Building a Village, 08/25/2018 – Trash Hog

Hello Villagers!

The past couple weeks were so focused on the demo release that I went on a developer diary hiatus – but we’re back today, baby!

(Also, why not check out the demo if you haven’t already?)

You’ll notice a definite trend in what I’ve been working on this week: villager interactions. This’ll remain a major priority for probably the next month and includes things like player-involved conversations, quests, schedules, villagers interacting with the world alongside you, and more.

Let’s dive in.

Decisions, decisions…

Until now conversations have been a one-sided affair, but that’s changing with the addition of player choice in dialogue.

Do your choices matter? Well, sorta. They serve as a way to flesh out the personality of both your character and the villager, so there’s no risk of picking the ‘wrong’ option. Still, some options may be more important than others, so be sure to pay attention.

Talk to Me

The system governing when and how often you can chat with villagers has been improved. Villagers now gain new things to say as the day goes on, and they’ll even indicate when they want to talk via an icon above their heads.

No icon? Then they have nothing new to say right now so you can keep on walkin’, but check in with them later on.

Oh, Hello

If you’ve played previous demos you’ve hopefully noticed that villagers will occasionally say hi to you as you walk by. I liked this feature, but in truth it was pretty clunky and pulled from a tiny pool of generic things to say – that’s no good.

It’s been replaced in both look and function. Now each villager has their own things to say as you walk by that reflect their personality or situation. I’m also considering hooking it into the friendship system so that your relationship slightly improves each time you say hello.

The Landswill

You can sell practically anything at Pishky’s, but he’s a respectable merchant cat and has his standards. So what to do with all your failed cooking experiments, fished up trash, and other detritus that he won’t buy?

You head on over to your local Landswill, of course! Nobody knows where exactly Zabbal the Trash Hog came from, but he provides an important service by eating anything you put in his pen – no questions asked.

It’s worth checking out even if you don’t have anything to dump; you never know what you might find. As they say: one hog’s trash is another man’s new teddy bear.

Building a Village, 07/20/2018 – Words Words Words

Hello Villagers!

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 best demo yet. I hope you’ll all enjoy this little slice of village life at the end of July!

Onto the dev log!

Just Say the Word

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

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

Foraging

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

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

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.

Building a Village, 07/01/2018 – Fishtincts

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!

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Building a Village, 06/22/2018 – New / Improved

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.

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