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Topics - PatchNoteBot

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1
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


2
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.[/*]



3
New releases / Alpha 10.10 officially out
« on: February 17, 2019, 02:00:17 PM »
Steam Post
Alpha 10.10 adds the long requested feature: Paths. You can now build paths from the road construction menu and since employees walk slower on grass in this update, paths won't just be for looks.



Alpha 10.10.11 (2019-02-28)
Changes
  • Added ability to favorite furniture to put it first, and filter furniture by favorites
  • Added ability to fine tune sliders in options window using arrow keys while hovering with mouse


Fixes
  • Employees will now attempt to get at a section of path in different ways if it is blocked, instead of just idling
  • More work towards fixing save state corruption
  • Benefits requiring money upfront (e.g. company car) would be free when activating them for new employees
  • Fixed number keys getting translated as being 1 number higher in UI


Alpha 10.10.10 (2019-02-21)
Fixes
  • Possible fix for rare save state corruption
  • Fixed error sound still playing after successfully splitting a room
  • Fixed being able to put furniture in invalid rooms by rotating near a wall while placing
  • Improved feedback window content sizing at bigger UI zoom levels


Alpha 10.10 highlights (including Alpha 10.9.9)
Changes
  • Added path system
  • Added secondary role and task system, so certain tasks and roles can be prioritized over others
  • Ability to drag selection to rectangle to select employees, furniture and parking spaces (using multi select will filter by current selection)
  • Improved selection responsiveness
  • Employee walk paths are now drawn when selected
  • Snow is now dynamically added to exterior walls, roofs and paths (modding guide here: https://softwareinc.coredumping.com/wiki/index.php/Material_Modding )
  • Added grass (you can increase the amount or disable completely in graphics options)
  • Employees now walk 25% slower on grass
  • Added performance column to active deals
  • Road crossings are now added dynamically to improve look of roads and parking
  • Added warning to product detail window when product has no more people to sell to
  • Elevated roads no longer appear blocky in miniatures
  • Added footprints and direction to dirt, and improved dirt spread
  • Employees now actively look at what they're interacting with and randomly around when idling and walking
  • Replaced newsfeed with offline patch notes in main menu
  • Duplicate shortcut now works for rooms (in build mode) and room clone button works for furniture
  • Anchor grid is now mapped to G by default and mapping is shown on grid gizmo
  • Ability to use arrow, esc and enter key in save game window
  • Price overlay when building will now default to being colored according to current bank balance
  • Select building now includes roof in selection
  • Improved how game generates nav and build mesh boundaries for modded furniture when using AutoBounds. Specifically sets minimum width and height for nav mesh and converts build mesh to a line if very thin. This should fix bugs with cubicles, if updated by author (If you are re-using the vanilla cubicle, leaving out nav and build boundary from the XML would be the best solution)


Fixes
  • Fixed bug causing AI companies to sometimes heavily underestimate physical sales and not order enough copies
  • Fixed room textures getting purged on Linux when changing resolution (would cause rooms to be black)
  • Fixed options window spawning new controls every time it was opened
  • Fixed snow and rain sticking to screen
  • Fixed undo placing houses and skyscrapers in custom map mode not working
  • Fixed employees walking through houses in town maps after load
  • Fixed camera zoom being overridden by default value on load
  • Coffee liquid held by employees on other floors would stay visible
  • Fixed wall top edge sometimes having holes or poking out over outdoor areas
  • Clone/blueprint tool will now correctly handle (recursively) surrounded open spaces in a building when checking for collisions
  • Fixed FURNITURE_DEBUG lines not being drawn on top of everything else
  • Fixed path to log file on Linux sometimes being incorrect


Optimizations
  • Improved dirt mesh data handling
  • Optimized all particle systems and disabled particle pausing to try and fix crashes caused by particle systems



4
New releases / Alpha 10.10 out in testing
« on: January 29, 2019, 03:40:57 PM »
Steam Post
Alpha 10.10 adds the long requested feature: Paths. You can now build paths from the road construction menu and since employees walk slower on grass in this update, paths won't just be for looks.



Alpha 11 plans
As you may or may not have noticed, Alpha 11 development has been delayed quite a few times now. The planned features for Alpha 11 have been quite clear in my mind, but I've been unable to figure how to add those features, without breaking other parts of the game. I've finally figured out how to make it happen, but this is turning out to be quite a big overhaul. Since Alpha 11 might be one of, if not the last Alpha release, I think having it be a major overhaul of the main game mechanics makes sense, as this might be my last chance to rectify the issues I have with the game.

I'll be looking out for bug reports on the new path system, while I plan out how to implement Alpha 11. I'll start implementing Alpha 11 once I'm confident the new path system is stable.

