4 min read

Null State News: ⚔️ Combat, 💬 Convos, ➡️ Events & 💼 Jobs

This one talks about what's changed in Null State since the start of the year: combat improvements, new conversations, big and small jobs, and... gifs! We've got gifs!

First off, how does it feel to have one game approved and ready to ship on Steam?

How kind of you to ask, and thanks for stopping by to hear the answer -- it feels pretty great!

I've launched a good number of games on Steam over the years, and plenty of those games have shipped on consoles too; it's always a special feeling when someone else looks at your game and, after some back and forth, finally says "okay, this is good enough that I'll let you sell it to my customers." What's especially special this time, though, is that Another Round isn't someone else's game... it's a game my team and I made, together!

We're still not going to ship Another Round until early 2025 (the Steam page won't even be up for you to wishlist until later in 2024!) but it's honestly super cool to see everything green and ready to go. Like I mentioned last time, if you want to give the demo a spin before it's available worldwide, just drop me a line and I'll send you a Steam demo key – completely for free!

But hey, I've spent long enough talking with you about Another Round – what about Null State? Let's go!

What could've possibly changed w/ Null State since February?


First off, Pip (site) and Dean have been plowing ahead, designing some really interesting characters - and then making them say some really interesting things!

As their work evolves and gets integrated into the game, it's exciting to start thinking about our technical limitations: what happens when the player knows TOO MANY people for the UI we've built? what happens when the player has done TOO MUCH work for those characters, so that the history/logs we've created overflow? I love that our writers are working towards us having these kinds of problems, and I'm so grateful to have Billy (linktree) around, ready to tackle them (the problems, not the writers).

We had an interesting conversation, though, which brought up a question in my mind: do you remember Choose Your Own Adventure books? As you read them, did you end up with most of your fingers holding different pages, as you explored all of the different decisions and narrative branches? Or was that just me?

I wonder why there are so few games that let us explore possibilities of their story in quite the same way as I managed at 10 years old with four fingers, a thumb, and a paperback book.


Outside of the stuff the characters say to each other, jobs are the things your player gets asked to do DURING those conversations.

Over the last few months, the tutorial missions have been completely written (thanks, Pip!) and several additional full arcs have been added. ALSO, using the tools available, Pip has also designed a really clever system for distributing smaller, non-dialogue-driven jobs to the player over the course of the game: a BBS!

I love that we're going to have big and small channels for the player to learn more about the world they're in; I hope you love that, too. <3


Before we started working on Another Round, I had the brilliant idea to ask Robin (linktree) to completely change the way combat works; in a matter of days, though, Robin had a new, semi-functional prototype in place – which only had a few, small bugs...

Earlier in May, Robin got those bugs knocked out, and now our testers no longer need to press spacebar to skip (almost) every fight they're in! There's still a bit of work to do to make combat feel really dynamic (for example, all of the abilities do the same thing, at the moment); I'm positive Robin will knock it out once we come back to Null State later this year!


Events are a feature we've needed for a long time and just didn't build it (...until now - thanks, Robin!).

This tech allows us to set preconditions for events (new jobs, continuing conversations, evolving networks, etc) to happen such that we have very detailed control over how storylines can be split up and woven together so that everything from a single storyline isn't all bunched together during play.

So far, I've only used it to patch in a new conversation to an existing character from another datapack, but even that was seamless and worked exactly how I expected. I expect this feature will make post-release extensions to the story a breeze to implement!

When will you get your next game approved by Valve?

That's a great question, and I'm glad you stuck around to the end to ask it!

We'll start full production on One Last Job very soon (once we get a few last questions answered), which means we should have a submission-ready build for Valve before mid-September (~3 months from now). If all goes well through that process, then in October we should have a banger of a newsletter coming out -- alongside all 3 of our games' store pages!

Until then, please join us next time as we take a look at the team's progress on One Last Job!