UnReal World - Enormous Elk
For the sake of inspiration and related interest how would you like a little picture story from the real world adventures of unreal world developer?

This is what may occasionally happen behind the scenes outside the development chambers.

So, I went skiing the other day, and the ski trip then turned into a tracking exercise. Soon after entering the forest I spotted some lynx tracks, but our paths then departed as I went about my own trails.



Later, when returning home, strange curly tracks caught my attention - and sparkled my tracking instinct. I guessed that this might be the same lynx now dragging its kill, and had to confirm the theory.



I scouted the area, found lots of hare tracks, and then the lynx tracks which eventually turned into sneaking tracks as it approached the location.


The hare's last dance with the lynx went to many directions until finally the place where it ended was found, with some hair and (not too old) bloodscape.



There, the lynx had dragged its kill to a more peaceful location for eating it. That was some twenty meters away, among thick young spruce trees. Not much was left of the hare, but a few hairy bits on the snow.



Afterwards, I had to search for my backpack for half an hour as I had left it somewhere on the snow in excitement. ːurw_treeː
UnReal World - Enormous Elk
The time has come for me to start reaching back into the development chambers after the sick leave. My fractured shoulder is still far from fully healed, but computer work seems doable, so here we come development year 2019. Slowly but steadily that is, as the priority remains in exercising the injured arm a lot to increase mobility - rather than to get it stiff from the office work.

Oh boy, little did I know how slowly fractured shoulders heal. Somebody made a remark that this might be my hardcore first hand research on injuries and recovery. :) Well, yes, going through this actually got me thinking of going through game's recovery rules in case of fractured joints. I've been of the arm sling for five weeks now but it will still take months before I can shoot a bow again, and raising the injured arm above the shoulder level is a feat I have been doing reliably only for a week or two. And there's no way I can do it with carrying load of more than few pounds, so any hard work that requires both arms is out of the question. It also takes time to learn to move the arm 'normally' again, as the early pain didn't allow all the proper muscles to be used with some arm trajectories. It is easy to understand how easily deformed body postures are born.

But here I am, dedicated to work on the arm and the game as much as possible during the 2019.
I've gone through the swamp of e-mails lately and hopefully answered to everything urgent - but if you miss a reply, please do re-send your e-mail.
Getting back on the track with the forums will take a bit longer, but soon enough you can expect replies to pop up here and there.

Luckily my physiotherapist has also given me permission to ski, just guaranteed that I do not fall on the injured arm in any circumstances.
2019, here we come.


UnReal World - Enormous Elk
There went the winter solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere, and we're heading towards the increasing daylight. I've also got my fractured shoulder off the sling by now, but the recovery continues. All the movements are painful, and I'm increasing the range of motion bit by bit. The official sick leave has been extended until January 2019, and my absence from the forums continues.
But you'll be fine, and I'll be back eventually. Thanks for all the warm words and understanding and wishes.

Winter Sale is going on here on Steam so once again it's good time to grab UnReal World for yourself, or gift a friend into the Far North.

And lastly, huge big seasons greetings to each and everyone of you, from the tiny dev and the winter tree. Merry whatever, fellow adventurers!

Dec 1, 2018
UnReal World - Enormous Elk
You know what... During the past two decades it hasn't been too many times that I have been on a sick leave, or unable to work on the game due to medical condition, wounds or injuries. But now a week ago I fractured my shoulder when falling of the horse during horseback archery training. Doctors orders are to wear arm sling for the next two weeks. After that a new xray will reveal how the recovery goes. Luckily no operation was needed. I just have to rest and wait, and so do you. So, I'll enter on a sick leave now and report back after two weeks.

I am mostly unable to answer to emails or at forums, but we'll try to handle the urgent cases somehow. Not to worry, I will survive. Game development and archery endeavours to be continued when the doc says so.

My current wounds and injuries screen looks like this :)
UnReal World - Enormous Elk
Time for a small but essential patch update. Additions in the now released version 3.52 are foremostly bugfixes for smoother survival, but some balancing of exploitish issues is also featured.

Find the full changelog below.

Cheers!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Version 3.52 (stable) changelog

** Saved characters from version 3.40-> are compatible with this version. **

- balanced: villagers' interest to buy boards

Previously trading boards could be used an exploit as villagers did buy them without any reasoning. Now there's a cap for villagers' interest in boards and they only buy the amount they want to have as a reserve. This varies from village to village, and some villages are not necessarily interested in player character's board trading attempts at all.

- added: NPCs will store the obtained timber in the village

NPCs may obtain timber (eg. boards) through trading. Previously NPCs just carried the heavy loads around causing unncessary burden for themselves. Now they eventually store the timber in the village.

