I hope you've all had a great holiday season! While I'm not a fan of cold weather myself, I do have a fondness for this time of year, since it's a time for connecting with friends and family, as well as reflecting on the year that's passed.
This year, a lot has changed for DONTFORGET. We released v2.7 for DF CONNECTED in the summer, which brought with it many major gameplay additions and changes. DFC is inching closer and closer to completion, and I'm very excited to show you what's coming next!
We've also reached some major milestones, such as garnering over 3 million views and 30,000 followers on the GameJolt page. This community is bigger than ever before, and I appreciate all of you for being here to follow this project on its development journey! Thank you so much!
Another big step for the project was that we took part in a community event for the first time! This event was UNDEREVENT 2022, where we showcased a brand-new trailer for DF CONNECTED, giving a glimpse of what's to come for the game. It was a great experience to be a part of this event, so thanks again to the UNDEREVENT team for putting it all together!
In case you missed our new trailer, you can watch it here:
In this progress report, I'll be giving some further insight into what was shown in this trailer, as well as some sneak peeks at what we're working on for DF CONNECTED v2.8.0, the next update for the game! There's also some major announcements I want to make, so there's a lot to cover!
With that being said, let's get started!
What's next for DF CONNECTED?
To start off, I would like to clarify that while we have already started working on the new story content for v3.0.0, it won't be part of the next update.
As we've announced before, we still plan on releasing v2.8.0 before we start releasing any of the story content. You might be thinking to yourself, but what's the point of v2.8.0? I want the story content now!
Well, hold your horses, bucko! When DFC starts receiving the new story content, the game will be receiving some drastic changes that come with it.
That's why we want to release v2.8.0 first, because DFC v2.8.0 will be the last version of the game to focus on the online multiplayer.
After this next update, DF CONNECTED will no longer use GMServer to host its online multiplayer, meaning that the game will no longer be an MMO - at least, not in the same way it was before.
We've already talked about this before in previous devlogs, but just in case you aren't aware, let's talk about what's going to happen to the online multiplayer.
The Future of DF CONNECTED's Online Multiplayer
If you aren't really sure how DFC's online multiplayer works, then basically all you need to know is that the game uses a service called GameMakerServer, or GMServer for short, which is what allows everyone to connect to each other in the game.
However, GMServer has now reached it's end-of-life, which means that by the end of 2023, it may shut down. Without GMServer, our current online multiplayer will not be able to continue existing.
Therefore, we announced that DFC would be reaching it's own "end-of-service" before that happens. The "end-of-service" means that we will disconnect DFC from GMServer, and instead implement a new system that will allow players to host their own servers.
Think of it as something like Minecraft's multiplayer system, where there's no big default server to join, but there's a lot of community-made servers instead. We hope that this new system will allow DFC's online multiplayer to continue long after the game stops receiving updates, since it won't rely on anyone but the players themselves to keep it running!
There are some neat advantages to this new system, such as the game being able to allow mods! While we can't allow mods while we're still using GMServer, once we make the switch to the new system, the game will no longer be protected by an anti-decompiler, meaning that anyone will be free to mod the game - you can add new vessels, new areas, new mechanics, whatever you like (as long as it isn't malicious, please don't do that)!
We believe that this will help DF CONNECTED last for a long time, because even after official updates stop releasing, the community will have the ability to keep producing new content themselves. You could even play with mods online, if you wanted!
However, there are some disadvantages to this new system. For example, since it's an "end of service", that means we will no longer have an admin team. This means there won't be a dedicated team to handle user reports anymore - the online multiplayer will be completely in the hands of you guys, the players.
We will have tools for people hosting servers to be able to kick and ban players from their server, as well as some additional tools like a blacklist for certain words and phrases, but this does mean that it is up to the host to enforce their own rules and handle reports.
The DF team will not be responsible for anything that happens online after the end-of-service, so be extra careful! There will be plenty of warnings in-game to remind you about the potential dangers of playing online, and how to keep yourself safe.
