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Journeyman is a simulation/RPG about starting with nothing and crafting EVERYTHING. The project's intent is to focus on the fun, addictive, and deep crafting systems in games like recent blockbuster The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and indie masterpiece Dwarf Fortress, crafting systems that in the former case were so addictive they made you want to ignore the rest of the game, or in the latter case that were so deep they comprised the entire game. The idea is to expand this into such a massive and deep crafting system that it can serve as the centerpiece of an entire game.

Journeyman is bright, whimsical, funny, and cute, at least in places, which might be considered quite a departure for a developer of my doom and gloom pedigree. I guess I say this as much to warn my fans (as few, far between, and silent as they may be) as in hopes of giving pause to some small fraction of my many detractors.

Although this is a fantasy RPG with sidequests, it's nothing like Final Fantasy.

The most important thing to understand is that Journeyman is not an RPG with optional logging, mining, gathering, farming, fishing, hunting, woodworking, smelting, threshing, weaving, cleaning, tanning, cooking, alchemy, smithing, and enchanting minigames. It's a logging, mining, gathering, farming, fishing, hunting, woodworking, smelting, thresing, weaving, cleaning, tanning, cooking, alchemy, smithing, and enchanting game with an optional combat minigame.

98% of the maps used in this project were made by ShortStar and then donated to me for my use. Out of that 98% I'd say all of them have undergone slight changes by my hand--not all to the good, aesthetics wise, but many were functionally necessary to support the underlying mechanics and systems.

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Well it's Tuesday, so time for another progress report.

This week's progress report is even less exciting than last week's.

I added Grayscale Armor (made from chitin (from Greatleaf Beetles), leather, and trollskin) which is a light armor that's about as protective as somewhere between iron chain and steel chain, and has Magic resistant properties (note that means the specific 'Magic' damage type, not all magical damage). I added the ability to make it from the requisite components, leveled up till I could hunt those components, found them, made it, fixed a bug where I couldn't equip it.

Since then I've been testing the Northstar mine. 1F is manageable with partial Grayscale, partial Studded Leather, Flare, Cauterize, Recurve Bow and a liberal helping of potions, elixirs, and poisons. B1 is still very, very tough on the lightly armored archer. Particularly the gremlin enemies (flighty, agile mages that go down in one hit, but are hard to hit and have many powerful spells) but I think they'd be tough on any build. I did some bugfixes on B1, since I set up some of the switches wrong for the monsters and ore veins. Makes sense that I screwed up; last time I worked on this game was last year, IIRC.

After Northstar B1, it's B2 and the Greater Demon there. Then it's Ilandria City. Then Gloaming Grotto. Then Addison Plantation. That's all the content I'm planning on including in the Normalgame. The final two dungeons/mines, Wintermute Cavern and Ancient Nadir, and the final "friendly" location (Frostpointe Tower, a wizard tower that is your starting location as Epic Gordon) will be reserved for the Epic Game. The next public release of the game will probably coincide with the completion of the Normalgame content, including various new quests and the endgame gameplay, which I didn't mention in the foregoing list.

Even though all the mapping is thankfully done for me (before the project even began), populating all of the content seems like a long, insurmountable road before me. Just got to try to do it one step at a time, even though I will still almost undeniably fail. Always I think a project I've conceived is manageable, reasonable, self-contained, "aiming low". Always it turns out to be a dauntingly, unrealistically epic endeavor.

I think what I really enjoy is starting games, not necessarily finishing them. It's a shame, completing a game is a great sense of accomplishment, but the process of getting there is hard work, plain and simple.

Making fun games really ought to be fun, since it's a non-paying hobby, an avocation, but all too often it's unrelenting drudgery.

I've also hit a snag with regards to controlling the regrowth of some harvestable plants due to poor planning early on. I've asked for help here and it looks like...received it.


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I dunno if it would work or throw the game horribly off balance, but if you created a 'raw goods' store that sold basic crafting supplies (minerals, etc) at horribly inflated prices, you might be able to offset people screwing themselves over by burning through all their stock crafting the wrong stuff. With the prices high enough, it shouldn't trivialize collection.

Also, I think I'd like to try a version where the harvesting is done by ShortStar's percentage chance, and the harvesting tools don't need to be equipped to work. I don't know if it will be necessarily better, but I'm definitely interested in having the point of comparison.

I think, with the new revisions in game difficulty, accidentally leaving your axe equipped before starting a combat is going to be more of an inconvenience than a life-ending mistake, especially with the ability to re-equip mid-combat, and so forcing players to juggle their equips will probably burn more time than add challenge.
apparently this is on hiatus. i was under the impression that it was ruthlessly being worked on, and never abandoned, never. the blog posts on this thing spam my notices ruthlessly
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
@thatbennyguy: wait, what? i can't tell if you are being weirdly sarcastic or what. in case you are not (excuse my naivete) i think you should know that i haven't made a blog post in literally years.

whatever your sarcasm level, all i can do is say, somewhat lamely, that hiatus != abandoned
I kinda thought this was done as is.
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
This man's journey is at an end. Farewell, Gordon. Good luck staying out of debtor's gaol.
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