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DONTFORGET (Undertale/Deltarune Online Fangame)

3 months ago

❤ DONTFORGET - March 2024 Mini Status Update ❤

(Read inside for the latest information on v2.8.0's development, including an update regarding our release plans, and a sneak peek at what we're working on!)


Howdy, everyone!

Welcome to the first "Mini Status Update" for DONTFORGET!

This is a new post format that we're going to be trying out, where in-between the larger progress reports, we'll try posting these smaller status updates to fill in the gaps. That way, we can keep you all in the loop about how the project is progressing, without having to wait for the larger progress reports to do so!

For most of the project's development, we've typically released progress reports every few months. There's never been a strict schedule for progress reports; we simply release them once there's enough exciting news to warrant one. While this approach is great for ensuring that each progress report has substantial announcements to share, this did make it difficult to share smaller bits of news without feeling like it was too small to post on its own.

However, with the lengthy development of v2.8.0, it's become clearer that there's a need for more frequent, consistent communication from us to you guys.

That's where these mini status updates come in! From now on, we can make these smaller posts to share development updates on a more regular basis, while continuing to release our major progress reports whenever we have big announcements to share!

We hope you'll look forward to hearing more consistent development updates from us going forward! While these mini status updates aren't intended to be as big and exciting as our progress reports, I still hope you'll find them enjoyable to read!

Now then, let's get started!


Status Update on DF CONNECTED v2.8.0

Since our previous progress report in January, we've been keeping ourselves pretty busy! While there have been some bumps in the road here and there, the update has continued to come together...

dfc_cyber_field.gif

In particular, here's what we've been putting our focus on lately:

  • Finishing up the Cyber World.

  • Implementation of new playable characters.

  • Implementation of the Community Server system.

  • System rewrites (particularly the dialogue and vessel system).

  • ...And two major additions that we haven't revealed yet!

In the past few days alone, there has been a considerable amount of progress done on those two secret major additions in particular! I'm really pleased with how it's all been coming along, and I can't wait for you guys to see them in action!

However, despite how excited I am about these new features, I must admit that they weren't actually part of our initial plans for this update; as such, they are a contributing factor for the update being delayed. I do sincerely believe they'll be worth the wait, but I do understand the disappointment towards the increased development time.

On the topic of the delays, I would like to officially address them with all of you. I've openly talked about the delays over on our official DF Discord Server, but I'd like to provide an official statement about them here as well.


A Statement on v2.8.0's Delayed Release

DF CONNECTED v2.8.0 is the largest update that we've ever released for the game. Its also one of the most important updates we'll ever release, as it will be the last major content update for the online multiplayer, before the mode reaches its end-of-service later this year.

While we've done our best to keep up consistent progress throughout v2.8.0's development, things have been turbulent over the past year. In recent months, development has been especially rocky, due to unfortunate circumstances in my personal life making it harder to work on the game.

During this difficult time, my fellow teammates in the DF team have been absolute superstars, and I'm incredibly appreciative of each of them for all of their help with the game. Without them, DF CONNECTED simply could not exist.

Unfortunately, even with all of their help, the game can still only be developed as fast as I'm able to design and program it. While I try my best, I'm not always able to work on the game as much as I would like.

In the end, we weren't able to release a major update for DF CONNECTED last year. This was the first time the project had ever gone a full year without a major update since its launch in 2016.

We tried to make up for this by releasing additional patches for v2.7 throughout 2023, which added the new quest system, new costumes, and gameplay improvements. However, while these helped a little with the wait, I still understood the disappointment that v2.8.0 didn't release in 2023 like we first expected. As we reached the end of 2023, we were really feeling the pressure to get the update released.

In December, it was a pretty hectic time both development-wise and life-wise, but it still seemed like there was a light at the end of the tunnel for v2.8.0. I really wanted to put a release date at the end of our UNDEREVENT 2023 trailer to end the year on a positive note, so after some discussion with the team, we settled on announcing a January 2024 release in our trailer.

But unfortunately, in the end, January came and went without v2.8.0's release. At the end of the month, I posted the January 2024 Progress Report, where I officially announced that the update had been delayed.

In that announcement, I made the mistake of trying to make up for the delay by immediately stating an updated release plan for February. While I did sincerely believe that the update could have been finished by the end of the month, I still should have waited a little longer until I was absolutely sure of it. Unfortunately, despite our efforts, we were not able to release the update in February, nor were we able to release a progress report.

