Happy Thursday. Let’s just talk about the pink truck in the room; yes we’re still alive and also yes we’ve been a bit inactive as of late. At least, on the surface. Last week we spent a solid 7 days playing STL from scratch to gain some perspective as a “new” player. This gave us the opportunity to experience the game as a whole, identify where it needed the most balance, and discover any sneaky bugs still incognito. Combined with player feedback and analytics especially after the squish, we had a lot to unpack.
For starters, we found that while the recent squish was incredibly effective in making the game flow at a much better/approachable pace especially for new truckers, it had a somewhat predictable negative impact on other systems; buff timers felt too short, crate loot rolls were too generous, and upgrade prices went from a click fest to a brick wall in a matter of seconds.
In addition, while collectables were reworked on our end a bug prevented us from fully testing this — but on the positive side clovers actually matter now. The fleet was a blast, but leveling up new drivers was too expensive, they leveled too slowly, and while I was expecting a crate or two on level two, I wasn’t even close. Offline progress worked as intended but with the generous 4 hour cap and squish we effectively gave people the opportunity to nap through two levels without doing anything.
You get the idea. The (very) good news is that the vast majority of issues we found in a full playthrough is just a matter of tweaking some numbers. Buff timers should increase, fleet progress should be faster and cheaper, upgrade prices should scale more smoothly, loot should be a bit less bountiful, and so on. Bugs were minor, balance was easy to identify, and overall the game felt pretty fun. With all that out of the way, here’s a (subject to change) list of what we’ll be tweaking in the next patch:
- Reduce loot rolls
- Fix minigame unlock bug
- Fix scrap sync issue
- Increase base buff timer
- Flatten upgrade cost curve
- Reduce offline progress cap
- Reduce fleet level up cost
- Reduce fleet progress req.
- Fix collectables spawn bug
- Reduce goal req. (collectables)
- Reduce route cash rewards
- Reduce scrapyard upgrade costs
- Explore recipe sorting
- Explore “game over” screen
- Explore upgrade functionality
Like I said, this could change, but this is where we are. We know it’s been a bit since the last update and we appreciate your patience. While we don’t always drop personal details in the posts I should mention that Mike is currently moving and moving is literally the worst so he’s been a little preoccupied. Fortunately that gave me some time to play the hell out of STL and see what all this hype is about I mean it’s just a stupid idle RPG with a truck why does this game even exist. But since it does, we might as well try to make it a little better.
Dan & Mike