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Sprint 14 – Take Your Time – Planning

Sprint 14 – Take Your Time – Planning

Persona 5 is a hell of a game

TAKE YOUR TIME

Week of April 16th, 2017

WARP DOGS’ CORP LOGS

  • The state of our WARP CORP continues to hold steady at ~pretty good~
  • The Extinction-Level-Event (ELE) is holding steady at ~43 weeks away. Neat!

I mentioned in last sprint’s retrospective that the week of a release is always incredibly motivating – the same can be said for the week after.

I haven’t had much feedback on the release I put out last week…to put a finer point on it, I’ve had actually no feedback. Like, at all. That’s probably not good, but I also don’t think I can read too much into it.

Things are going fine from a financial perspective. Not much to say – same as before

SPRINT GOALS

With much of the systems nailed down I’m now shifting focus to more “content” – things like creating villagers, populating different screens and other areas to explore, iterating over what I already have, and so on. Frankly, it’s been a ton of fun, but I am having a harder time finding a rhythm to the whole thing.

Technical stuff has a clearly defined endpoint – the thing works, the bug fixed, and so on. Not so with creative stuff…I could iterate over his fat dwarf forever, but should I? Probably not.

Anyway, the main goal this week is to start mapping out and working on the main gameloop. I have systems, but nothing really fits together yet. A few thoughts on how to tie it all together:

  • A shop in which you can buy and sell stuff
  • A house in which you can furnish and display items in
  • A quest system (what I’m calling ‘Mysteries’) to drive you forward

I think it’s possible to at least get started in all 3 of these before the end of the week

Sprint 13 – Pink Moon Rising – Retrospective

Sprint 13 – Pink Moon Rising – Retrospective

Click pic for image source

PINK MOON RISING

Week of April 9th, 2017

OVERVIEW

It was a big week, y’all – it’s a new release! Of my game! Village Monsters!

Release weeks are always going to feel rad, and this one was no different. I love that rush of excitement I get in the lead-up to the release – I absolutely do my best work when I know people are going to play what I’m making

I’d like to say it’s some due to some sort of motivational thing, but in reality it’s all about, uh, shame – “ugh, people are really going to see this terrible thing I made? Guess I have no choice but to make it less terrible, huh?”

Regardless, you can go experience my shame for yourself if you’d like – if you do, I’d love your feedback!

SHOW & TELL

ORIGINAL HOLIDAY, DO NOT STEAL. TM TM TM.
Feature Friday: Holidays & Events

Feature Friday: Holidays & Events

Welcome to another edition of Feature Friday! Yet again I’m here to take you all on deep dive into one of the many wonderful features and systems you can find in Village Monsters

Today, I’m going to talk about holidays.

Save the date

As you may already know, there’s a full calendar system in Village Monsters –  every day is different than the one before it, whether it’s shop schedules, weather, seasonal items, and all sorts of other stuff.

Of course, a big part – and indeed, perhaps the best parts – of any year are the various events and holidays that pepper the calendar. Village Monsters is no different!

There are many events to discover each month, and they can range from as big as major holidays that overall the entire town, to reoccurring events like fishing tournaments, to very local events like villager birthdays, bowling, and Anime Night.

Indeed, the calendar is so important that there’s an entire tab in your Compendium that keep tracks of the various happenings around town. You’ll definitely want to check this section periodically so you can keep track of what’s coming up – for instance, you don’t want to show up to the fishing tournament with a crummy rod and amateur fishing skills, right?

As with most things, everything here is WIP

It’s a holiday in Cambodia

Each event will bring some new wrinkle to village life – new activities to enjoy, exclusive items to buy and collect, and visitors to talk to.

As you can likely guess, many of the holidays and events in game have analogs in the real world, though each one is sure to have its own unique twist.

For example, the Good Egg Day – which occurs the end of Early Spring – will seem pretty familiar and, ahem, relevant to certain events going on this weekend.