- added: roasting meat/fish decreases its weight

We tought this was featured already, but no. Now roasted meat/fish loses about 25% its weight in the process.

- updated: NORTHERN BOW game encyclopedia info + image added

- added: new NPC kid portrait

Still not much variety with kid portraits, but if you are into portrait customization more of them can be now added for kids as well -> truegfx/kid?.png

- fixed: character creation extra skill point issue for 0% skills

Increasing and then decreasing skill for 0% level skills mistakenly allowed two points then to be spent on the said skill.

- fixed [rare condition]: quest generation and companion rehire delays

Long lived migrated character might encounter extremely long intervals between new quest generation and earlier NPC companions willingness to be rehired.

- fixed [rare condition]: bird thief quest sages forgetting about the quest

This occurred only with long lived characters. Sages involved in the quest first talked about it normally, but might not recognize the quest anymore after a while.

- fixed: kids not recovering from wounds and injuries

- fixed: young animal skins were worth the same as adult animals skins

Now the price is reasoned according to the skin size.

- fixed: when trading with NPC the accepted items they couldn't carry just disappeared from their inventory after the trade

Now the excess items NPCs can't properly carry are put on the ground as a common village property.

- fixed [rare condition]: aquatic birds flying still above the frozen waters

This was a result of aquatic birds terrain exploration routines failing to find them new meaningful areas to check if the waters at their habitat got completely frozen.

- fixed [rare condition]: irrelevant quest related persons appearing in chat dialog

Sometimes you were given chat options to ask whereabouts of irrelevant quest related persons in the village.

- fixed: young animals giving as much fat as the adults

Now the fat yield from young animals is more or less smaller depending on the cub/calf actual age and size.

- fixed: nameless villagers ie. occasional blank NPC names

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UnReal World - Enormous Elk
The second world record received acknowledges UnReal World as a forefather of the genre.

So...

Back in 2016 we got (and proudly hold) the record for longest update support for a videogame in GWR Gamer's Edition 2017.
And now, in the recently published Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2019 UnReal World gets the record for "First open-world survival videogame". Oops, we kind of created a videogame genre, but we do not regret :)

The book happily presented at the end of this post is a Finnish edition, and here's how GWR mentions the record in English:
"The second millennial decade has witnessed an explosion of open-world survival games, particularly on the Steam platform with the success of PC tiles such as DayZ, Ark: Survival Evolved and the battle-royale shooter PlayerUnknown's Battlegrouds.
The genre's trues roots can most likely be traced back to the indie sandbox RPG UnReal World, first released in 1992. Set in Iron Age Finland, player's principal aim was to survive its challenging and harsh environments. Incredibly, the game was still going strong and receiving updates, as of September 2017. The game was developed by two people - head creator Sami Maaranen and programmer Erkka Lehmus (both Finland). As of September 2017, it held the record for longest update support for a videogame."
(Yeah, it's out-of-date info with latest updates as the books live in press-time info. And in case somebody wonders about the near future updates a new bugfix and balancing patch is actually to be released this month.)

Cheers and thanks to all of you for making history and taking part in creation of a videogame genre with us.




Erkka (co-designer) at the left, Sami (creator) and Alli (the cat) at the right.
And if you take a look at our previous GWR post it seems like have started a tradition with these world record promo pictures as well ;)


Aug 14, 2018
UnReal World - Enormous Elk
The summer is passing, the holidays are mostly over, and the time has come for me to return to the development chambers and slowly start getting back on track with the coding chores. When leaving on holidays somebody said to expect to see at least one fishing holiday picture. Well, unfortunately I managed to be so very absent from the forums that I basically didn't post a thing, but as a substitute for the past silence here's half a dozen random summer pictures for you.

Now it's whole lotta e-mails and post to go through to get an idea of how the community and unreal world has survived the summer of 2018.
And then, some fresh lines of code... One at a time...


UnReal World - Enormous Elk
Midsummer and the nightless nights... that's priceless.
UnReal World... it's on summer sale until 5th of July.

Just recently released version 3.51 is trucking alright, so we are good to hit the holidays now. Finnish summer will surely bring us some rainy days too so some tweaking, fixing and even patching may take place during the summertime. But officially I'm mostly absent from development chambers until early august.

Best wishes,
enjoy the seasonal goodies and I'll be sure to do the same...


Midsummer midnight 2018, just outside the UnReal World development chambers.

UnReal World - Enormous Elk
Here comes a minor but significant new patch before I'll start settling for summer holidays.

