I am beyond excited to announce that Village Monsters v0.90 is finally done cooking. It's the biggest and tastiest update yet.
(These notes are quite large, so I tried to focus mostly on the highlights. If you want the full scoop then I got you covered at the bottom.)
To celebrate this release, and of course the Lunar Near Year, Village Monsters is on sale 40% OFF between now and February 15th!
Before we get to the patch notes, let's get to a very exciting announcement...
Important Scheduling Update
Village Monsters v0.90 will be the final major update in Early Access. That's right: after this release is finished I'm hunkering down and working on version 1.0!
I'm still planning a Spring release, but I think most people (myself included!) would love seeing the full game as the next update instead of a hypothetical v0.95.
Now, let's get back to those patch notes!
A Living Land
The world is no longer a static place that remains unchanged throughout the year. Plants, trees, even animals and birds now change as the seasons go by.
A new type of weather called extreme weather has been added to the game. During extreme weather, stamina drains quicker and you run of risk of getting sick (or worse!), but your chance at stumbling upon something rare and valuable is much higher. Do you take the chance and risk exploring? Or do you order a cup of hot coco and spend all day inside?
The look and feel of all weather types has also been improved. Puddles form in the rain, packs of critters scatter during thunderstorms, and plants sway violently during storms. Several new weather patterns have been added to the game, especially during the stormy months of Autumn and Winter.
20+ new music tracks have been added to capture the mood of each season. Dozens of new sound effects and ambient noises to draw you into the world. New animals, bugs, and other small critters also now populate the world - as well as many other mysterious things you might stumble upon.
Your village level now has a more tangible impact. At lower levels you may see trash outside (pick it up and dump it for a boost to your reputation!), while at higher levels you'll see more flowers, decorations, visitors, and improved buildings.
A new Village Projects desk has been added to Town Hall. Here you can purchase projects that benefit the entire village, such as building a camp site for wandering monsters to stay in.
Villagers now change their schedules depending on the season and weather. Everyone stays inside during storms, while most monstrum can be found on the beach during the warm summer days. Villagers also can now pursue their own hobbies, and you may catch them fishing, reading, or woodworking.
Many new visitors have been added to the roster, including some that provide in-game services.
Several big changes have been made to how you can interact with villagers. Talking with a villager brings up a new menu where you can choose to talk, give them gifts, return lost items, and more.
Villagers can now interact with each other via banter. You're free to eavesdrop, interact with them, or keep moving. In addition to banter, villagers will now more frequently hang out with friends and family, making the world feel alive even without your intervention.
There are many new ways to improve your friendship with villagers, and it's overall easier to raise your hearts with them. More Heart-to-Heart events have also been added to the game.
Hop on the Hobby Horse
Numerous changes have been made to improve and expand all four major hobbies. There are many more critters to capture, fish to catch, treasure to discover, and plants to grow.
A new "Perks" system has replaced Skills / Abilities. As you gain experience in your various hobby skills (fishing, treasure hunting, and so on) you'll automatically unlock various perks that grant you new or improve abilities.
Dozens of community suggestions, quality of life changes, and bugfixes regarding hobbies have also been worked on. Mastering each hobby should feel more satisfying than ever.
But Wait, There's Lore!
I love finding and reading lore in the games I play - and it turns out I like writing it even more. Many new pieces of lore and backstory have been sprinkled throughout the game in the form of villager dialogue, books, interactions, item descriptions, and more.
New types of artifacts called "GrimWare" offer a unique glimpse of what the world looked like prior to your arrival.
Over 40 bugfixes! Improved graphics and lighting! Tons of new tutorialization and helpful controller icons! And lots and lots and lots more! Don't believe me? Here's the full list of changes!
