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Hokko Life

A topic by Wonderscope Games created Jan 03, 2018 Views: 460 Replies: 9
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Hi there!

My name's Robert, and after 10+ years making games at other studios, I decided to set up my own small company (Wonderscope Games) and start making colouful, heartfelt and inclusive games. My first game is called Wonderville, and although I've been putting out monthly updates over on my Patreon page, I thought it was about time I got you folks over here on itch up-to-speed!

The project has been in full-time development now for around 6 months, with one developer (me) and is fast approaching it's first mini-release: a small one-room demo demonstrating some of the functionality from the full game.

So what is Wonderville? 

Think Animal Crossing meets Lego and you're a reasonable way there!

Wonderville is a town building game in which you are put in charge of restoring a small village filled with animal inhabitants. You place buildings and furniture and decorate both interior and exterior areas. By interacting with and performing tasks for your villagers you will unlock new residents that will move to town, each with their own style and new furniture/building options. 

You are given the power to create furniture, cakes, flower decorations and more through an intuitive construction kit. By combining different pieces, paints and accessories you can create whatever objects your heart (or a villager) desires! This kit is simple to use and allows you to really be creative in how you  express yourself with your town.

When you're done working with your village for the day, you can share your creations online with others, or go visit friends' towns and see how they've decorated. Enter your creations into weekly community challenges; if you win, you'll unlock in-game rewards!

Two key goals with Wonderville are:

  • Provide interesting characters for the player to interact with, with branching dialog, repercussions and more depth than a few repeated catch-phrases.  Your interactions with the villagers will provide you with new residents, buildings, and building pieces that will vary based on your dialog choices.
  • Give the player the freedom to create their own furniture and objects in a way that isn't overwhelming or complex. Every player's town should be unique, and I want to enable the player to express themselves through what they create.

What I love with games is the escapism they bring; and games like Animal Crossing provide a comfortable, welcoming and warm world to retreat to. I want Wonderville to do the same.

So where is it at now?

I've been busying away on the project for a while, trying to get a lot of the main systems in place. 

Right now you can:

  • Control an avatar, interact with things
  • Talk to villagers and make choices in dialog
  • Place down, move, rotate and delete furniture/objects
  • Change wallpaper and flooring
  • Create your own custom furniture/objects from pieces and place these in the world
  • Upload your creations to a server, and visit others' homes
  • Have your room rated on how closely it fits a daily theme

As I mentioned near the start I'm currently working towards getting a small taster of the game out pretty soon (the goal is end of February) which will feature just one room, a changing daily style, a smaller selection of pieces and the ability to upload and visit others' rooms. The aim for this taster is to get feedback on the game as well as test out a whole bunch of systems that are in place now before powering on to the full, complete village experience.

Anyway, enough text, here are some images!

Placement of Furniture

Placing things!
Running and Dialog
Running and Dialog!

Making a simple table

Making a simple table
Choosing walls and flooring
Choosing walls and flooring

If you want to follow more closely you can find me on Twitter and as I mentioned, Patreon too!

Thanks so much for reading!

Admin

This looks great, thanks for sharing. I gave you a follow.

Thanks!

A very happy Monday to you all! So a month has gone by and it’s time for a little update on how things are going with Wonderville.

Previously I had been focused on getting the creation of objects and decoration of rooms feeling good. Over January I moved outside and started getting the rest of the gameplay in, in some state.

I added houses, trees and got the whole going from one place to another” up and running. 


Along with trees comes resource gathering! I’ve set up a component to allow gameobjects to spawn resources, and the tree was the first test of this. Trees can bear fruit, and when chopped down will provide wood for crafting. Of course to chop down a tree, you need an axe, which meant that this month equippable items also got implemented. Right now there are no animations for carrying, or interacting with an axe (it just floats about your head) so you’ll need to imagine how cool it’s going to look!


But, where do you put your axe when it’s not equipped? Well, this month also saw an inventory get implemented. So now you can pop it there, along with the apples and wood you’ve collected, when you’re not using it. You can also store furniture items and any custom objects you’ve created; ready for placing out in your home!


