Construction gameplay is about to get a lot more involved…

JULY

We’re now 2 months into the release of Landlord’s Super. After spending a month on support and bug fixing, our focus has redirected towards producing the first major update for the game; the Tenants System.
Before we cover what this update will entail, an important statement from MinskWorks. 

We’d like to use this platform to say Black lives matter. Over the last month it’s been our aim to boost voices we think need to be most heard right now. Some of the voices worth sharing are below, but there’s much more that can be done :

The Quintessential Construction Simulator

TENANTS UPDATE

The Tenants update is the current focus of the game. This update aims to bring a much more involved construction system, a refinded focus on how the player earns money, and the ability to rent out and maintain your property to varying tenants. 

There currently isn’t an estimated arrival date, but I can share some of the details of this update below.

ENHANCED CONSTRUCTION GAMEPLAY

As the tenants entering the world of Landlord’s Super can degrade the players property – forcing them to be called out to fix a variety of issues – deeper changes to the construction mechanics were needed. A brief insight into some of these changes below.

Roofing

Roofing has been completely reworked. Players can now remove and replace every single tile and wooden plank on the roof. Starting damage to the roof is also now arranged differently for each players game.

Foundations

Every foundation on the property can now be destroyed by using the sledgehammer, and replaced with a new foundation mixed by the player. Foundation visuals also now blend in together a lot better than they did.

No-Fines Concrete

Players can now mix No-Fines concrete which can then be used to repair or replace the outer walls of the house. 

A new location to store your tools and supplies.

TOOL SHED & SUPPLY YARD

Putting the property onto the market opened up another issue, what to do with all the players excess supply and loose tools? They couldn’t be left on the property with the tenant, and they couldn’t be left strewn across the street either…
To solve this problem, we’ve introduced an additional area where the player can store their tools and supplies. This unfortunately incurs an additional loan from Mitchell, who will provide the land for the Tool Shed & Supply Yard. Though, as a sweetener, whenever the player has a tenant move into the property, Mitchell will get one of his boys to gather up any tools or supplies lying around, and have them placed neatly within the supply yard without the player ever having to lift a finger. (That means more time down the pub).

FUN EXTRAS

While beautifying the notebook, we added Cement, Mortar & No-Fines mixture tracking. Each time the player creates a new stronger mixture of one of these compounds, details of the ratio will be added to the notebook. This allows players to refer to their own ingenuity when mixing a compound, and helps them track the strongest mixture ratios. 

Also, Greg thought a lot of players will be curious to see what their tenants are doing once they’d moved in. So to make players feel creeping for peeking through tenant windows, glass now fogs from player breath. Players will also begin panting if they have been running and jumping about a lot. Steamy fun. You can view this here.

LANDLORD’S SUPER IN MVC

Landlord’s Super appeared in this months issue of MVC Develop! You can view the article here.

LANDLORD’S SUPER IN WIREFRAME

Landlord’s Super appears in this months issue of Wireframe mag! You can order your copy here.

JALOPY IN TOP GEAR ESPANA

alopy got a mentioned in Top Gear España. You can view the article here. It’s in some really great company and is an honour to be featured. 

COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHT

Courtesy of Falphaugh, enjoy a space Laika. 

Thanks again for your continued support. If you haven’t already, be sure to follow Ruta & Greg on twitter, and to join the discord!

Till next month,
Ruta & Greg

Landlord’s Super; best enjoyed with a sprinkle of ingenuity

Note: This feature is taken from our monthly newsletter. As such, the content included is a month out-of-date. Though the following states the game releases tomorrow, Landlord’s Super is available in Steam Early Access right now.

June

We released a game last month. After 26 patches, containing hundreds of fixes and changes, let’s take a look at how this first month went.

First though, I must say thank you to the Yogscast for believing and supporting the project, all the journalists that covered ups, all the influencers that made content on us and a huge thanks to Seb for the community support. I owe you all a beer once this pandemic is done. 

The Quintessential Construction Simulator

There was a request for the key layout on twitter, so here’s a reference for anyone else interested

Landlord’s Super Release Overview

We released a game into Early Access last month. The second game under the MinskWorks moniker. For those unaware, Landlord’s Super is a “Quintessential Construction Simulator” set during the polarising years of 1980’s Britain. 