Full Patch Notes
More Realistic World
- Re-added the concept of lunar phases. Each month transition from a new moon to a full moon and back to new
- Many new pieces of vegetation, plants, trees, etc. have been added throughout the world
- Trees, crops, plants, and other outdoor vegetation now change colors / types as the seasons pass
- Greatly improved the look of bonfires and torches
- Added a number of new trees in each area to better fence them in
- Improved the movement of 'flavor' critters like squirrels and chickens
- Rebalanced how fast time flows. Generally, it flows more slowly, and pauses more frequently
- Tweaked the flow of time for the first 3 days so that new players don't feel as rushed
- Made is far less likely for critters, birds, etc. to spawn on top of the player character
- Added an enormous number of new pieces of art
- Added an enormous number of new pieces of furniture and interactable objects
- Added a ginormous number of new lighting objects, like stone torches, torches, fireplaces, and so on
- Standardized many sprites in terms of how black outlines are used
- Exterior windows now display a wide variety of weather and lighting changes
- You can choose from multiple channels to watch on TV. Note that available channels change throughout the day
- Instruments now play music when interacted with
Dialogue & Villager Interactions
- Interacting with a villager now brings up a contextual menu
- You may use this menu to talk to villagers like usual, or select a number of new actions
- Dialogue choices now have icons to make each option more clear
- Players now have a "Reputation" that is increased for each good deed they do in the village, as well as naturally increasing over time
- Reputation provides a multiplicative increase to all relationship gains. This allows you to make friends much faster, especially during the mid-game after you've established yourself as a pillar in the community
- Villagers will now banter among themselves. There is a slight chance of being able to overhear it as you walk by them
- Banter can be ignored for no ill effects, and will auto-dismiss when you move far enough way, or after enough time has passed
- Villager schedules now properly change with each season and weather event
- A greater variety of choices have been added to villager schedules
- Check your current reputation in your journal
- You may now give villagers gifts via a new dialogue option
- Villagers now display a brief comment on getting a gift depending on how they like it
- You may only give a gift once per day via this method. You may send additional gifts via the mail
- Valentine has been given a new house in Avalon Acres
- Villagers now send a larger variety of responses to your letters. They may even hint at gift likes / dislikes, lore, and hidden gameplay mechanics
- Added pronouns to each villager's profile page
- Mail sent by villagers now has a sent date
- Gave Yggette a much needed makeover
- Villagers now periodically contribute to the community fund based on their friendship levels
- Snow Day: A new type of extreme weather during the winter featuring blizzard-like conditions
- Firestorm: A new type of extreme weather during the summer
- Hurricane: A new type of extreme weather during the fall
- Your luck is maxed out during extreme weather, making it much easier and likely to find rare things
- Items in the General Store are offered at a steep discount during extreme weather
- During extreme weather events, there is a high chance of getting a negative effect while outside
- These negative events cause a variety of annoyances on their own, but if you persist outside then you may find your day cut short after running out of energy
- Staying inside for a time is a good way to rid yourself of your ailment
- New (non-extreme) weather types and forecasts have been added throughout the game
- Medicine (purchased at the store) can also clear out an extreme weather ailment
- Greatly improved thunder SFX during storms
- Improved the look of rain, especially heavy rain
- Improved the look of the Autumn tileset, in terms of colors and brightness
- Improved the look and logic of puddles during rain storms
- Plants and trees now move more realistically during storms
- Litter now appears throughout town at lower levels (it's most common at D/D+ rank)
- Trash can't be sold, but it can be brought to the dump. Not only is it the right thing to do, you'll even improve your reputation with villagers!
- Buildings now change throughout the season
- You can now fund village projects from the desk at town hall
- Lucy is a wandering artist who can help you change the dialog box's theme
- Ambrosia is a siren that can change the sounds made during dialogue
- Improved the look of livestock found in Avalon Acres
- Tutorial jobs now 'expire' if not taken before the 1st week
- Traps no longer disappear when you don't have the relevant tool category selected
- Critters and fish received from traps are now properly ranked
- Critter spawns have been bumped up significantly, especially after long period
- Guide books will now add 1-3 entries upon use, and they are all guaranteed to be new entries
- Fishing may now bring up non-fishy catches from time to time
- Improved the look and feel of the trophy screen (displayed when you catch a fish or critter)
- Added a number of new critters to catch, tame, and donate to the library
- Added some helpful text to the fishing minigame
- Fish can now be consumed (raw?!) to restore stamina
- Traps now "refresh" on a per-day rate instead of per-hour
- Digging out buried treasure now produces little piles of dirt to make your progress more satisfying
- Added a large number of new possible dig sites throughout the world and rebalanced spawn chances
- Rebalanced dig site HP. In general, spots with more valuable loot take longer (and more energy) to unearth
- Plant growth now "ticks" on a per-day rate instead of a per-hour. All growth and cultivation values have been rebalanced
- You now harvest multiple plants from the same plot. The text when harvesting displays the estimated amount you'll get
- The amount of plants in your harvest depend on the quality of the plant
- You can now change the soil before planting new seeds in your garden
- Different soils offer different benefits and maluses
- "Abilities" have been renamed to "Perks"
- Ability points have been removed. Now, perks are now granted automatically as you level up each skill
- Plant Quality is a new attribute that can be increased via better soil, watering, infusing the plant, and via your gardening skill
- Added the concept of Luck which can impact hobbies, friendships, money, and other random events
- Luck is determined at the start of the day, but can be modified by other factors
- Several new Gardening Perks have been added to the game
- Added a confirmation when pruning a plant from your garden
- Greatly improved the flow of dialogue boxes when managing your garden
- The spore extractor is back online, but you must first purchase a basement for your home to use it
- Stormy weather (especially extreme weather) now suppresses (and in rare instances, reverse) plant growth. However, the good news is that stormy weather will also clear out weeds - free of charge!
