Welcome to the May 2023 Progress Report! We've been working on some exciting stuff since the last time we spoke, and I feel that today is a good day to talk about some of them, as DONTFORGET has turned 7 years old today!
Thank you all so much for your continuous support over the past seven years. I feel very humbled and fortunate that this project has been able to keep going for as long as it has. I seriously wouldn't be where I am today without this game and all of you who help make it possible. So really, thank you so much!
Recently, I saw some people talking about how long they've been playing DF for. There was someone who mentioned they've been playing the game since they were in middle school, and now they're in college!
It's a very surreal feeling to think that some of you out there have grown up playing this game. On one hand, that makes me very happy! It's the dream of every developer to make a game that can stick with someone for that long. On the other hand, that makes me feel very old! Some members of the team have even started calling me "gramps"... I'm not THAT old, y'know?!
Anyway, thank you all again for an amazing seven years. I'm not sure how many more years are left for DF, but let's make the most of 'em together!
Just a quick refresher...
Now, before we get into any of the new stuff for this progress report, I'd just like to quickly recap what's been going on between now and our last progress report, just to make sure we're all on the same page:
Last year, we took part in UNDEREVENT 2022, and released a new trailer which gave a glimpse at DFC's upcoming content!
(Speaking of UNDEREVENT, they actually still have applications open a little longer for new projects to join their 2023 event... if you're interested, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vSIZQ3t8yQ)
We announced that DFC will be receiving its very own singleplayer Story Mode, releasing in parts across multiple updates (which we'll call "entries"). They will start releasing after DFC's end-of-service.
We confirmed that DFC will be reaching its end-of-service this year, meaning that the game's online multiplayer will be disconnected from GMServer (our current server provider), and instead switching to a new system that will allow players to host and join their very own servers! More info about this up ahead.
We showed some progress on DFC's upcoming PvP overhaul, including brand-new attack patterns for each character type. Since then, more attacks have been completed, and the overhaul is nearly finished!
Some new Harlow stickers are now available to earn on GameJolt! Check out this post to learn how to get them. More stickers will be coming soon!
Additional patches for v2.7 were released, including v2.7.4 and v2.7.5. These were primarily made for security updates, but they also added some new costumes, changes to the mobile verification system, and some QoL improvements.
On April 1st, a "new game announcement" was released for a game called DF UNRELATED.
This was just a joke I made for April Fool's, but it is technically a playable game that was made with DeltaEngine, a Deltarune fan-game framework that I'm still working on. While you can't download this game for yourself, it's still worth watching the video if you wanna see Harlow get up to some shenanigans with Kris and Susie!
And that pretty much covers everything that's been going on in the past few months. Now that we're all caught up, let's get into the new stuff!
Status Update for DF CONNECTED v2.8.0
To give you a general update on how v2.8.0 is doing, I would say that it's currently at about 70% completion.
Since the previous progress report, I've been keeping pretty busy with university work, so I haven't been able to work on DFC as much as I would have liked. As some of you guys might already know, I'm currently in my final year on my university course, which takes up a lot of my time.
Fortunately, I have very recently submitted my final assignments! Hooray! I should now have more time to work on DF again, and so the aim is to have v2.8.0 finished and released this summer.
Even though I've been busy, that doesn't mean progress on the update has halted! The team has also been hard at work on creating new assets for the update, some of which we can't reveal yet... but trust me, there's some exciting stuff in the works! In fact, one of the things we're working on may need its very own post later down the line - it's that big!
While I know it might be a bit disappointing to hear that the update still needs more time, I think it's important that this update is given as much time as it needs. After all, this is the last update for DF's online multiplayer.
Starting from v2.9.0, DF's focus will be shifting back onto its singleplayer content. Online multiplayer will still continue to exist and receive new content here and there, as we've already discussed, but since it'll no longer be the focus going forward, this next update is pretty much the end of an era - so it's gotta be the best it can be!
