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NEO Scavenger
April 4, 2013 - Daniel@BlueBottleGames

I've just finished uploading new beta build 0.967b and demo build 0.967d. The updates include new monsters, combat retreat changes, and several bug fixes. The beta also includes new encounter content.

Check out the new demo and beta at http://bluebottlegames.com!

Updates to Both Beta and Demo

Both the beta and demo have the following updates:

  • Added enfield horror creature to game.
  • Added melonhead creature to game.
  • Changed battle retreat/fall back maneuvers to increase range from all opponents, not just current target.
  • Changed athletic "sprint away" battle move to move 3-4 spaces, instead of 2-3.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed player to take items from store even if they couldn't afford them, using item swapping.
  • Fixed a bug that caused wounds and bandages to become aligned/zoomed incorrectly when changing resolutions.
  • Fixed a bug that caused crafting UI arrows to look wrong after changing resolution.
  • Fixed 2400x1350 button text on title screen (was showing "1600x900").
  • Fixed a bug in context->empty which caused removed item to retain old slot info.
  • Removed unnecessary images, reducing file size.

The new monsters were hinted at last week, and each have some unique tactics and properties. Both are encountered in the wild, so beware some new faces in the neighborhood :)

The biggest change here is the combat retreat/fall back moves. Previously, running from a group of enemies involved running from the current target, switching targets, running from the new target, switching back, etc. Usually, resulting in failure and frustration.

Now, retreat works against all opponents simultaneously (like Athletic's "sprint away from the fray" used to). This way, retreating from a group in battle should be challenging, but far from impossible.

Exclusive Beta Updates

The beta has the following additional updates:

  • Added new "Allegan" encounter.
  • Added two new unique items to game.
  • Changed trio of major encounters to each happen in all games, instead of only one per game.
  • Changed trio of major encounters to be revisitable.
  • Changed some encounters so player action required to continue, instead of continuing by default.

"Allegan" is the newest major encounter to be added to the game. Three other major encounters have been upgraded from occasional status to always available, so each game can now see all three. And changes have been made such that those locations persist after the initial encounters, to help lend an air of permanence to the map.

Some of this new content is a bit experimental, so let me know if it breaks or seems to misbehave. Especially the new monsters and retreat behavior.

Hope everyone enjoys the new content!

February 22, 2013 - Daniel@BlueBottleGames

I've just uploaded new beta (0.961b) and demo (0.961d) builds, which include the option to play in larger resolutions and font sizes. The builds also address some crafting issues, as well as other bugs identified recently.


New title screen with graphics options! (Click image link to see actual size.)

Beta and Demo Updates

Updates included in both 0.961b and 0.961d:

  • Added new options to title screen for 800x450, 1360x768, 1600x900, and 2400x1350.
  • Added graphics option to filter (antialias) game.
  • Added graphics option to stretch game to fit window.
  • Added graphics option to switch to fullscreen mode.
  • Added new, larger font for use in 1360x768 mode.
  • Added Greenlight link to title screen.
  • Added new help section to title screen.
  • Added code to save graphics and mute preferences when changed.
  • Added code to drop game resolution if screen size crops important graphics options UI.
  • Added code to ask for user confirmation when switching graphics options.
  • Added sleeping pills to scavenge and junk store inventories.
  • Added recipes for disassembling strapped or scoped 308.
  • Added right-click context menu entry for take/drop item.
  • Added minimap hex colors for some hex types (water sources, DMC).
  • Changed inventory mouse controls to use click, double click, right click, and shift, intead of buttons/hotkeys.
  • Changed crafting to be a separate screen. Now uses item copies so as not to disturb buffs/debuffs while crafting (e.g. going blind when crafting with fire)
  • Changed quick recipes to scroll using buttons that are closer to each other, instead of top and bottom of list.
  • Changed crafting UI such that quick recipes and available ingredients use same area, and are each their own tabs.
  • Changed cursor to hourglass while crafting screen is loading (for cases with lots of items present)
  • Changed conditions screen to show backpack and left/right hand slots, for easy item access.
  • Changed main menu to support "F1" hotkey, since "Esc" causes fullscreen to exit.
  • Changed bluebottlegames.com to have an embedded 800x450 window, instead of 800x600.
  • Changed title screen artwork.
  • Changed loading screen alignment to fit on all resolutions.
  • Changed clothes degrade and crafting recipes to each produce 5 rags and 5 strings, rather than just random number of rags.
  • Changed torch recipes to accept both clean and dirty rags.
  • Changed ground and avail ingredients cap boxes to 29 cells high to fit 1360x768 mode.
  • Changed all recipe hints to lowercase, for alphabetical sorting.
  • Changed all recipes which use charged items to list the charges explicitly as an ingredient, so charges would remain inside their container after used in crafting.
  • Changed skill selection screen layout, and added more empty slot space.
  • Changed container sizes for encounter input/response, and available skills/traits.
  • Fixed a bug that caused items to multiply when degrading in a pocket underneath another clothing item. (E.g. endless rags from pocket under squirrel tunic)
  • Fixed a bug that caused double-counting of containers when calculating item value.
  • Fixed a null pointer bug when accessing camp just before a scavenge battle.
  • Fixed a bug that caused null pointer when opening crafting screen just before battle starts.
  • Fixed container sorting button missing on some pages.
  • Fixed item dragging offset when unsocketing an item with image that changed height.
  • Fixed issue with log window text scrolling inconsistently.
    Fixed battle UI text fields not lining up when some long-named items are displayed.
  • Fixed a bug in TransferAllItems which ignored stacks when container wasn't slotted.
  • Fixed item rotation bug introduced in build 0.960.
  • Fixed bug that deleted camp items when right-clicking and choosing "craft."

