New Demo Update is Live!

Quality of Life Improvements and Bugfixes!

Ever since the first release of the demo on itch.io, the game has been played by thousands of players both  here, on Steam and other platforms. This has brought me very valuable  feedback so I decided that before advancing the development towards the  early access, I will revisit the demo with another free update that  addresses many of the issues and some quality of life improvements  people have pointed out. You can see the full list of changes in the  changelog at the end of this post.

I hope you enjoyed the game and had a lot  of fun! In the upcoming months, I'm looking to implement some more  professions, animals, and also basic needs system for the villagers. As  of recently, I'm also tracking the development on a public Trello board  so if you are interested in details, make sure to take a look!

https://trello.com/b/6K5YFPVZ/lords-villeins 

The demo is available on Itch.io, Gamejolt and Steam:

New Release Date

Unfortunately, the development has seen  some unexpected roadblocks which forced me to postpone the early access  release date from summer 2020 to fall 2020. Currently, the plan is the  end of October but things may still change. My #1 priority is to deliver  a good value even in early access to give people an engaging and  interesting game to play with and I felt like I would not be able to  deliver on these goals with the state of the game right now.

Thank you everyone who played the game so  far and sticking with me. I'm doing my best to bring you an amazing  gaming experience for you to enjoy and your support helps me  tremendously.

What Is It Like to Be a Solo Dev

Seeing how things are taking longer than  expected, I figured I will share with you - as a small sidenote with  this update - how I'm dealing with the everyday responsibilities of  being a solo game developer to give you a better idea of what it takes  for me to develop this game and why I may be less frequent with updating  on the progress.

Essentially, I'm wearing hats of five other  people, each of which could easily take-up a full-time job if I would  want to do everything right. To cope with this multitasking, I split my  day into three parts.

 

In the morning I'm the biz dev/project  management guy. I answer emails, look for good business opportunities,  contact people, and try to keep up with the industry to know what is  coming and what I should be prepared for.

Later I get in the development process. I pick up the most important task from my Trello board and get to work. Since I'm living in a community of indie game developers under one roof,  at 10 AM we have a small standup, where we share what we were working  on the previous day and what we will do today (most of the time I manage  to do half of what I say I will do but that's kind of ok :). After  lunch, I work a bit more and I try to wrap things up before 3 PM even if  a feature or bugfix is not complete. Then I focus on marketing - social  media posts, answering in discussions but also community management.  Sometimes I might take a bit longer and switch things up, instead of  programming I may focus on design, art, music production or testing and  bug reporting, but I try to keep to the schedule because if any of these  parts are not moving forward for too long, it becomes very stressful.

At times I may also prioritize marketing  much more and focus on it almost fully. Especially after the demo has  been released, I tried to bring attention to it as much as I could and I  would need to develop large amount of assets, art, marketing materials,  and copywriting that would take weeks to complete. Since it is just as  important as the game itself, the development of new features is  unfortunately pushed back a bit more when this happens.

But here it is. Project manager, biz dev,  programmer, artist, tester, audio and music producer, marketing person,  and community manager in one. All on a day-to-day basis. It makes my  work extremely interesting, very rewarding, and rich in experience but  it can be a bit too much at times. But I've learned to grow with it and  especially recently things have been going very smoothly.

I will try to keep you updated more often  and let you know what is going on but should you ever wonder, don't  hesitate to contact me! Write me a message, post in the discussions,  join our Discord server. I'm pretty active in direct communication so you can always be sure I will find my way to respond soon.

In the meantime, you can also check out the  lates vlog I made, where I shared my perspective on burnout as indie  game developers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZ7OJHYLnbs 

Thank you for supporting my work and wish you Happy landlording!

CHANGELOG:

New Features

  • Many areas of UI have been redesigned (building menu and popups)
  • New more intuitive control scheme.  Players can switch between BRUSH mode (Shift) or DELETE mode (Ctrl) when  building and use the mouse wheel to change the brush size.
  • Villagers now prioritize cutting down fresh trees before removing trunks
  • Fishing rods can be built on top of the bridges
  • Clouds are now reacting to game speed
  • It is possible to scroll with a mouse at the edges of the map
  • Maximum zoom has been increased
  • Tree spots can now be placed with drag and drop mode

Bugfixes

  • An increased threshold that prevented buttons to be clickable in a scroll view (most notably the build menu)
  • Fixed crash when building structures on the edges of the map
  • Fixed bug that allowed the fishing net to be built on top of the bridge
  • Fixed bug that allowed to gain multiple resources back when destroying a large structure with erase tools
  • Fixed bug that sometimes made the cursor permanently red after error indication
  • Major overhaul of AI that fixes the  majority of issues with prioritizing, getting stuck or having issues  when loading a save file
  • Fixed bug that prevented miners from prioritizing iron ore mountain tiles
  • Fixed bug that allowed to skip initial questlines by reassigning families
  • Fixed bug that allowed to gain infinite grain with farmers
  • Fixed bug that where deleting a zone with the delete button would not revert the quest condition
  • Fixed bug that displayed incorrect amount of family members on the welcome new family screen
  • Fixed several issues that prevented saving and loading
  • Fixed the behavior of UI sliders in the main menu
  • Fixed several small and rare crashes
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