Shacks, Weather, and a New Exhibit: It’s the VMD3 for June 11th

Here’s last week’s screenshot roundup!  ​ By far the biggest thing I worked on last week was furniture and other decorations. The above gif is from the same house – your very first one, which is nothing more than a storage shed – that’s being furnished over time. The final release will have a *lot* of furniture and will run the gamut between the modern – like TVs and fridges – to the more fantastical and unusual  ​ Work also continues on making the village itself more visually distinct. I’ve added two types of fences – normal brown and the classic white picket – and also fleshed out some more gardens. You’ll be able to customize your own garden that’s outside your home  ​ If you’ve played the current alpha you’ll know that the historical society is pretty desolate – it’s basically just a single room with a bunch of pedestals to place your stuff on. Last week I iterated over it again and started adding actual exhibits. There are currently two – one for your critter collection, the other for fossil, treasure, and other archaeology donations  ​ Finally I want to talk about weather. I love love LOVE weather in video games, but one thing has always bugged me – even when a game does have weather it often is very same-y…maybe it’ll have just a single ‘rain’ effect, or when it is raining it rains for the entire level or day, that kind of thing. Weather is too interesting and diverse to be this boring! The above gif shows off 4 different intensities of rain – drizzle, rain, heavy rain, and thunderstorm – that you can experience in Village Monsters. The latter two even come up darker lighting! Each day will have 8 ‘slots’ for weather, so like real life…

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New Interiors, Dog Whistles, and the Moon Man: It’s the VMD3 for June 5th

A roundup of screenshots from the last week’s worth of work. Experimenting with a prototype for placing furniture in your home. There’s going to be a lot of options for furniture and other customization in the final game, though for now it’s all pretty basic The above shot also shows off the new interior tileset. I like it a lot!   Speaking of prototypes, here’s another experiment with a system for issuing commands to your faithful pup. Someone on the #indiedevhour suggested some sort of whistling mechanic, and to me that meant something akin to the Ocarina from OoT. It’s meant to be much quicker and has far less options than most Zelda instruments! …and here’s a tragic bug from that same testing. Poor little guy I’d say I have about 1/3rd of the villagers at least roughly implemented – there’s going to be 36 in total. However, beyond the 36 permanent residents there are also going to be plenty of ‘visitors’, like this guy. Visitors are not permanent and only show up during special times, like holidays, events, and other unique times As you can see, this guy doesn’t even speak your language, which does make things tricky​

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Critters, More Critters, and Blunder Buzz: It’s the VMD3 for May 31st

I’m a bit (very!) late on posting this developer diary, but here it is: Catching Critters in Village Monsters You’ll notice I’m careful not to call it ‘bug catching’, and the reason is simple: you’ll be hunting and catching far more than bugs. Sure, you’ll still catch the familiar and mundane Monarch Butterfly, or the less familiar but equally mundane Caeser Butterfly, but there are far more fantastical things to hunt out there. Mountain gnomes, snow elementals, and even sentient loofahs (??) are all out there to just waiting to be caught. But there is a 3rd category for creatures that don’t fit with either the mundane or the fantastic – they are called the misfects. Through data corruption and other mysterious forces, these previously normal creatures have been transformed during the long years of abandonment. There’s the pitiful Half-Hopper, a frog that appears to only contain half of the normally necessary body parts. There’s also this strange snake-like creature that grows, dies, becomes reborn, and then starts the process again. But uncovering creature variety is only half of the fun of this hobby – the other half is actually catching them. The Village Monster calendar contains 4 seasons spread across 8 months, and each critter has their own seasonal appearances. Some have further requirements before they appear – like different weather, the presence of a certain item, or even specific world events like holidays. In terms of actually catching them, the standard tool will be the bug net. You can upgrade your bug net, but the real powerful abilities come in the form of glitch powers. Pretty crazy, right? Well, remember those misfects I talked about? More than simple creatures were affected by the data corruption, and not every glitch is bad. As you catch critters you’ll earn experience…

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Dogs, Digs, and Dig Dogs: It’s the VMD3 for May 16th