Expectations

Knowing the niche appeal of a British construction simulator, I expected Landlord’s Super to do markedly smaller units than our previous game, Jalopy. But then I never expected Jalopy to be anything more than a portfolio piece, so it’s success is something I’m still wary of. Using the established wisdom that your launch wishlist’s convert to 45% of your first month’s sales. With a launch price of $19.99 (10% discount), I had the goal in my mind of aiming for 10,000 wishlist’s before launch.

Wishlists

The barometer I opted to use for predicting success was Steam wishlist numbers. The main reason for this is there just isn’t much else you can work off to help predict how well a game will do.

Two weeks out from launch, we sat at about 4,000 wishlists. This meant we’d likely be losing money on the project long-term.

On launch day, following a great trailer, great pickup on the social medias, great influencer campaign by Yogscast and great traditional outreach by Honest PR, we managed to hit over 11,000 wishlist’s. Thus, the project had surpassed our internal target.

At close to 70%, our first month wishlist to sales ratio has been much, much stronger than expected. I think this probably indicates that the game has a larger appeal than the current niche we’re targeting. Especially considering our actual wishlist conversion rate is about as expected.

There’s been a lot of talk about the value of predicting sales through wishlist’s. With people often citing Goodhart’s law (“When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.” – which, appropriately, was used to criticise Margaret Thatcher’s monetary policy). Whilst the established guidance of a 45% sales prediction from wishlists numbers was off for Landlord’s (Incredibly in the more positive direction). I still think it’s a valid metric to use. Like I mentioned above, what else do we have at our disposal?

Higher Price Point

One aspect I wanted to cover was why I priced the game so high. First, development of Landlord’s Super is planned to be continued for a few more years. I wanted to make sure I could support this financially without having to resort to price increases down the line. We raised the price of Jalopy by a dollar when we exited Early Access and the review score hit was significant enough that I wouldn’t want to launch lower than our target price again. The messaging of Jalopy’s price increase was consistent and clear but did little to prevent a backlash. 

Another reason is that, while of course we want to make sales, we’re really not ready to handle support for much more than cheerleaders and the enthusiast crowd right now.

Jalopy Audience Conversion

Due to a dispute with Jalopy’s publisher, we have very little access to that audience. We launched with no announcement on Jalopy’s store page, and no real access to our previous fans. Couple that with the fact Landlord’s is entirely new assets and code, we were for all intents and purposes starting from scratch again.

Regardless of not being able to access our previous audience didn’t concern me much for several reasons. Firstly, any goodwill we had built up from developing Jalopy had largely been burnt by the publisher’s actions. Before launch, we tried try to clear this up.

Thankfully, none of this seemed to matter much.

Conclusion

(I feel like I’m back in school writing a scientific paper with how I’ve structured this.)
 Landlord’s Super has been a bigger success than I hoped or predicted. With the benefit of keeping the player-base small enough that I can reply to everyone’s support emails and even some steam reviews. We’re in a position now where the game has hit the ground running, and I can continue to add content, breathing more life into the project as it develops.

Remember that this is just the start. I’d like to again thank everyone for their understanding and patience with this project, but most importantly thank you for your support. 

Community Highlight

(from left to right) Einin discorving their own free build glitch, Jonthefuzz with a cryptic meme, tuinkers with a visual representation of gameplay and Seals3051 with probably our first meme post launch. Thank you all for the content!

Remember to Join the Discord to get involved.

Jalopy A Story in Three Parts

Beginning.
Middle.
End.

Thanks again for your continued support. If you haven’t already, be sure to follow Ruta & Greg on twitter, and to join the discord!

Till next month,
Ruta & Greg

Steam_Bridge
Landlord’s Super now available in Steam Early Access

Note: This feature is taken from our monthly newsletter. As such, the content included is a month out-of-date. Though the following states the game releases tomorrow, Landlord’s Super is available in Steam Early Access right now.

May

While we’re still in lock-down over here in the UK, MinskWorks is a part of those lucky few still able to do their jobs from home. This means the release of Landlord’s Super into Early Access can still go ahead tomorrow. We wanted to extend our thanks to the key-workers carrying us through this unprecedented global pandemic. It is because of you all that we’re able to continue working and living in safety. Thank you.

We’d also like to thank everyone for promoting the game. Special mentions towards the Yogscast, Fourth Floor and Honest PR. All the influencers who have created great content, and helped with bug fixes and suggestions. With all your work we’ve managed to hit our internal wishlist’s milestone. So thank you!

 

 

The Quintessential Construction Simulator

 

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A white van trundles through the undergrowth

 

Landlord’s Super Releases in Steam Early Access Tomorrow!