Now, you might be wondering, when will the end-of-service happen? Well, as we've said, DFC v2.8.0 will be the last version of the game to use GMServer, so the next major update after v2.8.0 will be the start of the end-of-service. In terms of a timeframe, we expect there's about 6-8 months left before it happens.
In the past, we've said that we weren't sure if "v2.9.0" would exist or not, since we expected to get straight into development of v3.0 after v2.8 was done.
However, we've changed our minds!
Announcing DF CONNECTED v2.9.0... and more!
That's right, we'd like to confirm that DF CONNECTED will be receiving multiple updates after v2.8.0 and before v3.0.0, starting with v2.9.0!
After seeing the overwhelmingly positive response to our trailer in UNDEREVENT 2022, we started rethinking our approach to releasing the new story content.
The original plan was that after v2.8.0 (and any patches to it), we would buckle down and work solely on v3.0.0, to release the new Story Mode and new multiplayer system all at once. This could have taken a year or more, which would be a long time to go without a single update to the game!
In the end, we decided that this wasn't the right way to do it. Instead, we would like to announce that DFC's story content will be releasing in multiple parts, starting in v2.9.0 and going up to v2.15.0!
You read that right, we're going up to v2.15.0! Instead of waiting a full year or longer to release DFC's story content, we think it would be better if we released it in multiple "sections" so you guys can play it as it gets made - with each "section" containing two complete areas.
To start, v2.9.0 will contain "Section 1" of the story content, which includes a revamped Ruins and a new area known as the "Old Prison", which we had shown a glimpse of in the UNDEREVENT trailer.
A lot of you were curious about who this new character is, so allow me to introduce you to Warden!
Warden is the first of DF CONNECTED's new characters that you'll get to meet in the game's storyline.
As his name suggests, he's the warden of the City of Home Correctional Facility, a facility designed not to punish wrong-doers, but to rehabilitate them so that they can re-enter society as an upstanding citizen.
However, the facility has been largely abandoned by the time you arrive there, but Warden still actively keeps up his duties despite this, since he made a promise with someone important to him that he wants to fulfil.
Who really is Warden? What was the promise that he made? And why does he look so... familiar? Find out in DF CONNECTED v2.9.0, aiming for release in Q3 2023!
After v2.9.0, the game will be updated with a new story section in each update that comes after. The planned section releases will be:
v2.10.0 will add Section 2 of the story content, which includes a revamped Snowdin and a new area known as "Snowfall".
v2.11.0 will add Section 3 of the story content, which includes a revamped Waterfall and a new area known as "Quiet Waters".
v2.12.0 will add Section 4 of the story content, which includes a revamped Hotland and a new area we can't reveal yet!
v2.13.0 will add Section 5 of the story content, which includes a revamped New Home, expanded to include the City of New Home.
v2.14.0 will add Section 6 of the story content, which includes a revamped Dark World, and a new area known as the "Carnival of Chaos".
v2.15.0 will be a final polish update to prepare everything for the full release.
v3.0.0 will be the full release of DFC, adding Section 7 of the story content, which includes the final area, the final boss fight and the game's endings.
We believe that releasing the story in sections on a more regular basis is a lot better for you guys than waiting a year or more before you get to play any of it. Also, they probably won't officially be called "sections", maybe something more unique to the game such as calling them "entries". Let me know what you think about all of this in the comments below!
Now, you might be wondering - if the story content is going to be released in parts, how does that work with the game's current format?
That's a very specific thing to be wondering about, so you probably weren't, but I'm going to answer that anyway!
Announcing DF CONNECTED's "Story Mode"
In the past, you may recall that there was a time when the DF project was not planned to be two games, instead being just one game that had both a "Story Mode" and a "Multiplayer Mode" included, with the two modes being separate from each other but still sharing some elements.
However, this changed when we decided that the story we wanted to tell would better suit the Deltarune format rather than the Undertale format, so we made the decision to split the project into two games: "DF CONNECTED" and "DF Story Mode". DF CONNECTED would be a standalone multiplayer-focused game with a little bit of story, but DF Story Mode would be our "main" game - a singleplayer game with a larger focus on the story.
