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Windows [KICKSTARTER FUNDED!] Village Monsters - A Monstrous Life Sim Game

Discussion in 'Work in Progress' started by WarpDogsVG, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. SpecTre

    SpecTre Member

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    @WarpDogsVG Well done on reaching your goal and getting the project funded! Looking forward to the completed game :)

    EDIT - Just noticed you posted at nearly the same time as me :) good news about the Switch, I haven't checked this before. Would you be able to say the process to release on Switch?
    Oh and just upgraded my pledge for this ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
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  2. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    Can GameMaker export to Switch? I didn't think Nintendo and GameMaker worked together. Perhaps its a GMS 2 thing? I just looked up the official GMS 2 FAQ and they may not have updated it.

    https://help.yoyogames.com/hc/en-us/articles/230330328-GameMaker-Studio-2-FAQ
     
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  3. RichHopelessComposer

    RichHopelessComposer Member

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    Yep, I'm curious about this too. GM doesn't export to the Switch, and Switch devkits have been hard to get, apparently. Do you know something we don't, WD?:D
     
    sitebender likes this.
  4. mysticjim

    mysticjim Member

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    @WarpDogsVG - Absolutely awesome news about your Kickstarter! It was looking a bit tight but obviously your hard work has paid off and you've made it. A brilliant achievement! Congratulations, dude, you totally deserve it!
     
  5. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    I would laugh if he's been using a different commercial engine all along, but using various WIPs to hype the game. :) In all serious, I know its GML as some have posted error reports from the game and its in GML.
     
  6. WarpDogsVG

    WarpDogsVG Member

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    It's been heavily hinted that GameMaker Studio 2 is getting a Switch export very soon. Looks like he's since deleted it, but Russell Kay responded to a question over Twitter about the Switch Export by pointing to Q4 on the roadmap - which says "Additional Target Releases". Given that we can already support to PC, Mac, Linux, Mobile, PS4, Xbox 1, and Web....well, there aren't a lot of "additional targets" to release to

    I'm sure some YoYo employee will waltz in here and tell me things are far from confirmed, but I have a good feeling about this :) Barring that, I have a proof of concept of a port built in Unity that I work on in my spare time. Worst case scenario I can port it by hand. Far from ideal, but it's a personal goal of mine to get this dang game on my favorite company's console. I'll make it happen
     
  7. TrunX

    TrunX Member

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    Congratulations! It's very inspiring to see other GM games getting successfully backed on Kickstarter! Wish you all the best!
     
  8. JackTurbo

    JackTurbo Member

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    Congrats! stoked for ya dude.
     
  9. Geoff Jones

    Geoff Jones Member

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    Congrats mate! I was one of your backers. Very happy for you.
     
  10. Rivo

    Rivo 7014

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    Damn, I didn't expect that. Well done! :D:D:D
     
  11. FlameRooster

    FlameRooster Member

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    Just played the alpha version and I am impressed on what you have so far in such little time. It inspires me to start seriously making my own game.

    I can't wait to see this game on Steam in a year. ;)
     
  12. WarpDogsVG

    WarpDogsVG Member

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    ...and we're back!

    It seems like every single day since the Kickstarter ended there has been one thing after another...doctor appointments, car appointments, flying to a wedding 3500 miles away, a very bad stomach bug...

    It's been awhile, but I should be back to normal at long last. Let's see if I remember how to do this Dev Diary Digest thing...

    What's in a name?
    There's a part in one of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books that talks about learning how to fly. In short, it involves throwing yourself at the ground and then becoming so distracted by something surprising that you forget to hit the dirt. Tada, you're flying!

    I mention this because at times it feels like my brain works the same way. I've had a lot of unnamed characters in the game for awhile now, and no matter how hard I tried I just couldn't figure out their names.

    Then I spent the last week being very distracted and then bam, all of a sudden all these names come flooding into my head.

    Many villagers will placeholder names have now been renamed. The post-punk pixie postwoman has been named Glimmer. Rainboy, the elemental, has been renamed Boros. The ever-popular cola ghost has been named Ebey.

