Community Update - Fitting Room, Next Strategy Plans, Brabants & Thoroughbreds, Foundation Rework

Wednesday, Apr 21 at 13:35

Dear players, today we celebrate the arrival of a fitting room and give you an outline of our next development plans! We will also share the results of the recent community poll, the Brabant redo and our plans for the foundation breeder. Let’s get started, shall we?

🤖 Today’s Code Update: Fitting Room & Notifications QoL 🤖

Our new update schedule has us work on one big code update each month that brings new features, and one small update that is supposed to only bring quality-of-life (QoL) improvements and bug fixes. Today was supposed to be a small one without anything new, but our coders have already finished a new feature planned for the next release and we just couldn’t wait to show it off!

Fitting Room

Welcome the “fitting room” to the game! You can access this brand new place via the left sidebar, under “Personal”. Here you can try out backgrounds on your horses and, if you like them, buy them right there and then. If you buy a background without selecting a horse, 5 copies will be placed in your inventory. This works the same as buying a background from the Delta Store. But if you select a horse first, 1 copy will directly get equipped to it and the other 4 copies will get placed in your inventory. If your horse was already wearing a background during the purchase, then it will be properly returned to your inventory. This seemed the most user friendly to us.

To equip backgrounds you already own, you still need to use the inventory. Please note that we will add a “Tack Room” in a future update. In that area, you can mass-organise which horses wear which tack and backgrounds! The Fitting Room is an area where you can “preview” how things look and have the ability to immediately purchase it, similarly to when you would go to a store and enter the fitting room in real life. We chose to call it a Fitting Room because you will be able to try on tack in the future as well. Visible tack on horses is planned for the far future. Please note, it will still take a long time before that arrives. The future Tack Room will be mainly for organising which horse is wearing what. Having a single page dedicated to this organisation should make things easier for you, rather than having to go to the inventory or to each horse to assign something. Having separated the Fitting Room and Tack Room should prevent anyone from making accidental purchases. We felt that this would be important and user friendly since DP is involved in the backgrounds.

In a future update we will add the ability for premium players to choose 1 free background per month (1 use), which will also work through the fitting room.

Notifications QoL

⚈ Notifications are now sorted so that unread ones are always on top.
⚈ We have added a “Mark all as read”-button to get rid of that alert with the click of one button.

🔥 Next Steps: Development Plans 🔥

Two weeks ago we added new game features for the first time in a very long time. While many were excited, others shared their concerns about why X was done and not Y. We hope that the following overview of our next development plans will put some of those concerns at ease. We know that everyone has their own playstyle and therefore their own priorities of what should be added first, and not every update will contain something for everyone. But we are now adding something new every two weeks, and hopefully, sooner or later it will be something you have been waiting for. More often than not, our team shares the visions of our players and wants to see the same things added. But while every individual player has their own priorities, adding them up leads to a sheer endless list for us, while our time and money are limited. We need to start somewhere and prioritize some features over others - working on every feature at the same time would only mean that nothing ever gets finished.

Please note that the following is a rough outline and it is always possible that plans get postponed, changed or cancelled before a release. Items within each category are not sorted by ETA.

Short-term goals

⚈ Adding categories to the bank history and DP history.
⚈ Adding public notes for horses for everyone and private notes for horses for premium account members.
✅ Giving premium accounts 1 free monthly background in the fitting room (1 use).
✅ Possibly more QoL updates and bug fixes.

Mid-term goals

⚈ Adding a feed room and making sure that feed and bedding are needed for horses.
⚈ Adding a tack room and making sure tack deteriorates and can be cleaned/repaired. Reorganising which horses are wearing which tack/background will be possible in there.
⚈ Adding a trade market where players can sell and buy semen vials, backgrounds, tack, bedding, food, …
✅ Adding breed-specific competitions - at the same time, competition prizes will be lowered and conformation show prizes raised (more about that in the next news post in two weeks).
✅Reworked competition calculations and
⚈ Club competitions, though it is possible that those may be postponed to long-term plans (more about that in the next news post in two weeks).
⚈ Reworking the way our foundation functions (read more below).
⚈ Probably more QoL updates and bug fixes.

(Very) Long-term goals

⚈ Transferring the game areas to V2 that we need before we can add companies, e.g. ✅ the veterinarian, blacksmith, laboratory, university, possibly more
⚈ Possibly improving those areas during or after their V2 transfer (e.g. ✅ “collect all” function for semen vials at the vet, ✅ possibly fertility testing, …)

Changed plans

We have changed our plans to add FT and WT packages to the Delta Store and colour-coding for stable blocks. They turned out to be more complicated than we anticipated and not high enough in priority to warrant the additional coding effort now. Thus, they may be added later or not at all. We hope you are not too disappointed about this.

🏇 Next Breeds: Brabants & Thoroughbreds! 🏇

The redone Brabant Horse will be released in May, sporting brand new artwork that will hopefully do this stunning breed justice. We’re looking forward to these chonks exploring the game world with thundering hooves, showing off their looks. As always, only the current coats without new genes or variations will be replaced for now, with room for expansions in the future.

Furthermore, our community has spoken: In our poll, 975 people voted to release Thoroughbreds early without white spotting genes, and 505 voted against it. We are happy to announce that Thoroughbreds will arrive within the next few months. Since their artwork has been catching dust on our hard drives for a year, our artists are currently doing quality control checks on them. Once they are done, we will announce a release date that gives you enough time to make room in your stables.

