Dear Subverse Players!
This is Tibor again. The better communicators are busy with the development, dealing with family problems, sorting out personal matters, etc. so I am still posting here until some English speakers will be available to take this over from me.
It feels like a great community is forming around the game. That community is the glue that holds this project together and inspires the team to make Subverse the best game it can possibly be.
We know that over the past months our communication has been poor, so let me say that we here at the studio remain committed to our main goals:
- To support freedom of expression
- Pushing the boundaries for adult gaming in the mainstream.
It feels good to be part of this community and thank you all so much for being here, both from day one and those of you still joining us throughout early access!
Also, my apologies in advance for this long post, but we would like to address as many questions in the Q & A session as is feasible and practical.
I can assure you we read all the posts. We have reviewed the questions on all platforms including, Steam, GOG, our blog site, Discord, etc. We are aware of each and every question, request, and suggestion. To make this Q & A more efficient and informative we categorized the questions. Instead of answering each question individually, you should find the answers to your questions under some of the categories. Those questions which are not addressed are still evaluated by the team. That means we need to verify some technological aspects of the matter and do some R & D before we answer the question. This is still an evolving project and content is subject to change naturally.
We keep evaluating how to make Pandora better. We plan in the final, 1.0 release the following new systems, improvements, and features will be included:
- Outfit systems.
- More variants in sounds during the scenes.
- Environment improvements to reflect the actual, current nebula.
- Fluid system improvements (these are mostly related to the internal workflow, but the workflow improvements will result in a better end-product).
Apart from these, there will be new scenes such as the space whale scenes added (this is a Kickstarter pledge).
The increasing size of the software application was raised by several users. We are looking into the issue by evaluating different video codec solutions and optimizing the application in all areas. The aim is to keep the final, 1.0 version at a manageable size.
We have been receiving comments and criticism about the “Gif Loops”. Please note, there are no Gif Loops in this game. All animations in Pandora are running in real time utilizing Unreal Engine. We have a very specific vision for the game, one that is shaped by the technical and resource realities of the project. These short animations are not the result of purely artistic decisions, but it is a software development necessity. Please understand, we are not a AAA studio that employs 80 animators and we simply do not have the resources to make each of these short animations a 10-minute movie. Having said this, since these are real time animations, we can add interactive elements on these items. We are looking into how to improve these shorter animations. There will be longer pre-rendered contents at the end of each devotion quest as part of our promised Kickstarter rewards.
Free camera control
To address this point will require a relatively exhaustive explanation. Our original plan was to deliver the animations in a true StudioFOW manner, which is a forced camera perspective style. The game design philosophy and artistic aim was from the beginning to continue this forced camera perspective driven movie-making in Pandora. We thought the artists – who brought joy to millions of users via the StudioFOW movies – should focus on their strengths and carry out their creative vision, this requires a largely fixed camera. So that is our style. That is the forced camera perspective.
The StudioFOW artistic philosophy has always been one reliant on forced perspective – all of FOW movies were highly successful using this style of animation and that style was brought over to the current Pandora system. To make a real-time sex animation suitable for free camera, we would have to change the style entirely by trying to make it look equally as good from every single possible angle. Not only is this a huge time-sink for a tiny animation team, but they would also have to gimp the animation in the process. The Illusion games are a great example of this. To facilitate the 360 cameras in Illusion games, their animation quality takes a massive nosedive. It is like a shackle; the poses and creativity have to take a backseat to rudimentary functionality. StudioFOW was never about that. We want the viewers to experience the best angle possible for a specific animation. Our strengths are in direction and expressiveness, we know this and have designed the game to support it.
Still, all feedback is very important for us. Therefore, we listened and started to introduce some camera controls. By listening to these requests, we understood that a game software application is different from a movie. Interaction with the camera could make the gaming experience more enjoyable. So now there are some camera controls, and we keep fine tuning, and if it is possible to improve it from a usability standpoint.
