After winning the Humble Bundle Choice RPG award in the IGMC2014 contest I was contacted by Degica, where they asked me if I was willing to go commercial with the game. As a one man "indie" (or maybe living room developer is more appropriate?), my first and foremost concern is retaining my creative freedoms and rights to my game. After emailing back and forth for a while, it turned out to be a really good offer that will benefit the further development of the game greatly. I will get help with things like testing and potential custom assets, as well as publishing; I will be able to publish the game to way more channels and devices than I could ever hope for alone, while I retain complete control over the game and all the rights to it.
Making games is very hard work, as most of you no doubt know intimately from personal experience. I need some help, and getting that help for free only gets me so far. The benefits of signing up with Degica for publishing and assistance are many, and by taking a load off my shoulders it means more time for actually developing the game, and it enables me to polish the game up to a higher standard altogether: it's a great deal. It does however mean that a new and improved The Vendor will be a commercial game with a price-tag attached. However, I still remain 100% in charge, and the development work all falls on me as before. It remains my game entirely, and I'll make absolutely sure it's worthy of the money asked!
My plan is to make a demo version of the new and improved game that can stand alone; it won't be the complete package, but there will be no restrictions like a time limit or anything like that. I want it to contain as much content as the current contest version does, but with all the new updated mechanics and polish in place. It might not be the best business decision, but I hope being fair like that means people that truly dig the game will be willing to pay for more of it. Those that feel content with what they get in the demo get a worthy experience completely for free, just like before.I also want to mention a few things I have planned to do with the game now that I'll expand on it. There will be a separate post with way more details soon, but for now I can share the following rough outlines:
- Item stats should not be vague or hidden. In fact, I'd like to remove "stats" and focus on attributes instead: heavy, light, sharp, blunt, elemental, etc. The core gameplay of figuring out what works best while earning as much money as possible on selling it remains, but I want it to be more logical. But I want there to be room for experimentation; there should be an inherent risk/reward relationship where trying out things outside of the "safe zone" could potentially yield great reward.
- Combat summary will be visualized when the heroes tell you how it went around the campfire. The reason isn't just that it'll be more fun to watch, but also that the hints as to what went right or wrong can be made clearer without spoon feeding it through extensive text dialogue. This was the original plan -- and there is actually some code for it already in place -- but it had to be cut due to time constraints.
- A more interesting ingredient system. While it's fun to squash wall-nuts with your fists, I would like to find a better way to solve the dilemma of "if the player goes broke, how will they get back on their feet?".
- Improved trading system.
- A bestiary that automatically logs hints and tips you gather. This is one heavily requested feature which I'm very happy to implement.
Obviously I will also add more areas to explore, and more stuff overall, but I also have to be careful not to let the project spiral completely out of creative control now that there's not a super strict deadline. Rest assured that I've listened to every single piece of feedback I've gotten so far, and I'm taking it all into consideration when going forward.
And on that note I'd like to again thank everyone who played the game so far, and a double thank you to everyone who shared their feedback with me: it's been invaluable!
Thanks for reading, and see you next update~