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TIGSource ForumsCommunityTownhallMonster Garden
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foofter
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« Reply #40 on: April 26, 2017, 06:16:26 AM »

Throughout working on Monster Garden it's been a struggle to explain the game to people. But I've always known it's about "monster love," so I wrote a blog post to explain what the heck monster love is. Smiley

https://gamemakeworld.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/games-need-more-monster-love/

Monster love has to do with the role of monsters and how they’re treated in games, but it’s also about more than just monsters. It’s about how we deal with the unknown in general, which monsters often represent.

Monsters are usually either a threat that must be eliminated to protect the familiar human world (ex. most RPGs) or else wild creatures that must be captured and controlled (ex. Pokemon). Even if they have cool designs or powerful abilities, monsters aren’t often treated with much respect or, well, love.


And, the Third Seedling "boss fight" is coming together nicely. Planning to finish by Friday to show it at Open Screens at A MAZE in Berlin.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 02:20:14 AM by waru99 » Logged


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« Reply #41 on: April 27, 2017, 08:28:54 AM »

I really enjoyed that blog post, thanks for elaborating on monster love! It's made me want to see more games inspired by it - and to be inspired by it myself Smiley Glad to hear that progress on the 3rd seedling is coming on, and good luck on greenlight!
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« Reply #42 on: April 27, 2017, 01:00:27 PM »

I really enjoyed that blog post, thanks for elaborating on monster love! It's made me want to see more games inspired by it - and to be inspired by it myself Smiley Glad to hear that progress on the 3rd seedling is coming on, and good luck on greenlight!

Thank you! I really appreciate that you read it. It felt great to figure it out and write about it - and then have a friend explain it to me even better! Smiley
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foofter
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« Reply #43 on: April 29, 2017, 08:45:56 AM »

I had a blast showing Monster Garden at A MAZE! Unfortunately, I forgot to take a single picture...

I had people playing back-to-back for three hours, and mostly positive feedback. Respones ranged from positive but vaguely confused to widely enthusiastic, and everyone played through at least the second level. Some replayed the first multiple times in order to beat it, and some took advantage of the Time Fairy's "Rewind" function if you lose the second level, and some even found some easter eggs, so all that felt great to see in action!

Here's the level 3 boss, to celebrate!


Normally, some people stop after playing for just a few minutes (and don't even complete the first level), which is fine, because I know the game isn't for everyone, but no one did this time for some reason. The beginning hasn't changed in a long time, so I guess I just got luckier with a more monster loving crowd. Smiley

Anyway, I got ideas for lots of small fixes, but there didn't seem to be any major problems, so I think it's on the right track. Smiley

Now to finish the grand finale, polish lots of little stuff, and release this fall! (PS. Vote on Greenlight here: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=905017346)

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foofter
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« Reply #44 on: May 17, 2017, 07:03:27 AM »

Back in 2013 I wrote an article for Gamasutra about characters and worldbuilding in Japanese games, but the other day I noticed that it wasn't connected to my current account with my other blog posts, so I asked if they could connect them, and they said to just repost it instead.

So, I updated the post a bit, changed the part at the end about Cafe Murder to Monster Garden, and voila! It's on the front page of Gamasutra today: http://tinyurl.com/kfcjsmb

It's long, but if you wanna know more about where Japanese games are coming from, you might enjoy it. It's based on interviewing the creator of the Lennus/Paladin's Quest series of RPGs for SNES and taking a game design class with Kenichi Nishi (who worked on Chibi Robo! and Chrono Trigger).

Hope you enjoy!  Gomez
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foofter
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« Reply #45 on: May 22, 2017, 09:59:22 AM »

A friend is making unique noises for each monsterGomez

She made noises for five monsters so far, and they are a real game changer for the dialogue (which there's a lot of) and general atmosphere.
They make the game feel like it's coming together, but unfortunately there's no way to share that with a simple gif or screenshot...

