top of page
  • Writer's pictureSlaveyko Slaveykov

MoonWard going Forward (March 2024)

MoonWard Recruitment

Welcome to the "MoonWard going Forward" (MGF) blog! I'm Mr. Slate and I'm here to share some long overdue updates on the state of MoonWard as of early March 2024! I promise, I mean to release this every month, but life keeps getting in the way.


Before I begin, please make sure to check out the MoonWard demo on the Google Play Store and our social media and Discord server. Every little bit helps to get the word out!


 

In my last blog, I predicted the next patch will be out late January 2024. Well, erm... that aged poorly. To be fair, the schedule would have worked out if I didn't get offered another contract in early January. Which I took. Said contract won't end until May so unfortunately progress on MoonWard is currently glacial if any.


Bandit Camp in the Snowy Forest

If you'll indulge, I'd like to explain why I feel so tempted to take these contracts. As I've said before, money has been tight since August 2023. My partner has been on maternity (which I fully support) and hasn't been earning her usual salary which coupled with extra costs for the baby, me nearly running out of savings in December, and the increased cost of living, has made things very difficult for us. To top it all, the industry has been in shambles since late last spring. With all the terrible layoffs, the job market for Unity developers has expanded to an unsustainable level. There are too many of us competing for the same positions out there and unfortunately that means there's always someone willing to take a pay cut lower than your offer. Finding well paid work has been an absolute struggle and so I can't afford to turn down work offering a good salary. I've funded this project with my personal savings so far but I did some napkin math in early January and realised that's not going to be possible going forward (pun maybe intended).


So here we are, mid March, and I've been trying to find any time to work on the business side of the company for a couple months. I've gone to several workshops to round out my skills, I've gotten the company a permanent accountant (grown up stuff here), and most importantly, I've started reworking the company Business Plan in order to take out a business loan! I've been speaking with someone more experienced than me, and we believe I've got a good chance for a sufficiently sized loan. If I'm successful, this will allow me to use what I earn from my current contract purely for family, while at the same time afford to work on on the game full time for about 5 to 6 months. Which is more than enough to finally wrap up and publish MoonWard! As you can imagine I'm quite excited for that possibility!


Ok, let's calm down a bit. One last thing before continuing to the next section, patches are not going to come out any time soon. Neither will frequent social media updates. I hope you understand, I simply don't have the time at the moment. So please be patient. If all goes well, I will start posting and patching in a few months.


 

Now, for the feature section! I'm including the same list as last MGF below. I have been adding tasks based on feedback and research to my Trello, but most of them are not critical so I don't feel confident adding them to the public list.


Speaking of my feedback process. So far I've personally added people's suggestions to my task scheduler. This has worked fine but it's limited to people I've personally spoken to. Not to mention that what I write is not necessarily the correct interpretation of their suggestion. I don't think this is a very user friendly or efficient way of collecting feedback. I genuinely want to hear everyone's thoughts. This is why, when I re-start work on MoonWard, I'll set up a public Trello board where anyone can add their suggestions! My job will be to moderate and transfer suggestions to the main Trello board weekly.


MoonWard Banner

Enough rambling though, here's the current approved feature list:

  • Interactive Battle Tutorials. The video tutorials were, by players accounts, helpful but speaking with my designer friend it quickly became obvious MoonWard needs something a bit more involved. I don't think I quite realised how difficult to grasp the combat system is. The mix of 1vs1 fighting game with souls-like moves and completely abstracted 1 dimensional visuals is as far as I know completely unique. I can vouch for its simplicity and usability and I don't think that's the issue. I believe the difficulty comes from my inability to teach the player how to use the systems. I've been failing that job so far but my plan is to fix this as soon as possible. How this will look is most likely a (skippable) tutorial fight where individual moves are taught in a scripted sequence by Rowan, your resident trainer. I won't go into more details because frankly I haven't designed the whole thing yet but it will cover the major offensive and defensive moves.

  • Improved Battle Visuals. I want battles to feel more kinetic. Screen shake and particles are my current ideas but I'll be looking further into this.

  • Numbers. The designer pointed this out. Certain things like Defence are unintuitively large, while others like Renown are largely unexplained. There are others too. Ultimately I need to look at how I display and explain numerical values.

  • Improved Character Creation. MW is a single player RPG, unbalanced starting characters is essentially a staple of the genre. That being said there are discrepancies between the effectiveness of backgrounds and races. I want every choice at creation to feel beneficial in some way. Or at least appropriate in terms of role-play. Additionally, I want to include individual lore descriptions for backgrounds/classes/races in the creation screen. This was something suggested by QA all the way in May and I honestly forgot about it. I think it will improve first impressions by reinforcing role-play and adding context to mechanical choices.

  • Transcribed Dialogue. In short I want to give the player access to a transcribed version of the dialogue in completed adventures/stories.

  • Associates. This menu will show a list of all known named characters, with a short bio, their disposition and links to all transcribed dialogue they were part of.

  • Disposition. Same as last time. Named, non-bounty characters will remember your previous interactions and will like/dislike you based on your conversations. This can result in bonus rewards when finishing main/side stories, hidden conversation options, new practise partners, hidden stories etc..

  • Underground. I didn't have the time for this content. This would be a new universal biome, however I will try to use them sparsely because the game is already suffering from requiring too much writing. It would house dwellings like ruins, caverns, mines and yes... sewers.

  • Notes. An in game wiki with collectable entries. The basics will be unlocked by default but there will be books awarded by completing adventures. At the very least, notes will give helpful combat tips against specific enemies or simply expand the lore. Reading these books will award a small amount of experience, unlock a note with some images and be sellable like any other valuable.

  • New enemies. Without going into too many details, I think there are holes in the enemy roster.


 

Lastly, I'd like to elaborate on a couple of things regarding the demo and pricing.

  • Price. The demo will always be free. The full version will always be a one time purchase. There will never be any in-app purchases. There will never be any adverts.

  • Content. The level cap for demo content is 15. The player can however level up their ward to 100 if they wish to. The demo will always have the complete first county, identical to the full version, and including all mechanics and systems. The demo will also contain a limited version of the second county. This will include all available second county mechanics and systems but not all story content. Bounties are unlocked for both counties, and limited to level 15. Essentially my goal is that, within the above constraints, the demo and full versions will be identical.

  • Support/Patching. The demo will continue to receive patches at the same time as the full version. This will include new or changed content in county one and two, as well as any upgraded/new systems and mechanics available in those hubs.

  • State. Currently, apart from the level limit, the demo build is virtually identical to the full build. What you see in the Demo is everything that is finished. That doesn't mean that in the future there wont be changes to existing content, for example I'd like to elaborate on some story points in county one by adding more lore relevant stories and as a result there will be both new stories and stories moved between hubs.


 

That's it for now, thank you for getting to the end of this longer-than-usual ramble! I appreciate everyone's patience, and thank you for your continued support. As always, you're all awesome!

Related Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page