Hello! This is the general thread for discussing Build 0.5, both before and after launch! Make yourself at home.
Oh Storm. I do have a theory about his lineage which I might have to write up in that theory thread.
Save files from 0.4.1 should be compatible with 0.5...
That said, there is one exception. As we discussed in the latest DevLog, nanoff had some issues with his computer and lost some files, among them the key he used to compile the Android builds. We got a fresh key done so it should be mostly fine, but sadly this means that Android saves won't cross over to the next build.
Yep! We felt like it was time to shake things up in the page, and it was best to update screenshots while we were at it.
These screenshots shouldn't be spoilers, but they still give little hints about some fun moments to come.
can you post a screencap?
what platform are you playing and what OS?
One of the older versions of windows I think.
When compiling 0.5 we needed to upgrade Renpy to 7.4.5 in order to get the Android builds to work- the problem is that Renpy dropped support for some old Windows versions in 7.4.
Someone in the forums had asked about this before (I'll be writing back to him right away), I downloaded the 7.3.5 sdk to compile a build that (might) be compatible with your windows version. I can't 100% guarantee that it will work bug free but if you absolutely can't get the regular version of 0.5 to work on your machine, this one might do the trick.
*edited because it was password protected, FUCK
You'll have to uninstall your previous version and then install the new one for it work. Saves won't carry over anyway, so that's the only way to play 0.5 onwards.
They are meant to be uncanny, actually. We wanted them to look like regular people who aren't particularly handsome. That's why Greta, for example, has little zits on her forehead and why her hair is oily
Hey SaltyRoo, I'll second Minoanon and say it's intentional, but I do see where you're coming from- even if the humans are supposed to look kinda mundane and unattractive to contrast with the supernatural beings (some like Nini are supposed to look kind of grotesque), it's possible that it's not properly conveyed and it comes across as an excuse for bad art. The newer sprites, I think, get a little closer to this idea, but some of the old NPCs (Greta, Ismael, the trucker from Luke's intro, etc.) could use a redraw. We included a question about this specifically in the end of build survey because it's criticism I've heard a bunch of times. When you're done with the build, let me know if the more recent sprites look alright and get this across.
That said, even if we do redraw her, I think the old Greta sprite is too iconic to completely remove- we might keep it in the speedrunner route.
Yes, we removes it a few builds ago as we were not satisfied with how it was back then.
Yes, please take your time! Think of Build 0.5 as a fine wine meant to be tasted slowly. Take breaks, explore the options if you want, discuss it with others (but avoid spoilers). That's the best way to enjoy the content we prepared.
I hope you like what we have in the later chapters of the build!
I'm really glad that you're thinking the wait was worth it — and I hope you stick to that opinion by the time you finish the build!
Things that the labyrinth/hotel can't provide/produce.
For now they don't have a ton of use, beyond being required for completing some R&D projects. We'll be adding more sidequests and projects in the future that use them more extensively.
... If that turns out to be why his achievement didn't go... well not much I can do about it.
ok so i just spam clicked ignore on the error screen and the issue only comes up during the hinterlands chapter cause chapter 14 prior,and everything after hinterlands works fine
Thanks for the comment rebyc! Really glad our handling of those topics is being well received.
We're planning on giving Luke's scene a bit of a rewrite, actually, I've seen people streaming the game on SFW panic really hard with that scene too many times to ignore.
And yeah, I share your sentiment: I miss The Last Ones, it was a pretty good theme for Argos. Though I'll say, early in the pandemic I was watching Tiger King and I kind of lost my shit when the song started playing as the intro to the documentary Joe Exotic was putting together. God bless licensed tracks, I don't think I'll see songs like Foolish Child playing on something like that anytime soon.
Oh my god I didn't even know that, that's hilarious! The music is all good, in any case!
And that's good to know about Luke! I can only guess how much extra work SFW mode entailed and it's really cool that it's there.
Thanks again, and I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next :)
It's a message that was mistakenly left there in the game. We'll remove it when we release the next version (0.5.1). You can keep playing, no worries.
Hi, AgentBoogeyman. Thank you for your comment, reading it was very enjoyable and I'm glad you liked the game so much.
About Luke, we actually plan on returning to that scene sometime soon and tinkering with it. Looking back I still appreciate it in a number of levels, mainly how it conveys a lot about Luke, but we're very aware that it really didn't work for a lot of readers. So, while I'm proud of it, I also recognize it's probably the single weakest point in the game for a lot of people.
Truth be told, when we wrote it we were under the impression that our readers would be a lot hornier, so it was (an extremely pleasant) surprise to see just how everyone got engaged with the more complex elements of the story! Back then we were trying to balance out a lot of things, like Asterion's story and the guests' and bits or the setting and world building, and in the end we put too many chips in the adult side of things. So, you know, lesson learned, we've adjusted our course since.
