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Posted: Aug 21, 2023 @ 07:58 pm GMT-0600
Updated: Aug 29, 2023 @ 08:07 pm GMT-0600
Sorting Tags: News - All, News - Software, Wrench,

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Wrench’s developer posted an update on Steam yesterday that details the upcoming beta. Though no date is yet set for it, there are still some interesting details to read through.

Their text:

As we have shared in previous updates, we have been working on new tools and content, improving interactions, and designing a refined core experience in Wrench. Here is a new look at many of the features that you will see soon and what you can expect in upcoming builds.

Nearly all of the interaction systems are new. Desktop mode, in particular, plays very differently. A primary goal for desktop mode is to create an experience that feels like using two hands while keeping the interaction system straightforward. Tools no longer need to be put away to interact with parts, and multiple small parts can be carried simultaneously. This combination of features allows for fewer trips back and forth and less looking around the screen just to find something you recently needed to put down. It’s important to us that the game continues to feel physical and grounded in a realistic space. We intend to avoid large hidden inventories, and are removing some previous features that allowed automated assembly and fastening.

Desktop and VR have new systems for carrying small parts. In VR you can scoop and dump small parts in a natural way. Desktop mode allows gathering small parts in your left hand and cycling an active part with only a few inputs. The active object can be installed while continuing to hold other small objects.

Storage bins allow you to keep groups of parts together. Sorting and maintaining parts in a physical space is more intuitive than dealing with a large inventory hidden behind a user interface or toolbelt hotkeys.

For example, when doing a brake job, you can now easily keep all related small parts grouped together in a container or on a surface. When you want to re-assemble a corner of the braking system you have everything you need in one place. Logical clumps are easier to keep track of and are more analogous to real life than working out of an infinite pocket inventory.

There are many new tools and new tool systems. Sockets need to be manually selected and installed. Combination wrenches are fastener size specific. Tools are now adjusted with a point of interest system where players cycle through interactable components of the tool.

The combo automatic electric ratchet and torque wrench tools are no longer part of the game. They were fantasy tools and we are leaning heavily into tool realism. Players have to pick between impacts, combination wrenches, ratchets, and torque wrenches. Battery powered tools need to be charged, and we are experimenting with tools and sockets wearing out. We have also added finger tightening as another method to thread bolts into place before torquing them.

As much of the new content and features are coming together, we are close to being able to release our first new build in over a year. This build, which we are calling an interaction playroom, will be released on the beta branch. It will give you a chance to try out new interaction systems, tools, residential garage play space, and new content such as the street car chassis. This build focuses on new core interactions in Wrench, not high level game progression. Many existing features have been removed or disabled.

The gameplay area in the beta build will be prepopulated with a curated selection of tools and content. You will not have the ability to purchase parts, buy classified cars, or take on repair jobs. There will be no introductory tutorial experience. Saving and loading in this build will be disabled, allowing you to continue to play the existing mainline progression experience while we continue developing the new game loop.

Here are some features and content that will be in the build:
– Residential garage play area
– Street car
– Manual ratchets
– Combo wrenches
– Impact wrenches with removable and rechargeable batteries
– Manual selection of sockets and extensions on ratchets and impact wrenches
– Multi-grab functionality in VR and desktop modes
– Refined pocket functionality
– Finger tightening/loosening of unseated fasteners
– Basic garage furniture (shelves, workbenches)
– Containers
– Pegboards
– Floor tiles

We will consider bug reports and feedback and release minor iterations of this build as we see fit.

Our milestone after the beta build will be a mainline build with a new game loop that represents what progression will look like in Wrench. This build will bring back saving and loading, replacing the mainline build that is currently available.

Stay tuned for a closer look at many of these features and news regarding upcoming builds. Although we can’t give a solid date for a beta release at this time, we are working toward it every day.

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