Once my plans for Alpha 11 are finished, I'll have a good idea of how long it'll take to finish the initial release, but for now I'll guestimate it at somewhere between 3 and 9 months. I'll keep you posted at https://twitter.com/SoftwareIncGame

Alpha 10.10.8 (2019-02-11)
Changes
  • Duplicate shortcut now works for rooms (in build mode) and room clone button works for furniture


Fixes
  • Fixed bug that would sometimes occur when splitting rooms


Alpha 10.10.7 (2019-02-10)
Changes
  • Elevated roads no longer appear blocky in miniatures
  • Added footprints and direction to dirt, and improved dirt spread
  • Path materials can now be picked for outdoor areas
  • Color window now changes based on whether selected rooms are outdoor areas
  • Employees now actively look at what they're interacting with and randomly around when idling and walking


Fixes
  • Pressing enter to confirm deleting save file no longer causes game to try and load said file afterwards
  • Right clicking with path and any other object selected didn't group actions properly
  • Coffee liquid held by employees on other floors would stay visible
  • More fixes to room clone collision calculation


Optimizations
  • Improved dirt mesh data handling


Alpha 10.10.6 (2019-02-06)
Fixes
  • Fixed furniture wall offset algorithm in cases where furniture would get squished
  • Fixed wall top edge sometimes having holes or poking out over outdoor areas


Alpha 10.10.5 (2019-02-05)
Fixes
  • Fixed game breaking when modded furniture breaks
  • Fixed game breaking when assigning project management leader to no team


Alpha 10.10.4 (2019-02-04)
Changes
  • Improved path related pathfinding
  • You can no longer place path ends on blocked areas and paths will snap to room boundaries, so they don't get blocked
  • Added line to show if path is going to connect to a door
  • Added performance column to active deals
  • Clone/blueprint tool will now correctly handle (recursively) surrounded open spaces in a building when checking for collisions
  • Ability to use arrow, esc and enter key in save game window
  • Price overlay when building will now default to being colored according to current bank balance


Fixes
  • Blocked path endings no longer break pathfinding and a warning has been added
  • Adding door near path could make path corrupted and unselectable
  • Undoing extending path in a straight line didn't work
  • Optimized broken furniture smoke particles and disabled particle pausing to try and fix crashes caused by particle systems


Alpha 10.10.3 (2019-02-01)
Reported bugs fixed for path system, particle systems (should reduce crashes in Windows) and secondary task system

Alpha 10.10.2 Fixes (2019-01-30)
  • Game would fail to save if a path system had been corrupted
  • Fixes to path undo procedures


Alpha 10.10.1 changes
  • Added path system
  • Added grass
  • Employees now walk 25% slower on grass
  • Added secondary role and task system, so certain tasks and roles can be prioritized over others
  • Improved selection responsiveness
  • Snow is now dynamically added to exterior walls, roofs and paths
  • Road crossings are now added dynamically to improve look of roads and parking
  • Added warning to product detail window when product has no more poeple to sell to
  • Anchor grid is now mapped to G by default and mapping is shown on grid gizmo
  • Replaced newsfeed with offline patch notes in main menu


Fixes
  • Fixed undo placing houses and skyscrapers in custom map mode not working
  • Fixed employees walking through houses in town maps after load
  • Fixed camera zoom being overridden by default value on load



5
New releases / Alpha 10.9 out in testing
« on: November 14, 2018, 01:00:28 AM »
Steam Post
Alpha 10.9.8 is officially out with reported bugs fixed.
Alpha 10.9.7 adds a new grid manipulation gizmo(2018-12-12)

(You can toggle the old grid manipulation panel in the options menu, if you prefer)

Alpha 10.9.6 changes (2018-12-10)
  • Objects are now highlighted when cursor is hovering over them, to make selection more intuitive
  • Ability to bind duplicate furniture key
  • Reduced complexity of windows and doors during mini map generation when necessary to avoid hitting mesh vertex limit, because some of you managed to add at least 2730 exterior windows and doors in one save!


Alpha 10.9.5 fixes bugs in the Market recognition drop-down and column filtering.

Alpha 10.9.4 changes (2018-12-08)
  • Furniture builder will now try to keep furniture inside room boundary instead of just giving up placement
  • Ability to transfer IP to relevant subsidiary using trade button
  • Specializations picked for HR now affects education choice
  • Roof points can snap to grid
  • Fixed some localization pluralizations
  • Added inline functions to localization system, currently only includes Vowel, Plural, FirstOrCount function
  • Market simulation now ignores in-house products when determining current highest tech level on market
  • Shift click a work filter toggle to isolate it
  • Better handling of error when generated mesh has too many vertices
  • Improved feedback window message box
  • Added salary NaN check to avoid game corruption and hopefully locate source of bug
  • Fixed software type and category dropdown localization
  • Overhauled options window
  • Ability to set multi-placement as default mode
  • Ability to disable rain, snow, thunder and lightning
  • Added dynamic colorization to popup messages and message boxes
  • Fixed window dragging and max size when UI is scaled


Alpha 10.9.3 changes (2018-11-16) <-- last official release
  • Zoom to cursor instead of center of screen


Fixes
  • Fix dropdown position when UI is scaled
  • Fixed missing assignment buttons in deal window
  • Improved handling of generated geometry to try and fix Windows crashes


The official Software Inc. soundtrack is complete! You can get it here

[2018-11-15]
Alpha 10.9.2 is out officially. The only change from 10.9.1 is that the furniture replace window has been fixed.

This update mainly contains bug fixes and optimizations. Notably, I've updated to Unity 5.6 from 5.5 to try and mitigate several crash issues.

Work on Alpha 11 is still ongoing, but it is still in the design phase. Alpha 11 will be the final iteration of the development mechanic, so I want to make sure I don't make any big mistakes.

