Windows [Update v0.72.5b] Village Monsters - A Monstrous Life Sim Game

WarpDogsVG

Member
Hello monster friends!

It's the weekend, and that means another edition of the Village Monsters Dev Diary Digest (VMD3)

Today's update is both late and briefer than usual, but I hope i have a good excuse: with PAX being this week, Alpha 1 release next week, and Kickstarter kicking off the week after that, I've been pretty dang busy.

So no preamble this week - let's just get onto it!

Under Construction
The majority of my time last week was spent on improving the village in some pretty major ways.

First, I created and furnished four new homes for monsters to live in (though they're still pretty sparse for now). I also converted that strange skull in town into a proper home for Saley & Stapes, the two skeletal guards.


Overflow - the town's tavern and a major hangout spot for locals - was also completely revamped...in the sense that before the revamp, the exterior was unfinished and the interior didn't exist. Both outside and inside are now in a much better place.

Beyond new buildings, I also began moving things around to accommodate new ideas. I now have enough buildings to actually have something close to 'districts' in our little village - the town hall, church, and historical society fill out the Civic District, a new general store and existing furniture merchant have made something like a Commercial District, and of course the houses make up the Residential District

Here's a neat GIF showing how the village has changed and evolved in the last 8 months:


Finally, I also created 3 additional villagers and revamped a 4th. Meet Bavarian the Chef Blob, Lucy the Artistic Golem, Rainboy the Elemental, and Serin the...uh...tree.


Dynamic Camera
It seems at least once a month I get bogged down by some obnoxious camera bug that comes out of nowhere, and this month was no different.

However, this time my solution ended up turning into a feature - a dynamic camera. There's probably a better name for this, but what I mean is that the camera smoothly follows the player at its own speed as opposed to always keeping the player dead-center on screen.


This fits better with the relaxed style of game I'm making, and also looks a lot better in motion. It's hard to capture via a GIF, so you'll need to trust me that it looks better.

New Critters?
Sometimes I sit down to do one thing and end up feeling motivated to do something else entirely. That was the case this week, and it's why I ended up creating four new critters to find and collect.

I won't share them so they can remain a bit of a secret, but here's the Capricious Cumulus, a cloud-based critter that oscillates between feelings of timidness and aggression.


That'll do this for this week. Next week is likely to be just as sparse and late, but things are going very well and you'll have a chance to see for yourself on September 6th when Alpha 1 releases.

Don't forget that the Kickstarter starts a week later on September 12th. It's going to be a hectic month, but this fall is shaping up to be a hell of a good time.

 

WarpDogsVG

Member
If any topic regulars are going to PAX then feel free to hit me up. I won't have a booth this year (maybe next?) but I'd be happy to chat and hang out!
 

WarpDogsVG

Member
As 'promised', this week's edition of the VMD3 is late, and it'll be quite brief. I'm keeping descriptions to a minimum and instead focusing of a screenshot blitz.

First up, some usual housekeeping: September has begun, and with it begins the most important month of my entire life. Nearly a 9 months ago I quit my day job to pursue this dream of creating games, and this month will be my first attempt at making it a viable.

On September 6th I'm releasing the Alpha 1 demo of Village Monsters. This is an enormous release that builds upon everything I've done in the last 9 months.

A week later, on September 12th, I launch my Kickstarter campaign that'll run through September and into the appropriately spooky month of October. I'm very excited and anxious for you all to see what I have cooking.

Ok. Enough words. Onto the screenshot blitz.



More village changes have been enacted. The still-unnamed Treasure Chest merchant - run by Skunkworks, the Mimic - has been converted into furniture-only...



...while a new General Store (run by Bottes) has been constructed to sell food, potions, and other sundries



Nearly a month ago I renamed all the months of the in-game calendar, but until now that has only existed in an Excel doc, not the game. That has changed



New interiors have been added to all new home. That has also prompted me to add more furniture, floor and wall types



This includes new homes + portraits and dialogue for the new villagers introduced last week.



These WIP icons for tools are still ugly, but I added numbers to each to make it a bit easier to keep track of. You can also press the number on your keyboard to quickly bring it up instead of rotating to find it



There's so much I can and want to show you, but some stuff I gotta keep under the hat for now. Here's a short clip from the upcoming Kickstarter trailer. It'll be strikingly similar to my first trailer, but like everything else it's been heavily iterated and updated. Hope you're looking forward to seeing it!

