Progress Update, and About “Suitabilities”!

Thank you everyone for your patience! I know a lot of people are looking forward to getting early access and seeing what we have. Right now- we still have been focusing on both server side and client side code to make things work like training horses, breeding horses, generating wild/foundation horses, clubs, and events. A lot of work here has been done- and yay for John’s recent progress on Clubs. With our “no budget” A lot of this is just buttons and results for now- still very cool.

What we don’t have- is much of the “pretty” stuff done yet- and the user interface is pretty ugly in placeholder art. We also don’t have much new in the way of any visuals to show. But I think we are getting to a point where everything will soon be downhill. Especially as I learn more and more about our code base and get more acquainted with it. I love working on it- and wish I could do it full time! I am also glad that I am learning it all so I can make changes and updates to the game as we need them.

Last weekend I added in the generation of color layer data to new horses (based on breed etc..)- and guess what? We are going to have “Greying” as requested! Foals for example might be born black but turn grey- and we are going to hide that from you until they mature enough to see the new color. I will be experimenting to see if it can be a gradual change, or if one day you log on and don’t recognize that black horse you had… It’s all in data/code only right now- hopefully soon we will associate this to the 3D horses (and make a bunch of patterns/layers/colors) so I can show you cool generated horses!

A date for early access? We will certainly have something ready by July for Breyerfest. However I’m working as best as I can to get people who purchased Early Access in for a few days soon to show them our progress. I really don’t want to scare people off in its very temporary state the game is in now.

No Budget

I want to spend every penny possible we get on art. The Goal Store will be reworked soon to reflect that. We are still working on the game “as we can” and have to pay bills and keep contract work jobs. We are considering doing a smaller Kickstarter campaign in July- with the focus to grind off a finished product and to fund money to make Human Avatars for your character. I’ll be poling your opinion soon here on what features we must have done for release :) We can always add in stuff after release as well. We are building the game structure to feature more animal species than just horses ye’ know ;) Feel free to comment and leave your opinion as well if you wish.

Suitabilities
“Suitabilities” are a hidden set of data for each horse that is initially based on the horse’s breed, such as stats- and has a chance to be improved through eventing experience and breeding.

In the original Virtual Horse Ranch – events give bonuses to “Breed types” such as drafts, sport horses, warmbloods etc.. in certain event types. Our Game Master Alabama came up with a new (and neat) idea on how to handle this better so each breed, and line of horses is more dynamic. Each breed now has various “Suitabilities” they are naturally good at. For example- Quarter Horses will excel in Western Events (and have degrees of bonuses in other events), as opposed to all stock horses getting the same bonus in all Western Events. Now, the neat thing is- patient breeders can create their own line of specialty breeds. They can work (really hard) to make their own Breeding line of Thoroughbreds that are bred for Dressage- for one example.

I spent the weekend coding them in to VHR3D- and I think they are going to be pretty cool. They will not be too much of an overpowered stat- for example, a well bred American Warmblood will not win dressage events (because the breed is suited for that) out the box with out training and improving stats to meet the competition still.

As always- feel free to leave your feedback! We love hearing from you.

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We are going to Breyerfest!

Breyerfest 2015

 

We are going to Breyerfest in July! In April, we will have confirmation that we will have a booth there as well. I’m particularly excited about having the French theme- having spent some time growing up in France as a kid.

We should have some very cool stuff there- more details will be mentioned as time progresses.

I just got all my old Breyer horses shipped to me. Nostalgia! I was surprised that a few still don’t have broken legs. I played with these horses up until a healthy age :)

I hear there will be a mechanical bull at Breyerfest.  All activities concerning this said bull, and our community manager volunteers, will be video taped. In fact- maybe even a livecam?

Who else is planning on going?

 

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Brief status update

We are working as hard as we can on code at the moment- which isn’t as hard as we would like to. Given real world responsibilities, like silly bills and rent, John and I are only able to spend 1-2 days a week on code. Fortunately we have a strong code base that John has been developing over the years, so things are going faster than if we were developing this from scratch.

We are debating whether to try another Kickstarter campaign for less or promoting and refocusing our goal store- so we can acquire more art and have a human avatar riding the horse as we would like. We think it’s necessary too! At some point we will have it, we just want to have it by official launch.

I have figured out how to add “layers” to horses- which is totally awesome. That means new horses are going to have unexpected markings like socks, blazes and such. Or perhaps a totally different Appy coat than it’s parent, yet the same color. Cycled through some random tail+mane and ended up with the below picture of the Andalusian Horse in progress. Still working on that pure “Show” horse model, will be thinning down those legs :)

andalusian

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We have questions for you!

We have been working on code for VHR3D and getting a lot done, but we don’t have much appropriate to show you at the moment with our placeholder graphics. We hope to have some sort of early access up sometime in March- hopefully sooner! Depends on what all we can get done with our most limited resource- Time.

All this week we are going to be looking for feedback- what interests you and what you want to see in a horse game. After all, this game is being aided by your support. Please answer our first set of poll questions, and comment with anything additional you would like to say- thank you!

