Release: Beta 1 Demo is now Available

Welcome to Beta, Village Monsters! Three months of tremendous work has lead to this being one of the biggest and most interesting updates so far.

Toward the start I maintained a detailed list of patch notes, but as it grew and grew I realized that it was simply becoming too much – no one would want to read it!

As such, here are some abridged notes on some of the most important features.

Please note that some features were truncated or made “dark” (eg., they exist but cannot be accessed) due to some scheduling problems (and by that, I mean my son was born). They will be addressed in future patches to this demo.

To Download

Pre-Release Demos are exclusively to Kickstarter backers. To access your demo, please follow the link sent to you via email. Simply download, extract, and run to play!

If you didn’t get an email, then please send one to me (josh@warpdogs.com) and I’ll sort it out quickly.

Villager Dialogue

Do you like making friends with monsters? Then you’ll love the biggest change of this demo.

Villager dialogue has been greatly expanded. They each now have much more to say, and will even comment on the weather, time of day, your accomplishments, and so on.

Monster friendships are also expanded, but this continues to be a behind-the-scenes thing for now.

 

New & Improved Areas

Nearly every area of the game has been majorly redone. The village especially has seen some major changes in how its laid out.

This also includes a slew of new interiors complete with new furniture, walls / flooring, and decorations.

There are also many more places to explore, like a farm, large forest, and graveyard. Get to explorin’!

New Fishing

I’ve redone Fishing a few times, but for the beta I went back to the drawing board. Gone is the old minigame, replaced instead by a new one that doesn’t take you out of the game.

As before, your goal is to wear out the fish before your line is too stressed and breaks. Here’s a general how-to for fishing:

  1. Equip your rod and find a water source
  2. Cast your rod. Wait until a fish shows up
  3. Don’t pull yet! Try to wait until he gets a good bite (look for an animation and SFX)
  4. Reel ’em in. Move the analog stick or arrow keys in the direction indicated on the stamina bar

Better Graphics

As with previous releases I performed an art pass on many of the items in the game. This has resulted in better shading, shadows, colors, and incorporating some general improvements I’ve learned with practice.

UI Changes

Most UI elements saw a major changes. Some items – like the journal – have been seen significant changes to become more useful. Others have been removed or combined with other elements

This also includes some font changes, including a new dialogue font

New Items & Furniture

There are more potions to drink, furniture to buy, and food to eat.

Note: Furniture does require a house to set up, which isn’t currently active. So…just admire them in your inventory.

More Critters, Fish, Plants, and Treasure

Each hobby has seen an influx of new things to find and collect.

There are also new ways to find things with each hobby. Critter enthusiasts will now note that night hunting is a very different experience, while treasure hunters will appreciate that it’s now easier to identify an item before you dig it up.

More Interesting Lighting

Lighting has been made a bit more interesting.

Daylight transitions (including with weather) now happen gradually. Night is now darker, especially late at night. Generally, light is now longer “soft” but is instead “hard”, better matching the cartoon-y style of the rest of the graphics

Quality of Life & Bugfixes

As with other releases, this one contains a flurry of quality of life changes, bug fixes, and overall stability improvements.

There are too many to list, but as with any big (pre-release) demo there are bound to be some exciting new bugs for us to squash together.

Known Issues / To Do’s

  • There is now only one sprite for the player – the default male. This’ll change in an upcoming beta patch
  • Music may sound compressed. This is for a rather believable reason – the music is indeed compressed. The final beta 1 release was actually a great deal bigger than expected, and my host rejected the size. I had to compress the audio to get it lower. A more permanent and uncompressed solution is pending
  • The player sprite does not play animations for several tasks. This’ll change in an upcoming beta patch
  • There still is no saving in the game, though that is next on the docket
  • Some villagers may repeat dialogue more frequently than others. This is simply because some villagers have more dialogue available than others!

Village Monsters – Alpha 2.2 Release

Happy New Year!

The final Alpha version of 2017 has been posted. It’s also very likely the final Alpha version period! Next up I begin work on Beta 1. Get hyped!

Your download portal should already be updated with the new hotness. Here’s the patch notes for the release:

Alpha 2.2 Additions

  • The title screen now has music, more realistic clouds, and a proper transition to the game
  • Overflow has been completely redone – new layout, new furniture, etc.
  • A basic controls page has been added to the first page of the journal
  • You can now adjust the window size (zoom level) via the system menu
    • The game window now resizes itself to your particular resolution ratio
  • You can now switch to full screen via the system menu
  • Added a new villager, Mr. Rose
  • Added several new critters to find and catch
  • Interesting secrets have been considered
  • A new calendar GUI element has been added