That'll do it for this week. With any luck I'll be back on a more regular schedule this week, but things are going to be pretty crazy for awhile.

It's been a wild ride. I hope it never stops. Thanks for joining me on it! <3
 

WarpDogsVG

Member
Happy Full Moon, Y’all
A new full moon means a new version of Village Monsters for you to enjoy. I’m happy to announce that the latest demo, Alpha 1, is now officially released.

Go download it now!

This is a big release, so I included the patch notes in a whole other post - go check them out if you're into that kind of thing!

It's a great milestone, but with the Kickstarter coming up next week there's no rest for the wicked quite yet. My attention now shifts toward finishing up the loose ends in the Kickstarter.

However, there is more good news - because I want to present the best possible demo for the Kickstarter (and for you, of course!), you can expect another release within the next week that contains even more features and polish based on feedback from this demo.

Feel free to leave your feedback here, or send me an email at josh@warpdogs.com. Thanks guys!


 

WarpDogsVG

Member
Hello monster friends!

It's the weekend, and that means another edition of the Village Monsters Dev Diary Digest (VMD3)

The marathon continues! This past week saw the release of the latest demo, and it was a big one.

www.warpdogs.com/wererelease/

I want to thank all the people who took the time to share feedback! You are making Village Monsters a better game. You can expect another release tomorrow that contains more features and bugfixes reported via feedback

The Kickstarter is coming soon. Real soon. As in, in the next 48 hours! I'm so pumped. And nervous. Mostly pumped!

As with last week I'm going to keep the text at a minimum and make this a screenshot blitz. Let's get to it


I did a fair amount of work on the last hobby prototype, Cooking. It's far from where I want it, but it'll improve over time


Remember the potion system? I went and combined it with food effects to open the door for all sorts of goofy fun. Snowberry Shrooms now properly chill you to the bone, while Spicy Shrooms put an extra kick in your step


A new area, the forest, has been implemented. This is also your first chance to investigate some of the glitches and faults ruining the world outside the village


The first of many quests have been added - meet all villagers in town! There's no reward for finding them all (yet...), but it's a good way to track your progress


Finally, more helper text has been added to Home Customizer mode. You also are automatically placed in this mode when placing a new piece of furniture
 

hogwater

Member
Just downloaded it- is there a full screen option? It's pretty small on my tv without it. Looks like a good start, I'll give it a longer go later when I have time.
 

WarpDogsVG

Member
Just downloaded it- is there a full screen option? It's pretty small on my tv without it. Looks like a good start, I'll give it a longer go later when I have time.
Not yet, unfortunately, but soon! I would definitely love it to be a TV-friendly game, so you can expect things like fullscreen, UI scaling, etc. to make it easier in the future
 

WarpDogsVG

Member
Hey guys, another quick patch went up tonight in advance of tomorrow's Kickstarter launch. Like 1.01 it's a small patch, but it contains many more changes and even a couple new features, so it's worth checking out if you haven't played around with the previous demo.

You can grab the latest demo and read the patch notes right here
 

Geoff Jones

Member
Not live quite yet! Launches tomorrow. The OP will see a major facelift then as well :)
Hehe fair enough.. It was the 12th in my part of the world when I posted that, hence the confusion.
BTW, I just listened your gamemaker podcast interview a few days ago, it was great. Best of luck with the development and kickstarter.
 
B

blackstrawhat

Guest
wow i read it from begining so wonderfull project you working on, inspire me to start my dream project :D GL ty for share this to this community
 

SpecTre

Member
Great project, first heard you on the Podcast and thought it very interesting. I have backed it on Kickstarter so wish you good luck.
I got Gamemaker 1.4 on a humble bundle a while back and since bought Gamemaker 2 at a discount. Believe it or not I haven't used either yet but am looking forward to now starting my first project with it so I will be starting from the get go with GM2.
 
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WarpDogsVG

Member
Great project, first heard you on the Podcast and thought it very interesting. I have backed it on Kickstarter so wish you good look.
I got Gamemaker 1.4 on a humble bundle a while back and since bought Gamemaker 2 at a discount. Believe it or not I haven't used either yet but am looking forward to now starting my first project with it so I will be starting from the get go with GM2.
Thanks for the kind words!