So, here's a secret link to the current full version of the game (takes 20-30 minutes to finish):
http://wzackw.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/12/www/index.html

The monsters with sound effects are (with how to recruit them in parentheses):
Baby (Don't solve every puzzle in Seedling 1, but don't ignore everything, either)
Roofy (Push the frantic yellow monster at the end of Seedling 2 until it turns red and jumps away)
Tifa (Let the timer run out in Seedling 2)
Q (Follow the bully through Seedling 3)
Drizzy (Refuse to let any other monsters join you)

I would love any feedback beyond the sound effects, too! :D

If you DO play the game, then please vote on Steam when you're done, if you don't mind. The link's in my signature. Wink
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TheWanderingBen
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« Reply #46 on: May 23, 2017, 08:07:28 AM »

Just played the demo and I'm digging it. The music is fantastic! And I really like the dialogue. Especially Bobo's dialogue, man. Super unique style, voted Yes on your Greenlight. Good luck!
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« Reply #47 on: May 23, 2017, 09:16:58 AM »

Just played the demo and I'm digging it. The music is fantastic! And I really like the dialogue. Especially Bobo's dialogue, man. Super unique style, voted Yes on your Greenlight. Good luck!

Thanks a lot for playing and voting! I am really happy with the music and sound effects, too. Smiley
I just wanna add sound effects for the other monsters! (And get a looping version of the Seedling 3 song.)

Thanks again, man!
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foofter
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« Reply #48 on: June 05, 2017, 02:25:46 PM »

I finished all three levels so it's time to start working on the ending! I've never really played an ending that I enjoyed, so it seems a bit challenging, heh.

BUT the point of Monster Garden is that it's short and replayable, so I want the ending to be mysterious and silly (like the rest of the game) and prompt the player to want to try again. Ideally, after playing through two or three times it will all start to kind of make sense together.

So, after the player finishes Level 3 they can walk around the garden and talk to all the monsters with a festive tone (like the end of Chrono Trigger when you walk around the fair),. Then when you're ready you can start the party, which is just a series of funny scenes with speeches, conversations, dancing, etc., depending on who is in your party.

...But it's all kinda passive and feels like you don't control much. (You are "controlling" it by which monsters are in the party, though.)

So I thought about letting the player affect the party more directly, like by manually assigning different jobs to monsters like MC, entertainment, catering, etc. But that would be a lot more work for me, and I don't know how much players really want to do that (maybe it only sounds fun to me?!).

I'll probably make the roles auto-decided, and then if there's time go back and let the player assign tasks.

I'm afraid it'll just be lots of talking and watching a bunch of scenes and not feeling very interactive...but the whole game is kinda like that, heh. I think the key will be having many endings that are drastically different so the player wants to play again.

Sorry for the text only post! But that helped me figure out my thoughts. Let me know if you have any comments or ideas of what would be a fun way to wrap it up. Maybe hints at something to try different on your next playthrough...?
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« Reply #49 on: June 07, 2017, 02:04:19 PM »

Quote
Maybe hints at something to try different on your next playthrough...?

or maybe change some rule with the behaviours of monsters!

Nice graphic too btw, best of luck mate!
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« Reply #50 on: June 07, 2017, 03:01:34 PM »

Thanks, marcuz!

Also...WOAH:


That was unexpected, but I guess they started feeling generous after shutting Greenlight down!
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« Reply #51 on: June 08, 2017, 12:56:20 AM »

Yey!!!! I am so happy for you. Congratulations on being Greenlit! Smiley
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« Reply #52 on: June 09, 2017, 11:04:16 AM »

Either way congrats! Grin

Though, I wonder overall how much of a difference does it make now since with Steam Direct it should be as simple as "pay the fee, sign some papers" and don't violate certain conditions in the terms and agreements ... and you're done!
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foofter
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« Reply #53 on: June 24, 2017, 10:43:46 AM »

I got to work on the game today for the first time in awhile (been distracted with work & life) and did a bunch of small fixes, including:

・Made monsters recruited in Seedling 3 appear in garden after completing it.
・Added monster sounds to the Seedling 3 boss battle.
・Made different monsters get blasted away at the end of Seedling 2 depending on which monster you recruit.
・Made the Seedling 2 boss appear in the garden if you uncovered its true form and then used Bobo to push it down to the garden.
・Made Baby comment on Tifa after Seedling 2 whether you recruited her or not.
・Fixed a bug where pressing "cancel" when faced with dialogue choices could select options for monsters not in the party.

