Version 0.45 - Polishing Things


Hello!

It's been a while, hasn't it?
Today I uploaded the 0.45 update. This is a prelude to 0.5 and contains no *new* story.
Instead, it polishes existing story, slows down the romance scenes quite a bit and makes more sense of things that were a little too random earlier. 

Cheetah & Camazule have been working hard, to say the least.

It will break your saves, however the Quick-Start feature is now much more polished, so don't hesitate to restart and use it to pick up where you were.

However, it's still quite the massive update.

I tried writing a proper devlog, but with the sheer number of new things it turned out to be a mess.

So here's a list of changes. I'm certain I forgot a few things.


  • Rewritten the code to be more compact and future proof. One line expressions and smoother transitions. As well as easier updates, writing the script for further chapters will be easier. Essentially the game script has been rewritten from the ground up and structured better, as well as formatted better.
  • Animated sprites, all characters and expressions now blink.
  • Added 6 new characters. These are not shown yet, but they'll all be in the next update.
  • A ton of new songs by Camazule.
  • Redid the Quick-Start feature to be better.
  • Added a song indicator. Hover over (or press) the musical note in the top left to see the song and if it's by Camazule or sourced royalty-free.
  • Redone the Snow animation and graphics to not crash your phones. Should be very smooth now.
  • Added custom transitions. [Thanks Demi / Bara-Diction!]
  • New animations and transforms, the game should now feel much more cinematic.
  • A lot of smaller art fixes. This includes mostly outfits for characters, like having someone wear their tie *properly*, or adding a belt. Or giving Charles a coat.
  • New expressions for the main cast. John now has 8 expressions (he does not get to use them all in this update.) while Charles has 11 and Mike somewhere inbetween.
  • Added a Splash Screen between chapters.
  • Animated the main menu with a new background (Thanks Shin!)
  • Added new backgrounds, courtesy of Cheetah.
  • Moved everything to composite images, meaning despite there being a ton of images (1,4k total defined images), they do not take a massive amount of storage space.
  • Fixed a strange android bug (the menu positioning, some of you might remember) [THANKS DRAKES!]
  • Fixed a lot of android visuals [Thanks Shin for testing!]
  • Proofreading of the story thusfar, and editing.
  • Added a Gallery (so far this is unused).
  • All placeholder graphics have been replaced with their own graphics.
  • Added a memory function which will be properly introduced in the next chapter, this is related to the main story.
  • Added Names to your saves so you can keep the different routes apart.
  • Added side images
  • Optimized the file formats of art and music assets to make sure the game isnt massive in file size.
  • Added an Android Icon
  • Added a pre-splash
  • A new route selection screen at the end of Chapter 2.
  • Added Linux and Mac versions

All the best.
If you have any questions or encounter any bugs, please leave a comment on the itch page or on the discord server.

Files

DistantTravels-0.45-pc.zip 327 MB
Apr 03, 2021
com.distanttravels-45-universal-release.apk 332 MB
Apr 03, 2021
DistantTravels-0.45-mac.zip 310 MB
Apr 03, 2021
DistantTravels-0.45-linux.tar.bz2 315 MB
Apr 03, 2021

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Comments

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(+2)

Hey there, great story however the recent changes did a number on my eyesight.  Please keep accessibility in mind in regards to graphic/visual updates.  Right from the launch from the game I am already having a hard time reading text on the screen.  This being a visual novel style of game that's very important.

The launch screen is what prompted me to write this comment.  Love the new animated space travel background.  Hate the color of the menu and the music note.  Its too close in hue of the background and needs a stronger contrast.  I will give props on the animation though because without that moving behind the text I actually wouldn't have been able to notice the words at all.  Even moving into the actual story itself the musical note I only am able to see it during certain scenes with higher contrast.

Some common ways to improve readability for us with tired/poor/colorblind visual impairments are: Use a brighter color, give the text a brighter stroke/outline, give the whole menu a black/translucent background to make further bring the colors apart contrast wise.  

Also, not that you've done it (thankfully) but for the love of all, please please do not ever use a crazy font for any large part of text you're expecting your readers to read.  IE you know the actual story.  They're acceptable for things like titles, headers etc.  Never for your main body of text.   Again you're not part of that group of developers but since I was talking about readability thought I'd mention it.  

Often typography and accessibility are never thought about but are a complete blocker to many when reading is the main part of this genre.  They just happen to be a passion of mine from previous employment and my own impairments. 

(+1)

As a side: The OpenDyslexic font in the settings actually is everything that I mentioned regarding the font choice.  Hah.  I just noticed the prompt in game to use it to make things easier to read.  In fact it was way worse!

(2 edits) (+1)

A font replacement and even font scale change isn't impossible; 

But I'd like to know what's actually needed as such to make it work well.
The first splash aside, what kind of font would you like to see? And would a font size slider help at all?

To clarify, what I want to do is an accessibility toggle; adding what you suggested - A transparent-ish black background to menus and anything with text, increasing the brightness of text.  A brighter outline on the text is also fairly straight forward to add, I believe.

As for the musical note, I'll rework it most likely as I've gotten some feedback on the look of it. Do you have any other suggestions that'd make it easier for you?

Edit: To add to this, it would be super helpful if you could try and describe or let me know which parts were easier to read/see and which ones were more difficult, so I can get a better reference point for improvement.

(+1)

Looking further into this;

I'll be updating the color of the faded grey/whiteish text on the chapter screens and the disclaimers. This goes for the quick menu and the music note as well.

For the menu I've made the color brigther and I'll be adding a transparent 50% black background as a menu toggle to the parts I can find without any type of background.

Thank you for taking the time to research and test things.  To answer your question here is a website that helps in determining if you've got enough contrast in regards to text:

Contrast Ratio: Easily calculate color contrast ratios. Passing WCAG was never this easy! (contrast-ratio.com)

That should link you to it prefilled with the background and text color of the splash screen before the changes you just mentioned (I took a screenshot and grabbed the color values for them).  That number in the middle is what is important.  While 3+ barely meets the min contrast ratio, it is only a pass in the regards to the font sizes that are larger.  According to WCAG that is 18pt font size and above or 14pt bold font and above.  The magic number you want is above 4.5.  If you change the color for the text (field on the right) to just plain white (#ffffff or just type white) you'll see that number jump very high.

21 is the best in the contrast ratio. 4.5 is min for most cases of visual impairments in regards to contrast impairments and colorblindness.

I can't tell you what font/color to use as its your vision.  All I can help is guide you to make informed choices.  Higher contrast is always better and covers most impairments.  Just the fact that you took the time to read/adjust shows a lot in your character.  Thank you very much.


For the a highly detailed explanation in this regard:  Understanding Success Criterion 1.4.3: Contrast (Minimum) (w3.org)

If that's too much (it is even for me), the key take away is this one paragraph:

Benefits

People with low vision often have difficulty reading text that does not contrast with its background. This can be exacerbated if the person has a color vision deficiency that lowers the contrast even further. Providing a minimum luminance contrast ratio between the text and its background can make the text more readable even if the person does not see the full range of colors. It also works for the rare individuals who see no color.

If you mouse over the big number in the middle it talks about meeting AA and AAA requirements.  Just know that AA the minimum for most people.  AAA covers almost everyone.  Only very select cases does it not meet the needs of everyone.  Try to hit AAA if possible (4.5 ratio, also written as 4.5:1)  AA as a secondary (3, also written as 3:1)  That :1 added is basically black text/white background.  Best possible contrast.

(+1)

The gay, approved =3=/~

(+1)

Smooches~