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The Foundations Update (v0.75)

The Foundations Update (v0.75)

Hello Villagers!

Welcome to Village Monsters v0.75!

This is a major update to Village Monsters – it’s so big that I decided to call it The Foundations Update. This is because v0.75 lays the foundation (get it?!) for some of the biggest parts of the game: story cutscenes, Heart-to-Heart events, player abilities, village restoration, and more.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VillageMonsters

Discord: https://discord.gg/NaNc7Tr

Email: josh@warpdogs.com

Story and Cutscenes

Several new story moments, dialogue, and cutscenes have been added to the game. These new story features will provide some much needed context about the world of Village Monsters and your overall goals.

While these cutscenes are primarily meant for new games, I’ve retroactively added them to existing save games so that you don’t need to start a brand new game to view them.

You may also chance upon new items called Celestial Texts that you may find buried in areas outside the village. These reveal pieces of the meta-story of Village Monsters.

Heart-to-Heart Events

There are 32 monster pals in Village Monsters that you can befriend, but there hasn’t been much of a benefit to friendship beyond watching their little heart icons fill up. Well, this update changes all that!

As you deepen your friendship with a villager you may sometimes trigger special events called Heart-to-Heart conversations. These are unique cutscenes with each villager where they open up to you about a problem they have or a goal they’re working on.

Most Heart-to-Hearts take the form of a short story arc for that character, and no two events are ever the same.

Please note that the bulk of my work for this release was laying the foundation to support Heart-to-Heart events. This means that of the nearly 100+ planned Heart-to-Hearts events, only a handful of them are included in this particular update.

However, many more Heart-to-Hearts will be added throughout Early Access.

Player Abilities

Access the new Abilities section of your journal to purchase several new abilities to make your life in the village even better.

Most abilities are tied to hobbies and can be purchased with Ability Points that are gained as you level them up. Other abilities may be granted in special situations.

The majority of time for this update was spent on laying the foundation for Abilities. As such, only a few have been implemented in the game. New abilities will be added throughout Early Access.

Full Patch Notes

Story & Cutscenes

  • A large number of new story cutscenes have been added to the game
  • New Cutscene: Introducing the arbiter and the fate of the villager
  • New Cutscene: The introduction to the Town Restoration Project
  • New Cutscene: Meeting AAAAAA and learning how to clear corruption
  • Cutscenes can now trigger in a variety of situations, like entering a certain room, the clock striking a certain hour on a certain day, and so forth
  • Some cutscenes may be temporarily delayed via a dialogue option if you don’t wish to view it yet
  • Added a large number of new story dialogue to villagers. Consider talking with villagers after major events
  • In general, a cutscene will not trigger until you are ready (eg., it will wait until you are done fishing, finished speaking with a villager, etc.)
  • New abilities can now be granted after viewing specific cutscenes
  • If two or more cutscenes are scheduled to fire at the same time, only one will be selected. The rest will be “punted” until later
  • The time / date of new games have been adjusted for story purposes
  • Added a major new story character, the Arbiter
  • Missing a scheduled cutscene for any reason will simply delay it by a day
  • Intro story events will trigger retroactively for ongoing save files

Heart-to-Heart Events

  • Added the concept of Heart-to-Hearts, special events between you and a villager as you build bonds
  • Not all villagers have Heart-to-Hearts implemented yet, and many storylines are unfinished. New Heart-to-Hearts will be added throughout Early Access
  • Heart-to-Heart events should trigger retroactively for ongoing save files
  • A special icon (known as a Lockheart) will be displayed on their their heart level to indicate a new heart-to-heart is ready to be viewed
  • Your relationship level with a villager will not advance while a Lockheart is in place
  • Your relationship does continue to grow behind the scenes, and once a Lockheart is removed it will “catch up” to your progress

Skills & Abilities

  • Added Abilities to the game. Abilities unlock new features, improve existing actions, etc.
  • Leveling up a hobby now grants Ability Points. Spend these to unlock new Abilities
  • Changed how the hobby leveling process works. You now level faster, but the level cap is higher
  • Some abilities are granted via story events
  • Improved the look and functionality of the Abilities page in your journal
  • Removed WIP / placeholder abilities from the Abilities page
  • Additional abilities will be added throughout Early Access
  • You will retroactively gain Ability Points after this update

