The big day is a week from now! Lost Paws well be releasing September 29th so mark your calendars for doggo antics. We are extremely grateful for the support from our community and are excited to to see what you all think when the game is out!
That all being said we do have out latest update out which will be the one before out release update! This one includes stuff like our new dog (yes we got another in there), two new locations, partial controller support, and several quality of life features.
We have added a third doggo and he is very friendly! The doggo is in the same general class of the other two which allowing you to do very similar actions. This doggo has slightly different physics reactions allowing for a variety of physical reactions that are slightly different from our original good boy. All of this gives you more options to be the kind of doggo you want!
What a handsome boy:
Look at him go:
We plan on adding more breeds after our early access release. Which ones we are still planning on but we hope to present some options for you all when we gear up for it.
Two new locations now exist in the game. Both the Mansion and the City Park Apartment are now enterable locations in the game.
The City Park Apartment was added to punctuate the various building that are not enterable thanks to mean humans locking their doors. This place has a lobby and allows you to explore one of the apartment units. Hopefully, you won't run into any baddies in there. The apartment also features many new interactable elements like new bonkable waste bins, decorations, and drinkable fountains. Together it makes it a great stop for the discerning doggo looking for a place to rest from bustling city life.
Doggo is cozy here:
The Mansion is on the far side of town and is there to give a special location for a little world building. If you go in, you might find out where all those falling items are coming from. The mansion is a first class joint with all the luxuries you'd expect from big dinning tables to massive beds. The Mansion also has a special room with many things your doggo can play with. Peeing around in there to find out exactly what we mean.
Be a shame if these were peed on:
Partial Controller Support
This one is a little older but we finally got Partial Controller support approved on Steam! You will be able to run, jump, bonk, use skills, and use your inventory among all other important doggo actions in the game with use an Xbox or Xbox like controller. A few changes has to be made to accommodate the controller mainly with sounds and the UI. For the sounds things should be improved overall as they have been edited for more rapid and varied inputs. As for the UI, the menu's now all have a selection order which in in the main menu start by default. All other menus have it active based on type of device connected . In fact the menus and inventory change slightly in look to adjust for if a controller or keyboard and mouse are active giving you the best experience based on what kind of input device you have plugged in.
Dynamic Controller Help Screen:
Quality of life
A few new quality of life features were added as well including:
RPG Skill Auto-assign
Zone text notification
Tutorial Activation prompt on start of new game
Audio base volume adjusted
Retuned graphics for better look and cleaner presentation
Optimized camera to improve performance
Thanks for reading! We will be unveiling our current planned road map in the next story so we can get to the work of making one of the best dog games out there! If you liked what you read please considerwishlisting on Steamif you haven't already and joining ourdiscordto let us know what you want to see in the future. Thanks again for reading and see you all in the next one!
We wanted to start off this story by thanking everyone who has supported us this far. From our project announcement, to the conventions, to our beta tests; you've all been awesome with your support, and with your much needed feedback to make this game the best it can be! Your feedback and suggestions have allowed us to make more informed decisions and path a course for the future of Lost Paws. We want to share some of those decisions in this story, as well as what we've been working on and what we plan to do for the future, starting with the new Narrative Features.
The World and Mini-Maps
To start with, we have the new World Map. The World Map is a new panel you can toggle via the "M" key by default, which allows you to see a full screen global map. You can see your doggo represented by an arrow, points of interest represented by a question mark, dog pounds represented by a carrying cage, vets represented by a green cross, and main missions represented by a golden paw (more on that later). The map has all the features you may expect like the ability to zoom and scroll as well as dynamically update.
Sample of the world map at farthest zoom:
In addition, the Mini-Map is now on by default. It is synced with the World Map and will update as things change in the world and you explore. It also has all the icons there to help you locate important places nearby. You can toggle the Mini-Map with the "C" key by default.
The goal of these changes were to help with being able to plan in the game. By seeing various places to explore and where interesting things might be, you can utilize these features to help expose all the features Lost Paws has to offer. In our internal testing, it helped improve both the explorability of the game, as well as increased the playtimes with all the new places that seemed interesting to go to! But what actually makes these places worthwhile to begin with?
The Mission System
The Mission System is an unobtrusive attempt to provide a little direction as well as narrative into the game. The system has two parts to it, markers and prompts.
The markers are one of two kinds, either a point of interest or a mission marker. A point of interest is just a cool place that doggo can go to to find something interesting. At a minimum there will be treats that can be obtained some way, and that can go as high as some interesting challenge or a special item doggo can obtain. The other kind of marker is a mission marker. Mission markers are denoted by a gold paw and allow you to advance the main story. While there are instances of linearity for them, many of these missions can be completed in any order, allowing you to strategize how to survive as well as what missions to tackle when. After completing a mission or point of interest, the maps will update to reflect that.
The other part of the Mission System is prompts. Prompts come up on the left side of the screen when you're near a mission zone, which let's you know what needs to be done for the mission to be counted as complete. They are a dynamic system, so when the objective is completed a mission accomplished will appear and the prompt will go away.
Example of the Mission System in Action:
The system works side by side with the current design of the game. We do not want to railroad you too much or prevent you from exploring the way you want to. You can still wander as a doggo the way you want and survive in all the ways you previously could. The purpose of the Mission System is to provide that little extra oomph to help guide your adventures if you want additional goals, as well as give doggo more things to do in the world. It also allows us to add in one of the most requested features for the game, and that would be a story!
The narrative of Lost Paws starts with a car crash. Someone hits your human's car but you are able to get out of the car just in time. And so your adventure begins!
