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Alpha test update

Thank you everyone who has been able to come and test the game with us. I am enjoying talking and getting feedback, ideas, and making a list of things to fix. You are finding things that have gone unnoticed, that is why it is always good to have other eyes on things! Also, some wonderful ideas have been suggested.

I hope to keep up this version until tomorrow, and then we will need to make some fixes and give everyone an updated client (copy of game).

Some issues I am able to fix with out disruption- like the Fjord manes not coming through – which have for some odd reason been the bane of our asset bundles.

Also- I am trying to track down someone who purchased a package yesterday from Singapore- their email has been bouncing back. Please email me at shannoncusick@hotmail.com so we can get you started- thank you!!

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VHR3D Alpha/Early Access Test

Greetings!

We are embarking on a test today, hurrah! Fans who have purchased items or early access on our goal store should receive an email with instructions on how to get started. This test will be for Windows PC only. We currently do not have a launcher built yet, so you will have to download a client for this test that should be deleted once it is outdated. Please keep in mind that this game is a bit rough around the edges right now as we are in middle of building it-  and we are working as hard as we can on it.

Initial Test Notes

  • You can generate horses (Click Ranch- then click “Catch horse”), breed, train, take turns, and we hope that some events get created and filled so we can begin testing event code.
  • When signing up – please be very careful when entering your password and save it somewhere safe! We do not have a way to reset lost passwords at the moment.
  • The 3D world (“Go Riding” Button) is not close to any kind of completion. All you can do in it now is explore the world and see your horses in each map- in slow motion trot.
  • Stash all horses you do not want in your pasture- they will not be loaded in the 3D world and can help manage performance when in the 3D world. We do not have a way to retire the horses yet, so that’s the best way to manage your ranch if you have a lot of horses.
  • I will be in the in-game chat as much as possible to get feedback & answer questions. My Chat nick is Nefertete, click the name on the chat element if you wish to ask me something private.
  • Sound & music is currently in development.
  • If you are not in the 3D world, I apologize for the white background- background done and almost in, one of the first things I will do.
  • Data, like your horses and your accounts should not be reset, but there is a slim possibility that it might have to be done.

Further Instructions will be emailed to you on the email you purchased an item from the goal store with. If you can not receive this email – please send an email to shannoncusick@hotmail.com with your old email or name, and let me know what your new email is- thank you!

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Thank you for attending the broadcast, that was fun!

If you missed it- you can catch the majority of it here http://www.twitch.tv/orbisgames/v/30840177

(Thanks to feedback- the clicking sound goes away soon)

We will definitely do that again soon and throughout the stages of development. Thank you everyone for attending and all of your good questions. Loved the community and support!

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Twitch.tv Livestream this Saturday!

Hello all!
This Saturday evening we are going to show the game live on Twitch.tv (http://www.twitch.tv/orbisgames) and chat with you about our development and features. I will be talking and answering your questions live while showing you the game’s progress. The time for the stream will be 5pm PST/8pm EST on  Satuday, 12/19 . Be sure to sign up on Twitch.tv  if you want to chat and ask questions yourself- follow us too!

Twitch

Join me this Saturday on Twitch.tv to check out the game live!

Our graphical user interface (GUI) is underway- Here’s a screenshot of it and a randomly generated mule and a sample of what you will see on Saturday
ss1.

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Quick Update

Just a quick update because I have not posted in a while, and I am sorry about that! I’m terrible at staying up to date and consistent with any form of social media :)

We are currently working on getting our UI design sharp and together. Meanwhile, fixing some odd issues with Asset builds, and working on horse generation. Hopefully by the holidays we will have Early Access up to test certain things like generating random horses (making sure colors look good & come out breed appropriate etc..). There will be over a million different possible combinations… so lots to test! And it is very fun testing… The Game ops and I found ourselves quite addicted to this quickly.

John, my partner in this project, has been working on beautiful procedurally-generated worlds. At first we went overboard and got a bit concerned about the (optionally) 3d part of the world on tablets- but he has been working hard and has it pretty functional & had to trim back on trees and foliage some. Tested it on ipad, android tablet, and even had it working on an android phone. The web-based version of the game client will likely be advised to not load the 3d world as browsers only have so large of a cache. Either way, you will still be able to download a stand alone full version of the game for the full experience. We will still need to build an updater then for this before official launch (meanwhile, alpha/beta testers may be asked to re-download a quick light weight client for each test). Unity is a great engine for multiple platforms! We can even build a linux version on request.

I’m shooting for quality- and this has been challenging and time consuming with so little of a budget- so everything does take time as it hasn’t been my “day job”. I appreciate everyones patience and support! You are all awesome.

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Breyerfest!

We had a fantastic time! Thank you so much to everyone who came by and visited our booth- we really enjoyed talking with everyone, old fans and new.

For those of you who are visiting us from the festival- be sure to sign up to your mailing list!

Finally I have some photos of our booth and area around our booth here. Unfortunately, all my photos of the horses in the arena across from us turned out blurry.

booth1

Festival attendees checking out VHR3D

dragonnef

Your Awesome Game Op “Dragon” (left) – and “Nef” (myself) at the booth!

neighbor

So many people! Breyerfest sold out quickly, bringing ten thousand people in to Lexington, KY

mimes

Viva la France was this year’s theme. These mimes would not make good horse jockeys.

booth2

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Day one

Survived our first day at Breyerfest! It has been incredible so far and having a blast talking with everyone at our booth. Gave out some prizes – both Breyers and digital rewards. Our booth is #108 next to Breyer’s. Hopefully my voice holds up.
Taking a breather right now at the Clarion and charging devices…. if you pay close attention to walls, there are clues to find our room. The scene is wild at the hotel now- it is glorius!