Can you believe that the day is almost here!? Landlord’s Super enters Steam Early Access tomorrow!

While the game is very much playable, and contains a glut of quality-of-life features, I’d like to take this time to remind people that this is a work-in-progress. While you can renovate and repair the property. Purchase tools. Order supplies. Load a wheelbarrow full of bricks. Get drunk or wash dishes. There are still major features missing. The Rental System, in which you lease the property out to potential tenants – ensuring to attend to their needs, isn’t included. There are no driveable vehicles. And earning money is limited to one job.

While we can give you our personal promise that these features are coming with future updates. We ask that people only buy into the Early Access of Landlord’s Super if they are patience and understanding. Game development can be a precarious effort. Things can (and often do) take much longer than first anticipated. Features, once implemented can be thrown out if they aren’t working. Ideas can be dropped. If you understand this process, then I believe that whatever form the final game takes, the journey will be worthwhile.

With that said, the game is bigger and better than we ever thought, and we can’t wait to see you all down the Anchor!

 

 

 

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Landlord’s Super Development Road-map

Landlord’s Super Development Roadmap

This is the road-map we’re sharing with content creators. The column on the left side of the road is the current development road-map. Keep in mind that this can and will change. It is used only as a visual explanation as to where we intend to work towards.

For more accurate and up-to-date access to what I’m working on, Join the Discord and check out the #Change-Log channel under Landlord’s Super.

 

 

Landlord’s Super Development Road-map

How much will Landlord’s Super cost?

$19.99, £15.49, 16,79€ with a launch discount of 10%

Do owners of Jalopy get a discount?

Unfortunately, as  Landlord’s Super and Jalopy have different publishers, we can’t offer any discount to owners of Jalopy.

What is the goal of Landlord’s Super?

Players are tasked with renovating a dilapidated, old property for the purposes of selling or renting out to tenants. While attending to the needs of their tenants, players can use the rental income to improve the property with hopes of attracting more lucrative renters. A clearer representation of this gameplay loop can be seen here. Additionally, players can ignore the core gameplay loop, and enjoy the open-world folly’s found within West Berklands.

Is there more than one property?

As with Jalopy choosing to explore how deep we can make one car, Landlord’s wants to explore the depth of gameplay within one property. With the focus on one property, this allows us to explore deep content, such as brick by brick placement, renting, plasterboard installation and more, rather than development being focused on setting up more instances of what would only be repeated content.

Can we build the house from the ground up?

No. We originally tried this approach but showcasing in summer 2019 showed there was little interest in the concept. Players were quickly confused and annoyed at the slow and punishing concept. In order for this concept to work, we would have had to fall back onto already established building systems found in games like Rust and Conan Exiles. As Minskworks is a tiny indie developer, we cannot try to compete with juggernauts like these, and instead need to focus on niche and interesting gameplay concepts.

Okay, will there be a free build mode where we can build the house from the ground up?

Probably not a separate mode. It’s more likely I’ll add cheats that allow you to ignore things like energy & money.

Multiplayer?

No. Minskworks is a tiny developer also lacking any experience with multiplayer game design or programming. If we were to try adding this it would probably be a disaster.

Mod Support?!

No, again for the same reasons as above.

Will Landlord’s Support my language?

Probably yes, it’s English only for the moment as the script files are still being worked on. Once the game is closer to being content complete, we’ll begin to add more language support.

Can I translate Landlord’s to my language?

Yes! We used community localisation for Jalopy and it’s something we want to look into again.

Is there a feature road-map?

Yes, the current road-map can be found over here. Though this is subject to change.

When will Landlord’s Super leave Early Access?

Once the game features the core rental gameplay loop, a complete story arch, achievements and trading cards and is as bug free as possible. There is currently no accurate timeline for this. Leaving Early access will not mean the game is no longer updated.

 

 

Landlord’s Super Youtube Content

If you’re struggling to hold your excitement, there’s various gameplay videos up on Youtube.

 

 

 

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Jalopy in Eurogamer

Greg was by Jack Yarwood over on Eurogamer. The piece covers the backlash aimed at him and Jalopy when Excalibur announced Road to Guangdong – A project he had no involvement in or knowledge of till it’s announcement. Yet received a large swathe of criticism for.

While it’s a great peace that looks to educate players on the difference between a Publisher & Developer, it leaves out a lot that has yet to be said on this whole saga. For legal reasons we’re still not confident in sharing these details.

