Month: April 2017

Sprint 15 – April Showers – Retrospective

Hurry up and announce a Pikmin game for Switch already

APRIL SHOWERS

Week of April 23rd, 2017

OVERVIEW

It was another good week. I’m switching some things up on both the development and story fronts.

I’d like to make my development even more open than it already is. To this end, I’m moving off of KanbanFlow and back to Trello which has more robust ways of sharing things. The idea is to make my entire roadmap public so that you can look at what’s implemented, what’s coming up, and you even vote on things you think are most important.

Here’ s a lil preview:

On the story side of things I’ve been rethinking some of the themes and overall tone I’m going to explore. Nothing much I can talk about now, but in short: things are going to be more fun and less gloomy.

More to share soon!

SHOW & TELL

Sprint 15 – April Showers – Planning

Hurry up and announce a Pikmin game for Switch already

APRIL SHOWERS

Week of April 23rd, 2017

WARP DOGS’ CORP LOGS

  • The state of our WARP CORP continues to hold steady at ~pretty good~
  • The Extinction-Level-Event (ELE) is holding steady at ~42 weeks away. Neat!

Not much new to report here, truth be told. Just keeping my head down and working hard. I still haven’t decided if I’ll do a May release or if I’ll plow ahead ’til June like I did with the combined March / April release.

Though it’s a bit far away, I’ve also been making plans for how I’ll handle PAX Prime. I’m in Seattle and can definitely afford to go there, so I think I’ll make it my first public outing for the game. Like everything in my life these days it’s equal parts exciting and terrifying, so I figure I should get a head start on preparing.

SPRINT GOALS

The goal is to continue on ‘core loop’ features for the next week. My success – or lack of progress – will probably dictate if I do another release soon. I’m happy with how the Pink Crow release turned out, but I’m still embarrassed by how barebones it it.

Sprint 14 – Take Your Time – Retrospective

Persona 5 is a hell of a game

TAKE YOUR TIME

Week of April 16th, 2017

OVERVIEW

Another good week.

Much of it was spent on creating villagers to populate Luckstone with. A lot of these have existed in my head for some time, but I hadn’t had the skills to bring them into pixel form. Don’t get me wrong – I still lack those skills – but I know enough now where I don’t feel super embarrassed about it. Check below to see everyone!

Beyond that I added a shop and shopping mechanics, plus some weird and tangential stuff – like scratch tickets you can buy at the store. I also began work on a female main character – a long overdue task I’ve been putting off on account of my inability to make good looking characters.

There’s also been a lot of Persona 5, which is a Good Game. So, maybe go buy and play that, huh? You’ll see a lot of Persona influence in Village Monsters…daily activities, personable monsters from all walks of myth and legend, and maybe even anime waifus!*

*no

SHOW & TELL

Sprint 14 – Take Your Time – Planning

Persona 5 is a hell of a game

TAKE YOUR TIME

Week of April 16th, 2017

WARP DOGS’ CORP LOGS

  • The state of our WARP CORP continues to hold steady at ~pretty good~
  • The Extinction-Level-Event (ELE) is holding steady at ~43 weeks away. Neat!

I mentioned in last sprint’s retrospective that the week of a release is always incredibly motivating – the same can be said for the week after.

I haven’t had much feedback on the release I put out last week…to put a finer point on it, I’ve had actually no feedback. Like, at all. That’s probably not good, but I also don’t think I can read too much into it.

Things are going fine from a financial perspective. Not much to say – same as before

SPRINT GOALS

With much of the systems nailed down I’m now shifting focus to more “content” – things like creating villagers, populating different screens and other areas to explore, iterating over what I already have, and so on. Frankly, it’s been a ton of fun, but I am having a harder time finding a rhythm to the whole thing.

Technical stuff has a clearly defined endpoint – the thing works, the bug fixed, and so on. Not so with creative stuff…I could iterate over his fat dwarf forever, but should I? Probably not.

Anyway, the main goal this week is to start mapping out and working on the main gameloop. I have systems, but nothing really fits together yet. A few thoughts on how to tie it all together:

  • A shop in which you can buy and sell stuff
  • A house in which you can furnish and display items in
  • A quest system (what I’m calling ‘Mysteries’) to drive you forward

I think it’s possible to at least get started in all 3 of these before the end of the week

Sprint 13 – Pink Moon Rising – Retrospective

Click pic for image source

PINK MOON RISING

Week of April 9th, 2017

OVERVIEW

It was a big week, y’all – it’s a new release! Of my game! Village Monsters!

Release weeks are always going to feel rad, and this one was no different. I love that rush of excitement I get in the lead-up to the release – I absolutely do my best work when I know people are going to play what I’m making

I’d like to say it’s some due to some sort of motivational thing, but in reality it’s all about, uh, shame – “ugh, people are really going to see this terrible thing I made? Guess I have no choice but to make it less terrible, huh?”

Regardless, you can go experience my shame for yourself if you’d like – if you do, I’d love your feedback!

SHOW & TELL

ORIGINAL HOLIDAY, DO NOT STEAL. TM TM TM.

Feature Friday: Holidays & Events

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’m going to talk about holidays.

Save the date

As you may already know, there’s a full calendar system in Village Monsters –  every day is different than the one before it, whether it’s shop schedules, weather, seasonal items, and all sorts of other stuff.

Of course, a big part – and indeed, perhaps the best parts – of any year are the various events and holidays that pepper the calendar. Village Monsters is no different!

There are many events to discover each month, and they can range from as big as major holidays that overall the entire town, to reoccurring events like fishing tournaments, to very local events like villager birthdays, bowling, and Anime Night.

Indeed, the calendar is so important that there’s an entire tab in your Compendium that keep tracks of the various happenings around town. You’ll definitely want to check this section periodically so you can keep track of what’s coming up – for instance, you don’t want to show up to the fishing tournament with a crummy rod and amateur fishing skills, right?

As with most things, everything here is WIP

It’s a holiday in Cambodia

Each event will bring some new wrinkle to village life – new activities to enjoy, exclusive items to buy and collect, and visitors to talk to.

As you can likely guess, many of the holidays and events in game have analogs in the real world, though each one is sure to have its own unique twist.

For example, the Good Egg Day – which occurs the end of Early Spring – will seem pretty familiar and, ahem, relevant to certain events going on this weekend.

ORIGINAL HOLIDAY, DO NOT STEAL. TM TM TM.

Major holidays won’t just introduce new visitors or activities – in some cases, the entire village, background music, and even the UI will get a themed overhaul. Villagers will of course take part in the festivities as well, and even areas outside the village may have some secrets to find during certain special days.

Above all, I want holidays to feel like a big deal, something that you genuinely look forward to. I think it’s easy (for both designer and player) to fall into a checklist-trap – you wake up to a new a holiday and think, “Ok, new items bought…check. Holiday activities exhausted…check. Now what?”

That stuff is part of it, of course, but I don’t want it to be the only things you think of when a holiday rolls around. I’m hoping that if I can make it seem like the village itself is genuinely excited about holidays then you, the player, will be too.