Alpha 2.2 Improvements

  • The camera for all interiors has been adjusted to match that of the outside cameras
  • The following control changes have been made to the gamepad option:
    • Y / Top Face Button now toggles the inventory
    • X / Left Face Button now uses the tool
    • Start now toggles the system menu
    • Select now toggles the journal
  • Reading mail no longer closes the inventory screen
    • Well, it does, but it’ll open up again on its own once you’re done reading
  • It’s now easier to toggle the inventory
  • The whoopie pie truck driver has gone on vacation
  • Shadows of most trees have been improved
  • The system menu selection now loops
  • The dialogue ‘tap’ sounds has been increses
  • The cursor is now hidden within the game window (for now)
  • Both bookcases (normal and small) have been redone

Alpha 2.2 Fixes

  • Fixed a bug preventing an open book from being closed with “Cancel” when using keyboard controls
  • A number of creatures were incorrectly switching sprites during some occasions. This has been fixed
  • Blank item cards should no longer say “Ore” or “Flavortown USA”
  • Collision for many villagers has been adjusted

 

 

Village Monsters – Alpha 2.1 Release

Oof, that’ll teach me to make a bunch of changes on a release day.

It’s obvious now that Alpha 2 needed much more thorough testing of the last-minute changes; many of you have reported crashes and other problems that are preventing you from even playing.

I was able to fix the majority of them and I’ve placed a new patched version of the game – Alpha 2.1 – in your download portal for you to grab. You’ll also get a new email if you’ve downloaded it already.

I’m such an idiot, and I’m really very sorry for releasing such a sloppy version of the game out there. I knew I was taking a risk in making changes so soon to release, and it clearly was not the right move.

I’ve learned my lesson – expect more stable releases in the future.

Alpha 2.1 Fixes

  • Fixed a crash related to a door in the player’s house
  • Fixed a crash related to the vending machine
  • Fixed a crash related to the journal’s Mystery section
  • Fixed a crash related to leaving the vacant house
  • Fixed a crash related to music on the 3rd day
  • Adjusted animations to the player character when the day ends
  • Fixed an issue with ‘freezing’ the character if you attempt to place furniture outside
  • Adjusted the draw distance to see less pop-in, especially with trees
  • Fixed a transparency issue with Bottes’ dialogue in the general store
  • The bed in Boros’ house has been fixed (again)
  • Boros’ hello box has been adjusted
  • A linebreak in the Castled Cake description has been fixed

Village Monsters – Alpha 2 Release Notes

Here it is! The first Village Monsters demo of the post-Kickstarter era.

It’s called Alpha 2, and it’s hopefully a big improvement on Alpha 1.

If you’re a Kickstarter backer that has pledged $25 or above you should be getting an email soon with instructions on how to download it.

If you don’t fall in that category but still want to grab the latest demo then keep an eye out later this week for some news there.

As always, you can send feedback via the in-game feedback system, or to my email, or to my Twitter. I read it all, so send as much as you want!

Now let’s look at the big list of changes…

Keep Reading

Village Monsters Alpha 1.02 – Out Now!

Happy Waning Gibbous, Y’all

No full moon? Big deal! I can release a new demo whenever I want, and that’s exactly what I’ve done!

Ok, so this is just Alpha 1.02 which contains the core features of Alpha 1 + some extra bugfixing, polish, and even a few new features

Go download it!

As with Alpha 1, it comes with the usual warnings: there’s plenty of missing content, placeholder features, bugs, and more. However! The game has reached a level of stability and features that I feel comfortable graduating it from Pre-Alpha to Alpha

Keep Reading

WERE-RELEASE #4 OUT NOW – “FLOWER”

Happy full moon, everybody!

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

Go download it!

As with all the other pre-alpha releases, things are still very early. Expect a lot of unfinished or straight up missing systems and features. If you’re interested in following games in early development and want your feedback to shape a game then I’d love for you to take a look! Otherwise, maybe wait until it’s closer to the final release

This is also considered a minor version, meaning that the focus was on polish, bugfixes, and new content. You can expect the same overall structure and feel of the game to be similar to the last release.

The next major release is scheduled to come out this Summer, so be sure to get in any feedback or suggestions before then.

Have fun!

“Flower”

RELEASED: May 10th, 2017

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

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 (?)

Were-Release #2 Out Now – “Snow”

Image courtesy of Pixabay

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 “Snow“, is now officially released.

I’m very proud of what I can share with you today, but I also want to stress that this is still very early. It’s not exactly brimming with content quite yet!