 

Thanks again for your continued support. If you haven’t already, be sure to Wishlist Landlord’s Super, follow Ruta & Greg on twitter, and join the discord!

Till next month,
Ruta & Greg

 

 

The developer of Jalopy is proud to introduce you to the world of their next game. Coming to Steam Early Access April 30th

 

The Quintessential Construction Simulator

 

Landlord’s Super, is a First-Person Life-Simulation set in the murky midlands of the British Isle during the polarising years of the 1980s. Build stuff, get drunk, build stuff while getting drunk. Your choice.

 

 

Explore the Fictional County of West Berklands.

Interact with a diverse cast of characters, during the polarising years of the 1980s. An honest insight into ‘English Culture’.

The Quintessential Construction Simulator.

Order supplies! Mix your own cement! Assemble scaffolding to reach high places! Build walls brick by brick! The most ambitious construction gameplay ever seen!

Plan & Execute

Carefully manage your time and energy around time of day, weather, seasons, world events and your own well-being. Some days it’s better to soak yourself down the pub than risk working in the rain.

Speak the Queen’s English!

The game is localised in both American English and British colloquialisms.

 

 

Landlord’s Super, has been in development for close to 2 years already. If you’ve been following us since the announcement, you’ll have been with us since we added dynamic seasons & weather. Shared with you the Motors of Landlord’s Super. Were with us when we expanded the open-world of West Berklands to 20x it’s original size. And by our side when we delved into the inspirations and influences around the game. Thank you. While there’s still plenty of work ahead of us, we’re really grateful you stuck by us and we can’t wait to get you into the game on 30th April. Wishlist if you haven’t already, and we’ll see you down The Anchor tavern – it opens at 12:00 by the way.

Early Access coming 30th April.
Wishlist on Steam Now

 

 

An old Bromich 1100 trundles over Sheffingham bridge. Not here to stay, it is only passing by.

April

Dear reader. We wanted to start off by offering a message of support during these unprecedented times. Whether you or your family are working on the front lines of the NHS, or holding up the logistical backbone of the country delivering packages or food, simply collecting the bins, or ushering people at the local Tescos, thank you. Your determination and courage are inspiring and we feel more indebted to your services than ever before.

As I am not a key worker, and certainly no expert in the current times, I won’t pretend to offer much in the way of medical advice or attempt to predict at what length this pandemic will last. All I can presume is that our best path to recovery is through self-isolating. So allow me then, dear reader, to offer you the words of Dumas. Pertinent as always but even more so during these times.

-Greg

“There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life.
“Live, then, and be happy, beloved children of my heart, and never forget, that until the day God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these two words, ‘Wait and Hope.”

― Alexandre Dumas

Stay home, save lives.

 

The Quintessential Construction Simulator

 

As clear as it gets in gloomy West Berklands

 

 

Click above to see the latest boozy gameplay footage!

 

Banned for Peeing in the Pub!

Remember those things called Pubs? Often deemed the anchor of a community, they were social hubs for the working folk. Packed with things to do. You could share a drink with your friends, watch the footy on the TV, play drinking games with the darts.  Yes, after a long old week of work, a trip down the local tavern would really revitalise ones spirit. Though you’d pay the price should you over indulge too much…

In Landlord’s Super, we look back to this time. What better way to unwind after a hard days graft, than heading down to the Anchor Tavern to see what the “craic” is.

 

 

 

Click above to see the latest Building gameplay footage!

 

Bricklaying Gameplay

“I needed to start work on the house, and I saw someone had left some bricks over by the Anchor Tavern. I though cor’, my lucks changing. So I set off to fetch them and began patching up the brickwork on my house. There were a couple hiccups, and some mental drivers about, but I think all in all I did a splendid job.”

You can watch my progress here.

 

 

A rag-andbone man with his cart.

Rag-and-bone Man

Rag-and-bone men typically lived in extreme poverty, collects unwanted household items and sells them to merchants. [wikipedia]
Though perhaps considered a relic of Britain’s past, due to the soaring price of scrap metal, the blow of the rag-and-bone man’s horn can still be heard amongst the morning haze of some UK communities.