When we first made this decision, it was because we thought that DF CONNECTED wouldn't really have much to add to the game's story, and existed entirely for the online multiplayer.
But... I'm here to announce that this is no longer the case.
I believe that DF CONNECTED deserves to be just as important to DF's story as we plan our next DF game to be. Therefore, I would like to confirm that DF CONNECTED will no longer be considered a "standalone game", but will officially be the first entry in the DF series, and we will be renaming "DF Story Mode" as something else.
Starting in v2.9.0, DF CONNECTED will be receiving a new "Story Mode", which will be separate from the game's "Multiplayer Mode". This will transform DFC into an absolute behemoth of a fan-game - a fully fleshed-out story AND the online multiplayer you've come to love.
Multiplayer Mode will work just like how the game currently does, an MMO-style experience where you can play online on servers with other players, and roleplay, battle, or goof around to your heart's content.
However, the Multiplayer Mode will not have the game's story content in it. DFC's story has become too complex to be able to work in an MMO format.
That's why a separate Story Mode will be added. In this mode, the game will work more like a "traditional" singleplayer Undertale experience. You will traverse through the game's areas linearly, be able to choose which route you take (pacifist, neutral, or genocide), and experience the game's story for yourself.
I believe that this is the best format for the game's story to be told. I'm sorry if you were expecting to be able to play the game's story content online, but believe me when I say that this is the best way for us to do it.
In the future, we may consider adding an online co-op mode specifically for Story Mode, allowing you and some friends to experience the story together. No promises though, we'll see how things turn out!
As you can see, we have some big changes in mind for the DF project as a whole. That was a lot of information to take in, huh?
Well, now that we've gone over the future of the game in detail, let's talk about something more imminent.
Status Update for DF CONNECTED v2.8.0
While we have been keeping ourselves busy with our preparations for UNDEREVENT and planning for the game's future, there's still some neat stuff we want to show you for v2.8.0!
Progress on the PvP Overhaul
Whether you're a long-time player of DF's PvP, or even if you've never touched it before, we've got some exciting changes coming in v2.8.0 that might interest you!
We've heard your feedback - DFC's PvP can definitely be improved. Since this will be the last update focused on the game's multiplayer, now seems like the best time to tackle PvP and make it the best it can be.
Our first step to improving PvP is to completely replace ALL of the current attack patterns. Many of these attacks were made years ago, and we believe we can make them better.
In case you don't know, each vessel in DFC is assigned a "type", kind of like Pokémon. Their type dictates what bullet patterns you'll have to dodge when battling them in PvP. I'll show off some of the new attacks we're working on.
One of the new attacks for "Normal" types:
One of the new attacks for "Water" types:
One of the new attacks for "Fire" types:
One of the new attacks for "Electric" types:
What do you think? We're trying our hardest to ensure that all types are perfectly balanced with each other, as to not repeat the mistakes we made before. Thanks to Serns for working on these attacks shown here!
What's life without a little CHAOS...?
But that's not all - we would like to show off a brand-new vessel type, "Chaos"! This new type has been teased before, but now we can finally show you what it'll be like.
Each attack in the "Chaos" type is based on one of the suits in cards.
Originally, only Jevil was going to have this type, making it pretty exclusive. However, I decided that Jevil should not be the only one to have Chaos type, to avoid players always playing as Jevil just because they'd be the only one with an exclusive type in PvP.
As you can see in the GIFs, Lancer is one of the vessels that will be given the Chaos type, along with Chaos King and potentially Rudinn and Hathy as well - haven't decided on those two yet.
PvP isn't just receiving new attacks, though. I also plan on implementing some gameplay changes to make battles faster than before - making things a bit more intense. I don't have anything else I can reveal yet, so stay tuned for more news in the future!
Oh, also, since corruption battles use the same attack patterns as PvP types do, corruptions will also be receiving these new attacks! So even if you don't play PvP, you'll still be able to try out these new attacks for yourself!