I'm very excited to be able to go back to DF's roots and start working on singleplayer story content again, but I know it'll be hard to finally bring this seven-year-long era to a close. I've been working on DF's online multiplayer for nearly 1/3 of my life, so to finally be bringing it to a close is a very surreal feeling for me.
While v2.8.0 isn't the end of DF, far from it, it does have a sense of "finality" to it. There's a lot of loose ends being tied up, lots of things you guys have been asking for finally being added, and the game is overall getting closer to a completed state than it's ever been before.
But enough of me yapping - let's get to the new stuff!
NEW weapons and armors are coming!
There are three big issues with DFC that I hear people talk about now and then, which I've always wanted to fix. These issues are:
The pacifist route is more difficult than it should be, because there isn't much armor for pacifist players to use in the mid-late game.
Neutral/genocide players often have to grind in Hotland for a long time before battling in the Dark World becomes optimal, which brings the game's progression to a major halt.
There aren't enough rewards for genocide players on the grind to LV 99, making it feel much less worthwhile than it could be.
To help resolve these problems, I've added five new weapon chests and six new armor chests to the game!
The new weapon chests are:
"Charred Pan" - 35 ATK. Unlocked at LV 17 or 650 spares.
"Devilsknife" - 110 ATK. Unlocked at LV 30 or 3500 spares.
"Casey Bat" - 125 ATK. Unlocked at LV 40 or 5000 spares.
"Planet Buster" - 150 ATK. Unlocked at LV 50 or 6000 spares.
"Royal Trident" - 200 ATK. Unlocked at LV 70 or 8000 spares.
The new armor chests are:
"Frayed Ribbon" - 3 DEF. Unlocked at LV 3 or 15 spares.
"Lonely Bandanna" - 8 DEF. Unlocked at LV 8 or 75 spares.
"Crooked Glasses" - 12 DEF. Unlocked at LV 12 or 300 spares.
"Heroic Helmet" - 14 DEF. Unlocked at LV 14 or 400 spares.
"Scorched Apron" - 18 DEF. Unlocked at LV 17 or 650 spares.
"Legendary Armor" - 110 DEF. Unlocked at LV 30 or 3500 spares.
Not only that, but existing weapon/armor chests have also been rebalanced, and most have been given new names to better reflect the game's themes. You'll have to see for yourself what's changed!
You'll notice that most of the new weapons are unlocked after LV 20. This is to help players on the grind to LV 99 have something to look forward to unlocking while on their way to the top. There's now at least one new thing to unlock every 10 levels past LV 20, and some of the new weapons even have unique properties!
The new armors should hopefully help to make the pacifist route a bit easier, and the new weapons and stat tweaks should hopefully help decrease the amount of time needed in Hotland before being able to move on, and make the grind to LV 99 a bit more enjoyable.
Now, you might be thinking, if there's all these new weapons and armors, how are they going to fit in the equipment menu? There are no spaces left!
Well worry not, because the EQUIP menu has been completely redesigned!
The EQUIP menu now works a little more like Deltarune's, with it being a scrollable list of all of your equipment. This makes it much easier for us to add more equipment, as there's no longer a limited amount of space like with the previous menu design.
Weapons and armors are added to your equipment list in the order you get them, and there isn't a separate list for weapons and armors - it's all right there and easily identifiable by an icon next to the name. There's a sword icon if it's a weapon, or a shield icon if it's armor. There's also a small yellow "E" on the icon if it's currently equipped.
The new EQUIP menu also displays more information than the previous design, showing your current ATK/DEF, the selected equipment's ATK/DEF, and the difference between them (which will either be red or green depending on if the selected equipment has a lower or higher stat).
Now, I've said that there's new weapon and armor chests, but there's also new equipment that can only be obtained through a brand-new mechanic! Let's talk about that...
NEW fusion system and upgrades are coming!
That's right, you can now fuse items together to make brand-new ones in v2.8.0!
Malius has been given a new purpose. Instead of only offering a service to rename your weapon, Malius will now also offer to fuse two items together for you, to create a brand-new item!
