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Nuntar
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averagemoe wrote:
Joined recently? Wait, does that mean such a thing is still open? Where?

Since the project is on a beta board, you would have to have CaravelNet membership and turn on "Available for beta testing holds" in your profile.

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09-30-2020 at 08:30 PM
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Zizzencs
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In the next few weeks/months I'll have a lot of time to spend on things at home, so if possible, I'd like to participate testing this Entry Point hold, just to do something fun and probably useful. I've enabled the "available for beta testing" setting.

What would be the next step? :-)
01-30-2021 at 10:13 PM
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Nuntar
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I've sent you an invite, so next time you are on the forum main page, you should see it at the top of your page with "Accept" and "Reject" buttons. Naturally, we would prefer you to click "Accept" :P

This will give you access to both the latest version of the hold and its beta board, which is where feedback should be posted. You could also drop into CaravelNet chat any time, and there are often a few members of the EP team around.

One word of advice: the hold is very large, and Chapters 1-5 are almost completely finished now, so you may prefer to skip those chapters and concentrate on the later ones, where feedback is most needed. If you want to play through from the beginning, though, any feedback you choose to give will be welcome.

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01-31-2021 at 09:33 PM
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Baine53
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I'd also like to test Entry Point, though, to be honest, I'm not sure how useful my critique would be. I am a rank amateur, though, so I can at least gauge how useful the guides are to me!
04-17-2021 at 04:17 AM
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jbluestein
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I would be interested in testing as well if there is still ‘room’.

I am still working my way through TSS, but, um, it’s kind of hard in some places?

Josh

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07-11-2021 at 12:49 PM
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Illusionist
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jbluestein wrote:
I would be interested in testing as well if there is still ‘room’.

I am still working my way through TSS, but, um, it’s kind of hard in some places?

Josh

Entry Point is slightly harder than TSS IMO. I myself have to resume testing the hold, because I was neglecting it for a while

[Last edited by Illusionist at 07-18-2021 03:17 PM]
07-18-2021 at 03:16 PM
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Pinnacle
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Assigning a single difficulty level to EP or TSS is pretty much impossible. EP starts significantly easier than TSS starts, closer to early GatEB, but ramps up to probably around Complex Complex difficulty.

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[Last edited by Pinnacle at 07-18-2021 05:33 PM]
07-18-2021 at 05:33 PM
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TripleM
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Nuntar wrote:
Time for another update :thumbsup

We're still making great progress -- with 2.8% gained over the last two months, at the current rate of progress we should be finished within another six, even without compromising on any of the content we'd like to have. That's not a guarantee, of course, but it means that things are very hopeful.

Those who have signed up recently have been great additions to the team and have helped enormously. So, as always, the door is open if anyone else wants to take part.

Dragon Fogel's streams are now midway through Chapter 4, and pretty much all issues before that point have been resolved. There are only twelve remaining unfinished levels -- most of them in varying states of partial completion and some nearly finished -- and an ever-shrinking list of levels we are looking for more testing on.

I know I've said a few times in the past that I hope we can get this finished in the next year, and each time that hasn't worked out, but this time I feel confident that we will be releasing some time in 2021. I don't know exactly when, but the current plan is that around Christmas we will look at where we are up to and decide on a tentative release date.
Have there been any updates since this?
10-23-2021 at 02:39 AM
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Dragon Fogel
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Nuntar has unfortunately been severely preoccupied. He expects things to get better for him in January. I'll leave it up to him if he wants to clarify the situation any more than that.

This has unfortunately resulted in a lack of main hold updates. I've been trying to get some of my own architecture work done to keep things moving in the meantime, though.

Because of this delay, it's still going to be a while before we finish. However, it's likely that early next year we'll make a shift from "finishing the levels" to "work on just getting the hold out even if we don't finish all the levels we wanted to do".

The good news is that the last year or so of work has greatly reduced the number of things that might get cut out. At this point, all but a few levels have either a full draft or something close to one. A lot of what still needs to be done is testing and making changes in response to feedback, and we've made good progress on the levels that needed the most changes.

It's good to hear that people are still interested, and I for one will be doing what I can to make sure that next year is when this finally goes out the door.
10-23-2021 at 03:17 AM
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Nuntar
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So... it's been a long time since I posted an update. :P I was hoping to be settled down in my new flat in January, but things look a lot longer than expected. However, I finally completed the purchase a month ago today, and two weeks ago got the internet connected and permanently moved in. So, it will be a lot easier for me to keep up with EP work from now on.

Dragon Fogel has been doing awesome work in the meantime, keeping up with streaming his playthrough of the entire hold, which has helped us to structure our feedback and editing so that more and more levels can be shunted to the "finished" pile and we can focus our energy on the remaining ones.

