Bureau of Octopus City Simulation Regulation (BOCSR)
New Samarduk Office
10:38 PM FLEADAY NEWT 18, [REDACTED] - RFMID: G0A24XB13-005
ATTENTION INSPECTOR [REDACTED], ROOM 401B 2W,
PRELIMINARY FINDINGS RE GHOST IN A BOTTLE INC <PRODUCT CLASSIFICATION DECADENT SIMULATION SHAREWARE CATEGORY UNSAFE TITLE OCTOPUS CITY BLUES> CONCERNING ALLEGED DEMO PLANS
Earlier this year, in a press conference taking place on the 2nd of Grain, the keiretsu known as GHOST IN A BOTTLE, registered with the Chamber of Mega-Commerce with number [REDACTED], announced their upcoming plans. A concerned mother contacted the vaporware-prevention unit of our office, the Bureau of Octopus City Simulation Regulation, to investigate GHOST IN A BOTTLE's activities and ensure that they are working on the demonstration releases they promised the public. Two of our best agents successfully infiltrated the GHOST IN A BOTTLE fortified pyramid by posing as new employees. This report chronicles their findings and reveals the true extent of GHOST IN A BOTTLE activities in the last few months.
The findings are mixed. Our agents were able to ascertain that GHOST IN A BOTTLE is indeed committed to the fulfillment of their plans. They have taken clear and constructive steps to improve their production pipeline, and a measurable improvement in their efficiency and productivity was recorded over the observation period. However, it is the opinion of our agents that even with all these improvements the promised demo will take quite some time. This could mean [REDACTED].
The corporation took several steps, including holding weekly meetings to discuss art progress and requirements. But the main improvement was achieved by introducing weekly goals, represented as points, assigned to every task. One point represents what they could realistically deliver within a day, and tasks usually have 0.5 to 2 points. Each week, the company committed to an average of 6 points, and work was done almost every day to reach that goal. This helped them double the amount of work done per week.
Within a reporting period of 60 days, they were able to work on more than 53 points in 49 tasks. What remains is 78 points in 76 tasks. Assuming they continue with the same pace, this means they still need 88 days to wrap up their first planned demo.
REASONS FOR DELAY
Our organization analyzed the work done by the suspect corporation and was able to summarize a few reasons for the disparity between the company's plans and their actual performance.
- Aggressive initial estimation to motivate employees to work longer hours (without getting paid, of course, they're not a charity)
- While the company tried to have more empirical and accurate estimates last time, some tasks weren't defined well enough for proper estimation.
- Bugs and performance issues were encountered as work commenced on new features.
- Certain planned decisions didn't feel 'right' when implemented, so changes were made to the original designs.
The company's management maintains a positive outlook and considers the delay proof that their milestone-based plan is working. They allege that it encouraged them to work differently, measure their work accurately, specify their designs better, and push themselves to focus on the simulation.
Our investigation affirms that the GHOST IN A BOTTLE corporation has made measurable steps to fulfill their promises, but must work harder to meet the expectations of their shareholders. See the attached sheet for a summary of some of the work the company completed within the specified reporting period.
GHOST IN A BOTTLE will continue to work with the same procedure and pace. Their primary goal is to wrap up work on the BUNKER OS menu system. This includes sections such as an event calendar, item bag, and settings menu. They also still have to work on many small bugs, tweaks, and quality improvements in preparation for the release.
Note that the findings of this report are independent of the recent news concerning the acquisition of the Bureau by the GHOST IN A BOTTLE corporation under the government's new privatization initiative. [REDACTED] The Bureau is and will remain neutral and partial, serving both the greater interests of the public and the corporate goals of its new benefactor.
ADDENDUM: WORK DONE
This is a selected list of some of the GHOST IN A BOTTLE activities as recorded during our investigation. We opted to focus on things that are fully done and that can be shown in some way. You can expect more from future GHOST IN A BOTTLE press releases.
Automatic Edge Correction
"Many of us struggle every day with the inability to find our way around edges. You take a few steps forward only to be thwarted by an obnoxious wall or a table. You then have to re-orient yourself, perhaps take a step or two side-ways, before continuing your daily march to mediocrity.
With Octopus City Blues such unpleasant collisions will be a thing of the past. Kaf has gained the ability to intelligently move around certain frustrating edges. All you have to do is move forward and the advanced EDGE COLLISION ASSISTANT (patent pending) will take over and successfully circumvent the obstacle. Truly a marvel of modern engineering"
-- Reinbach II, Tentacle Experience (TX) Artisan
Our agents were impressed by this innovative correction feature, but also stumbled on several cases where it behaves in unexpected ways. In the animation above for example, an unintended bouncing effect occurs when using Kaf's signature spin attack. The designers at the company assured us that it's not a bug, but rather an 'accidental feature'.
"Because Octopus City Blues tries to emulate real life, it also renders the mysterious floating text we all use to communicate. It does it in REAL-TIME (nothing pre-rendered in this sim!) In the past we did some work that greatly improved the efficiency of text rendering, especially on inferior machines. When working on the menu the performance issues returned. While the rendering of individual elements was fast, rendering a lot of them (e.g. every menu choice) caused a noticeable slow down.
We improved this by grouping all menu components and drawing them together efficiently. The image above compares the frames per second before and after this change."
-- Samsa, Resident Vermin Fanboy
"Path finding, you see, is a delicate task. A horrifying dark force that compels the citizens of Octopus City to move around. We had problems with it in the past. That we did, yes. But now, today, we ironed out some more bugs. You'd better believe it! What do you mean you heard this before? Well, the bugs can't be infinite, can they? Eventually they get tired. That they do, no?"
-- Rheya, Simulation Emotioneer
Next-Generation Handshake System
"Octopus City Blues teaches you a lot of useful life hacks. As the world's leading edutainment software it can be used to prepare for a successful job interview. Learn how to communicate non-verbally using ancient touching exercises.Your fingers will thank you for it."
-- Ghostina Bottle, cyborg CEO
"I heard a rumor, just some silly gossip. It said that once you tell a character something in the simulation, there's a chance they will tell a friend, and that friend will share it with another person, and so on. Now, this is just a rumor, and I'm only sharing it because it's 'spicy' enough to be shared. No one cares for lame gossip after all. Am I a chatty person for sharing this? I guess someone else might not share it. Perhaps they're not interested in the subject, or maybe they don't have friends, who knows? And the thing with rumors, once they become viral they can change the world. So be careful with what you share, that's all I have to say."
-- Lady Libra, Rainbow Janitor
"Why are you talking to me, you good-for-nothing punk? Youngsters these days show no respect. Back when I was your age, we didn't have them fancy menus. No sir, we had to do things the hard way. A man back then would pull himself up by his bootstraps, make something out of himself. It was a different time, kid. You wouldn't understand. Just go away, will you? I have no interest in what bottle in a ghost did or did not do. Let them pat themselves on the back for all I care."
-- Bunk, BUNKER OS mascot
"Marina, our tentacle art director, has been in her office for days. Everyone is worried about her, and we even tried to break the door. We know she's alive. Every now and then a new sprite sheet slips under the door. Apparently she's going over all the sprites and improving them. Sometimes it's subtle and then some other times the difference is night and day. Still, to go through these cursed sprites again... it's madness! And now she wants to add shadows too! Absolute madness!"
-- Henrietta, Jr. Tentacle Artist
- Time progression (weekdays and months).
- Bold and italic text.
- Visual improvements to stress system.
- NPC relationships/attitudes towards Kaf.
- Reduced memory usage.
- Designs and initial work on calendar menu.
- Work on quests and dialogue.
- Many bug fixes.
- Heart Attack Points.™