What the heck does “De-Janking” mean? To find out, scroll down past this super cool artwork by SexyUnicornKing and click “Continue Reading”!
I recently had the opportunity to watch a couple of YouTubers play Yandere Simulator for the first time. This is very rare in 2019!
This was a very enlightening experience for me, because I learned which aspects of the game might confuse newcomers:
- One YouTuber didn’t know how to restore sanity (laughter) and assumed that the only way to do it was to use the debug turtle.
- One YouTuber successfully completed the pick-pocket minigame, but didn’t realize that they had succeeded, because the game didn’t communicate their success.
- One YouTuber was baffled by the scripted event where Kokona stalks Senpai, because Senpai wasn’t present for the event.
Each of these problems has a different solution:
- The game needs a tutorial that teaches the player basic gameplay mechanics that aren’t self-explanatory.
- There needs to be some form of on-screen visual notification to inform the player when they’ve succeeded at something that isn’t readily apparent.
- Outdated scripted events need to be removed from the game, since they have been replaced with emergent gameplay.
Now, on another note, unrelated to the topic of first-time players…
I’ve been staring at Yandere Simulator for so long that some of its quirks have become “normal” to me. Recently, I tried to look at the game from the perspective of a new player, and instantly realized that Yandere Simulator feels “janky” in a quite a few departments. Let me give you a few examples:
- If a student says a line of dialogue anywhere in the school, the player will hear it, no matter how far away the student is.
- If a student is standing at the edge of the rooftop (to clean chalk dust off of erasers) the player doesn’t have the option of pushing them off the roof.
- If a student sees a suspicious object, they will approach it, investigate it, walk away from it, turn around…and then react to it again, as if they never saw it before.
These are all things that I was willing to ignore while Yandere Simulator was still “early in development” – but now that we’re on the doorstep of the first official demo, it’s no longer acceptable to have that kind of “jank” in the game. Additionally, there are some things I’ve been planning for years that I simply never got around to doing:
- When I first introduced the Student Council, I claimed that they would send you to the guidance counselor when they caught you doing bad things. I never implemented this.
- I’ve always wanted Mission Mode to allow the player to design a mission with multiple targets, instead of just one target.
- It’s weird to have characters strip completely naked in the locker room; they should be wearing towels, instead.
After watching first-time players get confused and realizing how much “jank” is in Yandere Simulator, I felt compelled to sweep through the game and smooth out the rough parts. I want Yandere Sim to be polished and presentable when Osana is implemented. That was my focus for today’s build.
When a new build is characterized by an abundance of bug-fixes, I call it a “Bug-Fixing Build”. When a new build has a bunch of minor improvements, I call it a “Minor Improvement Build”. The objective of this build was to make the game more accommodating to new players, remove jankiness, and implement features that I’ve been planning for years. That’s why I’m calling this a “De-Janking” build. Truthfully, a lot of the builds released over the last 4 months belong in that category.
From this point forward, in addition to accepting bug reports, I’d like to invite “jank reports” – you’re welcome to point out aspects of the game that feel low-quality and fall below your standards. Because Yandere Sim is an indie project, it’s definitely not going to have the same production values as a big-budget AAA title…but I still want the build that contains Osana to be as presentable and polished as possible, within reason.
My original plan for the game’s tutorial was a scripted sequence where Kokona asks the player to help her rehearse a play about a serial killer. The rehearsal would introduce all of the game’s core mechanics; stabbing, dragging corpses, cleaning blood, disposing of evidence, evil laughter, etc. However, I started considering how much time it would take to prepare this sequence, and I realized that it would require a very significant investment of time.
To avoid delaying the arrival of Osana (any further than it has already been delayed) I’ve decided that it would be a smart idea to postpone the scripted tutorial sequence until after the crowdfunding campaign. I’ve decided that, for the time being, I’ll help new players learn the game through tutorial pop-ups like this one:
When the player triggers certain criteria (such as damaging their reputation) a relevant tutorial pop-up will appear to inform them of the consequences of their actions, and the necessary steps to fix things. (As of now, there are 10 tutorial pop-ups in the game…but I think that it might be necessary to include about 5 more. I wonder how quickly you can meet the criteria for triggering all 10 tutorial pop-ups?)
