Play at your own pace, meet villagers, raise a dog and simply experience the country side in Japanese Rural Life an upcoming life simulation game.
I have had the privilege to sit down with the developer of one of the most anticipated upcoming indie games. The studio that also made the beloved Food Pup Truck is now working on a village and life simulation game!
Japanese Rural Life is all about experiencing the country side in Japan and enjoying the daily life. Fishing and farming are just a few of the activities that you can enjoy in this game.
Very few details are known about the title but during the interview I learned that players can experience a different gameplay during each of the four seasons the game offers. Furthermore a Nintendo Switch and PC release might be a possibility! Check out the full interview below for some more insights on this game!
Japanese Rural Life Details Revealed
Q: Do you have a name for the game yet? So far it is being called “Japanese Rural Life” is this the codename? Or the final name for the game?
A: No.Unfortunately, the name is yet to be determined. “Japanese Rural Life” is not a development code. I really liked the phrase “Japanese Rural Life” in your article and I’m using it as a hashtag on Twitter. #JapaneseRuralLife I want to treat you to some Japanese tea.
Japanese Rural Life on Nintendo Switch and PC is an option!
Q: Will the game be available on iOS and Android? Are you considering a Nintendo Switch release?
A: Yes. First of all, I will release it on iOS and Android. If I can find a publisher who can make the most of it, I’d like to release it for the Nintendo Switch and PC as well.
Japanese Rural Life Release Date
Q: When do you plan to release the game?
A: Not decided. Thanks to your article, a lot of users got to know about this game. I’m adding a lot of elements to meet the expectations of a lot of users. I’ll announce the release date on my Twitter account when I know it.（@game_start_llc). I would be very happy if you would post about it then!
Q: What is the main purpose / plot of the game? What will players get to do in the game? Is there a story?
A: The main purpose is to let people enjoy the Japanese country life. I’ll provide a bit of a story, but that’s not really the point. It is of utmost importance that users enjoy rural life in Japan.
Q: What other games have inspired the Japanese Rural Life game?
A: This is a very difficult question. This is because if I say the name of a particular game, users will picture it and expect that game. So, please let me leave this question unanswered. Incidentally, I love “Animal Crossing”.
Farming, fishing and hints at raising dogs
Q: From the first few screenshots released it appears there is farming and fishing? Can you confirm these activities will be in the game? What other activities will players be able to enjoy?
A: Yes. Users can enjoy farming and fishing. As for the other actions, they are still secret. I’m working hard on it, it’s in production. Incidentally, I love raising dogs.
Q: Will there be any sort of multiplayer / gift sharing ?
A: No. Server management can be very costly. However, I understand that having an online element makes the game even more fun. If a lot of users enjoy my game, I might implement an online element in an update. Please play a lot of my games and support me!
Q: Is there anything you like to share with our audience and fans of the game?
A: Thanks to this site and its viewers, we’ve been able to get a lot of feedback! The world is in a very difficult situation right now. All I can do is make a fun game that will make you smile a little bit. I would be happy if you could wait a little longer. Thank you for your continued support of me and myPotatoGames!
Big thanks to the tiny Game Start LLC indie studio for taking the time to share some insights on this adorable game!
Hokko life is an adorable town-building simulation game heavily inspired by Animal Crossing and created solely by developer Robert Tatnell. We previously posted about the most recent updates and changes made to the game which you can read about here. Robert Tatnell was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to do an interview with myPotatoGames! We are truly excited to have sat down with yet another indie developer to talk about what matters most to us – adorable, fun, cute and exciting games!
We just can’t wait to dig into the game and start gardening, fishing, decorating our homes with crafted furnitures and more. Furthermore, much like Animal Crossing, you can befriend all of the fluffy villagers and have them move into your town. Who wouldn’t want to live in a town filled with cutsie animals?
Robert has recently put together a little Hokko life hub where you can check out some new screenshots and more to be added in the future (so we hope). Make sure to check back weekly, daily or (like us) hourly, in hopes to get some more news about the game. You can also follow him on Twitter to share your excitement and send some support his way!
While Robert was kind enough to share some exclusive early look at Hokko Life we know that the game is still in early development, and as excited as we are about this indie title, features, visuals, gameplay and everything else is not final and subject to change during the development cycle.
Q&A with Robert Tatnell – Creator of Hokko Life
[su_service title=”What made you decide to create a simulation game? What are some of the games you love to play or took inspiration from?” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
The decision I suppose wasn’t really a decision in itself, I kind of naturally gravitated to this type of game. Hokko Life started very much as a hobby project in my spare time while I was working at Arrowhead; one that I continued after leaving the studio. I really enjoy more creative, relaxed simulation games. Personally, I sunk who knows how many hours into Rollercoaster Tycoon and The Sims and loved being able to create the park I wanted to in RCT, often planning layouts and ideas on paper before taking them into the game.
I suppose it goes without saying that Animal Crossing has been a big inspiration for Hokko Life; the cozy, “escaping to another home” feeling one gets with that game is something I think is very special, and something only games can deliver. I often play games as a means of escaping to another world and I wanted to bring that feeling into Hokko Life too. I have a whole bunch of other inspirations, it’s a long list, but those are the stand-outs.
[su_service title=”Can you talk about the process of getting new villagers to come to the town and move in?” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
Villagers in Hokko Life start out as visitors, there may be one or two already living there when you move in, but the majority of the characters will start off coming to town on a day-trip. There’s a train station in town and at various times during the day characters will hop off the train. My intention is to have your town, and your achievements affect the animals that come by. After you’ve met a visitor a few times, helped them out with tasks they have, and become friends with them, you’ll open up the option to ask them to move to town. You’ll need to build somewhere for them to live, and once they’ve moved into their new home, it’s up to you to decorate it in a way they’d love.
