get to some patch notes!
Mac / Linux
Short post for this week, as lots of ends are tidied up. This week I added several additional paths through the Ice Cave (along with about 25 new puzzle options and a new mechanic). Additionally, a lot of love was added to the Ruins, with tons of bug fixes throughout - I don't want to go into a lot of detail here because the Ruins are pretty spoilery?
Finally, saving / autosaving works a little differently now. Before, whatever you were playing would just autosave in the top slot - all fine and dandy, but you couldn't create new "slots" if you wanted to have several parallel games. Now, whenever you hit "New Game" it will create a new save slot, and will always autosave into that slot; if you load a new game, the autosaving will happen there. As before, you still can't manually save mid-day.
That's all for this week! We're off next week for the holidays, but we'll be back on Dec. 27 with just a bucket load of news for you, and the last content patch before Early Access, "Room at the Inn."
This week I'm pushing a new patch to primarily address one thing: key-bindings are now in the game. In theory, you should have a lot more flexibility when it comes to your input. This includes resetting your keyboard keys to something more comfortable, remapping an XBox Controller, and switching between a keyboard and controller profile. Previously, if a controller was plugged in, you could not use they keyboard whatsoever. That restriction has been lifted.
Candidly, I found the keybinding process to be incredibly difficult. I'm not terribly familiar with the Win32 API, or reading inputs from the keyboard. I'm proud of what was done, but this took longer than I was hoping. I'm crossing my fingers I can make up some time down the road this week.
Speaking of plans for the week, expect yet another patch next week which cleans up some bugs in the Final Confrontation before we all leave for vacation.
Additional bug fixes are also incoming, they're getting pretty nuanced now!
A Little Something
I'm writing this blog post as I'm still trying to digest the last of Thanksgiving dinner, several days after the fact. For those who celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful holiday!
This past week, the nominees for Playcrafting's annual "Bit Awards" came out, and Vidar is nominated for Best PC/Console Game of the Year!! Which is really just pretty dang awesome. The award show will be on December 15, and if you're in the NYC area, it'd be great to see you there. Tickets are on sale here.
On the development front, this week we launched the 3rd of 4 "pre-Early Access" content patches designed to get the game to tip-top shape for our Steam debut. Beyond the other big ticket items I've discussed the past few weeks, Vidar got a few more particle effects and bug fixes over the long weekend. You should also see more stability throughout.
The final content patch before Early Access will come out in late December, as we try to cram as many possible bug fixes in as we can. There may be additional patches after that for still more fixes, but it's unlikely any new quests etc. will be added until February (although never say never!)
Better get to it!