- Rebalanced experience points needed for each skill level
Lore & Worldbuilding
- Renamed Agrarian Acres to Avalon Acres
- Renamed Balefire Beach (back) to Bonfire Beach
- New items called GrimWares have been added to various treasure spots throughout the world
- The day of the week "Sanctuary" has been renamed to Ludosday
- GrimWares are enchanted books that were once used for communication. These relics contain conversations that greatly expand the backstory of the monsters of their world
User Interface & Quality of Life
- Items are now grouped together more frequently, so long as they are identical with an existing item (eg., same ranking, attributes, and so on)
- Improved the look of helper icons
- Added some new SFX to various interface windows
- Re-did moon phase icons on the clock and calendar
- You no longer immediately pass out upon losing energy or reaching the end of the day. Instead, there is a small minigame where you can resist falling asleep
- However, it gets increasingly harder to stay awake, so eat an apple or go to bed as quick as you can!
- Added "Available Skill Points" to the Skill page in your journal
- The mouse cursor is now visible when moving it
- Added more information to the Feedback / Bug Report email
- Added tons of new ambient tracks to the end-of-day summary
- Added new details to the Feedback / Bug Report email
- The "invisible" effect now greatly boosts chances of eavesdropping on villager conversations
- New options for dialogue "voice" SFX (like tapping and beeps, or just silence) have been added to the game
- Fixed a rare crash in Bonfire Beach
- Fixed crashes related to fetching critters during specific times of day
- Fixed some Pishky-related issues at the General Store
- Fixed in-world dialogue so it is less intrusive
- Fixed a number of tile issues in Mock & Birdie's home
- Fixed seasonal music not playing when loading a game
- Fixed dialogue errors related to villagers talking about their current schedule status
- Fixed payment issue with the Test Subject odd job
- Fixed incorrect Hobby levels being displayed in your journal
- Fixed a number of bugs when tallying up experience at the end of the day
- Fixed a bug that caused dialogue boxes to persist when a cutscene started
- Fixed overlapping schedule issues for Mock & Birdie during rainy days
- Fixed issue where puddles and other weather effects wouldn't trigger properly
- Fixed several collision issues with furniture
- Fixed / adjusted collision against water
- Fixed a number of overlap issues caused by buildings
- Fixed Effect Icon placement in some resolutions
- Fixed a number of issues that could arise when a cutscene triggers while the player is doing something else
- Fixed issue where some weather types displayed an incorrect or no icon on the clock
- Fixed collision issue with the player bed in the first home purchase
- Fixed issue where certain items in the world would erroneously display a "Pick Up" text
- Fixed goofy movement issues with chickens, squirrels, etc.
- Fixed collision issues with some critters, like chickens, squirrels, etc.
- Fixed certain UI elements from not disappearing during cutscenes
- Fixed a number of issues with the end of day summary
- Fixed lost items from not triggering a conversation with its recipient
- Fixed the ability to 'permanently lose' a lost item by mistake (you can still dump it, though)
- Fixed Golbrick's placement blocking the seasonal cash back stuff in Pishky's
- Fixed Sprint / Walk toggles from resetting when changing direction
- Fixed a number of spots in Firetree Forest where players could get stuck while sprinting
- Fixed "Met So-and-So" from repeating over and over long after you've already met the villager
- Fixed issue where an empty garden could get overtaken by random plants
- Fixed a number of issues that caused the background music to overlap
- Fixed a number of wonky collisions in Bonfire Beach
- "" is no longer a valid name for your character
- Made it less likely for glitched trees to appear in impossible-to-reach locations