Dev Blog – February

As I said in last month’s report. I started february working in the game’s Mail System. What I hadn’t realized back then is how much potential this system has for jokes. I don’t want to spoil any of them, but do expect to receive more than just tasks and notices through it. The mail is also the only way to communicate with the main character’s mom, who has her own plotline.

After finishing the mail system, I added dogs to the game. There is a total of 24 different dog sprites, between regular, corgis and pomeranians. You’ll get one of them randomly in a cutscene triggered in the first game week. So far the dog only roams around your farm doing nothing, but you’ll be able to bring him with you anywhere you go with the companion system. There will also be a Dog Festival where they will be useful.

 

A few days later I finally received the new sprite for the Orange Town girls, except for one that is still missing (Nathalia). I also received a few new songs, so I used the sprites and one of the new tracks to make the following video. The Title Screen animations are random. There are several different patterns that are played with random villagers and/or animals.

The next thing I did was the player’s television. I thought about having multiple channels like some Harvest Moon games used to, but at the end decided to keep only the weather channel there. Input won’t be blocked while the TV is on, so I decided to automatically turn the TV on after sleeping. That way you’ll automatically see the weather forecast everyday without having to do anything.

Next thing on my list is the magic ribbon. An item that the witch give to you when you first meet her. When used as a tool, the ribbon will let you use different kinds of magic. So far I implemented a basic teleport and the ability to sleep anywhere, resting very little but making the time go by faster. You can actually see the villagers and animals walking faster. Even the rain will fall faster when you use magic to sleep. You can wake up whenever you want by pressing any button.

This “sleep anywhere” feature was inspired by an old PSX game, called Brave Fencer Musashi. The same game also gave me inspiration for one of Orange Season’s musics.

After this, I added a new animal to the game: Roosters. You can have one rooster per chicken coop and it will cause chickens to randomly lay fertilized eggs. Fertilized eggs are worth more money when you sell them, but if you leave it in the nest, the egg may hatch into a new chick after a few days. Your first change to buy a rooster will be at the first year’s Chicken Festival.

In the Chicken Festival, the villagers will gather in the town center and organize a chicken race. If you win this race, your farm’s eggs will be worth more than before.

Creating the Festival System took me much longer than I had anticipated. I had to disable the Quick Save button inside the festival and it made testing so much more time consuming. When I finally finished it, I got burned off for a few days and couldn’t work on anything else.

I took a few days off and decided to replay Fantasy Life to recover. When I first played it, I hadn’t realized how clever that game is. There is so much to do on it, but so little that you need to do. Did you know that game can be beaten without you killing any single monster? Before Undertale and it’s pacifist route, Fantasy Life already had something similar, but without any effect on the story.

Anyway, that game gave me so many cool new ideas, but they wouldn’t work on Orange Season, so I’m saving them for another project in the future.

When I finally started working again, I reorganized the inventory screen. I included a lot of useful information on it and made sure that it will be shown properly in any resolution (the game supports several resolutions between 640×480 and 1920×1080).

With that out of the way, I finally created the ability to gift villagers. I limited it to one gift per week, but you can give an extra gift to them on special dates like their birthdays and some holidays.

And finally, at the very last day of the month, I had the basic of the fishing system working. Fishing is something that I always got bored of pretty quickly, so I tried to do something to avoid that. My solution was to make it very quick and straight forward. Just wait until a fish shadow touches your bait and then reel it in with a single button press. I also made sure to have a lot of fish everywhere so you never have to wait too long.

I still don’t have the fishing rod animation, so I’m using the axe as a placeholder. Take a look:

And I’ll just include one more video to show another one of the game’s music.

6 Comments on Dev Blog – February

  1. Wow! This is great! One thing to note is the balancing of fishing. I too dislike fishing and enjoy that you have made it fast but with the speed of fishing the way it is it might throw off the balance making fishing a necessity for fast money. Just some thought. I got sick of having to fish in the beginning of Stardew Valley.

  2. Have to say, it has been a pleasure reading through your development blog and watching the game progress. Just spent the better part of an hour reading through and watching your videos. Keep up the fantastic work!

    I’m a developer, currently working on a game in the same genre (life-sim RPG) called Rite of Life. You can check out our game here – https://www.facebook.com/RiteofLifeGame/

    We’re launching an alpha demo on March 20th. I would love for you to give it a go! Our game isn’t centered around farming but it does feature it. Hopefully we can keep in touch and support it other. Your game is coming along brilliantly. 🙂

    Jonathan
    Creative Director
    Rebourne Studios

    • Hey Jonathan, thanks for reaching out! I had already seen your game before, but good to see it’s alpha demo being released. I’ll give it a try and help share the news.

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