    [​IMG]

    Along with their new names I also took the time to better flesh out their personalities and motivations. I'm looking forward to reintroducing all of them to you!

    Camera Work
    A number of improvements have been made to the game's camera.

    The biggest change is that the camera is now a great deal more zoomed out. The previous camera was a bit too claustrophobic, and I certainly wasn't doing my sprites any favors by making them that large.

    [​IMG]

    You also have the ability to switch to the previous zoom level at any time, though I may change that.

    The dynamic camera has again been re-enabled for what feels like the 3rd or 4th time. I think it's here to stay now.

    Finally, a number of draw distance changes / improvements have been implemented.


    An Informative Toolbelt
    One common complaint from previous releases is that some abilities are just not clear enough - that's to be expected this early in the process, but I've been making it a priority to improve the overall usability of the game.

    A new toolbelt menu has been added that makes it easier to see which tools you have as well as their names and descriptions for how they work.

    [​IMG]

    In the future this menu will be expanded so that you use left / right to navigate to the category of tool (like Critter Catching Equipment) and then use up / down to select the specific tool (Bug Net, Traps, etc.)

    Like all UI it'll be a work in progress right up until the 11th hour, but I'm much happier with this than what I had before.
     
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  13. Online Handle

    Online Handle Member

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    What a concept, I love it.
    Artwork looks great and the game looks well polished.
     
  14. WarpDogsVG

    WarpDogsVG Member

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    I'm still having trouble getting my sea legs, assuming "sea legs" means making time for regular updates!

    Anyway, it's still technically the weekend so I'm not late yet! Let's dig into this week's Dev Diary Digest.

    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

    [​IMG]

    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

    [​IMG]

    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

    [​IMG]

    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

    [​IMG]

    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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  15. WarpDogsVG

    WarpDogsVG Member

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    Phew, it's been some time since I posted here. That's not an indication of a lack of game progress, however! I've been very hard at work and have done an absolute ton since my last post in November

    I became burnt out posting updates to all the various forums I frequent. It's surprisingly annoying to reformat posts and pictures for each forum, and I decided to take a break...then the holidays hit, and it went on for a bit too long.

    But I'm back!

    Ok, I won't overwhelm y'all with a giant list of everything that's changed, so here's a few highlights (in screenshot form, of course)

    [​IMG]
    I've been making a whole lotta graphical improvements these last 2-3 months. New colors, new player sprite, improved animations, new GUI elements, new buildings and decor, etc. etc. Too much to list! Still a ways to go, but I'm happy with the trajectory.

    [​IMG]

    Here are some GUI improvements for the inventory screen.

    [​IMG]
    Similarly, the village has gone through a lot...a lot of changes. What was once one map has now been split into several "districts" in order to give each area the love, personality, and 'feel' they deserve.

    The above shot is from the Residential district where villagers have total freedom over their homes - which is why the dwarven brothers built a fort into the mountain.

    [​IMG]
    Speaking of "feel", I've been hard on work adding "clutter" to interiors and exteriors. New furniture, knick-knacks, and so on. It's going to be one of those things where I overdo it and then scale back, I think.

    [​IMG]
    Of course, for a game like Village Monsters the real meat is with the villagers, their personalities, and the dialogue, so I've been hard at work on those areas as well. At last count I have well over 300 lines of dialogue and something like 6,000 words, which is a whole lot, but it's only going to get bigger.

    Phew, ok, I think that's enough for one post. There are also new weather effects, helper icons, better movement, resolution support, system menu settings, new critters, new AI behaviors, etc. etc.

    Village Monsters is fast approaching the release date - October of this year! Right now I'm in that period of new features and polish of old features, and I get the sense this'll be my life for a long while
     
  16. WarpDogsVG

    WarpDogsVG Member

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    What an insanely productive month it's been.

    A couple weeks back I took the time to sit down and really analyze the primary game loops. I came away from this exercise with a much clearer picture of what I wanted to focus on in the form of 4 primary game loops:

    - Making friends (or rivals) with villagers
    - Completing your collections (critters, fish, treasures, plants, etc.)
    - Expanding and building up the village
    - Expanding and upgrading your home

    This past week I focused on that last point, and lemme tell you...I mean business with this whole 'sense of progress' thing

    [​IMG]

    You no longer start the game in a house! Instead, you start out by renting a room at the local inn. There's story justification, but it's also to introduce the player into the upgrade loop.

