Happy May Day!
Village Monsters v.0.70 is out now for all platforms. I had two goals with this release: completely overhauling the gardening hobby, and redoing how the game saves and loads data.
One of those probably sounds a lot more exciting than the other, which is why I'm calling this The Changes to Game Saves Update The Gardening Update!
To celebrate the release, Village Monsters is 10% off all weekend!
Game Saves (Important!)
As I warned in a previous news update, any saves made before this release are not compatible with the new stuff. This means you'll need to start a new game, though you will be able to import some key items (your wallet, inventory, etc.) from your old save.
This should be the last time I have to break save comparability while in Early Access.
- The entire save / load system has been redone to be more robust and even faster for slower systems
- Players who have an existing save can import some items - like silver, inventory items, etc. - into their new save by interacting with the suitcase in the player's room at the inn
- The previous version, v0.65, will remain available as a Steam beta branch. Password: previousversion
The vast majority of my time these past 4 weeks has been spent on improving the shamefully neglected Gardening hobby. To call it an "overhaul" seems an underestimate - the old system wasn't just improved, it was deleted and replaced entirely by something more fun and interesting.
The changes are too big and numerous to fully capture in a change log... but I tried to anyway. Grab some seeds, head over to Agrarian Acres, and take a look yourself!
If you want to know more, check out this post on the Village Monsters blog.
- Mushroom Gardening has become simply Gardening
- Gardening is now performed via a special UI that's accessible when interacting with a garden bed
- Garden beds now show a little preview of what's growing in them (including any weeds)
- Each plant can be inspected and interacted with via this new screen. Your options depend on your Gardening Abilities
- You may now Cultivate plants in your garden. This allows you to perform actions such as watering the plant, adding items to the soil, etc. in order to encourage its growth
- Cultivation effects linger (usually a day or two) after being implemented. Look at the plant's details to see how long it lasts
- At first, you can only water your plants to provide a modest boost. As you level up you'll gain new ways to cultivate your plants
- You can also cultivate soil with any item in your inventory. This provides a random effect, and may be better - or worse - than just watering them
- Plants can now breed to create new plants automatically
- In general, your garden needs one open space, a male plant, and a female plant in order for plants to breed. Both parents must also be a certain level of growth first.
- Basic crossbreeding has been added: the look and base plant attributes are based on the mother plant, while growth rates are based on the father plant
- There is a very rare chance that the offspring plant will instead be a Hybrid. This is a new type of plant specific to the pairing
- Hybrid are rare and very valuable. They are, however, "infertile" and cannot be used to breed again
- A huge number of new plants can now be grown in your garden
- A small number of existing plants have been eliminated or combined with other plants
- All plant sprites have been improved and in some cases completely redone. This includes both mature and in-progress versions
- Each plants now have one or more Tags. These specify certain attributes for that particular plant
- Plants are now rated like critters and fish. Ratings depend on your skill as a gardener, and a higher rated item sells for more silver
- A number of new seasonal plants have been added to the forage list
- Plants can now be pruned from your garden. This allows you to remove a still-growing plant
- Pruning has a chance of refunding plant seeds back in your inventory (higher chance if just planted)
- This new screen can be used to plant new plants, inspect existing plants, clear out weeds, and more
- A new info screen now displays key details about your plan including its stage, what each stage looks like, when it was planted, whether it's under any special effects, and so on
- Spores / Seeds have been renamed to simply "Starters"
- Wild mushrooms and plants now spawn a little more rarely
- Growth rates for all plants have been adjusted. In general, it takes longer for an untended plant to grow to maturity
- The Spore Extractor has been renamed to the Seed Extractor, and it's currently out of order
- The existing mushroom growing spots in Agrarian Acres have been replaced
- The spore extractor found in Agrarian Acres now takes several days to produce usable starters
New & Improved Features
- Fleshed out the main Player page of your journal. It now lists your rank in each hobby and some general information
- Added several new catachable critters, like the Foliage Elemental
- A new type of chest has been added to the treasure rotation
- The "Spicy" effect has been changed to be a bit more useful
- Added several new "flavor critters", like a spider, parrot, and more
- Changed player sprite transitions in some situation
- Improved look and behavior of cloud shadows
- Increased spawn rates for items on the beach
- Added large number of new items, furniture, and decorations. Look for them in villager homes throughout the village
- Added concept of Elemental Affinity
- Renamed Bonfire Beach to Balefire Beach
Changes to Graphics & UI
- Forageable items now have a sparkle to differentiate them from plants / objects that are decorations
- Added a slight drop shadow effect to all dialogue text
- Add transparency to dialog boxes
- Improved dialog box title and choices UI
- Improved the logic for selecting the next active item in a list
- Greatly improved the colors and look of your journal
- Added commas to large numbers, like your current cash
- Adjusted some UI terms and wording to be more consistent
- You can now rotate tools (via the tool menu) using Left / Right on the D-Pad when playing with a controller
- Random Name Generation - currently used for naming tamed critters - has been greatly improved
- Altered music logic somewhat
- Adjusted notification placement to prevent overlap when a lot of stuff is happening
- Player names are now restricted to 12 total characters
Changes to Game Feel
I'm still grinding away to find that sweet spot in game feel - something that's both evocative of retro games (which is especially important given Village Monsters' story) while still taking modern games into account.
- Player acceleration has been modified so that you move in whole pixels
- Most other "partial pixel" actions are now rounded up to whole pixels
- Default player speed has been somewhat increased
- Further adjusted player acceleration and friction
- Reduced player speed when stalking with the net
- You can now control movement via the d-pad (I have no idea why I didn't have that before!!)
- The camera now tightly follows the player
- Fixed a major bug in which the world state wasn't being properly saved
- Fixed a crash when pressing "P" on your keyboard in some situations
- Fixed a crash related to cutscenes not properly being set
- Fixed the player sprite not changing when you transition rooms
- Fixed a variety of collision issue with outdoor decorations, like benches
- Fixed several collision issues in Memorial Meadows
- Fixed a few issues with garden weeds
- Fixed issue where beach shells would disappear
- Fixed apple trees still providing apples during off seasons
- Fixed an issue where critters would not flee properly if you approached them from certain angles
- Fixed an issue where swinging a net drains stamina too early
- Fixed some minor issues related to when the player character was in between states, or paused
- Fixed the "Exit" option not working on the title screen in some instances
- Fixed a graphical glitch in Dio's house