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Messages - PatchNoteBot

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1
New releases / Patch notes updated
« on: October 14, 2019, 02:00:19 PM »
Patch notes have been updated.

2
New releases / Alpha 11.2.1 out in the testing branch
« on: October 13, 2019, 08:00:14 PM »
Steam Post
I'm upgrading from 11.1 to 11.2 to signify the substantial balancing changes I've made. I still have some bigger research issues to sort out.

The game has gotten a lot more stable, and you should be able to play it without running into any major bugs or corruption (pending an Alpha 11.2.2 patch). The game might still have some bigger balancing issues and I will keep my eye on feedback.

The response to fires and burglaries have been pretty split, so I've added an option to disable it. I'm a bit saddened by this, since it removes some of the cool building layout challenges you get from having to consider security and safety, but I know some of you don't care for the building aspect of the game to begin with.

Alpha 11.2.2 (2019-10-14)
Fixes
    [/li]
  • Fixed bug in save system that would break when serializing a hashset caused by pending lawsuit queue
  • Fixed bugs in stock system
  • Fixed face textures not getting applied properly when loading a saved founder in the customization menu
  • Various other fixes

Alpha 11.2.1 (2019-10-13)
Changes
    [/li]
  • Completely overhauled how market recognition is gained and how many fans are gained per sale
  • Made simulation more forgiving of quality and marketing efforts
  • Reduced marketing effort necessary to break into market
  • Ability to queue employee classes and improved UX for education
  • Greatly decreased employee requirements for porting tasks
  • Added warning to avoid calling couriers unless it's an emergency
  • Contracts will only wait 2 months before auto-starting and auto cancel if way past deadline
  • Made Room Repair and Restore furniture buttons pulse to attract attention
  • Increased effect of severance pay on lawsuit chance
  • Added lawsuit reasoning if further explanation is necessary
  • Internal lawsuits will now be bundled to a single class action lawsuit if possible
  • Employees will now only sue for a specific number of reasons when fired
  • Clarified research button text
  • Art contracts now net less money since they avoid bugs
  • Added software complexity warning to design document
  • Reduced business rep from support deals and disabled bug fixing
  • Heavily increased market recognition decay cooldown for software types
  • Changed how speed decreases during design phase from slowing down at the end of each iteration to slowing down in the last iteration. Overall time hasn't changed
  • Added option to disable burglaries and fires

Fixes
    [/li]
  • Undo system now remembers furniture assignment, which also works for restoring furniture after fires and theft
  • Empty server groups are now preserved after fire and theft to avoid having to re-assign processes
  • Fixed publishers handling printing and marketing no matter what player selected
  • Fixed steam workshop buildings not loading at all
  • Fixed founder having too many specialization points
  • Fixed reputation gain from design document deals
  • Fixed specialization progress bars and employee job assignments not resetting after a design phase iteration
  • Fixed security guards not being able guard doors on elevated roads and incorrectly guarding upper floor rooms
  • Fixed language setting resetting on launch when using workshop localization
  • Hopefully patched crash bug occuring due to in-game console
  • Security will no longer guard entrances that are only accessible from assigned rooms, i.e. bathrooms
  • Window resize button disappeared after collapsing window
  • Fixed a bunch of localization issues due to one cool bug reporter

3
New releases / Patch notes updated
« on: October 08, 2019, 12:00:21 PM »
Patch notes have been updated.

4
New releases / Patch notes updated
« on: October 07, 2019, 11:00:16 AM »
Patch notes have been updated.

5
New releases / Patch notes updated
« on: October 04, 2019, 02:00:17 PM »
Patch notes have been updated.

6
New releases / Patch notes updated
« on: October 04, 2019, 12:00:21 PM »
Patch notes have been updated.

7
New releases / Patch notes updated
« on: October 03, 2019, 09:00:28 PM »
Patch notes have been updated.

8
New releases / Patch notes updated
« on: October 03, 2019, 05:00:12 PM »
Patch notes have been updated.

9
New releases / Patch notes updated
« on: October 03, 2019, 03:00:21 PM »
Patch notes have been updated.

10
New releases / Alpha 11.1.1 out in testing
« on: October 03, 2019, 12:00:16 PM »
Steam Post
IMPORTANT
This is a testing release, meaning your saves might break and the game might become unplayable sooner or later. You can enable backups in the options window. I will be watching the bug reports closely and patching often. You shouldn’t play the game right now, if you want a stable experience.

You can find information on joining the testing branch here.

