New Year Message From Deloryan
Dear players, happy new year to you all! I hope you celebrated the start of 2021 in good health, safely at home with your loved ones. At the beginning of a new year, it is tradition to look back and take stock of what happened in the last one. And what a year it has been!
We all learnt about COVID-19 and it quickly became the central topic of the year. All of us were forced to acknowledge the situation and had to adjust to this event of a lifetime. On top of that, many of my precious team members also had to endure a period of mourning and other emotional hardships. It was a challenging year for us personally, as for most of you out there. Which is why I want to give my compliments to my amazing team. Even through the rough times, they did wonderfully and adjusted to the new way of working quickly. I’m happy that I can say that 2020 was a year of growth for us, both emotionally and as a professional company.
This year we welcomed a community manager, researcher, content creator, and art intern to our team and started cooperating with Kobalt Digital as our new coding company. Our artists and researcher did great work with the Finnhorses, Lusitanos, and Brumby Horses. Thanks to their hard work, we were also able to realise two big wishes of our community by revising the Irish Cobs (previously known as Gypsy Horse) and adding new coat colour variations for many of our old breeds. They also drew the artwork for 11 new backgrounds and 4 new NPCs.
We have been working hard on the way we communicate with our player base, starting with the addition of this news area and community polls where we let you call the shots in important decisions. We have also begun using roadmaps to make our development process even more transparent. There is still a long way to go, but I think the changes we made are going in the right direction and am excited where this path will lead us all, together.
Behind the scenes, we have made many improvements to the way we structure ourselves. Our small remote-working team can now cooperate in more efficient ways, transfer knowledge, split tasks and get the right piece of information to the person who needs it.
Most importantly, we made severe progress in improving, and adding to, the code of the game. We added the clubs and fixed countless bugs, introduced QoL features like the “select all” button for shows & competitions and the stacking of semen vials in the freezer. We also finally started to overhaul the calculations for the competitions. However, it is no secret that we put our main focus on the V2-transfer. We have made immense progress with this task over the last year, a part of that can be found here on our roadmap.
Transferring the code of the game to a new framework does not come without risk. I have built this game mostly by myself over the past 8-years. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears, but most of all, love went into Horse Reality. Due to its enormous size, transferring everything is extremely time-consuming. It has already taken us a long time to get this far, and there is still a lot to do before we’re finished. Therefore I would like to thank you for your patience. It’s amazing that you stuck with us while we are going through this transition.
The decision to start this transfer was made at the end of 2019, but a lot has changed since then. At that time, many of you were more socially active and engaged with school, work, friends and/or family. Since the start of the pandemic, more players are staying at home and playing Horse Reality longer on end. Due to the focus being on the V2-transfer for most of the year and the lack of new features, many of you got bored. Even though you try your utmost to remain patient, many players became frustrated by the wait on the missing features, wondering how much longer you would need to wait.
Having the above said, it became clear that many of you want to see changes as soon as possible. The world has definitely changed over the past year, so we as a team, need to make sure we adapt and change our way of working accordingly as well. Therefore we will switch our strategies, and the first thing up for when we are back from our vacation is getting our new plan of action ready for 2021. I want to make sure this game remains fun and enjoyable for you! Of course, this doesn't mean the V2-transfer would be abandoned. We will need to work on that, but while doing so, I want to make sure there is a nice balance between V2-transfer and enjoyable things for you to do in the game. Especially since transferring code is something that most of you won't even notice on your end. I want to make sure that you, the players, are put in the first place again. Putting the focus back on the FUN in the game. I genuinely hope to make this the best horse game there is. Which can only happen if you, our lovely players, enjoy your time here!
I want to say how honoured I am to have you here with us. I want to thank you for your significant support and dedication during these challenging times. Without you, I could have never gotten this far, and actually create a game studio! You all have my undying gratitude. I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in 2021!