Pics coming soon!

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Off to BreyerFest!

Breyerfest 2015
We are off to BreyerFest in Kentucky and we have a Booth at the Marketplace- so be sure to swing by if you are going. We’ll be showing some early action of game play, offering prizes (from Breyers to VHR3D rewards), and more. If you are a VHR web game player, we’ll give you some goodies for VHR!

Over the next few days we will be posting photos and videos of us and activity at the festival… be warned and prepared to possibly see your  favorite and/or most hated Game Mods & myself conducting activities such as riding a mechanical bull. Be sure to follow us on here, Twitter, and Facebook for glory.

Our booth should be adjacent to the official BreyerFest booth at the marketplace- so we shouldn’t be hard to find! However I have received two different responses on where our booth is.. so that information might not be accurate (the other possibility is our booth being near the concessions)

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Progress update, Screenshots with temporary/placeholder art

We need your help! Code is coming along nicely and we want to have Early Access/Alpha testing underway in a month. We need your help to do this- so please be sure to visit our Goal Store  and see if anything interests you. Our goal is to raise $5,000 in the next four weeks. This would enable us to work full time on it and acquire our much needed User Interface (“UI” buttons, backgrounds, etc..) artwork.

Below are some screenshots and brief updates.

Many of the minimum functionalities are complete! All of the user interface art is temporary place holders (stats will look better, and color descriptions are for debugging purposes)

Many of the minimum functionalities are complete! All of the user interface art is temporary place holders (stats will look better, and color descriptions are for debugging purposes)

Minimal game features are much like the original Virtual Horse Ranch features.  The basic game-play part will work on tablets and possibly phones as well. Unfortunately, Unity 5 (our game engine) is not handling the 3D world well on tablets- and we went all out on improving the generated world, so riding horses around the 3D world will not be available at launch for handheld devices.

Simulated Events

Simulated Events are underway as well. Again, the artwork is placeholder art.

We are scratching real-time based aging and updating horses in your stable. Now we are doing it as we do it in the web game- Turns! This allows users to control time at their own pace.

Go Riding

The world is expansive, and also coming together well. Progress on multi-player here is going good too. Unfortunately, this feature will not be available for tablets right away.

So much code! A lot of code is complete for both server side and client side. We still have a lot more gaps to fill in.

Code, Code, Code

So much code! This game requires both delicate client side code and server side code.

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Progress Update, and About “Suitabilities”!

Thank you everyone for your patience! I know a lot of people are looking forward to getting early access and seeing what we have. Right now- we still have been focusing on both server side and client side code to make things work like training horses, breeding horses, generating wild/foundation horses, clubs, and events. A lot of work here has been done- and yay for John’s recent progress on Clubs. With our “no budget” A lot of this is just buttons and results for now- still very cool.

What we don’t have- is much of the “pretty” stuff done yet- and the user interface is pretty ugly in placeholder art. We also don’t have much new in the way of any visuals to show. But I think we are getting to a point where everything will soon be downhill. Especially as I learn more and more about our code base and get more acquainted with it. I love working on it- and wish I could do it full time! I am also glad that I am learning it all so I can make changes and updates to the game as we need them.

Last weekend I added in the generation of color layer data to new horses (based on breed etc..)- and guess what? We are going to have “Greying” as requested! Foals for example might be born black but turn grey- and we are going to hide that from you until they mature enough to see the new color. I will be experimenting to see if it can be a gradual change, or if one day you log on and don’t recognize that black horse you had… It’s all in data/code only right now- hopefully soon we will associate this to the 3D horses (and make a bunch of patterns/layers/colors) so I can show you cool generated horses!

A date for early access? We will certainly have something ready by July for Breyerfest. However I’m working as best as I can to get people who purchased Early Access in for a few days soon to show them our progress. I really don’t want to scare people off in its very temporary state the game is in now.

No Budget

I want to spend every penny possible we get on art. The Goal Store will be reworked soon to reflect that. We are still working on the game “as we can” and have to pay bills and keep contract work jobs. We are considering doing a smaller Kickstarter campaign in July- with the focus to grind off a finished product and to fund money to make Human Avatars for your character. I’ll be poling your opinion soon here on what features we must have done for release :) We can always add in stuff after release as well. We are building the game structure to feature more animal species than just horses ye’ know ;) Feel free to comment and leave your opinion as well if you wish.

Suitabilities
“Suitabilities” are a hidden set of data for each horse that is initially based on the horse’s breed, such as stats- and has a chance to be improved through eventing experience and breeding.

In the original Virtual Horse Ranch – events give bonuses to “Breed types” such as drafts, sport horses, warmbloods etc.. in certain event types. Our Game Master Alabama came up with a new (and neat) idea on how to handle this better so each breed, and line of horses is more dynamic. Each breed now has various “Suitabilities” they are naturally good at. For example- Quarter Horses will excel in Western Events (and have degrees of bonuses in other events), as opposed to all stock horses getting the same bonus in all Western Events. Now, the neat thing is- patient breeders can create their own line of specialty breeds. They can work (really hard) to make their own Breeding line of Thoroughbreds that are bred for Dressage- for one example.

I spent the weekend coding them in to VHR3D- and I think they are going to be pretty cool. They will not be too much of an overpowered stat- for example, a well bred American Warmblood will not win dressage events (because the breed is suited for that) out the box with out training and improving stats to meet the competition still.

As always- feel free to leave your feedback! We love hearing from you.

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