Good news! As of now, 9 out of 10 rivals are complete! The final one is a bit more elaborate than the others, so she’ll take a little bit of extra work. But, I fully anticipate that within a few days, all 10 rivals will be finished!
I know what you’d like to ask: “Will a new build be released immediately, as soon as the final rival is completed?” Well, there are still a few more tasks that will need to be finished before the build is ready…but fortunately, they won’t take very long!
To hear all of the details, scroll down past this phenomenal Ayano cosplay by devilfrei!
My most recent blog posts featured bullet-point lists describing the work I had completed recently. That’s not really the star attraction of today’s blog post, but here’s the list, regardless:
- The new matchmaking system is now complete. It has many things in common with the previous process (you must tell a boy the right things to say to the girl he has a crush on) but the exact steps are different now.
- Previously, it was only possible to raise one of a suitor’s stats: the “Intelligence” stat. But it is now possible to raise all three of a suitor’s stats – Intelligence, Courage, and Strength. You raise a suitor’s Courage stat by making him stand in front of a “haunted” painting until he is no longer scared of it, and you raise his Strength stat by making him exercise at the school’s running track.
- The protagonist’s room has received a complete makeover. I can’t tell you exactly what changed without revealing spoilers, but it is now a completely different environment.
- There is now a new “Befriend/Betray” sequence in the game. It’s a “sneak through a building and avoid the inhabitants” stealth mission like the one you did for Osana, but the new building and inhabitants are completely different from the ones in Osana’s sequence. The premise is that multiple girls have all been victimized by the same person, so this new stealth mission will actually apply to multiple different rivals. That’s right; every girl will use the same befriend/betray mission in the 10 Rivals Update. However, the mission will get harder with each rival, so that the process of Befriend/Betraying the 10th rival will be much more difficult than befriend/betraying the 1st rival.
- In my previous blog post, I mentioned that I planned to re-test all elimination methods in the game, just to confirm that nothing had become broken while I was updating the game’s various systems and mechanics. I can now say that I’ve successfully confirmed that all eliminations are working properly! This isn’t the full extent of all the testing I’d like to do, but it’s still a significant milestone!
- Rivals 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 9 now have unique routines/events that no other characters have. Rival 1 doesn’t have any unique events because she’s meant to be as basic as possible, and I don’t want the player’s first rival to be complicated by unusual circumstances. Rivals 7 and 8 don’t have unique routines/events, but still have circumstances that make it difficult to just walk up and kill them without consequence.
So, with all of that said, what actually remains to be done? At this point in time, it’s mostly just testing stuff and writing out some text that is currently missing:
- Confirm that all rivals begin following new routines at school if they were eliminated non-lethally on a previous week.
- Confirm that the game properly acknowledges which traits each rival is attracted to in a suitor.
- Write out all of the 50 posts that are going to appear on the bulletin board at school.
- Confirm that each rival is using unique dialogue in all of their scripted events.
- Make a few aesthetic improvements to some of the characters / environments.
- Write out all of the text that will accompany the game’s new hint system.
- Add polish to anything that looks rough or low-quality.
- Create the game’s ending sequence and cutscenes.
- Test everything to make sure that it all works.
That last line of text is the shortest, but will probably be the most time-consuming part of the process. I’ll have to go through every feature that was added or adjusted over the past 2 months and make absolutely sure that everything is still functioning as intended. I know that all of the eliminations still work, but I also made changes to the Study Point system – did that break anything? Better check.
I’ll also explain what “Add polish to anything that looks rough or low-quality” means. Here’s an example: I discovered one circumstance where two subtitles can display simultaneously, creating an unreadable jumble of letters. It looks pretty bad, so I need to update one of those scripts to make it understand that it shouldn’t display a subtitle if there is already one onscreen. It’s a simple task that only takes a minute, but it’s still important to take care of. It’s worth hunting down these circumstances and taking the time to fix them so that the 10 Rivals Update is going to look presentable.
Actually, want to hear something interesting? The process of manually playing through 10 weeks has revealed a lot of things that were never significant until this exact point in time. For example: the Osana demo is only 5 days long, and it takes way more than 5 days to fully max out one of your stats, so it was impossible for the player to completely max out any of their stats within the Osana demo. Because of this, I simply never bothered to code the game to check for certain stats being maxed out. I completely forgot about this until I reached Week 8, maxed out one of my stats, and realized that the game wasn’t acknowledging it properly. In short, I’m making all sorts of discoveries and realizations as I playtest far into the game. The list of things I need to test might gradually start growing as I make new discoveries throughout the process.
The Near Future
Looking over everything that has been completed so far and everything that remains to be done at this point in time, I feel as though it is finally possible to judge how close I am to completion, and estimate approximately when the update will be complete. After taking everything into consideration, I would say that the 10 Rivals Update is about 90% done, and I feel entirely certain that the update will be finished within the next 2 weeks!
(Actually, sometimes I press the “Next” button to proceed to the next part of the game, even though the next part doesn’t exist yet. This is because the game currently feels so complete, sometimes I actually forget that it isn’t finished, and expect it to just proceed forward! That’s how far I’ve come!)
Within the next few days, I’ll finish the final rival. Within the next 2 weeks, I’ll be done with the 10 Rivals Update. After that, I will begin preparing a video about it. In fact, I am actually planning to create multiple videos – a cinematic “Release Trailer” video to announce/celebrate the release of the 10 Rivals Update, and then a thorough “Here’s a list of absolutely everything that changed” video, similar in nature to my usual videos.
Since the videos I’m going to make are going to be pretty big and elaborate, they will probably be time-consuming to create. Because of that, I doubt that the 10 Rivals Update will be released in August. If I had to guess, I would say that the update will probably be released in mid September.
This makes me pretty sad, because I really, REALLY wanted to release the 10 Rivals Update on August 31st, the one-year anniversary of the Osana Update. Just think about how cool it would be if I could say, “I released 10 rivals exactly one year after releasing the first rival!” Instead, I have to say, “I finished 10 rivals in less than one year after releasing the first rival, but they weren’t actually released until shortly after the one-year anniversary of the first rival,” which is a lot less dramatic. Booooo.
Oh, well. It would be a bad idea to rush through this crucial phase of the 10 Rivals Update, anyway. I need to make sure that the update is as polished as possible, and that the accompanying videos are high-quality!
In my next progress report on September 1st, I probably won’t have very much to say, aside from, “The update is already finished, and I’m preparing the videos now. Please wait a little while longer!” So, I’m trying to come up with something fun and exciting to do in order to maintain your interest. Perhaps, once we hit September 1st, I’ll start releasing silhouettes / blurry screenshots once per day until the update is released. Even if the videos take longer than expected to be released, I definitely have enough content to release daily sneak-peek images until the videos are complete!
In my last blog post, I mentioned that I could “see the light at the end of the tunnel.” Well, you know how, when a camera is exiting a tunnel, there is a brief moment where everything outside the tunnel appears pure white, right before the camera adjusts to the light outside the tunnel?
That’s the exact point that I’m at – the “everything is pure white” moment right before everything adjusts and comes into focus. It’s a very exciting time!
Thank you for following the development of Yandere Simulator, and thank you very much for your patience, as well!