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Quality of Life Improvements Hey Sami!

Thank you for an incredible game! I'm about 60 hours in, and loving it. While I do have some suggestions, they're mostly on the quality-of-life side of things.

This is a bit of a grab-bag, but if any of them prove to be useful, I'm honoured!

Suggestions:

  • Have cords for smoking/drying be 'used up', the same way bark for tanning works. Otherwise, have each cord hold at most 10 food items (as opposed to the first cord holding 19).
  • When displaying inventory for selecting an item, only display items that can be selected for that task. For example, when setting a net, only display nets.
  • A 'move until interesting' command. I often find myself walking in straight lines a lot, and my pinky wears out. Being able to move in a direction until the character spots an animal, the player hits escape, or another event that would normally interrupt crafting would be superb. (Suggested hotkey: Alt-8)
  • A 'sort inventory' key. Keep the categories, but allow them all to be sorted alphabetically, by weight, by freshness, or (if fancy) by type (meats, fish, herbs, vegetables, etc).
  • Assigning hotkeys to items. Setting my bow to '1', arrows to '2', and paddle to '3' means I can type 'w1' to grab my bow, 'w2' to ready an arrow, and 'w3' when it's time to go rafting. This would be a big saver on inventory time.
  • A 'find' hotkey for inventory selection, so I can search for 'spoiled' or 'blunt' or other strings. (Suggested hotkey: '/')
  • I know already discussed elsewhere, but wear on tools would be fantastic, so this is me adding a +1 to that. Having to go travelling to find a new axe, or having my 'good knife' that's only used for skinning is something I'd relish.
  • Wear on tools depends upon quality. High quality tools wear out slower.
  • Indoor cellars
  • Ability to keep the music on the title screen (I really like the music!), but remove it from the in-game map, armour view, etc.
  • Birds (grouse, mostly) sometimes seem to fly in place. This seems odd.
  • Animals don't seem to be especially afraid of dogs. A fox snuck into my dog pen and ate their food!
  • A 'gate' item that costs more than a fence, and acts like a fence to animals, but can be moved through by humans without a climbing check.

Thanks again for a magnificent game!

~ T

March 18, 2019, 09:51:09 AM
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Who let the dogs out... Let's try to make a return with development news then. It's taken some browsing of the code and decoding hazy written notes to find the path which I was following prior to fracturing my arm, and the sick leave that followed. But now also my to-do memory has recovered to great extent and there are snippets of upcoming features to present.

Dogs... NPC dogs... Village dogs... Dogs to better protect the NPCs... that's what I had started to code, and that's what is now to be continued.

Village dogs are now released out of their pens, and they roam freely at the village area. This allows village dogs to truly protect the village from possible threats and intruders. Village dogs are also improved in their watch dog behavior, and unfamiliar visitors are now greeted with alarm barks and by coming close by to sniff and check them. Village dogs may seem intimidating for strangers but this behavior is gradually toned down when you become more familiar with the village.

...to be continued -- there are a few more dog things coming up..

March 21, 2019, 02:53:06 PM
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Fix Robbers Currently it's really hard for me to enjoy playing URW due to the way robbers are implemented. If you get knocked out in any fashion, you're auto-looted and transported from the fight, regardless of circumstances. Knock-outs shouldn't result in auto-forfeits if you still have companions/animals active. On my last play through, for instance, I tracked down some bandits with two companions, two dogs, and a large cow. I one shot the first with my bow, and quickly killed the second. We had the third robber surrounded by all five of us, with multiple major injuries on him and none of us so much as bruised. He managed to land a lucky blow that did no actual damage through my full metal armor, but caused sufficient pain to knock me out, resulting in waking up with all my gear/animals gone. Suffice to say I find it a tad doubtful that one under-equipped and badly injured robber managed to kill both dogs and both companions--all of whom were at full health--before I could wake up from the pain blackout, which should have only lasted a tick or two. It's unrealistic and makes those fights far worse than an entire village of Njerperz.