New & Improved Features

  • Added a new Stash object outside of the player’s home (when purchased)
  • Use the stash to store items out of your inventory that you want to keep for later
  • Added the concept of NPC side stories. These are unique daily stories that involve multiple villagers. You can explore these stories by talking with the involved villagers
  • Made the day length slightly faster
  • The frequency and type of visitors now depends on the village rating
  • Added a new type of rare treasure called Celestial Texts
  • Interact with Celestial Texts from your inventory to read them
  • Added new wings to the Library, though they are still under construction
  • Improved the number of existing cutscenes
  • Made several improvements the forecast service on TV
  • Several relationship values have been rebalanced
  • Made interacting with / picking up small objects easier
  • Changed interaction text on a number of objects to reflect story changes
  • The jackrabbit is now available as a catchable critter
  • Added support for a Price Table to rapidly re-balance the economy through Early Access
  • Rebalanced the buy and sell prices for a number of objects
  • Added an ETA for the next major version to the title screen

New & Improved Graphics / UI

  • Added a number of new directional sprites for several villagers
  • Improved the look & feel of friendship hearts
  • Added a progress bar to the clock so you can see how close you are to a time change
  • When available, villagers will now turn and look at you when speaking
  • Improved the look and feel of thunderstorms
  • Improved the look of a number of job and minigame locations
  • Improved the look of the area notification element
  • The Abilities page of your journal is now much more useful
  • Toned down the lighting for Early Morning and all interior lighting at night
  • Made it more obvious when there are multiple pages to browse in the journal + added UI icons to show you how
  • Added a short description when using certain items from your inventory (like trap packs and books) to make their effects more obvious
  • Improved the black space / buffer in interiors to prevent villagers / furniture from being hard to see
  • Improved the layering of many loose items to prevent strange overlapping issues

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed major crash (and other weirdness) related to sending letters. If you’ve noticed odd crashes or issues when trying to go to bed then this bug was likely to blame
  • Fixed rare crash when going to bed early and there’s a visitor coming to town
  • Fixed crash from pruning certain plants
  • Fixed major issue where players could move while some menus are open
  • Fixed major issue where a buried item would be impossible to dig up
  • Fixed major issue in which visitors were arriving every day, often in a row
  • Fixed major issue that could “corrupt” your garden and result in bizarre outcomes
  • Fixed multiple issues with critters getting stuck by temporarily eliminating critter collision checks
  • Fixed the camera getting stuck when fishing in some situations
  • Fixed bug where all food in the critter food bucket would be emptied out regardless of how many critters you had
  • Fixed music overlapping in Memorial Meadows
  • Fixed bug that was causing some village buildings to “level up” into unfinished assets
  • Fixed collision issue when talking to certain villagers while moving
  • Fixed bug that caused you to get stuck between a rock and a hard place the the Agrarian Acres pond
  • Fixed journal rotation issues
  • Fixed bug that caused Mayor Ludo to repeat his intro dialogue
  • Fixed a number of tile issues with the non-Spring tilesets
  • Fixed the “Low Energy” effect not being removed when going to bed early (ironic)
  • Further fixed collision around a number of exterior and interior objects
  • Fixed collision issues in Dio’s home
  • Fixed “jittery” collision when moving during dialogue
  • Fixed a number of slight graphical issues with buildings in the village
  • Fixed incorrect text wrapping on a number of journal pages
  • Fixed placeholder abilities from being displayed (they would show up as “-1”)
  • Fixed incorrectly formatted text when attempting to go to bed
  • Fixed the Transparency effect being incorrectly dismissed on area transition
  • Fixed dialogue text from starting before the dialog box is fully displayed
  • Fixed odd collision issue with the stairs in Vara’s house
  • Fixed a number of collision issues in Memorial Meadows
  • Fixed hotkeys from opening menus when filling out feedback via the Send Feedback main menu option
  • Fixed icons getting cut off in some lists
  • Fixed the long-standing typo where “Lakeweed” was erroneously displayed as “Lake”
  • Fixed rare sprite issue in the intro cutscene
  • Fixed a number of typos in item names and descriptions
Building a Village – Heart to Heart

Building a Village – Heart to Heart

Hello Villagers!

