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New Demo Update is Live!


Quality of Life Improvements and Bugfixes!

Ever since the first release of the demo on itch.io, the game has been played by thousands of players both here, on Steam and other platforms. This has brought me very valuable feedback so I decided that before advancing the development towards the early access, I will revisit the demo with another free update that addresses many of the issues and some quality of life improvements people have pointed out. You can see the full list of changes in the changelog at the end of this post.

I hope you enjoyed the game and had a lot of fun! In the upcoming months, I'm looking to implement some more professions, animals, and also basic needs system for the villagers. As of recently, I'm also tracking the development on a public Trello board so if you are interested in details, make sure to take a look!

https://trello.com/b/6K5YFPVZ/lords-villeins

The demo is available on Itch.io, Gamejolt and Steam:

New Release Date

Unfortunately, the development has seen some unexpected roadblocks which forced me to postpone the early access release date from summer 2020 to fall 2020. Currently, the plan is the end of October but things may still change. My #1 priority is to deliver a good value even in early access to give people an engaging and interesting game to play with and I felt like I would not be able to deliver on these goals with the state of the game right now.

Thank you everyone who played the game so far and sticking with me. I'm doing my best to bring you an amazing gaming experience for you to enjoy and your support helps me tremendously.

What Is It Like to Be a Solo Dev

Seeing how things are taking longer than expected, I figured I will share with you - as a small sidenote with this update - how I'm dealing with the everyday responsibilities of being a solo game developer to give you a better idea of what it takes for me to develop this game and why I may be less frequent with updating on the progress.

Essentially, I'm wearing hats of five other people, each of which could easily take-up a full-time job if I would want to do everything right. To cope with this multitasking, I split my day into three parts.

In the morning I'm the biz dev/project management guy. I answer emails, look for good business opportunities, contact people, and try to keep up with the industry to know what is coming and what I should be prepared for.

Later I get in the development process. I pick up the most important task from my Trello board and get to work. Since I'm living in a community of indie game developers under one roof, at 10 AM we have a small standup, where we share what we were working on the previous day and what we will do today (most of the time I manage to do half of what I say I will do but that's kind of ok :). After lunch, I work a bit more and I try to wrap things up before 3 PM even if a feature or bugfix is not complete. Then I focus on marketing - social media posts, answering in discussions but also community management. Sometimes I might take a bit longer and switch things up, instead of programming I may focus on design, art, music production or testing and bug reporting, but I try to keep to the schedule because if any of these parts are not moving forward for too long, it becomes very stressful.

At times I may also prioritize marketing much more and focus on it almost fully. Especially after the demo has been released, I tried to bring attention to it as much as I could and I would need to develop large amount of assets, art, marketing materials, and copywriting that would take weeks to complete. Since it is just as important as the game itself, the development of new features is unfortunately pushed back a bit more when this happens.

But here it is. Project manager, biz dev, programmer, artist, tester, audio and music producer, marketing person, and community manager in one. All on a day-to-day basis. It makes my work extremely interesting, very rewarding, and rich in experience but it can be a bit too much at times. But I've learned to grow with it and especially recently things have been going very smoothly.

I will try to keep you updated more often and let you know what is going on but should you ever wonder, don't hesitate to contact me! Write me a message, post in the discussions, join our Discord server. I'm pretty active in direct communication so you can always be sure I will find my way to respond soon.

In the meantime, you can also check out the lates vlog I made, where I shared my perspective on burnout as indie game developers.

Thank you for supporting my work and wish you happy landlording!

CHANGELOG:

New Features

  • Many areas of UI have been redesigned (building menu and popups)
  • New more intuitive control scheme. Players can switch between BRUSH mode (Shift) or DELETE mode (Ctrl) when building and use the mouse wheel to change the brush size.
  • Villagers now prioritize cutting down fresh trees before removing trunks
  • Fishing rods can be built on top of the bridges
  • Clouds are now reacting to game speed
  • It is possible to scroll with a mouse at the edges of the map
  • Maximum zoom has been increased
  • Tree spots can now be placed with drag and drop mode

Bugfixes

  • An increased threshold that prevented buttons to be clickable in a scroll view (most notably the build menu)
  • Fixed crash when building structures on the edges of the map
  • Fixed bug that allowed the fishing net to be built on top of the bridge
  • Fixed bug that allowed to gain multiple resources back when destroying a large structure with erase tools
  • Fixed bug that sometimes made the cursor permanently red after error indication
  • Major overhaul of AI that fixes the majority of issues with prioritizing, getting stuck or having issues when loading a save file
  • Fixed bug that prevented miners from prioritizing iron ore mountain tiles
  • Fixed bug that allowed to skip initial questlines by reassigning families
  • Fixed bug that allowed to gain infinite grain with farmers
  • Fixed bug that where deleting a zone with the delete button would not revert the quest condition
  • Fixed bug that displayed incorrect amount of family members on the welcome new family screen
  • Fixed several issues that prevented saving and loading
  • Fixed the behavior of UI sliders in the main menu
  • Fixed several small and rare crashes