    I really like what it's done to the start of the game. With almost no additional prodding the player is immediately incentivized to start finding things to sell, engaging with the various systems available to them, seeking out work for money, etc.

    Upgrades for your home will be frequent but expensive, and it'll almost always be your main driver for interacting with the 'economy' of the game.

    [​IMG]

    I've also been giving more love to areas outside the village which I'm calling he "outskirts". Some areas - like the above farm - will be related to the village and you'll find villagers and activities there on occasion

    Other areas will just be for exploring. I'm definitely going to lean into some video game tropes here; you can expect to find deserts, snow-covered mountains, and haunted forests all suspiciously close to one another.

    My original intent was for areas outside of town to be a bigger part of the game, but after refocusing the primary game loops I've decided to scale a lot of it back (maybe DLC?). Instead I've taken way more time to focus on...

    [​IMG]

    ...villagers!

    In a previous life I was a Business Analyst, and part of my job was coming up with 'personas' for all the various users that used our software.

    I've long wanted to create profiles for the villagers of Village Monsters, but I kept dragging my feet - until now!

    It's been *immensely* valuable for writing dialogue and stories. Until now most of these guys have lived only in my head, and it's been getting crowded in there.

    Getting everything down in this format has helped me identify natural points of conflict or interest, and it's let me ensure everyone feels unique and fleshed out.

    For example, Saley was one of the first villagers I conceived of, and since the beginning he was always going to be "a kind of jerk skeleton that was powerful enough to guard the village".

    As I made the profile of him other characteristics suddenly popped into my head - that he would love exercise and fitness, that he aspires to rule the village, that he's insecure about the fact he may actually be powerless to protect anyone

    It's been a lot of fun, and I hope it pays dividends later in the year when I'm just writing line after line of dialogue

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. MadZenno

    MadZenno Member

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    I've been keeping an eye on this game, always look forward to reading your updates, keep up the good work man :)

    Also how did you do you're world map stuff.
     
  18. gamedev4life

    gamedev4life Member

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    awesome, congrats on the funding! can i ask how you raised so much?
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
  19. WarpDogsVG

    WarpDogsVG Member

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    Thanks for the kind words!

    Which world map stuff did you mean?


    Thanks! That's a tricky question to answer generally...do you have any specific questions?

    What helped me tremendously was maintaining a presence in a number of communities - this, of course, but also TIG, Something Awful, and a number of others. That + Twitter, Facebook, and real life friends and family pushed me over the edge.

    I nearly didn't make it, but in the final 24 hours an online friend donated a large amount. This was an insanely generous move that I had no idea she was going to do, and once people saw it had a better chance of funding it seems like a seal was broken, and I finished really strongly
     
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  20. RangerX

    RangerX Member

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    I love this project. Keep up the good work buddy!
     
  21. MadZenno

    MadZenno Member

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    On you're "UI Improvements (Map, Inventory, Notices)" update on the first page, you have the map. I wonder how did you do that ?
     
  22. WarpDogsVG

    WarpDogsVG Member

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    Ah! Sort of a long story.

    I generated a world using Dwarf Fortress (http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/) which lets you export images of the world you made. I then imported it into GIMP to color it.
     
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  23. WarpDogsVG

    WarpDogsVG Member

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    Whoa, has it seriously been 4 months since I posted here? Dang, that's sure dumb of me.

