Village Monsters Alpha 1 Demo – Out Now!

Happy Full Moon, Y’all

A new full moon means a new version of Village Monsters for you to enjoy. I’m happy to announce that the latest demo, Alpha 1, is now officially released.

This is the first Alpha version of Village Monsters. It’s still pre-release software, and it shows – there’s plenty of missing content, placeholder features, bugs, and more. However! The game has reached a level of stability and features that I feel comfortable graduating it from Pre-Alpha to Alpha

If you haven’t heard yet, there is a Kickstarter coming for Village Monsters in less than a week – September 12th. As such, this very well might be the last public pre-release demo. All Kickstarter backers at a certain tier will continue to get these free demos every couple months, but if that’s not for you, don’t fret – a final public demo will be released before the game in October 2018.

Ok, so what’s changed between Pre-Alpha and Alpha? Well, a whole lot! I’ve been maintaining a list of patch notes for some time, and I’ve included them below this post. There’s a lot, and if you can believe it, even more has changed that I was willing to catalog.

So go download it, dive in, have some fun, and let me know what you think!

New Features

Village & Outskirts

Village

  • Major: Much of the village has been rearranged or changed to accommodate new features
    • Four new houses have been added to the residential district
    • A new shop, the General Store run by Bottes, has been added to the village
    • The still-unnamed Treasure Chest merchant has been changed to only sell furniture
    • Stapes & Saley finally turned that weird old skull into a proper house
  • New decorations – like new rocks, trees and flowers – have been added about the village
    • Benches have also been added throughout the village
  • A new town plaza has been added near the Historical Society
  • Graves have been added to the church. It’s creeping everybody out
  • More lightning has been added around town

Lake

  • A mysterious old tower has been added to the Lake west of town

Forest

  • A new forest has been added to the west of town

Beach

  • A new area, the Beach, has been added south of town. Enjoy watching dancing palm trees and kick a beach ball around
  • The villager Pots has decided to move to the Driftwood House at the Beach
  • You can go fishing in the ocean
  • A whoopie pie truck has been spotted at the beach. I bet it sells whoopie pies!

Overlook

  • A new area, the Overlook, has been added east of town

The Ruins of Soon

  • An in-game record of future features has been added to the game. It’s called the Ruins of Soon

Other

  • The player no longer auto-enters closed doors (like when trying to enter a house from the outside)
    • Instead, press A to open it up – assuming it’s unlocked
  • All interiors have had shadows added to give them a better feel

Villagers

  • Major: Most villagers now have additional things to say after the 1st day passes
    • More dialog will be added in an upcoming patch
  • New collisions have been added to each villager

Villagers

  • The following new villagers have moved in:
    • Rainboy, the Elemental
    • Bavarian, the Blob Chef
    • Serin, the Tree inside Overflow
    • Lucy, the Artistic Golem
  • New dialog and portraits have been added for each new villager

Merchants

  • You can now sell items at Bottes’ store (the General Store)
  • Many new items and furniture are now available to buy

Creatures

Critters

  • MAJOR:  A new behavior for ground critters has been added
  • MAJOR: Critters may flee for good if you scare them too much
  • Several new critters have been created
    • Dusty
    • Capricious Cumulus
    • *hearts
    • Many more
    • Stop reading this! Go find them!

Flavor Creatures

  • A new bird, the Sparrow, has been added to the skies
  • A new bird, the Fat Chicken, has been added to the ground
  • A strange ‘bird’ has also been added to the skies

Hobbies

  • There is now a confirmation dialogue before donating items to the Historical Society

Critter Collection

  • MAJOR: Captured critters can now be tamed into pets via the Pet Bowl furniture item
  • Pets can be fed to reduce their wildness and make them more friendly
  • SFX plays when the net is swung

Botany

  • MAJOR: A new hobby, Botany, has been added to the game
  • Plant fruit at various dirt mounds to grow fruit trees
  • Water planted trees each day to ensure they grow
  • Once they reach full maturity, fruit trees can produce additional fruit

Cooking

  • MAJOR: A new hobby, Cooking, has been added to the game
  • It’s quite basic, but bring 3 food items to the cooking put inside your home to whip something up

Player House

Customization

  • MAJOR: Furniture placement has been completely overhauled
    • Press and hold C (Keyboard) or Y (Gamepad) to turn on Customization Mode
    • While in Customization Mode, walk up to a furniture and press Z (Keyboard) or A (Gamepad) to move it around
    • You may move furniture with the arrow keys, mouse, or right analog stick
    • C (Keyboard) or Y (Gamepad) again to turn off Customization Mode
  • Placing a furniture (that you bought at the store) now places you in Customizing Mode automatically
  • Helper text has been added to make it easier to navigate customizer mode

Furniture

  • Many, many new furniture items have been added to both the store and villager homes

Other

  • A new player-specific mailbox has been added in front of the player’s shack
    • On occasion, the player may receive mail. The mailbox indicates new mail
  • A morning news program has been added to the television
    • Tune in to hear random headlines from the village and elsewhere

Systems

Weather

  • A new weather type, Hail, has been added
    • A new particle effect was added to represent hail on the ground

Mail

  • MAJOR: A new system, Mail, has been added to the game
  • New UI (letterhead) has been added to support letters
  • On occasion, the player will receive mail from villagers
  • The player will also receiver mail from the mayor before a special event
  • Players may go to the red mailbox near town hall to submit game feedback via the mail system
    • Mail sent via this system will be actually emailed to me, so make use of it!

