After six months, yes, Build 0.3 is nearly here. It's about two months late, yes, but it's also nearly three times the original estimated size. We went above and beyond, trying to really make something special, and finally we have an official, definitive release date: it's coming out on the 22nd of May — the next Friday.
I repeat: Build 0.3 of Minotaur Hotel is coming out on the 22nd of May.
To celebrate this occasion we are algo making a Q&A session. You can ask questions here in the Comments section and next week we're going to post the answers in another DevLog.
Now let's talk a bit about Build 0.3. Why did it take so long? For starters I started a new job and had health issues around December-January, but the main reason for it is that this build has a lot of variations to account for previous player choices. In this post we want to talk a little bit about that.
Let's start with the first, obvious example: you can have either Luke or Kota as the manager of the Hotel's lounge, right? Well, depending on that there are a number of exclusive scenes — both about how the manager is taking care of the lounge and what the other guest is doing.
That's the easiest example to point out, but not the biggest. In reality a good amount of effort went into writing variations for whether the player sent Asterion to the valley on Build 0.1... And this is taken to a new level now because as of Build 0.3 you can send Asterion out more times.
The story and Asterion will react to it in a number of ways and we are really proud of what we accomplished here. Each of the "paths" a player can take will reveal unique bits of characterization. It's not a case of bad choices leading to neutered/reduced versions of the main scenes, what we have here is that your choices will reveal a whole new side to certain characters — Asterion and Argos in particular.
As an example, there is a scene for which we wrote five variations. Each one of them is completely different and reveals new, subtle things about the characters.
Beyond this, Build 0.3 has the first instances of sending out teams to explore the valley, which can result in unlocking valuable pieces of information about the story — this is what we are calling the "lore drops." Now, to reach the effect we intended we had to absolutely cram the pool of available drops so players would not all get the same handful of tidbits.
In summary, there is a crucial piece of information for everyone who wants to enjoy the upcoming build to the maximum:
Build 0.3 is highly replayable, it is absolutely packed with content, but you'll have to experiment a bit with your choices to see it.
In fact, there is so much content that, truth be told, we cannot expect a single player to see it all, even across multiple playthroughs. A cursory estimate tells me that you'd have to play the game at least five times to see everything, and that is excluding the lore drops entirely. So we are also expecting that players will benefit a lot from discussing among each other, exchanging information and, hopefully, speculation about what's going on.
A while after the build is out we might do a walkthrough, like the one we did for Build 0.2, but only after enough time has passed and everyone had the time to explore the game for themselves.
So, when you play the game, keep in mind that the story will vary greatly depending on:
- Did you send Asterion to the valley on the first day at the hotel?
- What was the outcome to the Argos situation? Did you sign the contract? Did you contest its terms? Did you get it right, or did you get it wrong? Or did you trick Argos some other way?
- How have you been treating Asterion so far? Did you promise to not send him into the valley?
- Who is the lounge's manager?
- How will you manage the R&D project and the valley exploration?
- And... Will you send Asterion out to the valley again?
Now let's talk about word count. The go-to number for a novel's length is 50.000 words. Build 0.1 and 0.2 had around 30.000 to 40.000 each. Meanwhile, as of the moment of this devlog's writing, Build 0.3 has about 88.000 words.
Build 0.3 adds 88k words to Minotaur, effectively more than doubling the game's word count.
Yes. Yes, we are mad men. Originally the plan was 30k-40k words of content, but we really went all out. Last DevLog we displayed a table with estimates of how previous builds were — let's check how Build 0.3 compares to them now.
|Build||Words before code||Words with code|
But again, all of this writing is spread out across multiple variations — make sure to experiment a bit. And another tip: did you know that picking the Speedrunner background will change many of the game's scenes to make them more comedic?
Hopefully this build's replayability will entertain you during these trying times. So... Next week, Monday the 18th, we'll have the answers for the Q&A and on Friday the 22nd you better be ready for Minotaur Hotel. If you want to discuss with others generally we also put up a thread for pre-release discussion here. See you then!