There’s a lot to do in an average day in Village Monsters – activities range from as the mundane, like shopping or talking with villagers, to multi-stage quests, odd jobs, and even exploration. However, the most involved type of activity is called a Hobby. Hobbies are generally ‘slow burns’ that you’ll work on each day, and they require effort, upgrading equipment, and leveling up skills. Thankfully, the rewards – like cash and items to donate, use or display in your home – are also greater than other activities. In the prototype you can actually play with two such hobbies: critter hunting and fishing. This week I’m working on a 3rd hobby: Archaeology! (Like most things the name is subject to change) You’ve probably already guessed this by the name, but this hobby involves a lot of digging around. As you wander the village and surrounding areas you may find a digable spot in the ground marked by an obvious red “X” – you can then take your shovel to dig up whatever is buried there. Prototype / WIP Most of the time it’ll be things that you’ll want to sell off, but sometimes you’ll get lucky and find rare treasures. You may even find the remains of ancient mythological beasts and other monsters that can be donated to the Historical Society, displayed in your home as a trophy, or sold to the very curious (and very insane) scientist that lives outside of town. Prototype / WIP But perhaps the best thing to find in the dirt isn’t a treasure at all, but rather: a map! These special items are each the start of a unique treasure hunt quest that can span several days or even weeks in the game. Each hunt will require you to solve riddles, find specific landmarks, or explore…

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Sprint 18 – Why Not Both?

WHY NOT BOTH? Week of May 14th, 2017 WARP DOGS’ CORP LOGS The state of our WARP CORP continues to hold steady at ~doin’ fine~ The Extinction-Level-Event (ELE) is holding steady at ~39 weeks away. Rad! I’m trying something new! That’s what working for yourself allows for, yeah? Pivots, baby! Truth is, I was spending more time than I wanted to on these planning and retrospective posts. I mean, ok, it wasn’t that much time, but it was always something I kept putting off and putting off, and then when I actually did do it I always half-assed it. I won’t get rid of the concept entirely because I think it’s important to my psuedo-agile approach, but I am combining the two. This new thing will go out each Sunday (except for, uh, this first one?) and it’ll look exactly like the Planning posts with the addition of a Show & Tell section. I’ll also try to weave in last week’s successes (and many failures) into the Goals. Ok, cool? Cool! Not much to report on the biz side of things. The prototype release Flower has been out for about a week now, which is rad! Everything else is on schedule. SPRINT GOALS The latest prototype contains two hobbies – critter hunting, and fishing. Since the start I always envisioned three primary hobbies, and this week marks progress in that 3rd one: archaeology! This’ll be the most involved of the hobbies, and includes things like digging up jewels, finding treasure maps and clues leading to even greater treasure, finding the remains of long-dead ancient creatures…there’s a lot! More importantly, this hobby has the most ties with other systems of the game – like seeding the ground with things to dig up each new day, or adding new quests to the Compendium if you dig up a map,…

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Sprint 16 – It’s Not Built For Shoes – Retrospective

IT’S NOT BUILT FOR SHOES Week of April 30th, 2017 OVERVIEW This was a pretty lousy week, if I’m honest. You ever have one of those days where it feels like you do a ton of work, only to you realize you don’t have a whole lot to show for it? Imagine that, but it’s all week, and you have an idea for how it went. Dunno why, really, just one of those things. This coming week includes a full moon – meaning a new release! – and I’ve felt completely taken by surprise. Has it been a month already? What the hell! Only 4 days to go…so, I best get back to it. SHOW & TELL

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Sprint 16 – It’s Not Built For Shoes – Planning

IT’S NOT BUILT FOR SHOES Week of April 30th, 2017 WARP DOGS’ CORP LOGS The state of our WARP CORP continues to hold steady at ~pretty ok~ The Extinction-Level-Event (ELE) is holding steady at ~41 weeks away. Rad! Not much new to add on this front – money is continuing to be spent, but not too much. We still have just under a year to figure this stuff out, and I’m still feeling confident we will. For the first time in like a decade we’re getting a tax return back, and its substantial enough to make a blip on the ol’ WARP CORP charts above. That’ll come some in the summer. Between that, various retirement accounts and other sources of income, I think I’ll be able to keep on trucking until an eventual plea for money in the form of a Kickstarter. Ah, but before that I need a game worth backing, right? Well stop making me type this and let me get back to it! SPRINT GOALS I have a few different analysis-related goals this week. I’d like to get together a “Lore Bible” of sorts – for myself! I’m picturing an Excel sheet of sorts that lists every character, their personality, relationships, places in the world, and so on. I’d also like to finish up the public roadmap that I’ll be sharing over Trello – I’m committing to getting that out this week, actually, so look forward to that. On the coding front the plan is to continue with ‘core loop’ items. This week I’ll definitely focus on player housing including furniture placement, upgrades, and lots more. Finally finally, I’d like a more robust dialog system (one fed via an external file instead of the hardcoded version I have now) So, could be a busy week. Let’s get to it.

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Sprint 15 – April Showers – Retrospective

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

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