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

“Snow”

RELEASED: February 10th, 2017

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

What’s New

Player & Actions

  • Basic character movement (WASD)
    • Includes sprinting (hold Shift), creeping (hold Control)
    • Press the Middle Mouse button to move the camera around
  • Dynamic Camera
    • Follows the player and slightly lags behind
    • Use the middle-mouse button to move it around
    • “Shaky Cam” system implement for some actions
  • Player Action – Talk
    • Get near a villager and use the key to talk to them. X also advances the text
  • Player Action – Interact
    • Currently the only object to interact with is Dragon’s Hoard, the claw machine in the building with Mock
    • Use the X key to interact with it
  • Player Action – Grab / Pull
    • Currently can only grab/pull a box.
    • Use the key when near a box to grab it
  • Player Action – Swing Net
    • Press to swing your net
    • Critters caught by your net are added to your inventory
  • Player Action – Throw
    • Press F to throw the ball
    • Requires to pick up the Dog Ball and make it active

Villagers, Dog & Other Critters

  • Two new Villagers
    • Mock, the depressed goblin
    • Sign”, the unnamed – but still angry – Sign
  • A more complete Dog
    • Dog snoozes when bored
    • Dog wags its tail faster when ball is picked up
    • Dog fetches ball and brings it back
      • To play fetch, first pick up a ball, make it active, and then throw it with F
    • Dog can be pet and spoken to with X
  • New Critters to catch
    • Half Hopper
      • Flee when you approach
    • Sea Fly
      • Spawn indefinitely near pool
      • Chase after the player when close
    • Candy Horn Beetle
    • Holiday Horn Beetle
      • Winter only
  • Initial pass at “ambiant critters” system
    • A occasional bird will fly across the screen

Menus & UI

  • Basic dialog system
    • Typerwriter text and tap noise
    • Different types of text
      • Dialog
      • Narrator
      • Emphasis
    • Portrait & animation
  • Basic inventory system
    • Press I or click the bag icon to bring it up
    • Use your mouse or arrow keys to navigate items
    • The F key allows you the currently active icon. Not all items may be used at this time
  • Basic world map menu
    • Press the map icon to bring it up.
    • Use your WASD keys and mouse wheel to navigate.
  • Notification system
    • Notices trigger for various important events, such as inventory management, day changes, and more
    • Like-notices are grouped together

Simulation & Systems

  • Two new major systems: Time & Weather
    • 8 times of day with their own daylight filters
    • A full day takes about 20 minutes, but there are ways to increase this in the demo
    • 4 weather patterns:
      • Clear
      • Drizzle
      • Heavy Rain
      • Snow
    • A clock UI element to monitor the time and weather
  • Prototype of a 3rd major simulated system – Seasons
    • “Winter” version of map with new visuals, new critters to catch, and new weather
    • Find a way to trigger Winter via an in-game mechanic

Village & Related

  • Completely new and revamped art style and layout of “village”
    • New trees, flowers, and other vegetation
    • Can no longer walk out of bounds
  • Two new buildings
    • Test inn. Contains Mock, Dragon’s Hoard, and some tables
    • Historical Society. Contains naught but spider webs
  • Dragon’s Hoard claw machine
    • Incredibly basic and buggy!

Other

  • Basic SFX
    • Wind noises
    • Footfalls
    • Dialog sounds
    • Pickup sound

Known Issues

  • The player always resets position when changing ‘rooms’
  • Very little is persisted
  • Huge amount of graphical bugs, especially incorrect overlapping and sprite flipping
  • Collision system is frequently dumb
  • Overall, it’s very fragile!

Feedback

There are many ways to provide feedback on your time with the game. All feedback will be read and considered – it’s my favorite part of this whole thing!

Email: josh@warpdogs.com

Comments: Click here. No registration required.

Twitter: @WarpDogs

Other: Scream loudly into the western sun. Let the ground shake with your fury, your blood hot with the magma of the earth.

Introducing the Were-Release

No development can be done in a vacuum, and with games player feedback isn’t just important – it’s absolutely necessary. Doesn’t matter how much I think a thing is fun if nobody else does!

To this end, I’ve committed myself to publish a new build to this site for everyone to play with each month. This fits well with my overall “sorta-Agile” strategy of iterative and rapid development, and it’s the right length of time to delivery substantially new releases.

But then I thought – you know what? Just doing something every 30 or 31 days is kinda boring. What if I tied to some monthly thing so it’s easier to remember and a bit more of an occasion?

Then it hit me – in a manner of speaking

The full moon happens each month! Sometimes twice!

Tying a monthly release to the full moon seemed to strike the right kind of balance between “weird” and “sorta makes sense, actually” that I try to live every day by.

I’m calling it the Were-Release. I don’t like that name anymore than you do, but it’s here, and we best just get used to it, ok?

The latest Were-Release can always be found on this page, and guess what? There’s already one there! The Were-Release for January, Wolf, has been uploaded to the site and is ready to be downloaded.

Be warned: This release, and likely all Were-Releases, will be rough and are not exactly release candidates. But play around with them and make noise in the comments if things are cool, suck, or just plain broken.