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Less than one month after the release of our first mobile game, HydroPyro we started conceptualizing and building the base for our next digital game. This Devblog series, describes the journey of building and publishing our first big project which we call “Idle Village Traders Tycoon”!

The journey begins!

Our journey dates back in the beginning of 2020. Filled with excitement from our recent game releases during December 2019 we started planning for our next project. As a result of our endless creativity, we always stand at a list of 5-10 rough game ideas, ready to be explored. The first decision we had to make was concerning the genre of the game. We knew that we wanted to start building something bigger than just a simple hypercasual mechanism but at the same time, we didn’t want to expand further than the mobile gaming space. So, after some research, brainstorming and discussions, we decided to try the waters in the Idle game genre.

The Universe

The genre is quite common, and the game loop was already familiar to us. And even thought our brainstorming sessions produced tones of ideas on how to make our game unique from the rest of the idle games out there, we decided to keep it simple in the beginning and focus on the basics. So, we started creating the back-story of our new project, what we like to call “The Universe”.

Our village is a trader’s path, similar to the what the Silk Road was in real life. We actually got heavily inspired by that era and that became very apparent in our first concept art drafts.

Idle Village First Drafts

The gameplay

You might have guessed it already, but if not, your goal in the game is to sell goods at the visitors of the village. Sell a few, reinvest your earning to upgrade your goods, open up new shops with higher value goods and conquer the village economy as you grow! While discovering the type of shops and products that we want to feature in the game, we started looking into two main categories. Edible goods and Equipment goods.

Here you can see some images from our first edible product ideas!

Idle Village Salami
Idle Village Banana
Idle Village Oysters

Establishing a better idea of the art

As the weeks went by and we started creating more and more art for the game, we also started experimenting with coloring techniques. Shadows, tones and color choices in general can significantly affect the look and feel of the game. From time to time, we ask from our Facebook community to share their opinions with us. An example is the following image, where we can see the same item, a lotus flower, being painted in four different colors. I won’t tell you what the community said because I don’t want to bias you! However, we would love your opinion in the comments of this post. Which one would you choose?

Idle Village Lotus

When you’re creating a game, there are many things you have to take into consideration. Especially when creating art, there is a chance that your ideas may be offensive or graphical for some people. The “Camel Meat” item is the first case that had as consider if our art is offensive or graphical or both.

Idle Village Camel Meat

So, we asked our community again to give us feedback as to how disturbing they consider a camel’s head as a “Butcher’s Shop” product. We have actually not completely decided upon this yet, so there is still room for your opinion to influence us! Let us know what you think.

Experimenting with the UI

We reached March of 2020 and we closed to finalizing our first 3 months of planning and exploring possibilities on the Idle Village project. As we started having a better idea of the art, look and feel and flow of the game, it was time to start experimenting with UI elements! In the image below, you can see some of the elements which we drafted as our first rough ideas. I’m quite sure that you can understand the usage of most of them, but keep in mind that these are not finals!

Idle Village First UI Drafts

Onward

The first three months working on Idle Village were almost entirely focused on producing game concepts, basic game mechanics and lots of experimental art. We were lucky that we found an art style which we liked very early on! We didn’t have that much luck with the game design aspect of things though… At the time of posting this, we’re in a good state concerning the game design, but we will expand more on this in the next devlog!

We really hope that you enjoyed the first part of our Idle Village journey. If you want to be part of the development process and influence our game with your feedback, make sure to follow us on our social media and join our discord server!

See you in the next post!