As mentioned before, if we would have gone with the free-cam route at the start we would have had to devote significantly more time to each animation, to try and make it look passable from every single angle. Instead of having 80+ scenes currently in the game, there would be around 20, at best. That’s how big a difference trying to make a free-cam work in a real time environment would entail. It would also create a host of other problems, such as the fluids not working properly. With static 3D meshes, a free-cam is great, but when you’re trying to maintain a high level of quality in animation, the free camera quickly becomes a huge time-sink. We simply don’t have the resources to make every single Pandora scene compatible with a free cam. We would literally have to quadruple our animation team, and currently we don’t have the resources for this. Otherwise, there is the Gallery which does have an unlocked camera.
“We Need Chinese”
One of the most frequent requests from our Chinese community members is: “We need Chinese”.
As I explained in a previous Dev diary, I can confirm that we are teaming up with one of the most influential and respected teams in game localization to localize the game for the Chinese market. This is a massive work item and is by its nature collaborative, as such we do not have a concrete time frame for delivery.
We have heard the many, many requests, but please note, to implement such a massive localization is simply a question of resources. Spamming negative comments or downvoting the game in order to express your disappointment about the lack of Chinese localisation, actually hurts the game, making it harder to get these much requested features implemented. Therefore, we would like to ask you all who are waiting for the Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, French, etc. localization, please support us by upvoting the game. A more popular game has a better chance to acquire the necessary resources and connections needed to create localizations quicker and with better quality.
Contextual sex scenes
This is most likely the single most demanded feature, so we are taking it very seriously.
One thing we want to mention is that the waifu’s devotion quests that are in development are designed from the ground up to feature exactly this kind of content – they will each feature a unique sex scene that is entirely contextual and entirely fantastic. The scripting and voice acting of this module has been already completed. We will start including this feature in the game around v. 0.5-0.6 releases. We feel this will be a really interesting addition.
In addition to that, we are in the R & D phase to provide other solutions for this request. To give a few hints, the plan is to implement contextual interactions leading into romantic and sex scenes. This development will take time since implementation will require expanding the code and the technology utilized during NSFW encounters and additional voice acting for a start. If we may ask, please be patient. We are still in early access and these solutions should be part of 1.0.
I am happy to confirm that subtitles will be implemented for cinematics.
Sex with Blythe
We have all seen the requests. I am sorry, but to talk about this more would be a spoiler. It seems I just gave a spoiler…better if I stop talking about this as I am already on very thin ice, and the team will liquidate me.
Difficulty of Space Combat
There are many users expressing views that the Space Combat is too difficult and there are too many waves. At the same time at least that many users say, the Space Combat is very easy, it is not challenging enough. We realise, we are unable to make this game module in a way that suits everyone. To solve this issue, we are looking into introducing difficulty levels. This will be a configuration value that users can adjust and define. The implementation is in early R & D, but surely will be included in the final 1.0 version, most likely a lot earlier. It’s being worked on.
As I confirmed earlier this will be implemented soon. Currently we are working on the final touches and testing it. Once it is included in the next patch, we will gather users’ feedback and keep improving this much requested functionality.
Interaction with the galaxy and navigation
Many users suggested improving the travel and navigation via the various nebulas of Subverse by introducing mouse over control to highlight the objects that have been already explored. That makes sense, and I can confirm we are going to implement this.
UI usability and Look & Feel improvements
We hear your criticism about the UI. We will gradually be improving it. The good news is, a talented graphic designer colleague has just joined the team. Now we have a better chance to implement a stunning UI (no pressure then to our new colleague 😊).
As I mentioned, there are many questions that we need to evaluate a bit further, and we will address those in future Q & A sessions. We are discussing internally the exact scheduling but expect something like this (hopefully not as long!) in between each content block.
Thank you very much in advance for your continued support. Thanks for the upvotes and positive comments! Each upvote and positive comment means a lot to the team. Receiving the upvotes also helps the project overall. If you feel the development team deserves the upvote and positive comments, we humbly ask please continue to leave those comments and give Subverse your upvote.
All of you please take care. Please try to stay safe, look after each other and see you all again by the 17th November when we publish a detailed DEV Diary, with our first Behind the Scenes content.