I would suggest one of two ways for robber encounters to be fixed in a way that feels fair and immersive:

  • The fight should continue to resolve, and you should only be "robbed" if/when hostilities cease without any non-routed "friendlies" by the PC's unconscious body.
  • A "bind" action should be implemented into the game (and made available to the PC, too). This uses the unarmed skill and requires a rope or cord. This takes several minutes to complete (more or less depending on your unarmed skill), during which the victim cannot take an action, however, it will be automatically interrupted by a successful attack. Once bound, the victim can be looted, and must unbind themselves taking ~30 minutes, or be unbound by someone else. If successfully bound by robbers, they will act as they do now: bonk you over the head, loot your gear, dump you in the woods. However, if you have aggro pets/companions active, they will (ideally) prevent this from happening until the robbers have dealt with them too. The added benefit of this is that it enables the PC to become a robber as well, allowing a (potentially) non-lethal way of disabling and looting NPCs.

March 27, 2019, 09:59:42 PM
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Who let the dogs into the wild... Dog related additions now continue with dog companions for wandering NPCs.

Wandering woodsmen and adventurers you may encounter in the wild can now occasionally have dog companions with them. And just like the dogs owned by player characters these will also protect their masters.

These are future features, not yet functional in current version 3.52.

March 30, 2019, 05:57:50 PM
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Colorful domestic animal summary A little summary of the latest future additions with screenshots.

We'll be seeing wandering NPC woodsmen and adventurers occasionally having dog companions with them in the wild.

And we'll be seeing village dogs released out of their pens, to roam freely at the village area - in this fashion:


You may ask, is it just me or are the two dogs of different color?
Nothing wrong with your eyes, they are different color, and so are the cows in the pen also - if you look closely.

See, as another new addition all the domestic animals may have subtle varieties in their coat colors now. This adds some flavour to the game world, but also makes it easier to distinguish different colored pets from each others just by their looks.

Lets end the briefing with some pigs showing off their new varying coat colors.


These are future features, not yet functional in current version 3.52.

April 10, 2019, 03:22:55 PM
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Wits for wandering NPCs and companions - the future version focus Things have been cooking and development has evolved up to such an extent where a sneak peek of what to expect in the future is in place. We don't have a deadline for the upcoming release, it's a work in progress, but we do know what the core content will be about.

The core content of the next release will focus on NPCs. The most important additions will concern the wandering woodsmen you may meet in the wild and the companions you can hire for yourself. They'll be given a bit more wits, tasks, and meaning for their existence in the game world as follows.

Actively hunting wandering NPCs

NPCs who roam the woods can now actively hunt animals. They seek the game based on their cultural preferences, and within their hunting possibilities. The very act of NPCs hunting, or running after a game, is probably rarely witnessed by the player character but bones and remains found in the woods can now tell a story of another human hunter at the area.
   As we know, the hunts can end in unimaginable ways, so many different scenarios may arise from the NPCs now taking their chances with the wildlife - and occasionally maybe even the very same wildlife that you were after.

Witnessing an NPC hunting scene. Seal-tribe woodsman has been met in the wild, and he's busy trying to shoot down a squirrel.



New companions commands

Companion usefulness gets boosted with some new tasks they will be able to do on demand. Currently it's been added:

* butcher and skin a carcass
* make logs
* make boards

...and the list is likely to grow with a few more crucial tasks. There's a great level of complexity to make companions proceed these tasks with similar detail than the player character so tasks to be added are prioritized with the quality over quantity.

The list of companion commands so far:



As companion skills naturally affect to outcome of the tasks their expertise can be sometimes used to obtain higher quality goods than what the player characters could produce by themselves. We also need to add an chat option to ask NPCs about their general skills and expertise so you know what kind of craftsman you've hired.

The companion was commanded to butcher and skin one of the reindeers we managed to hunt down. We got meat now, and a fine reindeer skin, which is way better hideworking result than what Jurks could have done in his current condition.


Exciting times ahead.
The work continues, more is to follow.

These are future additions - not yet functional in current version 3.52.

