News & Announcements Patch Notes

Tyto Online for Schools

Today we’re excited to be able to announce that we have launched a new set of teacher tools for a new version we’re calling Tyto Online for Schools.

The new for Schools teacher tools include three main sections: Explore & Plan, Track Progress, and Manage Classes.
Our goal is for teachers to be able to seamlessly use Tyto Online across their entire school year, aligning with each unit of content.  Teachers can assign quests for quick 15-20 minute applied problem solving as students learn science, or have the kids dig into the sandboxes where they’ll learn through experimentation and can be used as a basis for motivated classroom discussion about these topics.
For example, most players begin the ecosystem sandbox by placing too many apex predators at once, which leads to an ecosystem collapse as the predators quickly eat all of the prey animals and then starve. Through trial and error, students organically learn about trophic levels: the ratio of prey to predators has to include far more prey to be sustainable. The teacher can also use this as a conversational basis, pulling out diagrams and working through this theory with the kids, using examples from their own sandboxes. We’re already frequently having these conversations with our at-home players, and are looking forward to expanding this experience

Explore & Plan
This is my personal favorite right now.  You can look at each Module, click through to see overviews of the storyline and sandbox, sort quests by standard, and then actually assign quests to the students immediately or for a scheduled date.  For the kid, this means they’ll log into the game and have a popup from the quest-giver saying they need help that will then teleport them right to the correct starting place for the quest.  Quick and easy!

Track Progress
This is still being worked on and will go live within a week!  Track how your classes are progressing through the quests, and see the status of all quests (not started, in progress, complete), sorted by standard.

Manage Classes
We’ve made it easy to manage classes and add students, with suggested memorable usernames and passwords.  We’ll work on single sign on with Google Classroom soon, and others on request.

What’s next?
Tyto Online currently covers middle school level life science content, with Ecology and Heredity Modules. We are working on building out the rest of a completely game-based Life Science learning package by the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year. Tyto Online is currently available on Windows and Mac computers, but will also be on Chromebooks for the coming school year.
We also have much, much more we want to build for the teacher tools.  Some of our primary ideas include a Live Tracker, better calendar views for quest and lesson scheduling, more analytics about in-game performance like arguments used or misconceptions, etc. But really, we’ll be listening to what teachers say they need!

Getting Access
Tyto Online for Schools is $10 per student per year, with all content and at-home access included. This is discounted because of the group purchasing and implementation of schools, so this pricing is only available for schools and educational organizations. Teachers can sign up for 30 day trials, or for notifications of when the Chromebook enabled version launches for the coming school year from our landing page: 

For Homeschoolers: We’ll be making the Explore & Plan and Track Progress tools available to you, too, soon.  Just need to do some account re-working!

Patch Notes

Alpha 38: Underlying School Changes + Easier Animal Unlocks

We’re doing the first touches to help teachers begin to use Tyto Online in their classrooms!

We actually snuck this update out over the weekend, because we have our first beta testing teacher starting with the product in their classroom today.

First, we did some user facing things that will impact everything to simplify some of the unlocking and progression.  We spent some time discussing ways to make this simpler for schools, but still a great progression for those playing at home.
Re-Working H.E.L.O. Animal Unlocks
The largest change was re-working how you unlock animals for the H.E.L.O., the create-your-own ecosystem Ecology Sandbox.  Previously, you needed to unlock it in the Research Tree, then research it.  Once you did all the research, you could use it in the H.E.L.O.  We already had concerns this process was a bit too lengthy, and in classrooms it definitely is.  So now, here’s how it works:

We removed the Research Tree altogether.  In order to unlock the species, you can now grab them straight from the Biodex and “Buy” the unlock with your RP (Research Points) right there.  This way you’re not bouncing between the Biodex and a Research Tree.
When you “Buy” a species to unlock it with your RP, you can immediately use it in your H.E.L.O. without needing to do the research.

