I really enjoyed. :) I think this is the first Bitsy game I've played with music, and it fits really well. Great entry!
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Glad you didn't lose sleep over this snooze-themed game! I had fun trying to uncover all the special moves. Feels very chill as there doesn't seem to be a win/lose, just try to have fun and make silly poses. I really enjoyed this. Well done. :)
I loved the retro Fallout feel on the overworld map. Trading with more distant settlements felt like it was worth the extra time and risk. I liked the ending, but it was pretty hard and I couldn't win. To anyone else who plays this game, try to get as many upgrades as you can in 30 days!
UPDATE: Wow I really shot myself in the foot overscoping this project while knowing I'd only be able to work on it a few hours every weekend. I'm trimming down to just the concept for the first chapter at most.
I'm super excited to play this one! I'm also working on a "Post-apocalyptic water merchant" game, though it's completely different in execution to what you've shown here. I love the Fallout and Pipe Dream inspired gameplay segments. Best of luck. :)
Hello. My name's Adam, and I'm currently the sole developer for this MFGJ Entry that I'm just calling "Water Merchant" for now. These are some notes from the planning phase of development. Obviously this is all tentative and subject to change, but these were my initial ideas.
Wall of text ahead.
The idea for this game combines inspiration from the game "A Dark Room" with the optional theme of the jam: water. It places the player in a parched desert where villages survive by trading with traveling water merchants that source their goods from remote freshwater springs and oases. The interface will be mostly agraphical. Players interact by reading text descriptions, clicking buttons, navigating across tabbed views to manage various tasks, and responding to events with pre-determined options. In general, the player accumulates wealth in the form of water. They must have containers to collect from a water source, which can be crafted from other resources or traded for with water. Water stands in for cash in the setting of the game -- a true liquid asset. Upgrades can be built to improve production or other elements. The game will be divided into three chapters. Potential spoilers ahead for progression / story details.
In the opening chapter, the player is wandering the desert when they stumble upon an empty reservoir with traces of moisture. After a bit of digging with their hands, water springs up to the surface, saving the player character's life. They survive by themselves for a while, trading with some passing travelers. There will be multiple opportunities to make choices when interacting with your visitors. Whether to be generous or greedy; whether to acquiesce to force or stand your ground. At this stage, the player can also dig for clay to fashion into ceramic jars for storing water. In fact, digging the spring at the very beginning gives them a little bit of clay, teaching the player that there's more to gather than water. Clay jars take a little time to form, and then a while longer to bake in the sun before they can be used. There may be an optional kiln upgrade, available either by gathering enough clay or bartering for some materials (both, probably) that will make crafting jars much faster. Advancing to the next chapter will require a rare upgrade -- probably digging a cistern for extra reservoir capacity and to catch rainwater. They may also need to keep from dehydrating by drinking from their own supply regularly, or else get a Game Over.
The second chapter has the player truly establish themselves as a merchant. People have heard about the spring, and start showing up offering to help in exchange for water rations. The player can now recruit volunteers to work the spring, gathering building materials, handling customers, or guarding the camp. More choices will come in this chapter, and the challenge will increase. Events might come along that require the player have certain defenses prepared, or a certain amount of resources stockpiled, to succeed. Failing will probably result in setback rather than total game over. The addition of the cistern adds a layer of complexity -- unpredictable rains will refresh the cistern. Counting on rainwater can leave the player high and dry if no rain comes when they need it, but hedging too carefully and keeping a full cistern will cause rains to simply run off, wasted. There will probably be a scramble when rain comes to sell as much water as fast as possible. Players will want to keep the cistern from overflowing and maximize their gains. Instead of attending to their personal survival, the player's "health" is measured in keeping ahead by having enough water to pay their employees. Dropping into the red will send them back to the start of the chapter. To advance, they must install a pump that draws from the aquifer feeding the spring.
The third chapter makes the player's operation mobile. Things at base camp mostly handle themselves without much management required. Instead, the player must travel around the desert region to various villages to conduct their trade. They might receive "quests" in the form of contracts or requisitions from local leaders, but can otherwise travel and trade as they please. Prices are controlled by the player's reputation and the scarcity of water. The more desperate people are, the more they are willing to pay, but gouging them too hard will scar the player's reputation. Losing all reputation causes the player to be blacklisted by the region at large, labeled as "not to be dealt with," and sending them back to the start of the chapter. Occasional events will continue to offer choices to the player that will affect the regional economy and the player's rep and inventory. If regional water scarcity becomes too desperate, the game's ending will be triggered. The likelihood of events that will make water scarce increase over time, pushing the player towards the end.
The ending of the game will involve one final, difficult choice. If the player meets a certain requirement by that time, they can choose one of, for now, we'll say two endings. If they don't meet the requirement when the ending is triggered, they get a "bad" ending and are allowed to restart the chapter.
That's all for now. I want to make the next entry more about my specific plans for implementation. I'll start taking screenshots of development, compiling lists of features/encounters I want to add, that sort of thing. Until next time, happy jamming!
At first, seemed like a fairly straightforward block-puzzler. Then I got stuck on a level that seemed impossible... Then I learned I could pull cannons! Overall a fun challenge. Music was quite nice too. :)
Thanks for the comment! I'm glad you enjoyed the game. Yeah, I was really frustrated with how jammed up the text boxes got, but at the time, Bitsy didn't yet have the capability to add line breaks. Maybe I'll go back and tweak it now that it does.
Wow, thanks so much for playing my game! It was the first game I've ever made that I got to see someone else play, and that was very rewarding. Glad you're helping indie devs get exposure. Keep up the good work!