Windows Alice the little witch.

Arashi

Member
Hello, friends. Let me introduce my current project to you. (My old project is not abandoned! It is on hold.)

(I would be happy, if someone will correct my grammar.)

Thigame will be a mix of The Herbalist and Stardew Valley. A short candy saga, where you play as a little girl, living alone in the woods.

What is she doing in the woods alone, you might ask? And I will answer: gathering herbs and making potions of caurse!

To the screenshots we go!

Here is the process of gathering:



This is a static plant, named "Wild Wolfy". It bears fruits every 7 days. It's juice is good for making Feral Potions.
Other plants are flowers, roots, mushrooms and trees. They can be static, or dinamic (with changing spawn locations)

After gathering herbs will be processed to potion ingridients:


This is "The dryer". Just hang a bundle of flowers here for 3 days.

Finaly with enough ingridients, firewood, water and empty bottles crafting of potions will be unlocked.

This is raw, unfinished, with a lot of placeholders, video. But you can get the genaral idea:

This potions will be used for game progress.
For example: player will have to create stoneskin potion to get acces to new location, blocked by thorns. Or create an animal language potion to talk to animals. Or create rain-of-frogs potion to solve "the snake disaster".


At last, here is some art.

Sleep screen:


Main menu:



If you like the art or idea, make sure to leave a comment and follow me on twitter @doroboarashi

By the way, I'm looking for a game designer, cause I'm struggling with balancing mechanics and creating a story overall.
 
Looks great, I see the effort. I think your colors need to pop out and be richer in some places. Try shifting some of the hues from color to color. You are clearly on the correct path and have something elaborate and going in a positive direction.
 

Arashi

Member
Palletes are my weakest trait. Playing with hues does not help me, so this colors are final. Will go on with them and will try to reach steam as it is.



Worked on tutorials last week.

First of cleaning. Every active object in a house is dirty at the beginning. Alice will clean it and comment it, telling what it does. In addition she will recieve Good Girl points for it.


Another form of tutorial is learning. Alice will read books and give player tips on herbalism and brewing. Witchcraft points are granted for this activity.
 
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Arashi

Member
Exactly.
Trigger changes depth of the player and changes collision tiles.
And there is a hidden restriction zone around it, that prevents NPCs to walk near changing tiles. Else they might stuck inside them.
 

Pfap

Member
Since there were 2 comments that mentioned the color palette I thought I would jump in and say I love the color palette.

It is subdued and interesting, giving the game a really relaxed and laid back vibe. It is rather calming, which is something a game like this should probably aim for, so I would recommend keeping the color scheme as I feel it is perfect for this genre of game.
 

zendraw

Member
so far it looks great, what design balances are you struggling with? maybe we can talk about it in discord
 

Arashi

Member
It is realy hard for me to find a balance in amount of plants a player need to collect for making 1 potion.

In my ideal case I imagine player spending 1/3 of ingame day to collect plants for 1 pot. (3-4 minutes).
So I set the size od location to be lage enough, so it takes 2.5 minutes to visit it's every corner. There will be several "gathering" locations and it will take time for plants to grow inside them. Seems legit.

Now I have to place enough plants inside them, so player will not get bored, while walking, and will not get overwhelmed by plants amount. I solved that problem by allowing ech "plant node" spawn set ammount of plants.
You can see 4 flowers growing on screenshot below, but this node will give player only 2 flowers. Same goes to berries from bushes.


Now I can design locations to my liking and set up the ammount of materials gained from plant nodes later.

There is another system I have now - before you make a potion, "ingridients" for potion must be created from "materials".
For that I have 4 "craft stations" that can be used for "cutting" "drying" "press" and "pickling". (I will add more later, but 4 for now).
"Craft stations" give me even more freedom. Now player can collect 20 berries from 1 bush and turn them into 2 jars of juice at the "berry press". It sounds like fun, isnt it?


All of it sounds legit and fun to this point.
But here comes brewing!

In a normal, sane stardew valley player would need to bring "3 jars of juice" + "5 piles of petals" + "2 bundles of dry forget-me-not flowers" to a crafting station.
In my game there is match-3 minigame, where you throw ingridients into the cauldron to create a potion with certain effect and certain power.