We’ve added a Rag and Bone Man to the world of Landlord’s Super. He’ll collect any junk you leave in your Skip then pay you for it the following day.
We wanted a more involving way to earn money in Landlord’s Super that wasn’t so reliant on the Job Centre being open.
The rag-and-bone man system also adds a really great loop of tottering about Sheffingham, looking for scrap to chuck into your Wheel Barrow to be taken to your Skip to sell. Who knows, maybe in the future you’ll be collecting scrap in your car to take home to sell, sounds awfully familiar though…

In-game receipt from Sheffingham’s own rag-and-bone man

 

 

Discord Change List

So during Jalopy, I used Toggle to record all hours working on the game. I only ever ran the timer while working on the game, which helped discipline me and keep my time focused towards actually making the game and not farting around on Twitter. It’s a great approach that I can highly recommend (if you like feeling that you have a manager watching over your every action), with the added benefit of being able to view all your tasks broken down at the end of a project.

For Landlord’s Super, we’ve been working from the Yogscast’s offices. Being surrounded by other developers meant that the accountability factor wasn’t really needed anymore, and so the timer has slowly lost it’s purpose. I also wanted a change of setup. So to achieve that, I’ve set up a Discord bot that posts each SVN commit I push, automatically.

This should also highlight to people what I’m currently working on with little need for me to interact. I hope it also quells any fears that the game is DEAD, but we’ll see!

Join the Discord if you haven’t already, to check it out.

Discord bot giving you all the insider info.

 

 

 

Tamworth Boxing Club needs your help

Tamworth Boxing Club Needs our Help

Way back in the early 2000s, as a young teen, I was privileged enough to be a member of Tamworth Amateur Boxing Club. The Charity, run by Claire and Alan Keast, is now in need of our support due to the current crisis.

Tamworth ABC taught me that, while a big right hand might take you round the block, a smart head, respectful manner and good work ethic would take you round the world. The charity, which is more than just a boxing gym, helps to guide youth back to the path, which they can so easily stray from. They give people the tools they need to rise up from the grips of drug addiction. They consistently accommodate for and care for the disabled with regular sessions. They allow for and create safe spaces for those who identify as women. And they even manage to penetrate through my thick skull in order to teach me the difference in nutrition between a chicken breast and a KFC leg… Sorry I could never make lightweight Alan…

With Covid-19 threatening to destroy our pubs, cafes, and community spaces, this is the one place that I believe is paramount in ensuring that we don’t fail the next generation. We’ve donated a small amount to help out, but we humbly ask that you donate a little, only if you’re able to.

Thank you for allowing me to rattle the tin cup, now here’s a very old picture of me as a junior welterweight with my old boy. Back when he still had colour in his hair, and I still had a full set of real teeth.

Thank you, and stay safe. Together we can #KOCOVID19 !

 

Thanks again for your continued support. If you haven’t already, be sure to Wishlist Landlord’s Super, follow Ruta & Greg on twitter, and join the discord!

Till next month,
Ruta & Greg

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Spring brings vivid greens, but also an influx of out-of-town traffic.

March

Days are rolling by and so is the continued development of Landlord’s Super. Most of the focus this month has been on beautifying the game, but we’ve also begun to lean into bug fixes and optimisation. The aim of the next couple months now is to make sure the game enters Early Access with a solid foundation upon which we can build a really unique and remarkable game. We must apologise for lack of newsletter content, but we are very much in the thick of it.

 

 

The Quintessential Construction Simulator

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West Berklands is oddly peaceful during light snowfall in the winter period

Detailing & Environmental Work

Focus this month has been to keep chipping away on making the world look like a place worth exploring. Once the environment is looking to a quality level we’re happy with, we’ll be recording and releasing gameplay footage, and updating the Steam page with new assets.
The game looks dramatically different to how it was 12 months ago, and the extra year’s worth of work makes it feel like a game that can stand tall in it’s niche.

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Greg tweeted a thread showcasing all 4 seasons. Click above to view.

Optimisation & Bug Fixing

As we approach the deadline for Early Access, more work goes into not only making the game look good, but also run great. There’s still a lot of work needed on bug fixes and optimisation, but each week that passes we can feel the game improving in both these areas. By the time Early Access arrives, we should have a pretty solid foundation to which we can build upon.

 

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Click above to see a recent play-through of Greg getting drunk in-game… (please ignore the UI, audio and collision bugs… they are fixed now I promise!)

 

Thanks again for your continued support. If you haven’t already, be sure to Wishlist Landlord’s Super, follow Ruta & Greg on twitter, and join the discord!

Next Month, we’ll try once again to capture a play-through of the game. As always is the precarious nature of game dev, we can’t promise anything…

Till next month,
Ruta & Greg

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We hope you’ll share your wheel barrow stacking expertise with us, come release.

February

Lot’s of work on Landlord’s Super this month. As we get closer and closer to the Early Access release, you can expect to see more and more delicious content.