We have finally crossed the 95% barrier -- in fact our bar on the beta board is now at 95.25%. Fogel's streams are now more than halfway through Chapter 8, the last story-based chapter (although there is one more tier of content after this). Clean-up is going very well, and most of these levels are now finished -- which says a lot more about the skill and hard work of the original architects than it does about mine :P

At this point I don't want to speculate about a release date -- a lot depends on what happens as we transition from mostly clean-up to trying to build the rooms we need for unfinished levels. But I will keep posting here to keep everyone updated, and I might be doing some architecture streams soon.

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06-11-2022 at 12:50 AM
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Nuntar
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Today, we celebrate having kept this thing going, through all manner of circumstances and difficult times, for eight years.

And we are still going :) Our bar is up to 95.75% -- maybe we will pass Treacle Stew soon? -- and clean-up work has moved on from Chapter 8 to what we, internally, call "Tier S", the very final tier of optional levels. In fact we are almost halfway through this now.

I haven't been able to do architecture streams yet -- for one thing, I started a programming course in July that has been taking up most of my time -- but it's still a possibility for the future, especially after my course ends in October. We'll see.

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50th Skywatcher
09-13-2022 at 08:56 PM
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Nuntar
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We are making really good progress. Treacle Stew pulled ahead, but we have nearly caught up, with our bar now at 96.6%.

We now expect that by the end of this year, Dragon Fogel's testing streams will have gotten through all the complete levels, and those can be moved to the "absolutely finished, no more changes" pile. Then all that's left will be finishing what is now a small handful of incomplete levels.

I don't know exactly how things are going to go, and I've been wrong about things before, but it really does look like we can have this all wrapped up some time in 2023. Huge thanks to everyone for being so patient! :thumbsup

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11-08-2022 at 01:50 AM
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enzi666
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Really looking forward to it! :thumbsup
So much DROD content!

As I'm really bad with gel it'll probably be out months before I mastered Treacle Stew! :lol

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12-13-2022 at 02:59 AM
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Nuntar
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It's been a while since I posted an update, but Mike has brought the EP bar back, so I figured I should let everyone know where we are up to.

The bar is now at 96.8%. We went through a slow patch earlier this year as both Fogel and I had health problems, but we have been making steady progress, and Fogel's streams have now covered all our finished levels. We are still working on certain issues in clean-up (making some of the more problematic rooms more playable, weeding out breaks, designating rooms secret if necessary, checkpoint issues, and so on) -- but these are now down to a handful of rooms. We are on track to finish clean-up by the end of May.

After that, the next task is to complete the remaining unfinished levels. There are only a few of these, but they are very important levels for the project as a whole. It's exciting, but also very daunting, to be finally at the point of getting down to serious work on these final levels.

I'll keep updating this topic when we have more news, and thanks again to everyone for being so patient :thumbsup

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05-16-2023 at 03:26 PM
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Nuntar
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We've hit 98%. :thumbsup You may have noticed that the last few months have seen the bar move in irregular bursts; that's just because we are in an architecture phase, which makes it hard to quantify progress except when substantial chunks get completed. Progress has actually been fairly steady, and continues to be.

As of now, clean-up on the finished levels is done, and all that's left is to finish off the remaining unfinished levels (there are not many of these but some of them are awkward), then do feedback and clean-up on those, and a few miscellaneous small tasks like the last few level intro texts.

I know I've said a few times before that I hoped we could get the project finished within a year or so, and it hasn't worked out; but now I feel we can promise that we will get EP finished and submitted before the project's 10th anniversary (14 September next year). Maybe much sooner than that, depending on how things go from here, but that should be the outside limit.

Incidentally, Dragon Fogel has stopped EP streams, because all the remaining levels are endgame levels that we would like to keep under wraps. The streams have been extremely useful, and it's been an unfortunate but necessary side effect that most of the hold has been shown off publicly by now -- but we want there to be some surprises ;)

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10-30-2023 at 07:50 AM
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kikuchiyo
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Have you considered splitting the hold and releasing it in parts?

I mean, don't take this as an attack, but as I've read, this hold is going to have more than 2000 rooms - isn't that more than all Caravel's official releases, combined? Releasing the already complete first half or first third would give people something to play, while letting you concentrate on finishing the ending.

11-06-2023 at 08:03 PM
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disoriented
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kikuchiyo wrote:
Have you considered splitting the hold and releasing it in parts?

I've brought up this question, and the answer is yes, they have considered it, probably on more than one occasion. The decision was made to not split the hold (likely because it would involve a lot of work to restructure things).

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11-06-2023 at 08:14 PM
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Nuntar
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kikuchiyo wrote: Have you considered splitting the hold and releasing it in parts?

I mean, don't take this as an attack, but as I've read, this hold is going to have more than 2000 rooms - isn't that more than all Caravel's official releases, combined?