[su_service title=”You had mentioned some characters will offer quests to accomplish. Will there also be an overall reaching storyline to complete or goals to progress the game?” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
I wanted to keep Hokko Life pretty open and not really define a set storyline for the game. I want to let players be free, pretty much from the beginning, to decide what they want to do with their time. There’ll be a loose story tying things together, but don’t expect an epic story-driven “main quest” or anything like that! As you play you’ll be unlocking more features and upgrades based on what you’ve been doing, and these will often be book-ended with a small quest and story.
[su_service title=”Is there a backstory to our main character? How much character customization is there for the player?” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
Similar to not locking the player to a set main story, I wanted to keep the player character pretty anonymous. Your avatar in game should be a representation of you the player, or a character you want to role play as. In this way your character is pretty much a blank slate for you to customize how you wish. Customization wise the obvious basics are available: hair style and color, skin color, clothing, shoes, hats, accessories etc. Clothing is non-gender-specific, so you’re free to wear whatever you want too. If I have time I’d really like to explore adding more options for body types.
[su_service title=”Since there will be a day-and-night cycle, weather, and seasons, will the calendar be in real-time or will the game have its own internal clock?” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
I’ve toyed quite a bit with whether the game should be in real-time or not; it’s a tricky decision I think, as both options feel quite different and give different types of play. As I’m currently targeting PC & Mac I feel a real-time clock doesn’t quite fit with those players’ play styles. I think if you’re sitting at a computer or laptop you’re often playing for a reasonable amount of time, and you want to feel like things have progressed and that you’ve achieved a lot during your time there.
In my opinion a real-time clock lends itself better to more portable platforms, where you can come back several times during a day easily, and play as little or as much as you’d like; for me, if you’re sitting down on the PC, it’s a bit more of a dedicated session. To be honest though I’ve not settled 100% on my decision; I think it’ll be something that will remain quite up in the air until early testers get their hands on it and I can see how players approach it.
[su_service title=”Will you be creating special events for holidays? Will the town continue to change?” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
I would absolutely love to do special events for holidays; they’re a lot of bespoke work, with each event needing its own unique content, which means unfortunately they might slip from first release and have to be added as an update later. We’ll see though; it might be a case that simpler events that happen more often are included initially with special events coming after; right now I can’t promise though! As for the town changing, that really centers on the player. Meaning, you’ll be the one placing buildings and other items to decorate your town how you want, so hopefully over time you’ll end up with a town that really represents you and your creativity.
[su_service title=”You can build items for not only inside the homes, but for the town on the outside. Will players or characters be able to interact with those items?” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
Yep! When you start designing your own items, you’ll choose what base you’d like to start from; whether that is a chair, a table, etc, and it’s from this base that behaviors are applied to the furniture. This then defines what types of interactions are available to the player and to the villagers too.
[su_service title=”What are some of the shops we can expect for the town? What items will be purchasable?” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
There’ll be a handful of places you can purchase items from in town. These will include a general store, selling furniture items, as well as things like backpack upgrades, and some resources you’ll need when crafting. There will also be other stores selling clothing and customization options; as well home decoration items like roofing, wallpapers, flooring etc.
[su_service title=”How can we make money in the game besides fishing and mining?” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
There’ll be a few ways of making money in the game. As well as fishing and mining, villagers will often come to you with requests for items or custom furniture, and you’ll be rewarded when you help them out. Any materials you’ve crafted will also be able to sell. Over the coming weeks I’m going to be looking into what other activities to add to the game, a lot of these would provide other means of income too.
[su_service title=”How much freedom do we get for creating and placing furniture, buildings, etc?” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
Creating furniture is really open for you to design whatever you want. It’s designed around a simple but flexible “piece” system, where you combine different shaped pieces in any configuration to make an item. These pieces vary in material, can be rotated, scaled, painted etc. It’s pretty exciting, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what players create! As for placing furniture and buildings, well, I’m trying to go with the mentality of “if there’s space, it can be placed there”. Generally, I think it should be up to the player to place things wherever they want.
[su_service title=”We had previously mentioned that there will be an online aspect to the game. Will players be able to buy items from other players?” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
I want to let players upload and share their creations with one another online; as such a big part of the game is letting players create what they want I think it would be a terrible shame if creators weren’t able to share what they’ve made with others. At this stage nothing’s really fleshed out, I have a few prototypes up and running and some pretty grand plans for what I’d love to do, but nothing concrete right now. As for players buying items from others I’m not sure how well that would play out. I think the whole community atmosphere would shift, you’d end up with an online economy of sorts; I think things get messy when money gets involved, even if it’s virtual. I’d much rather build a friendly and open platform for creators.
[su_service title=”What are the next aspects of the game that you will be working on?” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
Right now I’m in a bit of a direction phase, where I sit down and try and figure out the direction for certain parts of the game. There’s a whole bunch of design questions, as well as art direction that’s been a bit floaty up until now that I’m looking to dedicate some time to figuring out. I was recently away on vacation, and getting some distance from the project really helps you come back to it with fresh eyes. When I’m done with planning and direction stuff I’ll most likely be focused on getting some new activities in the game to give the player even more fun things to do in town.
It seems we will have a great deal of freedom to create furniture and customize our own avatar and village! The art style is also shaping up and looking real crisp with beautiful colors. The game is still in development but we’ll be sure to let our fellow Potatoes know as soon as there is a firm release date for PC and Mac as the first platforms.
