Sprint 11 – The Weather Man – Planning

THE WEATHER MAN

Week of March 26th, 2017

WARP DOGS’ CORP LOGS

  • The state of our WARP CORP has declined of late, but can still be considered ~pretty decent~
  • The Extinction-Level-Event (ELE) has crept toward ~45 weeks away. Man!

It’s been raining non-stop over here at WARP CORP HQ, and I gotta tell ya, your boy is starting to go rain crazy

I always knew the seemingly boundless motivation wasn’t going to last, but I’m still surprised how hard it’s been to get some of it back since my accidental vacation. I’ve still been working nearly every day since my last post, but I haven’t bothered doing anything ‘sprint’ related as I felt too unfocused.

I’m hoping to fix that this week and go back to more focused and impactful work.

SPRINT GOALS

Much of this sprint is on ‘soft’ stuff – getting focused, going back to the pomodoro method, planning the next few changes, and so on.

In a couple weeks I’ll release the largest demo for Village Monsters since I began working on it. It’s absolutely packed with changes and features, so this week will also be focused on finishing up big changes so that next week can be dedicated mostly to polish

Beyond that, I’ve been creating a lot of art assets for the game, and while I’m still no artist I am feeling more confident. I hope to ride that feeling and churn out a whole bunch of sprites – trees, villagers, furniture, and a lot more

 

Sprint 7/8 – Accidental Vacation – Retrospective

Oops

ACCIDENTAL VACATION

Week of February 26th, 2017 & March 5th, 2017

I’m not dead.

It’s never a good sign when you have to start a post that way.

I’m calling the last week an accidental vacation. I didn’t mean to play Breath of the Wild nearly 8 hours a day for seven days straight, but that’s the reality we’re living in.

Such are the pitfalls of self-employment, huh? With my office job if I wanted to be a lazy degenerate I had to at least take the day off first, and I had just a limited number of those.

Well, after working nearly every day and night since January 13th the vacation was nice, I just, you know, didn’t really plan on it.

Next week is a new week, and unlike last time I’m feeling incredibly motivated to actually get stuff done

Sprint 7 – Breath of Fresh Air – Plan

Breath of the Hype

BREATH OF FRESH AIR

Week of February 26th, 2017

WARP DOGS’ CORP LOGS

  • The state of our WARP CORP continues to hold steady at ~really god damned good~
  • The Extinction-Level-Event (ELE) is holding steady at ~49 weeks away. Outrageous!

It’s been about a month and a half and expenses have certainly evened out. It makes predicting the future a lot easier!

I mentioned this in the retrospective, but last week sucked hard. Doesn’t matter! This is a new week with new goals and aspirations and – what’s this? On Friday? Could it be…a console launch? And maybe even…A Legend of Zelda?

Yeah, this week is going to be distracting.

SPRINT GOALS

Biggest goal this week is to clean up my code. I’ve done a lot of experimentation and reworking and refactoring and all sorts of other words, and while I’m overall in a good place my codebase is big enough that some housecleaning is necessary

On the feature front, I want to finish up the fishing hobby and continue making new levels. I also plan to expand out the village, especially now that currency is on the table.

Should be exciting!

Sprint 6 – Precendent’s Day – Retrospective

Judge, from Ace Attorney

PRECEDENT’S DAY

Week of February 19th, 2017

OVERVIEW

Gotta be honest with you guys: this was a bad week.

I barely got anything done, and wasted too much time doing things of no value. Napped a lot. Was mostly distracted.

Like I said: it was a bad week.

I watch a lot of football. At the end of every loss you can count on at least one reporter asking the coach what they’re going to do differently in the next game. The answer back – like almost all presser answers – is some overwrought cliche about watching ‘the tape’ and learning from their mistakes.

But for especially bad games – like total blowouts, or where the quarterback throws 7 interceptions – they usually say they aren’t even going to bother watching, that it was such a bad performance the reasons why don’t even matter. They say they’re going to “burn the tapes” and start fresh and unburdened.

Tomorrow is the start of a new sprint, I’m going to burn the tape and move on.

SHOW & TELL

Feature Friday: The Compendium

Welcome to another edition of Feature Friday! Yet again we’re taking a deep dive into one of the many features and systems you can find in Village Monsters

Today, I’ll be outlining the mighty compendium. Let’s take a look.

Much of your time will be spent in the cozy confines of the village – talking with people, attending events, upgrading your house, and so on.

But the world outside the village is even larger and full of things to explore, treasure to find, puzzles to solve, and much, much more. With so much to see and do on a given day, how do you keep track of it all?

The answer is with your compendium

Inspiration

Before I go much further I want to talk a bit about what has inspired me with regard to the compendium.

My favorite video game series is without a doubt The Legend of Zelda . Of them all, Majora’s Mask is the one that sticks with me the most. There’s no shortage of things to praise about that game, but for me the biggest draw is Clock Town.

