I’ve got a very long and detailed progress report for you today, with some promising news about how close I am to finishing the 10 Rivals Update! To read it, scroll down past this beautiful artwork by yu-yumihana!
Now that you’ve admired the gorgeous artwork, click “Continue Reading” for the rest of the blog post!
What have you been up to?
My previous two progress reports were deliberately very vague to avoid spoilers. However, the features that I worked on over the past 2 weeks were much more broad in nature, so I can actually be much more detailed this time around! It’s kind of ironic how things worked out that way. Here’s a bullet-point list covering most of what I worked on during the second half of July:
- I’ve updated the Calendar screen and Student Manager script so that the game is no longer locked to only 1 week, and can advance forward for 10 weeks, spawning a new rival each week. As a result, it is now possible to eliminate 10 rivals over the course of 10 weeks! I can now experience a “complete” playthrough of Yandere Sim from beginning to end!
- In the Osana demo, Sunday was not a “playable” day; it was reserved for a cutscene. As of now, Sunday has become a “playable” day. The player can use this day to go to town (but not school) to earn money and buy things in preparation for eliminating their rival over the subsequent week.
- I’ve created a new “rival event manager” so that all rival events can be governed by one script, instead of each event requiring a unique script. This has made it MUCH easier and faster to implement new events! (Let me explain it this way: with this new script, what previously took me a week to accomplish now only takes me a few hours!)
- I’ve created a simplified system for sabotaging rival events. It is much less elaborate than the pre-existing system (which had dozens of unique animations and a unique script for every event) but this new system makes it much easier to rapidly put new rival events into the game.
- As a result of the new event manager and the new system for sabotaging rival events, the events that the 10 rivals are going to use are now in the game. (Admittedly, they are much less elaborate than Osana’s events, but I did what I was able to do without the addition of new animations.)
- I’ve created a new system for interacting with a rival’s bookbag. The player can now search through a rival’s bookbag to learn what kind of boys they like, learn their likes and dislikes, learn what has been happening in their life lately, and poison their bento anytime before lunchtime.
- I’ve adjusted the system for reporting a rival to the guidance counselor. Instead of “You can only report panty shots on Monday, you can only report theft on Tuesday…” the player can now frame their rival for breaking any of the school’s rules on any day of the week.
- Because the 10 Rivals Update won’t feature any new animations or voice acting, the “Rival confesses to Senpai” cutscene has been simplified. But, on a positive note, it is now possible to get through the cutscene more quickly by pressing a “Continue” button to advance the cutscene manually.
- I’ve begun work on some of the “each week gets harder than the previous week” features. For example, each rival will be more paranoid than the previous rival, so as the weeks pass, you will need a higher and higher reputation in order to convince a rival girl to listen to your requests.
- I’m about halfway done implementing a new matchmaking system. The exact reason why the game needs a new matchmaking system is kind of a spoiler, but you’ll understand once the nature of the 10 Rivals Update is revealed. The new matchmaking system is much faster and more streamlined than the previous one.
There are a lot of other things I could have added to the above list, but most of them wouldn’t be very exciting or glamorous. For example, there were a lot of scripts in the game game that were hard-coded to display the name “Osana” when referring to the player’s rival. All of those scripts have been updated to display the name of the current rival, instead of always displaying Osana’s name.
That’s actually a huge part of the process of adding 10 rivals to the game; updating nearly all of the game’s systems so that those systems are compatible with any rival girl who is added to the game, instead of applying to Osana exclusively. It’s very tedious work, and I would probably bore you to death if I described the entire process here, but it’s still absolutely mandatory nonetheless.
Well, one part of the process might be interesting to you! I’ll share a short anecdote…
In the current version of the game (the “Osana Demo”), Osana refuses to accept food from you on any day except for Thursday. To learn that she’s hungry on Thursday, you have to eavesdrop on a conversation she has on Thursday morning, where she reveals that she skipped breakfast that morning.
The reason why she refuses to accept your food (outside of one circumstance) is to prevent it from being too easy for the player pull off the electrocution elimination (which requires the player to feed salty food to the rival in order to make them thirsty enough to approach a drinking fountain, where they can be electrocuted).
The idea is that, in order for the player to “earn” the right to electrocute the rival, the player should have to be perceptive and study the rival to learn about the one time when she’s hungry enough to accept food from you. This design decision was made to encourage “stalking” gameplay.
However, I’ve decided that this is lame. The player’s options should be determined by the player’s actions, rather than an arbitrary timeframe decided by the game’s developer. Osana should accept food from the player because the player did something to unlock that option, rather than because it’s a Thursday.
So, I’ve added the ability for the player to steal the rival’s bento before lunchtime, which will make her hungry later in the day, which will cause her to accept food from the player (and, thus, unlock the electrocution elimination). This way, the player’s options are determined by the player’s actions.
This is the type of improvement I’m making to the game as I implement the 10 rivals; I’m looking at aspects of the game’s design that suck, and fixing/replacing those aspects accordingly. This update really is turning into “Yandere Simulator 2.0” – in order words, an almost complete revision of nearly every system in the game.
At this point in time, what I’m currently working on is playtesting each elimination method to make sure that all of these new, updated systems are working as intended, and that nothing broke or became non-functional as I updated other areas of the game. It’s very tedious, time-consuming work, but it’s still an absolutely essential part of the process.
This process of changing / replacing the game’s systems will be over relatively soon. Once that is over, I will shift my focus to giving each of the 10 rivals unique circumstances. After that, the only remaining task will be to create an end cutscene, playtest everything to make sure it all works, and then make a video announcing the new build!
Wow – it feels like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! I feel really bad that I haven’t uploaded a new build in over a month, so I’m super eager to release this build and end this “content drought.” I’m really looking forward to seeing how people will react to this update!
Thank you very much for your patience, and thank you for following the development of Yandere Simulator!