As a broader idea, we also want the SFW version of the story to be more SFW. Some scenes have censored nudity, which is just OK enough while straddling the line, but the narration is often too adult as well so we should change that too.
As an aside, we made this whole decision about how to tinker with Luke's NSFW scene based on all the survey responses we got. That was supremely useful to figure out how to improve things.
About Hinterlands IV... It actually has a few purposes in the story but they are not apparent.
On the basest of levels the Hinterlands sections pull the narration from the post-scarcity, healing community of the hotel down to the struggling lives of people who were somehow denied chances in life. They "reset the palate", in a way, and this applies to all Hinterlands segments.
Now, speaking specifically about Hinterlands IV, we had a very good reason to put it in but it's a bit arcane. Telling it would spoil the fun of playing detective. What I can say is that there's a subtle but revealing change that can trigger if a condition was met in Hinterlands III and that Hinterlands IV is placed in a very deliberate moment in the game.
And have fun in the spoiler threads! It should give you an idea of the important things that happen in the Ruthless Route, if you want to learn about them.
Thanks a lot for the kind and thorough feedback, RockJock. I'm glad all the work we put into the game pays off and people notice all the polish.
And thank you for pointing out stuff that could be improved, too.
1) Yes, Wolf is the most barebones side character at the moment. We plan on expanding on him in the future as he gets his own route content and we have a side quest planned for him that I think people will really like, but we couldn't really get to it until we develop him more.
Hell, I think Themba and Khenbish don't get enough attention either, aside from their side quests and routes (eventually) they aren't very present throughout the main story chapters. I added the scene with Khenbish cooking a local dish in chapter 17 somewhat late into development to just give the character a little more presence and write fun interactions between him and the cast. They were kind of a low priority since we had so much stuff we wanted to get to, aside from chapter 14 there isn't a single day with a management section attached that didn't have some sort of story event attached, we didn't have space for an optional scene even if we wanted to.
As much as I'd love to do that on one of the future 0.5.x patches, maybe add an extra day in the middle where your chosen character talks with Asterion maybe, to flesh them out more and show how positive of an impact he's making on people's lives, 0.5 is really intricate and I don't want to mess with it.
2) This is a great idea. I don't think it would be hard to go back and make small rewrites to have Luke and the player do some tasks while you talk, and more cobalt shenanigans are always fun (though it requires a little extra effort since the scene only takes place in the lounge if Luke is manning it, otherwise Luke helps out in reception). It's definitely something to keep in mind when we write the other characters' scenes.
3) Yeaaaah it doesn't make a ton of sense, does it? Unfortunately it would be hard to fix now. I think I can shuffle some stuff around and have the selection happen before the team is shown, that's definitely doable and would make it less jarring, so I will give that a shot... but moving the selection over to right after the daily agenda before the Mc does his daily tasks would be really hard, I can't promise that.
Certainly! With the work you all put in and the enjoyment I get out of playing, it only feels fair to repay it by engaging with you all here.
1) Yeah, I think it's a fair point that none of these three choice characters really get to shine yet. I picked Khenbish in my first run and was a little sad he didn't get to do a whole lot, but the homecooked meal was a super nice touch! And Themba is similar, but because he knew Asterion and provides insight that affects some dialogue later when thinking about P's grandfather, he feels more integrated even if he has the least scenes (No homecooked meal or second PoV chapter like Wolf). Oh and that reminds me that the artifacts you can find for the front desk/way you summon one as the Art background to get your 2nd choice in the list are genius. I felt it looked empty until you find one (or two), and it adds a lot getting to permanently see them as part of the background! Kudos on finding fun ways to showcase choices there (same with the restaurant screens).
Have you all considered how many days the player is going to get during the VN? Or well, it doesn't matter the exact number of days but rather how many things you want the player to see through to completion in a single playthrough in general. The MC has nearly infinite time, but the VN and main plot doesn't: you've mentioned multiple times that the player will not have enough time to do everything and learn everyone's stories/do everyone's sidequests in a single playthrough, which leans in to making the big choices matter more since more people will see all sides of them. I think that's a fair and important approach to take that leverages the VN medium, but maybe you're going to find you need to squeeze in more actions in a day to hit this number of completed things you're planning on having the player hit in an given run?