I definitely think GMS2 is a major upgrade and well worth the asking price. Hope you can make some cool stuff with it!
 

chamaeleon

Member
Very much looking forward to seeing what you are able to do with the game. Backed as I mentioned in the podcast thread. Wish you the very best of luck with the project! :)
 

WarpDogsVG

Member
Phew, what a whirlwind the last 36 hours have been. I'm not exactly sure how much sleep I've grabbed since this thing launched, but it's surely not a lot!

Hopefully I'm not being too annoying spamming this, but I'd be remiss not to include a link to the Kickstarter at the top of this post :)

A few notes!
  • I am super insanely happy to report the game has reached the 20% funding mark! There's still plenty of campaign left, but I cannot even properly express how much gratitude I feel toward people that have backed already. Thank you!!!
  • A number of tiers have sold out already, but the Early Bird tier - where you can grab the game for $12 - still has ~60 slots
  • Today I also added an additional reward I'm calling Village Younger. The Village Elder tier - the reward that allowed you to design your own monster - sold out very quickly on the first day. This new tier is identical to Elder with one difference: the monster you design will be added to the game after launch. This is so that we have enough time to design and create a really cool monster without impacting the overall schedule of the game
Things will most likely slow down from here on out if previous Kickstarters are any indication. I'm actually ok with that, as I'll use the 'downtime' to resume working on the game. I'm hoping to get out several new releases between now and the end of the Kickstarter, though of course they'll be smaller in size than the previous bi-monthly demos.

Thanks as always for following along!
 
I'm glad the ks is going well so far. I hope you reach your goal. Looks like you're going to make your goal, plus extra. Good luck to you!

The majority of your funding will probably come during the first and last few days of your project, though. Work hard to get big pushes for the next few days, and get ready to call your fans to arms at the end. Don't rest too long!

Use www.kicktraq.com to get an idea of how well your project is doing throughout the campaign.
 
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WarpDogsVG

Member
I'm glad the ks is going well so far. I hope you reach your goal. Looks like you're going to make your goal, plus extra. Good luck to you!

The majority of your funding will probably come during the first and last few days of your project, though. Work hard to get big pushes for the next few days, and get ready to call your fans to arms at the end. Don't rest too long!

Use www.kicktraq.com to get an idea of how well your project is doing throughout the campaign.
Appreciate it!

Yeah, the rules of thumb I kept reading are "you need 20% in the first 48 hours, and 33% by the halfway point, to be successful"

After 48 hours I've reached about 25%, and while I know things are going to start slowing down I'm still super happy with how it went. I'm going to continue punching forward for the remainder of this week and then let things settle down. I have a few 'tricks' to keep the party train going - like a couple interviews, live streaming, etc. - but i'm resigned to the inevitable plateau
 
Yeah, the rules of thumb I kept reading are "you need 20% in the first 48 hours, and 33% by the halfway point, to be successful"
The guy I talked to said 33% 30% in the first week, actually. I believe him, because he had stats for like a hundred KS projects, hahah. It looks like you're more than on track to hit that, though. Getting so much traffic so fast should keep your traffic on KS higher than it would be otherwise, so you should be all set.

I think you'll reach your goal without a scary photo finish or anything, heheh. Good to have surprises and things to show prepared, though. gl! =)
 

WarpDogsVG

Member
As you can expect, it's been a crazy week. It's stressful, sure, but there's also something fun about running around like your hair is on fire - it makes the days feel a lot more productive

I'm foregoing the typical weekend digest this week because a) I don't have time, and b) I didn't really do a whole lot on the game this week! Still, I do have a few things to chat about, so let's make like a gun and bullet.

Oh, and again, I'd be silly to not link to the Kickstarter at the top of the post! If you like what you see in this topic and want to support me, then please consider sharing or making a pledge.

Regarding Kickstarter...
  • Early this afternoon I crossed the 30% funded mark, which is a tremendous milestone. Thank you to everyone who has backed the campaign! Your support has given me so much motivation.
  • The Early Bird tier is just about sold out - as of writing this there's only ~15 slots left. Act fast if you want to get the game at the lowest possible price
  • The newly introduced Village Younger tier has slots left as well. If you're interested in a monster of your design being added to the cast of Village Monsters then please take a look
  • I've started posting longer looks at the various systems and features of Village Monsters on Kickstarter. The latest one is on the Mysteries system. They're view-able by anyone - no backing required