What has changed
Base mechanics
The entire flow of the game has changed, with the intention of making the game a little less chaotic and cryptic and making software more customizable and personal. To accomplish this, difficult to follow feature inter-dependencies have been removed. Software is now clearly split up into specializations and you no longer need to toggle all features to achieve good sales. Furthermore, I’ve added tech levels to replace patentable features, which are much more general and allow the market to run procedurally with no hard limits. Finally, I’ve added submarkets to make each product feel more unique and give the player more of a choice to define their product.



Upgrade to Unity 2017.4
The game has been through Unity 4, 5, (5.6) and now 2017. The major reason for wanting to update once again was to solve a bunch of crash issues and benefitting from Unity’s long-term support. The version of Unity I used for Alpha 10 hasn’t been supported by Unity for almost 2 years.

There are some drawbacks here, of course. Mainly compatibility. You can no longer play the game using DirectX 9, which means Windows XP is out (Minimum requirements have always been Windows 7, to be fair). The game no longer supports 32-bit OSX, i.e. it only supports OSX 10.9+, which deprecated 32-bit. To me, these feel like minor concerns compared to the benefit of getting a game that is a great deal more stable, I hope you agree.

Other cool stuff
The progressbar has returned to the alpha phase! I know this was a big point of contention for many of you, but the changes I’ve made, coupled with the iteration mechanic, has made the progressbar suitable again.

A lot of you also disliked all the physical distribution stuff (I don’t know if this was because you guys thought you were forced to own printers?), but you can now let a publisher handle all that stuff.

The wall curve tool!


Game engines are gone, and you now have software frameworks instead, which work for all software types.

Check the patch notes!

Modding
Old data mods will no longer work. Period. Software has changed completely, both in structure, granularity and file type.

I’ve not yet updated the modding wiki, I’m very sorry. I will get it updated before the official release of Alpha 11, so you have time to check the new stuff out. For now, I’ve uploaded the base game files so you can get an example of how software looks now: https://softwareinc.coredumping.com/wiki/index.php/Modding#In-game_content

All mod files that used XML now use to TyD. Furniture, material and localization XML files will still load, for backwards compatibility. You can read about TyD here: https://github.com/TynanSylvester/TyD/blob/efe423af6569e9c8bd7a2eee4837dd0f04421d51/Readme.md

You can convert your localization XML files to TyD files by using the console command: “CONVERT_LOCALIZATION_TYD YourLanguageNameHere”

Patch notes
Alpha 11.1.8 fixes (2019-10-08)
    [/li]
  • Fixed not being able to restore furniture under some circumstances in lease mode
  • Employees working in alpha phase with their secondary roles didn't gain programmer or artist skill
  • Fixed employees sometimes failing to work in their secondary roles in the alpha phase
  • Added missing localizations to founder look customization
  • Fixed modded furniture appearing black due to accidentally only supporting hex colors
  • Room dirt score wasn't refreshed on load causing cleaners to ignore room until new dirt accumulated
  • Fixed specialization progress pop out stuck at 100% for design document iteration 2+
  • Employees no longer ignore burglars
  • Fixed being able to change leader during meetings
  • Not getting any progress done on a contract now also subtracts the up-front income
  • Fixed stairs going to basement sometimes not punching a hole through the ground on load
  • Improved education error message
  • Increased maximum specialization points for leaders to 6
  • Decreased max bug count for smaller projects/contracts
  • Added warning when guards are not assigned to rooms with door entrances
  • Publisher will sue player for funding, if project is released without much progress

Alpha 11.1.7 (2019-10-07)
Changes
    [/li]
  • Changed market satisfaction bars in the design document window to be clearer
  • Made it clearer when build mode is deactivated due to fire or burglary
  • Increased max loan amount to $1,000,000
  • Ability to hover over red counters in bottom button panel to get explanation
  • Added server status icons (OK, Overloaded, Fallback or Broken)
  • Made it a bit easier to make sales in the beginning across all difficulties
  • Boosted inital market recoginition gain
  • Increased fan gain
  • Overhauled marketing deal reputation effect to be easier

Fixes
    [/li]
  • Game would break when trying to educate employee with maxed specialization points
  • Pure art contracts would skip directly to iteration 4 during design phase
  • HR education simulation would break game under specific circumstances
  • Specialization level check on software projects didn't account for secondary roles
  • Supporting in-dev operating systems had a bug that would break the game on release
  • Sinks weren't being repaired as they had no repair interaction defined
  • Fixed TyD parser breaking if file ended with a comment and no newline
  • Forgot to remove minimum specialization bar from Team window
  • Fixed game breaking if assigning security guard to rooms with no main entrance
  • Software where it was possible to have 0 market satisfaction (anti-virus) would break game if released as such, due to divide by zero errors
  • Fixed not being able to restore some furniture in some circumstances after fire and burglary in the same room (Only PC addons broke for vanilla game)