We’ve also been guest appearing on a podcast about Game Development, but it’s not out yet, so shhh…

Oh, check out these 5,000 images of car parks from Sainsbury Archive. They’re amazing.

 

 

The Quintessential Construction Simulator

West Berklands becomes awash in copper colours during the Autumn season.

Seasons & Dynamic Weather

To end the month we added more detailing to the Seasons & Dynamic Weather in Landlord’s Super. Autumn and Winter got the most love, with autumn leaves filling the world with reds and yellows. Winter is the stand out effort though as the temperature drops into the shivering minus values and the world of West Berklands’ freezes over. If the weather permits, it might even snow and you’ll be playing in a real winter wonderland. Greg tweeted an accelerated example of this weather scenario below. Remember, this is all dynamic, once the temperature rises above 0c then the ice and snow will begin to melt away, and the dead trees will reveal themselves once again.

Snowfall in winter will cause snow to build up on the environments in Landlords.

Greg joked over on twitter that – as the game is set in the UK – the first sign of snowfall should stop all vehicles (including your own deliveries) from functioning… We think it’s not only a fun poke at the UK’s inability to deal with snowfall, but also an interesting mechanic. What do you think?

You can view a better quality version of the above video over on the MinskWorks Discord.

Your notebook is your best friend whenever you’re lost or confused in the open-world of Landlord’s Super

Onboarding & Game Intro

Most of January was spent making sure the on-boarding for the game is at a point where we’re confident players can enjoy the game without needing to refer to an online guide or wiki (Though we do hope the community works together to build a wiki as there are many, many hidden mechanics in Landlord’s). Unlike most open-world games, Landlord’s Super is designed to be fully player driven. There’s no mission structure or markers on a map to follow, all actions and goals are player driven. If the player want’s to work on bricking up the house their very first day? Sure, they need only get their hands on the tools and supplies needed. Likewise, if the player wants to earn a few bob on their first day, they can head straight for the job centre and start searching for work. Such an open design means it’s easy for players to feel overwhelmed or without direction. We’re hoping the notebook can help alleviate these fears for some players, while others can just simply ignore it and go about their business.

 

“Reclaiming” some bricks about town will mean you can get your property on the rental market sooner, but the locals might not be too pleased with you helping yourself so freely…

Additional Tools

We felt the Cement Mixer was too expensive for such an essential early game item, so we created a cheaper variant, the Hand Mixer!

The Hand Mixer is much cheaper, but requires the player use up energy to get a mix together, it also looks a little dodgy

We’ve also been having a lot of fun stacking objects around the world into our wheel barrow, and then rolling them down to be used on the house…

Speed Paint

Ruta did a speed paint! This is a video of her working on the texture for the fruit machine in the Anchor Tavern. Name and design were hers, as you probably guessed…

Ruta recorded herself making the texture art for the fruit machine in Landlord’s Super.

 

 

Discord New Emoji

Discord community Scotsman and all around great guy, Bear-In-The-Air made a fantastic new emoji to better reflect the Jalopy play experience…
It’s a flipped variant of the original Laika emoji by DIOOOH.

Jalopy in the Scottish Sun

Stuart Cullen did a great writeup of Jalopy on Xbox One for the Scottish Sun. You can have a nose over here.

 

 

Thanks again for your continued support. If you haven’t already, be sure to Wishlist Landlord’s Super, follow Ruta & Greg on twitter, and join the discord!

Next month is a shorter one, but hopefully you can expect to see some of the Rental gameplay loop.If it’s not up to mustard though, we’ll have plenty more for you. Maybe even a podcast or two?

Till next month,
Ruta & Greg

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“Ah ****, here we go again…”

January

That’s 2019 done for us here at MinskWorks. We had a bumpy start to the year, but we’ve found our footing and are excited by the prospect of releasing Landlord’s Super next year.

We hope 2019 lived up to all your hopes and desires, but if not well, it’s in the bin now. Either way, with the Early Access release of Landlord’s Super looming, 2020 is bound to be a better year overall.

The project is taking a little longer than we anticipated. This is mainly due to it being a much more complicated and bigger beast than Jalopy. Another factor is that we now have the luxury of being able to go over and iterate on how we’ve implemented stuff, with feedback from our community that we can trust. Jalopy was worked on outside of this advantage, and released early with a lot of compromises. Landlord’s Super will surely release with it’s own issues in Early Access, but with the support we’ve been given from both the Yogscast and our community, we’re already seeing that this game is a level above the work on Jalopy.