As you can see, quite a lot has changed. The majority of the work involved opening up new screen sizes for users with bigger monitors. The game now fits a widescreen format, and will letterbox any additional space instead of stretching. This helps to maintain the pixel aspect ratio, and produce less jagged fonts and images.

However, in addition to the larger screen sizes and fonts, there are also some graphics options for filtering, fullscreen, and stretching, in case you want to further customize each mode.

The game will try to remember your settings from session to session, using cookies.


New crafting UI. Now with less blindness when using fire! (Click image link to see actual size.)

Another big change is the crafting UI. The crafting controls are now on their own page, with everything in your inventory already emptied out and sorted by size. It has multiple pages in case they don't all fit, and you can switch tabs to view your list of known recipes.

What's more, everything on this page is a copy of the original, so no more blindness when using a campfire to craft at night! Items created on this page are automatically added to the ground on the items screen. If the ground cannot fit the item, it will alternately try to fit it into the camp slot.


New conditions screen, with easy backpack access! (Click image link to see actual size.)

I also found a way to combine some elements of the items screen with the conditions screen, as many players requested. Hopefully, this makes it easier to apply bandages from the handheld and backpack slots!

Beta Updates

The following updates apply to the beta only:

  • Fixed a bug that prevented savegames from storing current encounter page.
  • Fixed bug preventing night vision augmentation from being used in scavenging.
  • Fixed pricing issues in diner.
  • Fixed bug that prevented leaving the augmentation clinic.
  • Added scrolling to DMC map, with overlay instruction info.
  • Changed main menu to only allow quit when in skill selection, due to crash bug when saving.

Most of these were fixes to the new DMC encounters introduced in the last build. However, the fix to save games should be a big improvement, since it should make saving during an encounter safe now.

Note About Linux

Just a heads-up to Linux users: fullscreen mode doesn't seem to work with keyboard input. This appears to be a limitation of the Flash player's current version on Linux (11.2). Keyboard support was added to Windows/Mac players in 11.3 and higher, so this won't be fixable until a new version of the player is available for Linux.

In the meantime, you can still maximize the window to get nearly fullscreen, and the keyboard will still work. I apologize for the fluke, as I didn't notice it until testing the Linux build this afternoon.

As always, let me know what you think of the changes, or if you come across any issues. I usually don't work on weekends, but I'll keep an eye out tomorrow in case I've totally pooched the build and you need a major fix done.

Hope you enjoy the update!

January 18, 2013 - Daniel@BlueBottleGames

I've just finished uploading new beta build 0.960b and demo build 0.960d. The new beta build unlocks the DMC, adds some new encounters and other content, and changes the economy of scavenging when near the DMC. Both the demo and beta builds include more informative skill descriptions, an updated body heat algorithm for (hopefully) more stable temperature, and a raft of bug fixes.


Beta players can now bypass the "orange alert," and gain entrance to Detroit Mega City!

Beta Updates

Updates and fixes to the beta version include:

  • Added new DMC gate illustration.
  • Added ability to enter DMC via gates (i.e. no more "orange alert").
  • Added new map art for when player is in the DMC.
  • Added diner to DMC where player can buy meals.
  • Added medical clinic to DMC where player can get diagnostics, care, and medicine.
  • Added medical augmentation clinic to DMC where player can get eye surgery and bionic eye replacement.
  • Added night vision and telescopic zoom upgrade options for artificial eyes.
  • Added a new, full-sized plot-related wilderness encounter. (1 of 3 that are randomly added to map at start of new game)
  • Added a new, unique (i.e. only one in each game) creature.
  • Added mini encounter to introduce new creature.
  • Added new ambient noises for when inside DMC walls.
  • Added new music tracks by Josh Culler for wilderness and city.
  • Added trigger to start city music when first entering DMC.
  • Added new wilderness and city music tracks
  • Added code to play DMC-specific music when inside the city
  • Added new pill type to game: sleeping pills.
  • Changed scavenging to be less frequent, less successful, and attract less creatures when near DMC, and normal when far from DMC.
  • Changed Radiation Bob encounter to have fewer fatal outcomes.
  • Fixed a bug in the junk market that allowed players to swap an item for something they cannot afford from the store.