Let’s talk friendship.

There are 32 monster pals in Village Monsters that you can befriend, but until now there hasn’t been much of a benefit beyond watching their little heart icons fill up.

That’s about to change.

Today’s dev diary is going to feature one of the biggest and most exciting new additions coming in Village Monsters v0.75: Heart-to-Hearts events!

Heart-to-Hearts

As you deepen your friendship with a villager you may sometimes trigger special events called Heart-to-Heart conversations. These are unique cutscenes with each villager where they open up to you about a problem they have or a goal they’re working on.

Most Heart-to-Hearts take the form of a short story arc for that character, and no two events are ever the same – they depend heavily on the villager themselves.

Bugs needs your help in hunting down a rare (and very deadly) critter. Mayor Sudo wants you to “volunteer” as campaign manager for his reelection. Golbrick is trying to find ways to deal with his pessimism. Oponna has a lead on where to find the lost treasure of Pine Tar Percy.

Heart-to-Heart conversations can also result in the personal growth of the villager which can change many things: their personality, their daily schedules, even their involvement in story events. This feature didn’t make it into v0.75, but it’s something that I should be able to finish in the next big update.

I don’t want to get too into ~spoiler territory~, but you can expect multiple Heart-to-Heart events with every single villager. Yep, all 32 of them! It’s quite the undertaking, and the initial release will only include a small handful. New events will be added throughout Early Access (including retroactively).

I expect that for many players, unlocking and enjoying Heart-to-Heart conversations will comprise the bulk of their playtime.

Lockhearts

While talking with a villager you may notice that they have some sort of “lock” placed on their heart icons.

These are called Lockhearts, and they represent a blocker that stops villagers from further opening up their hearts to you. You’ll be unable to progress your friendship any further until it’s cleared.

Don’t fret! It’s not a bad thing, it just means the villager is busy processing their own personal situation. In fact, Lockhearts almost always indicate that a new Heart-to-Heart event is ready to be viewed. These events let villagers address their problems and deepen their friendships with you

However, there are other situations where a Lockheart must be cleared via another method. Some villagers may just need a little extra time to pass, others may require you to first reach a specific friendship level with another villager, while some may even require a special item, village upgrade, or something else entirely.

From a game design perspective, Lockhearts allow me to make villager relationships more natural and meaningful. More Lockheart features will be added in later updates.

Romance?

I’ve promised you monster romance. You’re going to get monster romance.

But not yet.

Dating villagers will use a very similar system as normal Heart-to-Hearts, but I’m not quite ready to reveal this in a public release. You’ll have to wait just a little longer.

But you won’t need to wait very long for everything else I’ve described. Village Monsters v0.75 is releasing this Thursday, June 25th.

New Major Patch: Early Access 0.72.5b!

New Major Patch: Early Access 0.72.5b!

Hello Villagers!

Welcome to version 0.72!

This release was originally going to focus only on home and village improvements, but I somewhat accidentally found myself hunting and destroying dozens of bugs instead.

Frankly, all this bugfixin’ work was long overdue, so I decided to change gears and make it my new priority for this update. In total I fixed around 50 bugs which should go a long way to making the game feel more stable and professional. I’ll continue working on home / town building in the next release.

Anyway, here are the full patch notes!


Home Improvement & Town Building

  • Vastly improved the look of the player house exterior and surrounding area
  • Redid the interior (tileset and furniture) of the player home
  • Redesigned and moved shops on main street to prepare them for future upgrades
  • New Homestead Upgrade: Clean out the polluted pond so you can use it for fishing
  • New Homestead Upgrade: You can now move your garden from Agrarian Acres to just outside your house
  • Added a new system that can change the look and feel of the village as it evolves over time
  • The village is now evaluated and ranked each week. Speak with Jaclyn in Town Hall for more info


Graphics & UI

  • Redesigned and improved many of the buildings and decor of Main Street
  • Added chimney smoke effects to buildings in the village
  • Added a large number of new external lanterns and street lights
  • Improved interior lighting of many villager homes
  • Improved the look and colorization of the interior tileset
  • Improved the shadowing for trees and other vegetation
  • Improved the look of “New Dialogue” notification
  • Improved the look of room transitions
  • Improved camera movement when used in cutscenes
  • Improved dialogue box movement in cutscenes


