This update may feel short since we are putting all our effort on the Early Access release which is scheduled for December 2022. Early Access version will most likely have the first 4 weeks (easily over 10 hours) of playable content. And we promise that there’s a lot more to come!
List of things done:
[FEATURE]: Players can now select difficulty level when starting a new game.
[FEATURE]: Added permadeath for harder difficulties.
[FEATURE]: Decrease sanity when being in the rain. (“Hajottaako?”)
[FEATURE]: Cooper Test.
[FEATURE]: Morning Comb (“Aamukampa”) can now be purchased from the canteen.
[FEATURE]: Some inventory items can now be inspected up close.
[FEATURE]: Players need to purchase a padlock from the canteen & lock their closet to prevent others from stealing their stuff!
[UI]: Revamped settings menu and added some new settings.
[CODE]: Fixed some hand item presentation on NPCs and on FPS hands.
[CODE]: Lots of optimizations & bug fixes.
[CODE]: A lot of new achievements implemented.
[CODE]: Players can now get orienteering, running and shooting medals according to their score.
[CODE]: Implemented some of the player skills that were not yet implemented.
[CODE]: Implemented support for Steam Leaderboards.
[CODE]: Grenade Throwing exercise (“Kranaatinheittoharjoitus”) is now working.
[CODE]: Added localization support for many parts where it was still missing (for example Handyman’s Soldierbook (“Kätilön Sotakirja”)).
[CODE]: Implemented a lot of camp related activities a bit further but many parts are still in progress.
[STORY]: A lot of new story content written & implemented into the game.
We also participated in Pocket Gamer Connects (PGC) 2022 @ Helsinki. Here’s a proof, look:
Unfortunately, most of the time was spent making various optimizations, gameplay feel improvements and bug fixes. This will continue in October as well but we’ll do our best to create new content as well in the meantime.
Our current target is to get at least 4 weeks of content ready for the Steam Early Access version which we will hopefully be able to put on sale during December 2022 for around 30 euros! Development will continue after this of course and the major goal is to create the full 6 month experience for the full game release.
Here’s what we’ve done in September:
[FEATURE]: Implemented all the capabilities for the free three event demo.
[FEATURE]: Ability to climb ladders. Obstacle course is now mostly functional.
[FEATURE]: Added ducking for music when a voice-over is playing.
[FEATURE]: Added a lowpass filter that is affected by wearing earmuffs.
[CODE]: Changed navigation system to a “better one” which caused a lot of new issues.
[CODE]: Did a lot of performance optimization. The game world is now loaded and unloaded mostly dynamically based on the player’s current location. Still some players with 16 GB RAM experience the game crashing on load. We are investigating this issue.
[CODE]: Improvements to save game file handling.
[CODE]: Added support for Korean localization (fallback font).
[UX]: Some gameplay improvements, player feel improvements, more tutorials, etc.
Woah, August went quickly. Playable demo is coming out in almost one month on Steam. We’re currently implementing content for weeks 4-5 and fixing bugs and improving gameplay for the earlier weeks in the meantime.
Let’s see what we’ve done in detail:
[DEMO]: October 2022 demo is mostly ready!
[FEATURE]: Equipment check & packing for camps now work properly.
[FEATURE]: Changed NPC navigation with a new better implementation to prevent any major bugs and annoyances from happening.
[FEATURE]: Added some new wakeup and morning shouts.
[FEATURE]: Implemented a lot more service tasks for weeks 2-4. Sorry, not going to open up much this time since we want to keep some secrets!
[FEATURE]: Basic camping activities (tent building, sleeping, eating at the camp, warming up the tent) now mostly work.
[FEATURE]: NPCs and player now cause footstep effects depending on the surface.
[FEATURE]: Added support for viewing canteen products up close.
[FEATURE]: New playable card game in the TV room!
[CODE]: Zoning, Intoxication, Athletics XP are now being given correctly.
[CODE]: Implemented support for some more player skills.
[CODE]: Implemented support for some Steam Achievements.
[CODE]: NPCs can now properly take various shooting positions, and military drill rifle holding poses.
[CODE]: WIP: Implementing grenade throwing and M72 Law shooting functionality.
[ART]: WIP: Achievement icons.
[DIALOGUE]: A lot of new dialogue added for various events & free time.
[DIALOGUE]: Translated demo related content to English.
[VOICE]: A lot of new voice overs for many characters.
As of today, Jeri has temporarily reduced his working hours (at his day job) from 100% –> 60% so that he’ll be able to work more on FAS during July and August. This is a huge win for the project since we are all working on the project on our free time (which is getting short from time to time).
Our Steam Early Access release target is still within 2022 and at that point the game should include Basic Training Period (“P-Kausi”) meaning 10 – 40 hours of gameplay content. Content creation and improving the experience in general will continue after the release. We aim to give more info on the release schedule in the upcoming changelogs as we see how we start to progress with the new allocation.
What comes to the progress made, June was again a bit quieter than usual since the weather in Finland has been surprisingly nice and warm. Our team members have also had some holiday trips during the last few weeks.
