Above the Fold - Rasmus

After having been teased with them for a while now, the Challenges are finally IN the game! You can complete them and claim the rewards once per Challenge.

The rewards include Angry Letter Forgiveness and additional Reporters on your staff. There are 10 Challenges in the game, of which 2 become available per game chapter.

But wait, there is more! Two balance changes to note are slight nerfing of Angry Letter forgiveness rewards from the Owner, and increased Overhead costs as your newspaper levels up. The first of these is to give a value boost to the Challenge rewards, and the second is simply increase money-making pressure a bit as you progress.

There is even more new stuff in this update, but these were the major changes and additions. For a full(er) list, see below.

Alpha 9.7 Change List
  • You can now Claim rewards for completed Challenges from the Challenges screen
  • Challenge elements are listed in green if you've achieved them, and red if not
  • Challenges display a button if unlockable, the label changes if unlocked or claimed
  • Fanfare plays when you claim a challenge reward
  • Lifetime game stats are now listed on the main game menu (pulled from Steam)
  • All days of the week now have their own music track on the Map
  • The "Typical Reader" in the Subscriber panel has been recoded
  • 15 new last names were added (all from the game industry, see if you recognize any)
  • 13 fresh newspaper name elements were added to the pool of randomization
  • Balance: Office Overhead is significantly increased when a new distribution level is reached
  • Balance: Angry Letter forgiveness has been nerfed to increase value of challenges
  • Balance: The first theme of the month is now presented early in the game, is scripted to be "Local News" and has a set difficulty of 760
  • Fixed a bug that would prevent F9 from toggling fullscreen on (only off was working)
  • Fixed a bug on the Editor screen, that would cause you to accidentally send 2 stories back if clicking too close to the edge
Above the Fold - Rasmus
Weekends have arrived in Above The Fold. Continuing the theme of adding progression to the game, you now have to unlock Saturday and Sunday editions for your newspaper. You (can't yet) do this by completing Challenges! More on this below. For a quick overview of all the changes, scroll to the last part of this post.

Challenges are huge new feature coming to the game. I say coming, because at the time this update goes out, they are not yet fully implemented. Everything is there, but needs a little more testing and balancing. That said, you can access a list of them, which gradually fades in as you unlock new challenges to complete (2 per game stage). Actually being able to complete a challenge is coming in the next patch, but some of the stats required are already tracked - like your highest scoring themed issues, per theme!

Contentwise, more than 100 new headline elements have been added, giving you much more variation and potential silliness in the random story headlines in the game. If you get a funny or noteworthy front page, please upload a screenshot to Steam - I love to see what you get!

In terms of balance, not publishing on weekends means less time between bills, in which you can make the cash you need to keep the paper afloat. The weekend is good for some things though - your Reporters recharge and may come back to work happier than they were at the end of the week.

Besides this, this update has a truck load of bug fixes and quality of life adjustments.

Changes in Alpha 9.6

  • 100+ new headline elements added for greater variation and absurdity
  • Added 1 new music loop, which plays on Fridays. One away from having one for every day.
  • Each in-game hour is 2 seconds longer* to allow more fine tuning (+/- keypad keys adjust speed)
  • Saturdays and Sundays are now skipped by default, until weekend editions are unlocked
  • During the weekend, there is a chance Reporter happiness will go up slightly
  • Ticker now shows the date and weekday (easier to see when weekend is approaching)
  • Every time you break your own record with a themed issue, you get bonus score points (50-200)
  • Ticker now shows when your last themed issue scored higher than similar and/or all themed issues
  • Challenge screen accessible via the Office, and you can see what your available challenges are
  • Fixed male reporter's hair, sometimes floating 1 pixel above where it should be
  • Fixed happiness-related Strategic Goals*, which could trigger prematurely
  • Fixed an issue related to advertisements carrying over into a new year*
  • Fixed Reporter cards having overflowing text in cases with several long trait names
  • Fixed issue where newly unlocked story types wouldn't appear until the game had been restarted
  • Larger responsive area on screen, when right-clicking to remove a story from the front page
  • Typical Reader algorithm messed with some
  • Various bug fixes, incl. at least one typo-related crash

*Only tested with a fresh save game.
Above the Fold - Rasmus

The newest update for Above the Fold is the first to focus on progression, and as such comes with some fairly drastic changes. Chief among them is that story types now unlock gradually.

