Anytown Garage Sale Monsters is an isometric, single-player role playing & card game upcoming to Windows / IOS / Android / Linux / Mac platforms and to Switch / Xbox / PlayStation consoles.
In this one year full of heart warming journey, you play as the new kid moving to Anytown with your divorced mom, sister and dog. You must find your own way while dealing with mundane tasks, struggling with family issues, starting a new school and choosing your best friends.
Meanwhile, there is an absurd card game spread among kids in town which they invented by using the monster cards they have found on the dusty shelves of a garage sale.
Be a nerd, punk or bully... Be the most popular kid in school or spend your whole year just with your dog... Deal with real-life issues or join imaginary card quests to avoid them... In Anytown, each day is a unique adventure tailored by your decisions.
You can fully customize skin color, eye color, hair style & color and clothes when starting a new game. You can change your appearance later by shopping from barber, solarium, optician and clothing stores or by earning gifts from your Friends, Townsfolk and Family.
In this game, managing your wardrobe is important! You regularly need to change your outfit and wash the dirty ones; unless you want to hang around with the stinky punk kids who wears the same shirt everyday...
Travel through the downtown, suburbs and outskirts of Anytown and interact with dozens of characters and hundreds of objects. All navigation and interaction are done with just a single tap/click.
Game always end within a year cycle and time is your only critical resource. By each interaction, game time progress... Morning turns to midday, midday turns to evening and evening turns to night. Days turn into weeks and weeks into months. By each three month the season changes and the whole town map alters.
The kids in Anytown are crazy about the absurd card game that they invented. This turn based card game is based on 30 monsters of 10 countering elements, which are inspired by everyday objects and household items. Battles are fought with a hand of three cards to earn new monsters and level-up existing ones. The battles are pure skill-based challenges without luck factor.
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While designing a game, it is very easy to get lost in the set of features that might fit into the project and over the time game would turn into a feature creep project with lots of mechanics or dynamics that doesn't create any harmony together. So all game design ideas need to pass through a filter which only allow the ideas that follow the direction the game focused on. This filter is a set of rules which called as "Design Pillars". Imagine the game experience as a building. These pillars are the very foundation of the building. Every single detail of the building must depend upon at least one of these pillars and any detail of the building must never contradict to any of these pillars. On this metaphor, the players are the residents of the building. In a building with thousands or millions of residents, without any suspicion none of a detail remains untouched. And for this reason, any unnecessary or conflicting detail would damage the pillars which keep the building together. On the game side, it would ruin the game experience, disturb the flow, break the immersion.
The design pillars below are the foundations of Anytown - Garage Sale Monsters:
Even it will be available on PC and other platforms, unlike other story and exploration based RPG games, Anytown is a game which mostly focuses on Android and IOS platforms. Genre is 100% popular in PC and consoles and a solid fanbase is expected through Steam and other console platforms. None of these games exist on mobile platforms, because simply they didn’t thought as a mobile experience on the first place. We are very willing to take this opportunity/risk by thinking it as a mobile experience from the start.
Correlated to mobile device memory, storage and bandwidth capability limitations, game must offer more content with less graphics and sfx. Also another limitation is the screen sizes, which is commonly variant in mobile phones and tablets, so game must offer huge content in less space. To achieve these goals, game must very strictly choose its design, technical and artistic decisions.
Mobile is a medium that an interruption from the external environment is inevitable. For this reason, game have zero tolerance to immersion breaking design choices. Flow must be never disturbed internally. Even if it is disturbed by external factors, game must offer a smooth adaptation chance back, anytime, anywhere.
Game must acknowledge the legacy games of the genre in both art style and game mechanics. All artistic and design choices must have a critical responsibility to keep the retro look and feel of the game. When the good-old game mechanics meet with brand new requirements, some design problems are always inevitable. As the first option, design choices must always try to embrace the disadvantages of the traditional genre by turning them into unexpected advantages. Only if these mechanics are conflicting with a better mobile experience and if there is no creative workaround, then these mechanics must be replaced by new and innovative alternatives. Mobile standards are not defined for this genre, so it is also a perfect opportunity to be the game that defines them.
It is important to understand that Anytown is a game about player choices. Every simple choice must have complex relations and results to experiment with.
Anytown is an RPG game that built upon daily tasks of a school kid such as have a breakfast, go to school, take lessons, return home, play with dog, eat dinner, go to sleep. Even missing all of these daily tasks doesn’t have any ‘Game Over’ condition. In Anytown, there are no wrong choices: the game never punish the player for their life choices, rather it rewards the player with different and interesting narratives for choosing their unique way. Anytown offers a unique, non-repeating adventure on each day of a full game year.
Other than these daily tasks, Anytown massively include two abstract game play values: as an Nonlinear Adventure which allows to be played just as a story rich narrative game, or as a Collectible Card Game which involves tactical monster raising game.
When it comes to player choices, even it involves incomplete or non participation of the player, game must be flexible about it. These types of choices must be categorized as abstract modes with strict design rules. It is also important to carefully guide the player, how to recognize and avoid an undesired mode.
Anytown is developing by a couple with almost-zero-budget limitation. Accepting free vision/advice from anyone is very critical. Resource management is very critical when taking such a risk. Every design decision must be limited to these resource restrictions.
The list below is the all artistic, technical, business and design choices decided through the process. Correlated design pillars are referenced for all decisions made.
"Anytown - Garage Sale Monsters" is an Indie RPG which melts two distinct genres in one pot, while still abstracting them completely from each other...
We are sharing all of our design and business process live since the first day we started on Anytown Garage Sale Monsters!