Welcome to version 1.1, the Field Guide Update! We’ve watched, listened and tested throughout the summer and into the fall, and we’re ready to present this quality-of-life update packed with new features, new ways to play, boatloads of performance improvements and usability updates, and more! Let’s dive right into what’s new.
Play Your Way!
You can now choose between two different play styles when starting a new game: “Wanderer” or “Adventurer”.
While we were of course very proud of the game as it has been, we’d occasionally get feedback that some felt it was too hard in spots, causing spikes in an otherwise chill game. Others would chime in that the game was overall somewhat easy, and that the crafting system felt superfluous. Now you have a choice! “Wanderer” for those preferring a focus on exploration and story, and “Adventurer” for those wanting more of a balance between combat, exploration and story. The latter choice, with its added challenge, will also put more of an importance on the crafting system, as enemies will be tougher and try to attack the player more often, as opposed to mostly just focusing Spritelings.
We hope this new choice of play style will give more focused experiences, and have something for everyone. It can also be changed at any time, so if you don’t like your choice and want to switch, or just want to change temporarily, you’re free to do so!
One of the most common pieces of design feedback we’ve gotten, both pre-release and post, was “can you give me a way to just call all my Spritelings back to me? I sometimes lose them and don’t realize it.” To be frank, we were stubborn about this for a long time! We felt like it was in the DNA of the genre to manage your herd, and be smart with your time about re-gathering lost Spritelings up if needed. But we’re here to say: we were wrong! So yea, this feature has been a long time coming, and we’re glad to finally deliver it :) Introducing Recall Waystones!
At these magical stones scattered throughout the world, you can spend Glint to warp all Spritelings in that area back to you. The cost of the Waystone differs slightly between Wanderer and Adventurer styles, but in both cases is balanced to be pretty friendly. Sorry it was so long coming everyone! And thanks to all the fans who suggested a feature like this to us
“Wait for Night”
Another oft-requested feature was some way to jump to nighttime, since there are a few night-specific tasks and puzzles throughout the game. We heard you, and it’s here!
New Accessibility Features
We’ve added a handful of new settings to make the game more accessible to all:
Vacuum Motion: Toggles extra camera motion on/off while vacuuming.
Hold To Throw: Allows the user to hold LT (or left mouse) to throw Spritelings while aiming.
Throw Sensitivity: Adjusts how sensitive Spriteling throw-aiming is, both in terms of pushing the arc in and out, and rotating.
High Contrast: Greyscales the game except for characters, enemies, Spritelings, and important interactable elements.
Reworked & Rebalanced
We’ve smoothed out a few of the game’s quirks, some important spots we always wanted to polish more and now finally had the time for!
Buff Puffs: Added a mini cutscene that quickly introduces the relationship between Buff Puffs and Knightcaps, the first time you encounter them in Sunken Grotto.
Finding Shiverlings: A new sign has appeared in Frostfields that hints at where the Shiverlings will eventually be found, when it’s time.
Length of Day: Slightly increased the length of a full day, to give a little more exploration time. We've wanted to do this for awhile but didn't want to exacerbate the problem of having to occasionally wait around for night-based tasks. Now, with “Wait for Night”, we can finally do it safely!
Healing: Until now, consuming a healing item would always heal both PCs. This was actually never our ideal design, we just ran out of time to create the UI necessary to pick who to heal. So now you’ll be able to choose which PC the healing item applies to. While this does change the balance of healing a bit, it helps support the challenge of the Adventurer play style. Meanwhile, Wanderer will be largely unaffected since health management doesn’t play a big role in that play style.
We’ve also continued to tweak and tune the balance of all the game’s systems, from combat to items to resource drops to economy. This will make for a better, more seamless experience across the board. For a full list of what was adjusted, see the “Balance Notes” section below.
The Map has been reworked so that the areas don’t appear so spread out from each other, resulting in a tighter, easier-to-navigate layout. Dotted paths also appear now between areas when respective transitions are taken. All told, the Map now has a more cohesive look-and-feel to it!
Additionally, we’ve added a handy new option to refocus the player on the map, and fine-tuned the feel of panning and zooming.
Fun Random Stuff
Some new things we just wanted to do for fun, more for ourselves than anything - we hope people enjoy them as much as we do!
A new "Going to Sleep" music jingle plays when you sleep at tents or in the Grove.
Rubbish now has a full range of animations, with brand new sound design to go along with them.
Added a couple new lines of dialogue when Wake and Kirby talk to Brussel in the Grove.
CATS!!! You can now pet Litterbox’s cats. Finally.
A Smoother Experience
We’ve left no stone unturned in our hunt to make the game as performant as possible! With massive performance overhauls and lengthy optimization refactors (sounds fancy, right?) we’ve created a smoother, more stable experience for all.
To give a little peek behind the curtain: getting a giant herd of 60+ Spitelings to follow two player characters around (with enemies and a large environment, etc.) at a decent frame rate on Switch was certainly a challenge! When we started the process, the game could drop to 10-12 FPS with even a medium-sized herd; now even larger herds can stay at a pretty stable 30 FPS, all the way through to the end. While The Wild at Heart might give off the appearance of a cutesy little 2D indie game, there are quite a few complexities behind the scenes that made porting to Switch have its fair share of difficulties. And while there could always be more improvements made, we’re proud of the way the game now plays there. A big thanks to our partners at Knights of Unity for handling the bulk of the porting for Switch and PS4, and helping us with the performance improvements.
For anyone curious about some of the specific updates we made surrounding all this, see the “Optimization Notes” section below.
Spritelings thrown at a Faefly but miss will return back to the player, instead of just standing around.
Additional text effects to various cutscenes and dialogues throughout the game.
