The Last Few Weeks Of Rowing

Hello Everyone!

We haven't been very good at updating this blog in the last quarter of 2016, as we focussed on the TGWR Steam Community. Our last Early Access update in 2016 was the Yuletide patch on the 22nd of December, which included a number of fixes and enhancements to the base combat system. But we didn't stop there, and quite a few of us kept working throughout the holidays.

Mary, who is my partner in crime writing for the game, completed the storylines for the Frisians and the Franks. In the meantime I was able to progress the storyline of the Danes towards their grand finale. This week we are editing, and entering all the new text into our super important Master Text File. That will then go to our translators for the German, Italian, and French versions.

I have been liaising with Facebook and testing the Facebook Gameroom version of The Great Whale Road. We are excited that we have been selected by Facebook to be one of the first premium games to launch on their new desktop gaming platform. We had to upgrade the Unity version as well, which in turn required some code changes. We don't have a confirmed launch date yet, but it will be in the coming weeks. 

Our artists completed two new side scrolling landscapes, white cliffs and sea marshes, before Christmas. Over the holidays we worked on some marketing assets and Lundenwic--in all its bygone Roman flair. 

Now most of the team are working towards v0.6.0, which should be our final major release in early access. This version will include character and settlement progression, as well as a new AI and further enhancements to the combat system. We will try to include as many bug fixes as we can in this version as well.

We are aiming to fully release The Great Whale Road towards the end of February/March, which will be a busy time indie/RPG/strategy/tactics wise. But nowadays every month on Steam is busy, so we'll just have to deal with that. I am looking forward to the full release with suspense and a bit of fearful anticipation. It will decide if we get the chance to work on The Great Whale Road for a little longer to add the DLCs we have planned. We haven't made any concrete plans for a second title yet--there are a lot of dependencies and the level of success of The Great Whale Road will obviously be a key factor.  

All the best for 2017 - and I hope to see you around,

Joachim @ Sunburned Games

Early Access Dev Blog #4: The Updated Whale Road-Map

Hello Everyone!

Gamescom was only a little bit over a month ago and we have been super busy in the meantime. Update v0.3.0 will be released on Monday (10/3) instead of today, as we have added so many new things that we have given ourselves a few more days for testing.  

MONDAY - v0.3.0: TRADE, QUESTS & LOADS OF NEW FEATURES

New Features:

  • Character loyalty
  • Character afflictions
  • Dynamic trade
  • Healers in settlements: See them if you want to recover quickly.
  • Fast travel
  • And hunting dogs finally hunt!

Improvements:

  • A new event screen with a larger font and space for an illustration. We even added the first event images, with a lot more to come in the next updates.
  • Optimised for full HD and screen resizing for lower resolutions. Please let us know if you experience any issues on smaller/older screens.
  • Winter planning and results: revised screens and we changed the system from assigning focus points to assigning your villagers
  • A new weather system with fog, wind and sky variations
  • Streamlined the amount of intermittent screens
  • Combat rewards! Now some fights will result in you getting loot, in v0.4.0 we will limit loot to when you actually win a fight.
  • Odin, beer is no longer free! Spending the night partying at a tavern costs silver now.
  • Reduced the number of personality traits

Content:

  • Two character storylines with quests and winter events
  • New sailing events for character afflictions
  • New winter events
  • Updated most location names in the game to increase their authenticity. Special thanks for historical-linguistic advice go to: Peter Alexander Kerkhof, PhD

END OF OCTOBER - v0.4.0: COMBAT & STORY

New Features:

  • Enhanced combat system

Improvements:

  • New combat AI
  • More new screens and Event illustrations
  • Loot!

