snacko 2 / Birth of the Town

Whew, it’s been a hectic month. Not only did I start streaming a lot of art sessions related to this, I also started a hashtag #snackodev (don’t ask) on progress screenshots over on the Tweeter to help keep everything organized! If you’d rather just follow an account, snackodev retweets a select few, and is a dedicated account for dev-related things! Now that social media things are out of the way, let’s just take a peek at what’s been going on…

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🍑 Completion of a New Area!

A large chunk of time in June was designing and executing a shop interior – this is where your protagonyist would go and shop for their general goods! Bandages, energy drinks, and healing herbs! MikanGO has them all! While the UI hasn’t been developed yet, this is one of the areas that will be prominently featured in the summer demo trailer!

Other areas we have put as our goal for the end of summer are a forest, town area, and the player’s (customizable!) home – inside and out! Near the end of June, I restructured how the town pieces fit together, and now I’m working on the outside area of the playable character’s home. This would include a fishing spot, farm plots, and storage area.

🍑 Your Opinion Matters!

Earlier this month, I ran a poll on my personal Facebook and my Twitter asking how people preferred to name their characters. Would you like it to be unchangeable? Blank? Filled in with a name? The answers came back clear – voters prefer to have the canon name filled in at first, with the option to re-enter their preferred name! For now, we’ve been calling the player character “Momo”, as that’s who she’s based off of. But for the final game, we’d like the gender to remain neutral and unknown, with the option to name your character for a truly “you” experience.

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In the future, I’d like to continue running these polls to get a better understanding of what players want, whether it’s for any simulation/RPG game or specifically Snacko. If you ever see these pop up on your feed, please vote! It definitely makes a difference!

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🍑 Design Thoughts

Third week of June, recursive and I spent an evening at a coffee shop discussing where we’d like the project to head in, who our target audience is, and what we’d like to prioritize in order to finish the trailer before the end of summer. Some important notes from that meeting I’d like to share with everyone are:

  1. We’d like this to be a more well rounded game. Instead of it solely being a farming simulator, a puzzle dungeon crawler, or a hack-and-slash adventure game, we’d rather have all these mechanics work together in a package. While both of us have thoroughly enjoyed Harvest Moon, Rune Factory, and more recently, Stardew Valley, both of us wish there was more of a world to immerse in, and more to the combat than mines or spawn areas. In order to facilitate that, we have pared down the farming system to a more basic form – less crops, less steps, and less incentive to grow and sell for cash. Crops would be used to fulfill quest orders, cook dishes to improve your stats, and more!
  2. We have a firm vision of what we’d like to include in the first trailer – even if it means having to fake some of it at first. One thing I’m very excited about is the ability to customize the player’s own home. However, for now, we’ve decided to just show the possibility, and not the mechanic of it working in-engine. In order to have a polished, coherent trailer in a few months, we feel that it’s more important to get key game features working, and polished art for the few environments we’ll have.
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🍑 recursive Says…

Since most of the work so far on the programming side has been mostly design and boring grind, I won’t be contributing much to these logs or streams until I feel that there’s something fun to show! This month, I realized I had to redo the inventory system entirely to save myself headache and time in the long run – it’s coming along, but the way Unreal Engine handles information passed between code and UMG (the UI system) is a real pain. I’m looking forward to where this project will go, but for now I’ll just complain about inventory systems a little more…

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🍑 Moving Forward

In the month of July, we have some personal things coming up that may get in the way of development – a trip to Washington DC and some dentist appointments (yikes). But! I’d like to finish more UI elements, a shop NPC to wrap up the convenience store, and complete the Forest and Home Base area. Currently, I’m working on Home Base, adding trees, rivers, plants, and props to liven up Momo’s living space. You can follow the progress most days on Twitch, where I try to stream non-UV tasks. recursive is hoping to finish the inventory system for good, and start polishing the farming system – watering, planting seeds, and growth cycles.

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That’s all for the month of June! We’ll see you next month with another devlog!

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