I hope everyone is keeping okay. I said last time I’d be talking about something new this week, there’s a lot to cover so I’ll get right to it. My main goal since late last year has been to make a real effort to learn programming so that I can contribute more than design and direction to Carnal Souls. I think I’ve made some good progress. In fact, the things I’ve been able to put together in practice projects have worked well enough that I think with some more study and exercises I could make something functional. Not pretty, but functional.
My idea is this: On my own, make some small, Carnal Souls spinoff type game. Secondary in all priorities to CS itself, which comes first. By doing so I can continue to learn to program and, Gods willing, give you guys something to play. Let me say very clearly that this won’t replace CS. It’s just something I want to make that will give me a goal to work towards in my study and also serve to have some sort of game you guys can play. I’m aware it isn’t what people paid for, it’s not supposed to be, but I figure some game is better than no game. And if people do like it, maybe it’s a way we can gather more support for the full project.
So, the game itself. I’m giving it the working title ‘Homestead’. It’ll be set in the Carnal Souls world on Adorost, I think a few years before the main game takes place. It’ll be a management game, minimal graphics, sort of in the spirit of Harvest Moon or Stardew Valley hybridised with Free Cities (except not nearly as… dark, as a warning if any of you go looking for that one). The premise is that you build your homestead out far beyond the bounds of any city. Starting with your home and a garden, you’ll be able to build a tavern, expand to a brothel or a field to farm with, a dairy barn, a workshop, so on. You’ll hire staff and try to keep them happy and safe and turn a profit week by week. And, naturally, you’ll be able to hook up with everyone you want to.
It’s the game I wanted to make after CS was done. I love city builders and management games. In my practice projects I’ve managed to build a lot of what I’d need to make it work (I think), so I’ve been rewriting it and piecing together bits. In the spirit of Carnal Souls, I’d also like it to have malleable bodies and TF items and as close to the kind of highly reactive/’organic’ writing as I wanted for CS itself. I’ve also managed functioning versions of those on my own too – probably code that would make a professional weep, but working. The real test is whether I can make a functioning game rather than bundles of scripts.
The second part of what I wanted to talk about is that I’m building it in Godot. Godot is an open-source, fantastic little application that I’ve found very easy to use. It’s the Clip Studio to Unity’s Photoshop, to me (which is a good thing, I haven’t needed Photoshop for any art in years). Carnal Souls itself has been ported to Godot already and the team has greatly enjoyed a much easier time of things. Obviously this is something I wanted to be certain of before talking about it, and we’re all happy with the change. Thus, I’m working in Godot.
Here is a screenshot of what I’d call a prototype GUI/mock up from the editor. Just using the default UI style for now while I figure out what goes where. A lot of the game is still in its formative stages, but it’s an idea I’m very enthusiastic about and I like Godot a great deal. Naturally I’ve got a lot of fanciful ideas about stuff I want to implement like going on expeditions or defending your home from bandits but I’m keeping it basic to start with. Start with the minimum viable product and go from there.
It’s a project I want to work on in my spare time. It’s a way I can learn to be a better programmer so that I can contribute code to Carnal Souls and, in the process, actually give you guys a game to play. It’s not a replacement for Carnal Souls, but I will keep you guys updated on its progress here as well as Carnal Souls, such as it is.
Until next time!