The additions in this version 3.51 mostly consist of balances, fixes and additions related to interacting with both the spirits and NPCs. Many small game hunters should be happy to know that for example the unreasonably harsh forest spirit mood changes are now toned down.

Find the full changelog below.

I wish you all great adventures in both real and unreal worlds -
and nice and cosy summertime, if that happens to be your local season.

Cheers!

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Version 3.51 (stable) changelog

** Saved characters from version 3.40-> are compatible with this version. **


- added: map of known areas (F6) remembering the toggleable settings to show or not to show cultural areas and map markers

This was once featured, but got broken somewhere along the way. The settings are remembered after exiting F6 map view and persist until toggled otherwise. The display for both cultural areas and map markers is on by default when the game is first started.

- added: ask NPCs to find quest related persons in villages

You can now ask villagers if certain quest related persons are around. This is done by automatically appearing chat options within the common greet dialog. For example:
"Is Sampsa around?" or "Where can I find Tornia?"
All the quest related persons, including the original quest giver, are covered within these chat options if you are aware of them.
There are some exceptions though; NPCs who are involved in quests themselves can't be asked for others whereabouts, but there are always enough common villagers around to assist you.
When it comes to finding quest related persons in other villages the chat options become available only when you are in the right village where the person can be actually found. This can be considered slightly gamey in our standards, but it is more helpful that way.

- adjusted: no more multiple villagers with same names

Possiblity of two NPCs having the same name within a single village has been removed. In seriously crowded clustered villages it is theoretically possible that villagers might run out of unique names, but real chances for that to happen are practically non-existent.

MIGRATION NOTICE: Within villages created in the previous version two persons with same names may still exists.

- added: dozens of new northern names

Due to aforementioned adjustment it was necessary to add lots and lots of new names for northern men and women.

- improved: NPC name randomization routines

NPC culture has more distinguishable influence to their given names. There's noticeable variation between the eastern and western names, but especially the current wider range of northern names now appear unique from rest of the world.

- added: light a torch with another torch

If you are already carrying a lit torch a new torch can be lit of it. This is done in normal fashion by [a]pplying the torch to be lit.

- balanced: forest spirit's attitude in regards to hunted animals - size and significance matters

When an animal is felled the forest spirit's mood change and need for compensation by sacrifices now depends on the size and significance of the animal. Previously almost all the killed animals were valued equally by the spirits which resulted in small game hunters often receiving unreasonable disgrace. Now it is far more tolerable to hunt smaller game and get along with only casual sacrifices every now and then.

- fixed: only one sacrifice allowed per day

If any kind of sacrifice to any spirit was performed even the different kind of sacrifices during the same day were considered excess. This was not intentional, and is now fixed back to normal:
You can perform multiple sacrifices on daily basis as long as they are targeted at different spirits, ie. forest or water spirit, or if the act of sacrificing is a part of unique spell.

- fixed: spoiled food items were seemingly accepted as sacrifices

Now it is foolish to try that sort of sacrifices.

- fixed: former companions never agreed to be hired again

Despite of their "maybe in the future" responses former companions did never reach proper status to be hired again. This is fixed now and companions can be rehired after a varying NPC dependant timespan from few months to full year.

MIGRATION NOTICE: Rehiring possibility timespan may appear glitchy as companionship date information was broken in the previous version. For most succesfull rehiring of former companions try it at villages that were visited long time ago.

- fixed: skinning young animals mistakenly gave adult animal size skins

Now skins obtained from young animals are more or less smaller depending on the cub/calf actual age and size.

- fixed: village items getting easily corrupt upon crash

Crash security improvements added in version 3.50 are hereby improved/fixed in regards to certain crash vulnerable village items.

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UnReal World - Enormous Elk
For more than half a decade already we've had a habit of creating characteristic video greetings with varying themes to thank and delight UnReal World buyers and supporters. About a year ago we started bringing the video works on Steam as a free DLC for UnReal World Steam players.

A fresh video greeting "Moment of reminiscing" is now up in the video greetings DLC package.



Feel free to add Video Greetings to your cart if you like. The package now contains three videos to start with, and more will follow in time. As the Video Greetings package grows we'll find ways to keep the file sizes decent. Currently the package consists of five HD video works around 900 MB in size all together.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/505100

If you grab the Video Greetings DLC you'll find the videos within your local UnReal World files in BonusMaterial/ folder. And the game main menu also shows BONUS MATERIAL option which guides you to the right folder.

If you're curious about what the video greetings may be about you can browse the older stuff at:
Enormous Elk YouTube channel.

Cheers!
...

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