Alpha 11.1.6 fixes (2019-10-04)
    [/li]
  • Cancelling a project with a publishing deal would break the game
  • Publishing deal would get removed after design phase and cause publisher to not complete printing and marketing tasks
  • Buggy price evalution during reviews caused it to always say product is overpriced
  • Fixed bug where lonely employees would end up sitting next to a water cooler and working in the air
  • Increased required distance before computers are considered in ear-range for social boost

Alpha 11.1.5 fixes (2019-10-04)
    [/li]
  • A long-standing bug in the save system would break the game when saving/loading with an active alpha work item that was either an Operating System or had an active iteration task. This will fix broken saves, unless they've been saved over more than once after the bug first appeared
  • Having a publishing deal with marketing would completely break the game and stop the market from simulating. This will fix broken saves
  • Contents insurance slider didn't update after reload
  • Having active porting tasks would stop game from loading. This will fix broken saves
  • Moving company to the town map would fail to generate map and plots
  • Updated education error message to clarify that employees need XP
  • Burglar spawn rate has been modified to scale with company inventory value

Alpha 11.1.4 fixes (2019-10-03)
    [/li]
  • Roads would flicker on OSX
  • Some geometry became black when looking in top-down mode (Z)
  • Having SSAA disabled would break mouse projection when toggling top-down mode (Z)
  • Design tutorial will now continue when marketing window is closed, instead of requiring a press release, to avoid getting temporarily stuck
  • Having food go bad could break game under certain circumstances
  • You can now change operating system support in the design document after adding an OS exclusivity publishing deal, to avoid going back and fourth
  • Publisher wasn't registered properly for printing or marketing, so they never did any
  • Added publisher information to player release window and product detail window
  • You can no longer toggle build mode while a modal window is open

Alpha 11.1.3 fixes (2019-10-03)
    [/li]
  • Game would fail to load if non-existing language was set in the settings file
  • Save game would faild to load due to (Clone) name sticking around from Unity, saves broken due to this bug should work again
  • Moving company does not retain leasing mode status in new building

Alpha 11.1.2 fixes (2019-10-03)
    [/li]
  • Game sometimes failed rebuilding all furniture after fires and burglaries
  • Error message when clicking on empty areas in specialization star chart
  • Crash dump and log file location was wrong in Windows build
  • New default buildings weren't updated

Major changes
    [/li]
  • Overhauled feature system, with special scripted features
  • Added submarkets
  • Added tech levels
  • Overhauled skill and specialization system
  • Added iteration mechanic to development phases, removing over-design mechanic and adding back progress bar to alpha phase
  • Added publishing deals, currently only offered by AI to player
  • Added software frameworks
  • Overhauled marketing -> service role and added lawyers and lawsuits
  • Added wall curve tool
  • Employee salaries are now evaluated on an hourly basis, which enables part-time employees and adds a monetary penalty for working them for longer than usual
  • Upgraded to Unity 2017

Minor changes
    [/li]
  • Added bathroom sinks and germs
  • Added fires and burglaries
  • Added contents insurance
  • Overhauled software peer reviews
  • Computer price and performance scales dynamically based on available computers on the market
  • Sitting near other employees with no cubicles or walls in-between will now affect how quickly social need deplete, depending on compatibility
  • Employees now dislike working at night, but can be compensated for it to increase their mood
  • Added lakes that will be spread around maps and block plot purchases
  • Overhauled sun position and color and made it affect skybox and fog
  • Software needs are licensed monthly during development and operating systems are bought per employee during development
  • Removed delay phase during development
  • Added different animals to each biome

UX
    [/li]
  • Overhauled design document window to be multi paged
  • Print ordering window now starts out with a suggested value
  • You can now add and remove operating systems from a porting job and the entire task won't get stuck on an in-development operating system
  • Added new tip speech bubble that will replace some hints
  • Changed hiring window compatibility rating to be least compatible person on team, rather than average
  • Overhauled console to have almost unlimited history and be height adjustable
  • Added color blindness UI colors

Modding
    [/li]
  • Added new atlas material for modded furniture, allowing having multiple textures for one piece of furniture that can be mixed and matched by the player
  • Data mods and localizations are moving from XML to TyD
  • All mod types can have a Localization folder with relevant localizations and they will be appended to the main localization files
  • Base features no longer exist
  • Implemented a compiler/interpreter from scratch to allow custom scripts in software feature definitions