If you want to access all the information in the Biodex to learn more and perform better in the H.E.L.O., you’ll still need to go back into the biodomes to research the animals.

 
The rest of the changes:

All levels now are 1000 XP (Experience Points) to level up, rather than requiring more for each level.  In many games, levels become exponential, but that really wasn’t necessary for us and ended up with inflated XP for quests at the end.  By putting all levels at 1000 XP, we can now better reflect the difficulty of a quest with the XP, rather than giving higher level quests more XP even if they were not actually harder.  This may change your level… for most people that have played a lot, you may discover you’ve gained a level… or a few.  😉
When you level up in Heredity, you’ll now get extra Heredity RP (Research Points) like you do with Ecology.  This will help you with RP to spend in the Drakonarium.
Some non-Ecology quests were showing up as Ecology because we didn’t have a way to give them no module, but we’ve fixed that so some of the fun, story-building side quests are now no longer granting Ecology XP when they should not.
More tutorials have been added. We’re continuing to do this, with the goal of a tutorial the first time you do any new type of quest mechanic, regardless of the order you complete quests in.

 
School Support:
This update also includes some hidden work that we’ve done to set the groundwork for our teacher tools.  Teachers will be able to assign quests, track student progress, and easily manage classes.  This is in closed use with limited people right now and will be fully announced and released soon.  Email lindsey@immersedgames.com if you’re an educator interested in testing these early tools!

Patch Notes

Alpha 37: Quests through Level 9 Heredity!

Today we’re launching four more quests that, when completed, will allow you to reach through Level 9 of Heredity!  We’re so close to getting everything in that we’ve planned for this Module, which is exciting!  Level 9 in your Drakonarium will also unlock some new pattern mutations like albinism and more to discover!  After reaching Level 9, be sure to check the Lookbook to see if there are any new genes there that you can breed into your drakons.

Hip-Hop Hare-edity: It’s a great day in the Great Plains biodome! A new brood of jackrabbit kits has been born, but Supervisor Tai has noticed something odd about one of the babies. Help them figure out what may have caused this anomaly.

A Different Direction: Calypso in the Student District has been monitoring the district’s resident Ridley turtles for some time now, and their babies have just hatched! Help Calypso discover the reason behind the unusual color of one of the babies.

 

The Y Factor: Amalia has been creating karyotypes of some of the other Espethians in town, but she’s noticed something very odd about Jian and Mr. Columbus! Travel to the Student District marketplace and help Amalia with her project.

The Deer Mouse Mystery: Sadly, some of the mice in the Great Plains biodome have been exhibiting signs of sickness. Could it be genetic? Supervisor Tai needs to get to the bottom of this, and they need your help!

Additional Notes: ‘Pouncer in the Dark,’ which can be picked up in the Amazon biodome from Cherie, was formerly an Ecology quest. We have changed it so that it now grants Heredity module credit instead.

Patch Notes

Alpha 36: Level 8 Heredity + Drakon Patterns

Hello, everyone!

 

 

We haven’t been as frequent with patches lately as we’ve been working on teacher tools (to be released soon), and we released our dinosaur expansion pack for Tyto Ecology.  This, and MUCH MORE, will make its way into Tyto Online with our next Module.  We’ll announce that soon.  🙂  #teaser

So that said, today we’re releasing three more quests that will allow you to level your character up through Level 8 in Heredity.  This will also unlock the next tier for your drakons in the Drakonarium, which is patterns.  The drakon pattern genes work with incomplete dominance, meaning you can get a lot of awesome blending results with heterozygous genetics.  Definitely have fun experimenting with that!

After this, we only have two more levels worth of quests for Heredity, around 10 more quests to add!  And that will unlock the rest of your drakon breeding features.  We’ll also be adding in a pedigree system to better track the genetic lines of your creatures, and that will wrap up the Heredity Module!

So for today’s patch, here are the three quests we’ve added:

DNA Detective.

