Month: April 2017

WERE-RELEASE #3 OUT NOW – “PINK CROW”

Happy full moon, everybody!

A new full moon means a new version of Village Monsters for you to explore. I’m happy to announce that the latest Were-Release (what is this?), code named “Pink Crow“, is now officially released.

Go download it!

As with past releases, things are still very early. However, unlike past releases, Pink Crow is much more indicative of the game I’m making, and I’m really happy with what I was able to get done in the last couple months or so.

The truly massive change log can be found below, but here’s a summary: nearly everything is different and new.

If you’re interested in following games in early development, and want your feedback to shape a game in the making, then please take a look!

“Pink crow”

RELEASED: April 11th, 2017

Download:  Windows | Mac (Soon!) | Linux (Soon!)

What’s New?

Major

  • Player movement has been completely revamped with new actions, better feel, and a new collision system
  • Gamepads are not only support now, but are actively encouraged
  • Many system simulations are active, including time, weather, lighting, and more
  • Lots of really rad music has been added thanks to ETI user permanight
  • A toolbelt has been added to access your various tools, like your net and fishing rod
  • Oh yeah, and there’s fishing now. Equip your rod and go find a body of water
  • New critters to find and catch
  • Lots of new items and objects to pick up, throw, kick, or otherwise look at
  • Hey, there’s a raft now
  • Several new villagers have moved into town. Say hello!
  • The village area has been trashed and completely remade with new buildings, decor, and lamps, and more
  • Nearly every single sprite has been either redone entirely or improved
    • (they’re still bad. sorry)
  • You won’t be teleported randomly around when exploring or exiting / entering buildings
  • Lots of bugs fixed and an equal amount introduced
  • Lots of new UI changes
  • A “draw order” system allowing for smarter layering
  • You can explore areas outside the village – have fun!
  • New secret stuff
  • New weird stuff
  • New ???

Full List

Player & Actions

  • Movement Improvements
    • Tweaked the movement code to give it an overall better feel
    • Fixed bug related to footsteps either triggering too much or not enough
    • Increased speed of sprinting
    • Made sprint a toggle
    • When using a controller, movement speed is based on analog stick pressure
  • MAJOR: Controller Support
    • You can now play the entire game with a gamepad
  • Lantern at night
    • Toggle with “T” for now
    • Added a lantern to help light the way at night
  • Dialog timing changes
    • Dialog should overall be easier to read and also easier to skip through
  • Persistence
    • Player object has been persisted across all rooms
      • Player Authority created to manage creation and tracking of player object
    • Player location will be maintained between room transitions
  • Shadow changes
    • Removed ‘hardcoded’ (and bad) shadow
  • MAJOR: Completely revamped collision system
    • Collision is handled via tile instead of objects
    • Collision is much more performant
    • You can no longer walk over things like water
  • MAJOR: New Action: Roll
    • Rolling moves a bit faster, but is primarily used for shaking and breaking things
    • Roll into trees to make items (and birds) fly out
    • Roll into pots to break them and pick up bits
    • Rolling is on a cooldown
  • MAJOR: New Action: Pickup & Throw
    • Some items can be picked up and thrown
    • You may find secrets and other valuables by throwing everything you can
    • Pots can be thrown to create bits
  • New Action: Kick
    • Walk into some items – like a ball – to kick them around
    • Kicking may be useful in the future. It currently isn’t.
  • MAJOR: Toolbelt
    • A new UI element called the ‘toolbelt’ has been added
    • Use the toolbelt to cycle through tools (like fishing rod, bugcatching net, and lantern)
  • Inventory Grouping
    • Items are now grouped within the inventory

Hobbies & Activities

  • MAJOR: New Hobby: Fishing
    • Players can now fish for, uh, fish!
      • Go to any body of water, select your fishing rod, and press the Use Tool button to fish
      • A new fishing “minigame” has been added
      • You must cast your hook and reel it in strategically to attract fish
      • Watch out for your line tension – if that breaks, you lose the fish
    • A boat has been added with which you can fish from
      • The boat has a very boat-y feel to its movement
      • Added a torch to the boat
    • Fish are added to your inventory
  • Bug Catching changes
    • Holding the “Use Tool” button while the net is equipped will cause the player to enter ‘critter stalking’ mode
    • You’ll move slower while stalking, but bugs will be less skittish
  • New Critter: Sun Fly
    • Added the noctornal sun fly
    • Sun flies glow and act similarly to Sea flies
  • New critter fleeing behavior
    • All fleeing critters now fade into the background as they run
  • New critters: Butterfly Leaders
    • Monarch, Emperor, President, and Caeser butterflies have been added. Catch ’em all
  • S-Fly Spawner
    • Fixed issue preventing flies from spawning by the pond
    • Better ‘annoying buzzing’ behavior (they won’t just congregate around your beard)
  • New Gatherables
    • More than half a dozen new mushrooms types have been added. You’ll have to hunt them all down!