Now, a big focus of the game is you creating your own furniture and items, so I thought well, this has to apply to equippables too. So now the object design tool has been expanded to allow for creation of them too. This means you'll be designing your own axes, pick-axes and more too!

Quests got added in January also, and these are tied into the conversation system from before. The villagers in the game will have their own personalities and quest lines and it’s through these you’ll unlock new decorations, and pieces for use in design of furniture etc. The basic implementation of quests right now can require objects or types of objects to complete stages, and reward the player with objects when the quests are complete. They can be accessed by any villager, which means quests and dialog can stretch across a whole bunch of residents. To test this I set up a basic quest that requires you gathering wood, in order to unlock dialog with the carpenter, from which you’ll receive a blueprint for an axe, which you can then design, craft, and use to chop down more trees.


To add more customization to the items you design, you can now paint” a material on the pieces. This will be the method through which you decide if a section is metal, wood, glass etc. The materials you choose for your design will dictate the resources you will need to gather in order to craft the object. 

 

With designing, gathering and crafting separated, and incorporated into quest lines, I think it’s going to provide some nice gameplay. You’ll get a request for an item from a villager, for which you’ll need a blueprint to design it. By doing a favor for someone else you’ll receive the blueprint. Once you’re done designing the object, you’ll need to gather the necessary resources required to craft one. Then you can craft it and give it to the villager to complete the quest and get your reward.

So that’s a little run down of what got added in January. If you’re finding this stuff interesting, please follow me on Twitter, or head over to Patreon for more in-depth updates and behind the scenes bits too!

Thanks for reading!

This seems hella ambitious but I love the concept. You're doing a great job of polishing it as you go though, looking forward to seeing more :)

Thanks! Scope is definitely something I’m constantly thinking about! I feel now I’ve gotten pretty close to having the core nailed, and I’m trying to look at any new ideas with the amount of work vs how much it brings to the game in mind. It’s definitely a lot harder managing time when it’s just you and not a team, haha!

Hi there! Welcome to February’s update!

Let’s go!

There will be lots of different animal characters in Wonderscope, and in February I got a few new ones in to help demonstrate the variety and what to expect from the full game. These new characters included the Baker, Shopkeeper, Shopkeeper’s son, the Fisher and the sports and fitness loving Pig! Here they all are hanging out in the bakery.

I got a few more quests in to help demonstrate what the full game will be like when showing it to people at GDC; it also helped me test the systems I had built. New quests created include providing a birthday cake and party for the shopkeeper’s son; helping clear out the fishing areas so the fisher can start fishing again (and so you can unlock fishing gameplay!) as well as assisting with some not-so-heavy lifting for the sporty pig who’s done a few too many push-ups…

Speaking of characters, I took a little time this month and started to think properly about the characters in the game. I’m estimating around 20 - 24 characters are going to be in the first release of the game; these characters will be divided into primary and secondary characters. Primary will include characters with set professions that have gameplay attached to them. These characters will have longer story lines and quests, through which you’ll unlock parts of the game. The secondary characters will have quests and dialog centering more around their personalities, and do not have gameplay unlocks attached to them. 

Shops and crafting got worked on during the month. I have set up resources in the game, and items can require resources to be purchased, crafted, or when used as a piece when designing something like furniture. This meant that shops can now sell items to you as long as you have enough cash; and characters can craft items for you if you have the right resources. 

After playing the game over the month, and getting some playtest feedback from friends I realized that separating designing from crafting was actually somewhat hard to understand. In its old implementation (from last month, haha) the player would design an object, once they were done with that they would exit the designer, go and collect or buy the resources they needed to craft the object, and then interact with a character or table to actually create the object. This became confusing and somewhat messy. This all got changed in February. Now you use the pieces and resources you’ve collected to create an object; when you’re done, you have that object in your backpack, simple!

