WERE-RELEASE #4 OUT NOW – “FLOWER”

Happy full moon, everybody!

A new full moon means a new version of Village Monsters for you to have fun with. I’m happy to announce that the latest Were-Release (what is this?), code named “Flower“, is now officially released.

Go download it!

As with all the other pre-alpha releases, things are still very early. Expect a lot of unfinished or straight up missing systems and features. If you’re interested in following games in early development and want your feedback to shape a game then I’d love for you to take a look! Otherwise, maybe wait until it’s closer to the final release

This is also considered a minor version, meaning that the focus was on polish, bugfixes, and new content. You can expect the same overall structure and feel of the game to be similar to the last release.

The next major release is scheduled to come out this Summer, so be sure to get in any feedback or suggestions before then.

Have fun!

“Flower”

RELEASED: May 10th, 2017

Download:  Windows | Mac (Soon!) | Linux (Soon!)

WERE-RELEASE #3 OUT NOW – “PINK CROW”

Happy full moon, everybody!

A new full moon means a new version of Village Monsters for you to explore. I’m happy to announce that the latest Were-Release (what is this?), code named “Pink Crow“, is now officially released.

Go download it!

As with past releases, things are still very early. However, unlike past releases, Pink Crow is much more indicative of the game I’m making, and I’m really happy with what I was able to get done in the last couple months or so.

The truly massive change log can be found below, but here’s a summary: nearly everything is different and new.

If you’re interested in following games in early development, and want your feedback to shape a game in the making, then please take a look!

“Pink crow”

RELEASED: April 11th, 2017

Download:  Windows | Mac (Soon!) | Linux (Soon!)

What’s New?

Major

  • Player movement has been completely revamped with new actions, better feel, and a new collision system
  • Gamepads are not only support now, but are actively encouraged
  • Many system simulations are active, including time, weather, lighting, and more
  • Lots of really rad music has been added thanks to ETI user permanight
  • A toolbelt has been added to access your various tools, like your net and fishing rod
  • Oh yeah, and there’s fishing now. Equip your rod and go find a body of water
  • New critters to find and catch
  • Lots of new items and objects to pick up, throw, kick, or otherwise look at
  • Hey, there’s a raft now
  • Several new villagers have moved into town. Say hello!
  • The village area has been trashed and completely remade with new buildings, decor, and lamps, and more
  • Nearly every single sprite has been either redone entirely or improved
    • (they’re still bad. sorry)
  • You won’t be teleported randomly around when exploring or exiting / entering buildings
  • Lots of bugs fixed and an equal amount introduced
  • Lots of new UI changes
  • A “draw order” system allowing for smarter layering
  • You can explore areas outside the village – have fun!
  • New secret stuff
  • New weird stuff
  • New ???

Full List

Player & Actions

  • Movement Improvements
    • Tweaked the movement code to give it an overall better feel
    • Fixed bug related to footsteps either triggering too much or not enough
    • Increased speed of sprinting
    • Made sprint a toggle
    • When using a controller, movement speed is based on analog stick pressure
  • MAJOR: Controller Support
    • You can now play the entire game with a gamepad
  • Lantern at night
    • Toggle with “T” for now
    • Added a lantern to help light the way at night
  • Dialog timing changes
    • Dialog should overall be easier to read and also easier to skip through
  • Persistence
    • Player object has been persisted across all rooms
      • Player Authority created to manage creation and tracking of player object
    • Player location will be maintained between room transitions
  • Shadow changes
    • Removed ‘hardcoded’ (and bad) shadow
  • MAJOR: Completely revamped collision system
    • Collision is handled via tile instead of objects
    • Collision is much more performant
    • You can no longer walk over things like water
  • MAJOR: New Action: Roll
    • Rolling moves a bit faster, but is primarily used for shaking and breaking things
    • Roll into trees to make items (and birds) fly out
    • Roll into pots to break them and pick up bits
    • Rolling is on a cooldown
  • MAJOR: New Action: Pickup & Throw
    • Some items can be picked up and thrown
    • You may find secrets and other valuables by throwing everything you can
    • Pots can be thrown to create bits
  • New Action: Kick
    • Walk into some items – like a ball – to kick them around
    • Kicking may be useful in the future. It currently isn’t.
  • MAJOR: Toolbelt
    • A new UI element called the ‘toolbelt’ has been added
    • Use the toolbelt to cycle through tools (like fishing rod, bugcatching net, and lantern)
  • Inventory Grouping
    • Items are now grouped within the inventory

