Hello friends and fellow internet denizens!
We are back with another update just in time for the Steam October NextFest. Real quick, we will be having a demo of the game available during Steam NextFest (Oct. 3 - 10). Feel free to check it out here! If you download the demo you will have the opportunity to take a survey and enter for a chance to join our beta program as we get closer to our release.
This month's series of updates contain the start of longer progression features of Lost Paws. The biggest additions are the role-playing skill tree, the in-game achievement system, additional details in the map, a new tutorial, item and spawnpoint rebalancing, HUD changes, new NPCs, some graphics improvements and a variety of optimizations and options now added into the game.
The skill tree is the main way you can progress in the game. As you play the game, you will be able to gain milestone points (more on that later) and spend these milestone points to get skills. As for types of skills and decision you can make, three branches exist for you to customize the path you take as a stray doggo.
The prototype skill tree:
The first pathway for the skill tree is the wild dog. The wild dog is accustomed to staying away from people and being in nature. They feel at home in the forest and get more out of it. By going down this pathway, you can hunt small animals (like squirrels) and do amazing physical feats. Eventually it will make living in the wild easy and allow you thrive on your own.
The second pathway is that of the street dog. A street dog is a doggo gone rough doing whatever it takes to survive. By going down this pathway, you will be able to smash certain objects and in the future cause general chaos. While it won't make you many human friends, it will allow you to thrive in the city without human support.
The third pathway is that of the friendly dog. A friendly dog loves interacting with humans and easily becomes best friends with almost any human they meet. By going down this pathway, you can do tricks to get gifts from almost anyone and in the future get special interactions with other humans. This path makes positive interaction with other humans easy and allows you to thrive by being their friends.
We have several of these in the demo for you to get and try. Smell Vision is your starting skill which will allow you to go into a first-person mode and sniff out valuable and dangerous things in the game. Smash and Grab is the first skill for the street dog and allows to to break objects to get valuable things from inside them. Roll Over is the first skill for the friendly dog and allows you to roll over to get things from regular NPCS. Lastly, Hunting Instincts is the first skill for the wild dog and allows you to do a mega jump and hunt squirrels.
Example of Smash and Grab:
The other type of skills are the passive innate skills which get better over time as you play the game. Barking, jumping, and running all improve as you do them in the game making you louder, jump higher, and run faster. All this progress can be tracked inside the skills panel at the top row of icons.
A lot more can be said about the skill tree, but the above was just a brief overview to get the general idea. We'll likely talk more about it in the future for both details and future plans.
The primary way to get skills is by obtaining Milestone Points. Milestone Points (MP) are primarily obtained by doing achievements which can be seen in the Achievements Panel. Each achievement is a type of task that once completed will give you a specified amount of MP. The achievement types mirror the pathways from the skill tree; meaning that the things you'll naturally end up doing by aiming for a certain dog type will give you Milestone Points. The actions you do can be tuned to get as many as Milestone Points as you can which can be technically applied to any of the pathways; so plan accordingly. What kind of doggo you'll be is completely up to you!
Example of achievements and milestone points:
New Scenery and Map Enhancements
In addition to the inclusion of the skill and achievement systems, more of everything has been placed in the world. Firstly, some of the NPCs hobbies are now showing through with a new concert area, gardens, and a basketball court. In addition, we also opened up a new apartment which you can explore. To top it off, we added some more details throughout the world including more inside the vet, the pound, alleys, superstore, and suburban streets all of which will give the world a little more fleshing out.
Some new flower beds added to the mansion:
New interactable have been placed in the scene including breakables for Smash and Grab, a basketball to play with and instruments you can mess with. New NPCs have been placed around in the vet, the pound and some angry NPCs in a few places. Much of the world also has much of its spawnpoints reworked. Many have been added in old places where there have been none or few before and the items list for them have been updated and balanced.
New basketball to play with:
Lastly, we also did some graphical adjustments. Reflection Probes have been added throughout the world to give glass a little more detail. We also tuned various materials for proper shine and lights to be more optimized with a new lighting controller and make them look a little better.
Another huge change to the game was our HUD for the game. The old HUD, just like most of the UI, is a work in progress as we continue to tweak it to make it better and better. Based on popular request, we changed the bar to icons with color fills to make it easier to understand what each of them represent and take a little bit of the stress off of management. To clear the HUD up a little more, we moved the stamina bar to the center with a fade depending on if you are running or not to make it easier to notice when you are running and not present when you are walking.
Another sample of the HUD in action:
We also made a lot of other little UI changes. We introduced Shibu, a veteran stray, who helps you if you want in a new tutorial. You can always silence him by pressing the end key. Lastly, the Options Panel received some additions and touch up to make it look a little better.
Thanks for reading! We did skim over somethings for sake of keeping the article at a reasonable size, and we'll likely revisit some of these topics in the near future. If you liked what what you saw, consider wishlisting and following us on Steam here. We will be a part of Steam NextFest, with a demo you can try out with all the changes there. In the demo you will be able to fill out a survey to get a chance to join our beta program as we get closer to the release. Thanks again and hope to see you in the next one!