Looking at this build, you have I think 12 days to work with, with your options increasing over time. Luke's hangouts have 5 days (IIRC), Robert takes 4 to recruit, Asterion's project is infamously a 9 day affair that starts 3 days in, and that's not counting wanting to cook with Khenbish or manage assets with Themba to see how it works, get the flavor of them working, etc. If we give 5 hangout days for the other 5 staff members you can recruit in this build and count 1 day for seeing how Khenbish and Themba each work, that puts us at 45 days worth of content (and don't forget that it's about completion, so it's in chunks of 5, or basically 9 for Robert since you have to recruit him first). While part of the point is to have a lot of options, this many may already limit how many other things can pop up to take the MC's time - we already know of 3 new staff members for next build (even if only Leaders can get all 3), and there's still the Hydra we have concept art for and one other character hinted at in this build that could be staff, too (a certain book author that keeps popping up).
Also, there is an opportunity cost letting a character be idle for the day instead of contributing to R&D or Exploration. We might see this more when there's a larger 'Tech tree' ready in R&D.
You all know what feels right with the number of things you want the player to complete in a run versus the number of days you have in the plot, but if you're feeling squeezed and think your average player will do 2, maybe 3 full playthroughs and worry the content would take 5 or 6 to see 'most' of it, perhaps you could move Hangouts to their own timeslot in the day? Maybe call it 'Grabbing lunch' with a character? Keep the opportunity cost of making them have an idle day off, but now I can grab lunch with Luke and start recruiting Robert on the same day. It frees up a lot more time for the MC, so you need to give them extra little things to burn their 'active' part of the day on or have slice-of-life events pop up that take this 'active' time away, but it doesn't feel too bad as the player to 'lose' a day since I'm still progressing with my staff during lunch time. This also ties into point 2, making the hangout with Luke (and others) feels a little more dynamic: chatting over lunch certainly feels relatively peaceful and a good place to just have a lot of conversation rather than movement if that's easier.
EDIT: Of course, this is more to plan for, more content to write, etc. Just wanted to throw out the idea since you've already mentioned having a hard time fitting certain things in that you wanted, sometimes things just have to be cut and stay on the cutting room floor.
3) Oh yeah, I know how finnicky moving around code and order of operations like that can be when you already wrote it one way, haha. Even moving up the selection would help I think, and if the system doesn't get shuffled around, I think you can still get a win if you just write the text a little differently to flow with what can't really change a lot.
I think in general we want to give players enough time over the course of the full game where they can do a lot of what they set out to do and get to know a handful of staff members well, but leaving enough stuff left to do for a subsequent playthrough.
0.5 definitely skews hard on the "lots of shit to do, too little time" side of things, especially if we keep adding side stuff on 0.5.x patches like we plan to do, so 0.6 will most likely be a breather episode where we give players plenty of free time and focus more on Asterion's romance and the side characters than the ongoing mysteries. Which will still be there, but I think the last couple chapters of 0.5 were eventful enough and the cast deserves a break without too much crazy shit happening.
oh yeah the entire game is gonna beat you up with feels.
If you're curious about Argos' big reveal... Would you believe it if I said it's already in the game?
Start a fresh playthrough and make sure you trick him twice. Get the right article in the contract and then interrogate him on the relevant statements. Things will then play out very differently...
Its still unbelievably amazing to get in the top three. Did you ever think you'll get that high?
Well, I sent my writing to a writing contest or two over the years and it never got anywhere so, going from those experiences, I wasn't betting on any sort of victory. I still hoped we could do well, but it was mainly coming from how much we know people like the game. More or less "a lot of people like the game, so who knows." In the end I was hopeful we'd at least make it to the shortlist, and I wished we went as far as getting an award.
I can't speak for the others in detail, but in general we were unsure. To be honest submitting the game at all seemed like a silly idea in the first place. We also didn't know how well a visual novel like Minotaur Hotel would fare in a lineup of more experimental and mechanics-oriented games.
I'm glad you took the time to submit it, and it is heart warming to know that you came from a point and grew from it. To when I discovered the game to now, I see a big following of people really enjoying it. You, and everyone on the team did a great job and really deserve the award.
From what I understand, to complete R&D projects you need enough materials, which you can get from sending people out to the valley, and enough tech and contract points accumulated. I might be wrong though.
I understand that stuff perfectly fine, but it just feels like I've been doing that and not completing the projects because I don't have a specific project chosen, if that makes sense.
Once you get the research and materials you will get a prompt to select a project to complete, or to keep going for a more expensive one.
there are a number of factors, some projects only become available to be completed after certain points in the story. make sure your team has plenty of tech and your exploration has surveying, as those are the most relevant stats for what this build has to offer. other than that, you may try the maths background, since it gives you the most explicit information. tech background will also give a passive buff to the tech stat.
Sadly, it's not really possible.
We can compile a version of the game for iOS but we can't get it on the App Store because of Apple's policies regarding adult content. As such it's only possible to get it running on jailbroken iOS devices, which we can't test ourselves since we don't have any. So, even if we did get a build out, we'd have no way to see if it's working or not.
We'd like to get the game on iOS, it's just that we can't.