Whoa, there’s a lot there! Too much! What should I pay attention to?
Most people will want to stick to the cards in the first column of the board. They are labeled “Read This First!” and “Burn Chart”
The Read This First card will explain what you’re looking at and how to parse my crazy chicken scratch.
The Burn Chart is probably the most meaningful thing here. This is a graph that tracks how many items are left on the Required for v1.0 list on a day-by-day basis, as well as a forecast for future days.
This number serves as a countdown, and when it hits 0, that means Village Monsters is ready for release. For example, the above chart predicts completion by September 9th.
Of course, some items are much harder to complete than others, and cards are constantly being added, modified, or removed from the list as new things are found and priorities shift.
So don’t be too surprised if you see this prediction swing wildly around. What we really want is for it to be consistently trending downward.
Does this board contain spoilers?
Sort of. Like I said, this is the same exact tool I’m using to keep track of development, so it’s bound to contain info or hints about features and things you haven’t seen yet.
However, almost all of it is in my shorthand and wouldn’t be easily recognizable unless you know what you’re looking for. Still, if you want to go in fresh then you shouldn’t let your eyes wander too much.
That’s all from me for now! The march to v1.0 continues, only this time you get to watch me marching from the comfort of your own home.
A big release is always a magnet for new bugs, and yesterday’s update was no different. Today’s patch is a hotfix to address all the bugs that were reported (mostly cutscene related) in the last 24 hours.
As always, a huge thank you to all the players who reported bugs via Discord and email!
Fixed major crash when a cutscene is triggered during a room transition. The cutscene will now wait until a room transition is completed before triggering
Fixed a major issue where a cutscene would freeze or crash during the cleanup phase
Fixed major issue causing some cutscenes to have enormously large pauses between actions
Fixed major issue that was corrupting gardens and resulting in unpredictable behavior, including crashes
Corrupted plants are lost forever, but they’ve been replaced by a mutated Uhoh Plant that you can sell for a high price as way of apology
Fixed a potentially major issue that could result in stabled critters from also being corrupted. There were no reports of this, but this should prevent it from happening in the future
Fixed a number of collision issues (including getting stuck) when fishing against objects
Fixed a number of embarrassing typos. Story of my life
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!