DevDiary #22 “Testing The Guild 3” or “A Horse walks into a Church…” – September 2021

Hello Guildians,

In DevDiary #21, we talked a bit about our version management system and the importance of the Stabilizing stream, where our QA is hunting the last severe bugs out of the build before it’s being launched. This time we want to align the spotlight on our QA – or in other words: on their funniest moments in the past months… not that they have much to laugh nor the time to laugh… but that’s another story 🙂

The milestone
The 12th of August was an exciting day for our development team: our project tracking system finally hit the 10,000 tickets “milestone”. The ticket with the number 10,000 had the nice title “As a player I want that women do not drink alcohol during pregnancy”. *sigh* How did this happen, again?
In patch EA 0.9.14, we improved the AI and of course when our AI dynasties started to have a life of their own, the game became more interesting but at the same time also more unpredictable. It was a huge new testing field for our Quality Assurance. Now, the AI was able to use items and while some AI characters bought themselves something to eat or something useful like bombs and horse carts, others – especially pregnant women – decided to get drunk. Well, drunken pregnant women were definitely not our intention and neither were “double-pregnancies” that happened in a version some months ago…

Toilet paper, “Dancing with logs” and “Meatballs”
One small mistake with the item category IDs and the bandage – the icon has a similarity to a toilet paper roll – ends up under “livestock” which was quickly sarcastically commented by one colleague with “see, even in TG3 toilet paper became an essential these days”. Small mistakes in the alignment of equipment might make the gleeman play the flute with his/her nose and adding an item to the wrong animation makes your characters dance with a wooden log in their hand. A minor change in how to target other characters can lead to huge meatballs on the streets. Who would have thought that characters on the balcony of a building cannot be reached from the street, which is why all those who have chosen this character as their target gather in front of the building and form a big ball of meat 😉

Running on water, the horse in the church, the apocalypse and what we do against it
Want some more? You change the pathfinding for the characters to make them move more naturally and they will start to run on water. You clean up the way the character equipment is handled and a horse will show up in the church. You change the balancing of the diseases and the AI families will not make enough money anymore because their transporters and workers are part of a historic Zombie epidemic.
Every moment something might break while the game is already in Early Access. That’s why we go into a stabilizing phase for a couple of days before we release a new patch. During this time, we only fix game breaking bugs and make minor feature tweaks and give our QA some time to test the entire game. But even with this strategy, there is always the constant threat that we won’t find that last game breaking bug which was introduced by the fix for another game breaking bug that was caused by a minor feature change in a completely unrelated area of the game… where “nothing absolutely nothing could go wrong”.

Our Quality Assurance team is doing a great job, often with a lot of overtime especially during the stabilizing phase. And as you see here, they have a good sense of (gallows) humour 🙂
Because of the many interconnections of the features in The Guild 3, something can be overlooked, so if you find a bug during your play, please do not hesitate to contact us via our Redmine bug tracker and we will take a look at it. Thanks alot!

Before we come to some of your questions from Discord, the forums and those that we received via PM or email, we want to shine a bit light onto the coming patch EA 0.9.16 . Well… it is in development 🙂 Ok, that’s not enough info, I know… Besides the obligatory bug fixes and balancing efforts the team is very busy with a cool new feature for you. As this feature is still in development for a while, we will talk about it in a coming DevDiary. Sorry that you have to wait a bit longer for more information. Patch EA 0.9.16 is expected to be ready in November. We’ll let you know when the launch date is set.

Q: Is Multiplayer already working?
A: We find this question popping up from time to time 🙂 Yes, multiplayer has been enabled since September 6th in 2019. Before that, we enabled it in a public test branch on May 31st in 2019. The start was a bit bumpy, but most of the connection issues and hiccups in multiplayer are solved to date. The feedback we receive since a while regarding multiplayer is mostly positive, with few exceptions we are still working on.

Q: I don’t make much money with my rum den, even though I have enough rum on stock and I lure citizens in constantly. What am I doing wrong?
A: The rum den is not meant to be self-sustaining when you play it as a pub alone. Keep in mind that you play a smuggler and not a bartender 🙂 As a smuggler, you smuggle rum and you lure people into your pub, just to receive valuable information from your customers. So when one of your workers who served your customers heard one or more of this information, they will have a much higher chance of bringing back items of high value, especially with the smuggler actions of building level 2 and 3. Building level 1 may need a bit more balancing regarding its income – we will look into that.

Q: Why are my workers still producing items, even though the storage maximum is already reached?
A: The rules set in the storage are applied to transporters, what they can take out or put into each business storage and what not. Storage rules are not applied to the workers working in a business. If workers are supposed to only produce a certain amount of items, then that can be managed with the production order list.

Q: Why are my transporters not doing anything after I created a manual route and assigned it to them?
A: There are many possible reasons for transporters not responding when they are assigned a manual route. Please note that it is possible to assign a route, even with issues in the route. There are pop-ups to warn you, but it is possible to ignore them. Following that, new issues might be missed until you enable warnings again in the ingame options section “Game”.
It always makes sense to double check the storage rules. If the maximum amount is reached, they will not be able to drop the items or remove items that would set the storage rules below minimum. Similarly, if the storage is just completely full. In other cases, the transporter might have been paused and they need to “resume working” in order to work on the manual route. If it is night time, they might be resting and will resume their work in the morning. Any worker will automatically seek treatment, if they are sick, so while you see them in the business overview, they might currently be waiting in line to see a medicus. Transporters also wait for a bit before they start or continue their route, so it always makes sense to watch them for a bit.

Q: Why is the max zoom-out distance so big that I can hardly see my character on the map?
A: As some players want to be able to zoom out more and some players want to have the camera closer to the character we made this setting configurable. You can adapt your max zoom-out distance in the “Controls” section of the ingame options menu. When you pull the slider to the very left the max zoom out distance will be much closer.