    Project is still very alive and well. I'm actually here to share the latest article I wrote about my game about how I'm handling dialogue. I think it's a neat design that others might benefit from

    http://villagemonsters.com/2018/05/06/building-a-village-05-06-2018/

    I hate it when the dialogue in other virtual life games begin to get stale. I think the worst offender is Stardew Valley (I swear each villager has 10 or less things to say), but even high budget games like Animal Crossing or Rune Factory suffer from it

    My solution has been to give each villager a large "deck of cards" of containing all possible topics of conversation. Each time you talk with them the context of the world is used to grab relevant cards (based on the weather, season, player's state, etc.), and when a card is 'chosen' it's temporarily discarded to prevent it from coming up again too soon. This allows conversations to both sound natural and come across as 'endless' without resorting to heavy scripting or filler dialogue

    I probably stretch the whole deck metaphor a bit too much, but I'm really happy with how it's worked

    For those wondering technical details, I'm actually using a combo of arrays and ds_lists for the 'deck', 'hand', and 'discard pile'
     
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  24. RangerX

    RangerX Member

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    I think that the problem most devs are facing is that they simply don't want to take all this time for writing dialogue that isn't absolutely necessary (or almost) and also they probably don't allow much on the localisation budget.

    Anyhow, this all means I like your effort there. lol
     
  25. WarpDogsVG

    WarpDogsVG Member

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    [​IMG]

    Happy Summer, villagers!

    The days are getting longer and hotter here at Village Monsters HQ, and that makes it easy to tell I’m a game developer: all I want to do is spend my days inside working on a computer.

    As with previous weeks this is a very dialogue focused update, but I also managed to sneak in some new furniture and decorations, so let’s get to it!

    New Decorations
    Each release I try to at least make an effort at adding new furniture and decorations, but this past week I sat down with purpose and added a whole bunch at once.

    You can now find pumpkin garland, teddy bears, dinner plates, instruments, rugs, plants and a whole bunch more stuff. Villagers having many more options to decorate their homes means that you do, too!

    [​IMG]

    (Not literally, though; I fixed the bug that allowed you to rob villager homes stupid of furniture and items.)

    Everything you find in a villager home can be bought at the store and used in your house, but if you see something you really like you could always wait until the Spring Cleaning event and haggle for it with the villager themselves!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Smarter Conversations
    I’ve written lots and lots of dialogue so far, but that’s really only the first step – after all, you probably want to read dialogue in a game, not an Excel spreadsheet, right?

    Lately I’ve found that implementing dialogue has been a great way to come up with new ideas and systems. This has turned into a very jolly feedback loop where I’ll write some words, get an idea, prototype the idea, and then write even more words!

    Here are some examples of things I’ve worked on or plan to soon

    • Villagers can now wake up in special ‘states’ – like being sick, grumpy, energetic, and so on. This’ll change their dialogue for the day.
    • Certainly topics of conversations are now reserved for higher friendship levels. This includes personal stories, juicy gossip, and lore about the world.
    • Spoken conversations are now more gradually reshuffled back into list of available topics. This further minimizes repetitious dialogue and encourages finding new conversations if you frequently talk with a villager.
    The downside to all this is that testing new dialogue is becoming increasingly difficult due to the amount of it and the complexity of the systems. In my spare time I’ve been creating a dialogue testing tool to minimize the amount of manual confirmation I need to do.

    [​IMG]

    Dialogue Don’t Stop
    I talk a lot about dialogue, and it’s for a good reason: I’m writing an awful lot of it!

    But it’s not always easy to share screenshots of dialogue – it’s often not very interesting to read out of context, and of course I’d prefer you to discover villagers and their personalities in-game for yourselves.

    So! Here’s another way of sharing my work: stats and charts! Who doesn’t love stats and charts? Right? …right? :(

    Ok, well, let;s first look at dialogue sets I’ve created per villager

    [​IMG]

    Here we can see that most villagers currently have about 20 different things to say – though some have far less and a few have far more. This is a result of my preference of picking a different villager every few days and writing a bunch of text for them while ignoring the others.

    My unofficial goal is to have 100+ different things for each villager to say, so I best get back to writing soon!

    [​IMG]


    This next graph breaks out topics by category. Unsurprisingly, general topics are the most common followed by seasonal topics, story, weather, and village gossip.

    The goal here isn’t necessarily balance – after all, there’s only so many things you can say about rain – but I do want to make sure there are no underrepresented topics.

    [​IMG]

    We’ll end with a simple one – a word count of the script. At 11,000 words we’ve smashed short story status and we’re all on our way into novella. Will we reach novel status before release? It seems terrifyingly likely.