Hobbies & Activities

  • MAJOR: New Hobby: Fishing
    • Players can now fish for, uh, fish!
      • Go to any body of water, select your fishing rod, and press the Use Tool button to fish
      • A new fishing “minigame” has been added
      • You must cast your hook and reel it in strategically to attract fish
      • Watch out for your line tension – if that breaks, you lose the fish
    • A boat has been added with which you can fish from
      • The boat has a very boat-y feel to its movement
      • Added a torch to the boat
    • Fish are added to your inventory
  • Bug Catching changes
    • Holding the “Use Tool” button while the net is equipped will cause the player to enter ‘critter stalking’ mode
    • You’ll move slower while stalking, but bugs will be less skittish
  • New Critter: Sun Fly
    • Added the noctornal sun fly
    • Sun flies glow and act similarly to Sea flies
  • New critter fleeing behavior
    • All fleeing critters now fade into the background as they run
  • New critters: Butterfly Leaders
    • Monarch, Emperor, President, and Caeser butterflies have been added. Catch ’em all
  • S-Fly Spawner
    • Fixed issue preventing flies from spawning by the pond
    • Better ‘annoying buzzing’ behavior (they won’t just congregate around your beard)
  • New Gatherables
    • More than half a dozen new mushrooms types have been added. You’ll have to hunt them all down!

Villagers, Dog, & Other Entities

  • Portrait Changes
    • Added villager names underneath the portrait
  • New Ambient Creatures
    • Owls that fly overhead at night
    • Crows now hang around and will scatter when you try to get close
  • Dog Bug Fixes
    • Fixed returning fetched items from directly up / down
    • Fixed issue with sprite offsets that made the dog changing directions look mega goofy
    • Migrated to new movement system
  • Path tileset
    • A new tileset was created for paths and the entire village and surrounding areas have been pathed
  • New Villager: Lindwyrm
    • He’s a dragon, and he helps runs the Historical Society
  • New Villager: (Post-Punk Pixie Postman)
    • She’s unnamed for now
    • In the future, she’ll handle all postal services in town

Village, Buildings, Decor

  • New External Decor: Streetlamps
    • Streetlamps now exist in the village and help light the way at night
    • There are a couple of varieties
  • Made village lake less ugly
    • Thanks to the magic of auto-tiling
  • Postal Service (?)
    • You’ll find a whole bunch of mailboxes around town
    • They’ll help you identify buildings you aren’t sure of
  • New door behaviors
    • Instead of going into buildings automatically, you need to press the Z key or A button
      • This was done to prevent accidental building transitions
  • New color palettes!
  • MAJOR: New village buildings to explore
    • Mock’s House
    • Historical Society
    • Treasure Chest House
    • Skull House
  • Revamped interiors
    • Less ugly overall
    • Better collisions (meaning that collisions actually exist)
    • No more weather indoors (lol)
  • MAJOR: Music
    • Several tracks of music have been added to the game…
      • Morning track
      • Afternoon track
      • Evening track
      • Night track
      • Music fades in and our at each hour change
      • A nice bell toles during the changing of hours
  • New Items
    • Pots
      • Create bits when smashed
    • Bits
      • Used as currency
      • A new UI element has been added to track bits
      • A pleasant SFX plays when you pick up a bit
  • New detours
    • A gacha machine can be found somewhere. Spend your bits wisely
  • Helpful notes?
    • A number of notes and other signs have been erected around the town and outskirts
  • Pedestals in the historical society
    • Items in your inventory can be placed on pedestals in the historical society
    • In the future, this’ll be how you complete your collections

Areas

  • MAJOR: New areas to explore
    • Crossroads
    • Outskirts Forest
      • A whole lotta trees and other vegetation were created for this area
      • Maybe you’ll find other things there – like mushrooms. Or a TV
    • Outskirts Lake
      • Have fun sailing around the lake on the raft
  • MAJOR: Improved area transitions
    • Transitioning between screens and rooms now places the player in the correct place
  • New vegetation
    • Additional trees, stumps, etc. have been created

