Weekly Update 7 Feb 2021: Guardian’s Guide Home Screen

Good day guys and gals, I have quite the large update for you this week. For this update I will unveil the home screen for the game Guardians Guide as well as the first in-game illustration of the daughter. This unveil will also be in the video and monthly update I will be releasing next week. Also, I will discuss everything I’ve been doing for the past week as usual. Let’s get started!

First, here’s the screenshot of the home screen.

The home screen is the default screen for the game. It has most of the information pertaining to the current state of your daughter. 

Most of everything you see in this screenshot is functional more or less, but the overall game is a work in progress so things are still subject to change. Today we will only be discussing the home screen, I will unveil more information about the different menu items at the top of the screen at a later date.

Date and Season

This game is experienced in weeks instead of days. This was a conscious decision, it’s just easier for me to manage weeks and I cut out all the loose fat of arbitrary days in a month. There will be 12 months in a year. For each month there are 4 weeks, which means there are 48 weeks in a year.  Each month is represented by a seasonal denomination. For example, “January” which would be week 1-4, is represented by “Mid Winter”. “February”, which is week 5-8, is represented by “Late Winter”. Furthermore, “March” which is week 9-12, is represented by “Early Spring”. I think you get the idea.

Name and Guardian

You will be able to create both the first and the last name of your character. You will only set your daughter’s first name and she will take your last name. I am considering giving you the option to decide if you want your daughter to call you by your first name or with the title of mom or dad. What do you think?

Mood

There are several moods your daughter will experience throughout the game. These mood changes are affected by a number of things in the game. It could be the food she eats, maybe something you say to her, maybe something that happened to her while she was out of the home, or maybe she just wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. The mood changes directly affect job conditions.

Note

This is the currency denomination in the game.

Age

 The age range in this game will be from 11 to 18.

Condition

The condition is a representation of her health. If her health gets too bad then she won’t be able to work or leave the house. Average health is around 55%, and her peak condition never goes above 99%. Once her health starts to get below around 30% is when she starts to get sick. Condition is affected by the food she eats, the work she does, the amount of exploration she does, and the budget you decide to use each week.

Stamina

Stamina is predominantly used for completing jobs and exploring the world. Once you run out of stamina the only way to replenish it is to start a new week.

Height, Weight, Bust, Waist and Hip

These stats are self-explanatory, they go up as she gets older. Depending on the food she eats some of these stats might increase or decrease slightly. I’m considering adjusting her character models if, for example, her waist increase is more than average. The change would be small and I don’t know if the player would even notice but it would be a fun detail. I could even make it really exaggerated just for comedic purposes.

Upcoming Events

This is a list of events happening throughout the city on a week-by-week basis. Most of the events are optional, but a few will be mandatory and some will be added on at a later date in the game. If you noticed in the screenshot the first event is her birthday. You can actually choose her birthday in the beginning of the game. She doesn’t remember her birthday since she spent most of her life as an orphan. It doesn’t matter what week you choose but she will most likely request something on her birthday. The good thing about this is whatever she requests or whatever you give her will have a boosted effect.

Resident Interaction

This is where you directly interact with those who are currently in your home. Here you can discuss things that might have happened recently with your daughter, you can also ask her questions, or just tell her how you really feel. People who visit your home will also show up here. You can talk to them the same way, or not. Some interactions will be optional, some will be mandatory.

End Week

This button will end the week after all the required material is completed.

 

That is the bulk of the home screen. Do not worry folks, there is a lot more information in this game than what’s on the home screen.  But there is one last thing I want to show you, here is the animation of the 11 year old daughter illustration in the screenshot.

(Please note, this is an early version of the animation, check the video from the 2nd monthly update here to the see improved animation)

Okay, enough about that, I will discuss the home screen again in the next monthly update with a video. It’s time to discuss what I’ve actually done this week besides the home screen.

As I mentioned in the previous updates, I decided to focus on improving the battle system. I’m glad to say I’ve successfully done that, and it looks a whole lot better. I won’t be showing that to you today because I’m not ready to unveil the battle system. But what I will be showing you is what I’ve done besides that. I’ve created a great number of icons that will be used in the battle system. Here are a few images of the icons I’ve created.

I won’t explain what they do but when I unveil the battle system they will make a lot more sense. 

As for next week, I will focus on putting together the video, and work directly towards a functional beginning of the game. The state the game’s in now can best be described as functional but disjointed. There is a lot of garbage and old material bloat throughout the project. I’ve added, changed and revised hundreds of different objects over the years, so I need to take some time and reorganize the whole project to make it easier to properly build the game on top.

Welp, that’s all for this week. Until the next update, stay well my friends.