Villagers, Dog, & Other Entities

  • Portrait Changes
    • Added villager names underneath the portrait
  • New Ambient Creatures
    • Owls that fly overhead at night
    • Crows now hang around and will scatter when you try to get close
  • Dog Bug Fixes
    • Fixed returning fetched items from directly up / down
    • Fixed issue with sprite offsets that made the dog changing directions look mega goofy
    • Migrated to new movement system
  • Path tileset
    • A new tileset was created for paths and the entire village and surrounding areas have been pathed
  • New Villager: Lindwyrm
    • He’s a dragon, and he helps runs the Historical Society
  • New Villager: (Post-Punk Pixie Postman)
    • She’s unnamed for now
    • In the future, she’ll handle all postal services in town

Village, Buildings, Decor

  • New External Decor: Streetlamps
    • Streetlamps now exist in the village and help light the way at night
    • There are a couple of varieties
  • Made village lake less ugly
    • Thanks to the magic of auto-tiling
  • Postal Service (?)
    • You’ll find a whole bunch of mailboxes around town
    • They’ll help you identify buildings you aren’t sure of
  • New door behaviors
    • Instead of going into buildings automatically, you need to press the Z key or A button
      • This was done to prevent accidental building transitions
  • New color palettes!
  • MAJOR: New village buildings to explore
    • Mock’s House
    • Historical Society
    • Treasure Chest House
    • Skull House
  • Revamped interiors
    • Less ugly overall
    • Better collisions (meaning that collisions actually exist)
    • No more weather indoors (lol)
  • MAJOR: Music
    • Several tracks of music have been added to the game…
      • Morning track
      • Afternoon track
      • Evening track
      • Night track
      • Music fades in and our at each hour change
      • A nice bell toles during the changing of hours
  • New Items
    • Pots
      • Create bits when smashed
    • Bits
      • Used as currency
      • A new UI element has been added to track bits
      • A pleasant SFX plays when you pick up a bit
  • New detours
    • A gacha machine can be found somewhere. Spend your bits wisely
  • Helpful notes?
    • A number of notes and other signs have been erected around the town and outskirts
  • Pedestals in the historical society
    • Items in your inventory can be placed on pedestals in the historical society
    • In the future, this’ll be how you complete your collections

Areas

  • MAJOR: New areas to explore
    • Crossroads
    • Outskirts Forest
      • A whole lotta trees and other vegetation were created for this area
      • Maybe you’ll find other things there – like mushrooms. Or a TV
    • Outskirts Lake
      • Have fun sailing around the lake on the raft
  • MAJOR: Improved area transitions
    • Transitioning between screens and rooms now places the player in the correct place
  • New vegetation
    • Additional trees, stumps, etc. have been created

Simulation & Systems

  • MAJOR: Lighting Engine FX
    • With darkness comes an actual lighting engine around the player, light sources, and other objects
    • Current objects with lighting:
      • Player (via torch)
      • Streetlamps
      • Sun Flies
  • MAJOR: Time Concepts
    • Added the ‘concept’ of week, month, and year
      • Time advances following these rules
      • A week has 7 days, a month has 4 weeks, and a year has 6 months
  • MAJOR: Weather based on weather patterns
    • Weather now is based on specific patterns. New patterns created:
      • Clear
      • “Seattle” (mostly drizzle all day)
      • Snow
    • The start of the new day randomly selects a new weather pattern for that day
  • Calendar UI Element
    • A UI element of the current date and season has been added to the existing clock UI element
    • The tree and colors of this element change throughout the seasons
  • Day changes
    • A friendly rooster greets the morning
    • A friendly coyote greets the night
    • The SFX pleasantly fades in and then back out
    • Fixed a bug that prevented the popup from telling you the actual time of day
  • Ambient Cloud Cover
    • You may now see the occasional cloud shadow pass by
    • Clouds only show up during daylight hours
  • Weather Bug Fixes
    • Weather no longer ocurrs indoors
    • Rain should now behave properly even when it’s heavy
  • Technical Weather Changes
    • The manager for time and weather has been combined for convenience
    • All existing daylight filters have been converted to surface + blending
  • Added moon phases
    • New, Crecent, Gibbous, and Full
  • Weather SFX
    • Added rain sounds when it rains
    • Improved wind sounds
  • Some sorta…weird…glitch…thing?
    • They’ve been seen around the crossroads
    • The east and western roads have been closed until further notice
  • Completely revamped the clock system
    • Went from 8 times of day to just 4: Morning, Day, Evening, Night