Simulation & Systems

  • MAJOR: Lighting Engine FX
    • With darkness comes an actual lighting engine around the player, light sources, and other objects
    • Current objects with lighting:
      • Player (via torch)
      • Streetlamps
      • Sun Flies
  • MAJOR: Time Concepts
    • Added the ‘concept’ of week, month, and year
      • Time advances following these rules
      • A week has 7 days, a month has 4 weeks, and a year has 6 months
  • MAJOR: Weather based on weather patterns
    • Weather now is based on specific patterns. New patterns created:
      • Clear
      • “Seattle” (mostly drizzle all day)
      • Snow
    • The start of the new day randomly selects a new weather pattern for that day
  • Calendar UI Element
    • A UI element of the current date and season has been added to the existing clock UI element
    • The tree and colors of this element change throughout the seasons
  • Day changes
    • A friendly rooster greets the morning
    • A friendly coyote greets the night
    • The SFX pleasantly fades in and then back out
    • Fixed a bug that prevented the popup from telling you the actual time of day
  • Ambient Cloud Cover
    • You may now see the occasional cloud shadow pass by
    • Clouds only show up during daylight hours
  • Weather Bug Fixes
    • Weather no longer ocurrs indoors
    • Rain should now behave properly even when it’s heavy
  • Technical Weather Changes
    • The manager for time and weather has been combined for convenience
    • All existing daylight filters have been converted to surface + blending
  • Added moon phases
    • New, Crecent, Gibbous, and Full
  • Weather SFX
    • Added rain sounds when it rains
    • Improved wind sounds
  • Some sorta…weird…glitch…thing?
    • They’ve been seen around the crossroads
    • The east and western roads have been closed until further notice
  • Completely revamped the clock system
    • Went from 8 times of day to just 4: Morning, Day, Evening, Night

Menus & UI

  • Notification Improvements
    • Removed “x1” from showing up inappropriately
  • MAJOR: Changes to Clock UI
    • There is now an indicator to tell you what the current day is
    • All ‘slices’ but the current time of a day are dimmed out
    • The clock now properly reflects reality
  • The Compendium
    • A new menu option allows you to call up the vitally important Compendium
    • Click tabs to navigate between sections

Other

  • MAJOR: Concept of “Authorities”
    • An “authority” is a technical controller that creates or monitors a variety of game factors, like player location and the creation of ‘headless’ objects
  • MAJOR: Concept of Draw Order
    • All objects now have a draw order for proper “layering”
      • Eg., standing in front of a tree displays you in front of it. Going behind the trees displays the tree on top of you.
    • All layers and other draw calls have been optimized for performance
  • Revamped shadow system
    • Shadows are now “dynamically generated” and are overall a lot better to look at (?)

Were-Release #2 Out Now – “Snow”

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Happy full moon, everybody!

A new full moon means a new version of Village Monsters for you to explore. I’m happy to announce that the latest Were-Release (what is this?), code named “Snow“, is now officially released.

I’m very proud of what I can share with you today, but I also want to stress that this is still very early. It’s not exactly brimming with content quite yet!

Still, if you’re interested in following games in early development, and you want to provide feedback to shape a game in the making, then please take a look!

“Snow”

RELEASED: February 10th, 2017

Download: Windows | Mac (Soon!) | Linux (Soon!)

What’s New

Player & Actions

  • Basic character movement (WASD)
    • Includes sprinting (hold Shift), creeping (hold Control)
    • Press the Middle Mouse button to move the camera around
  • Dynamic Camera
    • Follows the player and slightly lags behind
    • Use the middle-mouse button to move it around
    • “Shaky Cam” system implement for some actions
  • Player Action – Talk
    • Get near a villager and use the key to talk to them. X also advances the text
  • Player Action – Interact
    • Currently the only object to interact with is Dragon’s Hoard, the claw machine in the building with Mock
    • Use the X key to interact with it
  • Player Action – Grab / Pull
    • Currently can only grab/pull a box.
    • Use the key when near a box to grab it
  • Player Action – Swing Net
    • Press to swing your net
    • Critters caught by your net are added to your inventory
  • Player Action – Throw
    • Press F to throw the ball
    • Requires to pick up the Dog Ball and make it active

