Happy New Year, Kickstarter friends and kind supporters of Ever, Jane! Welcome to our Launch Year.
Those of you who have been playing our game as it has developed will probably agree that there is still a great deal to do before we can launch. Because of this, we have decided to extend the Closed Beta until we have a game that we can be a bit more proud of. We want to give you more stories to play, more things for your homes, more dances in the ballroom, and so on.
Continuing Closed Beta
We have moved 80% of our database from a non-scalable database we used in Kickstarter to LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol). This includes all of our accounts and character information. If you have a Kickstarter account and just have not yet checked out the game, you can click Create Account and enter your e-mail address. All those who contributed at a level for playing during development have been added.
We have replaced our old characters with new ones. Here are samples from our animation test screen.
There are variations on their faces, hair, skin color, and clothing which can be modified when creating the character.
We have expanded our first village to be a full sized village with a village green, a church, and other important meeting places.
We have added home ownership and interior design with the ability to modify the walls, floors, and ceiling textures as well as move furniture about. This is currently only available for the Terrace Houses (formerly known incorrectly as Town Houses – we’ve been doing more research as well). Here are three homes with three different wallpapers visible through the windows.
The gossip system is in both fully as text and with a point and click UI while players learn the correct syntax for gossip. We are hoping that players prefer to just gossip in chat, but willing to admit they may prefer the point and click UI system. I am actually curious to see which one players use most.
The other half of the gossip system is sleuthing which is also implemented. If you ask about a rumor that you have heard about yourself and you may guess correctly who started the rumor. Scoring is not yet implemented but once it is, that person will pay for spreading malicious gossip about you.
We added a few quests during the Kickstarter. We have expanded on that to create a quest system that allows writers to add quests with, hopefully, minimum need for programmer help. There are 5 types of quests and two of them have been implemented so far. Mrs. Hatch’s Handkerchief is a personal quest between a player and Mrs. Hatch involving picking an item up and putting it in inventory and subsequently giving an item from inventory to another player. The Lost Sheep, pictured below, is a village wide quest. The shepherd gives out the quest to any villagers who say “Good morning” to him. Once 15 sheep have been gathered, the quest will end and players will get credit for the number of sheep they managed to round up. This is also a continuing quest allowing a player to run it more than once.
The estate is the next art object to go into the game. It will contain, for now, only the ballroom but the layout is complete and we will be expanding the other rooms over time. (Note: There is a giant outer stairway that will go outside so the entry to the estate is actually on the second floor).
The balls prototype is complete and integrated into the game. We have a development version of the release out now and are considering an after Christmas ball between Christmas and New Year’s. There is a sphere in the parlor you can click on to be taken to our ballroom. Players can play with up to 4 people in a dance or they can select AI to dance with them. Below shows a dance in progress in our ballroom in the sky. The ballroom is now part of the estate.
So it’s been an incredible year and we want to thank our Kickstarter supporters for giving us this opportunity. We also want to thank those currently playing the game for their input, their patience, and their participation. We look forward to hitting Beta next summer and bringing all our fans and backers plus those who haven’t met us yet into the world of Jane Austen for some gossip, dancing, and fun.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
So what happens next?
The first thing is that Kickstarter will be collecting all your pledges over the next two weeks – look out for an e-mail from them in case there are any problems with your cards! You wouldn't want to miss out, now, would you? While this is happening, the prototype game will remain free to play, so do invite friends if you would like.
We will, however, be busy setting up our website to handle account verification and payments, and once this is in place, only you, our backers, will be able to continue to play for free. However, we're also listing our stretch goals on the website and people who contribute to these will have automatic access to the game. We're also going to be setting up a spreadsheet with all your names and the rewards you're entitled to so that you don't miss out when we launch the game itself – 90% of the rewards are in-game, as you know, so you will have to wait for most of these.
I hope we'll also be able to put you on a mailing list so that we can keep you informed about new updates, releases, etc. We'll be putting these on our website, of course, but it would be good to be able to e-mail you as well. Obviously we'll set up a mechanism so that you can unsubscribe from our e-mails – and we promise not to e-mail you too often – but we hope you'll want to go on hearing from us, and be willing to allow e-mails from 3turnproductions.com into your inbox.
Next up will be our end-of-year parties, so please keep an eye on the website for details: www.everjane.com And thank you all, so much, once again.