Community Update - V2 Market Postponed, Preparing 3rd Foundation Generation, About Breed Redos, New Art Intern, March Background
Hi, dear community! Did you miss our more detailed news updates? We did, too! Finally, we have lots of things to tell you about: our V2 market update has had to be postponed, we are preparing for the next round of foundation horses and looking for your input, we reveal which breeds will get redone next, we present you our new art intern, and we have info about the new background!
🤖 V2 Market Update postponed to March 10th 🤖
We had planned to release our V2 market tomorrow, but during testing, we noticed that an entire page of it had been overlooked by our developers and was still written in V1. Whoops! By now, the page is coded, but we’ve had way less time for testing than we’d like. Under these conditions, a Thursday-release seemed too risky: Can you imagine bugs making horse sales go astray while our developers enjoy their weekend? We will therefore release it after thorough testing on Wednesday, March 10th, if all goes well. Keep your fingers crossed!
🐴 Foundation Horses #3 - Preparations 🐴
We are preparing for our 3rd round of foundation horses (both in the foundation & wildlife park) to be released somewhere in May. The present generation was not very well-liked. We had changed their stats a bit and tried to add more variation to the alleles, to keep them useful for existing bloodlines. This led to some foundation foals overpowering the player-bred ones, despite our attempts to prevent that, while on average the new stock was perceived as not being good enough. We would love your input to help us make the next generation more satisfying!
Creating these new horses will be challenging. The foundation stock was originally meant to grant easy access to those breeds. Since then, many breeding projects have taken off and developed. Any new blood will affect the existing lines. We are therefore wondering what our community expects of the foundation stock in general, and the next generation specifically. The following are our considerations:
Colours: We plan to introduce some of the missing genes (yellow) from our Notion table with the upcoming batch. A new round of foundation horses is an ideal chance to do that, though it is not possible to estimate how many genes we could add. In contrast, new coat variations for existing genes could get done at any time.
Stats: If the stats of the new foundation horses are too low, using them might not feel worthwhile, at least while inbreeding has no consequences. If the stats are too high, all the work players have spent on their herds may feel wasted. There was the idea to use the stats of the 1st foundation generation and change their names, genders, colour genes, and continents. Their foals should not overpower the player-bred ones. But there are downsides to this approach: the 1st foundation generation was meant to reflect the real-life breed characteristics, so the quality of foundation foals varied considerably between the breeds. The existing lines also continue to develop within the game, which the 2nd foundation batch took into account. Using the stats of the 1st generation would ignore these developments.
Names: We would like to involve the community in the name-giving process. Last time we made mistakes, which we hope to prevent now. We would like to collect your knowledge about breed naming rules/conventions, in case you know something that we don’t. Soon we will make a process available for you to suggest names!
We’d love to get concrete answers from you in the comments down below regarding the following questions:
1. What are your hopes & fears regarding the 3rd foundation generation?
2. What do you think about the idea to reuse the stats of the 1st generation?
3. Do you know the naming rules/conventions of a certain breed that we should keep in mind? (Ideally link to a web source.)
🎨 Art Team Progress - Breed Redos 🎨
In January, we published a roadmap in Notion about our horse artwork & genetics. You can find it here: *CLICK* and it’s also linked in this forum thread. We refer to it as “the Notion table” in what follows. Now that it’s been published for a while, we have more details to share with you! We also want to address some questions we have received. If your questions remain unanswered, please let us know in the comments below, or via PM to team members, in our official Discord, or in our forum. Thank you!
Why we redo some breeds but not others
The artwork of all 8 breeds marked with “Redo: Yes” in the Notion table are either very outdated or have a smaller file size than is needed for various future plans. We have to redo those breeds, regardless of their art style or anatomical correctness. They get redone first, which will take a long time.
Afterwards, we will reconsider which breeds could use a redo for aesthetic reasons. At the moment, we are thinking about the Suffolk Punch and Oldenburg Horse (in the table: “Redo: Maybe”). But as this game ages, its artwork matures and what seems great today may look comparatively poor tomorrow. Even a “Redo: No” may turn into a “Yes” in the far future.
Order of Redos
The order presented in this list may change! Group 1 will be redone first, group 4 last, but within each group, the breeds are sorted alphabetically. The definite order (e.g. does the Haflinger come before the Exmoor?) we can’t estimate at this time.
(1) Brabant Horse & PRE - The breeds with the most outdated art style, that haven’t gotten any updates in years.