This is my hell.
6 month passed since I began working on this game, but I still cannot come with the numbers.
I even gave up my original idea of deriving potion effect from ratios of fire/water/wind/earth elements inside caudron. It is all about key ingridient and certain elemental affinities.
(On the screenshot a jar of wolfberryjuice was thrown inside the cauldron, wich is a key ingridient for a feral potion. Feral potions "likes" earth and "dislikes" fire, so in order to "empower" its effect playr should add more water and avoid adding fire.)

I still can not find out, what will be a "good" ammount of elements inside ingridients, what will be a "good" number of different ingridients, how to avoid making this minigame too simple or too complex.

I need a help of a seasoned game designer here.
 

Lhargo

Member
can you explain how you created that fake second layer? even the sprite of the wooden board seems to be drawn over the player. great work with the pixel art looks amazing
 

Arashi

Member
even the sprite of the wooden board seems to be drawn over the player
This is a standart way of making top-down games.
Y coordinate of an object defines it's depth.

Each object in the room has following room_start_event:
Code:
depth = obj_game.zero_depth + obj_game.depth_step*(y);
And every moving boject has the same code in the step_event:
Code:
depth = obj_game.zero_depth + obj_game.depth_step*y;
where
Code:
zero_depth =   layer_get_depth(obj_game.instances_back)   // depth of the deepest instances layer
and
Code:
depth_step = floor(  (layer_get_depth(obj_game.instances_front) - layer_get_depth(obj_game.instances_back)) / room_height ) //
Depth_step is actualy a negative number, because lower depth is closer to the camera, while higher depth is futher.
And do not forget to have enough depth differense between instances_back and instances_front layers, to keep your depth step >= 1;


Now, when you placed every object in the room on different depth, you can set up collisions that will allow player to move "inside" object from above, and will not alow player to move close to object from below. You can see it on the gif.
 
This is my hell.
6 month passed since I began working on this game, but I still cannot come with the numbers.
I even gave up my original idea of deriving potion effect from ratios of fire/water/wind/earth elements inside caudron. It is all about key ingridient and certain elemental affinities.
(On the screenshot a jar of wolfberryjuice was thrown inside the cauldron, wich is a key ingridient for a feral potion. Feral potions "likes" earth and "dislikes" fire, so in order to "empower" its effect playr should add more water and avoid adding fire.)

I still can not find out, what will be a "good" ammount of elements inside ingridients, what will be a "good" number of different ingridients, how to avoid making this minigame too simple or too complex.

I need a help of a seasoned game designer here.
Oh god, this is where I'm at as well. Only have 6 or so units "designed" in my game so far, but all of their stats of currently sit at 1 because I haven't even attempted/don't really want to try to balance them...Balancing is hard and sucks.

The art is really beautiful.
 

Arashi

Member
The game suddenly turned into interesting direction. Alice will now fight in a cat form. Herbs gathering process will be more like dungeon crawler. Or forest crawler.

And here is a final form of brewing process. It was reworked 3 times. No more reworks ever! I will not launch this room in game maker again.
 
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rIKmAN

Member
First time I've seen this thread, just wanted to say the artwork is great and I'm also a fan of the muted colour palette.

Keep up the good work!
 

curato

Member
I like how you have the crafting intertwined with the progression. If you can keep everything balanced so that you can keep the material grind hidden that will be a great hook to get people in and add depth to your game.
 

Arashi

Member
Game desining and ballancing are my greatest challenges atm, since I'm doing pretty well with coding and drawing. I am still unsure how the game will be played.

Right now I desided not to make large zones with "locked doors" where player will be able to find new ingredients 1 by 1. I will make a "dungeon crawler" instead. Player will take a walk in the forest to gather materials. He will be teleported from one random forest room to another, where he will find some monsters,some herbs or some events. And he will have a couple of large zones to get/solve quests and use potions.
 

Arashi

Member
Than you. I am going to make it alive in a few days. Animated water, floating water lilyes, moving grass etc.
 
Beautiful art. At first I was hoping for a harvest moon inspired game, but the potion making game also looks like a lot of fun. I like the combination of a wholesome game and a puzzle game.
Do you by any chance have Instagram or something else where I can easily follow your progress? I'm lazy :p
 

Arashi

Member
I did not plan it to be like this, but the more I do it, the more It is going to the harvset moon/stardew direction. Still I am unsure how to make it right. My enviroment is not tile based, you see. You cant grow a tree anywhere you like or cut any tree you like or plant it anywhere you like.
But you know what? I already created a restriction system that will setup "allowed for building zones". Graveyard keeper stile maybe...

Twitter https://twitter.com/doroboarashi
 
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