Pre-requisite: Heredity Level 7

Head over to Ariel at the Bell Jar Cafe in the Student District for this mystery.  Someone has been stealing lunches, and a chogwig has been accused.  Collect evidence and determine who the culprit is!

The Right Vein

Pre-requisite: Heredity Level 7

Nurse Practitioner Marysol in the Student District is in her first quest-giving role!  She needs some help identifying people with a particular blood type to ask to be donors, as they are in need.  Learn about blood types and predicting what types kids will have based on their parents.

Dead Hare Hopping.

Pre-requisite: Heredity Level 7

A generation of jackrabbits in an area of the Mojave biodome all became sick and died rather suddenly! Farah, the Biodome Supervisor in the Mojave, needs to know what’s happening quickly so that the species doesn’t get wiped out.

 

We’ve also updated the on-boarding room where you get defrosted from cryosleep to be much more pretty and consistent with the rest of our art.

News & Announcements

The dino-dome winner is…

The winner is…
Cretaceous Mongolia, including Flaming Cliffs!
This ecosystem includes the Velociraptor, Protoceratops Deinocheirus mirificus, Plesiohadros, and more!

Image by PaleoGuy on Deviant Art.

This ecosystem includes what YouTuber Best in Slot refers to as “danger floof,” or the Therizinosaurus, which is my favorite:

Image by Sergey Krasovskiy.

Now, several people noticed that it ended in a close tie at the end between Mongolia/Flaming Cliffs and Hell’s Creek, so we took a look at the IP addresses of the votes to make sure our own office votes didn’t skew the results. What we found instead though, was… drum roll… massive voter fraud!

Okay, not that massive, but our top IP address voted 29 times for Hell’s Creek!

Now we do recognize some of the smaller ones can be multiple family members or people in the same location, but 29 people with the exact same IP address voting for Hell’s Creek with most of the votes only taking 2-3 seconds to complete? Sorry, someone was cheating.

So we dug into the data, removed excess suspicious votes, and by the end, Flaming Cliffs was the clear winner:

Flaming Cliffs: 43%
Hell’s Creek: 33%
Europe: 24%

And, for your humor, we made this handy cheating infographic — really all in good fun because it’s not like this was a super serious legal vote. But we did want to get to the bottom of what the actual most popular ecosystem would be, and we did!

Patch Notes

Alpha 21: Biodome Updates

We have a smaller patch today given how major last week’s body style update was… and we have some major features coming up. We will post and let you all know what is on the upcoming radar soon!
Visual updates in the pre-set biodomes:

Updated Grasslands and Desert biodomes lighting and visual FX, such as the desert having heat waves!
Updated landmass settings for aforementioned biodomes.
Added more dynamic grass for Grasslands.

The grass moves under you now in the Grassland!
Other updates:

Afro hairstyle added to player customization options.
Minor fixes to clothing and body style updates as polish has been needed.
Minor quest fixes.
Minor LOD updates for static meshes.

Patch Notes

Alpha 20: New Body Styles

New Body Styles
We’ve added 16 new body styles, for a total of 18 now, to better represent a broader range of possible body styles for our players. This was important for us to do early in development, so that players looking for other body styles can find something that fits them better, rather than just the first two thin body styles we had.

Whipper Snippers
Don’t worry, if you already have your character, we also added in Whipper Snippers, where you can go and pay to change the body style, skin tone, hair style, hair color, and eye color of your character at any point. It’s the last building on the right in the Marketplace in the Student District (right before the elevator).

Full Patch Notes:

Added 16 additional body styles for character customization. You can now choose these during original character creation and later.
Added Whipper Snippers salon building where you can pay to customize your character later and change any settings on your character. This will cost in-game currency.
Fixed an issue during the Maintaining Weekly Challenge Task (Plant Garden) where it reset if you put another of that species type down.
Fixed an issue with the Pollination Station Weekly Challenge where it was giving too much credit for pollination levels (sorry!).
Fixed an issue with the Data Tool where the Fruit and Nectar values were switched.