There are new consumable items that can only be obtained through crafting, allowing you to gain items that heal more than usual, which will be very useful for players on the grind to LV 99, as well as pacifists.
However, it is also possible to upgrade existing weapons and armors through the fusion system! In the screenshot above, you can see that the "Real Knife" can be made by fusing the "Worn Dagger" (the new name for the LV 20 weapon) and a new item called a "Dream Crystal" together. This results in the Worn Dagger getting upgraded into the Real Knife, which increases its ATK and also gives it a unique effect. There's other equipment that can be upgraded using a "Dream Crystal" as well, so have fun trying them all out!
But wait, what exactly is a "Dream Crystal"? Well, there's a new collectable called a "crystal shard" that will randomly drop near you after a battle has finished.
Collecting seven of them will allow you to fuse them together to create a Dream Crystal. These are highly valuable, and are primarily used for upgrading equipment. However, there may be other uses for them as well...
Crystal Shards and Dream Crystals will be stored in your key items menu. Speaking of the key items menu, it has received a redesign to make it more useable. Descriptions have also been added for each key item!
That's all I can show you about it for now, but I hope you enjoy the new fusion system and all the upgrades in v2.8.0!
NEW enemies are coming: Loox and Pyrope!
Attention, monster enthusiasts and bestiary completionists! Two new enemies are on their way in the next update: Loox in the Ruins, and Pyrope in Hotland!
I was often asked why Astigmatism was in the game but their original counterpart, Loox, wasn't anywhere to be found - and I agree, it was kinda weird! So I'm pleased to say that Loox is joining the monsters in the Ruins!
Check out one of Loox's new attacks:
But it's not just Loox that's joining in!
Hotland is notorious for having the least number of enemies out of all of the main areas (unless you count the CORE as part of Hotland), with just Vulkin and Tsunderplane being present. Thankfully, this is no longer the case with the inclusion of Pyrope!
Check out one of Pyrope's new attacks:
And of course, these enemies also have gold and diamond variants, can be found in double and triple encounters, have new ACTs, and can be befriended!
I hope you look forward to encountering them in the next update!
NEW "outbreaks" across the overworld!
You know, for an MMO, the world of DFC doesn't really have many "events" going on. The world doesn't really change without the player doing something to change it. I feel like the underground should feel a little more dynamic...
Therefore, one of the first steps being taken to achieve this is a new mechanic that's coming in the next update: "outbreaks"! During an "outbreak", gold/diamond enemies and corruptions battles will be more common in a specified area of the Underground.
You can find out when an outbreak is happening by checking out the Undernet feed, which will give you an alert when an outbreak is happening somewhere.
Or, you can take a look at the warp menu, where you'll see a glitch effect on the area icon which is inflicted with the outbreak.
However, be wary! While the chances for golds, diamonds, and corruptions are higher during an outbreak, the enemies' HP, ATK and DEF stats are also increased!
Outbreaks will occur in the same place at the same time for everyone on the server, and their times and locations are based on the day of the week. This way, it feels like a community event to join everyone during the outbreak!
However, if you're below a certain threshold (below LV 10 or less than 100 spares), then outbreaks won't appear for you. After all, it'd be pretty cruel if a new player found an outbreak in the Ruins right off the bat and got completely decimated.
I'm open to more suggestions on other ways to make the world feel more dynamic, so feel free to let me know your ideas in the comments! But yeah, I hope you enjoy going on the hunt during these outbreaks!
IMPORTANT: an update on the End-of-Service...
Now, I'm sure most of you are aware by now that DFC will be reaching it's end-of-service this year, but just in case, I'll go over it again.
Currently, DFC uses a service called GMServer to provide the server for our online multiplayer. I'm very thankful to the owner of GMServer, Size43, for working so closely with us over the years, and being a huge help in keeping the game running for so long. DFC simply could not exist without him.
However, GMServer has reached its end-of-life phase, which means that development of the service has ceased, and support for it will gradually fade out over the coming year. This also happens to coincide with our own plans to wrap up development on DFC's online multiplayer. As such, the game will be reaching its "end-of-service" this year.