Target for July is to completely implement Weeks 2 and 3. We already know that Weeks 4 and 7 will take more time to implement since those weeks include a lot of yet unimplemented tasks. Hopefully we are able to implement also those during August. After that the rest should be quite easy. 😎
Here’s again a list of things done:
[FEATURE]: Implemented Missing Material Notification (“Häväri”, “pienvahinkoilmoitus”).
[FEATURE]: Player can now eat during breakfast, lunch & dinner if a dialogue exists for that event.
During May, we had some testing & demo sessions with our friends & at Nordic Game 2022 @ Malmö. While the feedback has been 99% positive, we feel like we must add things to maintain player’s motivation when doing some of the repetitive tasks. This is a real problem in the army as well so, yeah, we kinda simulate that part well, too! But FAS is a game after all and should entertain the players at least 70% of the time.
Here’s once again the things done:
[CODE+SCENE]: Fixes in canteen. Player should now be mostly able to interact with the canteen vendor, NPCs can queue properly, music has been added, missing colliders have been added, payazzo is working again etc.
[FEATURE]: Blank firing adapter can now be attached & detached from the inventory window.
[FEATURE]: Fetching weapons tasks have now been implemented.
[FEATURE]: Rifle dismantle tasks have now been implemented.
[FEATURE]: Cleaning service tasks have now been implemented.
[FEATURE]: New load game menu.
[WRITING]: A lot of new dialogue written.
[ART]: Plenty of models for various items.
[BUG]: Fixed some problems that were breaking save game files.
[BUG]: Fixed some problems when loading save game files.
[BUG]: Fixed NPCs not being able to interact correctly with some interactables. Also fixed NPC interaction chaining.
As mentioned in March, April 2022 has ben partially a “holiday month” for us. We have still managed to build bunch of new things & booked two tickets to Nordic Game 2022 @ Malmö (May 17th to May 20th). If you’re going there as well, feel welcome to come by and say hello! Let’s make the Finnish military service globally well known!
During the last few days we’ve been building a new game trailer for the upcoming conference. It should be ready by May 17th at latest and then released on YouTube as well. Our intention is to gather feedback from the international audience as much as possible to ensure that Finnish Army Simulator will provide an entertaining experience outside Finland as well.
We do our best to release days 5-7 for alpha testers during May.
List of things done in April:
[ALPHA]: Finalized day 4 and released it for alpha testers.
[CODE]: Ongoing work (mostly bug fixes) for days 5-7.
During February we updated the Alpha Tester Steam Build to include Day 2. Days 3-7 are well under way and day 3 may be unlocked this week. As said previously, the upcoming days are a lot faster to implement since we have a flexible core design already existing.
Screenshot yield for February was not huge but there’s some character related at the end. Perhaps March offers a bit more!
Let’s see what we’ve done in February!
[DESIGN]: Game Mechanics design for dozens of different upcoming service tasks & events.
[CODE]: Implemented the rest of the necessary Military Drill mechanics for the first three Military Drill exercises.
[CODE]: Fully implemented Military Drill exercises 1 & 2. Started implementation of Military Drill exercise 3.
[CODE]: Marches support running phases.
[CODE]: March leader now properly acts as a part of the march.
[CODE]: Improvements to animator & visual item equipping.
[CODE]: Finalized day 2 implementation.
[CODE]: Integrated cleaning service (“siivouspalvelus”, “sipa”) mechanics into the game.
[CODE & UI]: Implemented systems for Traits, Attributes, Skills and Skill Trees. Also integrated those systems into the game mechanics.
[CODE]: Implemented most of the unlockable skills.
[CODE]: Improved saving system to store some data more persistently.
[CODE]: Implemented a lot more useful debugging tools.
[CODE]: WIP: Doctor’s appointment.
[BUG]: Many minor & major bug fixes related to pretty much everything.
[VOICE]: Lots of new voice acting.
[STORY]: Lots of new dialogue & upcoming events. We are currently at week 3 and have done most of the camping related dialogues for weeks 4 – 8 already. Soon we will focus more on the “meta story” (conspiracy theories etc).
[ANIM]: Animation improvements.
[ART]: Mostly character customizations & improvements.
Whoa, what a start of a year! We’ve went through COVID (well, 3 of us at least) and other ridiculous diseases (no STDs this time). But now we are back – stronger than ever!!
Btw we got a new Game Designer to design some missing mechanics, attribute & skill systems etc. And of course to improve the existing ones, too. Since he is not a programmer, we now have our first team member to spend most of the time working on the mechanics design on paper.
Sorry alpha testers for still not unlocking day 2 for you. We want to improve Military Drill mechanics until we’re happy with them. Shouldn’t take much longer. After that, days 3-5 should be a lot faster to fully implement so you can expect a bit faster unlocks for those.
But anyway, let’s see what we’ve done…
[DESIGN]: Game Mechanics design for dozens of different upcoming service tasks & events.
[DESIGN]: Player attributes design & balancing.
[DESIGN]: Player skill tree design & balancing.
[DESIGN]: Player attribute change UI design.
[CODE]: Military Drill overhaul. Formation dressing (“ojennus”) is now somewhat functional (meaning still not perfect).