The narrative is all about you finding your missing human from your road trip. You will have to venture further into the world, explore, and survive to eventually reunite with your lost human. The Mission System is closely tied to the story, expanding what happens in the world, giving hints to why it may have happened, and expanding the lore of the world. You will end up doing things like helping repair a bridge to get further along and unlock more things to do in the world.
To support this, many new places have received additional artistic improvements. New locations have been added to the world and new NPCs are now around for you to interact with. Examples include a revamped trailer park with an ongoing party for you to explore, and new NPCs like the construction worker at the bridge to help out. These additions for the core of the new narrative are intended to help expand the world of Lost Paws even further.
Example of a new mission zone:
The main reason we added the story is because it was the most requested feature we encountered at conventions and surveys. Our beta test during the early summer cemented it in our minds to help serve as a guide for players that want one, as well as give more actions and meaning to the world as you go around surviving as a doggo. To be clear, the procedural elements of the game and the random wacky adventures you can find yourself in, as well as all the different playstyles of doggo are still in the game, and even further supported as various ways you can solve the missions. The narrative and Mission Systems are there to provide more direction at your pace, so that you can choose when and how to do these as you wish!
In addition to all the narrative elements, we have also made a few small changes and did another round of optimization. The biggest changes we made to optimization was the addition of our new Macro LoD system. In short, it takes a grouping of objects and replaces them with a 2D texture until you get within a certain distance toward the target group. This has caused a massive vertex reduction for rendering requirements, reducing it bymillionsof verts. It addition to that, we compressed many more scene textures and replaced various high poly count models with cheaper ones. This is especially notable in the forest, which reduced VRAM usage as well as rendering requirements. All together, these improvements made the default high settings in the graphics panel work well on any modern gaming system.
New Release Date and Other Announcements
So now we have the big announcement! Lost Paws now has a definitive planned release dateSeptember 29th this year.We know this is later then our original projected date for late August, but we have a good reason for the change in the release date--- we swear! We conducted an internal test about a week ago, which while coming back positive also revealed to us many details we really wanted to get into the game before we released. Ultimately, we decided not to rush it and make one more serious pass at polishing to make the experience as tight as possible. We want to make a game even in an early access state that we can feel proud of releasing, and that means giving it a little more time to polish it as best we can!
We will be adding many little features and new areas, as well as a new mission over the course of this month and the next. All of this is on top of our current work to get partial controller support and achievements into the game. We also hope to add a new doggo before it is all over. We are excited to share all of this with you!
To top it all off,we will run another betato gather more feedback! We will have more details on this later on, but if you were in the playtest in June, you will be automatically enrolled in the next beta.We are hoping for this beta to run sometime later in August.if you're interested in the beta, let us know in ourdiscordand we'd be happy to ship you out a key when we are ready!
Thanks for reading! If you liked what you saw, please considerwishlisting on Steamas it helps out a lot! Thanks again, and we'll see you in the next one!
Welcome to our latest doggo filled devlog! In this one, we will be going over the progress made in April and what to look forward to this month.
Firstly, the main focus for this month was a revamp of interior lighting. We felt like the experience wasn't as cohesive when going from building interiors to the rest of the world. It created almost two distinct lighting environments which we wanted to unify.
To do that, we first trashed our simple lighting setup and started to pick the kind of light (either spot of point) based on the type of fixture. We then would add a second light per fixture that would affect the area around it like the roof. After that we would add an area light near the floor and sometimes walls to simulate external light coming in. Lastly, we would bake a reflection probe for the interior. All these changes were made because we needed a performant template that we could put in each interior. Below are a couple samples.
Performance and Bugs
Another big focus for us this month was performance. While it is still ongoing, we have already managed to massively improve stability and most importantly FPS. The primary way we did this was leveraging our boxed off building designs. Most of the lights in the scene are located in interiors with the exteriors mostly lit by sun light. As a result we can effectively create our own light level of detail (LOD) system. We check based on a light's distance to the doggo and then depending on how far we turn on and off light and lighting features like shadows to prevent them from adding performance costs when the player is too far away to see them.
Speaking of LOD, we have added it for various buildings with a lot of details as well as bake and atlas the buildings to lower the cost down further. Props and other details have been added to the LOD system so that they are culled from rendering when at distance even when occlusion can still see them but being too far for the player to notice. Combined this has jumped the FPS by over 50% allowing for it to run on even more PCs then before.
Lastly, here is a highlight of some bugs/requests you all found either at the conventions or mentioned in previous demos:
Make Angry Old Man drop an item when defeated
Allow begging to convert from sit to stand up
Allow players to adjust zoom of camera with mouse wheel up and down
Fixed Beg detection for Friendly Old Man
Improve physics interaction on balls and inventory
Fixed the Vet getting knocked out on occasion during respawn
We wanted to wrap up by providing a little update of what can be expected this month. Dog breed selection is well under way and we currently are working on adding our first new breed a Doberman!
Here is a brief sample:
We are hoping to add more breeds in addition to more building interiors and a new adversary in the forest this month!
Thanks for reading! If you have any interest in signing up to our closed beta you can still access the sheet on our discord: https://discord.gg/3mQnjNSMcW. If you liked what you saw, please consider wishlisting on Steam as it helps out a lot! Thanks again and see you all in the next one!
It has been a while since our last dev log thanks to our adventures in PAX East and Playthrough NC, but we're back and here to give you all the details on what we've been working on these past couple of months!
We got amazing news! Lost Paws will be at PAX East March 23 - 26 in the Boston Convention Center! We will be showing off the demo and giving away convention swag at our booth. If you are planning on heading over to PAX we hope to see you there.
If you can't make it to PAX, fear not! We will be running special digital events during the convention and beyond. Keep an eye out here by following the game on steam or joining our discord! We will be announcing more as we get closer to the convention. Thanks for all the support thus far and excited to show more of Lost Paws in the near future!