Right near the end of the month I gave in and added scaling to the design/making process. In the beginning I had wanted to present the player with a lot of lego-block like pieces they would combine to make their creations, and not let them scale the pieces. This got kinda messy, with there having to be a lot of different blocks to satisfy the player’s needs so I simplified the selection down and now let the player scale the piece to fit what they’re after. Now the player chooses what material they want to use, a starting piece, and then scales, rotates and moves that piece to create what they want. I also moved the designer into the world so you now get a much better idea of how big your creation will be. It also looks a lot better!

I got a first implementation of changing lighting in for time-of-day. A simple system blends the sun and ambient light colors based on what time it is, to show the passing of time. This will be expanded later to include weather and season too, but right now it’s just sunshine.

I built a simple event system that will be used for in-game events. These depend on times and quest progress to happen. For example in the shopkeeper son’s birthday quest, the party starts at 8pm. This means that if you enter their house at 8pm, and you’ve done the quest, certain characters should be there, and certain dialog should be presented. A first implementation of this got in this month, and now there’s a little party” at 8pm if you’ve completed the shopkeeper son’s quest!

Near the end of the month I decided to start iterating on the town layout. Up until now the town” had consisted of just a flat green area and a few houses. I scribbled down a map and got to work making it in 3D. I built the layout and got it in game as quick as possible to get a feel for it. I placed out enough buildings and homes for each of the villagers, and after that I noticed the whole are was a lot bigger than I had expected! It’s wonderful to actually have a town now, as this helps move the game towards something that feels like more complete, rather than a bunch of debug houses on a flat plane!

Want more? Here’s the Discord Server, Patreon and Twitter too!

Thanks for reading!

Well well, March flew by.

I'm sorry to say March's update isn't as cram-packed as some of the others. The majority of time during the month was spent preparing a build for GDC; so a lot of time was spent playtesting and making sure the game was bug-free.

GDC was a lot of fun, as always, and I think the meetings I had with publishers went well. They all seem positive and interested in the game which felt good; but I guess time will tell if any of it turns into an actual deal.

After GDC I spent a week preparing my application to the Swedish video game incubator called Stugan. This involved recording gameplay and a personal introduction, so in preparation I added some quick rough-outs of some more animations to the game. These included:

Chopping Animation (and holding the Axe (previously it would hover above your heard)


Picking up of stuff

Items also got a fancy little spawn animation:


I also added a screen shader to the game in an effort to make it look more watercolor-painterly. It's pretty faint, but it adds a paper grain over the image, as well as a sort've "bleeding out" of colour around the edges:



And that's about it! I wish I had more to share, but GDC was the primary focus this month. Next month will see some new features coming in, and some real work towards filling the game with proper, polished, content!

If you wanna follow more closely, or chip in with feedback you can join the Discord Server, I'm also on Patreon and Twitter too!

Hey! Here's April's update for you!

Note: This is a summarized version of a much longer post over on Patreon, where I go into more detail and talk about stress and stuff.

After GDC a bunch of time was spent preparing a build for publishers to assess. One part of this build that I really wanted to get in was the fishing gameplay. The gameplay borrows bits and pieces from various other games that I enjoyed and tries to make something that’s simple but still a bit challenging. Once a fish has taken the bait the player gets a small mini game to determine if you manage to catch the fish or not. In this mini game your goal is to keep the fish within a moving target that progresses from a start to a finish line. The fish will randomly swim away from the target and you need to mash the interact button and pull in a direction to pull the fish back into the target. If the fish is outside of the target area too long you lose. The fish needs to be inside the target area when it crosses the finish line to win.

Here’s a gif of mini game with debug ui:


I got player customization working this month. As I may be getting external help in the future creating outfits I decided it would be a good idea to get this whole thing working properly. I created prefabs and a set of scripts in Unity that made it quick and easy to create wearables from a texture and a mesh, as well as getting equipping/unequipping clothing items working from your backpack menu. I also set up the changing of eye, skin and hair color too; and made sure saving and loading of it all worked.


