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WARP DOGS

devlog
Village Monsters - A cozy life-sim with adventure, mystery, and monsters!

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Trailer


Quick Info
Release: 2018(ish) for PC / Mac / Linux
Genre: Life-Sim
Pre-Alpha Prototype Demo: http://warpdogs.com/were-release/
Social: My Twitter (game updates and personal posts) | Game Twitter (game updates + screens only)

 

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Summary
My name is Josh, and I'm a solo dev working on Village Monsters, a life-sim game taking gameplay inspiration from the likes of Animal Crossing and Shenmue, with visual and tonal inspirations from the Mother series.

Village Monsters is set inside the world of an abandoned video game. Over time, the monsters that once served as enemies in  a generic fantasy RPG grew tired of all the waiting around, and eventually decided to abandon the whole 'bad guy' thing entirely.

They've thrown away their axes and fireball spells and now live a peaceful life in a sleepy little village in the 'country'.

You are a player booting up the game for the first time in decades, finding yourself as the sole human living among this village of (mostly) affable monsters.
 

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Features
Here's an incomplete list of things you can do in Village Monsters:
 

  • Purchase, furnish, and upgrade your very own house. Hang up some new wallpaper! Plant a garden! Sit atop a golden throne you found in the woods!
  • Pick up a new hobby, like treasure hunting, cooking, critter catching, or fishing. Donate your findings and creations to the Historical Society of Monsters
  • Meet a boatload of rambunctious and whimsical villagers with their own personalities, schedules, and problems to solve
  • Experience total immersion thanks to a robust day/night cycle, seasonal changes, dynamic weather, and a packed calendar full of events and holidays
  • Explore a bizarre digital world that’s been transformed by its abandonment
  • Bring back the treasures from your expeditions to decorate your home and village
  • Unravel a unique story through dialog, environments, descriptions, and other esoteric means
  • Enjoy the deep satisfaction of dog ownership
  • Discover a world brimming with lore where every area, villager, and item has context and background
  • Solve mysterious and other quests, and enjoy rewards that can upgrade your house and village
  • Complete a massive compendium full of collectibles and secrets

 

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News & Updates
Hey Idle Thumbs duders! I've actually followed Remo, Rodkin & the Boyz for like a decade now, which is weird to even realize, but I've never been one to post on the forum.

 

For the past 5 years or so I've struggled with depression, anxiety, and at my lowest point contemplated some pretty dark shit. Late last year I reached my breaking point and vowed to turn my life around. Since then I've made a lot of life changes I won't bore you with, but the relevant one to this topic is that I saved up a bunch of money, quit my job, and have dedicated myself to achieving the dream I've had since I was 8 years old: make a living from creating video games.

 

Village Monsters is my first attempt at just that, and I've been at it since January of this year.

There's a pre-alpha demo that was released last Sunday (07/09/2017) that you can check out. I'd really only suggest taking a look if you're familiar and comfortable with this type of early gameplay, but as you might suspect I would absolutely love any feedback you have

I've begun the 'Long March to Alpha' which will last through the rest of the summer, and you can look forward to weekly devlogs posted here each weekend.

Lemme know if you have any questions, comments, insults, or anything else!
 

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This sounds like a neat concept and looks really good! I like the style of everything too.

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Thanks guys! I will definitely keep at it. Speaking of - here's what I worked on last week!

 

Since I released the demo on Sunday I've been working on experimental prototyping; not all of it will survive, but it's a fun excursion.

 

Potions

 

The most successful prototype has been a 'potion' system. The idea of Village Monsters is that it's set inside an old video game, so I'm always thinking of things that could be 'artifacts' from the original game. Potions seemed like a neat way to have that + add all sorts of fun and unexpected ways to play with the systems in the game

 

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Potions will range from useful to the bizarre. You can control time, change your look and other attributes, and even do things you wouldn't - like control the weather. Like I said, it'll get pretty weird!

 

The system I made for potions allows me to whip up new effects in only a few minutes, so expect to see a lot of them.

 

Item Cards

 

Work on potions lead to improve the amount of item info I give players on items, so I began to prototype the idea of item cards

 

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But I also want to use item descriptions as a way to tell stories. This is something other games have certainly done (Souls and Nier come to mind), but I've yet to see it done in a life-sim game where your items aren't swords and shields but rather furniture, decorations, and collectibles

 

I want a chair that you earn via a quest or hard-to-do challenge to be more meaningful and interesting then one you bought at the store; stories are one way I'm hoping to do this.

 

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All items with stories can have their item cards 'flipped over' to view a short snippet related to it

 

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(text and graphics are all placeholders btw)

 

While messing with item-related stuff I went ahead and crossed off some of the smaller features on list: selling items, an expanded inventory, and basic dialog choices.

 

Critter Behavior & Pets

 

Finally, I had something of an incidental inspiration that I'm really happy about!

 

I worked a lot of critter behaviors this week - things like patroling around, running away from humans and other predators, and so on.

 

I ended up using the player house to test things instead of a debug room, and after I was done I left the little guy there and went to do other things. Each time I came back to the house I saw him running around, and it hit me - wouldn't it be cool to allow critters to become pets?

 

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You were always going to have a dog, cat and guinea pig as pet choices, but the idea of letting other critters be 'domesticated' into a pet really struck a chord with me. It also makes catching critters a bit more interesting after you donate them, and gives a valid path beyond just selling them

 

I worried a bit about feature creep, but I have the systems there to hook it up pretty easily and I dunno, if I keep it lightweight enough I think it could be really cool! Pets are definitely something games like Animal Crossing really lack in

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Man, that's a ton of cool new stuff in just a week. I like the cards and the pet ideas... but now I am really curious about the two-"headed" blob chef in that house.

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Haha, you'll learn more about him soon enough! He's still in "rough idea mode" (doesn't have a name quite yet), but he does have a personality of sorts...

 

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