Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Monsterpunk Development Update

Back in September, I wrote that I lost the ability to export games to Mac for stupid reasons. Thankfully, within a week of writing about the problem, Game Maker Studio became available for a ridiculously low price via Humble Bundle. I bought a new license and have regained the ability to port games to your Macs. It'll be some time before I'll be able to actually do that, again, for stupid reasons, but it is possible and it will happen!

Monsterpunk is slowly nearing completion. For the first time ever, the game is fully playable from start to finish without requiring my supervision. Because of this, I'm preparing the game for semi-public playtesting, but because of that, I've become increasingly aware of the ways in which the game isn't always user friendly. Most of my development efforts lately have been dedicating to making communication from the game to the player as clear as possible. It's the most mechanically complicated game I've ever made - making sure the player has a full understanding of what's happening to them and how everything works is a challenge!

For example, I finally added little bars to the eat and poop notifications. It's pretty important that the player knows how long they can last without shitting on the ground - I can't believe I didn't add the feature sooner!

I also want to make sure that the game's mechanics are as finalized as possible for what will be the game's last playtest, so I've added a few final features that I've been putting off for a while. Namely, angry monsters that you get in fights with now use special attacks. Now, they blow things up. Sometimes, the thing that gets blown up is you, as demonstrated below.

The object-headed dinosaur isn't actually supposed to fly forward - that's a bug - but it looks cool enough that I might turn it into a feature.

I intend to write more music for the game, but I've finally written enough songs, at least, to score the game from start to finish. I've written two songs since the last update: the first is "Birdskinner," the game's only analog track! It even has my voice in it. I needed an awful song about birds for the bird-watching minigame, so I took the lyrics and chords from "The Cuckoo Bird," and butchered them into something barely recognizable. It's post-hardcore folk sludge. Since the minigame is visually distinct from the rest of the game, I wanted to make its accompanying music track distinct as well - hence, my voice and a real instrument.

Point is, it is not necessarily easy to listen to, and it is only recommended listening for the most hardcore Monsterpunk fans.

The second track is titled "Sulfuric Indulgence." It's the game's boss encounter music and my most ambitious attempt at composition yet. It's a tad bit melodramatic, but I am otherwise pretty proud of it.

Finally, as I've previously indicated, I'll be needing playtesters soon, most likely within the next week. If you are a friend or follower on social media (@alchiggins), keep an eye out for the announcement!

Because I've been GIF happy lately, here's some more footage from the game: the first is a series of successful and failed flirting attempts by the player, and the second is a drug-induced hallucination in the pause screen.