(2) Exmoor, Friesian, Haflinger - The least colourful breeds where the redo will take relatively little time, these also haven’t gotten any updates in years.
(3) Akhal-Teke, Arabian, Quarter Horse - Very colourful breeds whose redos will thus be very demanding and time-consuming. We hope our image uploading system is updated before we start reworking these. Uploading them anew with our current system would be a taxing manual process prone to human error. All three have gotten a little update in 2020.
(4) Possibly redoing breeds that are marked with “maybe” or “no” in the Notion table.
Why does my breed not receive more love?
We know that many players have been hoping for certain breeds to get updated sooner rather than later. While the above list sheds light on our plans, we know it may cause disappointment for some of you. Please know that we are aware of how passionate and dedicated all breeding communities are. The placement of each breed on the redo list does not at all relate to how much we value that breed or the players behind it.
Since there is no way around replacing breeds with small art sizes, it seems logical to us to begin with those. Then practical considerations come into play. The current way of uploading images to our system is tedious: every image must get added and connected to the genetics manually, which is slow and prone to mistakes. Colourful breeds like Arabians, Akhal-Tekes, and Quarter Horses have many coats to get drawn. This takes time, and the amount of art makes the image uploading even harder. The aforementioned breeds also got updated last year: Quarter Horses received the pearl gene in January 2020. Tekes and Arabians got new coat variations in October 2020, as both had not received any updates in years and it was already clear that a redo cannot happen anytime soon. Based on the above, those three breeds are in group 3 on our redo list.
The breeds of groups 1 and 2 have gone for much longer without updates - they have not received anything new since their releases 5-9 years ago, which is one argument for their higher priority. But they also have fewer coat variations, so redoing them does not clash so much with the current image uploading mechanism. Among those breeds, we have put those with the most outdated-looking artwork style in the top priority spot.
We have long had plans to update our image system to drastically reduce the amount of work and bugs. This would allow our art team to stay somewhat sane and spend more of their time colouring new coats and less time uploading them. We hope that we will have an improved system ready by the time the group 3 breeds would be due to get redone.
What about new breeds?
Our artists are not currently working on new breeds, so their status is “on-hold” in the Notion table. It is hard to say when those breeds will be worked on again. We’d like to finish all the redos first, but that is hard to plan. For example, if the update of our image uploading system takes longer than we hope, we might have to choose between redoing the group 3 breeds (Tekes/Arabians/QH) and add them manually, or working on new breeds to bridge the waiting time. We will have to see how the V2 transfer and the redos of groups 1 & 2 proceed and keep you updated as our development progresses.
What about the upcoming foundation horses?
As mentioned further up in this post, our artists will also be working on missing genes for the next round of foundation horses. We hope to add as many missing genes as we can manage, but this can only happen for breeds that won’t be redone. Otherwise, our artists would have to create lots of new art with the knowledge that it will all be for naught once the breeds get redone.
What about the Thoroughbreds?
The Thoroughbred’s art has long been finished, but adding them to the game will be done once the V2 transfer is complete, as decided per community poll. Their release will only be affected by our development team’s progress, not our artists’.
👋 New Art Intern - Mette 👋
We are very excited to introduce our new art intern to you! Mette has successfully survived her trial month and will join our team until July. It’s already a lot of fun to have her around and we’re looking forward to working with her! She wrote a little introduction for you:
Hey Haaaii Heellooow! Nice to meet you! My name is Mette! And a few weeks back I started my internship here! I'm really excited to be here! I'm 19 years old and a 3rd-year student and studying to become a Game Artist! I'm literally addicted to League of Legends, Overwatch, Animal Crossing and much more! Also I really love to hang with friends when I'm not gaming or making art. And when I'm drawing I watch a bunch of movies or series on Netflix haha, I almost watched the whole Netflix I think, oops! If u want you can DM me for more questions! My Instagram is @toxiart_ and I'm available on Discord (Mettaaahhh#4707)! Have a nice day guys!
✨Psssst, if you want to join our team like Mette - we have several open internship positions! ✨
🖼️ March background 🖼️
Normally, we add a new background to the Delta Store every first Monday of the month. This time it will take a little longer for it to arrive because our artist is struggling with some technical difficulties. Can you spot this background’s theme from the sneak peek?
After having processed all this information, we are looking forward to your feedback in the comments! Don’t forget about our questions regarding the foundation horses!
Happy spring greetings,
The Horse Reality Team