We Happy Few has just received it’s second major update since the game came to Xbox Games Preview during the summer. We Happy Few at it’s core was/is a survival game. However, in this recent update Compulsion Games has decided to listen to fan feedback and embrace their questing and adventure abilities more.
This is the beautiful side of early access or Xbox games preview, it allows companies to garner fan feedback during the development process so when it’s time to ship it’s a proper title.
I downloaded We Happy Few over the summer and have played sporadically but always make sure to hop back on when these major updates hit. The first, A Clockwork Update, hit mid December and was a needed addition. The Maidenholm update looks to take We Happy Few up a notch and I can’t wait to hop into it.
– New island! The long-awaited second island of the Village of Hamlyn has arrived: Maidenholm. (“Holm” is an old British word for an island in a river, by the way.) Read the in-game newspaper for more information.
– Playstyles have arrived! When starting a new game, players can now choose the Birdwatcher, Downer or Vigilante Playstyles. While these settings affect difficulty, they vary gameplay more significantly. This is a first pass implementation and will evolve over time:
- Birdwatcher: No hunger/thirst, game pauses in the menu, items are instantly equip, NPCs are easier to kill and aren’t as bloodthirsty, more resources (only partially integrated; more to come on this). Designed for more casual players.
- Downer: Hunger/thirst at normal levels, game does not pause in menu but items will instantly equip, normal resources/NPC threat.
- Vigilante: Hunger/thirst intense, game does not pause in the inventory or shops, delay on equip, more dangerous NPCs. Designed for the masochists among you.
– Permadeath remains available as an option for all three playstyles.
– Procedural music has been implemented. The in-game music has been redone, allowing for better blending and more variation and combinations across the various states of the game (suspicion, combat, Joy/non Joy, etc).
– Support for regions in the Garden District has been added. Regions such as hamlets, forests, meadows, etc will be dotted around the place, as opposed to the island consisting of just one big town. Please keep in mind that this is a work in progress. It is a little empty for now, but this will change.
– As a result, Garden District 1 island is now unintentionally shaped like a dick 70% of the time. That’s what Matt says, anyway.
– Scavenger cars should no longer spawn very close to one another.
– Bridges have been refactored to require you to “open” the gate to go through to the next island. This helps us control the loading experience a bit better.
– A number of generation bugs have been fixed, so there should be fewer instances of filler buildings overlapping with encounters or interactive houses. Having said that, with the new region system, we expect a bunch of visible bugs to exist (although these shouldn’t affect gameplay or block your progress).
– The Peeper has arrived in the Village! These little mobile alarms are quite shocking.
– Plague Wastrels roam the Garden District. They speak a very curious dialect. Bonus points for guessing what it is. These guys are not nice.
– Hooligans will now patrol the Garden District at night, and guard some water pumps all the time. You may know these guys from such encounters as Shibboleth, and now they roam free.
– Second Wind repurposed. Instead of “dying” and waking up in the dying state, you now just fall into the dying state as your health/needs gets low. This applies whether you are on Permadeath or not.
– Dig spots have been fully refactored, with many new spots added! Across each island, a range of dig spots are available to be dug with your trusty shovel. You’ll need to find the maps to track down the dig spots though.
– Compliment machines have been added throughout the Village! These creepy robots love telling you exactly what they think of you; the only issue is, they have very loud voices. Male machines only so far; female machines will come in a later update.
– Certain bushes, flower pots and carts can now be used as hiding spots, for all your comic-stealth needs.
– Infection/Bleeding changes:
- Wastrels no longer apply Infection, but instead apply Bleeding.
- After 5 minutes untreated, Bleeding has a 1% chance every second to cause Infection. And then you’re bleeding AND infected.
- Infection has 2 tiers now: Infection reduces your max health by 20%, Septic Infection reduces your max health by 50%.
- If Bleeding causes infection, the 5 minute timer resets for the next tier, so you can’t go from nothing to septic in a few seconds due to bad rolls.
- Dirty Bandages have had their probability of causing infection reduced from 50% to 10%. It’s still a risk if you cure Bleeding that way, but at least you’ll be infected and NOT bleeding.
– Recycled bandage now available.
– Reverse polarity devices have been tuned. These now last a certain amount of time, as opposed to indefinitely. This makes Street Blockades substantially less powerful, so plan your polarity reversals strategically.
– NPCs grab items better now.
– Toxic fog has been improved. It still looks ugly, particularly the transitions, but it should be much more effective.
– A loot balancing pass has been done across all random spawn containers (everything except quest rewards). This dramatically changes the resource availability across the entire game.