Changes
  • Move to Unity 5.6
  • Added syntax highlighting to mod source code reader
  • Hold R while placing furniture to randomly rotate based on current angle snap
  • Ability to control camera with touch using 2 fingers (Only tested on an MS Surface (which does not meet minimum requirements FYI))


Fixes
  • Saves broken by having the start options mod installed and upgrading to alpha 10.8 without installing the updated mod will now have their difficulty setting clamped on load, if it is out of range
  • Undoing deletion of rooms in basement could break game
  • The previous bug could break saves such that altering rooms in the basement and ground floor would behave weirdly. A process to fix save files during load has been added, but might not work in all cases
  • People no longer talk to themselves in empty meetings...
  • Mod source code reader would break on long source files
  • Various other fixes


Optimizations
  • Optimized drop-down list handling
  • Random optimization work in market simulation and main game loop



6
New releases / Alpha 10.8 officially out
« on: October 11, 2018, 04:00:30 PM »
Steam Post

Slanted roofs and code modding is officially out. You can read more about code mods in my last announcement.

I tested Software Inc. on the latest version of Ubuntu and had some issues launching it, which was fixed by forcing fullscreen mode and re-launching and restarting until it just started working, which I guess is par for the course. The launch parameter to force fullscreen is: "-screen-fullscreen 1 -screen-width 1920 -screen-height 1080 -disableresolution", but switch out 1920 and 1080 with your screen resolution. When the game launches successfully you can set the game to fullscreen in the graphics options and remove the launch parameters, if you so desire.

Alpha 10.8.4 fixes
  • Fixed duplicating outdoor areas
  • Fixed having to re-validate mods when using RELOAD_DLL_MOD


Full changelog for Alpha 10.7 and 10.8
  • Added slanted roofs
  • New Autumn track by Sinnott Soundworks
  • Added 2 new startup maps, a garage and a skyscraper
  • Basements are now separated for blueprints and cloning
  • Doubled starting cash on easy mode
  • Changing team arrival and leave times will now take immediate effect
  • Whether project management makes a product in-house will now depend on base product


UX changes
  • Build menu category list now uses thumbnails instead of checkboxes and text
  • Added calendar window when date is clicked to see employee and staff working hours
  • Ability to manage staff room assignment from staff window
  • Pressing the focus button (space by default) now cycles between all selected objects
  • Ability to highlight unsupported rooms if cloning or blueprint creation fails


Fixes
  • Fixed room grouping bugging out when re-grouping rooms
  • Fixed bug regarding how door blockage is checked for doors to upper floor parking. Doors going nowhere or in basement will now show as blocked
  • Various other fixes


Modding changes
Code modding
  • Added system for compiling C# in-game and securing access to certain types
  • More confirmation has been added before loading new or changed dll mods
  • Added code mods to the Steam workshop
  • ModMeta is now an Abstract Class rather than an Interface and the FloorMod has been updated to show examples
  • DLL mods will now be queried to save and load data from save files
  • Changed WindowManager interface to avoid misuse of active window lists that would cause crash (Use OnlyHide, StartHidden, Shown and OnClose to control lifecycle)
  • Game assembly now includes xml documentation to help develop dll mods in Visual Studio (Only some of the codebase have been commented so far, mostly UI stuff)
  • Improved logged message when an error occurs loading a dll mod


XML modding
  • Deprecated mesh and snappoint Parent tag in furniture mods and added Parent ATTRIBUTE to all tags that searches everything in the furniture with a name(Use ComponentName tag to name Meshes and InteractionPoints, Name tag for Transforms)
  • Multiple and custom lights for modded furniture using the LampScript's Lights variable(will automatically find all light components in a furniture if not manually set, at the expense of performance)
  • Modded furniture can now optionally have the IsIconic variable set to an array of category names, if it should be used as a thumbnail for custom categories



7
Blog / Alpha 10.8.1 out in testing
« on: October 09, 2018, 11:00:24 PM »
Steam Post
Alpha 10.8.3 fixes further issues with mod loading.
Alpha 10.8.2 fixes some issues with mod loading.

You can now upload and download code mods in the Steam Workshop!

First off: Do not download code mods if you don't want to ruin your PC, but also don't want to verify the safety of the mod.

Here are some quick Q&As to explain what this change means:

What is a data mod?
As you most likely haven't noticed, because I literally just changed it, mods in the workshop are no longer called "Mods" but "Data mods". Everyone who has a "Mod" on the workshop should re-upload it to gain access to this new exclusive title.
A data mod is basically a mod that doesn't change how the game works, but gives the game more content to work with, which is what mods on the workshop have done so far.

What's the difference between code mods and data mods?
Code mods are written using a programming language and actively change how the game works, add new mechanics on top of it or they pretend to be mods while they quietly mine bitcoin in the background.

Aren't there already code mods on the workshop?
The way code mods work in Software Inc. can pose a serious threat to your computer, since they have the same access to your files and internet that the game has, but have the advantage of not being developed by me.
Because of this, I had decided not to allow code mods on the workshop. Clever modders got around it by uploading their programs as text files, which is obviously not an ideal situation.

