In January of this year, I wrote a long post on Patreon detailing what improvements I wanted to make to the game before I would consider returning to producing YouTube videos or launching the crowdfunding campaign. I called this the “Pre-Crowdfunding Checklist.” If you look at that Patreon post, you’ll see that most of those tasks have been completed over the past few months – very cool! However, has the list changed since then? Have any tasks been judged “not worth it” and discarded? Have any new tasks been added to the list? Which tasks have the highest priority, and which tasks are potentially going to be ignored?
I’ve decided to write a blog post spelling out exactly where we’re at with that checklist, and assign priority to each of the remaining items on the checklist. If you’re interested, scroll down past this gorgeous artwork by haihondaitao and click Continue Reading!
Each of these tasks is something that I consider to be absolutely mandatory before I proceed to the crowdfunding phase:
- Implement a better social interaction system. The new system is already designed; it’s just a matter of setting aside the time to work on it.
- Investigate whether or not adding more props and decorations around the interior and exterior of the school will harm the framerate. If it wouldn’t significantly impact the framerate, I’d like to update the school’s interior and exterior in a number of ways.
- Investigate whether or not I can get the game to properly handle input from Playstation controllers. I previously attempted to do this and failed, but a knowledgeable programmer who is very experienced with the Unity engine has offered to help me out with this. After spending just a short amount of time working on it with his assistance, I already made really promising progress. So, I feel confident about this one.
- Balance stealth kills. It is terribly disappointing that everybody who plays the game only uses one strategy – blunt weapon, stealth kills. It trivializes most of the game’s systems, since it bypasses all of the “clean up evidence of murder” mechanics. It was probably a mistake to implement bloodless stealth kills in the first place, just as it was a mistake to implement infinite bodybags. Exactly as I fixed the bodybag problem, I strongly feel that I must also address the stealth kill problem. I have several ideas for how to do this.
These are things that I think would be significant improvements to the game, but aren’t necessarily “essential” for the game to become complete, so I haven’t decided yet if I should commit to them yet:
- To make it harder to eliminate Osana, many students have been placed along the path that she walks through school. However, all of these students are currently just standing and talking, which is kind of boring. I’d like to investigate the possibility of making them perform more appropriate actions (artists sketching, gamers gaming, etc.) instead of just standing and talking.
- A group of fans created a document listing a bunch of potential improvements that could be made to the game relatively quickly. I skimmed through the document, and honestly, there were some pretty valid suggestions in there. However, I haven’t read the entire document front-to-back and decided how many of the suggestions are worth incorporating into the game.
Each one of these can be summarized the same way: “I think it would be super fun to implement this feature, and I know that there are definitely some people who would enjoy it, but it wouldn’t be absolutely necessary, so it’s hard to rationalize spending development time on it.”
- Implement Custom Mode and Random Mode – the ability to design your own 10-week story mode, and the ability to have the game randomly generate 10 rivals for you to eliminate, providing infinite replay value.
- Implement Mission Mode for 1980s Mode. It would be similar to 202X Mission Mode, but would require a new menu and voice lines (Info-chan wasn’t born yet in 1989).
- Implement the “Enlightenment Stat.” I’ve wanted to do this since 2015 and now I finally have the assets required to do it, so this is something I’d really like to do.
- Implement the Lust Demon. She’s just been floating there in the Demon Realm with zero functionality since 2015. As one of the last remaining pieces of “missing functionality” in the game, I feel like I should implement her so that all loose ends are wrapped up before moving onward to the next phase of development.
- Update the 202X Mode tutorial with additional tutorials. There are several mechanics – crouching, crawling, bucket traps, locker notes, drinking fountains, salty food, bags, crafting, thrown items – that are not introduced in the 202X tutorial. I’d like to make additional tutorials to introduce the player to these mechanics, but I really have to ask – is it worth it? And also – would the addition of so many more tutorials make the tutorial list way too long and intimidating, discouraging players from even wanting to do any tutorials?
These are things that I’m prepared to implement immediately, but I’m missing some of the assets necessary:
- An alternate ending for 1980s Mode. I’ve been planning it for a long time, I know exactly how it would be achieved, and it would be quick and easy to implement into the game. However, I’m missing just one thing – some voice lines from a certain actress. Whether or not this will get into the game depends on that actress’ availability.
- Improve the appearances of many 1980s Mode students. This is something I wanted to do over a year ago. It would primarily involve new textures, and a handful of new models. Although I’ve been seeking texture artists and 3D artists to help me with this task for over a year, I have had a lot of difficulty finding people who are cut out for the job.
- Voice lines for the 1980s delinquents. A voice actor read some lines for them in 2015, but back then, the characters were way more simple, and had way less lines. Since then, a lot of new dialogue has been written for the delinquents, which means that in order to incorporate voice acting for them, the old voice actor would need to return and reprise his role to record all of the new lines, or a new voice actor would need to be brought in to re-record the old lines in addition to recording the new lines. This honestly feels like more work than it’s worth.
Bare minimum, 4 tasks remain on the checklist.
All of the other tasks could, theoretically, just be ignored…but that doesn’t mean I intend to simply dismiss all of them. I might decide that 2 or 3 of them are worth the time and effort. I’m not certain yet.
The tasks I have the greatest amount of interest in are all of the tasks in the “Probably Not” category. It would be massively gratifying for me to work on those aspects of the game! But, I have a strong feeling that many people would be opposed to the idea of me spending any degree of time working on optional, unnecessary, non-essential features.
If I decided to focus all of my time and attention exclusively on the 4 essential tasks, I could probably complete all of them before July; the checklist could be complete before we even hit the halfway point of the year. However, as always, I am forced to split my time between what I want to be doing and what I have to be doing (bug fixes, exploit removal, etc…) so, I can’t guarantee that the 4 essential tasks will get completed by July 1st.
We’ll see, though…we’ll see.