New “destroy” effect to Faefly Hives.
For certain heavy carryables that require the use of a certain Spriteling type, we’ve tinted the UI of that carryable to the Spriteling’s color, as a little tell.
Buff Puffs buff Knightcaps way more, to incentivize the proper tactics. Combined with the new tutorial mentioned above, it makes for a more fun fight.
The worldspace UI on the big southern boulder in Central Deep Woods pops from further away, since you approach from the back and need to see it from further away.
Added a sound for when Brussel poofs away into the tree during the intro.
Removing option to recycle Stash items with Rubbish - items must come from Bag. (This was always the intent, just finally getting around to fixing it!)
New header icon for the Recycler UI.
Adjusting the positioning and visibility of a couple Lootbacks, so they don’t get lost behind scenery as much.
The Lunaling dance area now gets cleared of all Spritelings before the dance starts. Wake and Kirby also move off to the side and sit down.
Updating the night boulder hint sign to be slightly more obvious in its riddle.
Big audio mix pass.
Fixed a few unlocalized headers in the credits.
Fixed some snow ground decal flickering in Central Deep Woods.
Fixed a header overlap issue in Stash's Info overlay, if it was too long (like Chips).
Fixed carry paths being visible over water in Map.
Fixed issues of button prompts on the Map not being consistent sizes.
Fixed some loc overlap issues on Map.
Fixed a little annoying thing in Heartlands where trying to vac the main whirly from the ramp side, before the one-sided wall is down, would be obstructed by the wall, even though visibly it looked like it should work.
Fixed a bug where Wispwagon Shrine door didn’t visually stay open when returning to the scene after completing the mural.
Fixed issue where silhouette shader was happening on ground bits in Central Deep Woods, causing the PCs’ feet to clip through the floor.
Fixed some text spacing on KBM prompts in Recycle UI.
Fixed Kirby squeeze logs layering in certain situations.
Fixed SFX for farewell hug being slightly off.
Fixed Kirby Statues not having correct SFX loop.
Fixed a longtime issue where Recall Tonic would also warp back the Passive's herd, without resetting them, so they would be broken/frozen.
Fixed longtime issue where non-following Passive would incorrectly break out of Sit anim if the Player initiated dialogue or a cutscene.
Fixed issue where Kirby would sometimes do a cringe-face if she was following Wake when he started vacuuming.
Fixed an issue where Faefly motion sometimes wouldn’t pause during cutscenes.
Preventing Spritelings from rebounding off a defeated Faefly, before they poof away.
Fixed issue in Wake's backyard where camera bounds could rarely get messed up.
Fixed issue where the ground under the big Luna boulder in Wispwagon flickers.
Fixed issue with the achievement "Look Ma, No Hands!" would not unlock if attempting to solve it using the Separate command.
Fixed issue where only the top halves of Crafting tabs were clickable with mouse.
Fixed issue in Crystalfall Coast where the music wouldn’t fade cleanly from daytime to night, only during the post-game.
Adjusted some carry paths in certain areas to avoid awkward Spriteling position-snapping when crossing bridges.
Fixed issue where walking along the south wall at the east exit of the Sunken Grotto would not trigger the scene transition.
Fixed issue where you could leave all your Spritelings in Central Deep Woods before visiting Grey Coat at the Catafalque, then return to the Grove, then not be able to leave again because of the message reminding you to take Spritelings with you.
Fixed issue where Spritelings weren’t playing their “Land” animation if landing from a vacuum fling.
Fixed rare issue where the game could soft freeze if you have the Crafting menu open when a Grove building piece is warped away.
Fixed issue of lilypad bridge popping in/out of view in Central Deep Woods near camp when high on cliff.
Fixed issue when meeting Kirby, after she steps on the plate to reach Wake, where Wake's vacuum effect would continue playing through the whole cutscene if it was already playing when the cutscene began.
Fixed issue when meeting Kirby, if a Spriteling is carrying an item when the reunite cutscene starts, the Spriteling becomes unresponsive after the cutscene.
Fixed Passive sometimes running in place after the player has stopped moving.
Fixed “Push Camera” prompt in Controls menu having one arrow pointing the wrong way, when displaying KBM controls.
Adding touch damage to Blazeblops.
Increasing touch damage on Bitterblops, Blazeblops, and Blazeblop fire trails (Adventurer only).
Rebalancing heal amounts from Meals.
Lowering, just a little, some of the loose resource amounts in a few areas.
Lowering the spawn chance of Loose Parts from Junk Piles and some Trash Bags.
Lowering some Mesmerite drops in a couple places.
Slightly adjusting Burly Burr drop chance.
Upping Beastie Guts drops for some of the beefier enemies.
Lowering Burly Burr drops from Frostflies and Frostfly Hives.
Lowering Honeycomb drops from Faefly Hives.
Power Tonic increases damage by 100% (instead of 50%).
Sturdy Tonic grants Spriteling invulnerability for 15 seconds (instead of 20).
Lowering Gumblop bounty requirement to 10 (from 25).
Garbage collection cleanup throughout the code base.
Spreading Spriteling “Follow” update over several frames, since it gets expensive with a large herd.
Don’t update offscreen Spine animations (that aren't PCs).
Caching a bunch of variables and object references, so they don’t have to be null-checked anew so frequently.
Moving velocity clamping off of Job System.
Moving grounded check off of Job System.
Reducing overhead of updating tweens.
Cleaning up Spriteling follow logic a bit, for less expensive update.
Optimizing Game Time (GTime) ticking code, and caching some updates.
Converting some properties over to variable fields.
Preloading more VFX into the pool, for less on-the-fly instantiating .
Caching more tweens throughout the code base, since killing tweens is expensive.
More minor efficiency fixes.