To prepare you in advance - the foundation horse stats of the Thoroughbreds will be relatively low compared to their real-life versatility. We thought long and hard about this and decided based on the following consideration: With so many players eager to breed TBs, their stats will rise quickly. Starting them off too high could lead to the breed maxing out too soon, while also overpowering the existing breeds in-game. We would like to give the community a proper chance at developing the breed, which is only possible if there is enough room for development. We hope that you won’t take this game decision too harshly, as we are sure that player-bred TBs will soon live up to the breed’s legacy!

🐴 Reworking the Foundation 🐴

(Note: The Thoroughbred’s release is independent of the following plans - they will most likely still be released in the current foundation.)

Originally, we planned to prepare a 3rd foundation generation for May, but the player feedback proved things to be more complicated than we first thought. We’ve decided to fundamentally change the way our foundation breeder works. This means that there will be no 3rd generation of foundation parents. Instead, we will code a new version of the foundation directly in the V2 code. With the current system, our team has to renew the foundation horses at least once a year. There are many conflicting requirements, as the foundation foals shouldn’t be useless but they shouldn’t be better than the player-bred horses, either. With up to 120 horses in 26+ breeds, the influence of RNG, and different breeding progress between the COM and NL servers, getting it right every year is impossible. While it takes weeks of manual labour for our team to prepare these horses, a lot of foundation foals go straight from Caroll to Gisela and create an unnecessary strain on our server. Having foundation parents with a list of 300+ offspring is also not so realistic. It’s time for a change!

Our plans are still in development, but here is what we currently have in mind:

Players will purchase horses without parents/pedigree. This means our team has control over the stats without the RNG betraying us in our plannings.
The foundation will only have a limited number of horses of each breed that replenish once per week (per player). Each continent will have its own set of horses, so if you bought all horses in Asia, there will be more in Africa, etc. The horses will only be generated once they are bought (much like in the wildlife park). This is to stop the mass-buying-mass-retiring that currently strains our server. We know that foundation digging is an aspect many players enjoy, especially when new breeds come out. But we hope the advantages of this new system will make up for that loss. Please, bear with us for a moment!
Every player will see their “own” foundation store, meaning the horses you see for sale are not visible to anyone else. This is so nobody can e.g. buy all Arabian horses and then exclude others from the breed. We want everyone to be able to buy a horse of their favourite breed - it is a big reason why the foundation breeder came to life. This should stimulate the economy and player interactions: you might not find what you are looking for at the time, but another player may have found your perfect horse.
There will be a system in place that makes sure that rare colour genes spawn less often - details are not completely clear yet as we have to check with our development team first. This shall make it much easier for us to introduce new colours to a breed. We will no longer need new foundation stock for that purpose, but can simply make a gene and its associated coats available at the foundation breeders with a button press.
Both foals and adults will be offered at the foundation breeder. You cannot “order” a horse of a specific age, but the foundation breeder could have foals and adults on display. That way, when a new breed gets released or you want to start a line of horses using foundation stock, you might not have to use DP-aging to give your breeding projects a head-start.
Here is what we concretely envision: A player visits the foundation breeder and sees a few available horses per breed. Some are foals, some adults, most common colours, seldom a rare colour. The player can preview them based on looks, much like it works at our wildlife parks. Once the player decides to buy a horse, the system generates all the horse’s traits and places them in the player’s estate. If the player continues to buy horses of that breed, the foundation breeder on that continent will temporarily go out of stock for the breed (for this player only!). In the following week, new stock will be available. If the player just never buys the previewable horses of a breed, those still get replaced by the weekly stock renewal. By creating the full horse at the moment of purchase, we can save server space, and we can incorporate player ideas for the foundation stock to cycle periodically, without being forced to buy the available horses first.
As for the traits of these horses, there will be a range for each stat that our team has chosen. It will likely be in accordance with the breed’s natural talents, but the baseline will be rather average. We want to promote players buying from players over buying from the foundation. At the same time, since all foundation horses will then be pedigree-less and thus make inbreeding easier to avoid, we think they’ll have value even without great stats. Not much is yet decided in terms of what these ranges will look like. Many open questions exist, for example, how subtle differences between various breeds could get portrayed by the chosen ranges. Or what the GP and conformation traits should truly mean: for example, is conformation rated relatively for a breed (a good neck for a Shire) or in absolutes (a good neck for a horse)? We are open to your ideas and suggestions here, and will also keep you updated with our plans as they progress!
The wildlife parks will mostly stay the way they currently are, only that the horses there will also become pedigree-less and fall into a stat range decided by our team.

We can’t give an estimate yet for when this new setup will arrive, but it is high on our priority list and not a far-future plan. We hope the delay of new foundation stock will pay off, as the new setup should be a steadier force within the game world, and closer to our original vision of how the foundation breeder was intended to work.

🐞 Bugfixes 🐞

⚈ Care Rollover finally happens at 5 am - eureka!
⚈ Setting the buyout price to "none" is no longer possible. Public buyouts need to be at least 1000 HRC, private trade buyouts at least 1 HRC.
⚈ Clicking the avatars of team members in the forum leads to their player profiles again.
⚈ The PRE Horse registry now shows the updated artwork - aren’t they PREtty?
⚈ Restarted competition & conformation show timers (on April 9th) that were thrown out of sync by daylight savings. But since they are queued (started one after another to be easier on the server), they may get out of sync again after a while by a few minutes.
⚈ Some players got an Internal Server Error 500 upon trying to edit their profile, this has been resolved.
⚈ The Brumby wild buckskin dun foal image wasn’t showing the dun markings, this was fixed. Just let the paint fully dry for a moment!

We can imagine that this news will be cause for many comments and concerns and we are very interested in them! Please keep in mind to think of the best for the overall game and the community - that is what we need to base our decisions on, even though every individual opinion is valid.

Looking forward to hearing from you!
The Horse Reality Team


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