Content:

  • Danish storyline chapters 2 & 3
  • New character storylines
  • Additional Danish characters (Thorir Throatcutter & Widukind the Beardless)
  • Additional NPCs
  • Locations along the Frankish & Frisian coast
  • New winter events
  • New location events
  • New sailing events
  • New rumors

END OF NOVEMBER -v0.5.0: RENOWN & PROGRESSION

New Features:

  • Renown
  • Character progression
  • Ship upgrade

Improvements:

  • Combat enhancements
  • UI upgrade - part 1

Content:

  • New warcries
  • Trading quests
  • New winter events
  • New location events
  • New sailing events
  • New rumors

Dev Blog #3 - Summing up Cologne: Gamescom and Global Top Round 2016

We are back at the studio after a busy few days in Cologne. Last week started with the Global Top Round accelerator conference and I am happy to report that we made it into the final 10 this year. After more than a year of work that is a great achievement for us as a new studio. It could provide us with additional funding next year and access to the Global Top Round network.

After this excellent start to our Germany trip, Axel (our tech lead) joined me in Cologne and we kicked off our Gamescom visit. We were showing The Great Whale Road at the official Spanish pavilion: Games from Spain.

We met loads of other great developers and had a number of press appointments. The visitors at our humble stand included: Writing Bull (the official grandmaster of Civilization VI youtubing in Germany), Steinwallen (historical games YouTuber extraordinaire), @GameSideStory, RPG Watch, and the RPG Codex among others. Overall Gamescom is huge, and the business area while loud and busy is like an oasis of peacefulness compared to the public entertainment area.

We haven't seen much of Cologne, but we came past the dome on our way to the airport.

Now work continues on the next Steam Early Access update v0.2.1, which is due next week! 

Thanks to everyone who took the time to see us at Gamescom and to all the folks participating and organising the GTR conference. We had a blast! 

Best,

Joachim @ Sunburned Games

Early Access Dev Blog #2: Update v0.2.0

Sailing to Germany

Before some of us are leaving for Gamescom to show and talk about The Great Whale Road, we're releasing the same build which we'll be taking with us to Cologne. So if something goes wrong, then we'll be complaining about the same bugs. ;)

We actually got ahead of ourselves and included a few changes that were planned for the next version. Have fun!

Highlights:

  • Added the ability to discard items from the ship storage - No more drowning in pelts after desperately hunting for food.
  • Added our first Character Quest - Going north to Ribe and the north of Jutland.
  • Added outcome randomization to existing events - Life on the whale road has a few surprises left.
  • Added a new combat map: Forest.
  • Added winter art to Úlfarrsted -Thus successfully reversing global warming.
  • Added Support Warcries: Lightning Fast, Calling on Óðinn.
  • Removed the "sleeping on the ship" screen, so you don't fall asleep while playing.

If you have any issues, please post them in the support section of our Steam forum

And here the complete list:

Features:

  • Added the ability to discard items from the ship storage.
  • Added our first character quest
  • Added more enemy variation.
  • Added new events.
  • Added winter battle events.
  • Added outcome randomization to existing events.
  • Added new locations along the Danish coast.
  • Added small visual extras to locations and interface.
  • Added a new combat map: Forest.
  • Added linked events, which can appear immediately after an event or a battle.
  • Added winter art to Úlfarrsted.
  • Added opinions for Winter events.
  • Added Support Warcries: Lightning Fast, Calling on Óðinn.

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed too much food being consumed during sailing.
  • Fixed priority of hunting rewards - Food before Pelts.
  • Fixed bug where you'd accidentally swap heroes in battle, when selecting two adjacent heroes in succession. We might add this later again with the right UI support.
  • Fixed characters passing through others during combat.
  • Fixed character selection in combat.
  • Fixed where the player couldn't leave a location after loading a game save.
  • Fixed where the player couldn't leave a location after combat.
  • Fixed a bug where armour sets would vanish or use an incorrect image.
  • Fixed the 'warriors lost counter' on summer results from using incorrect values.
  • Fixed winter food consumption sometimes being higher than winter food production.

Tweaks/Balancing:

  • Balanced ranged enemies.
  • Balanced some of the prices in the market list.
  • Started working on colour codes for trading goods. In future versions you'll be able to spot which cultures produce which items; helpful once the economy is implemented.
  • Tweaked some outcomes of existing events.
  • Removed the "sleeping on the ship" screen, so you don't fall asleep while playing.
  • Removed extra weapons from your storage.