If code mods are so insecure, why are you allowing them now?
This latest update includes a way to load mods that are still in text format and actively tries to shut off parts of the mod that would access your internet or files.
Please note that the mods can still be very dangerous. I will try my best to moderate code mods on the workshop, but feel free to study the files, find and flag any malicious code yourself. The game will prompt you to read the code directly in the game before it loads any new or updated code mod.

I want to make my own trainer. Where do I start?
You can just skip right along on here to the wiki, to read more about creating your own fancy cheats:
https://softwareinc.coredumping.com/wiki/index.php/Code_Modding



Changelog
Changes
  • Added system for compiling C# in-game and securing access to certain types
  • More confirmation has been added before loading new or changed dll mods
  • Added code mods to the Steam workshop


Fixes
  • Game would break during loading when installing DLL mods for the first time
  • Pre 10.7 blueprints that only contains basement rooms would break the game

8
New releases / Alpha 10.7.1 out in testing
« on: October 06, 2018, 11:00:20 PM »
Steam Post

Slanted roofs are finally in! I hope this makes up for the slightly misleading roofs in the town map screenshots I released, leading up to alpha 10.

Slanted roofs are currently purely cosmetic. I'll try to figure out some way to utilize them in a future update, but for now, they are free in-game.

I made some big changes to the DLL modding system, which will break all current DLL mods. See changes at the end of this post.

This marks the end of alpha 10. I'm keeping Alpha 10.7 in testing for a short while, to make sure there aren't any major issues.

Alpha 10.7.2 fixes
  • Fixed employee working hours in calendar window going 1 hour too long
  • Fixed modded furniture with lights stopped working


Alpha 10.7.1 changes
  • Added slanted roofs
  • New Autumn track by Sinnott Soundworks
  • Added 2 new startup maps, a garage and a skyscraper
  • Basements are now separated for blueprints and cloning
  • Doubled starting cash on easy mode
  • Changing team arrival and leave times will now take immediate effect
  • Whether project management makes a product in-house will now depend on base product


UX changes
  • Build menu category list now uses thumbnails instead of checkboxes and text
  • Added calendar window when date is clicked to see employee and staff working hours
  • Ability to manage staff room assignment from staff window
  • Pressing the focus button (space by default) now cycles between all selected objects
  • Ability to highlight unsupported rooms if cloning or blueprint creation fails




Fixes
  • Fixed room grouping bugging out when re-grouping rooms
  • Fixed bug regarding how door blockage is checked for doors to upper floor parking. Doors going nowhere or in basement will now show as blocked
  • Various other fixes


Modding changes
DLL modding
  • ModMeta is now an Abstract Class rather than an Interface and the FloorMod has been updated to show examples
  • DLL mods will now be queried to save and load data from save files
  • Changed WindowManager interface to avoid misuse of active window lists that would cause crash (Use OnlyHide, StartHidden, Shown and OnClose to control lifecycle)
  • Game assembly now includes xml documentation to help develop dll mods in Visual Studio (Only some of the codebase have been commented so far, mostly UI stuff)
  • Improved logged message when an error occurs loading a dll mod


XML modding
  • Deprecated mesh and snappoint Parent tag in furniture mods and added Parent ATTRIBUTE to all tags that searches everything in the furniture with a name(Use ComponentName tag to name Meshes and InteractionPoints, Name tag for Transforms)
  • Multiple and custom lights for modded furniture using the LampScript's Lights variable(will automatically find all light components in a furniture if not manually set, at the expense of performance)
  • Modded furniture can now optionally have the IsIconic variable set to an array of category names, if it should be used as a thumbnail for custom categories



9
New releases / Alpha 10.6.9 patch notes
« on: September 03, 2018, 01:00:25 PM »
Steam Post
This patch contains fixes for every bug reported in-game since the official release of alpha 10.

Development update
I've taken some much needed time off since alpha 10 released, which is why I've been mostly quiet on social media. I plan on releasing another Alpha 10 update introducing slanted roofs, after which I'll move on to Alpha 11.

The planned features, as they are listed on Trello now, will not change at this point. I will most likely still randomly add features not on Trello, like the previously added multi-floor parking, outdoor areas and upcoming slanted roofs, but I'm aiming for beta at this point, which means a complete freeze on new gameplay changing features (not including what's on Trello). I don't expect to reach beta within at least one year. Once in beta, development will focus on bugs, balancing, steam integration, localization and adding content.

Patch notes for alpha 10.6.9
  • Fixed a bug that would allow a product to get sales with any price, if it was the sole release on an OS with active users
  • Fixed game freezing due to HR hiring more than 300 employees in one go and optimized team compatibility calculation a bit
  • Fixed deleting rooms under unowned roads when buying plot and added a warning
  • Fixed being able to see and control product under development by going to product details from design document window
  • Fixed tutorial arrows when UI is scaled
  • Fixed money, reputation and market recognition dropdown panels not closing in build mode
  • Fixed game breaking when filtering columns in product detail window
  • Fixed default custom material for modded furniture having full emission/glow (use _EmissionColor)
  • Fixed some issues with AC and central heating not updating when being moved or not having correct Type
  • Fixed marketing deal not showing progress due to wrong value scaling
  • Fixed debug spawning guests breaking game(will also fix bugged saves)
  • Clarified error message when trying to change price of a free product
  • Various other fixes



10
New releases / Alpha 10 officially out
« on: August 11, 2018, 08:00:32 PM »
Steam Post

Alpha 10 is now stable enough for an official release. I might still have some changes that are big enough to warrant an update or two for Alpha 10. I want to cram as many features in as possible before moving on to Alpha 11, since the bulk of features planned for Alpha 11 will render Alpha 10 saves completely incompatible, as usual.