Changes to the Verification System on Mobile
The verification system has been one of the most controversial changes made to DF CONNECTED, and I do understand why that is. I never wanted to have to exclude anyone from being able to play the game, but unfortunately some bad apples had to ruin it for everyone.
But I've still been listening to all of your feedback about the verification system, and I agree - it's not fair! Being completely shut out from playing the game if you don't own a PC is unfair, plain and simple.
While I can't completely remove the verification system until the end-of-service, I do plan on making a major change to how verification works!
In v2.8.0, there will now be another method to verifying your account besides logging in on PC: if you have at least one save file on your account with more than 120 minutes (2 hours) of playtime, you will be verified even if you don't own a PC.
This will allow us to continue blocking out troublemakers who abuse the mobile port, while still allowing genuine mobile-only players who've put time in the game to continue playing like they were before!
We're hoping to get v2.8.0 out in Q1 2023, so it shouldn't be too much longer until mobile-only players can use this new method to verify themselves. Thank you for your patience!
What comes after DF CONNECTED?
As I was saying earlier in this post, the DF project has been shifting around a bit. DF CONNECTED was originally meant to be a standalone game, something that was "part" of DF but wasn't essential for the story - but now things are changing. DFC will contain important lore details and be essential to understanding the full narrative.
Therefore, I now consider DONTFORGET to be a duology, a series of two games that form one story. You'll need to play both DF games to get the full plot, not just one.
DF CONNECTED will be the first official entry in the series, and will need to be played first (which makes sense, since it'll be released first!)
With a new Story Mode coming to DF CONNECTED, it no longer makes sense to call the next game "DF Story Mode" or "DONTFORGET", it needs a subtitle just like DFC does.
After some heavy consideration, here's the new title that I've settled on:
DF PERPETUAL will be the next entry in the DF series after DF CONNECTED is completed. To confirm, it will be a Deltarune fan-game, making DF a pretty unique project - we'll have both an Undertale fan-game and a Deltarune fan-game!
The first part of DF PERPETUAL likely won't release until sometime in 2024, since DF CONNECTED has now become a much larger game than it was originally going to be. We've got big ambitions for DONTFORGET, and we'll do everything we can to see it through! We've gotten this far, after all!
I hope that you're looking forward to experiencing the full story of the DF series. It's been many years in the making, and I am very excited to begin sharing it with you soon!
Golly, that was quite the read, huh? You did read all of it, right? Right?
Well, that's pretty much it for all of the DF news I wanted to share! But while you're still here, I'll catch you up on some other things you might have missed.
I'm an official GameJolt Creator!
I never actually made an announcement for this (oops), but I'm now a GameJolt Creator!
Some of you have already noticed this, but for those who aren't aware, being a creator means that you guys can now place special "charged" stickers on any of my posts! When you do so, and it gives me a bit of financial support, which really helps me out!
It's completely free to do, so if you'd like, give it a try!
DELTARUNE Chapter 3/4 "Leaks"...
A few of you might remember that before Deltarune Chapter 2 released, I had posted some "leaks" of Chapter 2 on Twitter, which were actually just memes that I had made in DeltaEngine, my Deltarune fan-game framework.
Well, after the Undertale anniversary post showcased some new stuff for Chapter 3 and 4, as well as the Spamton Sweepstakes that took place this year, I was motivated to make some more!
If you haven't seen them yet, check them out! The first one is a "leak" of Chapter 4 (but I called it Chapter 3/4 since it takes place right after Kris and Susie get out of the Dark World):
The second one is a "leak" of a secret easter egg in Deltarune Chapter 3, using some of the new lore details we got from the Spamton Sweepstakes:
These were pretty fun to make, so I might make some more in the future! These videos are also decent showcases of what DeltaEngine is capable of - these aren't animations, these are being played in real-time!
Okay, that's it!
Thanks for reading, everyone! Also, thanks to Prima for the artwork used in the header image!
I hope you all have a happy new year, and as always, stay determined!