Feature Friday: Exploration

Welcome to another edition of Feature Friday! Yet again I’m here to take you all on deep dive into one of the many wonderful features and systems you can find in Village Monsters Today, I’ll be exploring (you’ll get this joke in just a bit) one of my favorite subjects: exploration! Let’s take a look… I absolutely adore exploration in games – the good ones know how to really tap into that innate curiosity we have for discovery and adventure. Even if you aren’t so keen to explore the real world, it’s a whole lot easier (and often more fun!) to explore a virtual one. Yet the genre is also notorious for being…well, boring. It’s a tough nut to crack; exploration by its very nature relies on novelty, and unlike reality, video games are very limited in content and place. Eventually, you’ll have seen everything in a handcrafted world, or you’ll have begun to see the seams and patterns in a procedurally generated one, and the result is the same: your sense of discovery – and the resulting urge to explore – vanish. Game designers are well aware of this pitfall, and you almost never see a pure exploration game. Instead, it’s often blended with another genre to give you other motivations to explore beyond just seeing what’s beyond the horizon. A modern approach is to mix exploration with elements from the survival genre – Minecraft being the most popular example, as well as No Man’s Sky and Don’t Starve. Other games – like the wonderful Eidolon – pair exploration with narrative elements from the ‘walking simulator’ genre. My plan for Village Monsters is to try something different. Like the other games I mentioned I’m going to use genre blending, but instead of survival or story I’m going to pair exploration with a village life simulator. Feedback Loop So…

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A lovely little forest

I don’t often post screenshots to this blog (I usually reserve that type of thing for Twitter dot com), but I’m pretty happy with how these trees and other forest-adjacent sprites turned out!

 

And here they are, all together:

There’s going to be an awful lot to explore in Village Monsters, and you can expect to find more than a few forests to pick through

Sprint 11 – The Weather Man – Planning

THE WEATHER MAN Week of March 26th, 2017 WARP DOGS’ CORP LOGS The state of our WARP CORP has declined of late, but can still be considered ~pretty decent~ The Extinction-Level-Event (ELE) has crept toward ~45 weeks away. Man! It’s been raining non-stop over here at WARP CORP HQ, and I gotta tell ya, your boy is starting to go rain crazy I always knew the seemingly boundless motivation wasn’t going to last, but I’m still surprised how hard it’s been to get some of it back since my accidental vacation. I’ve still been working nearly every day since my last post, but I haven’t bothered doing anything ‘sprint’ related as I felt too unfocused. I’m hoping to fix that this week and go back to more focused and impactful work. SPRINT GOALS Much of this sprint is on ‘soft’ stuff – getting focused, going back to the pomodoro method, planning the next few changes, and so on. In a couple weeks I’ll release the largest demo for Village Monsters since I began working on it. It’s absolutely packed with changes and features, so this week will also be focused on finishing up big changes so that next week can be dedicated mostly to polish Beyond that, I’ve been creating a lot of art assets for the game, and while I’m still no artist I am feeling more confident. I hope to ride that feeling and churn out a whole bunch of sprites – trees, villagers, furniture, and a lot more  

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Sprint 7/8 – Accidental Vacation – Retrospective

ACCIDENTAL VACATION Week of February 26th, 2017 & March 5th, 2017 I’m not dead. It’s never a good sign when you have to start a post that way. I’m calling the last week an accidental vacation. I didn’t mean to play Breath of the Wild nearly 8 hours a day for seven days straight, but that’s the reality we’re living in. Such are the pitfalls of self-employment, huh? With my office job if I wanted to be a lazy degenerate I had to at least take the day off first, and I had just a limited number of those. Well, after working nearly every day and night since January 13th the vacation was nice, I just, you know, didn’t really plan on it. Next week is a new week, and unlike last time I’m feeling incredibly motivated to actually get stuff done

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