April 21, 2019, 01:33:35 PM
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Roast cooking for NPCs, and also as companion command As we continue with focus on NPCs, which becomes the core content of next release, they have now been given wits to actively roast raw meat or fish in their possession.
This feat is mostly witnessed by player character when meeting wandering NPCs who can now actively cook the meat of the animals they've hunted and butchered.
It now becomes an actual game created scene possibility to meet a wandering woodsman sitting by the fire and roasting the meat of hare he just happened to hunt down.

Moreover, roast cooking is also added as a new companion command. Unlike player character, companions don't leave the meat by the fire and pick it up when it's done, but they stay put by the fire while roasting is being done. Companions roast ten pieces of meat at a time, and if not given another order they try to keep on cooking until everything is roasted.

These are future additions - not yet functional in current version 3.52.

May 03, 2019, 12:44:45 PM
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NPC hunters gone wild I've had amusing and laborous times with testing and tweaking how NPCs now behave in the wild with their newly added wits for example to actively hunt and process the downed animals. New blocks of AI always make things a bit crazy at first as unimaginable and unpredictable conditions harness the power of new algorithms.

I've witnessed NPC hunter running after a squirrel swinging a sword, and exhausting himself by circling around the tree with no better understanding of the target being out of his reach. After awhile my character decided to help the guy out and shot the squirrel down for him, after which he correctly proceeded to butcher and skin the carcass. Without manners of saying a proper thanks, though.

Another NPC came (or was actually forced to by the means of black debug magic) hunting at the site where I had just lost one of my party members. After he had succesfully shot the hare he was after he proceeded to approach the corpse of my passed companion. My character and his dog watched in confusion this guy just stand on the corpse with no intention to move anywhere. Later on I found out that the crazy NPC hunter had an unbearable craving to skin and cut the corpse of my dead companion, but the moral restrictions came in between and he ended up in endless "Should I? No, you must not." limbo.

On a brighter side of incidents I traded a loop snare from a wandering woodsman for a fresh salmon. Soon after, the woodsman decided to light a fire and roast the salmon. A simple little thing but it made a nice difference.

All in all, NPCs in the wild seem a bit more intelligent, but also bit more crazy at the moment. Craziness is surely refreshing, but tweaking and testing still need to be continued.

May 22, 2019, 05:11:50 PM
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Bark stuff, birch-bark stuff Many updates to peeling bark from trees, and utilizing birch-bark as well, are on their way.
Most fundamental addition of all the bark related stuff is to allow harvesting birch-bark and feature it as raw material which can be used in many different crafts.
Takes a while before we get into adding crafts, but bark harvesting changes and additions have been made already, and they can be summarized roughly as follows:

Birch-bark is peeled in long strips, which are wound to a ball for storage. (These kind of balls of birch-bark are called Sommelo  in finnish.)
Harvesting birch-bark in strips is slower compared to (already existing) ways of removing bark in sheets, but as a strip it's ready for weaving.
Moreover, time of the year now matters in harvesting any bark. It's best to be done in early summer, and gets more difficult (and eventually impossible) out of the proper period.
The bark yield (from a single tree) is also not constant but depends on the season and character's timbercraft skill.
And the biggest catch of this all that with adding birch-bark strips we'll be also adding unit of lenght to appropriate game items - that will eventually cover all the cords and ropes as well. So the requirements for birch-bark crafts are going to be eg. "16 feet of birch-bark strip" rather than some weight measure of bark. Many new possibilities open. But it's a hassle at first now to make conversions and routines understand the lenght. But that's my hassle, you just stay tuned...

These are future additions, not yet functional in current version 3.52.

May 29, 2019, 12:21:31 PM
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Improve the menu system With the menu system the way it is now, it's not possible to have more than 25 items on a menu. This severely limits the amount of mods you can use at once, which is annoying to say the least. It shouldn't be too hard to add multiple "pages" to menus, or enable people to scroll down. Hopefully this can be worked into the next update.
May 31, 2019, 07:45:03 PM
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