Items

  • The bounding box that detects item interaction has been made easier to hit
  • Some items have been renamed

Food

  • Many new fruits have been added to eat

Potions

  • MAJOR: A new type of item, Potions, have been added to the game
  • Potions can have major or silly effects to the player and game systems when consumed
  • Potion of Transparency: Makes you transparent and prevents critters from fleeing from you
  • Potion of Tepid Torpality: Time progresses slower for awhile
  • Potion of Posthaste Passage: Time progresses faster for awhile
  • Potion of Fast Feet: You move quicker for awhile
  • Potion of Fewer Features: You temporarily become a silhouette

Treasures

  • New ore and treasures have been created and seeded around town. Happy hunting!

User Interface

  • Major: A new screen is now displayed at the end of each day. It displays some flavor text and a tip for getting the most out of the game
  • Major: A new title screen is now displayed at game start
  • All fonts in the game have been replaced by Peepo, a pixel-font
    • Using a pixel font means that this is now officially an indie game

Dialogue

  • MAJOR: Dialogues may now have choices which triggers branching dialogue and other actions

Inventory

  • MAJOR: Item Cards have been added for each item to display vital information
    • Item cards contain sprites, type, descriptions, and flavor text
    • Some item contain stories, and you can flip the card to view it
  • A new row has been added to the inventory for mail management

Compendium

  • A new page, the Village Map, has been added to the Compendium
    • The player’s current location should be properly reflected on the map…but no promises
  • A new page, the World Map, has been added to the Compendium
  • A new page, the Log, has been added to the Compendium
  • A new page, the Calendar, has been added to the Compendium
    • The Calendar tracks the current day, elapsed days, and marks upcoming events
    • The Calendar is otherwise very basic

System Menu

  • A new system menu has been added when Escape is pressed
    • The game will no longer close immediately after hitting Escape
    • The system menu can be controlled via the keyboard even when in Gamepad mode
  • You can now toggle the music on / off from the System Menu

Other

  • Months have been renamed and updated where appropriate

Improvements

Village & Outskirts

  • New interior tilesets have been created to create better variation
  • Grass has been added to the base of trees to make them more…uh…natural?
  • Trees now have a cooldown before you can shake them again
  • Shadows have been added to every building, decoration, and entity in the village
  • Collision boxes for each building have been adjusted

Village

  • The town tavern, Overflow, has been completely redone and improved
    • This includes an actual interior complete with bar & kegs
  • Skunkwork’s treasure chest merchant shop has been recolored and redesigned to be a bit less garish

Historical Society

  • You can now donate treasure-based items again at each pedestal

Crossroads

  • The crossroads has been improved and rearranged to accommodate new areas
  • Signs have been added to the Crossroads to make it easier to navigate

Player & Dog

  • A new SFX has been added for indoor footsteps
  • A new walk speed, called “Walk” has been added for keyboard users
    • Toggle it with Control

Dog

  • You may now interact with the dog like all the other villagers
  • The dog’s portrait has been fixed
  • The dog sprite has been improved. It should no longer look like she’s wearing lipstick

Creatures

  • Generally, ground-based creatures should no longer spawn in the middle of water
    • They still might want to go for an occasional dip, though

Critters

  • Full animations have been added to the Coldsteel Hedgehog
  • Full animations have been added to the Pocket Horse
  • Full animations have been added to the Beholden
  • Critters now properly collide when indoors
    • (no promises for outdoors)
  • The Sap Fly now have a proper behavior
  • The Sun Fly has been renamed the Watt Fly
  • The gnome now has a shadow and animation

Flavor Creatures

  • All flying flavor creatures have been completely redone to be less ugly

Hobbies

  • Hobby tools now have proper “use” animations
  • Hotkeys have been added to each tool to quickly bring up via the keyboard
    • 1 = Bug Net, 2 = Shovel, etc.