Fixes
    [/li]
  • Employee skill when hiring is now based on benefits rather than company reputation
  • Fixed not being able to mod roof and path materials
  • Fixed furniture interaction sound effects not playing since updating to Unity 5.6
  • Roofs are now offset based on surrounding rooms, making it easier to build roofs up against rooms
  • Fixed longstanding bug where the clock would never actually hit 59 seconds, effectively skipping an in-game minute every hour adding up to almost 5 hours in a year


11
New releases / Alpha 11 final progress update
« on: August 24, 2019, 11:00:19 AM »
Steam Post
Current Status
I’ve finished all planned feature overhauls/additions at this point (except for conventions, more below). Now I need to do some usability, bug/testing and balancing passes, and finally rewrite tutorials and mod documentation, before I can release the initial testing build.


Alpha 11 development is now creeping on its 6th month. Alpha 10 took about 5 months from start to the initial testing release and alpha 9 took about 4 months. As the game gets more complex, overhauling core features takes longer, due to all the side effects a change has on the game’s systems. With this in mind, I’m now pretty certain Alpha 11 will be the last major alpha release before I move on to the beta phase, so I avoid spending an entire year on yet another alpha. Beta doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t add new features, it just means I won’t be touching the core gameplay mechanics.

Convention mechanic delayed
I’ve decided to scrap conventions for the initial testing build. I don’t want to delay Alpha 11 any further. In Software Inc. terms, I haven’t even finished the design phase on this mechanic, so I’m putting it off for now.

Curve tool

You can now use a tool to click and drag walls to make them curve. Each segment of the curve must be at least 1 meter wide to allow for doors and windows, but the segment widths can be scaled dynamically while you are creating the curves.

Fires

A number of furniture now have a chance to start a fire when they break. Fires will spread and burn down furniture if not stopped, and die out after some time. All elevators in a building are disabled while the fire is ongoing. You can place fire alarms to alert people in a building and sprinklers to stop fires faster in a room.

Burglaries

Burglars will appear now and again and steal whatever they can. You can place security cameras around your premises to alert the police and hopefully apprehend them before they steal too much.

Inventory lost from burglaries and fires can be recouped by a new contents insurance feature.

Other notable changes
  • Updated to Unity 2017 for a ton of bug/crash fixes (This will deprecate support for Directx9, 32-bit OSX and Ubuntu version < 14.04)
  • Improved the porting task so you can add and remove operating systems and not get stuck on in-development operating systems
  • Software review system has been overhauled to give more control and be less vague
  • All mods can now contain localizations, which makes localization handling better in mods and allows a single mod to contain translations of its written content in several languages
  • You can now individually pick specializations in the new game screen



12
New releases / Alpha 11 progress update part 2
« on: June 23, 2019, 09:00:18 PM »
Steam Post

Current status
The base mechanic overhaul I wanted to achieve for Alpha 11 is pretty much done at this point and I’ve been working through the new big additions to Alpha 11 this past month. I still have to do a round of bug fixing and balancing when I’ve finished the additions, which could be quick or drag out, I can’t say for sure at this point.



New additions
To reiterate what I wrote last month, product updates will not be present in the initial test release, to avoid delaying it more than necessary. I’m only working on features that would break save game compatibility for the initial release.

Iterative development
Iterative development focuses more on working through a project several times, while reconsidering the design and refactoring, to end up at a final product, as opposed to the traditional waterfall model of working out a full design initially and sticking 100% to it throughout development.

You will be able to iterate on your design several times during the design phase to increase chances of creating a good quality product without too many bugs. However, a more effective use of your time will be to iterate during the alpha phase: When you finish a software review during the alpha phase, instead of not really being able to do anything about all the frowning smiley faces, you will be able to temporarily stop development to improve the design, based on your newfound knowledge, and increase the end quality of your product.

Publishing
You will now be able to hand off some of your profits to a competitor, to avoid having to print copies or micromanage your marketing efforts. You will even be able to fund projects with a publisher to get your company off the ground early on or to lessen risk later.

Frameworks
Game engines have been a special class of software, since they are the only dependency in Software Inc. that requires supporting the same operating systems when using them for development. In contrast to using a 3D modelling or music app for development, you can’t run your game without a game engine once your game is done. This added a bunch of unneeded complexity to the game, so they are being deprecated in favor of frameworks.

You will now be able to create a framework when developing any type of software, which can be licensed to other companies and reused in future projects to reduce development time. Game frameworks will be analogues to game engines.