What device will you be playing VHR3D on?

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What excites you most about VHR3D?

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Just a note for question below- breeds like “Arappaloosa” will be from combining two Arappaloosas or an Appaloosa and an Arabian.

What should happen with mixed breeds (foal with mixed breed)?

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Happy Holidays- Here is a video for you featuring our Foal!

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New Developments, stuff in progress

Hello everyone! Things are moving a bit slower as we have had to pick up some additional work to help fund this game, but we will do what it takes. We have reached beyond our cap on what we can afford for artwork- and we are still in need of your help. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out our goal store and you can see our individual goals here to track exactly where the resources are going…

Where the Goal Store resources have gone so far

With the little amount we have raised, we have already been able to achieve quite a bit and we can’t wait to share so showing this stuff prematurely. We have a foal and working on cute foal animations, We have a donkey, We have a barn! Below is a movie of the raw foal model growing in to an adult Draft horse (hairy feet coming soon!), it’s quite cool. Please note that all stuff we are showing you today is “in development” and still being worked on- and we need your help to continue!

Foals will have their own special mane and tail

Donkeys will get a donkey tail (in development)

Donkeys will get a donkey tail (in development)

Cool things afloat, blending models and unique manes and tails.

Cool things afloat, blending models and unique manes and tails.

Initial four horse barn

Initial four horse barn

 Rewards for signing up to our mailing list!

If you have yet to sign up to our mailing list- be sure to do so at the top right of this page! We will be offering free unique items & horses soon to all our list supporters.

Thank you everyone!

Code isn’t too glamorous to show, and nor is our game client right now with the UI very very rough… but we will share more as soon as we have stuff suitable for showing.

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Our Goal Store is up!

goalstore_w600

We can still build a great game in a timely manner with your help- and we broke up our Kickstarter goal in to smaller goals that you can read about here.

  • All proceeds go directly in to the game’s development. The more we raise, the more cool things we can get (such as more 3D artwork) and the sooner the game will be launched.
  • All purchases include a 3 day head start.
  • Items will be delivered on official launch of the game (although you may be able to play with more features before if you have early access)
  • Accounts begin with four stable slots and two wild horse catches.

Feel free to comment if you have any further questions, thank you everyone!

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Thank you Kickstarter backers & supporters!

Our Kickstarter Project has been an adventure, thank you everyone who has pledged, shared, and given hope to the project. Even if we don’t meet our goal, we still believe that our Kickstarter Campaign was a win for us. It brought a lot of awareness and good feedback to our game- which…

We are still going to build …

We are no strangers to bootstrapping, and this is exactly what we will still have to do. Meanwhile we have to pick up some contract work to help invest time and money in to the game ourselves, and thus not be able to spend as much time nor get as much art done as we would have liked- but we are going to do what it takes to get this game out. The glory of online games is that we can continually update them, so we plan on adding all the features including the stretch goals at some point. Please sign up to our mailing list if you haven’t already so you can keep updated with this project.

Boxdyes for VHR web game players will still be handed out tomorrow (Teusday).

You can still help!

We are going to use our own mechanisms to do further “glass door” crowdfunding, launching tomorrow at this website. We are offering similar rewards (and broken up rewards) in a simple PayPal store. Each dollar will go towards specific micro-goals we have towards development. More details on that will present itself when we launch that Tuesday.

Some very cool other developments!

We are currently working on a foal with cute foal animations. Also have a beautiful starter barn being created, pictured below. The texture (wood planks etc..) is being worked on and can’t wait to show you the entire thing soon.

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Again- thank you everyone!

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Skeleton Horse Breed for first 100 backers. And more!

From update #8 on Kickstarter

Hello everyone. Thank you all for backing and for the positive support. So many of you are new to Kickstarter and that is exciting! We believe that we can reach our 40k goal and with some help of the Kickstarter community. Of course we need more backers- and even $1 helps raise our popularity ratings which raises our search rankings. So tell your friends whom might be interested to give us a wee pledge. We, of course, are also busy reaching out to our VHR players and trying to avoid junk boxes.

Le Skeleton Horse

Some of you expressed interest in our Halloween horse so we are planning to give our first 100 backers a skeleton horse breed with this painted skeleton color, we could also do it in other colors. Let me know what you think about that, or just want it as a color only? I’m sure we will be even loading you all up with more rewards as well upon success of the campaign.
horse copy

Horse Animations

Our talented animator, Laura Raines Smith (also worked on titles like Zoo Tycoon, Batman, StarWars, Harry Potter etc..), is busy improving our animations and fixing that chest issue (sometimes they have boobs like in the pic above hehe). One of the things she is doing is lowering the neck and for “on the bit” animations. Also, we are playing with blending animations, why is this cool? We can take some trots, like the Park trot, and blend it in with the regular trot- for example this means that as your horses’ movement score improves, so does its actual trot. This is only being experimented with, but thought it was worth mentioning.

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Happy Halloween!

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