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foofter
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« on: May 21, 2016, 09:53:10 am »

[Edit: It was Greenlit! Yay and thanks.]





Current demo on itch: https://wzackw.itch.io/monster-garden

MONSTER GARDEN
"Mr. Bobo is your big ol' orange-bootied guide to the Monster Garden. Expand and fill it with friends by facing your fears!"

But seriously, it’s about befriending monsters as you transform dark, scary places into sources of joy.
You do this by traveling into sparkling seedlings that grow in the garden:

I'm trying to account for all the possible ways a player could go through each area and having different playful surprises occur accordingly.
For example: one of three monsters appears at the end of the first area depending on whether the player ignored everything, thoroughly investigated everything, or wandered through haphazardly.

Here are all the character animations so far:


You also meet monsters that don't join the party but will come back to the garden if you do certain things for them. Actions you take in the seedling area make random things back in the garden grow/change.

There is no battle system, no overarching story, and no strategy (since no play style is wrong). It’s more like a linear sandbox monster dating sim game with minor gardening elements.

You can give the demo a try (it takes five minutes) and see for yourself with the itch link above, or just play in your browser: http://wzackw.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/www/index.html

Music is by https://soundcloud.com/darriellbutler, everything else is by me.
(Sound effects are still lame RPG Maker sound effects, plz help  Hand Thumbs Up Left ZEL Moblin )

I'm on Twitter at https://twitter.com/_monstergarden and hoping to update soon with the second seedling area.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 09:13:14 am by foofter » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2016, 10:02:38 am »

Never understood the hate against rpgmaker; it allowed lots of artsy folks without an attitude for programming to make strange beautiful games like Gingiva and Space Funeral. Yours seems like one of those games, at least graphically speaking, so good luck! Color me intrigued.
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foofter
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2016, 10:07:39 am »

Never understood the hate against rpgmaker; it allowed lots of artsy folks without an attitude for programming to make strange beautiful games like Gingiva and Space Funeral. Yours seems like one of those games, at least graphically speaking, so good luck! Color me intrigued.

Agreed! I was inspired a lot by Space Funeral, actually. Especially by it's music. Thanks for being intrigued. Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2016, 03:51:25 am »

The monsters look amazing!  Blink
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foofter
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2016, 07:40:50 am »

The monsters look amazing!  Blink

Thanks! They are my pride and joy and my favorite part of development. Smiley
I still have at least ten more sketched out that I want to make. Then the player can have a long train of monsters linked to their unique playthru.♥
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2016, 08:30:52 am »

There's a lot of cool stuff going on here, and I appreciate that it's an RPG Maker Game that doesn't use Generic Medieval Tileset #4 (which I think is where a lot of the hate comes from).

I really like that you can plant and grow a toothbrush. I can't explain to you why that stood out more than anything else, but here we are. Wink

I get a little bit of a "Toejam and Earl" vibe from the art. Would like to see some love go into the environments - I think right now those lack a little of the gusto that your monster design has.
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foofter
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2016, 08:41:44 am »

There's a lot of cool stuff going on here, and I appreciate that it's an RPG Maker Game that doesn't use Generic Medieval Tileset #4 (which I think is where a lot of the hate comes from).

I really like that you can plant and grow a toothbrush. I can't explain to you why that stood out more than anything else, but here we are. Wink

I get a little bit of a "Toejam and Earl" vibe from the art. Would like to see some love go into the environments - I think right now those lack a little of the gusto that your monster design has.

I'm glad you appreciated the toothbrush. I'm still not sure if I wanna keep the whole planting thing or what its purpose will have...so good to hear feedback!

And I agree about the backgrounds. I see fixing them up as a "polish" step for later once I have a functioning game that lasts more than five minutes and feels like it has some potential. I also have a lot more experience with monsters than backgroundsーbackgrounds are more of a "learn-as-you-go" thing right now. ZEL Green Wall 1 ZEL Green Wall 2 ZEL Link ZEL Rock

And Toejam & Earl is a big inspiration! Thanks!
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foofter
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2016, 03:45:25 pm »

Screenshots of the second seedling area. The theme is frantic rushing higher and higher into the trees/clouds:



« Last Edit: September 20, 2017, 10:31:33 am by foofter » Logged


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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2016, 03:58:15 pm »

That looks really unusual (in a good way), and I wouldn't diss RPG Maker either, especially not when you're working with an interesting/original concept and visuals. Reminds me of using PAW* on the ZX Spectrum +2 back in the day, but I think I'm dating myself quite badly there.

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_Adventure_Writer
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foofter
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« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2016, 04:02:33 pm »

Sweet
Thanks!

That looks really unusual (in a good way), and I wouldn't diss RPG Maker either, especially not when you're working with an interesting/original concept and visuals. Reminds me of using PAW* on the ZX Spectrum +2 back in the day, but I think I'm dating myself quite badly there.