New & Improved Features

  • Modified the fishing minigame so that the hit bar doesn’t shrink as much
  • Drastically improved how ‘flavor critters’ (like butterflies, squirrels) look and behave
  • It now takes substantially longer to unearth treasure if you’re exhausted (eat or nap to get rid of it!)
  • Added a number of new Critters and Fish to catch
  • You are no longer able to move away from a conversation if there are dialogue choices coming up – this solves a few bugs
  • You can now speak to an NPC during part time jobs to hear tips or quit early
  • Drastically improved state management to smooth things out and prevent you from being ‘stuck’ in a specific state (eg., being stuck in the casting rod animation)


Game Feel

  • Improved player collision. In general, collision should feel cleaner and less fragile
  • Your energy is restored to full when starting a tutorial from the job board


Bugs Fixed

  • Fixed crash related to UI elements dimming in cutscenes
  • Fixed a crash relating to sending following critters back home
  • Fixed crash related to certain cutscenes
  • Fixed crash when backing out gift selection when writing a letter
  • Fixed a major issue in which the camera could become “detached” from the player during some room transitions
  • Fixed a major issue in which you could bypass certain areas by walking through them mid-conversation
  • Fixed a major issue in which cancelling a letter would cause the gamepad keyboard to display and be unable to dismiss
  • Fixed several major issues that resulted in becoming “stuck” after certain transitions (cutscenes, jobs, new areas)
  • Fixed a large number of situations in which you could sequence break while performing an odd job
  • Fixed jittery collision when performing a job or chore
  • Fixed issue where exterior lighting would appear to change during a cutscene
  • Fixed some jerkiness / stuttering during cutscene and job transitions
  • Fixed issue where players could still move / act during a cutscene
  • Fixed issue where players could move while during an area transition and cause it to abort
  • Fixed incorrect door collision
  • Fixed notes not having a dialogue portrait
  • Fixed large number of state-related bugs
  • Fixed large number of issues related to purchasing a new home
  • Fixed a few weird issues (like orphaned pixels) in the interior tileset
  • Fixed collision issues near the Balefire Beach entrance
  • Fixed gaps in collision around the edges of Balefire Beach
  • Fixed certain UI elements not dimming during area transitions
  • Fixed a number of debug commands that were erroneously enabled
  • Fixed player house from erroneously changing sprites at night
  • Fixed issue where homestead upgrades could appear missing upon entering the area
  • Fixed a number of issues with the interior of the player home
  • Fixed an issue where the player house would not update to a “fixed up” sprite after purchasing
  • Fixed issue where buying a house put you severely in debt
  • Fixed layering of the Donkey Fly critter
  • Fixed an issue where UI elements would appear partly transparent
  • Fixed collision bug in Carefree Crossroads that would cause you to get stuck between a tree and a hard place
  • Fixed issue where a temporary ‘ghost’ item could appear after making a purchase
  • Fixed issue where players could release critters that are currently following them
  • Fixed a number of discrepancies between gamepad controls across PS4 / Switch / Xbox controllers
  • Fixed a large number of lingering issues with flavor creatures (like butterflies, squirrels, and other critters you can’t catch)
  • Fixed a lack of title on the Villager page of your journal
  • Fixed an issue where placeholder items from the bakery, Pots n’ Pies
  • Fixed issue that was causing weeds to be surprisingly tricky to pick
  • Fixed incorrect control labels
  • Fixed issue where mail was still being delivered to the mailbox outside of Overflow even after moving into a new house
  • Fixed a number of instances of text overextending beyond the dialogue box
  • Fixed a number of typos
  • Various other misc. technical and stability improvements
The Gardening Update (v0.70) + 10% off!

The Gardening Update (v0.70) + 10% off!

Hello Villagers!

Happy May Day!

Village Monsters v.0.70 is out now for all platforms. I had two goals with this release: completely overhauling the gardening hobby, and redoing how the game saves and loads data.

One of those probably sounds a lot more exciting than the other, which is why I’m calling this The Changes to Game Saves Update The Gardening Update!

To celebrate the release, Village Monsters is 10% off all weekend!

Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/679830/Village_Monsters/

Itch.io: https://josh-bossie.itch.io/village-monsters

Game Saves (Important!)

As I warned in a previous news update, any saves made before this release are not compatible with the new stuff. This means you’ll need to start a new game, though you will be able to import some key items (your wallet, inventory, etc.) from your old save.

This should be the last time I have to break save comparability while in Early Access.

  • The entire save / load system has been redone to be more robust and even faster for slower systems
  • Players who have an existing save can import some items – like silver, inventory items, etc. – into their new save by interacting with the suitcase in the player’s room at the inn
  • The previous version, v0.65, will remain available as a Steam beta branch. Password: previousversion



Gardening

The vast majority of my time these past 4 weeks has been spent on improving the shamefully neglected Gardening hobby. To call it an “overhaul” seems an underestimate – the old system wasn’t just improved, it was deleted and replaced entirely by something more fun and interesting.

The changes are too big and numerous to fully capture in a change log… but I tried to anyway. Grab some seeds, head over to Agrarian Acres, and take a look yourself!

If you want to know more, check out this post on the Village Monsters blog.

  • Mushroom Gardening has become simply Gardening
  • Gardening is now performed via a special UI that’s accessible when interacting with a garden bed
  • Garden beds now show a little preview of what’s growing in them (including any weeds)
  • Each plant can be inspected and interacted with via this new screen. Your options depend on your Gardening Abilities
  • You may now Cultivate plants in your garden. This allows you to perform actions such as watering the plant, adding items to the soil, etc. in order to encourage its growth
  • Cultivation effects linger (usually a day or two) after being implemented. Look at the plant’s details to see how long it lasts
  • At first, you can only water your plants to provide a modest boost. As you level up you’ll gain new ways to cultivate your plants
  • You can also cultivate soil with any item in your inventory. This provides a random effect, and may be better – or worse – than just watering them
  • Plants can now breed to create new plants automatically
  • In general, your garden needs one open space, a male plant, and a female plant in order for plants to breed. Both parents must also be a certain level of growth first.
  • Basic crossbreeding has been added: the look and base plant attributes are based on the mother plant, while growth rates are based on the father plant
  • There is a very rare chance that the offspring plant will instead be a Hybrid. This is a new type of plant specific to the pairing
  • Hybrid are rare and very valuable. They are, however, “infertile” and cannot be used to breed again
  • A huge number of new plants can now be grown in your garden
  • A small number of existing plants have been eliminated or combined with other plants
  • All plant sprites have been improved and in some cases completely redone. This includes both mature and in-progress versions
  • Each plants now have one or more Tags. These specify certain attributes for that particular plant
  • Plants are now rated like critters and fish. Ratings depend on your skill as a gardener, and a higher rated item sells for more silver
  • A number of new seasonal plants have been added to the forage list
  • Plants can now be pruned from your garden. This allows you to remove a still-growing plant
  • Pruning has a chance of refunding plant seeds back in your inventory (higher chance if just planted)
  • This new screen can be used to plant new plants, inspect existing plants, clear out weeds, and more
  • A new info screen now displays key details about your plan including its stage, what each stage looks like, when it was planted, whether it’s under any special effects, and so on
  • Spores / Seeds have been renamed to simply “Starters”
  • Wild mushrooms and plants now spawn a little more rarely
  • Growth rates for all plants have been adjusted. In general, it takes longer for an untended plant to grow to maturity
  • The Spore Extractor has been renamed to the Seed Extractor, and it’s currently out of order
  • The existing mushroom growing spots in Agrarian Acres have been replaced
  • The spore extractor found in Agrarian Acres now takes several days to produce usable starters



New & Improved Features

  • Fleshed out the main Player page of your journal. It now lists your rank in each hobby and some general information
  • Added several new catachable critters, like the Foliage Elemental
  • A new type of chest has been added to the treasure rotation
  • The “Spicy” effect has been changed to be a bit more useful
  • Added several new “flavor critters”, like a spider, parrot, and more
  • Changed player sprite transitions in some situation
  • Improved look and behavior of cloud shadows
  • Increased spawn rates for items on the beach
  • Added large number of new items, furniture, and decorations. Look for them in villager homes throughout the village
  • Added concept of Elemental Affinity
  • Renamed Bonfire Beach to Balefire Beach



