It’s now officially summer! Maybe for some of you it’s been summer for awhile already, but here in Seattle, summer always starts later than you’d hope.
This is a very important summer for me! These next three months will be spent on working as hard as I can on Village Monsters to prepare for the release of version 1.0 this fall.
With today’s dev diary I’d like to share the roadmap I’ve been working in preparation for what’s to come.
But we’re not here to talk about the past! Let’s look to the future.
The next major update to Village Monsters will be coming in July. This update will focus on four very related features.
First up are library exhibits – aka a place to finally record and display your marvelous finds & creations! Next are projects for restoring the village and improving your home. These features already exist, but they need to be added to, expanded, and connected with the story.
I’ll then wrap the month up by finally adding in player customization which is by far the most frequently requested feature (and rightfully so!)
August will be spent on wrapping up the two biggest remaining features: villager schedules (including movement and activities), and special events and holidays. Both of these things should go a long way to making the village feel less static and more alive.
New activities, part-time jobs and minigames will also be added in August – including villager hangouts. The common theme here is that I want there to be much more to do and see in a given day.
This will also be the month I finish implementing all the contributions from the very generous community of Kickstarter backers. This means new visitors, interactive furniture / items, holidays, and more.
It’s hard to forecast this far out accurately, but I anticipate September being entirely focused on release prep. This will be the month for any last minute additions, changes, and testing.
September will also be when I decide if I can hit a fall release. The last time I made a release prediction I was overly confident and stupidly naive. This time I want to be completely transparent – which is why I wanted to share my roadmap!
I am optimistic about releasing version 1.0 this fall, and I hope this roadmap shows you that this is a realistic goal. But many things are still up in the air, and I won’t know for sure until September.
October is the big boy month. There are two possible outcomes: me losing my mind with excitement and nervous energy as I prepare for my first-ever game launch, or me drowning my sorrows in a bucket of fun-sized Kit Kats while I attempt to figure out a new release date.
THERE WILL BE NO IN BETWEEN.
Future Release Freeze
I’ve been averaging a new major update every three weeks (with minor patch releases in between) and it’s been working really well.
However, once September hits I plan to put a freeze on new releases. This would mean no new (public) updates until I hit version 1.0.
There are a bunch of practical reasons for doing this. Getting together a new release takes a lot of time and energy, and it’s an enormous interruption to working on the game itself. I’m going to need all the focus I can get in September and October.
There’s also the issue of spoilers (both story and mechanics) that I really want to avoid. A freeze will let me to add the biggest, juiciest secrets to the game without having to worry about them leaking out before release.
Finally, I would very much like all players – existing and new – to experience the full game with fresh legs and enthusiasm. Village Monsters 1.0 should be an exciting and anticipated release, not just another patch.
It’s going to be a busy summer, but I am absolutely ready for it. Until next time!