It’s been a hectic month! So hectic, I forgot what we did this month. During busy times, it’s easy to feel like one week was one month, so looking back on the GIFs created within the past 30 days is always a nice surprise.
March was mostly focused on polish, getting the game to a state where we could package it up for Windows, and distribute it for other people to play. Of course, it wasn’t a full experience – there were no tutorials, story, or much NPC interaction asides from some menu choices to give you items.
🍑 Breezy Grass
What’s the biggest visual difference this month? Lots and lots of fluffy grass.
If you look at screenshots from last month, you’ll notice the farm was a little…bald. It looked like someone’s perfectly maintained lawn, and it was a bit strange. To alleviate that, I duplicated a bunch of grass blades I already had on hand from grass clumps, and made them wave in the wind a little. They even part when Momo walks through them!
They’re vertex painted at the roots so when I add in a wind function to the material within Unreal Engine, the bottoms stay nicely put while the tops of the blades sway slightly. The first time I put it in the game, though, they were backwards and had very obvious seams between each tile. It looked terrible.
To get rid of those ugly rows of nothing between tiles, I made each tile of grass poke out of the bounds a teensy bit, and rotated them in a slightly more random way to help things blend together nicely. Adding on to things that sway with the wind, I also reworked the round trees to suit the grass a little better.
We felt like the music we received from Dale was amazing, but it highlighted how sterile our world was. With only the player as a moving element, we wanted to bring more natural-ness to our scene. This prompted us to add in pink trees for spring, some blowing petals, and trees that puff up a bit with the wind.
Fishing was also added this month to suit the music better. It’s pretty simple right now, kind of like Minecraft’s system. In the future, we’d like different kinds of rods to initiate different “mini-games” that change your odds of catching different types of fish!
🍑 You have mail! Again!
Last month, we implemented the mail system, but it didn’t do much. This month, we added 6 different categories of “trades/personalities”, each with their own keywords and responses. Since we have a reason now to send letters within the game, I popped together a quick animation for the player’s mailbox. When you have new mail, the little leaf pops up and an ! mark pops up above to let you know you have unread messages.
🍑 GDC 2019
We also went to the Game Developer’s Conference this month! It was mostly meetings, so we didn’t get a chance to let other people play our games as much, or meet up. We did dress up the town square to reflect the conference, though! Our two NPCs, Maru the lumberjack and Nobu the Farmer, have gathered at the centre to help the player out. Maru will craft items for you if you have the resources, and Maru will just give you a ton of free seeds if you ask nicely. We’ll be taking out Maru soon as a crafter, since we’re working on giving the player the ability to have a work bench and craft nice decorative items themselves.
🍑 New Tools Are Coming!
Our next milestone is crafting! We want to give the existing crafting system a UI, as well as add in more tools. First up: sprinklers. There are three sizes: small, medium, and large. Each extends the range a little more to help speed up your farming.
Visual effects is definitely not my forte…took a while for me to figure out what things did.
Maybe in the future, there will be a funfetti sprinkler. Each type of sprinkler just gets a little taller to give it more reach. One of my goals with Snacko is to make sure all the items fit into the snuggly universe, instead of making them look like their real-world counterparts. Here’s the whole family!
🍑 Alpha Builds
This month, our Discord was also verified, and we also started distributing our alpha builds through Discord instead of Itch. This works perfectly with the Patron roles, and it’s easier to give feedback as well right in the Discord!
Our plan is to have smaller updates with QoL changes and bug fixes, and a large patch every 2-4 milestones with patch notes and new features added. Next up on the list are the crafting and cooking system. Please look forward to it!
🍑 Special Thanks
Speaking of patrons, none of this would’ve been possible without the amazing support we’ve been getting through Patreon! Thank you to everyone who contributed:
|Alex P||Liyi Zhang|
|Anthony Meyler||lynette vargas|
|Blossom Kremer||Marjorie Pare|
|Collin Harris||Martin Klocker|
|John Wilson||Ying Sha|