– New “new game” flow. While the style of UI is still temporary, we have implemented a new “new game” flow to make sure that players get the information they need to start the right type of game. Aka, “now we won’t get people yelling at us when they chose Permadeath without realising it, because selecting Permadeath requires a conscious choice”.
– Five save game slots are now available.
– Steam cloud saves are now available.
– Improved subtitle support has been added. We now use a scrolling subtitle system similar to Source engine games, where lines area displayed sequentially. You can also customize the size, background or outline.
– The cleaver and enhanced cleaver icons have been upgraded.
– New encounters! A whole raft of new encounters have been added to both the Village 1 and 2 islands:
- Mother’s Little Helper.
- The Church of Simon Says. Following orders has been elevated to an almost religious experience.
- Super Meat Boy. Ever wonder what being a butcher’s apprentice might be like? No? Well it turns out that it’s violent but not in the way you might expect.
- The strange saga of Nick Lightbearer, including But I’m On The List and Sympathy for the Devil. Go behind the scenes with Wellington Well’s resident rock star.
- What Have We Buried.
- The Butcher quest line. It appears that the butcher has an agenda. The agenda involves you.
- The Odds and Ends quest line, including the Hoard House. There is a house full of hoarders and their hoard and you have to find a singular item. Along the way discover the secret lives of Criers. Do not get caught.
- The Chemist is now open for business.
- The Pub is now open for decidedly not-business, and there are colourful characters to meet there.
- A new house variation has popped up. This one has multiple paths through it to better allow you to avoid those pesky home owners.
- Speaker’s Corner (more to come later on this one).
– New, more challenging shelters have been added to:
- St. George’s Holm
- Lud’s Holm
– The water pumps in the Garden District are now guarded by hooligans. It’s almost as if they think the water might run out and want to keep it all for themselves.
– Street Blockades have been visually improved in the Brutalist architectural style.
– Mystery house containers now have loot so don’t forget to search thoroughly before you exit the house.
– The House of Curious Behaviours has been refactored to allow for more varied gameplay scenarios. Break into the house using a jimmy bar, conform your way in or find that sneaky vent to bypass the bobby. (Antoine loves vents.) And there is a new quest involving Madame’s Magic Wand. It’s not what you think. Well, okay, maybe it is.
– Mine Mine All Mine! has been refactored to feature a better stealth/combat scenario. The hooligans have taken over the location and are digging in–observe their actions and exploit them.
– Plague! Plague! has been refactored and improved with a cutscene. This encounter now better explains the dangers of plague on the island.
– The Odds and Ends shop has been refactored.
– The 30rpm record houses have been refactored.
– The Walkabout ghost is slightly ghostlier, and now does what it’s supposed to do.
– The Yam is even more cosmic and appears to be emerging from a wormhole.
– Fixed a bunch of bugs in the older encounters.
– Improved graphical autodetection settings. The game will now attempt to optimize for framerate (60fps), at the cost of visual quality. You can always reset it to the quality/framerate that works for you.
– Added “auto” selection in graphical options menu.
– Rebalanced the low/medium/high/ultra settings to show a bigger quality/framerate improvement between each setting.
– Optimized lighting for low spec machines.
– Added support for mixed rendering quality (where the world is rendered at a different resolution to the HUD).
– Experimental support for dynamic mesh streaming (lowering memory footprint) has been enabled for Xbox One.
– FaceFX, audio and animation streaming on demand has been implemented (again lowering memory footprint).
– Fixes for negative scale mesh issues on Xbox One – this means no more weird shit protruding out of buildings on Xbox One.
– Bridges should pop uniformly, as opposed to piece by piece. Still a work in progress.
– Sporadic, rare crash fixes.
– The Campfire duck no longer falls through the world. It gets thrown to a new, safe, location.
– Collecting the junk in Biological Hazard before the ‘Tidy the pond’ objective will no longer break the encounter.
– Mrs. Marley’s body should no longer disappear in Bring out your Dead.
– Middle mouse button can now be bound to controls other than ‘Shove’.
– Note: AI will be a major part of the next update, so non-game breaking AI bugs remain in this update.
– Corner pieces on sidewalks in the Village of Hamlyn should display properly and no longer flicker.
– Many, many more minor bugs.
– Updated credits
– Updated welcome screen text
– For those of you who play on Steam, we have created new public branches to access our previous public updates. Right now, we have the Community Balance update (Gameplay Alpha 2) and the Clockwork Update (Gameplay Alpha 4) available as public branches, and hopefully we’ll be able to add some very old pre-alpha versions as well. GOG.com players already have this functionality, as part of the Galaxy client.