Development Diary – Improving on graphics, fishing, and sounds

I’m still having trouble getting my sea legs, assuming “sea legs” means making time for regular updates! I don’t think anyone has ever used the phrase like that before, but I’m nothing if not a pioneer!

Anyway, it’s still technically the weekend, so I’m not late yet. There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s dig into this week’s Village Monsters¬†Developer Diary!

IMPROVED GRAPHICS

If you could somehow make a word cloud of my all my posts and tweets in the last year then I’m sure “I’m not an artist!” would stand out.

I mean, it’s true – I’m not an artist! – but I’m going to stop using that as a caveat and instead focus on getting better.

Here’s some things I improved this week.

First, I prettied up the initial player house (it’s still a shack, though) and the dog house upgrade. I also added new fog effects to differentiate it as a weather type

Here’s a WIP version of the new player character (male). Not implemented in game yet, but I like him a lot better than the old model

Finally, I’ve started making the UI more colorful than it was before. This is still a mighty WIP, but a lot of my UI design before was brown, black, or white, and that seem antithetical to a game that’s meant to be colorful and cartoony

Here’s a mockup of the new inventory + new tool icons

NEW SOUND EFFECTS

I can’t exactly make screenshots of these changes, but this week I spent a lot of time on adding new sound effects and improving the ones that are there.

There are improved footstep sound effects for inside and outside, new sound effects for using tools, interacting with furniture, more ambient sounds, and much more.

FISHING CHANGES

Finally, I’ve been fleshing out fishing. It’s been one of the weaker hobbies for awhile and it needed a lot of love.

First, I added two new features:

1. Your fishing skill now controls how well you can identify a fish before you actually hook it. Novice fishermen will see just vague silhouettes, while seasoned fishermen will see full details and labels. This’ll make catching rare or valuable fish a lot easier

2. You now have a net you can deploy while fishing. Unlike the rod, you have almost no control after you toss it into the water. However! If it hits a fish it ensnares them in place which makes it much easier to hook and reel to the surface. It also adds a bit more variety to fishing instead of just watching your line

Beyond those new features, I’ve also overhauled a lot of the graphics, sounds, and behaviors. Fish now behave a bit more fish-like, the casting / hooking mechanics have been re-balanced, and there are actual animations for most actions. It’s a big improvement! I hope.

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