Big thanks to Robert for sharing some exciting insights with myPotatoGames on Hokko Life – we can’t wait to get playing! We wish Robert all the best.
We have reached out to the developers of Little Witch in the Woods, and here is what they would share!
We just can’t get enough of Little Witch in the Woods, the most adorable sim-life RPG currently in the works by Sunny Side Up Games. Given the lovely response from the community, we decided to reach out to the developers to see how much they would be willing to share about their ultra-magical and super cute game. They agreed to share their most valuable time with us, to let us get a closer look.
We would like to mention that Little Witch in the Woods is still currently in development, and any details about the game are subject to change. We would also like to mention that, seeing as how the Sunny Side Up studio is located in South Korea, there was a bit of a language barrier between interviewer and interviewee.
Who is the team at Sunny Side Up games, and what are your favorite games?
‘Sunny Side Up’ is a game development team. We are developing game in South Korea and consist of 4 members. Since we’re a small team, each person has been doing many things. There are a lot of difficulties, but we feel happiness because we are making the game to have been dreamed. We hope game players love our game too.
Meet The Team at Sunny Side Up
Concept Artist / Pixel Artist Favorite Game: Animal Crossing
Game Designer / Programmer Favorite Game: Mobinogi Online (Whole Life) – God of War (Recently)
Pixel Artist / Game Designer Favorite Game: Marvels Spider Man (PS4)
Level Designer / Pixel Artist Favorite Game: Hyper Light Drifter
What sort of games inspired the creation of Little Witch in the Woods?
The first time we had idea “What happens if we add witch’s story to ‘Stardew valley’?” Furthermore, we wanted to give players a chance to experience the daily life of a witch. Since we thought we needed more other things to do that, we played a lot of games. Among so many games, Animal crossing inspired and helpful for making idea.
What platforms do you intend the game to be on?
We plan to release ‘Little Witch in the Woods’ on Steam. We are trying to release Nintendo Switch and PS4 if it can.
Do you have any idea as to a release date?
It is currently developing the game with a goal of releasing it in fall of 2020. For those of you waiting, it is also considering releasing the demo version earlier (it’s not yet confirmed).
What are your favorite unique additions to the game so far?
It may sound funny, but you know the parts where each user feels unique will be different.
We don’t focus on function. Sunny Side up is developing the game with a focus on the emotions and experiences that players can feel.
If someone can feel the emotion that we’re trying to convey in any part of the video game, that very part will be a unique part to the player.
Do you plan for there to be any sort of online functionality Little Witch in the Woods?
Currently, only a single play version is planned. If the game goes well and many game users want it, we’d like to add online functionality later.
Is there anything special that you would like to say to the followers of your game.
Thank you for your interest. I’m so touched by your warm support. I’ll repay you with AMAZING game. I really really hope ‘Little Witch in the Woods’ will give you happiness and moving when you guys play it. We will continue to communicate about the develop process and the special issues that we’re going to have to deal with through Twitter. I am not good at English, so it’s hard to answer your reply and comments but I’m understand most of your reply meaning and your thoughtful heart. Please understand that I often have used the wrong grammar. Thank you so much again.
Big Thanks to Sunny Side Up
We at myPotatoGames would like to extend a huge thank you to Sunny Side Up games for taking the time share more about their game with us. And also for making such an amazingly adorable game like Little Witch in the Woods. We wish them all the best with the rest of development, and cannot wait to get to try the game for ourselves.
As mentioned above, the best way to keep up with Little Witch in the Woods by Sunny Side Up is to follow them on Twitter.
For more witches and magic, check out Witchbrook the Stardew Valley of magic
We love the island life, and we love farming sims. Paradise Elsewhere is our perfect game.
Paradise Elsewhere is a currently-in-development farming sim game that captured our hearts at first glance. The game is so cute, in fact, that we felt compelled to reach out to the developer to find out all that we can about this cutest of farming sims. Keep in mind that this game is still in development, and that all details are subject to change. Paradise Elsewhere does not currently have a set release date.
myPotatoGames headquarters is located on the island of Hawaii (also known as Big Island). Any time we find a game that that shines light on the island life (like Leilani’s Island), we just about go crazy. We never thought we’d find a game like Paradise Elsewhere, that combines island living with our favorite gaming genre, farming sims. Now, the developer of this awesome indie has been kind enough to answer a few questions about the game that we are just dying to know. There are lots of goodies and spoilers to be had by following the developer on Twitter, but we needed to know more!
What is Paradise Elsewhere?
With inspiration coming from such titles as our go-to favorites like Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley, Paradise Elsewhere certainly looks to be an excellent installation in this rapidly growing genre. The developer, Chris, also mentioned being influenced by some games from his past, classics like Chrono Trigger, Zelda, Harvest Moon and Secret of Mana.
There will be mining, farming, active weather and even a couple helpful cat-people ready to sell you goodies they’ve found in their travels. In Paradise Elsewhere, you will play as the survivor of boat wreck caused by terrible storm. The game starts out with you being washed ashore a mysterious island, and beginning the struggle for survival. You will get to create and customize your character to your liking, including but not limited to two body types, custom hair style/color and more.
Chris informed us that the game begins in a current day real world, but quickly turns into land of magic and wonder. The ultimate goal will be entirely up to the player. Will you concentrate solely on making a wondrous and self sustaining farm of epic glory, or will you take the time and put in the maximum effort to discover everything that lies in the shadows of this mystical island. One feature that we were especially attracted to was the inclusion/look of the tropical plants that are part of the agricultural options.