And more! ...but actually the main thing I realized is that I should keep some log of progress, or at least cross off "to-do"s instead of deleting them.
Cause I know I did a lot today but I have no record of it because I just deleted things from a google doc as I went. Woops!

Anyway, I'm also talking to a publisher (sent them a build and waiting to hear back), but regardless of how that works out I'm planning to live in a cabin in the woods in Sweden (not Stugan Tongue) for three months this fall to get the game done once and for all.  Hand Fork Left Gomez Hand Knife Right
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foofter
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« Reply #54 on: July 11, 2017, 01:27:11 PM »

Well, things didn't work out with Humble Bundle, but they gave me an idea for something to fix! It sounded like they didn't like that Tifa gave them the option to redo Level 2 after they failed, and I'm leaving that the same, but I did make it so that the boss dialogue is abridged if you redo it so you don't have to read it all again.

I kept the text when you redo Level 1 on the other hand, but that's because you might reach the boss with a different monster and get a different dialogue, whereas if you redo Level 2 boss on the spot with Tifa magic you'll have exactly the same party.

Been doing a lot of other small changes, got looping music from the musician (that doesn't fade to silence or suddenly jump the beginning) and I think other stuff I can't remember...but just wanted to post anyway!  Well, hello there!

Next up I need to make garden changes from completing Levels 2 and 3 more varied and responsive, add some important graphical changes throughout, and then implement the party, and THEN after all that it's just the technically "extra" polish.

END IN SIGHT! WOOT!
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foofter
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« Reply #55 on: July 11, 2017, 02:16:50 PM »

Ah, I remembered what I really wanted to announce! I researched good release times, based on the plan to finish by November, and it sounds like November and December are terrible times to release with all the AAA competition, so I'm going to release in January or February, which seems to be a lull and good time to release!

So that feels good to have concretely settled.  Hand Fork Left  Gomez Hand Knife Right
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« Reply #56 on: July 13, 2017, 01:35:28 PM »

It's technically polish but I just spent the night redoing the building that houses level 3.

I was initially inspired by Lennus II, ie this:


To make it look like this:

(Weird technical glitch bump on the bottom left of the house for some reason...)

But I always thought it looked too flat, and that the building shouldn't be a monster.

So I redid it as a little techno-shack:


What do you think? An improvement? Any preference? I find it more cozy, even though it's kinda more mechanical.

The house is meant to look half-welcoming and half-off-putting (and like it can be entered).
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« Reply #57 on: July 14, 2017, 01:11:56 AM »

Techno-shack looks better to me Smiley
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« Reply #58 on: July 14, 2017, 01:32:42 AM »

Techno-shack looks better to me Smiley

Me, too. Smiley Suits the game much better, and hints at what Level 3 looks like (which the seedlings to Levels 1 and 2 also do). I can finally rest at ease!
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« Reply #59 on: July 17, 2017, 04:16:04 AM »

Wow, so I tweeted about the updated techno-shack, and then someone messaged me with their improved version of the graphics and a guide to color theory!

Check out his version of the house, which is so Toejam & Earl and I love it:


And the post he wrote with other redone graphics:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iVyCL5t9zm47tblPi6Nt6G0s7f_K3Pj_JJNGnFfTwrU/edit

His style reminds me of a cool GBA game, and looks much more commercially viable and potentially popular!

Buuut, I don't want to redo all the graphics in the game at this point (trying to finish the game by the end of the year), I don't have the skills to work in that style, AND I think there is something to be said for a more flat, blocky, dark outlined style. I'm still working on that style, and maybe my *quality* isn't on par with his style's quality, but I still wanna keep working in that direction (even though I know fewer people like it Who, Me? )

There's just something about flat, clunky, blocky graphics that I like...but I AM planning to incorporate a few of his color tips because that is easy and I really a few things like the green in his sky and the color of his dirt, for example.

And here's his version of the garden overall:


Anyway, I'm blown away and humbled that he took all the time to do that! He is @stormfreestudio on twitter if you like his skills, too!
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