Changes to Graphics & UI

  • Forageable items now have a sparkle to differentiate them from plants / objects that are decorations
  • Added a slight drop shadow effect to all dialogue text
  • Add transparency to dialog boxes
  • Improved dialog box title and choices UI
  • Improved the logic for selecting the next active item in a list
  • Greatly improved the colors and look of your journal
  • Added commas to large numbers, like your current cash
  • Adjusted some UI terms and wording to be more consistent
  • You can now rotate tools (via the tool menu) using Left / Right on the D-Pad when playing with a controller
  • Random Name Generation – currently used for naming tamed critters – has been greatly improved
  • Altered music logic somewhat
  • Adjusted notification placement to prevent overlap when a lot of stuff is happening
  • Player names are now restricted to 12 total characters



Changes to Game Feel

I’m still grinding away to find that sweet spot in game feel – something that’s both evocative of retro games (which is especially important given Village Monsters’ story) while still taking modern games into account.

  • Player acceleration has been modified so that you move in whole pixels
  • Most other “partial pixel” actions are now rounded up to whole pixels
  • Default player speed has been somewhat increased
  • Further adjusted player acceleration and friction
  • Reduced player speed when stalking with the net
  • You can now control movement via the d-pad (I have no idea why I didn’t have that before!!)
  • The camera now tightly follows the player



Bugs Fixed

  • Fixed a major bug in which the world state wasn’t being properly saved
  • Fixed a crash when pressing “P” on your keyboard in some situations
  • Fixed a crash related to cutscenes not properly being set
  • Fixed the player sprite not changing when you transition rooms
  • Fixed a variety of collision issue with outdoor decorations, like benches
  • Fixed several collision issues in Memorial Meadows
  • Fixed a few issues with garden weeds
  • Fixed issue where beach shells would disappear
  • Fixed apple trees still providing apples during off seasons
  • Fixed an issue where critters would not flee properly if you approached them from certain angles
  • Fixed an issue where swinging a net drains stamina too early
  • Fixed some minor issues related to when the player character was in between states, or paused
  • Fixed the “Exit” option not working on the title screen in some instances
  • Fixed a graphical glitch in Dio’s house
Building a Village – Garden Variety

Building a Village – Garden Variety

Hello Villagers!

We all neglect things they really shouldn’t. Maybe it’s a hard task you don’t know how to start. Maybe it’s just cleaning your room.

For me? It’s the mushroom gardening hobby in Village Monsters. It’s “technically” been in the game since releasing in Early Access 6 months ago, but you wouldn’t know it. I’ve barely touched it since then and most players aren’t even aware it exists.

That changes now. Let’s talk gardens, and then afterward let’s clean our rooms!

Gardening

What was onceMushroom Gardening will now be known as simply Gardening. Yep, you can now cultivate all sorts of new plants beyond just fabulous fungi!

But don’t expect to be planting boring crops like turnips or corn. No! Instead, you’ll be growing suitably monstrous plants: man-eating pitcher plants, never-ending creeper vines, fruit that glows eerily in the dark, and yes: mushrooms.

To help you with growing all these new plants, garden management has received a complete overhaul in both look and design. Check it out:

Each garden now has its own plot (above) that you can interact with to manage all the plants inside. From this screen you can plant new seeds, view the status of growing plants, cultivate the soil, and eventually harvest any mature plants. 

You’ll be able to purchase multiple plots of varying configurations, but at the start you’re limited to the basic 2×2 model.

Your garden won’t require a lot of attention if you only care about the basics. You may need to weed it on occasion, and cultivating it with water and fertilizer will definitely help it grow faster, but gardens are otherwise self-sufficient

After all, gardening is meant to be a passive and relaxing hobby. Of course, there are all sorts of benefits if you want to be an active gardener – let’s look at them now.

Breeding

I’m super excited to talk about the new plant breeding mechanics! That’s not weird, right? You’d tell me if that was weird??

In all seriousness, I love breeding plants in video games. I’m not sure why – it’s not like I have much interest in real life botany – but I always get really into it whenever it’s offered. Adding this feature to my own game was a no-brainer.

In Village Monsters, getting started with plant breeding is actually super easy. You just need a male plant, a female plant, and an empty space. Nature can handle the rest!