I worry that these tutorial pop-ups might be a bit too large and wordy, but if they feel intrusive, you’re welcome to disable them with a single button press. You might consider this to be the “first draft” of what the tutorial system will be like. If you hate it, don’t worry, since the “serial killer rehearsal” scripted sequence will be a much more effective tutorial.
It’s worth mentioning that this means one more item – a tutorial – has been taken off of the pre-Osana checklist. Only a small handful of tasks remain until it’s Osana Time!
So, does this build quality as a “major” update? I’m not sure…I guess it kinda depends on what you personally feel is “major”. There’s a new mode in Mission Mode, so if you’re a fan of Mission Mode, that’s major. The Student Council can send you to the counselor now; you might consider that to be pretty major. There is also a new easter egg…maybe that’s your idea of “major!”
Here’s a list of all the “quality of life” improvements and bug fixes in the latest build:
Changes / Additions
- Added a new type of mission to Mission Mode – “Multi Mission”. This allows the player to play a mission with up to 10 different targets. You can also select the exact method for killing them (weapon, fire, electrocution, etc). I might expand on this mode in the future, depending on whether or not anyone is interested in it. (It’s entirely likely that the player can design missions which are impossible to complete, so you’re welcome to bug-test it and tell me what kind of eliminations are impossible for which students.) (It might be a good idea to test eliminations one-at-a-time, to confirm that there are no bugs, before attempting to tackle long and complex missions with many targets.)
- Added a debug command to the debug menu that will obscure the screen whenever an attack animation is playing. (This might come in handy for YouTubers who prefer to hide violent animations when making videos about Yandere Sim.)
- The Student Council will now send you to the guidance counselor when they catch you doing something that a teacher would yell at you for. (They will still pepper spray you if they think that their life is in danger, though.)
- Removed Kokona’s lunchtime event, since that event only existed so that the player could test the bento-poisoning mechanic, and the bento-poisoning feature is now available for all students.
- From now on, when a student sees a suspicious object, they will only react to it once, instead of continuously reacting to it until it leaves their field of vision.
- From now on, after successfully pick-pocketing a character, a little notification will appear at the top of the screen to inform the player that they have succeeded.
- Added voice lines for the new dialogue that was given to teachers in recent updates (reacting to blood pools, bloody weapons, dismembered limbs, etc).
- It is now possible to push a student off the rooftop while they are dusting off erasers near the rooftop railing.
- Adjusted “Kill All” debug command so that it can kill student council members in addition to normal students.
- Added tutorial pop-ups. The pop-ups can be disabled with a single button push, if they’re annoying.
- Female students now wear towels in the locker room instead of stripping completely naked.
- Added a new easter egg to the Easter Egg Menu. You know how the Internet always tries to turn everything into a cute anime girl, no matter how far away from “cute girl” it might be? Well, I saw a photograph recently, and I interpreted it as…a challenge.
- Finally fixed bug that would cause the player to hear a “curtain opening” sound effect during certain times of day, no matter where they were on the map. (It was the Photography Club passing through the curtains inside of their club.)
- Fixed bug that caused Otohiko to be decapitated by the school gate even if he was walking through the secondary gate and the school gate was already closed.
- Fixed bug that caused a memorial service to occur for a dead student even if it was impossible for anyone at school to be aware that the student was dead.
- Fixed bug that prevented Mission Mode from displaying the correct reason for a failed mission if the player failed a mission while fighting a delinquent.
- Fixed bug that caused a soft-lock if the player arrived at school late (due to reading manga at night) on a day when a memorial service was held at school.
- Fixed bug that allowed the player to prevent a student from returning a misplaced item by speaking to them while they were returning the item.
- Fixed bug that allowed the player to break a student’s behavior by talking to them while they were investigating a suspicious object.
- Fixed bug that prevented students from reaching their destinations if splashed with liquid and sent to the locker room.
- Fixed bug that made panties display weirdly on Yandere-chan’s body when the Miyuki easter egg was available.
- Fixed bug that caused the player to hear a student’s spoken lines no matter how far away they were.
- Fixed bug that prevented Kokona from reaching her destination during her Thursday shower event.
Probably more de-janking, then attempting to improve the game’s framerate, then further work on the game’s save/load feature, then the Mysterious Obstacle!