To you all, thank you for your support, feedback and well wishes. We wish you all a very happy new year and know that together we’ll make this the best yet.

 

 

The Quintessential Construction Simulator

RoyalRunner

The ‘Motors’ of Landlord’s Super

MinskWorks is a studio which has a strong affinity for old clunkers. So it will be no surprise to you dear reader, to find that Landlord’s Super will contain some nods to British motoring legends of old.

A big problem with Jalopy was the lifeless towns. One way we’re trying to address this in Landlord’s Super, is to have smarter AI not only inhabiting the town, but driving through it too.

So far we’ve got 7 types of vehicle in the game. Cars such as the Tamworth Snooper or Bromich 1100 will totter about through the town and countryside, honking you if you dare get in their way. There’s also a great big flat-bed Stafford truck, which can deliver you building supplies straight to your construction site. Most exciting of all though, is Jimmy’s dilapidated old Royal Runner which, if you can ever get it running again, is not only fully drivable, but can be used to transport supplies and tools with ease. The Royal is Landlord’s very own Jalopy.

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While focus in Landlord’s is very much about building your property up to living standards in order to earn a passive income off, the world has become so big that we needed a way for players to transport stuff from one side of the map to the other *relatively effortlessly. Though the Royal is an excellent solution for this, it might be a while before you’re flush enough to upgrade from your trusty wheelbarrow…

*breakdowns / fuel issues may occur.

 

Laika User Manual PDF

To continue the motorised theme of this months newsletter, we’ve uploaded the Laika User Manual in PDF form on our website. You can download both a digital version and a printer friendly version. Thanks to both Seb and Bear-In-The-Air for their help with this, it wouldn’t be half as good without their input.

LaikaUserManual.pdf (1.34mb)
LaikaUserManual_PrinterFriendly (8.57mb)
LaikaUserManual_PrinterFriendly_ColourCover (8.82mb)

LaikaMaintanenceManual

Jalopy & the Other Road Trip Game

Early on in 2019, Jalopy’s publisher announced a new game. While this game has similar story beats to Jalopy. And while the game’s “Uncle” character could be seen as gender-swapped to an “Aunt”. And while the colour-scheme of the car in this game uses the same colour scheme as the Laika in Jalopy (Red replacement door included). And while the game announced itself as “From the Publishers of Jalopy”.

We have had no involvement in this game. Nor have we ever been asked to.

We’d like to detail exactly how we’ve been treated throughout this, but we’re still committed to fighting for control of Jalopy, and we don’t want to harm any potential legal route.

For now, we continue to clarify that there is no sequel to Jalopy, spiritual or otherwise, produced, developed, or endorsed by MinskWorks.

We’d also like to apologise for the lack of support and updates for Jalopy. But we hope you can appreciate not wanting to risk time and money on a project in competition with it’s own publisher.

 

 

Thanks again for your continued support. If you haven’t already, be sure to follow Ruta & Greg on twitter, and to join the discord!

Next month should see much more focus on Landlord’s Super content, as we’ve both been doing a lot of work on the environments.

Ruta & Greg

Early Access coming to Steam soon.

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Winston delivering the player’s building supply order. Also, patiently looking forward to getting back down the pub, presumably.

December

The Christmas break will soon be upon us, though here at MinskWorks we’ve opened our presents early with our very own break away in Japan.

Japan in November

We spent most of November visiting Japan. Whilst the majority of the trip was spent gathering reference materials and researching for a potential future project, we did manage to sneak in getting a portrait done at the Kyoto Manga Museum…

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It was a privilege to be able to visit Japan. Especially during a Rugby World Cup, a World Boxing Super Series final, and the last days of the Kawasaki Arcade. Japan as a host country is second to none, with hospitality that is unmatched. Japan hosting the 2020’s Olympic games next year will be very special.

Due to spending the majority of our time abroad, this month’s content may be a little thinner than usual. Fear not, we’re still making progress on Landlord’s Super, especially so that the Xbox release of Jalopy is now behind us.

 

The Quintessential Construction Simulator

Landlord’s Super in Edge Magazine

For the 3rd time this year, Greg was asked to be interviewed for Edge magazine. This time, however, it was specifically for previewing the intriguing concept of Landlord’s Super.

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Featured in page 50 of E339 of Edge, Jeremy Peel interviewed Greg to discuss how “Thatcher’s Britain lives on as an idiosyncratic construction simulator”.