    That’s it for this week! Before I leave you, check out a sneak peek of a few (very!!) work-in-progress pictures of the new logo. I’m not sure which direction I like most yet, but you can hopefully see where I’m going with it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  26. sitebender

    sitebender Member

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    With the radial lights, I might be alone in saying this, but could you put something to make the walls block the lights?
     
  27. cidwel

    cidwel Member

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    Ohh that snake game in the first picture <3
     
  28. WarpDogsVG

    WarpDogsVG Member

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    I hadn't considered this before, but now that you've said it it does make a lot of sense. I'll add it to the list, thanks for the feedback!


    The game is full of those kind of...hmm...easter eggs? Callbacks? Whatever they are, I've made a whole bunch of 'em
     
  29. WarpDogsVG

    WarpDogsVG Member

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    [​IMG]

    Hello Villagers!
    It’s a partly sunny / partly cloudy day here at Village Monsters HQ, and it’s perfect weather to reflect back on a productive week of work.

    I’m trying something a bit new this week: instead of a handful of items with detailed explanations I’m going for a lot of items with just a screenshot and blurb about the change. The idea is to make these logs easier to write and more entertaining to read.

    Let’s boogie.



    Helpful Hints
    [​IMG]

    Each release I like to add a big, goopy layer of quality of life changes. This week I decided to add many more instances of the little ‘helper notices’ that direct how you can interact with the world.

    These were in previous releases, too, but now you’ll see them for talking with villagers, picking up items, interacting with furniture, and much more.

    New tool belt…
    [​IMG]

    Speaking of quality of life, the tool belt menu has been lacking for awhile. To make it a bit friendlier I went ahead and removed unnecessary tools and changed up the size and transparency to make it look nicer.

    …and new you!
    [​IMG]

    The human (you) has received another face lift. Well, maybe it’s more of body lift? He’s now slightly wider, taller, and has new eyes.

    I get asked this a lot, so let me be super clear: there will be plenty of appearance options to choose from in the final game! You’ll be able to choose your gender, skin and hair color, and much more.

    Swing City
    [​IMG]

    While I was messing with the player sprite I took time to redo the net swing animation. My original intention was to always have something akin to Link to the Past, so I did just that!

    As I watch this gif it’s made me realize I need a little FX to play when a critter is caught, so that’s been added to the backlog.

    Begone, Bugs!
    [​IMG]

    There’s also a flurry of bug fixes that happen before a new release, and this one is no different. Here’s what I squashed this week:

    • Collisions of exterior elements (like fences and trees) have been improved
    • The camera is now less prone to “half pixel syndrome”
    • Selecting items via the tool belt menu will no longer caused you to “interact” with whatever object you’re next to
    • A number of dialogue typos have been corrected
    • A number of temporary objects left behind in Beta 1 have been cleaned up
    As usual I probably introduced a fun stable of bugs alongside the ones I fixed, so if you do notice any weirdness then be sure to send me an email!
     
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  30. Ode Imaginations

    Ode Imaginations Member

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    This game looks so colourful and fun! Do you use any kind of writing techniques or tools to give strong personalities to your characters? It must be a challenge to write so many variable dialogue options and still keep the personality of a character consistent. Is this game playable at the moment? Can it be bought?
     
  31. WarpDogsVG

    WarpDogsVG Member

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    Thanks for the kind words!

    In terms of dialogue I use a heavily customized Google Sheets template to keep it all together. I also use a tool called Notion which helps me keep track of all the villager personalities. It's been very helpful as I definitely can't keep this stuff in my head!

    Here's a snippet of what Notion looks like:

    [​IMG]

    In terms of playing / buying, currently the demo is exclusive to Kickstarter backers, though that'll maybe change in the future. You can wishlist the game on Steam, though!

    https://store.steampowered.com/app/679830/Village_Monsters/
     
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  32. WarpDogsVG

    WarpDogsVG Member

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    [​IMG]

    Hello Villagers!

    Welcome to another weekly developer diary of Village Monsters. It’s been a productive week over here at Village Monsters HQ. Maybe it’s because my area has escaped the heat that as seemingly conquered the rest of the world. Maybe it’s because my new developer pipeline is really starting to shine.