Weekly Update 6 Feb 2021: Snow and Monsters

What a week it’s been, thanks to the snowstorm I lost power and water during the entire week. As a result I spent the whole week at  my brother’s home. Consequently, I wasn’t able to address the goals I set for the week.

Instead, I spent the time organizing and laying out the potential roster of enemies you will encounter in the open world. Here is an illustration of one of the enemies I imagined very early on in the game’s development.

I’ve named it Lucent Snake.

As long as there aren’t any more problems I’m going to spend this week addressing the goals from last week. Also, I’ll be revealing a screenshot of the game as well as the main character’s idle animation in the next weekly update. This is all leading up to the reveal of in game footage in the next video update. That will be released some time in the beginning of march.

This is a short update but next week I will have a lot to show off. Until then, stay well my friends.

Weekly Update 5 Feb 2021: GUI and Design

As of writing this update it is currently snowing outside. This is unusual since It rarely snows where I live. I would be excited for this occasion but I don’t like the cold. The cold makes it difficult for me to concentrate on work.

As for the updates, february will be a short month due to me spending most of my time preparing this website. To compensate I will have a big reveal at the end of this month for you guys. At least that’s the plan. 

Most of what I’ve been doing this past week is changing the base GUI of the game. I’ve kept the GUI of this game fairly simple so the focus of the player is kept on the content and data rather than flashy GUI elements. But at the same time, I felt the simplicity was clashing with the wonderful background and character art I’ve been receiving over the past few months. 

I’ve tested a few new designs but I ultimately decided I shouldn’t stray too far from my original simplistic approach. Essentially, I desired something simple, yet decorative. It had to be something that would blend well with the theme of the game. I felt I managed to achieve that. 

Yes, this is technically a reveal of the speech box for Guardian’s Guide. What do you think?

Of course, this isn’t final, this, as well as many other things in the game are subject to change before the final build. 

Once I’ve changed the old GUI out for the new, I decided to redesign the battle layout. As it is now there is no fixed focal point for the player. I feel there are too many locations on screen the player has to pay attention too. So I’m going to try to combine most of the data toward the center of the screen so the player doesn’t have to look very far as the battle commands are executed.

You will understand better once I finally show off the battle system, as of right now it is not in a presentable state. ( most of everything is placeholders, no animations, Etc.) 

Once I’m done with that, if I don’t discover any other part of the game that needs immediate attention, I want to get started with creating the introduction of the game. I have most of the content needed for the introduction completed. But this task will take quite a bit of time to complete.

Nevertheless, that’s all the info I have for you today, until the next update stay well my friends.

Weekly Update 4 Jan 2021: The Technology

In this post I will go over the engine and tools being used to make the game Guardian’s Guide. 

Guardian’s Guide is being made on Unity version 2019.4. When I first started making this game it was on Unity version 4.0. Things have changed incredibly since then. The early days of development was more a series of proof of concepts. As time went on and more features were introduced to Unity, more possibilities began to present themselves. The biggest feature being the introduction of the new GUI system. This GUI system is the number one component used in development of this game. But GUI is just one part of the game development process, the guts of a game is it’s logic that the player interacts with.

I don’t consider myself a programmer, but I enjoy dabbling in logical problem-solving. Once I discovered Unity had a series of visual scripting tools available on it’s asset store, I began to experiment. Soon enough I came across the asset named PlayMaker. To this day I consider this the greatest visual scripting tool ever created. I actively use it in the development of Guardian’s Guide, but this isn’t the main tool I use to make the game.

After discovering PlayMaker, I came across another tool named Ork. Ork was a rough but interesting RPG making tool kit. At the time, Ork didn’t support Unity’s new GUI system, so I decided to put the tool kit to the side and just monitor it’s growth. And boy did it grow.

Today the tool is now called Ork Framework. It is the most comprehensive RPG making tool you will find anywhere. If you have ever used RPG Maker, think of that, but with very little limitations and the back end power of Unity. Of course, with this amount of power requires an extensive learning curve. For the longest time I’ve been apprehensive to learning the ins-and-outs of the countless features Ork Framework provided. But faced with the real difficulties of building an RPG from scratch I decided to dive directly into mastering Ork Framework. Needless to say, I now have access to RPG making powers that I only used to dream of back in my RPG Maker days.

During this time of tool learning, another lovely tool arrived on the unity market titled AnyPortrait.

This was an animation tool that focused on animating 2D images via morphing 3D surfaces. Up until this point, the only other tool available that gave you this feature was extremely expensive, it’s commonly known today as Live2d. Ever since the first time I saw this effect in 2D games, I knew I wanted it to be a staple in my games. So when AnyPortrait appeared on the market I immediately acquired it and began to master it. You can see the results in my first weekly update here. You can expect a good portion of the game’s characters to be animated with this effect.

