Release: Summer Sherbert Demo is now available for Mac!

Good news, Appleheads: Village Monsters is now available on Mac!

You can download it right here

As with the Linux releases, the Mac versions will be labeled as “Lightly Tested” until I’m more comfortable with the process. On my old (~2009) MacBook it runs but at a low performance – which I suppose is to be expected from a 9 year old laptop.

Going forward all three platforms should release at the same time, which is a very big step for our little monster game.

Hit me up if you have any issues

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.

Keep Reading

Release: Final Update for Summer Sherbert Demo is now available!

Hello Villagers!

The final new version of the Summer Sherbert demo has been released. This is a small update containing mostly crash and display fixes.

The next demo is due out in October. See you then!

To grab the demo you should head on over to the download page.

Improved

  • Added a slight input delay when opening letters to prevent immediately dismissing it without reading
  • Toggling off Full Screen now returns the display to the default settings you started with

Fixed

  • Fixed a crash in the library
  • Fixed a crash related to end of day cleanup
  • Fixed occasional dialogue overlap

Release: Update for Summer Sherbert Demo is now available!

Hello Villagers!

A new version of the Summer Sherbert demo has been released. This is a small update containing a number of fixes and quick improvements based on your feedback.

To grab the demo you should head on over to the download page.

Improved

  • More intelligent ‘blockers’ have been added around exits and entrances to make them more obvious
  • Improved the “New Dialogue” icon
  • Increased the number of states in which it’s not possible to open the menu
    • This helps prevent some goofy situations and menu overlap
  • Fishing has been re-balanced so it’s not always a gimme
    • A more in-depth fishing balance is due out next release
  • Improved the overall look of some of the vegetable sprites
  • Changed placement of “helper text” on villagers to make them a bit more centered

Fixed

  • Fixed an issue where menus could open erroneously while writing feedback
  • Fixed helper icons incorrectly displaying on items you can’t interact with
  • Fixed issue where you couldn’t change journal pages with RB/LB on the gamepad
  • Fixed a number of layering issues
  • Fixed a number of typos in item descriptions

Release: Summer Sherbert Demo is now available!

Hello Villagers!

I’m very excited to announce that the latest Village Monsters demo – code named Summer Sherbert – has been released.

To grab the demo you should head on over to the download page.

It’s been about three months since the last demo, and as usual there have been too many changes to list in one blog post. This is also the first publicly available demo since last October, so for a lot of you the game will feel very different.

First up, a few key details:

  • This is still pre-release software. The final version is coming out next Spring, so until then you should expect a great deal of missing features and bugs.
  • The demo is limited to three days (village time). Think of it like a weekend vacation.
  • There’s no saving yet, and many progression features (like buying a home) are disabled in the demo.

Make sense? Cool. Here’s what else you can do in this new version…

Kindle new friendships

The most important part of any village are its villagers – and this one is no different. Make new friends by talking with these monstrous villagers throughout the day. Each one has their own distinct personality, relationships, hobbies, and schedule that they follow. Get to know them all!

Start a new hobby

What better way to start your new relaxing life then by picking up a hobby?

Hunt for critters out in the wild and catch them with your net. Go fishing in the ocean or in one of the many ponds and rivers. Dig for treasures, then sell your findings for big profits or donate them to the library.

Enjoy a dynamic world

The world truly changes as the day goes by. Certain flowers wake up with the sun – other plants go to sleep. Villagers follow a simple schedule and have new things to talk about. Morning fog makes way to afternoon sun.

Go exploring, find secrets!

From beaches to forests and graveyards to farms, there’s a lot to see outside the village.

You’ll never need to worry about enemies or stamina, so grab a comfy pair of boots and get exploring! Each area has secrets worth uncovering, and knowing what to look for might even help you in the final game.

Arrested Development

For some, summer is about fun vacations, trips to the beach, and picnics. For others…

After looking at the heat maps of the US this past week I think I’m with Mock on this.

Unfortunately I have some bad news, so let’s rip it off like a band-aid.

I need to delay the release of Village Monsters. The new release window is now Spring 2019, with a final date coming as soon as I’m sure it won’t slip again.

The rest of this post is a detailed explanation for the need of a delay, but the takeaway is that there’s enough money to finish the game and that Village Monsters isn’t in trouble, I just need more time to finish it.

Reasons for Delay

Toward the start of the year I sat down and heavily reanalyzed the key features of Village Monsters. I actually wrote about this process in the January 9th update. This process was similar to editing a book or script, and the end result was a design that was much tighter and would result in a better game.

There was a downside: it made me realize I had a lot more work to do than I thought.

For example, villager dialogue ended up playing a much larger role in the game than I once anticipated. My old dialogue system was far too lacking to bear that responsibility, so I had to gut it and redo it from scratch.

I was confident I could still get things done by October, but I didn’t have much room for error. Unfortunately for me, things erred almost immediately.

A number of complicated technical bugs forced me to rewrite the collision, camera, and loading system. Then the tool I used to write dialogue became so unwieldy I had to spend a large amount of time finding a replacement (I eventually just built my own solution). Soon after that my website broke and I had to spend time fixing it so people could download the game.

It was one interruption after another, and they soon began adding up. Then, in March, my son was born. I won’t use him as an excuse as I knew what I was getting into with a baby – they’re hard work!

But what I didn’t anticipate were the unique challenges working from home with a baby presented. Even with my door closed and wife on full time baby duty it was incredibly easy to get pulled from work. As my available time shrunk I focused on smaller / easier tasks, but this just meant that my backlog became full of complicated, time-consuming tasks.

By the start of June I realized that a delay was my only option to deliver a properly finished game.

I hope this makes sense. I am incredibly disappointed in myself, and the last thing I wanted to be was yet another indie game Kickstarter that didn’t release on time.

But I’m not worried about Village Monsters. Thanks to frequent financial planning I know I have enough cash to see this through the end. The shame in missing my release date has made me even more motivated than before, and with my new pipeline I can put this motivation to maximum use.

Thank you for your support and love, villagers. See you all next update!