Villagers, Dog & Other Critters

  • Two new Villagers
    • Mock, the depressed goblin
    • Sign”, the unnamed – but still angry – Sign
  • A more complete Dog
    • Dog snoozes when bored
    • Dog wags its tail faster when ball is picked up
    • Dog fetches ball and brings it back
      • To play fetch, first pick up a ball, make it active, and then throw it with F
    • Dog can be pet and spoken to with X
  • New Critters to catch
    • Half Hopper
      • Flee when you approach
    • Sea Fly
      • Spawn indefinitely near pool
      • Chase after the player when close
    • Candy Horn Beetle
    • Holiday Horn Beetle
      • Winter only
  • Initial pass at “ambiant critters” system
    • A occasional bird will fly across the screen

Menus & UI

  • Basic dialog system
    • Typerwriter text and tap noise
    • Different types of text
      • Dialog
      • Narrator
      • Emphasis
    • Portrait & animation
  • Basic inventory system
    • Press I or click the bag icon to bring it up
    • Use your mouse or arrow keys to navigate items
    • The F key allows you the currently active icon. Not all items may be used at this time
  • Basic world map menu
    • Press the map icon to bring it up.
    • Use your WASD keys and mouse wheel to navigate.
  • Notification system
    • Notices trigger for various important events, such as inventory management, day changes, and more
    • Like-notices are grouped together

Simulation & Systems

  • Two new major systems: Time & Weather
    • 8 times of day with their own daylight filters
    • A full day takes about 20 minutes, but there are ways to increase this in the demo
    • 4 weather patterns:
      • Clear
      • Drizzle
      • Heavy Rain
      • Snow
    • A clock UI element to monitor the time and weather
  • Prototype of a 3rd major simulated system – Seasons
    • “Winter” version of map with new visuals, new critters to catch, and new weather
    • Find a way to trigger Winter via an in-game mechanic

Village & Related

  • Completely new and revamped art style and layout of “village”
    • New trees, flowers, and other vegetation
    • Can no longer walk out of bounds
  • Two new buildings
    • Test inn. Contains Mock, Dragon’s Hoard, and some tables
    • Historical Society. Contains naught but spider webs
  • Dragon’s Hoard claw machine
    • Incredibly basic and buggy!

Other

  • Basic SFX
    • Wind noises
    • Footfalls
    • Dialog sounds
    • Pickup sound

Known Issues

  • The player always resets position when changing ‘rooms’
  • Very little is persisted
  • Huge amount of graphical bugs, especially incorrect overlapping and sprite flipping
  • Collision system is frequently dumb
  • Overall, it’s very fragile!

Feedback

There are many ways to provide feedback on your time with the game. All feedback will be read and considered – it’s my favorite part of this whole thing!

Email: josh@warpdogs.com

Comments: Click here. No registration required.

Twitter: @WarpDogs

Other: Scream loudly into the western sun. Let the ground shake with your fury, your blood hot with the magma of the earth.

Introducing the Were-Release

No development can be done in a vacuum, and with games player feedback isn’t just important – it’s absolutely necessary. Doesn’t matter how much I think a thing is fun if nobody else does!

To this end, I’ve committed myself to publish a new build to this site for everyone to play with each month. This fits well with my overall “sorta-Agile” strategy of iterative and rapid development, and it’s the right length of time to delivery substantially new releases.

But then I thought – you know what? Just doing something every 30 or 31 days is kinda boring. What if I tied to some monthly thing so it’s easier to remember and a bit more of an occasion?

Then it hit me – in a manner of speaking

The full moon happens each month! Sometimes twice!

Tying a monthly release to the full moon seemed to strike the right kind of balance between “weird” and “sorta makes sense, actually” that I try to live every day by.

I’m calling it the Were-Release. I don’t like that name anymore than you do, but it’s here, and we best just get used to it, ok?

The latest Were-Release can always be found on this page, and guess what? There’s already one there! The Were-Release for January, Wolf, has been uploaded to the site and is ready to be downloaded.

Be warned: This release, and likely all Were-Releases, will be rough and are not exactly release candidates. But play around with them and make noise in the comments if things are cool, suck, or just plain broken.