ORIGINAL HOLIDAY, DO NOT STEAL. TM TM TM.

Major holidays won’t just introduce new visitors or activities – in some cases, the entire village, background music, and even the UI will get a themed overhaul. Villagers will of course take part in the festivities as well, and even areas outside the village may have some secrets to find during certain special days.

Above all, I want holidays to feel like a big deal, something that you genuinely look forward to. I think it’s easy (for both designer and player) to fall into a checklist-trap – you wake up to a new a holiday and think, “Ok, new items bought…check. Holiday activities exhausted…check. Now what?”

That stuff is part of it, of course, but I don’t want it to be the only things you think of when a holiday rolls around. I’m hoping that if I can make it seem like the village itself is genuinely excited about holidays then you, the player, will be too.

Sprint 12 – I am Thou – Retrospective

Sprint 12 – I am Thou – Retrospective


I AM THOU

Week of April 2nd, 2017

OVERVIEW

It was a good week this week. I got a lot of work  done on some things I had been meaning to since, uh, forever.

I have a theory about game development – and probably all development, actually. You know the warts in your code; not just the outward facing bugs, but also the terrible workarounds, the shameful lack of documentation, the abominable exploitation of innocent data structures.

But you need to ignore most of them if you want to stay sane…especially if you’re a solo dev with limited time (and a lack of skill in my case)

So you ignore them, and ignore them, and ignore them…until finally they drive you absolutely nuts, you reach a breaking point, and you’re forced to actually fix them.

Soon enough you realize that the above works for features, too. Before too long, all of your prioritization is based on what annoys you the most.

and you know what? The system really works. I fixed all my annoyances this week.

Sprint 12 – I am Thou – Planning

Sprint 12 – I am Thou – Planning


I AM THOU

Week of April 2nd, 2017

WARP DOGS’ CORP LOGS

  • The state of our WARP CORP continues to hold steady at ~pretty good~
  • The Extinction-Level-Event (ELE) is holding steady at ~44 weeks away. Neat!

Hey, hi, hello! My name is Josh. I do, uh, video games…?

It really does feel like I’m back after weeks of floundering. Which is good, because there’s a new demo release right around the corner – April 10th, next week!

Anyhow, the state of our business is strong. We’re continuing to do well in the money department thanks to my team of Highly Respected Accountants, and I’m ready to put my head down and dive into work this week.

One possible hiccup? 2017 has been an insane year for really good games, and Persona 5 is hitting on Tuesday. Like any respected member of society I’m picking it up at launch, but I don’t expect to be nearly as distracted by it than I was with Zelda.  I’ve hopefully learned my lesson.

SPRINT GOALS

My goal this week is to wrap stuff up, polish what I can, and get this thing ready to ship on Tuesday. I also want to add a few more secrets that you can discover for yourself once it’s in your hands, so I’m gotta be hush-hush for now.

Sprint 11 – The Weather Man – Retrospective

Sprint 11 – The Weather Man – Retrospective

THE WEATHER MAN

Week of March 26th, 2017

OVERVIEW

It only took me an entire month of failure, but I’m finally back to a normal and productive work schedule.

Without really meaning to I’ve been slowly transitioning to creating “content” instead of “systems”. This is a really cool and important change, and while I wouldn’t dare call my systems completed, I am really excited to start making stuff that is more outwardly interesting.

The biggest victory this week was creating an entire forest to explore. This included changes to lighting, creating a whole bunch of tree and vegetation sprites, and a lot of other changes. If you’ve been following along you’ll have noticed how insanely large the change list for the next version is! This week is my last full week before the next were-release on April 10th – please be excited for that!

Speaking of pleas for excitement, I sent out my first newsletter yesterday. If you’d like, you can sign up to get these in your inbox on a bi-weekly basis. They’re written “in-world”, meaning it’s trying to mimic an actual town newsletter, so you can expect a different style with new and interesting (?) information than what I post here or on Twitter.

SHOW & TELL