Regarding the Game...
  • Another Alpha 1 released today. You can grab it right here. Alpha 1.03 brings with it some more bug fixes, but more importantly it's the first demo that includes Linux support! You'll see a separate link on the Downloads page for Linux. I haven't forgotten about you, Mac - it's just a lot harder to get you up and running on Virtual Box
  • Alpha 1.03 also re-implements the ability to swap your gender - a much requested feature
  • Finally, Alpha 1.03 makes it a bit easier to send feedback. It seems some people were having some issues, as my inbox has been full of feedback emails that look like the below. That should hopefully now be fixed :)

Well, that'll do it for now. Hopefully this coming week is a bit slower, as I'll be able to get more done on the game - including more dev streams!
 
M

Mike_

Guest
This is looking great, I think the concept is really intriguing and really good seeing how you've iterated on the different elements of the game as you've progressed. Backed the Kickstarter - looking forward to it!
 

RangerX

Member
30% already? That's nice man. That's really encouraging!
Am always been wondering if I should do a kickstarter for The Life Ruby. I don't know how to handle that and if I can work fast enough for people's little patience :/
 

WarpDogsVG

Member
Thanks so much, guys!

So today I began work on a gardening activity after a sudden burst of inspiration last night at 2 in the morning.

Here's a question for you all - what are some of your favorite 'gardening' systems in games? In my head there's a spectrum with Stardew and Harvest Moon on one end and something basic like Animal Crossing or 'JRPG Minigame' on the other

I'm aiming for a system right down the middle, but I'm not quite sure how complex I should make it. Hybrid plants? Long grow cycles? Seasonal plants?
 
There are fans of both styles. I'd just go with your gut. You know what gels with the rest of your game better than we do.

For what it's worth (nothing if you take my advice, haha), I didn't like SV at all, but I love Animal Crossing. =)
 

WarpDogsVG

Member
Hey all!

I put up a new demo today, which you can grab right here -

http://warpdogs.com/were-release/



It includes the aforementioned gardening changes + lots of big fixes and improvements.

As an FYI, all demos are 100% free. I also have a little mechanism in-game that lets you send me feedback, and I would absolutely love to know what you fine folks have to say about it!
 

RangerX

Member
Cool! Been a while, I guess I will try this one. (will edit this post tonight)
Oh and I just posted a quite huge update on TLR on my side... ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)
 

WarpDogsVG

Member
Cool! Been a while, I guess I will try this one. (will edit this post tonight)
Oh and I just posted a quite huge update on TLR on my side... ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts! I'll go check out that ruby life later on this weekend as well.
 

RangerX

Member
Ok here goes! :)

- Choosing yes/no is not possible with the joystick and moving the character isn't possible with the gamepad :(
- At some point there's been a morning filter or something that was applied on screen. I changed windows and cameback = crash. Surfaces are volatile, you can always lose them and especially by alt-tabing.

Code:
############################################################################################
ERROR in
action number 1
of Draw Event
for object obj_dTime:

Trying to use non-existing surface.
at gml_Script_src_DaylightFilter_LateEvening
############################################################################################
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
stack frame is
gml_Script_src_DaylightFilter_LateEvening (line 0)
gml_Script_src_DaylightFilter_DrawInside
gml_Object_obj_dTime_Draw_73

- Shaking trees to find furnitures. Now that's my kind of game ++ :)
- I feel the day is too short. If there's theorically more stuff you will be able to do during the day, extend it!
- Hail !! its so cool
- Tried to place a fireplace and I was stuck in customizer mode. I wasn't able to exit or place the fireplace. It was standing there in the middle of my house.
- I still love your text in the game and the humor. Keep it that way.
- Oh boy, I just discovered the book. What the hell is with pressing a joystick. But it on "back" button. (gp_select)
- Why does the day "ends" and bring your back to the house? I'd prefer it ala Harvest Moon that you have to walk back and go to bed for the night to pass.

I like your game really. Did you ever played the PS4 game called Yonder The Cloud Catcher?
Its a game with no "ennemies" pretty much like your. What I'd call a "messing around for fun" game, with Quests, villagers, alot of stuff to collect, crafting, etc. It might inspire you. Just saying :)
 
K

ketogenicGG

Guest
I really do like the graphics on this! Also seems like this game will have a lot of things to do.
 

WarpDogsVG

Member
Whoo! Appreciate the feedback, RangerX. I made a few task to adjust things based on your experience.