When asked what was his favorite unique aspect of the game, Chris responded ” I really want to create an immersive environment, with a feeling of being drawn into a different world filled with living critters and deep overgrown forests and magic too. Hopefully a lot of little secrets to discover”. Paradise Elsewhere is already shaping up to be an excellent addition to our favorites list here at myPotatoGames. Chris also mentioned that the game will be released initially on PC, but that he would like to bring it to console in the future.
Keep up with Chris and his awesome game!
If you would like to find out more, as well as stay on top of things regarding Paradise Elsewhere, you can follow the game on Discord. If you are truly enamored and wish to be a real part of helping this game become everything it can be, you can support the game on Patreon!
The creators of Garden Paws gave us the scoop on their upcoming new game, Potion Paws.
We here at myPotatoGames have been huge fans of Garden Paws, as you can probably tell from our Steam review here, and many post updates here. We’ve poured hours into this simulation game, so when the developers of Bitten Toast Games announced during their Twitch live-stream a few days ago that they’ve been working on another game, we were very intrigued. Dan and Kristina showed us a surprisingly spooky yet adorable game they’ve been working on alongside Garden Paws and we couldn’t be happier.
Their new game is going to be a lot simpler and shorter with a Kickstarter coming in early September and a release date on Steam before Halloween this year. Don’t worry though, they’ll still be working on the Nintendo Switch release for Garden Paws for this December! We wanted to share with the rest of you all the details of the new potion-making, dungeon-crawling, and magical game via an interview with some of the greatest game developers we know!
We’d like to thank Dan and Kristina for taking the time to answer all of our questions and we wish them all the best for their Kickstarter campaign!
Q&A with Dan and Kristina of Bitten Toast Games
What inspired you to make this particular game with a spooky theme?
Kristina: It’s something I wanted to do for a long time. I like the idea of creepy monsters dropping creepy stuff like eyeballs or tentacles. Halloween is around the corner and I love Halloween. We plan on releasing this game before then. We also wanted to push ourselves to play with particles and more special effects. We’re always trying to push ourselves to be better.
Have you decided on a title for your new game? I know you were thinking Potion Paws?
Kristina: Potions Paws is the title, I love the alliteration. Also, Spooky Paws was taken.
Do you have a date in mind for your Kickstarter campaign?
Kristina: We are aiming to start the Kickstarter September 5th, where we’ll also be releasing a free demo.
Is Potion Paws related to Garden Paws? Do they share the same universe?
Kristina: It does share the same universe as Garden Paws. Based on the art style, you can tell they share the same ‘verse. You might see a familiar character from Florens too as caravan merchant.
Dan: Some items will cross over from both games.
Kristina: We’re introducing new features to Potion Paws like expanding the world around you by purchasing land, carrying heavy items that can’t fit in your inventory and combat via potions.
You mentioned we will see a familiar character from Garden Paws, will there be new villagers to meet in Potion Paws?
Kristina: No new characters, no. The idea behind this game is that you are a hermit away from civilization, slowly purchasing more land. Being solo lets the player immerse themselves in their work.
What kind of potions will we be able to craft?
Kristina: For potions we have some basics ones but also some really silly creative ones.
Dan: Some potions make you smaller/bigger, some turn you into animals, some confuse. We’re currently taking ideas from the Twitch community because we like including people. We started a spreadsheet with all of the ideas.
Kristina: We are going to hide some puzzles into the game for new potions. Potions are going to be very useful against monsters as well. You are an apothecary but you’ll be doing some fighting.
So there will be fighting in this game?
Kristina: You can battle if you like but you can play the whole game without fighting at all, you can just sneak around them. But using potions to attack monsters will get you some extra loot. If you see items in the dungeon that you want, you have to physically carry the items out and not get spotted.
What kind of items can we get from Potion Paws for Garden Paws?
Kristina: If you buy Potion Paws, you will get the crossover items for Garden Paws. There’s a furniture set, a cauldron, a skull, a skull carpet, things that are generally not seen in Garden Paws. There are also stacks of books with bookcases, and a pretty decent pile of stuff like that. We will be adding one pet as a crossover item as well, a cute spooky ghost cat that you can ride. It will be a variation of something we will have in Potion Paws, just as a bonus for supporting our Kickstarter. We wanted to make this game separate from Garden Paws because there are probably a lot of aspects people will not like in terms of spooky stuff like cobwebs. We didn’t want to force scary stuff on people if they didn’t want that.
In your stream there will be very adorable sheep in Potion Paws, will there be any other animals?
Kristina: There will be sheep in the game. We just made a penguin that will be in Garden Paws and Potion Paws along with its snow habitat. So in Potion Paws there will be cows, sheep, and penguins.
What can we expect in these new parts of land that we can unlock?
Kristina: Specific zones might have pumpkin patches, fireflies and even ponds that you can harvest items from like fish skeletons and frog legs. There’s another area with a spooky tree where you have to harvest from a crow’s nest. But there are also secret areas that you can only access with a shrink or jump potion. It gives you a drive to keep unlocking zones.
What are the main focus points of Potion Paws? So far we have dungeons, crafting, potion-making.
Kristina: There will also be a cooking station where you create recipes as well. You can unlock more recipes and more of the land around you for more ingredients.
How long will the game actually be? Will there be a story or an end goal?
Kristina: It’s a bit smaller of a game than Garden Paws but we think it will still be a lot of fun. The end goal would be to unlock all of the upgrades. For example: a desert station and transformation potions. As for gameplay, we’re going to be putting our demo on Discord for free before the Kickstarter and based on how long it will take everyone, we’ll be able to know roughly how long the game lasts. It will probably give a solid few hours. We’re hoping to add enough items so that you can make a spooky house in Garden Paws and unlock new content for that game.
