When I’d first interacted with Josh Bossie the man had quit his day job, was using up hard-earned savings on a childishly drawn village life-sim and putting out playable demos for free every full moon or something.
A year or so later not much has changed, except maybe Village Monsters is pending release this October with $17,000 USD in acquired crowd funds. Bossie also managed to evolve into a father somewhere in between.
Any attempts to sum up Village Monsters’ growth since that now outdated Kickstarter trailer are sure to fall short. Allow me to lend you some perspective anyhow; as is suggested, you play one unassuming gamer booting up an ancient video game only to find that its characters have retired and opted for white picket fenced lives.
Better yet they’re inviting you to join them as a guest at the local inn. Very soon you’re compelled to get a place of your own and while that might initially seem like a dump, you probably won’t pay heed as you gradually attempt to build a life better than your real one by setting yourselves routines, picking up hobbies and making friends.
On being fully funded Bossie admitted to the art being Village Monsters’ solely divisive aspect, the usability being poor in that it wasn’t very instructive, and that many of his pitched/promised activities needed fleshing out. More importantly, a core game loop to hold everything together and keep you from wandering endlessly in circles, was lacking.
Today he’ll tell you that upon release you should expect four loops that move you to make friends/enemies with the cast of villagers, complete a journal of collectable items, assist in the repairs and troubles of the locals, while furnishing your own pad.
As it stands out the visuals appear cleaner, retaining its intended Game Boy flavor, while you may customize your character’s make-up/gender at the outset meaning I won’t have to contend with the disconcerting hairstyle of that previously stock character anymore.
The world has received several design passes and so has its dialogue; last clocked at 18,000 words in February, Bossie can now been seen drawing pie-charts and bar graphs to keep track of the 100+ unique interactions he intends for each villager.
Not to mention unique personalities and a relationship system tied to each, characters moods that will fluctuate with the times of day/seasons and even their individual perceptions of you. The game’s not only more communicative of these things in the form of hints, moreover, but so are the various activities you take up. Dig fishinstincts for instance.
I asked Bossie if there was to be a climax to all of this. Sure, besides the player-driven end goals of completing collections of critters/archaeological artifacts, excelling in gardening/fishing, acquiring a reasonable amount of décor for your homestead and maxing out relationships, to name a few, each villager will have a personal quest or side story to complete apart from a central world quest.