But what does "end-of-service" mean? Well, when DFC's end-of-service comes, here's what will happen:
DFC will be disconnected from GMServer. The one big server that everyone has been playing on for the past few years will no longer be available. You will need to export your online save files into offline save files in order to keep your progress.
The admin team will disband. As such, it will no longer be possible to send reports to the admin team. We have happily served DFC's community for seven years now, but we're ready to bring our service to a close.
Multiplayer will no longer be DF's development focus. Instead, we will be returning our focus back onto creating singleplayer content for the game.
But don't worry, the end-of-service does NOT mean the end of online multiplayer! In fact, our aim is to use this as an opportunity to begin a new era for DFC's multiplayer!
While we will no longer be using GMServer after the end-of-service, we have already announced that DFC will be receiving a brand new multiplayer system. This system will allow you guys to host your very own servers!
Think of it like how Minecraft's multiplayer works - this new system means that you could make a private server for just you and your friends, or if you know what you're doing, you could make a community server and have it be publicly available for anyone to join!
We're very excited about the opportunities that this new system presents. While we know it'll be disappointing that there will no longer be one big server for everyone to play on, we also believe that the best way to preserve this game's multiplayer is to give you guys direct control over it!
Instead of everyone being on one server, there can now be many servers for different ways to play. Want to make a server that's all about roleplaying? You can do that! Want to make a server dedicated to forming parties and farming together? You can do that! Are you a content creator and want to make a server for you and your viewers? You can do that! Want to make a server for modded gameplay? You can do that!
That's right, once the end-of-service comes around, you will be allowed to make mods for DFC! We haven't been able to allow them up to this point because everyone is playing on one server together, but now that there will be many different servers, there's no reason to restrict mods anymore!
We hope that the freedom to make and play mods will help you guys continue to enjoy the game, even long after official development is over. Want to add new vessels? No problem! Want to add new enemies and bosses? Go for it! Want to add new areas? There's nothing stopping ya! The possibilities are endless, you can add whatever you want to DFC!
There will be official documentation to help you get started making mods for the game once the end-of-service comes around. I'm really excited to see what you guys make!
But... when IS the end-of-service?
Well, the official end-of-service is slated to be in v2.9.0, which is now expected to release by the end of the year.
However, what I'd like to announce today is that the new server system will actually be available for you guys to try before the end-of-service!
In v2.8.0, an early-access version of the new multiplayer system will be available. From the main menu, you'll be able to choose to play on the current multiplayer like normal (the "official server"), or you can play an in-development version of the new multiplayer, allowing you to start hosting/joining community-made servers!
When 2.8 releases, we will add a new channel in the DF GameJolt Community where you can post server invites if you'd like to host your own public community server. This will be the official place for you to share/discover community servers to play on!
Now, since this is an in-development version of the new system, it won't have every feature implemented. For example, PvP probably won't be added for the new multiplayer system until v2.9.0. This is why we're releasing it while the official server is still running, so that you can still get the full DFC experience while we continue to work on the new system.
This also give you guys access to the new system before it completely replaces the current multiplayer system, so we can iron out any issues and get some feedback directly from you guys.
More information about this new system will be shared in the future, but for now, I hope you're looking forward to giving it a try!
SNEAK PEEKS at work-in-progress content!
Before we wrap up this progress report, I'd like to show you guys a few "sneak peeks" at some work-in-progress content.
There's a lot of new stuff coming in v2.8.0 that wasn't ready to be shown off properly in this report, but I still want to give you guys a little teaser of what these things are. What I've shown you for 2.8 up to this point isn't even scratching the surface of what's to come!
Take a gander at these...
What could these mean?! Tune into the next progress report to find out! I'm not sure when it'll be ready, but I hope you look forward to it!
Well, that wraps up this progress report! I apologize for the long gap between this progress report and the last one, but my university work had to take priority. Rest assured, development on DFC will speed up a bit over the summer!
Thank you all again for an amazing seven years for DF, and as always, stay determined!