Developer Diary #1: Dig Dog
There's a lot to do in an average day in Village Monsters - activities range from as the mundane, like shopping or talking with villagers, to multi-stage quests, odd jobs, and even exploration.
However, the most involved type of activity is called a Hobby. Hobbies are generally 'slow burns' that you'll work on each day, and they require effort, upgrading equipment, and leveling up skills. Thankfully, the rewards - like cash and items to donate, use or display in your home - are also greater than other activities.
In the prototype you can actually play with two such hobbies: critter hunting and fishing.
This week I'm working on a 3rd hobby: Archaeology! (Like most things the name is subject to change)
You've probably already guessed this by the name, but this hobby involves a lot of digging around. As you wander the village and surrounding areas you may find a digable spot in the ground marked by an obvious red "X" - you can then take your shovel to dig up whatever is buried there.
Prototype / WIP
Most of the time it'll be things that you'll want to sell off, but sometimes you'll get lucky and find rare treasures. You may even find the remains of ancient mythological beasts and other monsters that can be donated to the Historical Society, displayed in your home as a trophy, or sold to the very curious (and very insane) scientist that lives outside of town.
Prototype / WIP
But perhaps the best thing to find in the dirt isn't a treasure at all, but rather: a map! These special items are each the start of a unique treasure hunt quest that can span several days or even weeks in the game.
Each hunt will require you to solve riddles, find specific landmarks, or explore long-forgotten ruins, and some may even require help from other townsfolk.
The rewards are worth it, though: the treasure you find on your hunts will often be unique items with powerful abilities, like a book that can let you talk to ghosts, or a rod that can control the weather.
One last thing! Not too long after starting the game you'll have the opportunity to get a dog companion. This pup isn't just for playing with, but is also able to help you out in various daily activities.
I'm still working out the details with how this works with the other hobbies, but for Archaeology I'm leaning toward allowing the pup to find digable spots on his own and dig 'em up for you. Of course, he should probably fetch the items as well, but one step at a time, yeah?
Final stop and a very brief one. After a few hours delay with my flight and having a small visit to the immigration office (probably due to having my ESTA refused on my account and the short weekend I spent in Canada), I got the Silver line in towards South Station (free too, not sure where I had to pay at the airport side). So I didn't get to the hostel until about 12 and I had one full day the next day before heading to Cork via London.
The slight disappointing thing was the weather was pretty dull. It was very cloudy, kinda misty on the day. Either way the obvious thing for me to do was hit up the Freedom Trail and chill out in Boston Common. Even though I walked through some parts of the trail, I decided to start properly at Bunker Hill monument. I think the trail is really good. It is so spread out that it never feels overly busy. Sure you'll get a tour come in or a lot of people at some stages but you can just relax for a bit and people generally move on at a decent pace from one spot to the other.
Being someone who really loved history in school and has since let that slide, it was really interesting to read up on the American history and seeing statues for Paul Revere, Benjamin Franklin, famous churches and houses that were key in the history. It's really interesting.
The actual trail itself that guides you around is pretty damn cool. The symbol and then layer of bricks (always red, sometimes blue and yellow outlines) and other more elaborate designs like the pedestrian crossing in gold, littered in history. I loved it.
Unfortunately I don't have much else to add. I didn't do much more as I'd only so much money left on my travel card and didn't want to waste more transferring another currency over and I really didn't have enough time to go out and do much else.
And that ends my insanely long travelling trip. 19 months later, 574, I arrived back in Ireland and I'm currently trying to rehabilitate myself into normality again! I hope people enjoyed these awful posts! :)
I think Singleplayer is important for RTS. It makes you care and connect more with the factions for MP and helps more casual players get into the game easier (not a casual friendly genre). Most of the well-known RTS games in history all had solid singleplayer.
Length of missions depends entirely on how your game plays, but I think around 30m to 1h is the sweet spot. Too long and you get bored/tired of it and too short and it doesn't really feel meaningful. A few shorter ones can be fine though, especially if you design them more as sidequests.
Length of the campaign also depends. You want sufficient enough time to be given to each faction to make you care. You should think more about how little you need to add over padding it up to reach some 20h or whatever quota.
For MP length I think around 20-30min is the sweet spot. You don't want to approach MOBA playtime numbers that can stretch up to 1 hour or more. You want people with jobs to feel like they can get in 2-3 matches at least after work and it only taking about 1h.
MP maps. Focus on making at least 1-3 really solid ones that can serve as standard competitive maps. Then expand this with some more fun maps for the less serious players. They is to always have clear focus and add just enough to mak sure your goals are met. I'm not talking bare-bones here, but you boiling it down to the most important things for your vision and then realizing that vision.
Co-op can be fine. Just make sure you put thought into it. Don't add co-op just to to tick some checkbox, only add if you think it adds to the experience and fits in. Always ask yourself "Why?" and make sure you have an answer you can give with confidence. If you don't have a good reason to have something in your game and it doesn't fit, it needs to go.
Base building is entirely dependant on the game you're making. There are a lot of pros for base building, but you can make good RTS games without it. Make sure you understand what having base building or not actually affects how an RTS plays.
In terms of the pacing of the game I think leaning it more towards the faster side is more beneficial. You want the game to have a good flow.
For micro I don't think you should go overboard. Make it rewarding to micro, but don't give each unit like 2 abilities each that you need to manage. Depending on how you design the game you can make branching upgrades that favour the micro player and those that don't (but make it so that the micro option has a slight edge).
yeah it really is something extra! I totally agree that these top 10s are amazing all way through! I kinda miss this old way of making films.. it was something more.. genuine about the whole process and result that is a different world from days action packed blockbusters
What bugs me is when someone THINKS they are not spoiling something, but they are. And that also comes down to 2 different people's opinions of what is a spoiler is. And that tends to be the issue more than anything else. what someone views as a spoiler.
One buddy has no problem revealing the BIG twist in a movie cause it is not a spoiler cause the movie has been out for a week.
Another buddy thinks the title of the new star wars movie is a spoiler.
My own 12 year old child thinks Anime openings are spoilers and will not watch them.
My wife thinks NOTHING is a spoiler and WANTS to know the ending and all the twists BEFORE she watches 99.99% of all movies, tv shows, or books.
I guess part of it is what someone else considers a spoiler and then having the empathy to understand what others will consider a spoiler. And then reacting appropriately.
I just want to say, If you havent played Journey to Silius yet, you really should! I recommend the US version as it looks slightly better colour wise and the main character got a cool helmet!
I discovered this game at my grandmas place as there were a NES there I could play on. I remember bairly making it past level 2 and by this day I still have not beaten the game! The music in this game is sooo good for its time, fun boss fights and the level design is also fun and challenging!
@Ironside The Park is just really nice to stroll around. It's huge and feels quite diverse.
Regarding the museum, it really depends how interested you are in the prehistoric times (mostly about the meteor) and primarily the mayan's. You honestly could spend the whole day there. The amount of information, props and ruins they have is pretty amazing. It's only 70 peso too so it's absolutely worth checking out.
Thank you for this feedback. I definitely agree on what you said about the long take and should have done so. Originally the script was much longer and would have been possible to do the shot you're thinking of in the elevator but I shortened it a lot to lessen the blow that the actors had to memorize (I didn't find actors for the shoot until a few days prior). Now that I look at the first I can see that this was a mistake. I should have also let the moment when she's in the elevator breathe as well.
As for the second film, luckily these are just cut changes which can always happen. :)
Thanks again for the feedback, this is really good.