I bought Yonder forever ago when it was on a deep sale but haven't played it yet. I'm a sucker for those games, though, so I'll definitely have to play it soon for inspiration.
 

WarpDogsVG

Member
I'm working on some cool things this week. I think have one more demo in me before the Kickstarter ends, and I'm going to make it a big one.

Here's are the things I'm cooking in the oven!



First up - the town has time traveled to autumn!

Of course, the timescale in the game is not based on real time, but I was feeling so autumn-y that I had to get my spook on. You'll find a new tileset, plenty of spooky decorations and creatures, and even new music!



Next, I'm re-implementing + giving more love to some of the Glitch Powers in the game. Meet the new-and-improved Buzzsaw Bug Net. I'm hoping to have a post up later on that dives how exactly Glitch Powers work



This is something I've promised to do for awhile, but it ended up being a lot harder to implement than I had planned

The game now officially has better diversity. You can't choose your appearance right now (on account of me being real bad at UI), but when you start the game you'll be randomly assigned one of 6 sprites.

(Of course in the final game you'll have full control)



Finally, I'm showing the Compendium even more love - as I mentioned before, it's been renamed to the Journal. It has new pages, better controls, and is overall getting more useful

I've also done a flurry of bugfixing: A crash related to surface lighting has been fixed, plenty of collision / layering issues have been fixed, critters are a bit more sensible, and lots more.

The current plan is to keep tossing new features and ideas and release the demo by Saturday

As an aside, I also put together a Thunderclap for my Kickstarter. If you're looking for an easy way to support my project, then I'd really love for you to opt in!
 

WarpDogsVG

Member
Man, I am up super late tonight. I hope the Kickstarter ending brings me back to a normal sleep schedule

Anyway, sometime tomorrow (today?) I hope to put up the final demo release of October. I'm going all out with this one as eluded to in my previous post


As you can see from my Kickstarter itself, I'm going to need some help in these final days. If you've read this topic or played the demo and have enjoyed it, then it'd seriously mean the world to me if you could support or share the campaign.
 

WarpDogsVG

Member
Here's the last demo of the Kickstarter - Alpha 1.06, "Spooky Edition"

As I mentioned in my last post, it includes a time jump to the fall and includes a bunch of other changes and fixes. You can grab the game and look at the patch notes right here.

Speaking of the Kickstarter, there's just 24 hours remaining and I'm going to need some sort of hail mary. I've watched enough football to know those can actually happen, so I haven't given up quite yet. Please consider backing or sharing if this game interests you!
 

WarpDogsVG

Member
When I posted about a hail mary I sincerely didn't expect it to actually happen! But here we are sitting at 12 hours to go with less than $2,500 remaining. This is all thanks to an incredibly generous backer at another forum I go to.

I was resigned to my failure as of a couple days ago, but this has reignited me in a major way. It's within reach now!

I had thought my previous post was the last time I'd beg y'all for support, but no such luck. I'm so close, you guys. Please consider backing so we can reach the finish line!
 
Congrats on reaching your goal! I thought you would, but it got a little scary in the middle. Glad to see it worked out! Your game deserved the funding more than a lot of stuff I see get funded on KS!
 
Congratulations Warpy. To make it feel a bit more special I made a little fan art for you. The hair makes your character:

 
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G

Guest User

Guest
I am speechless, congratulations on reaching your goal !
Yesterday when I mentioned your game in the GameMaker Magazine I was like "35 hours to go and more than $1k left, I don't think he will make it...", thank you for proving me wrong.

About the game, it is really fun, I love it, the video shows everything I wanted to know about the game and the daily routine idea caught my eye and interest, it is fun and has a solid future.

Good luck in developing this game !
 

WarpDogsVG

Member
It took some last minute heroics from one very passionate and generous backer, but that opened the floodgates and now I'm sitting here stunned that it actually funded. Village Monsters is going to live!

There's less than an hour to go, but I wanted to announce one last surprise here - all backers at $25 and above will get an ADDITIONAL copy of the game for the Nintendo Switch once it releases.

Once I figured out getting it on the Switch was attainable I had planned this as a big announcement, but then I scrapped the plans once it looked like the campaign was failing. It was tough getting everything back together, and I wish I could have done it with more fanfare, but I guess scrambling to communicate good news is better than scrambling to communicate bad news

Thank you to everyone for the congratulations!!!
 
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