What kind of character do we get to play and will there be any customization?
Kristina: Not much customization because it is very time-consuming to develop but we did create a slight variation of the fox from Garden Paws that has a smaller face and bigger ears. So it will look a little more like a cat. A cross between a fox and a cat. We added the fox tail to it too which is bushy. There won’t be any skin customization or clothing as we need to go back to Garden Paws because we plan to release it on the Switch in December. There’s a chance you can play this on the Switch too. It would be a good place for it, it’s a great console.
It seems you love to play your own game. What kind of other games do you both enjoy and playing?
Dan: I play a lot of Night of the Full Moon and Dungeon Defenders. It’s tower defense game I put a lot of hours into. I love dungeon games and rogue-like games
Kristina: I play Animal Crossing and other chill farming games but also play shooters. I love the multiplayer aspect of games. Portal Knights is another good one, My Time at Portia is super fun. It’s funny because we are very different gamers Dan and I. I enjoy grinding and farming, and he likes dungeon games. Our goal was to make a game we can play together so we incorporated both things in Garden Paws.
What sort of projects do you have in mind going forward? Once you’ve released Garden Paws on the Nintendo Switch that is.
Kristina: We’re always going to be making games. I have ideas for more continuations of Garden Paws that we’ll be announcing in December.
Dan: We’re also going to be using the Steam Workshop in Garden Paws so people can make their own quests for people. I’m really excited about the Workshop.
What other things to you still have left to add in Garden Paws?
Kristina: We’ll be wrapping up the story in Garden Paws, basically signaling to the players that they are done the main story. Frank will be able to build you a Tardis-like house (bigger on the inside), we need to add fruit trees and berry bushes, as well as winter games and decorations. We need to add more levels to the dungeon where our goal is to have 100 procedural levels. You’ll see in the dungeon now that there are nine doors used to access those areas. We’re working on another island to add but we’re going to change that up from what you saw on our Twitch Stream. It’s going to be one of the treasure islands that you can explore. We’re adding more creatures too, like a dragon on that island.
Save the Date!
Make sure to mark September 5th, 2019 on your calendar for the Kickstarter of Potion Paws, giveaways, and to celebrate with the developers and friends via an online community event! We’ll have more screenshots and information for you going forward! You can also follow and help support Potions Paws and Garden Paws by going to the Bitten Toast Games official website or their social media pages such as: Facebook, Discord, and Twitter.
Platypus Adventures is an action-adventure, story-driven single-player game currently in early development by solo developer David Richards. We here at myPotatoGames spoke with the creator himself during an interview about some of his future plans and things he is currently working on. David Richards was inspired by the Australian beauty that surrounds him and wanted his artwork to feature that subject matter to which he is deeply passionate. All characters in the game will be anthropomorphic animals based in Australia. The platypus is an extremely iconic animal in his hometown, and since they happen to be his favorite, wanted to raise awareness on these beautiful creatures.
We’d like to thank David Richards for answering our questions and providing us with beautiful screenshots. We’d also like to reiterate that this game is in early development therefore everything mentioned below is subject to change.
You mentioned the animals will be anthropomorphic. Do they speak?
David: The sound they make is a single localisation and not an entire spoken sentence. You’ll see the translation of sorts via speech bubbles above their heads. I’ve effectively recorded a bunch of vocal cues from voice actors to date.
Is there a story? Does this platypus have a long journey ahead?
David: The game has some sci-fi themes and some darker themes which I haven’t touched on yet. It’s a relatively short game that could last about 2.5 hours.
What kind of gameplay mechanics or actions players can perform?
David: There’s swinging, climbing, swimming, sliding and a whole lot more! There’s this whole action side that includes combat, that I haven’t really shown off yet. For the most part, the gameplay consists of environmental hazards which are all completely unique to each area. Exploration is key here as there will be no mini-map or anything like that. Meaning, you have to guide yourself around the world using real visual cues in-game.
Are there any secrets for the players to discover?
David: Yes there are huge secrets! Some are even very hard to find. So hard actually, that I don’t expect people to ever find them. Others are more obvious, and are supposed to be seen. For example: I’ve signed my name in the game, and I’ve got a little shout-out to the love of my life in there too, etched on a rock.
Are planning to release Platypus Adventures on PC?
David: PC for sure. I’m looking into some pretty big prospects, which could allow me to do a console release too however this would probably add at least another year of development time.
Playful Fox Games Inc is an indie development studio based in Canada. Their main focus is about building a strong narrative experience that creates an emotional connection. In Animal Bar, you play as the bartender and serve all of the drinks to a wide range of adorable anthropomorphic animals each with their own unique personalities. Get to know your customers by interacting with them and solving their problems. Below are the biographies of four characters in development with a plan to add a total of twenty in the final product. Please note that this game is very early in development and is still a work-in-progress. Therefore, a lot of the things mentioned in this article are subject to change.
About Animal Bar
Animal Bar is about understanding and learning about your customers and their personal stories as you try to build and run a successful Coffee/Tea/Soda bar. Create an identity for yourself and your bar, specialize or generalize as you choose whether to cater to your customers or create the experience and aesthetic that you want.
Each customer has their history, their own story, and will deal with some type of dilemma. As you build up a friendship, you can help guide the customers through their stories, and help them make key decisions in their lives. Based on your decisions of décor, the times of day that you show up to run your bar, your interactions with your customers and more, you can guide the experience that you, the player, will have with the game.