Patch Notes

Alpha 19: HELO Notifications & Rainforest Introduction Cinematic

Alpha 19 is now live!

H.E.L.O. Notifications
We’ve added Notifications to your Holographic Environmental Life Observatory. You will see these when you click to open your biodome from Dr. Sandrine, and in your Data Tool while in your biodome. This will keep you up-to-date on major events and warnings as your biodome expands.

The types of notifications are:

Role Risk. If all of your producers, herbivores, or another role are at risk, this will let you know. It’s often in the case of starvation or other major threats on a species that shares a need, like eating plants with herbivores.
Pollination Rate. Keeping your plants pollinated can be a challenging job, so this notification will let you know if a majority are not pollinated as a prompt for you to take a look at pollinators in your biodome.
Marked Territory. There is now a flag button on each territory in your biodome, in case you want it to be marked for notifications. Once this is activated, you’ll get notifications on any important even in that territory, such as babies being born, maturing into adults, the territory splitting, or that specific territory beginning to starve.
Detritus. You’ll get notified as your detritus levels rise and fall.
Species Extinction. If every instance of a particular species in your biodome dies, you’ll receive this notification.

Just like for the Snapshot tool, you can sort this by zones or globally. You’ll see that you can also turn off or on certain types of notifications on the right, so you can easily find what you are looking for.
Rainforest Introduction Cinematic
We’ve also been working on changes to make the story of the game more direct and immersive for our players. A couple weeks ago we added the lore video during the first launch of the game, and now we’re adding a cinematic for the first time you get to enter the Rainforest biodome! This gives you an introduction to why the biodomes exist, and what you as a player do with them.

Enjoy this render we took (with Cherie and a player character of one of our developers) for a preview of the video:

If you’re an existing character, this will be prompted the next time you walk into the biodome, too, but only once.
H.E.L.O. Tweaks & Bug Fixes

Fixed an issue where the data on on the scavengers in the HELO sometimes did not match within the Data Too.
Fixed an issue where the Detritus Roller Coaster Challenge was not generating Active Tracking information.
Fixed an issue where the Weekly Challenge Active Quest Tracker did not activate if you did not have any other (non-HELO Challenge) quests in it.
Fixed an issue where Fruit Filler Challenge appeared to be tracking incorrect fruits.
Fixed an issue where Weekly Challenges with 0 progress set their most-progressed biodome based on other challenges’ progress.
Fixed an issue so that players will not receive too many difficult Weekly Challenges in a week.

Additional Tweaks & Bug Fixes

Updated rainforest biodome ground texture.
Updated lighting in Rainforest map.
Dialogue scenes with other characters will now reflect time of day.
Updated appearance of walkway up to Tyto Academy.
Fixed an issue where quests sometimes did not activate after Welcome Citizen was complete until after a level change or relog occurred. They should now be available immediately.
Added a new computer design to the HELO Weekly Challenge table.

Patch Notes

Alpha 18: Weekly Challenges

Weekly Challenges
We are excited to announce this week that we added a system for Weekly Challenges with the HELO!

Every week, a set three of challenges will be randomly selected for players. Top-level players with everything unlocked will receive the same set of challenges, but it’ll be scaled for species you have or almost have for everyone else. Any of these challenges can be completed in any dome, as long as it has any species you need.

Here are the challenge types:

It’s a Baby! — Have a certain baby animal or a plant reproduce in your biodome.
Pollination Station — Hit a specified percentage of pollination for all your plants in a biodome.
R.I.P. — Have a certain number of a specified animal die in your biodome that week. Hey, that’s life in the ecosystem!
Fruit Filler — Have animals eat all the fruit of a specified fruiting plant.
Detritus Roller Coaster — Have the detritus level in a zone raise to a specified level, then bring it back down to a lower specified level.
Bringing up Baby — Not only have a baby of a specified species, but also raise it to maturity.
March of the [Animal] and [Plant] Garden — Place a specified number of a species and maintain them for a number of years.
Global Health Challenge — Keep a biodome above a specified overall health percentage.