    Maybe I just had a lot more Red Bull than usual. I don’t rightly know, but I’m sure I shouldn’t question it. Let’s take a peek!


    The Old Man and the Sea
    [​IMG]

    Ask any master fisherman what his greatest tool is and he won’t talk to you about lures, hooks, or rods. No. He’ll instead talk about that nearly indescribable fisher instinct, or fishtincts as they’re called by the masters.

    These fishstincts are now finally represented in the game. A special icon is displayed and a distinct noise is played when it’s time to snag that tasty fish, and you’ll somehow intrinsically know whether your timing was too late, too early, or if the line broke.

    History Books
    [​IMG]

    The Historical Society has been renamed the Library, though it’s more than just a semantics change. You’ll have to see for yourself the next time you visit.

    Skulliver!
    [​IMG]

    Quick – what’s the village currency called? You don’t know, do you? Of course not! I barely do and I created the damn things.

    Well it doesn’t matter now as they’ve been replaced by silver coins known as Skull Silvers, more commonly referred to as skulliver or even just skullies.

    [​IMG]

    You can earn skulliver by pursuing hobbies, helping villagers or working part time, and they’re used to pay for everything from your mortgage to a hot drink in Overflow.

    How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters
    [​IMG]

    Making friends with your (monstrous) neighbors has long been an important feature of Village Monsters, and this week was the first time in awhile that I tweaked how it works.

    You can now gain “Bonus Friendship” for actively maintaining your relationship with a villager by talking with them every day. Think of it like a combo streak: the more days in a row you talk to them the faster your friendships grows.

    The catch is that this bonus resets if you break the streak. You’re allowed to miss a day or two – I get it, we’re all busy – but after that your streak is reset. You’ll never lose friendships, but don’t let that keep you from being a good friend, human!

    Begone, Bugs!

    [​IMG]
    • Fixed an issue where a villager’s intro dialogue wasn’t triggering correctly
    • Time now pauses while the main menu (or your journal) are open
    • Fixed some goofy problems when sprites changed states
     
    ReidDC and sitebender like this.
  33. Toque

    Toque Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2017
    Posts:
    358
    First time I've seen your game. I love the premise.
     
  34. WarpDogsVG

    WarpDogsVG Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Posts:
    151
    Hey, thanks! Hope you'll stick around for the ride :)
     
  35. Toque

    Toque Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2017
    Posts:
    358
    I like following these games but most seem to only publish windows. I’m a Mac guy and miss out!! Nudge nudge.
     
  36. WarpDogsVG

    WarpDogsVG Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Posts:
    151
    Ugh, I know! My dad is a Mac-only kind of guy and he's still yet to play my game. It's coming, I promise!

    From what I can tell I can't actually build a Mac version if I don't have a Mac myself (I do Linux by running a VM, and it looks like Apple doesn't support this?), so I keep putting it off

    If some passerby sees this and has info to the contrary I'd be happy to hear it ~
     
  37. NateTheGreat

    NateTheGreat Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Posts:
    89
    Every time I see a screenshot of this game it makes me feel giddy. Can't wait for its full release.
     
    WarpDogsVG likes this.
  38. WarpDogsVG

    WarpDogsVG Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Posts:
    151
    Aww! Thank you so much. You're too kind.
     
  39. Vether

    Vether Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Posts:
    826
    @WarpDogsVG
    This is the first I've actually seen of your project. If you don't mind sharing, did you do any significant pre-kickstart advertising, or did it just workout?
    Congrats btw :D
     
  40. WarpDogsVG

    WarpDogsVG Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Posts:
    151
    [​IMG]

    Hello Villagers!

    Welcome to another (slightly late) weekly developer diary of Village Monsters!

    Another productive week is under the belt and we’ve had so many of those in a row that our stomach is full to bursting. I let that analogy get away from me, so let’s cover our losses and proceed with the update!


    New New You

    [​IMG]

    If it feels like I’m making changes to the player sprite each week then that’s because I am.

    After some feedback on my previous update I’ve made some changes to the head and eyes. I’m slowly inching toward a final sprite ‘template’ which’ll allow me to create even more variations (so you can pick your gender, skin color, hair, etc.)