If you are not done with your Alpha 9 save file and want to continue playing Alpha 9, you can switch to the "old" branch by right clicking the game in Steam and going to properties and then betas.

I recommend going through the tutorials, as they have been updated to reflect changes in gameplay and new additions. A lot of strategies and play styles from Alpha 9 will not work in Alpha 10, since hiring and employee skills have been overhauled.

Alpha 10 highlights
  • Ability to lease rooms
  • Ability to relocate company
  • New plot system
  • Added map editor, town map, map generation string, rain and thunder
  • Multi-floor parking
  • Ability to mod room material textures
  • Overhauled hiring mechanic and employee skill system
  • Overhauled employee satisfaction mechanic and added customizable employee benefits
  • Ability to assign multiple roles per employee
  • Ability to control subsidiary releases and assign tasks
  • 5 new tracks from Sinnott Soundworks
  • Added ability to change the price of a product
  • Removed scenarios and added ability to take out loans in new game screen
  • Overhauled temperature mechanics to instantly reflect changes instead of simulating in realtime
  • Software sales are now calculated per OS market, so software released for different OSs are no longer in direct competition
  • Plus massive amounts of bug fixes, QOL improvements and optimizations


Finally, I want to stress that Software Inc. is still in alpha, which means major features are still in development, so the gameplay might feel unbalanced at times, which is only exacerbated by the fact that nothing in Software Inc. is scripted. Sometimes the market lines up in a way that makes the game very easy, kind of like how Software Inc. became this (relatively) big success, considering I'm just one person who hasn't released any other games before. I've tried my best to balance the market, but I've also tried to keep it to a minimum, as the effort is basically wasted in the long run.

Changes since last patch
  • Rebalanced marketing deal and hosting deal reputation effect and made companies cancel deals with bad player performance
  • Made computer-auto-assign more likely to assign employees to computers in rooms that fit their role, if assigned
  • IT support would sometimes not unreserve a PC, making it unavailable for use by employees for a random amount of time



11
New releases / Alpha 10.6.1 out on testing branch
« on: May 29, 2018, 02:00:39 PM »
Steam Post
Alpha 10.6.7 changes (2018-08-03)
  • Added rain and thunder
  • Added tutorial arrows to context menu


Fixes
  • Fixed not saving employees' current retirement fund sum (Was still deducted from company monthly, so this was purely cosmetic)
  • Fixed tutorial bugging out when going from Welcome to Leasing tutorial


Optimizations
  • Switched to PA Particle Field system for snow and rain


Alpha 10.6.6 changes (2018-07-31)
  • Added interaction point indicator when placing furniture
  • You can now rotate snapping furniture using keyboard, instead of just click dragging


Fixes
  • Fixed furniture placed on high shelves not being selectable
  • Doorways that are blocked weren't ignored by pathfinding system, causing employees and staff to give up instead of trying alternative routes when pathfinding to a room
  • Couldn't translate software features in product detail window
  • Loosing reputation on marketing deals
  • Going to build mode, pressing esc, and esc again shows non build mode windows in build mode
  • Various other fixes


Optimizations
  • Glass door stickman rendering


Alpha 10.6.5 changes (2018-07-17)
  • New summer track from Sinnott Soundworks
  • Remember team selection in hiring window
  • Use hearts instead of a smiley face for market recognition
  • Clarified outdoor furniture error message to include "fenced areas"
  • Ability to copy multiple lines of commands at once in the console


Fixes
  • Fixed HR not hiring anyone because a few people on the team were dragging compatibility down below minimum standards
  • Taking over a project from project management doesn't update next release date on task
  • Starting a support or marketing task on a product released using project management will now take over active task instead of doing nothing


Alpha 10.6.4 changes (2018-07-11)
  • Overhauled distribution deal bidding mechanic
  • Balanced digital distribution cost
  • Greatly increased accuracy of ISP cost calculation
  • Ability to see bandwidth percentage for each distribution client in the distribution window
  • Balanced hosting deal income
  • Added keyboard shortcut to button tooltips and keyboard bindings for toggling team labels and wire mode
  • Split physical and digital distribution tutorials and updated digital distribution tutorial with fixes and going over the new bidding mechanic
  • Job satisfaction can now affect chance to call in sick


Fixes
  • Fixed game sometimes bugging out in distribution window due to how the physical copies sold value was retrieved
  • Fixed localization of specializations on new pie chart legends
  • Checking furniture collision on replace did not account for rotation correctly and would allow furniture to overlap and stick through walls after being replaced
  • Tutorials shouldn't auto skip after first tutorial message if skip condition was met before the message was shown


Alpha 10.6.3 fixes (2018-07-06)
  • Fixed not being able to expand work items because buttons would pop up
  • Fixed game bugging out if opening info window on a project that has dependencies in beta