Simon grew up with a lot of siblings. A middle child, he was largely ignored by the rest of his family and struggles with self-worth issues, constantly seeking approval. In high school his grades were on the higher end but did not stand-out. He hasn’t figured out what major to take in college, only that accounting seems to be something his parents might approve of. Simon is very timid, but also very anxious.
Star is a pop-star phenomenon. Bringing back the retro look and sound of the 80s-90s, she was built for the spotlight and performed on stage from a young age. She was the star of her elementary and high school plays and talent shows. In her senior year, a talent agent picked her up and she’s been a star ever since. She goes by her stage name to all but a select few.
Zoe is a yoga instructor. She’s been on top of all the exercise trends for women including Zumba, step class, and even had a series of workout VHS tapes in the early 90s. She can only ever be seen in active wear, giving the impression that she’s just coming from or going to another class. She runs her own yoga studio which includes a shop selling salt lamps, candles and diffusers.
Stephen once worked as a roadie for some metal bands touring around the country. He has since settled down and started a music shop to spread the tunes to the next generation. Some say he used to be a drummer in a well-known band, but he left because the band went too mainstream. Stephen looks intimidating, but he’s a nice chill guy when you get to know him.
We’d like to thank Ryan from Playful Fox Games for providing myPotatoGames with this information and these exclusive character screenshots! If you love the idea of serving customers and getting to know them, check out our article here: Coffee Talk – Make Coffee & Conversation. This game is about being a barista to fantastical characters. Stay tuned with myPotatoGames as we keep you apprised on these relaxing wholesome games.
Critter Cove is an open-world RPG set in a world of fantastical islands, crazy critters, and high sea adventures. You’re a captain of your own ship and you get to recruit unique crew members that will help you along your journey of foraging for goods, salvaging shipwrecks, and finding buried treasure! Customize your character, several ports, your ship, and the homes of many townspeople you will get to meet and befriend. You can get caught up with all of the main features of Critter Cove with our previous article here.
Below is an interview with the creators of Gentleman Rat, a three person indie game studio. Eli is the designer, writer and wearer of many hats, Jason is Eli’s brother and programmer of the game, and Christine is Eli’s girlfriend and artist of Critter Cove. It’s really great to see a family working together on a videogame and they were all very pleasant to speak with!
Continue reading for some exclusive screenshots and a deeper dive (get it) into all of the things we can do as a great seafarer. We here at myPotatoGames can’t wait to help these ports thrive, chat up the locals, and find rare items!
We’d like to thank Jason, Christine, and Eli for taking the time to answer all of our questions in astonishing detail and we wish them all the best on this endeavor!
Q&A with Gentleman Rat – Creators of Critter Cove
About Critter Cove: Your character is a ship captain who has been hired by the citizens of Critter Cove to help put their town on the map. You see the potential in this quirky little town to become a tropical paradise, but it’s up to you! You must convince new shops and critters to move in through fixing up the existing town, but also by sailing the world to explore other exotic islands, find trade routes, collecting lost relics, and meet new and interesting critters who might be interested in doing business with, or moving to, Critter Cove; all while looking absolutely smashing in your fancy new captain’s coat.
[su_service title=”What was your inspiration in creating this game and your interest in pirates?” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
The team: We started a few years back making mobile games but we’re not completely happy with the market or the types of games that were doing well on that platform. We’re all by nature more console or PC players so it seemed a natural fit to switch platforms. The life sim genre was always a genre that we had a lot of fondness and passion towards and we always knew that it was something we wanted to take a swing at. So when we switched platforms we felt it was also the right time to try our hand at something a little bigger.
Our original title was a game that was far more similar to Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon called Seeds of Magic. Over time, we noticed that it was naturally leaning towards something more akin to Animal Crossing and we felt it was missing a sense of exploration and discovery. Therefore, we decided to shift to 3D and the game morphed into its final form of Critter Cove.
The desire to add more exploration and discovery into the game led us to the island and sea-faring theme which we felt was just a natural fit. Honestly, Critter Cove isn’t really a true “pirate” game. We don’t have any plans on raiding other ships or towns. The theme is really more about capturing the sense of adventure, exploration, and discovery that comes along with the high seas and sailing between points unknown.
[su_service title=”What are features are you going to be working on?” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
The team: Our two big long term tasks are the development of a good trailer and demo. Something that we can start to show off to really give people a good sense of what Critter Cove is all about. For the demo, we are trying to put together a vertical slice of the game so people can get a good feel for it. Hopefully those two things will get people as excited…or at least close to as excited…about Critter Cove as we are.
[su_service title=”I would love to know more about some of the characters we will meet on the islands and examples of some of the things we can do for them.” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
The team: There will be a wide variety of characters basically split into 2 different categories: Vendors and Citizens. Vendors run the various shops, like the general store or the shipwright, which you will be able to build in your town. These characters have jobs they have to do and often times will make requests of the player to help them grow their business. Requests can range from simple; make a cargo run, to more complex; building a shop upgrade.
Citizens are the different characters who move into the town to live and be part of your crew. Every citizen has its own personality, likes, and dislikes. They also have wants and needs and will often recruit the player to help them fulfill those needs. Some are immediate, like if a citizen gets left a treasure map in their late uncle’s will. Some are more long term; a character is trying to decorate their house entirely purple. Citizens can also be taken on as part of your crew when you leave the island. Vendors usually cannot, since they are busy with their businesses.
