Damn, Gurl, Long Time No See

I dropped the Exit Strategy update on you and just disappeared more or less, huh?

Over the last few – wow, seven – months, I’ve been going through all kindsa big life changes including, but not limited to:

  • Getting my legal name changed.
  • Getting married (hi, Simon!).
  • Moving to a nicer apartment.
  • Honeymooning in Las Vegas.
  • Injuring my feet from all the hardcore standing and walking I did during our move and vacation.

With all those major events going on, you might be thinking to yourself, “Wow, I bet that hoebag hasn’t done a goddamn thing with the game and now she’s going to apologize for being so absent and she’ll promise to be more active from here on out, but that’ll be a goddamn lie and we won’t see her again for another eight months.”

But you’d be wrong! At least about the not having done anything. Caint say I won’t disappear into the cave again ’cause frankly, that’s how shit gets done.

To that point, here’s some stuff I added or changed since the last update:

  • I moved from a separate FPS arm-rig system to a true first-person model for the first-person mode. Before we had a full-body third person model and then, invisible to all but the owning player and only when in first-person view, a set of arms attached to the first-person camera. This meant I had to spawn two sets of weapons for both models and created a lot of issues when it came to weapons that fired physical projectiles. Now I just have a third person model and the FPS camera rigged up in such a way that it’s not clipping into the model. Now I only have to spawn one set of everything for each character. And you can see your own shoes!
  • Speaking of weapons, thanks to Quick and Easy’s Weapon Component, they’re less dogshit now. We’ve got ironsighting, a few new types of weapons, all the weapons are projectile weapons now, and the inventory system has been overhauled. Now your weapons will be visible on your character model so your crewmates can see what all you’re packin’. There will still be lots of adjustments to be made in the future, but the weapons will feel a lot closer to what you’re used to in other games now.
  • We also got smoke bombs and flashbangs, courtesy of Fat Cow Games’ Smoke and Flash Grenades. (You’ll notice I’m making a lot more use of Marketplace assets now that I know they’re awesome and save me time reinventin’ wheels). There’s still some work to be done to make flashbanging work well with the ability to switch between first- and third-person, but they’re there.
  • Security cameras. Also, monitors and controls for them, all existing in the world and not on a screen interface. I pilfered this stuff from Epic Games’ Blueprints demo project, but it gave me a pretty good idea re: stuff like this which is that I’m gonna try real hard to never have you be stuck in a screen. Won’t promise that outright, but it’s an ideal scenario, I think.
  • I also put in better AI courtesy of Drix Studios’ AI Behavior Toolkit. Before, I basically wrote the enemy AI combat logic myself and it was pretty dicey, especially when your friends get involved. The new AI is still pretty basic, but it’s a lot more stable and you can tell more what NPC’s are “thinking”. And we have a lot more NPC types already built so that saved me a lot of time too.

I’m also in the process of implementing a bunch of other stuff, obviously, but I only like to tell you about stuff that’s confirmed working so you’re never disappointed. Under-promising and over-delivering, you know?

However, there is one area in which I’ve been really under-delivering and that is the Patreon. I’ve come to find that I don’t actually have a lot of behind the scenes stuff to show unless I’m working with other people and that doesn’t happen too regularly. Code is kinda oblique and intangible. I could take pictures of the Blueprints but I think if you’ve seen one subway map, you’ve seen them all. I’d love to post my “pinboards” and notes, but that spoils stuff and some people care about spoilers.

More than anything though, I’m thinking about that TRL thing I have listed for the first community reward. I don’t want to wait for 20 people. I want to do that now. I think it’s fun, gives people a way to engage with the story, and writing small things will help me get back into writing shape so I can maybe get another update out to you before hell freezes over.

So here’s what I’ve decided.

I wanted to just switch to per creation billing and charge any time I released an updated demo, instead of holding updated demos out for when I had a full update’s worth of content features. But Patreon don’t let you do that if you have upfront billing enabled and you can’t disable that once it’s enabled so that’s not an option. And Patreon already pissed me off once before so I’m just going to close it down instead.

I want to thank everyone who pledged over the last few months though. You guys get to keep your Patron badges in the forum so you’ll get to be cool kids with a limited edition item.

From here on out, instead of posting what content I would have to Patreon, I’m going to post it here where everyone has access. I’ll also be queuing up all the stuff that I put on the Patreon so everyone can enjoy that too. And we’re just going to do whatever community activities I think of, when I think of them, and they will be open to everyone. Ultimately, it’s going to be better and more fun for all of us because I won’t have to worry about coming up with stuff to post if I don’t have it and there won’t be any division between people who give me dosh and people who don’t.

To that end, please join me in this forum thread, the Discord server, or the ask box on the tumblr where you can ask questions about the characters and story or share your thoughts and I will try to write little stories in response. It’ll be fun and you’ll be helping me get back into the habit of writing.

2 thoughts on “Damn, Gurl, Long Time No See”

  1. Hi, DJ!

    CFO Simon here. I just want to confirm that DJ really is working hard on piecing this game together, so don’t read too much into stretches of silence. This kind of thing really does take time, but she legit gets excited any time she gets a new mechanic to work or discovers a cool feature she can use.

    Furthermore, any support that people would like to give, even just joining in on discussions on the forum or discord, is very much appreciated.

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