If Landlord’s Super isn’t your thing, it’s still worth picking up a copy as this issue of Edge features the games which defined the decade. Community member and personal support guru Seb had a copy delivered all the way to Germany! Thanks for the continued support Seb! You can order your copy here.

 

Jalopy in Forbes

Jalopy made it into Forbes this month. Matt Gardener reviewed the road trip ’em up and seemingly loved it, warts and all.

Titled “Jalopy is Charmingly Anodyne, Drawing Strength From The Mundane”, you can read the full review, here. Jeremy was quite pleased with how much praise the soundtrack got, deservedly so!

A Year

Talking of Jeremy, the last song in his Album ‘A Year’ comes out on December 6th. Titled December, the track closes an album chronicling the passage of time. It’s been a joy to listen each track against the backdrop of seasonal change, and also to continue to see Jeremy grow as an artist. You should give it a listen too.

 

 

 

Thanks again for your continued support. If you haven’t already, be sure to follow Ruta & Greg on twitter, and to join the discord!

Next month, Greg’s year in review, more Landlord’s Super content and plans for the year ahead.

Ruta & Greg

Early Access coming to Steam soon.

Landlord’s Super hitting those Ken Loach notes. Can you spot the Jalopy Reference?

November

Happy Halloween to our American readers, or as the Britsh say, “Pissing hell, there’s already Christmas adverts on the telly!”

Hidden Mechanics in Games

One aspect we’re really trying to get accross for Landlord’s Super is the attention to detail in the hidden game mechanics. Landlord’s Super is a systemic game, meaning the systems are build independent of each other but all interact with one another. One example of this would be the urine system. In-game interactions can lead to the change of colour of players urine. Get beaten up and you’ll likely pee blood. Drink too much Doyle and your urine will likely come out black. This system can then be applied to the cement mixer. By peeing into the mix, players can then change the colour of the cement. Neato.

To celebrate this, Greg has been uploading hidden mechanics in games over on a twitter thread here.

The Quintessential Construction Simulator

New Environment – 20x bigger!

If your initial exposure to Landlord’s Super was at Rezzed back in April, we have great news for you! The playable environment in Landlord’s Super is now 20 times bigger than what was showcased back in April. Woah!

Originally, the game environment only needed to be compact to accommodate all game features. As the game has expanded significantly during the last few months, we’ve found the need to expand the playable space dramatically.

The April build shown at Rezzed showcased on the following:

  • Some basic construction gameplay at The Building Site
  • The Job system at The Job Centre
  • Skiving off in The Pub
  • The basics of the day to day framework in The Player Home

In the last few months, there has been a lot added to the game. To give you an idea of why the environment had to be expanded, here’s a few examples of revision notes…

  • Added AI Houses so all AI have somewhere to sleep.
  • Player now needs to buy their own tools & supplies at the Tool Store & Supply Store.
  • Added The Police Station to help deal with players who steal.
  • Player home is now a Caravan which can be relocated around the map.
  • Added the Mitchell & Sons Building, who deal in dodgy loans and finding suitable tenants.
  • Delivery Driver can get stuck down country lanes.
  • Player can now Travel On Buses.

And there’s a lot more we’re keeping close to our chest. We both really love this new environment. It’s taken many, many iterations to get it feeling both fun and believable, but we think the hard work has really been worth it. Places in-game being further apart also mean we’ll need to focus on getting drive-able vehicles in at some point. Toot toot!

In fact, we’re so proud of all the hard work that’s gone into the game world, that we’ve gone and got a print of it put up on the office wall, cor’ blimey, that’s a big of alright!

New Discord Emojis!

Ruta has made some Landlord’s Super emojis! They’re available over on the MinskWorks Discord server. :^)

Jalopy out on Xbox One, November 1st

As one final reminder, Jalopy releases on the Xbox One November 1st. That’s this month!

One more reminder, Jeremy Warmsley – the composer of Jalopy – is releasing the game’s soundtrack onto itunes & Spotify to coincide with the Xbox One release.

Again, from last week, here’s the Jalopy Xbox playthrough from Outisde Xbox crew.

 

Thanks again for your continued support. If you haven’t already, be sure to follow Ruta & Greg on twitter, and to join the discord!

Next month, we’re away to Japan for a few weeks. So if you’ve any tourist tips, feel free to reach out to us! Don’t worry, the newsletter will arrive just as planned and contain all the good content! Thanks, again.

Ruta & Greg

Early Access coming to Steam soon.