Our relationship system is a bit more complex than in many games of this genre. We decided to avoid the linear like/dislike system, where certain actions increased the relationship’s overall score while others decreased the score. Instead we wanted NPCs to “remember” how the player treated them in a more nuanced manner and react appropriately. NPC relationships are represented by a radar chart with the points being the NPCs’ reactions (friendly, mean, helpful, silly, etc). The deeper into the chart the relationship is, the more likely they are to react in that manner.
Meaning, if a player is consistently mean to an NPC, they are more likely to be wary of the player, less likely to ask for help, and have a higher chance of leaving. If the player is helpful to an NPC, they will look to the player for even more help. If the NPCs’ reaction leans towards silly, they might play pranks on the player. These reactions combined with the different personalities of the NPCs lead to some interesting behaviors. In this manner, depending on how the player treats different NPCs, 2 different players can have very different experiences with the same character.
[su_service title=”Wow so there really is a lot of player choice in terms of interacting with NPCs! I like how they can also all be very helpful. Do you have a set number of vendors, citizens, and crew members in mind? ” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
Eli: We don’t have a set number. Our intention is to keep building shops and new NPCs for as long as we are able. Even after launch we would like to constantly add new things for the players to build and NPCs for them to meet. Yes, NPCs both vendors and crew/citizens will be very helpful and in fact be necessary to progress. Vendors own shops and those shops are how the player can get new items crafted, recipes discovered, etc. This allows the player to explore the world further and as those shops are created, the town increases in desirability which causes new citizens/crew members to move in.
[su_service title=”I love how much life you have already given some characters. I think the neurotic and nervous Lamps is my spirit animal. Do any of you have favorite characters so far? ” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
Jason: I am an engineer at heart so I love Copperbottom. Plus I have a fascination with The Wizard of Oz and he reminds me of Tik-Tok.
Eli: I would probably go with Pokee myself. She has a fairly sassy sort of personality and she can give the player a bit of gruff at times which is something I really like. One thing that we are trying to do with all of our characters is to give them unique personalities that hopefully people will be able to connect with.
Christine: Pokee is my favorite she’s based on my sassy but sadly now late bearded dragon Nacho.
[su_service title=”Yes I think all of the characters with their distinct personalities are very interesting! Is Copperbottom a robot? ” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
Jason: Yep. He is the engineer in town and helps with the construction of buildings. You also work with him to craft various mechanical devices. We really are focused on building strong relationships in the game between you, the player, and the Critters. Another way we are doing that is crafting which involves other NPCs. Think of them as extended crafting stations that you have to keep happy and healthy.
Relationships also opens up fun little side-tasks for the player, for instance, Copperbottom will occasionally breakdown and you have to help fix him, or go find him some oil. This might require you to go exploring, develop new tech, etc. All Critters have wants, needs, desires, that you will, over time, learn about through interaction and gameplay.
Eli: We wanted to break out a little bit from the standard pure animal or human type characters and leave ourselves open to create whatever whim we might have. For example, we also plan on doing some fantasy style critters (griffins, dragons, etc) or alien type critters.
[su_service title=”I really love the fantasy/magical elements you guys are bringing into the game with the characters. Do you plan on carrying that over to other parts of the game such as designs or certain quests? ” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
Eli: Fantasy style creatures will have fantasy style wants and needs. We are also planning on doing differing island environments, some of which could be consider alien or fantasy. An example of that is an island covered with giant mushrooms that is in the works. Different and unique islands are an important part of the exploration aspects of the game we really want to come through.
Jason: I personally would like to see a underwater city inhabited by various sea going creatures. We’ll see if I get outvoted.
Christine: We’ll see if I have time to make that!
[su_service title=”It’s really great that you get to befriend absolutely everyone. What are some of the benefits to being best buds? ” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
Jason: Potential benefits would be them joining your crew for an adventure, unlocking new items to craft, and quests. Other things would be allowing you into their home, requesting decorative items, allowing you to help them decorate their houses and outfits.
[su_service title=”Speaking of underwater, you recently showed that the player can swim to the depths of the seas but will need gear the deeper they go. Are there limits to how long we can be there or can we explore at our leisure? ” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
Eli: There will be a limit as far as time goes. So the player will only be able to hold their breath for a certain period of time before having to find a new source of air. If they have a re-breather, they can stay under even longer. With the diving suit they can go deeper and stay under even longer. But while it is not an indefinite period of time, it will be long enough so no one feels rushed. However, there will be a slight bit of pressure to get the job done before air runs out. We want Critter Cove to have a relaxed play style but with a few ‘gamey’ elements mixed in.
Jason: We want to instill that desire to go deeper and stay longer, which in turn gives you goals and challenges you need to overcome. It all ties back into relationships. Perhaps now you have to find some Critter who knows about diving, befriend them, and then they can help you design and build a diving bell, teach you how to hold your breath longer, or give you a snorkel.
[su_service title=”That makes a lot of sense. So we’ll be going underwater and digging in the sand as well to find treasure? What kind of treasure can we find? Are there other areas of the islands we’ll get to explore? ” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
Eli: There is going to be wide variety of different island biomes that will help drive the exploration aspects of the game. We really want players to have a desire to hop on their ship and sail in a direction to see what they might find out there. Not only will they find new islands but also treasure and resources that are not available on their home port. Some of those islands will have mines and caves which lead the player underground.
On the port island, players will be able to build the Royal Museum of Natural Science and Stuff, who will enlist the player in helping them build out their collection with all sorts of flora, fauna, fossils, and, of course, relics. These will be found in a wide variety of ways. For example, everything from digging them up, solving puzzles, having your critter pals gift them to you, etc.
