So you've helped the heroes as a Vendor, and you wonder: what's next? Soon, you'll be able to be the Heroe- I'm joking. I had to borrow that one, outcry312: too funny to pass up!
After winning the Humble Bundle Choice award in the IGMC2014 contest, I was contacted by Degica where they asked me if I was willing to go commercial with the game. As a one man "indie" (or maybe living room developer is more appropriate?), my first and foremost concern is retaining my creative freedoms and rights to my game. After emailing back and forth for a while, it turned out to be a really good offer that will benefit the further development of the game greatly. I will get help with things like testing and custom assets, as well as publishing; I will be able to publish the game to way more channels and devices than I could ever hope for alone, while I retain complete control over the game and all the rights to it.
Now before I go on, I'd like to address the fact that some of you will probably find "going commercial" to sound like "selling out". But the details are important, and it's also important to stress that making games is -- as many of you no doubt know intimately from personal experience -- very hard work. I need some help, and getting that help for free only gets you so far. The benefits of signing up with Degica for publishing and assistance are many, and by taking a load off my shoulders (meaning more time for actually developing the game) and enabling me to polish the game up to a higher standard altogether, it's a great deal.
It does however mean that a new and improved The Vendor will be a commercial game with a pricetag attached. However, I still remain 100% in charge, and the development work all falls on me as before. It remains my game entirely, and I'll make absolutely sure it's worthy of the money asked!
I want to also mention a few things I have planned to do with the game now that I'll expand on it. There will be a separate post with way more details soon, but for now I can share the following rough outlines:
Item stats should not be vague or hidden. In fact, I'd like to remove "stats" and focus on attributes instead: heavy, light, sharp, blunt, elemental, etc. The core gameplay of figuring out what works best while earning as much money as possible on selling it remains, but I want it to be more logical. But I want there to be room for experimentation; there should be an inherent risk/reward relationship where trying out things outside of the "safe zone" could potentially yield great reward.
Combat summary will be visualized when the heroes tell you how it went around the campfire. The reason isn't just that it'll be more fun to watch, but also that the hints as to what went right or wrong can be made clearer without spoon feeding it through extensive text dialogue. This was the original plan -- and there is actually some code for it already in place -- but it had to be cut due to time constraints.
A more interesting ingredient system. While it's fun to squash wall-nuts with your fists, I would like to find a better way to solve the dilemma of "if the player goes broke, how will they get back on their feet?".
Improved trading system.
A bestiary that automatically logs hints and tips you gather. This is one heavily requested feature which I'm very happy to implement.
Obviously I will also add more areas to explore, and more stuff overall, but I also have to be careful not to let the project spiral completely out of creative control now that there's not a super strict deadline. Rest assured that I've listened to every single piece of feedback I've gotten so far, and I'm taking it all into consideration when going forward.
And on that note I'd like to again thank everyone who played the game so far, and a double thank you to everyone who shared their feedback with me: it's been invaluable!
If so, have I got news for you? Yes I do! My team of very talented programmers--Lefty and Righty--have come up with a magical way to let you play The Vendor on your Mac without installing Windows. Because we understand that windowless basements are the best, we really do.
Now, with that said, our own Mac is a bit... broken, shall we say. So we only know that it should work in window mode, and that it runs perfect on our hardware. Fullscreen might work, but we haven't been able to test it due to a broken graphics card... But if you feel like giving it a try, download is below. This is the latest version (1.0.2)
Thought I'd mention my thoughts about the future of the game while people are pondering whether to get it or not, and for those that have downloaded it and have/are playing it.
This is sort of an "experiment" for me, to see if people enjoy this kind of game. I know I certainly do. If it turns out people enjoy this style of game, then I have plans to expand upon the game in the future. Obviously this will be after the IGMC is over, but there are certain things I wanted in this version that didn't make it, like:
Randomised quests - make profit till you make it to certain milestones and unlock new areas
Visualized combat summary - This was actually in the alpha, but I couldn't polish it to the level I wanted in time and get all the other things polished, so I put that on ice. I definitely want that in future development of this game.
A deeper, more advanced crafting system where you can experiment or use recipes
So yeah, those are my current thoughts. It all depends on how well the game is received and if people enjoy it, of course.
The game is labelled commercial because it's an entry for the IGMC2014: it will be free to play. And no, that doesn't mean timers, coin doublers, or other microtransaction shenanigans--this is PC gamer land, not App Store wasteland~
Hope that clears things up for those of you that saw those green dollar bills and went all "awww hell no".
Now back to breaking and subsequently fixing my game in beta testing.