I would like to apologize to you all for the disappointment caused by the delays. It was never my intention to disappoint anyone, or to make them feel like they've been misled. Going forward, I intend to learn from this by never announcing a release period until I am 100% sure we can reach it. I will only announce a release estimate once every feature has been fully implemented, and initial playtesting has gone well.

With that in mind, I will officially announce that for now, there is no official release estimate for DF CONNECTED v2.8.0.

Don't worry, this does not mean that v2.8.0 is delayed indefinitely! We still have a release period that we're aiming for internally, we're just not going to announce it publicly until the update is much closer to completion than it was previously.

In the meantime, we're hoping to release a March 2024 Progress Report later this month, which will finally reveal those exciting new features that we've been teasing! However, I cannot guarantee that there will be a release announcement of any kind in it. That said, I can still confirm that the release announcement will be posted at least one week before the update releases, either as part of a future progress report, or maybe even in a future mini status update!

Now then, before we wrap up this section, there's one more thing I want to share - in regards to the schedule for the end-of-service, I'd like to confirm that the launch of the end-of-service will be pushed back, to accommodate for the delays to v2.8.0. We'll continue to keep the official game server up and running for as long as we can!

Thank you all so much for your continued patience with the update's development. It really does mean a lot to have your support, and I truly hope that you'll enjoy v2.8.0 when it releases!

As a thank you for reading this whole section, I'd like to show you a little sneak peek of what I've been working on recently!


Sneak Peek: a new PARTNER system...?

In the January 2024 Progress Report, I showed a teaser for a new partner menu. This new menu had some elements blurred, but it showed that partners were receiving their very own set of stats: LV, EXP, ATK, DEF, and MAGIC. What could those be for...?

Well, you'll find out in the next progress report! But for now, let me show you a little more of the new partner menu!

In previous versions of DF CONNECTED, the partner menu was a single screen where you could scroll from left to right through all of your partners. With over 55 partners as of v2.7.8b, that's a lot of partners to scroll through sequentially to get to the one you want! It's slow and not very fun to use, and it'll only get worse as more characters are added.

So in v2.8.0, the partner menu has been completely redone to make it much more efficient to use!

Similarly to the vessel menu, the partner menu is now organized in a grid, rather than a sequential order!

dfc_partners_menu_or_is_it.png

As you can see, this updated menu will be a lot easier to navigate through to get to the partner you want. You can hover over the icons of all of your partners to see their essential stats at the bottom of the menu, and they're all color-coded to match their element.

You might be wondering, "Elements? Since when did partners have elements?" Well, since now! Elements are part of one of the major new features that'll be revealed in the next progress report!

As you may already know, each vessel in the game is assigned a "PvP type", which dictates which set of attack patterns that character will use against opponents in PvP. Outside of PvP, a character's PvP type had no bearing on the gameplay whatsoever... until now!

"PvP types" have now been renamed to "elements". As elements, not only do vessels have them, but partners do, too!

But why would partners need elements...? Well, you'll find out soon enough!

For now, let me show you an updated screenshot of the partner overview screen, which was teased previously.

When you select a partner from the grid menu I showed above, you'll be taken to the partner overview screen, where you can see all of the selected partner's stats in more detail, and be given some key options to choose from.

dfc_partner_overview.png

Like I did in the January 2024 Progress Report, I've once again blurred out one of the stats and two of the options that would spoil what the new features are. However, you can still see the gist of what this menu is for, as well as get a little idea of how partner stats work.

Each partner essentially has their very own LV, just like the player character does! Your partners will earn the same amount of EXP as you do per battle, allowing them to gain LV. By gaining LV, their base AT and DF stats can go up. If the partner is a character capable of magic (i.e. monsters), their MG stat can also increase naturally by gaining LV!

What's MAGIC for, you ask? Well, wait and see!

Anyway, that's all I wanted to share with you for now. I don't want to spoil too much, after all!

Check back in the next progress report for a deep dive into what these new features are all about!


Conclusion

Well, that's everything I wanted to share with you all in this post!

So, what are your thoughts on this new post format? Do you like the idea of having these mini status updates in-between our major progress reports? Let me know what you think!

Anyway, thanks again for reading, and as always, stay determined!

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