What we are really looking forward to doing is treasure maps and sunken treasure. Treasure maps come in a couple of forms, either the “X” marks the spot where the player has to figure out the location of the treasure based on a simple “X” on a map, or a riddle where the player will need to follow the clues in order to find the location of the treasure. Sunken treasure will be especially fun because it will involve swimming down to explore wreckage and sometimes to depths that require a bell suit to go all the way to the sea floor.
[su_service title=”What can more crew members in particular help with and how do we keep them happy? ” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
The team: When you take on a crew member, they each have different skills that help in the operations of a ship. Some make the ship travel faster, others help with any loading and unloading of cargo, some help get better prices from trade outposts, etc. Some NPCs can even be taught to drive the ship so the player can do something else while traveling.
Crew are also very useful when on shore of different islands. They can be issued orders to help collect resources or carry heavy cargo boxes back to the ship. But be careful, overworking crew members will make them mad at you.
[su_service title=”We’re really looking forward to seeing what kind of shops the vendors will run. What can we expect in terms of other items we can buy or equip? ” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
Eli: At the beginning of the game the town is very humble with only a few shops and production facilities available. This means that the player starts off with only a few choices of items available for purchase. These being wearables to customize your appearance or give to the NPCs to customize theirs. There will also be tools that help in resource gathering or unlocking new areas. There will be a wide variety of furniture sets to help decorate living spaces and there will also be decoration items to spruce up the town as it grows. As more shops are built, more of these items and in a wider variety will open up.
Jason: Shops and facilities will include General Store, Lumberyard, Mechanic, Shipyard, Quarry, Farm(s), to name a few. Also Tavern(s), Carpenter, Restaurants.
Items and equipment are varied as well which include lots of decorative items like clothing and furniture. Equipment is like shovels, picks, metal detectors, diving bell, engines for your ship, wallpaper, I could go on and on. One thing to note, our items are highly customizable many of them letting you change their color(s) and patterns.
[su_service title=”What parts of the ship can we decorate or customize? ” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
The team: There are the active parts: engines, rudders, cargo space, etc that can be upgraded. This will allow the ship to function better. There is also all the cosmetic upgrades. Rails, sides, window, wheel, etc. This is to make your ship look the way you want it to. These are all ship-related items that increase the performance and custom appearance of your ship. Once the shipwright has been built, new ship types can be built.
There is also the captain’s quarters, where the player lives. This space can be fully decorated and furnished to the player’s liking. And if you run out of room, it can be expanded to add more rooms.
[su_service title=”What kind of furnishings can we expect? Are they themed? ” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
The team: There are going to be a number of furnishings available. They will come in sets that include 1 bed, chair, sofa, end table, wardrobe, dresser, and table. There will also be a number of one-offs that include light fixtures, lamps, pictures, and other knickknacks. We are going to allow interiors to be customizable as well in the forms of different wallpapers, flooring, ceilings, and doors. This way the player will be able to create their own unique space.
Critters will also decorate their own spaces according to what they like and will often rope the player into helping them find different things they are looking for. It is possible that they will become dissatisfied with how their decorating is going or if the player is considered to be good at it, they will ask the player for help in decorating their home. They will give the player some guidelines as to what they are looking for and then the player will have so many days to try to accomplish that using the items the NPC has available or by finding new ones for them.
[su_service title=”There’s so much to do and it all sounds so fun! It sounds like we’ll have control of the ship and you mentioned we can build new types? What will these different kinds of ships do? ” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
Eli: Yes. You will be able to drive the ship manually. We want driving the ship to fun fast paced experience so the ship is fairly responsive. You will be able to upgrade the parts of the ship which changes how the ship behaves. Upgrading the engine for example makes it go faster, while upgrading the keel increases acceleration.The different ship types come with different base functions. For example, each ship only has a limited number of berths and cargo space. Getting a new ship will change those values. That way by upgrading the ship, the player will be able to take more crew along when they leave port. Increased cargo storage allows the ship to hold more cargo.Also the ship types will look vastly different so players might like one look over the other.
NPCs also will occasionally ask the player to take them somewhere like a cruise-line. This requires the ship to have space to take on passengers. Ships that are good at hauling passengers are not necessarily the best at hauling cargo or diving from. Different types of ships will be optimal for different jobs.
Jason: We would also like to be able to modify the cargo hold to allow for upgrades so that you can transport different type of goods. So a refrigeration unit to transport perishable goods, perhaps a lead lined container for radioactive material or toxic waste.
That world will contain points of interests, like waterfalls, ruins, sea turtle habitat, places that are interesting that Critters will want to go to and see.
[su_service title=”The ship really can do many things! I’m looking forward to snapping pictures of those locations. Tell me, can we interact with the sea turtles?! ” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
Christine: Maybe to pet or even be able to feed the turtles, that would be cool! We will have the Museum, so you’ll need to photograph or capture animals and plants to place there.
[su_service title=”That’s awesome! Collecting things for displaying purposes is always great! Well I for one am very excited to try out your upcoming demo. Is there anything else you’d like to add before we conclude this interview? ” icon=”icon: star” icon_color=”#8300ff” size=”32″ class=””][/su_service]
Eli: One thing that we do want to mention is that we are currently working an extremely robust character customization system which we are extremely excited about. The system gives players the freedom to make and create almost any character they wish, including not having to be human at all. If you want to be a cat, dog, lizard, or whatever and we have it in the game you’ll be able to create it. We are even going to allow for mixing and matching so dog head with horns or cat tail…sure, why not? We really want players to be able to be whatever they want to be in the world and will do our best to give them as many options as we are able.
Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us. This is actually our very first interview. So this is pretty cool.