There are many other tools that are contributing to making this game what it is and what it will be on release. Since I’ve been so invested in learning and development I have personally contributed to the development of PlayMaker, Ork Framework, and AnyPortrait by talking directly to the developers and suggesting features or making them aware of critical bugs.

All of these tools are now at a point where I can effortlessly produce the ideal game without compromise. 

I can’t wait to show you what all I can accomplish, until then stay well my friends.

 

Weekly Update 3 Jan 2021: The Game Plan

In this post I will briefly give an overview of the type of game Guardian’s Guide will be. I will also explain why I chose to make this game.

Guardian’s Guide is a daughter raising simulator/role playing game. You take on the position of Guardian or foster parent who’s job is to guide your daughter from adolescence to adulthood. This game is mostly inspired from the original Princess Maker series, so I’ve taken a lot of cues from it when I was designing the overall gameplay. The timeline of activities is split into weeks. Each weekday for the daughter is spent at a job that is chosen by you. When the weekend arrives you can choose how to spend that time based on events or activities happening or how your daughter might feel during that time. The game focuses on a balancing act of maintaining the health and well-being of the daughter while making sure income and her growth doesn’t suffer in the process.

I’ve always liked the concept of micromanaging as a video game device. Princess Maker was one of the first PC games I’ve played that mixed micromanaging with anime. I don’t even remember how I discovered it but it’s impact has never left my psyche. I figured, since Princess Maker was a rather simple concept to implement, it would make a perfect debut game. 

Unfortunately, game making is never simple!

Even with a seemingly simple concept like Princess Maker, devising a system that accounts for all of the player’s chosen variables is quite the mental workout. There are a lot of different variables in this game, many the player will see and many the player won’t. But that’s the price that’s paid when working with micromanaging as a game concept.

Equally important, is the role-playing aspect of the game. Just like Princess Maker 2 you will be able to equip weapons, armor, and various accessories. You will explore the world of Cel and fight in battles using a turn-based style combat. I will go more in depth about the role-playing aspect of this game at a later date. Just know I’ve implemented features that give this game a distinction from similar concepts while combining the daughter raising characteristic with RPG mechanics.

I was very close to not including any RPG mechanics in this game. The difficulties of building an RPG system is overwhelming. But out of all the genres in video games RPG is my absolute favorite. I didn’t want to get into game making if I wasn’t able to make RPGs.

In the next update I will explain how and why I am able to create the game of my dreams today and not any other time before then. Until then, stay well my friends.

 

Weekly Update 2 Jan 2021: The World

In this post I’ll give you a brief overview of the world in Guardian’s Guide. This includes full images of the continent you will explore and the city you will inhabit.

This first image is the continent Cel. It comprises many different regions. Besides the city to the southeast, most of the continent is uninhabited by humans. Many ferocious and mysterious creatures roam the land the further you are from the city.

I wanted to present a unique and diverse landscape when I designed this continent. I have many exciting and fun events planned for you as you explore the vast continent. Just know everything you see on this continent was put there intentionally, it will serve a purpose at some point down the road.

The second image is the city-state of Parcel. The continent was actually named after the city. The city was mainly used as a trading port until the population grew to a point we’re a government was needed to manage the people. The government works as a theocracy. (more on this at a later time) Despite the dangers of the outside world, inside the city walls is extremely safe. But the city has become greatly overcrowded, many people have died attempting to explore the uncharted lands. This has resulted in an increase of orphans throughout the city. The government has implemented a guardian program to tackle the orphan crisis. (that’s where you come in) 

There are many districts throughout the city, there’s the government (at the center), the affluent (surrounding the government), the merchants (spread throughout the city), the commoners(the furthest from the center), and the farmers who live and work outside the city. Your daughter will explore and make connections with many people at various social levels. There are a lot of interesting events that will happen throughout the time you’re in the city. I can’t wait till the day you will be able to experience them all!!!

Weekly Update 1 Jan 2021: The Star

These first few updates will be unconventional. This is because I’ve been spending the last month building this website to make it presentable. As a result I haven’t had time to directly work on the game. So instead I will use these updates to introduce you to the game world and its characters. Without further ado I want to introduce you to the star of this game.

 She doesn’t have an official name since you will give her a name in the beginning of the game. (I’ve been considering giving her an official alias but I haven’t thought too hard about it, what do you think it should be?)

 

When I decided to make a daughter raising simulation the first thing I decided on was how the daughter was going to look. Out of the many, many, many, (many) things that have changed over the years this is the one thing that remained the same since day one.

 

The video below is an image created and animated exclusively to showcase what you can expect from this game. None of this content will be in the monthly update, or at least any time soon so enjoy!