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_Adventure_Writer
Don't worry, I made games in Q-BASIC and then StoryMaker! Ok...those seem to be 10+ years after this PAW you mention. But I definitely have sweet memories of good old clunky text + visuals games!
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foofter
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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2016, 11:31:46 pm »

OK, I finally figured out how to describe the game (which has been a struggle so far) in the process of writing the IndieCade app:

Meet Mr. Bobo, your orange friend with a big rear-end. He’s here to guide you and your monsters through wild and wonderful worlds to find friends and create a home for themselves in the Monster Garden.

The game is about developing a strange garden by gathering a colorful gang of monsters, driven by humor and mystery. Players choose how to engage with mysterious forces they encounter through the branching story, so that each player’s final garden and party of monsters will be a reflection of their unique path through the game. There is no way to lose; the garden simply grows in different ways and different monsters appear depending on what you do.

Monster Garden was inspired by Bernie De Koven’s “inner playground,” a conceptual tool for developing your imagination and learning to face even unknown or scary things with a playful attitude.

Each area you explore is based on a negative emotional themeーthe persistent feeling that something is wrong in the first area, for example, or the anxious pressure to hurry and never relax in the secondーand each monster embodies a response such as silliness or analytical thinking. The game alternates between exploring these areas and then going back to the Monster Garden to talk to the monsters you met and plant seeds you found.

The conversation system involves choosing which monster to let talk to characters you encounter and then seeing how things play out. Through this you can get to know the monsters and see what will be effective in boss conversations at the end of each area. Succeeding against a boss gets you a special seed that you can then plant in the garden to affect its growth and make your monsters happier.


AND someone did a let's play of the demo! Smiley
(They seem to have had a pre-existing relationship with the name "Bobo"...)


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foofter
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« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2016, 07:40:08 am »

I fleshed out the second area in preparation for IndieCade application (the one I posted the mock-ups of above). Now there are puzzles, mushrooms, and lots of new monsters, as seen below:





And much much more!
The demo on itch has the first two levels-and I could use your feedback Smiley https://wzackw.itch.io/monster-garden
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foofter
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« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2016, 11:57:50 am »

The second seedling is taking longer than expected, but I finally implemented the system where you can "excite" or "calm down" the monsters in the tree by choosing various commands based on the monsters in your party. Choosing multiple exciting or calming choices in a row makes them either turn red and blast off to the top of the tree, or turn blue and stay where they are.

BUT if you don't go to either extreme, they will now gradually advance up the tree with you screen by screen until you "finish them off."


AND the time fairy comes at the beginning and tells you you have two minutes to get to the top of the tree, just to add some frantic pressure.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2016, 12:56:33 pm by waru99 » Logged


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« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2016, 12:34:10 pm »

this is getting so awesomely weird and specific! ^^ Hand Thumbs Up Right Hand Thumbs Up Right Hand Thumbs Up Right
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foofter
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« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2016, 03:30:23 pm »

this is getting so awesomely weird and specific! ^^ Hand Thumbs Up Right Hand Thumbs Up Right Hand Thumbs Up Right

Weird and specific! That should be the tagline! #USP
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foofter
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« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2016, 02:36:48 pm »

Finally almost done with Level 2. There are three getable friends, and I finally fully implemented the systems for getting them.

Tookis the Booty Biker Boy needs to be calmed down to be recruited:

(Calmness/excitement levels are shown by color from blue to red.)

Mel the Turtle Blob needs to be pushed out of the tree to be recruited:


And goofy Roofy needs to be excited to be recruited:


All the characters you successfully fulfilled the requirements for appear at the top of the tree, and you can choose one before continuing on to see the boss:


Next goals:
・Timer system with Tifa the Time Fairy
・Boss "battle"
Then Level 2 will be done!
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« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2016, 11:34:50 am »

Wow this looks like a crazy adventure.
The artwork is co clean and crisp.  Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2016, 11:57:29 am »

Beautiful!!!  The colors and characters are great!
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foofter
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« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2016, 01:52:22 pm »

Beautiful!!!  The colors and characters are great!
Wow this looks like a crazy adventure.
The artwork is co clean and crisp.  Smiley

Thank you! If there are two things I love it's characters and colors! And if there's a third one it's crisp, clean things! :D
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foofter
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« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2016, 01:50:22 pm »

Time system via the Time Fairy (left) and boss "battle" (right) fully implemented, and Level 2 complete!


Although I had to "fake" the time system by checking time at regular check points rather than constantly globally checking, 'cause that got kinda crazy.

Also, people also found the boss battle too confusing at first, so I tried simplifying it. And I finally updated itch.io with the new version, so any feedback would be wonderful if you feel like playing (takes maybe 15 minutes). https://wzackw.itch.io/monster-garden

Maybe there'll be a few more tweaks and changes as I test with people, but I'm basically ready to move on to Level 3, the last level!
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