Where before, you had access to everything from local news to global conflict from the start of the game, you now unlock topics as the paper grows. The locked story types are now darkened in the guide on the map, and the reporters for hire will mostly be interested in the story types already unlocked.

Content wise, this update comes with new daily quotes and one new music loop.

While there is nothing in this update that will mess up your save game, you may want to do some staff changes after updating, if your reporters are mostly specialized in story types that are suddenly locked - or accept the additional challenge of making it work.

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts on these changes, and any requests you might have for future patches.

Changes in Alpha 9.5

  • Story types now unlock as you progress in the game
  • 1 new "Hump Day" loop added to the Map
  • Added 22 new things your reporters might say, depending on their state of mind
  • Changed the button for deleting saved games
  • Updated the in-game map key to distinguish locked story types
  • Lunches bought and upgrades completed are now counted (for later achievement use)
  • Reporters wanting a raise are now more vocal and may lose more happiness
  • Reporters for hire are more likely to have (dis)interests that match available stories
  • Until the mid-game, certain story types will not appear as Theme of the Month
  • The word count now updates correctly, when stories are replaced
Above the Fold - Rasmus

This update is a bit embarrassing, because of a bug that was uncovered and now thankfully fixed. The historic events previously added to the game, were not triggering due to an oversight in the coding department (that's me). The good news is, all these events now trigger, one every two in-game months, and your reaction to them affects your staff, credibility, and more.

This update also comes with 3 new music loops, added to the Map. The plan is to have a track for each day of the week, but for now Sunday has its own track, and the other days alternate between 3 loops.

Finally, the game now collects Steam stats in the background. You can't see these anywhere (yet), but they will be displayed in-game eventually, and more importantly - these stats are used to track progress towards Achievements!

Note: Achievements are not in the game yet (feel free to suggest achieves!) - but by adding stats now, I can test the underlying mechanics and once the achieves are added, your existing stats will immediately count towards unlocking them.

Changes in Alpha 9.4
  • Added 3 new music tracks
  • Music now alternates on the Map, so it's not the same track every day
  • Historic events now trigger every 2 months like they were supposed to
  • Steam Statistics are now collected in the background, for later achievement tie-ins
  • Game now auto-saves immediately after event windows close
  • Fixed an exploit that would award you points for [REDACTED]
  • Moved hair pixels down slightly to fix a gap seen on some reporter sprites
  • Fixed a crash if you hit F1 on the main menu
Above the Fold - Rasmus

With the help of Dutch artist, Kay Lousberg, Above the Fold finally has character art to replace the stick person aesthetic that was there before. I am sure you can agree, that this adds a ton of character to the game. Pun possibly intended.

I have attempted to make this patch backwards compatible, but due to a data loss in the middle of development, I haven't been able to verify if the latest changes still work. Said data loss was also the reason this patch took a little bit longer to finish than expected, but I think the wait was worth it.

Changes in Alpha 9.3

  • Character art! All reporters have their own procedurally generated look.
  • Mouse over reporters on the map to see their current quote pop up
  • The news ticker no longer displays nonsense headlines
  • Instead, the news ticker repeats some info and tips throughout the game day
  • The sidebar on the map was tweaked to accomodate the new sprites
  • Several minor bugs were fixed - check if yours was one of them, and if not, leave a comment!

Above the Fold - Rasmus

This update has a very important fix (memory leak), which isn't very interesting, but it also comes with a set of 9 new events that may trigger under specific circumstances. All of them are repeatable, which means you can figure out what triggers them and use that strategically in your game.