Menus & UI

  • Notification Improvements
    • Removed “x1” from showing up inappropriately
  • MAJOR: Changes to Clock UI
    • There is now an indicator to tell you what the current day is
    • All ‘slices’ but the current time of a day are dimmed out
    • The clock now properly reflects reality
  • The Compendium
    • A new menu option allows you to call up the vitally important Compendium
    • Click tabs to navigate between sections

Other

  • MAJOR: Concept of “Authorities”
    • An “authority” is a technical controller that creates or monitors a variety of game factors, like player location and the creation of ‘headless’ objects
  • MAJOR: Concept of Draw Order
    • All objects now have a draw order for proper “layering”
      • Eg., standing in front of a tree displays you in front of it. Going behind the trees displays the tree on top of you.
    • All layers and other draw calls have been optimized for performance
  • Revamped shadow system
    • Shadows are now “dynamically generated” and are overall a lot better to look at (?)

Sprint 13 – Pink Moon Rising – Planning

Click pic for image source

PINK MOON RISING

Week of April 9th, 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 ~44 weeks away. Neat!

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

It’ll be my first one in 2 months and only my 3rd overall, and unlike those other releases I’m actually not full of shame and regret. Well, to be fair, I am still filled with those things, but it’s for other reasons.

Anyway, things are going pretty pretty good again. I’m back on a good working schedule and have made a ton of progress. Taxes are done and about to be filed…things are looking up for the WARP CORP

SPRINT GOALS

Really just one main goal this week – release a dang game demo.

Beyond that, I’ve got a big ol’ backlog of analysis-related tasks that I’ve kept putting off.

Sprint 12 – I am Thou – Retrospective


I AM THOU

Week of April 2nd, 2017

OVERVIEW

It was a good week this week. I got a lot of work  done on some things I had been meaning to since, uh, forever.

I have a theory about game development – and probably all development, actually. You know the warts in your code; not just the outward facing bugs, but also the terrible workarounds, the shameful lack of documentation, the abominable exploitation of innocent data structures.

But you need to ignore most of them if you want to stay sane…especially if you’re a solo dev with limited time (and a lack of skill in my case)

So you ignore them, and ignore them, and ignore them…until finally they drive you absolutely nuts, you reach a breaking point, and you’re forced to actually fix them.

Soon enough you realize that the above works for features, too. Before too long, all of your prioritization is based on what annoys you the most.

and you know what? The system really works. I fixed all my annoyances this week.

Sprint 12 – I am Thou – Planning


I AM THOU

Week of April 2nd, 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 ~44 weeks away. Neat!

Hey, hi, hello! My name is Josh. I do, uh, video games…?

It really does feel like I’m back after weeks of floundering. Which is good, because there’s a new demo release right around the corner – April 10th, next week!

Anyhow, the state of our business is strong. We’re continuing to do well in the money department thanks to my team of Highly Respected Accountants, and I’m ready to put my head down and dive into work this week.

One possible hiccup? 2017 has been an insane year for really good games, and Persona 5 is hitting on Tuesday. Like any respected member of society I’m picking it up at launch, but I don’t expect to be nearly as distracted by it than I was with Zelda.  I’ve hopefully learned my lesson.

SPRINT GOALS

My goal this week is to wrap stuff up, polish what I can, and get this thing ready to ship on Tuesday. I also want to add a few more secrets that you can discover for yourself once it’s in your hands, so I’m gotta be hush-hush for now.

Sprint 11 – The Weather Man – Retrospective

THE WEATHER MAN

Week of March 26th, 2017

OVERVIEW

It only took me an entire month of failure, but I’m finally back to a normal and productive work schedule.

Without really meaning to I’ve been slowly transitioning to creating “content” instead of “systems”. This is a really cool and important change, and while I wouldn’t dare call my systems completed, I am really excited to start making stuff that is more outwardly interesting.

The biggest victory this week was creating an entire forest to explore. This included changes to lighting, creating a whole bunch of tree and vegetation sprites, and a lot of other changes. If you’ve been following along you’ll have noticed how insanely large the change list for the next version is! This week is my last full week before the next were-release on April 10th – please be excited for that!

Speaking of pleas for excitement, I sent out my first newsletter yesterday. If you’d like, you can sign up to get these in your inbox on a bi-weekly basis. They’re written “in-world”, meaning it’s trying to mimic an actual town newsletter, so you can expect a different style with new and interesting (?) information than what I post here or on Twitter.

SHOW & TELL