Alpha 10.6.2 changes (2018-07-06)
  • Ability to use software that is in beta for product needs (Allows you to develop games for game engines in beta)
  • Press ctrl to autocomplete a room when building up against previous rooms
  • New build track from Sinnott Soundworks
  • Count employee sick days and show in employee window, complaint window and wage window
  • Count complaints and resignations handled by HR and show in HR management window
  • Specialization degrade should change based on difficulty
  • Instead of hiring very low compatibility employees, low skilled leaders in HR will now just take longer to find applicants that are less compatible on average
  • Add product detail button in distribution window and total copies sold column
  • Filter furniture assign window by teams/roles assigned to room and include role with name
  • Added legends directly on piecharts
  • Specialization pie chart in design document is now separated by art and code (This is a temporary fix, as the design document will be overhauled in Alpha 11)
  • Project info window now includes specialization chart
  • Shift + click a label in a chart legend to only show that stat (helpful for quickly isolating one item in a company's cashflow chart)
  • Renamed "units sold" to "Net units sold" to clarify that refunds have been deducted from the total
  • Lowered leader skill gain from HR
  • Added AI company specialization to company detail window


Fixes
  • Fixed bug caused by one or more mods setting software as an OS dependency without that software actually depending on an OS. Mods with this issue will be disabled and mods will now be incompatible if they cause this issue together
  • Employee complaint demands were calculated incorrectly
  • HR will now reject complaints if the employee has already demanded too much
  • HR should not educate employees that are about to retire
  • Fixed some license key/pc combinations resetting license key every time offline version launched
  • Fixed race condition during new game load that could cause game to not finish pre-simulation, causing general instability, and missing companies and products
  • Fixed some issues with furniture mod error logging and added base furniture name case insensivity
  • Added fix in cases where rooms grouped for rent would be recursive, causing an out of memory crash when loading a rentable building
  • Budget is now set automatically when accepting marketing deals
  • Rare race condition when checking furniture availability could cause game error when loading game or placing furniture
  • Fixed game bugging out if employees are fired while interacting with them in the role management window
  • Added custom string formatter to avoid game bugging out if localization uses the wrong number of arguments in a string
  • Fixed plot panel being in the wrong place for larger GUI scales
  • Various other fixes


I've done some "behind the scenes" design work on Alpha 11, and I've ironed out most issues I had with how the new feature system should work. I'm fast tracking alpha 10, so I can move on to alpha 11. I don't expect more than a hotfix or two before I officially release alpha 10. Note that this does not mean I'm throwing out all the feedback you have provided for alpha 10, it just means I'm putting off working on it, until I get the new feature system in place, as that will heavily impact gameplay.

Changes
  • Added new plural/singular localization XML nodes, which contain both the translation itself in singular and plural form, plus the subject as a postfix in lowercase in a single XML tag
  • Added ability to compare localization UI files from Console by writing e.g. "COMPARE_LOCALIZATION French English"
  • New winter track from Sinnott Soundworks
  • Added ability to change the price of a product
  • Changed how price affects sales when price is below market average
  • The AI will now try to port software to new operating systems and also kindly ask any dependent software developers as well, e.g. game engines for games. This should decrease the chance of the player gaining a lot of money purely by the virtue of being first on an OS
  • Ability to see and change multiple teams' work assignments in the team window
  • Added warning popup when two employees dislike each other to help identify the exact employees
  • Compatibility is now shown for each team when changing teams for one employee
  • Specialization chart no longer counts specializations below the minimum team spec level when calculating average for a team, which makes it easier to see the effect of raising minimum spec level on software quality
  • Added price warning and ability to change price before release if a product is priced way over market average, as this was causing some unintended 0 sale products
  • Increased amount of game dev companies to fill out void in categories (only affects new games)
  • Rebalanced stress levels to make stressed employee way less stressed and lazy employees a little more stressed
  • Rebalanced personalities traits so all extremes are possible and average personality combination has medium trait values
  • Employees will now automatically prefer to use computers which boost roles they are assigned to (note that it is still first come first served, so someone less suited for a PC might call dibs before a better suited employee does, you can reverse this by assigning manually)
  • Half follower loss rate if release date has been announced
  • Improved computer auto assignment
  • Furniture tooltips should go away once action has been carried out by player
  • Grouping rooms for rent that are already grouped in the map editor will now ungroup them all
  • Work item filters are now saved
  • Proper tutorial for new team window options
  • Rebalanced print deal payouts
  • Added warning when subsidiary is running out of money
  • Improved company cashflow chart color, order and highlighting


Fixes
  • All active print deals would get cancelled every time a company went bankrupt
  • Toggling all in the multi select window would untoggle everything that had been filtered by the current search
  • Products which had a million dollar price tag could end up generating sales if no other product had been released in the same category for at least 5 years
  • Sometimes AI companies would avoid releasing software in a specific category because another company was planning to do it in several years
  • Lazy employees left too early on average
  • Stove quality state had no bearing on cooking
  • Trees visible underground on load
  • Made furniture ownership checks more robust to avoid them switching around on load (won't fix previous saves)
  • Fixed employees walking in and out of the elevator when reaching their floor for no reason
  • Made employees more likely to pick parking spots that are closer in height to where they want to go
  • Fixed instances of employees walking through cars and backtracking when going from parking space to room on upper floors
  • Moved chair repair point closer to avoid it getting blocked by stuff behind the chair
  • Changed "Not qualified for assigned tasks" to "Not qualified for active tasks" to clarify that it does not apply to finished assigned tasks



12
New releases / Alpha 10.5.1 out on testing branch
« on: April 30, 2018, 07:01:09 PM »
Steam Post

The multi floor parking lot update is finished and this update is mostly focused on bugs, balancing and UI updates, hence the move to alpha 10.5.