These challenges refresh every week, so be sure to jump on and check them out. You’ll earn XP and Credits for your efforts!

To get started: head over to Dr. Sandrine (where you enter the HELO) and right click on the computer on the table next to her to open up the Weekly Challenges menu where you can accept them. They’ll then be in your quest log, and you can go turn it back in at the table when complete!

Some other notes about the Weekly Challenges:

The Weekly Challenges will show up on the right as the Active Quest tracker only when you’re in the HELO.
You can lock a challenge if you do not want it to reset the following week.
Please keep in mind that you will not receive a challenge for that slot the next week. We wanted this option though, in case you’re close to finishing a difficult one and would rather get credit for it than get a new challenge.

 
Other Updates
Art Updates

Student District water now has an improved appearance.
All NPCs will make eye contact with your character during dialogue sequences, and will look at you if you pass them from nearby.
Your character will make eye contact with your conversation partner during dialogue sequences, and will no longer stare interminably into the middle distance. You’ll also intermittently play a random idle animation, which means that you are now able to practice Active Listening!
Brand-new background for dialogue sequences has been implemented!
Bert’s VO in the quest “Welcome Citizen” has been updated.

HELO Tweaks & Fixes

Improved appearance of the HELO main menu.
Added a Biodome Information panel.
Added a loading screen for the HELO.
Fixed some minor visual errors on the HELO territory popups.
In the HELO, you should now more often see carnivores eating.
Fixed an issue where users could not click on a flowering kapok tree.
Fixed the “Role” specified in the HELO for some animals with large feeding preferences.
If there is a 0 hp for your biodome, it will now say “No life” on the UI.
Empty pie graphs on the Data Tool now show an icon when empty rather than being a solid white pie graph.

Other Tweaks & Fixes

We’ve reduced the amount of poop that needs to be collected during Food Web quests. You’re welcome.
Map markers were adjusted for clarity. We removed the owl head inside Quest Zone markers as it is confusing people, made the quest objective marker have a white outline for more visibility, and adjusted the color of quest icons to all be green.
Added more mushrooms to the biodomes for researching.
Fixed an issue where there was no location marker for where to go to find the Peppiest Panganog for that quest.
Fixed the notification highlight that lets you know when you have more RP points to spend. Starts at Level 3 and higher.
Fixed an issue where users could not use their abilities on ridley turtles out in the world.
Fixed an issue where anti aliasing reset whenever someone entered a new map or opened the graphic settings.
Telecommunicator appearance improved.

Uncategorized

Alpha 17: Lore, Voice Overs, and Quests

This patch is dedicated to Helo, Immersed Games’ Canine Employee of every month for the past 3 years and counting. If you’re visiting Dr. Reneau by the Academy, say hello to Helo while you’re there!

And now, for the Alpha 17 patch notes!

Lore Video Added
We added an introduction cutscene at the start of the game for new players that introduces them to the background lore of the game. When the video ends, the player then opens their eyes in the beginning of the tutorial, waking up from cryosleep.

Preview it here:

Art + Content Updates

Panganogs have been re-designed and are now 86% cuter. (We did the math.)
Two new quests have been added: ‘Geppetto Jam 2’ and ‘Population Survey: Tundra.’
Voice-over for Thales, the Himalayan Biodome Supervisor, has been added.
Animations of all HELO and Non-HELO animals were revisited, fixing wonky movement and sliding.
LNR’s dialogue scene fixed: she is no longer gigantic.
All sounds remixed to be a bit louder.
Added Helo the dog near Dr. Reneau by the Academy.

Bug Fixes

Fixed a bug where users were not getting credit for DNA sampling the Hyper Panganog in Espeth Park.
All swarms now display correct information in the data tool.
Fixed a potential crash on entering a new biodome.