February to April Devlog & Pre-Alpha
It's been a little while since we've posted stuff, so we thought it’s about time to show you some of the game design of what our game actually is along with some pre-alpha info!
Okay okay so we're kinda late with getting this devlog out but we've been told that's just how indie games go 🤷Without wasting anymore time here’s a list of some stuff we’ve been working on that we don't have any good visuals for yet, following by the game design of BSP and a first look at the pre-alpha!
- Setting up a closed playtesting pre-alpha environment with private forums for feedback
- Bait system so various items can be used as fish bait
- Text system upgrade
- Camera update for cutscenes and vistas
- Puppy Power implementation
- NPC scheduling
In an earlier update, you may have seen how we designed our dogs so that we could implement new breeds quickly. However, we hadn't done a pass on the main NPCs yet. We decided to think about characters that would resonate with people and take a pass at our core dog cast recently so we could make them visually identifiable, unique, and interesting.
Making characters takes a long time, (or at least in pixel art land it does) so we've only made a couple of characters so far but let's introduce some of them:
One part musician to one part astronaut, Pablo is an optimistic, friendly, outgoing, and carefree Beagle with a happy-go-lucky attitude. He is musically inclined, with a propensity for relaxing and playing his ukulele in Bow Wow Bay. I wonder what he uses that astronaut suit for though…
Always the life of the party, Peppers aka "TEEN POM" is an unstoppable fluffball of Pomeranian energy. A bad boy with a secret soft side, he’s responsible for Woof Woods' #1 hangout spot, the "TEEN ZONE".
A curious, soft-hearted, and motherly Golden Retriever, Chica might as well be the mom to all of these crazy pups. So much so that she somehow finds a way to run her café in Good Boy Gardens AND give quality time to everyone. So if you’re ever feeling down, go pay her a visit! There are few things a good cup of her tea won't fix.
A Husky who’s 100% gill-tea for her fish puns, Juneau (or "June" for short) helps run the Bow Wow Bay aquarium, Aquafriends. Although she’s sometimes intimidating and not the best at expressing her feelings, Juneau is a sincere pup who genuinely cares for her friends. And she used to be a strong sled dog back in the day, so if you ever run into any trouble, Juneau’s got your back.
What do I actually "do" in BSP?
Let me throw some game design lingo your way to help answer this question. According to the Bartle Taxonomy of Player Types (Bartle, 1996), there are four different kinds of players: hunters, socializers, explorers, and achievers.
- 🔪“Hunters” act on other players, usually through violent methods.
- 💯“Achievers” act on the world, accomplishing goals that the game sets for the player.
- 🗣“Socializers” interact with other players, instead choosing to talk to them.
- 🏞“Explorers” interact with the world, traveling to find whatever hidden treasures nearby.
(Which kind of player type are you? Personally, I’m a explorer with a bit of achiever.)
The way BSP differs from Animal Crossing and other town-life sims is that we’re attempting to make our game accessible to everyone by having different regions focus on different ways to play.
Aren’t you tired of just catching fish and bugs to make money in town-life sims? I know I am!
To accomplish this task, Central Bark has multiple regions, with each one featuring two different kinds of gameplay that cater to a specific player types. Here’s what they are!
🌲 WOOF WOODS 🌲 (for Explorers)
- Experience the journey of a wilderness collectathon by exploring for wild food + secrets. (Like in Banjo-Kazooie)
- Use the items you’ve foraged to bait and photograph wildlife for Pup Scout badges. (Like in Pokémon Snap)
🌼 GOOD BOY GARDENS 🌼 (for Achievers)
- Transform a barren field into a beautiful community garden of flowers and crops. (Like in Animal Crossing)
- Run a cafe through customization and by using garden crops to cook delectable recipes. (Like in Cooking Mama)
⛲️ BOW WOW BAY ⛲️ (for Hunters)
- Use bugs, bait, or your friends butt to lure and catch fish for fun, money, or competition. (Like in Animal Crossing)
- Adopt a sea creature + use fish to feed/care for it to win Aquafriends Derby races. (Like in Sonic Adventure 2's Chao Garden)
All three regions also meet together in their own “Hub” area in the center of Central Bark (designed for Socializers) where players can talk to NPCs, discover events, get new objectives, and more.
Which region do you think you'll play in the most?
🚨 Soooo...BSP’s Pre-Alpha will consist of Bow Wow Bay’s Hub Area and here's the first preview of it (and our new art style) below! 🚨
TA-DAAAA! What do you all think of the new art? We've been waiting a LONG time to show you all what the game will actually look like (probably too long haha) and we're excited to be able to finally reveal it to you all.
And finally to answer the "when can we play it!?" question, welp simply but sadly, we can't promise a date! It's really tough to figure out how long things will take, so for now, all we can say is that we're planning on sending it out to you all this summer!
We aren't exactly doing what most indie games seem to do, which is to release a full (but broken) game lacking substantial content (aka basically releasing a horizontal alpha build). Instead, we've been preparing to releasing a vertical game slice, all polished up, and add content in chunks from there.
As Bow Wow Bay is tested and we implement bug fixes and feedback we’ll also add the Good Boy Gardens Hub area to the pre-alpha soon after, and eventually the Woof Woods Hub area as well.
We're focused on getting the closed playtesting pre-alpha environment set up and will get back to reward fulfillment after there's a preview of BSP in your hands to play.
And regarding NPC tiers, we will be reaching out to you for info on your dogs so that we might be able to design them and get them into a future pre-alpha update! We'll message you on Kickstarter you when we're ready for that.
As always, make sure you're following along with all the Butt Sniffin' Pugs stuff on our Twitter and Discord Server so you never miss anything. We're looking forward to sharing more with you as we continue our journey through making Butt Sniffin' Pugs, so thanks for sticking with us and see you in the next update!
SEE YOU SPACE COWDOG...