I'm planning on doing another balancing pass in the next patch, but please keep in mind that balancing is not a priority currently. I'm trying to make sure the game is playable, but as game mechanics change often, keeping the game well balanced during alpha is not feasible. I will focus a lot more on balancing and the learning curve when Software Inc. reaches beta, until then you might experience suddenly getting rich, because the AI didn't make sensible choices or gaining fans is too easy, etc.

I only have a couple of "bigger" features I want to add in Alpha 10, so I expect to make it to alpha 10.6 or 10.7, before I move on to Alpha 11.

Changes
  • Added cloud shadows
  • Made trees jiggle in the wind
  • Removed max cap on how much specialization level an employee can gain by working
  • Specializations will now decrease for employees each month, but less as they age, so they start specializing as they get older depending on what they work on most often/have been educated in
  • Business reputation now also positively affects average base skill for each wage bracket when looking for applicants
  • Specialization charts comprising multiple employees will no longer count employees not assigned to the role shown
  • Added warning when changing role of someone controlled by HR
  • Added multi select functionality to the Your Releases window
  • Turned up yellow color in data overlay mode, as it was making it hard to discern temperature
  • Boosted employee skill gain from working a tiny bit
  • Put consumer reach in product detail window


Fixes
  • Industrial fans aren't cooling correctly and servers aren't giving off noticeable heat
  • Employees gain both code and art skill in alpha phase even if project doesn't use that skill
  • Undoing server deletion doesn't register and recreate server connections + other undo initialization issues
  • Guests should be removed from game if time is skipped
  • Per month column in distribution window did not account for print jobs inactive due to hitting maximum
  • Scrollbar in hire window specialization chart was cropping art bars
  • Print and server deals stuck around after buying out company bugging out game
  • "Find owner" in product detail window not scrolling company list correctly in some cases
  • Fixed employees getting stuck on ground floor ramp
  • Employees set as artists and programmers would work slower on a project that only had either code or art work to be done
  • PC addon boosts were applied based on role instead of work done in alpha phase
  • Fixed save games breaking if a server furniture mod failed to load
  • Various other fixes



13
New releases / Alpha 10.4.1 out on testing branch
« on: April 16, 2018, 01:01:15 AM »
Steam Post
Alpha 10.4.6 fixes trees not getting removed

Alpha 10.4.5 fixes another bug regarding clashing object IDs when undoing

Had some fun stomping around with a microphone to create footstep sound effects in 10.4.4.

Alpha 10.4.4 changes
  • Added footstep SFX, which can be changed in modded floor materials by adding FloorType tag with value set to either Wood, Ceramic, Carpet(default) or Concrete
  • Increased game world SFX volume


Fixes
  • Fixed issue with clashing object IDs after relocating company or starting in rent office causing potentially unpredictable behavior when loading the save file later on
  • Hiring window bug when no team is selected
  • Tables were not getting regrouped for meetings, canteen and lounge after undoing
  • Bug when deleting tables used by employees while eating if the delete prompt is disabled
  • Employees would miscount available chairs for a table group due to the new chair repair action
  • The position leaders would use to socialize with employees at their PC would sometimes become unavailable by being JUST inside a cubicle wall
  • Pathfinding would generate buggy paths when employees are walking directly from a room to a ground level parking space
  • Added error if contracts in a mod has categories defined
  • Employees would zigzag going between rooms and roads from certain angles
  • Various other fixes


Optimizations
  • Turned interaction name from string to enum to reduce string comparisons. Makes it harder to mod AI, but not currently relevant



I had a brainfart in the last update and added sidewalk pathfinding as a separate system from the normal pathfinding, but it turns out I could just unify these two systems, which means you can now build rooms with doors up against elevated roads, and employees will use that door to get off parking lots, if it makes sense to do so. This will allow you to connect buildings directly to elevated parking lots or add elevators to get from a parking lot to the ground.

Alpha 10.4.3 changes
  • Employees can now move directly between rooms and elevated roads
  • Ability to use arrow, home, end and ctrl+a keys in lists if last clicked thing was a list item


Fixes
  • Game would bug when undoing road changes above a second story ramp
  • Fixed employees choosing very suboptimal paths outside in some cases


Optimizations
  • Optimized room graph generation


Alpha 10.4.2 fixes games with assigned parking spaces not wanting to load.



This update comes with a new, completely unplanned, multi-floor road building system. The road building system has been arbitrarily limited to 3 floors for performance reasons and since a small parking lot can now hold 3 times as many cars, which should be plenty considering the game wasn't balanced towards having thousands of employees on the premises. Note that road pricing has also been updated, keeping the standard roads and parking on the ground at 5000 in-game standard rate currency.