    Villager Journals

    [​IMG]

    You like invading people’s privacy, right? Of course! We all do. That’s why I’m giving each villager a journal for you to secretly read when they’re not looking.

    Some journals may be very well hidden, or in rooms that you won’t have access to right away. Be ever vigilant, you nosy parkers!

    Movement Changes

    [​IMG]

    I’ve made the following changes to movement. Overall the goal was to make things feel better – in this case “better” means easier and more precise.
    • Default movement is now faster
    • Sprint is now a toggle (will be an option in final version)
    • When using gamepad, tilting the stick partway will result in walking
    • Tilting all the way transitions to run automatically
    • You can walk via the keyboard by holding Control

    Helpful Helper Icons

    [​IMG]

    I spent a lot of time coming up with little icons for each interaction. Unfortunately for me, I later realized I hated them all and they weren’t very helpful.

    They’ve been replaced by much more helpful button icons which tell you what you need to press. The helper text remains unchanged.
     
    sitebender likes this.
  41. WarpDogsVG

    WarpDogsVG Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Posts:
    151
    Hello Villagers!

    [​IMG] New demo coming July 30th

    I've got big news to share! The next demo of Village Monsters - code name Summer Sherbet - is coming out on July 30th. And for the first time since last year this demo will be made available to everybody!

    I've been working my butt off on this release since the end of spring, and it is by far the biggest and meatiest demo yet. I hope you look forward to visiting this little slice of village life at the end of July.

    Onto the dev log!

    Just Say the Word

    [​IMG]

    It's one thing to write a bunch of words. It's quite another to actually implement them in the game.

    The majority of the past two weeks has been spent adding dialogue to the game and making sure it looks and reads correctly. It's quite a bit of busy work, but it's also had benefits as it turns out some lines that seemed fine in my editor didn't have the same impact when spoken by the villager.

    I've done as much editing as I have implementing, and I think that's a good thing.

    Reading Rainbow

    [​IMG]

    Speaking of words: bookcases can now be interacted with! Have fun browsing hundreds of titles.

    Foraging

    [​IMG]

    Foraging has been in the game for a long while now - in fact, it was one of the very first features I created - but it's always been a silly little placeholder system that wasn't very interesting. Until now.

    Each season now brings its own thematically appropriate items to forage. Similarly, the items you can find in each part of the world are now different - you can find mushrooms in the forest, seashells on the beach, and vegetables at the farm.

    Foraged items are also far less predictable in where and how often they grow, so you'll have to do some exploring if you want to make a hobby out of it.

    Camera Woes

    [​IMG]

    I really, really hate dealing with camera issues. You're probably thinking, "It's a 2D game - what camera?", but when it comes to pixel art you need to make sure you can scale your display without any kind of distortion or weird looking pixels.

    This past week I ran into a doozy of a problem with scaling the UI, but there was a silver lining: the fix ended up solving a whole crop of other bugs. If you've experienced UI issues with past releases (such as the dialogue box disappearing, or the clock display getting cut off), then you'll be happy to know these are now fixed.

    There's also a very real chance I introduced a host of other camera bugs. I think I must have broken a cursed camera when I was a kid.

    Long Weekend

    [​IMG]

    Unlike past demos, Summer Sherbet is not unlimited. You have just three days to get to know the village and its surroundings, so make 'em count!

    There's at least one more dev log coming next week followed by a weighty patch list just prior to release. I'm so pumped for people to play this demo, so I'm going to stop writing these words immediately and get back to work.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
  42. WarpDogsVG

    WarpDogsVG Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Posts:
    151
    The latest & greatest Village Monsters demo is NOW AVAILABLE - free and for everyone!

    http://villagemonsters.com/pre-release-demo/

    Make friends with monsters. Try your luck at fishing. Go exploring in the morning fog. Discover secrets where you least expect.

    A more detailed post on the updates can be found here. This'll likely be the last demo until October, but as before I'll probably post a follow-up "Feedback Release" based on bug reports and suggestions from folks playing the demo.

    Have fun, y'all!
     

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