Welcome to another edition of Feature Friday! Yes, I know it’s Tuesday, but “Teacher Tuesday” doesn’t have the same ring to it.Yet again we’re taking a deep dive into one of the many features and systems you can find in Village Monsters
I unfortunately had to skip last Friday due to putting out my latest demo – thus the delay to Tuesday! – and to celebrate Valentine’s Day I want to dig into the relationship system
Sorry, buddy, but the answer is “No”. I’m not talking about that kind of relationship.
Village Monsters is filled with a variety of strange and personable monsters – and even some animated inanimate objects, like Signey here.
But you cannot date them.
When I say “relationship” I’m talking purely platonic. Let’s take a look.
Each day brings something new in Village Monsters, but soon enough you’ll establish a routine: talking to villagers, solving mysteries, participating in events, completing your collection, and much more.
Nearly every action and activity helps build your relationship with the villagers you find yourself living with. Villagers that view you with distrust or suspicion will slowly thaw over time as you prove yourself to be a respectable member of monster society.
One important thing to note is that growing relationships is almost entirely passive. There is no “gift” system, at least not like you’d find in Harvest Moon or Stardew Valley.
I never want relationship building to feel like a chore, and have purposefully made it so that merely experiencing the game is enough to raise your relationships and status.
Benefits of Good Relations
You’ll probably want to be friends with everyone just because that’s what you do in video games, but there’ll be some tangible benefits as well
There are generally two types of stories in Village Monsters – Personal Stories that each villager goes through, and the main story that you’ll slowly unravel through the course of the game.
Building relationships will be the primary way to advance both types of stories. You’ll develop both trust and reputation with the villagers, and in doing so you’ll be able to explore both their personal lives and the world they live in.
Don’t worry, though, there’s no risk of missing anything if you want to experience village life slowly. The story can go at a pace you feel comfortable with – building your relationships merely unlock the opportunities to advance it.
There’s an entire part of the game that I’ve been pretty quiet on so far, and unfortunately for you I’m going to continue to keep my lips sealed.
But I will say this: there’s a lot to explore outside the village. You may just be looking to complete your critter collection or find some treasure, but they’ll be plenty of story reasons to go out and adventure.
If your relationship is high enough with some villagers they may even offer to come along with you. In fact, these villagers will often have special abilities or insight that helps you explore, collect, and unlock special shortcuts.
Activities, Items and More
Beyond story and adventure, building friends also has a more practical side – you’ll get gifts! Some villagers may be holding onto exclusive furniture or powerful items that they’ll only entrust to their close friends. Others may have an idea for a new activity or diversion that they’ll consider with your support.
This area especially will need to evolve over time as the game is developed, so I’ll have more to say on it later.
While the final amount of villagers is still in flux, I can tell you that this isn’t going to be a small village – you’ll be looking at anywhere between 25 and 40 monster friends to live with. You’re going to need a way to keep track of this all, but how?
The answer is by keeping careful watch of your handy Compendium. What’s that, you ask? Well, it’s such a big subject that I’ll need to save it for a future Feature Friday, but I can share some ideas with you now.
Do you remember the Bomber’s Notebook from Majora’s Mask? This handy book served as the primary way to track every townsperson in Clock Town and included their schedule, quest status, and more.
The Compendium will serve a very similar role in Village Monsters, and it’ll also be the primary way you can track your relationships.
One thing I really enjoyed about the Bomber’s Notebook is how it evolved over time – nothing was filled out for you, and instead you had to do the legwork to learn people’s schedules and problems.