It isn't. :P The five main holds have a total of 2718 rooms, even before starting on Smitemaster's Selections. There is no chance at all of us reaching this number ;) It's still a bit up in the air because of our unfinished levels, but EP's final room count will almost certainly be between 2420 and 2450.

As for splitting the hold, it's really not possible because of its non-linear structure. Progression through the chapters is linear, as it has to be so that each one can build on previously introduced elements and ideas; but geographically, sometimes Beethro returns to earlier areas, similarly to how you have to return to Older Holding Vats and House in the Forest in TSS. The ways in which secrets and bonus levels are unlocked also depend on this interconnectivity, and we have taken advantage of it in other ways, for instance by adding interactions with characters if you return after triggering endgame progression flags.

It's certainly something we've considered as an emergency measure, when the end was a lot further away and it looked like we might have to resort to desperate measures to get anything released at all. By now, I am really confident that we won't need to fall back on anything short of our Plan A of bringing the hold to full completion and releasing it in the usual way.

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11-07-2023 at 02:07 PM
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Nuntar
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Happy Easter to all EP anticipators!

As you may have noticed, the bar has been moving, indicating that we are making steady progress on architecture for the remaining levels. At the same time, Dragon Fogel is going through the hold one last time, and I'm keeping up with feedback and changes, so that we can move as many levels as possible to a "locked down" status where we agree they will have no more changes and we won't even look at them again :P Right now, 124 out of 147 levels (including the first 108) are locked down, with another 12 scheduled to join them on 1 May.

It's too early to announce a release date for sure, but as I mentioned above, we are aiming for 14 September (the project's 10th anniversary). I'll keep posting updates as we get closer, but we are so close now, I really think we can make it :cool

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03-31-2024 at 09:00 PM
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Jacob
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No longer "hypothetical" I'd say!

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04-04-2024 at 11:01 PM
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Camwoodstock
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Nuntar wrote:
It's too early to announce a release date for sure, but as I mentioned above, we are aiming for 14 September (the project's 10th anniversary). I'll keep posting updates as we get closer, but we are so close now, I really think we can make it :cool

whoa, 10 years in development? truly, this is the A2XT Episode 2 of the DROD space... this is a joke with maybe like 3 people of overlap, shoutouts if you're one of them since i think one person here might actually know just off the cuff

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04-04-2024 at 11:40 PM
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Chaco
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Camwoodstock wrote:
truly, this is the A2XT Episode 2 of the DROD space...

Depends on how many ancient forum in-jokes and Obscure Lore gets included in the hold.

Maybe it'll be full of ketchup and puppies, rayguns, cherry pie, and the R key being too close to the W key. Or maybe it'll be more straight-laced than that. I'll simply have to wait and see. ;)

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04-04-2024 at 11:56 PM
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Camwoodstock
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Chaco wrote:
Camwoodstock wrote:
truly, this is the A2XT Episode 2 of the DROD space...

Depends on how many ancient forum in-jokes and Obscure Lore gets included in the hold.

Maybe it'll be full of ketchup and puppies, rayguns, cherry pie, and the R key being too close to the W key. Or maybe it'll be more straight-laced than that. I'll simply have to wait and see. ;)

to be fair, rayguns kinda already had their time in TSS. now, Beethro's Famous Motorcycle--that's something we'd like to see!

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04-05-2024 at 07:39 AM
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the duke nukem forever

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04-05-2024 at 09:42 AM
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averagemoe
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Camwoodstock wrote:
now, Beethro's Famous Motorcycle--that's something we'd like to see!

I've actually scripted a motorcycle. All I need is the tiles. I'd rotoscope them out of the fake Let's Play, but the archived version lost a lot of resolution.

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04-05-2024 at 08:35 PM
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slimm tom
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I guess I know how I'm going to spend my autumn nights this year. Good luck on the final stretch!
04-06-2024 at 03:02 PM
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luna1996
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Do you still sending beta invite? I definitly want to be invited! 10 years development really got me curious what it could become. I'm 100% newbee, known DROD last month and join CaravelNet last week.:thumbsup

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[Last edited by luna1996 at 04-09-2024 08:31 AM]
04-09-2024 at 08:15 AM
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Nuntar
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Hi, thank you for expressing interest!

Unfortunately we are not accepting new beta testers any more, for the reason stated above -- the majority of the hold's content is locked down now and we have agreed it won't have any more changes, so that we can focus entirely on the levels we still need to finish.

If you stick around though, after the hold is released (hopefully later this year!) we would be very interested to hear how the hold feels to you as a new player, given our goal of making it accessible (and hopefully instructive) to beginners.

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04-09-2024 at 01:38 PM
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luna1996
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AMAZING! I will be there when it out.

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04-09-2024 at 03:42 PM
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