You cannot build below roads and, as before, you have to build 2 floors above the road to avoid clipping cars. However, you can now build roads and rooms over roads you don't own, to connect plots in city and town maps.

Changes
  • Multi floor parking
  • It is now allowed to build rooms and roads over ground level roads on plot you don't own, for connecting plots in city and town map
  • Added error messages to blueprint building and room cloning
  • Added warning if cook doesn't have access to serving trays
  • Leader room role assignment takes priority over anything else, meaning leaders won't prioritize rooms assigned to one of their other roles
  • Turned car noise distance down and increased the low pass + low volume effect to shield off noises outside the current room


Fixes
  • Minimum specialization cap was not saved
  • Keep track of employees' retirement plan deposits so it figures in the termination report as a payout
  • Fixed long standing bug where cars would slowly arrive later and later until the road was changed
  • Fixed cars spawning on top of each other
  • Maintenance will now fix chairs while in use
  • Clicking a notification would make the camera keep panning to the target position when trying to drag the screen
  • Room role assignment was applied incorrectly when prioritizing which room to go to, so employees would not always prefer rooms with their role assignment
  • Room role assignment rules were accidentally applied to staff making them more likely to work in role assigned rooms(not including IT, maintenance and cleaning staff)


Optimizations
  • Improved car pathfinding cache



14
New releases / Alpha 10.3.1 out on testing branch
« on: April 07, 2018, 06:01:03 PM »
Steam Post
Alpha 10.3.2 changes
  • Updated vending machine, central heating, fridge and 90s PC models


Fixes
  • Fixed auto graphic settings option not working due to target framerate being 60 fps by default
  • Submeshes in imported furniture is now merged so they have selection outlines
  • Added missing error handling to hour input fields
  • Fixed employees getting their classes and vacation cut short by relocating
  • Furniture animation speed always 1 (fridge)
  • Various other fixes


This release features a completely overhauled temperature system:
  • Room temperatures now instantly reflect temperature changes, instead of simulating temperatures in realtime
  • Water and electricity costs now depend on how much your heating and cooling elements are actually needed, e.g. a radiator will not use water or degrade in quality during warm summer days
  • Tundra and desert temperatures have been re-balanced
  • Each heating/cooling element now have much clearer area and power stats that control how much they can heat/cool.
  • Rooms have an insulation stat controlled by adjacent rooms and windows (can be viewed from the data overlay).


Changes
  • Overhauled temperature mechanics
  • Ability to set individual employee benefits
  • Ability to set minimum specialization skill on a team before an employee is allowed to work with it in code and art
  • The role column in the employee window now uses sprites instead of text to show assigned roles
  • Seasoned devs will now have more specialized education rather than none at all
  • Added christmas bonus benefit
  • Ability to control HR specializations for new hires
  • Added target framerate option for non Vsync mode
  • Added thermometer to UI indicating outside temperature
  • Cleaned up team window
  • Rooms should always show area, and multiple selected rooms should show aggregated area


Fixes
  • Fixed HR preferred age label not updating
  • Lowered hype effect on sales to avoid sudden hype causing random sales drops
  • Select furniture types in rooms would keep some previously selected objects
  • Buildings from workshop not loading on systems with case sensitive paths
  • Removed printing alerts for traded products to avoid spam after company takeover
  • Fix plot near bus stop in leased mode, so employees don't walk into a building from the bus (this fix is not retroactive)
  • Rooms over a road cause unsupported message when placing blueprints or cloning rooms
  • Retroactively fixed some furniture mods breaking saves
  • Game would bug when pressing enter after searching in multi selection window like furniture assignment
  • Improved car pathing logic and cornering speeds
  • Developed a tool to batch spell check XML files and spell checked all XML files


Optimizations
  • Added character LOD and added a unified low poly shadow caster. This will most likely only impact very low spec systems. If you're having performance issues on a newer system and your GPU is stressed, disable "More shadows"


Known issues
  • Auto graphic settings option no longer works, due to the new framerate target option. You can get around it by temporarily disabling VSync and setting the framerate target to -1 before running the tests. Will be fixed in next patch.



15
Blog / Alpha 10.2.1 out on testing branch
« on: March 15, 2018, 05:01:15 PM »
Steam Post
Changes
  • Peer reviews now affect bug count and quality
  • Bigger plot option for rural map, more expensive but simpler expand progression
  • Show average team skill and spec against selected employee in hiring window
  • Change HR and time settings for multiple teams in a row
  • Ability to save and load character defaults in new game screen
  • Ability to delete room styles
  • Ability to localize key names for key bindings if name is longer than one character by writing KeyCode + KeyName as written in UI, e.g. KeyCodeDelete


Fixes
  • Leasable black material had gotten selectable as floor in-game
  • Raised lower compatibility chance of employees hired by competent HR
  • Slightly decreased effect of disliking a team member
  • Difficulty setting was not saved after starting a new game in a building
  • Further decreased skill effect on support ticket response rate
  • Fixed newspaper writing article before game had calculated feature score
  • Fixed plot window for multi monitor setups


Known issues
  • Preferred age label in HR not updating
  • Renting multiple building units at once will cause loud cash register SFX

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