As cities go, there still isn't much to do in the DMC. However, the audiovisual experience should at least be interesting, and the services it provides should be very useful to players in dire straits. It also gives me a chance to try out some new ideas like augmentations and skill upgrades, to see if those are worth expanding.

The scavenging changes should also make it more challenging to obtain large amounts of money. Players will have to travel further from the DMC to get more loot, and the risk increases with the reward.

Plus, there are a few new pieces of content in the game, including encounters, a new creature, and a plot morsel or two. This update is a bit more DMC-heavy than plot, but I figured more folks were asking about when the "orange alert" would be lifted, so I focused on opening up the city for this round of plot updates.

Demo and Beta Updates

The following updates were added to both the demo and beta builds:

  • Changed creature exposure algorithm to be more stable and predictable (using exp() instead of tan()).
  • Changed skill and trait descriptions to contain more relevant info
  • Changed item auto-sort button to restore original item positions if something doesn't fit (bug caused misplaced/inaccessible items).
  • Changed item auto sort button to place bigger items before smaller ones, for better packing.
  • Fixed music looping bug that caused loops to always start at 0s, and fade out for too long.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented encounters from adding/subtracting money from player.
  • Fixed a bug that caused campsites and contents to get misplaced when AI looted player's current hex. (e.g. attacking player in their sleep)
  • Fixed a bug that prevented recipes and newpapers from stacking when in hands.
  • Fixed a null pointer bug when spawning creatures after scavenging.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented hex loot icon from updating when items removed from ground.
  • Fixed a bug that caused player pop-up not to update when conditions changed.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed right-clicking on ghosted/faded items.
  • Fixed a bug that caused rotated items to have clipped/wrong image when rotated 180 degrees (esp. after save/load).
  • Fixed a bug that caused recipe pop-up text to include actual headline text instead of generic newspaper ingredient.

The new temperature code should hopefully be more stable, and prevent the random heat strokes of death. It seems a bit harsher to me now, though I've usually been able to score some clothes, a fire, or a sleeping bag soon enough to save myself. You'll have to let me know what you guys think of the new mechanic.

I've also hopefully fixed many of the misplaced/lost item glitches in the inventory, both due to item sorting/rotating and AI looting.

Finally, there were quite a few minor bug fixes, ranging from bad music looping to mismatched pop-up info and icons.

Overall, the game should be more stable, and more rewarding. Be sure to let me know what you think of the changes!

December 10, 2012 - Daniel@BlueBottleGames

This video showcases some of the map art I've been working on for the past week or so. It's zoomed in quite a bit, so it doesn't spoil too much. But it should give you an idea for the type of city map that will be provided in-game.


I hope you like pixel art!

The trailer starts with the in-game skyline view of Detroit Mega City (DMC), and transitions to the overhead map view. The map pans west-to-east, starting with the sprawl outside the city. It continues over the walls, and covers some of the dense city blocks, power plant, and arcology. Ground traffic follows major streets, and some hover vehicles criss-cross the sky.

The music featured in the teaser is one of the newer pieces composed by Josh Culler. I think he's doing a great job of capturing the atmosphere of a futuristic city.

The map is a bit short on detail in some regions, but I'm going to leave it as-is for now, and start working on the individual location encounters within the city. Today, I was able to hook up some buttons on this map to trigger encounters, and started putting together some diner info.

It'll take a while to get the city filled with even a meager amount of stuff to do, but maybe it'll be enough to get at least a few services up and running, and release that as a new build. Then fill in more over time. Building a city is a pretty big task, it turns out!

Hope you enjoy the short video!

November 8, 2012 - Daniel@BlueBottleGames

I've just finished uploading new beta (0.959b) and demo (0.959d) builds to http://bluebottlegames.com, which address a few nagging bugs that were missed in the last update.

Bug Fixes in 0.959

Today's build includes the following fixes:

  • Fixed a bug that caused missing items and incorrect stacking when sorting containers with stackable items.
  • Fixed a bug that caused money to be miscalculated when consuming items in junk store.
  • Changed "Delete" context menu to "Destroy."
  • Changed code to let combatants see light-bearers, even if blind.

The last one was a bug some players noticed when carrying torches at night into a battle. Any creatures without nightvision would be blind to all combatants, even if they were carrying a source of light. This should be fixed now.

Let me know if any other issues pop up. I'm off to do some encounter editor hacking!

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