There is a bit of rebalancing happening as well, specifically in the Angry Letters department. Until now, even if you played well, chances were you'd reach your limit for complaints and get fired before winning. To help even those odds, Angry Letter Forgiveness rewards are nearly doubled throughout the game.

Finally, this patch lays the ground work for Alpha 9 and for some of the meta game features planned for future updates. All stuff that isn't necessarily visible in the game at the moment, but lay the foundation for the next layer of the game (mini storylines based on decisions in previous events).

Changes in alpha 8.8

  • Added 9 new, repeatable events, conditionally triggered with a mix of negative and positive effects
  • Added a new sprite for the sample Angry Letter
  • Added 5 new decision hooks, which can influence later events (mostly setup for next patch)
  • Added Reporter name elements matching characters from Friends, Seinfeld, and Beverly Hills 90210 (setup for future achivements)
  • Added a check for whether celebrities are alive, before being associated with a story
  • Added tracking for how many times each celebrity has been featured (which can affect their opinion)
  • Going beyond your max word count may now trigger happiness loss as stories are edited down
  • Rebalanced Angry Letter forgiveness rewards, increasing each by 50-100%
  • Tweaked the randomness of events playing out a tiny bit
  • Fixed a bug that wouldn't let you toggle the music on and off freely on the map
  • Fixed a memory leak on the Map affecting later chapters especially
  • Fixed bugs related to Personality Trait events
Above the Fold - Rasmus

This week's update has three major parts. A visual update, adding more life to the map and editor's desk, that's definitely the most noticeable part of Alpha 8.7.

Secondly, this is a balance update aimed specifically at chapters 3, 4 and 5, once your newspaper is past the initial survival struggle (hopefully).

Finally, it patches a couple of big issues with the strategic goals, including a crash. As always, you can find a more detailed list of changes below.

Changes in Alpha 8.7

  • Dust puff particles appear when stories and ads disappear from the map
  • Star and symbol particles appear, when stories or ads are picked up from the map
  • Star particle showers happen, when stories are arranged on the front page
  • Custom mouse cursor added (begone, default Windows cursor!)
  • Additional celebrity tie-ins with the random events, particularly in chapters 3+
  • The ambient audio is lower in the overall mix, especially on the map
  • Various balance tweaks to Personality Traits
  • Greatly increased Angry Letter forgiveness rewards in later stages of the game
  • Greatly increased the bonus points and subscribers gained from winning awards
  • Shortened the wait between finishing one goal and selecting the next
  • Fixed Advertisement goal not completing when it was supposed to
  • Fixed crash, when presented with a Happiness goal
  • Several random events were edited for broken special characters
Above the Fold - Rasmus

This update has a TON of stuff. As usual it is all detailed below, but the short version is this: Above the Fold now supports up to 3 active games at a time, and comes with a bunch new content based on Reporter personality traits.

This patch took a bit longer than the previous ones and comes with many changes - I'd love to hear what you think of them, and what else you'd like to see in the game.

Thank you to all of you who have already given me feedback, whether it was on Steam, Twitter, Discord or elsewhere. You rock!

Change list for Alpha 8.6
  • Added: support for up to 3 active games at a time (slots are cleared on game over)
  • Added: You can use delete button on main menu to clear unwanted games and clear a slot
  • Added: main menu button that takes you to the Gamepedia wiki How-to-Play guide.
  • Added: Passive effects for all 36 Personality Traits in Reporters
  • Added: 72 new, rare but repeatable Events, 2 for each Personality Trait
  • Added: A few more headline elements for additional variation
  • Balance: Quest goals are slightly higher (except Award quests)
  • Balance: Tweaked the base importance of some story genres for greater variation and trait tie-ins
  • Balance: Reporters have a much greater chance of having at least 1 personality trait
  • Balance: Personality trait triggered events are limited, so only a few can be queued at any time, reporters have effect cooldowns
  • Balance: If a priority event is queued, it how has a 10% higher base chance of playing out each day
  • UI: Story cards now show smaller stars, moved to the top for easier readability
  • UI: Renamed "Manage Reporters" to "Manage Staff", because it's shorter and fits with the Retire-button
  • Bug: Fixed an issue where full screen settings were not saved/loaded properly
  • Bug: Lowered the max length of allowed headlines to reduce overlaps
  • Bug: Fixed an event-gong sound that would sometimes play, even if no event was triggered
  • Bug: Fixed an issue where the wordcount of an article was deducted twice if the reporter was fired mid-story
  • Bug: Fixed an issue where word counts would update incorrectly when a story was replaced
  • Bug: Fixed the awards panel to correctly reflect the number of awards needed to win the game.
Above the Fold - Rasmus