It’s become something of a cliche to talk about NPCs that feel “alive” and well-realized, but Majora’s Mask has set a bar that few games have met in the decades since. Every single NPC has their own schedule, things to learn about, and problems to solve.

Similar to my game, Majora’s Mask needed a way for you to track it all, and it did so via the wonderful Bomber’s Notebook.

The thing I enjoy the most about the Bomber’s Notebook is how it starts out empty, requiring you to fill it out by observing people and talking to them. As such, filling out the notebook was not only a practical solution to finding heart pieces and masks, but was also surprisingly satisfying – in some ways, you felt like a detective.

This is the overall structure I’m aiming for with the compendium. I want you to also feel like a detective in Village Monsters as you observe things, talk to people, take notes, and gradually expand your knowledge of this world.

But what about the overall style? One issue I always had with the Bomber’s Notebook is that it felt very video game-y – I never actually felt like I was looking at a book.

To avoid this, I’m trying to base the compendium’s style on a traveler’s journal. If you’ve ever searched for notebooks online you’ve probably seen some version of the “well-worn traveler’s journal”. You know, something like this:

Ok, so this one is technically from Uncharted

There’s something oddly alluring about the idea of a travel journal or log. It begins blank and clean, and over time it’s filled in with text, pictures, scribbled notes and doodles and dog-eared pages. It becomes its own living recording of your time and place.

It’s also incredibly hard to muster the motivation and time to make one in real life, but in a video game? Well, the compendium will do all the heavy lifting for you, making it much easier to maintain.

Sections

The compendium is not just for people looking to track and complete their collections – it’s a vital tool used throughout the entire game.

To make it all manageable, it’s been split up into various sections to better organize all the information it stores. In total, there are 5 sections: Calendar & Events, Villagers, Mysteries, Lore & History, and Collections.

Calendar & Events

This section is the simplest, and serves as a basic reference guide to upcoming events and holidays. Use it to plan out your days and weeks to ensure you won’t be missing anything important.

You can also set your own reminders and notes here.

Villagers

The Villagers section keeps tabs on each villager you meet. It records details like their schedule, preferences, relationships, and more. This will become increasingly vital as you rely on building relationships to advance the story, improve the village, and solve problems.

At first, this section is will be completely blank. To fill it out you must meet new villagers, talk with them, solve their problems, and so on.

Mysteries

In Village Monsters, you can think of “Mysteries” as being very similar to quests. However, unlike quests they have the habit of being more complex and requiring more time to complete on average. Said a different way, mysteries tend to be a long term affair.

To keep track of it all, an entire section in your compendium is dedicated to all mysteries that you’re following. You’ll be able to see how the mystery started, the villagers involved, and your latest findings.

Lore & History

The world is big and there’s a lot to find out there. All knowledge that you learn about the various areas of the world will be recorded here. This includes area and item descriptions, key historical figures and events you learn about, and more.

Like the Villagers tab, this section will start out empty and must be filled in through some light detective work. You’ll want to put in the effort, though, as the various tidbits of lore and context may help you considerably when it’s time to solve the many puzzles out there.

Collections

From fish to bugs to treasure to artifacts, there’s a lot to collect, and the Collections tab is where you track it all.

Use this section to admire all that you’ve caught in time with the game. As you fill out the details you’ll also better understand the gaps in your collection, so refer back often to see what you’re missing.

The Future

I have only a basic prototype of the compendium currently implemented, but by the next Were-Release (“Crow”) I should have it completed for you to check out.

I’ll have more to share in the coming months as the rest of the game is fleshed out. Stay tuned!

Sprint 6 – Precedent’s Day – Plan

Judge, from Ace Attorney

PRECEDENT’S DAY

Week of February 19th, 2017

WARP DOGS’ CORP LOGS

  • The state of our WARP CORP continues to hold steady at ~really god damned good~
  • The Extinction-Level-Event (ELE) is holding steady at ~50 weeks away. Outrageous!

Nothin’ but good vibes over here at Warp Corp HQ. Cash outflow continues to be properly maintained and work is progressing at a good clip. Hard to ask for much better than that!

These next couple weeks will really test my ability to stay focused amid some Really Cool Stuff happening in the background; In less than 2 weeks the Nintendo Switch will be in my hands. In preparation I’ve been working every day so that I can feel better justified at taking a ‘vacation’ of sorts to enjoy the Switch – and Zelda.

Staying motivated and focused when you’re your own boss is an interesting thing. It’s at once difficult and also the easiest thing in the world.

SPRINT GOALS

Late last night I implemented an entirely new collision system. You don’t need to know a lot about game development to understand that a collision system is a big deal in any video game. Much of this week will be spent iterating over it and making it even better.

Beyond that, we’ve just expanded beyond the initial village into lands beyond. Work will also continue on expanding ever further, and ensuring that all the game’s various systems and variables can keep track.

I’d also love to nail down a working prototype of fishing, the next major hobby to be implemented in Village Monsters

As always, you can check my progress throughout the week by looking at the change log