Service role
As all roles now have individual specializations, the marketing role is being deprecated in favor of a new Service role, which can specialize in Marketing, Support and Law.

Lawsuits
You can now be sued by your employees or other companies, which requires service employees with the law specialization to fight.

Conventions
I called this "conferences" in earlier posts, but it seemed misleading considering what I wanted the mechanic to encompass.

You and other companies will be able to hold and attend conventions in a select number of conference halls with individual booth layouts. Each booth has an area which can be filled with equipment to market and entice convention guests. This will be purely UI based, there won’t be a fully rendered conference hall full of people, as that would require a whole alpha version by itself or maybe just a different game entirely.



Other notable changes
  • Lakes have been spread around maps
  • You can now place sinks, which employees will seek out after visiting a bathroom to avoid spreading germs. Failing to place sinks will lead to nearby employees getting sicker more frequently
  • Employee salaries are now calculated on an hourly basis and automatically scale with their hours, meaning you can now have part-time employees and you can no longer give employees extra hours without compensating them
  • Employees now dislike night shifts, which you can combat with a night shift compensation benefit
  • Sun position and color calculation has been revamped, adding a new colorful dusk and more striking shadows at dawn and dusk
  • Most modding features have tentatively switched to TyD from XML
  • Computer performance and price now dynamically scale based on other computers available, e.g. a computer from the 1980s wasn’t slow and cheap in the 1980s
  • Fixed roofs being hard to place adjacent to room walls


13
New releases / Alpha 11 progress update
« on: May 03, 2019, 11:00:17 AM »
Steam Post

Current status
Development has been progressing smoothly. I've almost finished the overhaul of the development mechanics, I still need to rewrite software types, balance and bug fix. When the overhaul is done, I have to add some new features, before I can release the initial test version, including conferences and publishing deals (You can read more about it in the Trello). I don't expect the initial test version to have the software update mechanic, as that requires quite a bit of work by itself. I expect to be able to add it without breaking save files, so it isn't worth delaying for.

What has changed
Education and specializations
Specializations are now split up into three separate levels, rather than one continuous value. Each level has a major impact on gameplay, rather than just being a quality multiplier. For programmers and artists each level decides what level of features they can work with and not the quality they add, which means the "minimum specialization" hack I added in alpha 10 is no longer needed. Product quality is now controlled by the base skill of an employee and development speed is simply controlled by employee satisfaction, making it much easier to guesstimate timelines in the game. This change will most likely also bring back the progress bar in the alpha phase, which I know was a major pain point for some of you.


Leaders and marketing employees now also have specializations, which means you no longer send leaders off to a single HR course, instead you unlock HR features by levelling up leaders' HR specialization.

As employees increase their skill in a role, they also slowly earn experience which you can use to unlock the next level for a specialization, making education more RPG-like, but also way simpler and more discernible.

Features and the design document
Most of the feature dependency systems have been removed, to declutter software and simplify creating new software. As such the feature tree has been removed completely. Software now consists of a few main features (up to one for each specialization) and contain a bunch of smaller sub-features that satisfy each target market differently. The main features can depend on other software, like how 2D graphics will depend on having a 2D graphics editor, but sub-features can't have any dependencies, other than their main container feature.


There are no longer patentable features, instead each specialization has a tech level that can be researched and patented. Each main feature has a tech level based on its specialization, which impacts the satisfaction of your target markets and development time.

The design document has been pagified to accommodate the new target market selection screen. It currently consists of 4 pages: General information, dependencies, target markets and overview/team assignment.

Level 3 features

Each "sub-feature" has a level that controls its impact and the required level of employees to work on it. The max level features don't add anything to product quality, but actually change gameplay in some unique way. To accommodate this change I've written an interpreter from scratch,  so you can write C# like code directly in your XML mod files, to add new and interesting features to your software types.

Other stuff
  • Software licenses are now only paid for needs (Not operating systems), and they are paid monthly during development, instead of as a onetime fee at the beginning.[/*]
  • The delay phase preceding the beta phase of development has been removed.[/*]
  • You can no longer "over-design" a product, the design phase just ends at 100%[/*]
  • The skill of applicants no longer depend on company reputation, but company benefits.[/*]
  • I made some 3D animal models in my spare time to practice, which will be spread around the maps.[/*]



14
New releases / Patch notes updated
« on: February 28, 2019, 10:00:23 AM »
Patch notes have been updated.

15
New releases / Patch notes updated
« on: February 21, 2019, 03:00:20 PM »
Patch notes have been updated.

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