Over the past few months, but mostly since the start of January, I’ve been building a project on my own. A game inspired by the likes of Moonlighter and Recettear. Both games that I think are good, but they have one major problem.
I don’t think that I pick up a game like this one to dive into dungeons and hunt for items. Personally speaking, I want to be the shop owner. And while I can certainly see why the designers of these games wanted to inject some excitement into their projects. I had to wonder why they didn’t try to make what should have been the central pillar of their game design. Why not simply try to make running the storefront entertaining instead?
There are games that have taken this idea and run with it as well. The first game that comes to mind is one that I haven’t played. VA-11 HALL-A, by sukeban games. A crossover bartending/dating sim game. So I made that my goal. So far, it’s been extremely difficult.
In school, (Did you know that they have schools for game design now?) they taught me about how important the elevator pitch for your game is. So what is the pitch for this project?
Haggle-Master is a game about running a store at the nexus of many cultures, where every interaction with a customer is treated like a turn based combat encounter.
Much of the time that I’ve spent working on this project has been in learning to program out of necessity. I’ve always been a pretty decent programmer I think. But there’s something extra hard about making A* pathfinding cooperate with Unity.
So far I’ve also had to program the entire inventory system and ability system myself. Thanks to Unity’s scriptable objects. Looking at the work that I have left to do now, I think that I’m mostly through the harder things to implement. Until I get to some of the other features that I have in mind.
(This post is a WiP, I’ll be returning here later to add more detail on the things I’ve worked on the last month.)