Devlog: July 2019

The sun has been shining down, the weekends have been lovely and a whole bunch of stuff got done on Hokko Life. Let’s dig in!

New Growables

After getting farming up and running last month, I added a few more vegetables available to players to grow, these include the cabbage, and the radish.

Cabbages!
Radishes

Continued UI Updates

After starting to update the UI last month I continued updating the rest of the game bit-by-bit using the interface elements I’d made to bring it all together. I updated the UI for the furniture design tool, and the texture painting tool. I’m still not 100% happy with where they’re at yet, so I’ll be spending more time in the coming months to get them feeling perfect.

I made the design tool a lot cleaner, and moved the menus to different areas to make the object you’re designing the main focus of the screen. Tool buttons and menus are moved off to the side now.

The painting tool was given a similar type of update, moving brushes and paints to hideable menus, enabling you to focus on the item you’re painting. I added small panels near the painting area that show your most recent paints and brushes, meaning you can switch back and forth easily without having to go into the menus.

Sprite pickups

One thing I’ve noticed from players of Hokko Life is the frustration they feel when picking up items. Chopping down trees or breaking up rocks yields several resources to collect. Pickup was set as a separate key and this meant that for each piece to be collected the player needed to press a key, this got tedious very quickly. I decided to implement “auto-pickup” this month, so players automatically collect anything they walk over, if they have backpack space. This instantly made the game feel less tedious and more fun.

While I was working on this I also updated what I call “item spawners” (things like rocks, trees, anything that gives you resources) to no longer use physics when adding resources to the world. Physics can be very tricky and uncontrollable in games, and I was finding that resources would behave strangely when spawned, pinging off in weird ways, ending up in locations the player cannot get to etc. Instead resources now play a nice little bounce animation and move to a location where the player can pick them up.

Online basics

I dug up and updated my old code for uploading & downloading creations and got it all up and running again; this also involved implementing the mailbox into the game. The mailbox will be where any player creations you download will be delivered; it will also be used for progression and quest messages from villagers; and as a handy way for me to message players about any updates or news!

Wondering what the plan is for sharing and downloading player creations is? Well, I got the basics in this month, so let me tell you about my idea! The plan is to have a department store in the town center, and this will be your way of accessing other players’ creations. Enter the player code whose store you’d like to visit, and the elevator will take you there. A player’s store will be a small area where each player can display the furniture items they’d like to share with the community. When visiting another player’s store, you can go up to any item you like, and choose to send it to your mailbox. When you get back home, that item will be sitting in your mailbox ready for you to place anywhere, or if you like, deconstruct it and use it as a base for a new creation of your own.

My plan is to evolve the department store over time, allowing for things like “store of the week”, player favorites and other fun things.

Greetings

Villagers now say hi to other characters, including the player, the first time they see them. These greetings change based on the time of day and the weather too. This little touch made the world feel a lot more alive.

Other bits and bobs

  • I made a pair of headphones, and sneakers for the player to wear.
  • You can now set a home as your own, and when you load the game you will start in your home instead of in the middle of town.
  • You can evict residents from homes (including yourself)
  • Rain now waters plants!
  • Farming tools now snap to a more sensible grid, making things a lot less messy and easier to use.

Want to support development?

Hokko Life is a one-man project, funded through savings and contributions from fans. If you’ve enjoyed this post, please consider becoming a Patreon to help support development. Thankyou 💕

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