Skin, hair color customization, and new wearables working

After spending so long fixing bugs and doing code stuff I wanted to get on with some art, so for a change I set about finishing up the mesh and texture the workshop building (this is the location you go to do design and craft furniture) For a long time it had been a rough mesh following the concept I had done ages ago so this month I tweaked the mesh a bunch to make its proportions feel better, and also UV mapped and painted the texture for it. 

Concept and in-game mesh. Simplified a lot in game to ease readability from the camera angle.

I implemented villager routines during April. Villagers now have a place of work that they will go to, and remain at during their work hours. When their work shift is over they’ll leave the building and wander around until it’s time to go home. When they’re not at work, and have a day off, they will pick a random hangout location to go to and wander around. I’m sorry to say I don’t have any lovely gifs for this, so you’ll just have to trust me it works!

At the end of the month I got to hear back from the publishers who had played the build. Unfortunately, though not unexpected, they all decided not to take things further. Thankfully none of the reasons were the game itself, but more time-frames and how well it fitted in with their portfolios. I’m still mega happy such a high percentage (about 50%) of the publishers I contacted wanted to take things further; which makes me hopeful for finding one that wants to take it the whole way in the future.

Also at the end of the month I made the decision to keep the project as a one-man endeavor, instead of perusing my previous goal of hiring staff for it. This is due to health reasons coming from stress (if you want to read a bit more check the Patreon post) and makes more sense for me right now. Because of this change, the game’s going to be re-scoped a bit and refined over the coming month to make sure I can land it well on my own. Next month’s post will go into a bit more detail of what these changes are.

So that’s that, thanks for reading! If you’d like to get notified of new updates when they come join the mailing list here:
http://wonderscope.games

Oh my! It’s been quite a while since I gave you an update on how things are going with Wonderville!

I’m going to give you an update on where the game is now; if you’re interested in seeing updates in-between please go check out the devlog. This has been kept up to date throughout the year!

Well, first things first, if you’ve been reading the previous posts you’ll wonder why I keep talking about “Wonderville”; well, the game has a new name now: Hokko Life! Wonderville was the project name I was developing under.

So where are things at with the game? 

(I’ll try and keep it to just the juicy parts with pictures!)

The game has made the shift to keyboard/mouse controls, as I decided to focus primarily on PC/Mac for the first release to make life easier; this has meant a bunch of UI and interface changes. And also allows for much nicer control when designing furniture. I also makes it possible to do things like:

PAINTING DESIGNS
You can make designs for walls, floors and t-shirts in the game now! Using paints you’ve crafted you can use the painting tool to make a design and use it in the game!


'CRAFTING?!
Woah, I just used the C word… what’s that all about?! Well, the game got crafting! As a natural step in resource gathering and designing I added in crafting. You’ll now gather resources from the mine or the forest areas to craft into materials that can be used for designing and building furniture, customising buildings, and yes, painting pictures for clothing or decoration.


MINE AND FOREST?!
Two new areas got added to the game. Both the mine and the forest will act as the locations you gather resources from. These areas layouts are randomly generated using a stamp system (collections of objects are stamped into the level when it’s generated) The layouts and contents will change daily, and consist of several “depths” each containing different resources to collect.

TOWN
Not just the mine and forest got levels. Now the town itself exists and has a shop, fashion store, station and plots of land ready for you to build houses on!


VILLAGERS!
I worked with a concept artist during August to help bring some ideas and direction into the game. We decided on a new look for the villagers, and since then I’ve been working on getting a whole bunch of them into the game. Each one will have their own taste and come with requests for types of furniture they’d like you to build. If they like you enough you can ask them to move into town.


MAIN MENU

There’s a rough layout for the main menu in now, it needs a heap of polish, but just it existing makes the game feel one step closer to finished!


MAP!

Finish that chair a villager requested but can’t find them? Open the map and see where they are!


WHAM!
So much more has happened behind the scenes but this already became a bit of a bumper post! 

If you like what I’m up to, hop into the Discord Server for the latest info! Or give me a follow on Twitter!

Thanks as always for reading!