Fishing

  • MAJOR: The fish system, including line strength and fish stamina, has been completely reworked and improved
    • Fishing has also been rebalanced to be a bit easier
  • Labels and values have been added to the line strength and fish stamina bars
  • While a fish is hooked, you may be prompted to move the rod to the left or right
    • Success in following the prompt gives you a bonus to line strength, while failure gives you a penalty
  • Fish now fade in over time, and properly fade out at random intervals
  • The fish has been improved, though you probably wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t said anything

Whistle

  • The player no longer moves while the Whistle is in use

Watering Can

  • A new tool, the Watering Can, has been added

Player House

Furniture

  • The initial player home has been changed to include some new furniture items
  • Furniture now has a basic hierarchy: Toppers (like lamps, flowers) may now be placed on Surfaces (tables, shelves) or the floor.
  • The rug has been made a proper object and no longer is scaled weird
  • It’s no longer possible to move furniture by mouse – it was only annoying people

Systems

  • MAJOR: All systems have been migrated to the “Director” model, allowing for far more robust and interesting interactions with the player, the world, and each other

Weather

  • Temperature now has more granularity, and changes with weather instead of with time
  • Weather particle effects have been optimized and more evenly distributed around the player
  • Weather changes only occur when there’s a new weather type (as opposed to every time the time changes)
    • This prevents issues where it briefly stops raining only to start raining again

Time

  • Time change effects now occur via events
  • The player automatically warps back to their house when the day is over

Music & Sound Effects

  • Music is now properly refreshed as time and days progress
  • All weather sound effects now play inside at a muted volume
    • Thunder now plays even while indoors
  • A new sound effect plays for the Hail weather type
  • The ocean has special ambient ocean sounds
  • The village will now experience the occasional random birdsong
  • Birds that fly overhead will also now occasional chirp if the player is close enough

Items

  • All items have improved descriptions, flavor text, icons, and story
  • The lantern has been adjusted to display correctly

Food

  • Fruits have been turned into cubular shapes. I don’t know why.

Controls

  • Keyboard controls have been massively improved
    • Movement is handed via the arrow keys

User Interface

  • Player movement and time passage are now paused when menus are open

Dialogue

  • The portrait name is now properly centered

Inventory

  • MAJOR: The inventory has been completely revamped in style and function
  • You may now hold many more items than before
  • Upon using an item, the item ‘cursor’ will automatically move to the next available item
    • The graphical look of the inventory has been vastly improved
  • The inventory can be toggled off via the Cancel action
  • The inventory is automatically closed when an item is used
  • Context-sensitive buttons are now displayed in each item card
  • A new inventory mode, Pick Mode, has been added, and is used when prompt to select an item
  • A new inventory mode, Sell Mode, has been added, and is used when items are being sold
  • By default, the Bits (currency) counter is hidden until the inventory is toggled
    • The Bits counter is also temporarily displayed whenever you add or remove Bits
  • It is no longer possible to “Use” items without first opening the inventory (it was too annoying)
  • Using an item is now handled via the Z key or A button
  • The image speed of sprites should be a lot less weird

Notifications

  • Item descriptions have been removed from notifications, as it was very dumb of me to leave them there
  • Notifications have been resized and improved
  • Notifications have an animation when created
  • Notifications time out based on rarity of event (rare notices take longer to disappear)
  • New notifications always stay in the same place as old notifications rotate out
  • A notification is created upon meeting a villager for the first time

New Area Notice

  • The new area graphic has been replaced by a wooden motif
  • The new area notice now animate

Compendium

  • Each section has a new label identifying it

Clock / Calendar

  • New icons have been added for each weather type
  • The calendar icon has been improved
  • Drawing of the clock and calendar have been generally optimized

Technical

Camera

  • The camera surface properly resizes and refresh with each new room
  • A new dynamic camera has been added to make things feel smoother and more relaxed

Collision

  • A new, faster collision system has been implemented
    • Many collisions for objects have been adjusted

Debug

  • The version number is now always displayed in the top left corner

Other

  • A custom sprite scaling function has been added to scale sprites in a less goofy way
  • A number of unused sprites have been removed fromt he game

Bug Fixes

  • MAJOR: A common crash related to critter spawning has been fixed
  • MAJOR: Many crashes related to “Using” some items has now been fixed
  • MAJOR: A crash related to speaking with some villagers twice has now been fixed
  • A rare crash related to the furniture balloon has been fixed
  • A rare crash related to fishing has been fixed
  • It is no longer possible to place furniture outside (whoops)
  • It is no longer possible to place furniture inside other houses (haha, my bad again)
  • Movement during room transitions have been fixed
  • Trees should no longer trap you in an eternal leafy embrace
  • Trying to use an item without a use no longer closes the inventory
  • The bug net will no longer catch bugs if it’s not being swung (don’t ask)
  • Rooms properly fade in on load
  • The Capsule machine should be a lot less crashy
  • Issues related to weather changing have been resolved
  • Weather particles better track the player on map edges
  • Lightning no longer occurs indoors
  • A slight delay has been added to opening or closing the inventory to prevent weird behavior
  • Fish should no longer ‘escape’ the fishing UI element
  • Items in the inventory will now properly clear out if you use multiple of the same item
  • Crashes related to picking up some gatherable items has been fixed
  • The dog ball (and fetching) should work once again
  • Sunflower layering has been fixed
  • General layering issues have also mostly been fixed
  • The Ornamental Beetle should no longer look like a total weirdo when spawned on trees
  • Town lights should now turn on properly even when you aren’t in town

Files

VillageMonsters_Alpha1.zip (16 MB)
14 days ago

Get Village Monsters

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