This patch is a bit of a mixed bag with both new content and bug fixes. Personality traits are still being worked into the game, as you'll see below, and I am curious to hear how you like it. The main addition by far, is that some reporters will have an easier time leveling up (increasing their skill), something that was impossible to do before.

There is still a lot to be done on the personality trait side, but it's not the only priority in this build. The first ambient audio has been added to the game as well.

Changes in this patch

  • Added: Whomever wrote the top story of an award-winning issue gets a happiness boost (diminishing return) and a special quote of the day, when an award is won.
  • Added: Different circumstances cause minor personality trait effects on Happiness and in some cases daily quotes.
  • Added: Personality trait based special events added for 12 of the 36 traits, primarily allowing reporters to level up or boosts newspaper cred
  • Added: Negative personality trait based events added for 2 of the traits so far. Special circumstances may cause affected reporters to quit
  • Sound: 5 ambient traffic audio tracks added on the map (shuffled each day)
  • Sound: Ambient background noise loop on the Office screen
  • Balance: For publishing a Themed issue, instead of half your reporters writing articles of the same genre, you now need 2 + your current game chapter (so, from 3-7 depending on your game progress)
  • Fixed bug where Conservative quests goals were labeled as Liberal
  • Fixed a bug where Ad Inch quest goal counter failed to reset after completion
  • Fixed crash when hitting Esc on the Editor's Desk screen
  • Fixed crash when firing a Reporter who was in the middle of writing a story
Above the Fold - Rasmus

Since the beginning, some Reporters have come with up to 3 personality traits. Up until now however, they didn't actually have any effect in the game. With today's patch, each trait is now associated with 2 story genres. One in a positive way, and one in a negative way.

To see the personality traits of existing reporters, go to Reporter Management, select a reporter and look in the sidebar on the right. The traits also appear on the Reporter Card when you mouse over candidates on the Map.

If you assign a story of that genre to a reporter with the matching trait, a bonus or penalty will be applied to its final Importance score. This offers further options for getting the most out of your staff, but it's not the final scope for personalities. Each trait will also be associated with events, but that is for a later patch.

A reporter with many traits has a bigger chance to impact the overall issue score if the story is either well-matched or badly matched to their personality traits. Matching and mismatching also affects the reporter's happiness, and may result in a special quote of the day.

There are also quite a few bug fixes in this one, in fact, most of the work happened behind the scenes. See below for a more detailed list.

  • Personality Traits and Stories: Reporters have 0-3 traits (of 36 total). Each trait matches 2 story genres, a bonus/penalty applied to Importance.
  • Balance: It is now slightly easier to win a Recognition Award in the early game(you get these by publishing lots of Themed issues, regardless of the theme).
  • Bug Fix: Upgrade buttons no longer incorrectly display as unlocked after "New Game" button is hit.
  • Bug Fix: Two of the same type of Strategic Goal can no longer be shown at the same time, so you'll always have 3 different goal types to pick from.
  • Bug Fix: The "Goals" panel no longer causes the game to crash, if you are on the quest to sell X ad inches.
  • Bug Fix: When replacing stories that took longer than 1 day, the word count was not updating correctly. Now fixed.
  • Various minor bug fixes.
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