Your experience as a gardener governs how fast plants grow and crossbreed, and in the beginning of your career it will be pretty slow; plants take several days (and in some cases longer) to grow, and new starter packs are quite expensive and sometimes hard to find.

Don’t fret, though! Gardening is designed for exponential growth, and over time a skilled gardeners can completely outpace the other hobbyists. 

Hybridization

Hybrids are a very rare type of crossbreed where two plants combine to form a brand new plant

As you can see from the chart above, hybrid plants generally inherit the shape of the mother plant + the color / design of the father plant.

It takes a lot of skill & patience to successfully breed a hybrid; they’re often considered the end goal for most gardeners. There are dozens of unique hybrid combinations, so you’ll be plenty busy trying to discover them all.

The uniqueness of a hybrid makes them highly sought after, and Pishky will pay you very handsomely when you’re ready to sell. Better yet, you’re almost guaranteed to win any Garden Festival if you put one of these guys in your display.

Future Gardens

There are two more big features I’d like to add to gardening, but they won’t make the next release (v0.70). Still, this is a dev diary, so I may as well talk about ’em.

The first feature is something I’m tentatively calling Symbiosis. The idea here is that gardening should provide benefits to all your other hobbies – and vice versa! Everything is connected.

For example, you should be able to use certain plants as bait to catch rare fish or critters. Other plants could help you see hidden treasure in the dark. Maybe domesticated critters could provide fast-growing fertilizer for your plants (don’t think about this one too much.) 

It’ll take some time to get it all sorted out, but you can expect this in a future update before release.

The second upcoming feature is called Mutation. Mutations will be similar to hybrids with one key difference: they are completely random! Randomized names, randomized look, randomized benefits, and so on. Procedurally generated plants!

This’ll take some time, and it may even have to come in a post-launch patch. I’ll keep you updated.

Hey, isn’t this like –

Yes, almost certainly!

I really love playing video games, and I’m proud to wear my inspirations on my sleeves. I’ve borrowed tons of elements from games like Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley, even Cookie Clicker and Monster Rancher. If you recognize a gardening element from one of your favorite games then it almost surely is on purpose.

Video games rule.

When can I play with the new gardens?

Very soon!

Everything I described above will be available in Village Monsters v0.70, which will be releasing in the next couple of weeks. Look forward to playing it then!

A Note on Save Compatibility

A Note on Save Compatibility

Hello Villagers!

How’re your gardens doing this year? My physical garden has been shamefully neglected (per the usual), but as for my virtual garden…?

It’s literally never been better!

Since my last update I’ve working super-duper hard on the next version of Village Monsters – which, incidentally, will feature a brand new Gardening hobby for you to enjoy.

It should be ready in a couple weeks, but before then I have a bit of bad news to share.

What’s the issue?

Save files created in the current version of Village Monsters (v0.65) will no longer be compatible with this upcoming version, v0.70.

This means you will need to start a new game once the update is released.

Are there any workarounds?

Yes. I will continue to make v0.65 available for those that don’t want to start a new game:

  • Steam players will be able to opt into a beta channel running v0.65
  • Itch.io / GameJolt players can simply download the older version

In addition, I’m working on a Save Import feature where certain items from your old save are carried over into a new game. I’m not sure yet what exactly I’ll be able to bring over, but you won’t need to start fully from scratch if you don’t want to.

But why break saves?

Your save file is a snapshot of what’s going on at a given time, and in a game like Village Monsters there’s a lot to keep track of. This becomes a big risk for a game in active development – large changes to the game can cause older saves to become incompatible.

It’s something I’ve been able to avoid so far, but the changes I’m making to the game are only getting bigger and grander.

For example, I’ve completely revamped the Gardening hobby so much that any mushroom gardens in your current saves are no longer compatible. There are mushrooms you planted that don’t even EXIST anymore, man!

So the question for me was this: do I continue to break things feature by feature from now until release, or do I rip it off like a band aid and get it over with? Well…

Will save files break again?

Save files should not break again while in Early Access. The point of breaking them all at once now is so that we don’t need to go through this again later.

There is the question of what to do about transitioning from EA to 1.0, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Until next time. Stay safe, keep cozy, and have fun!