July was a big month for us at Voracious Games, as we produced and playtested a truncated build of Potionomics!
The build’s focus was on some of the game’s core gameplay mechanics, which allowed us the opportunity to scrutinize several key features in action. We fixed bugs, highlighted opportunities for improvement, and above all, had a lot of fun playing a good chunk of a game that has so far existed mostly in isolated fragments (or in our own imaginations).
While it’s not meant for public consumption, the build did lead to a lot of shareable clips and screenshots, which we’ve posted over the last several weeks. Thanks to everyone who liked and reposted!
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s new — and what’s mostly up and running.
SETTING THE SCENES
Before we could enjoy the full effect of the 3D gameplay, we had to finalize the lush 2D illustrations that serve as backdrops for the animation. Players will be able to engage in different actions at different times of day — time being one of many resources they must successfully manage — so the background artwork has to come in several iterations: morning, afternoon, and night.
These backgrounds may be 2D images, but don’t expect them to be static. Depending on various factors, the look of the shop or town might change quite a bit over the course of the game. Think of these as the starter set.
OWL SPREADS HIS WINGS
Owl was another crucial piece to have in place before we played, since he looms large in the player’s crafting sessions, lending his (very) critical eye to what’s happening in the cauldron. We showed off his figure modeling last month; it wasn’t until July that his texture work was finished.
And speaking of those crafting sessions: Potionomics wouldn’t be living up to its name without plenty of potions. In the “cauldron view,” the player chooses which recipe to follow and which ingredients to use, any of which might impact the value and effects of the final product. The player must therefore consider a large number of variables in their pursuit of potion mastery.
We’ll detail more about this process in the months ahead — there’s a lot to it, and any many ways it serves as the heart of the game.
With potions crafted, the next step is to sell them — preferably for a profit. Customers respond to the potions Sylvia has on display, bringing them to the counter if she has what they’re looking for. But whether or not they buy the thing is wholly reliant on naming the right price.
“The right price” depends on many variables, so no two negotiations are exactly the same. Sylvia’s visible reaction to each sale will indicate who ended up with the better deal.
Armed with the profits from a successful sale, the player has a lot of options for how to use that money. Replenishing one’s supply of ingredients is never a bad idea, though, and that means a trip to Quinn’s flying boutique.
Quinn’s inventory changes every day, and prices are never stable. The savvy witch will have some sense of when to buy what … but anything from an unexpected change in the weather to bandits on the road could thwart the most carefully laid plans. That’s life as a small business owner!
Buying ingredients to make potions to sell for money to buy ingredients — that’s the core gameplay around which Potionomics is built. But with a complex economic system in play and a kingdom-spanning mystery afoot, it’s never going to be quite that simple …
As always, there’s much more coming down the pipeline in the weeks ahead. Keep an eye out, and thanks so much for your support!
“Riverdale, Season 2 (CW, Oct. 11th) Last year’s buzz breakout par excellence, the program alternately known as Hot Archie Who Fucks returns for its sophomore season with an urge to get darker, twist-ier and steamier. We rejoin our redheaded uberjock and pals Jughead, Betty, Veronica, et al. in the wake of the shooting that left Archie’s dad in a coma and the series on a cliffhanger. There’s a lethal new mystery afoot, and swirling rumors have also suggested that our man’s relationship with the love triangle’s brunette will heat up. Also, one character may come out as bisexual and we’ll get another appearance from bob-wigged fan favorite Dark Betty. See you all at Pop’s for a burger, a shake, some hot-and-heavy love scenes and small-town shenanigans.
A muggle mystery is afoot in the U.K. Sometime over a span
of a week and a half in mid-April, a burglar (or several) broke into a property
in a Birmingham suburb, stealing jewelry and an 800-word, handwritten prequel
to the Harry Potter series, scrawled on a postcard by J.K. Rowling herself.
Clara/Rose AU - The Ghosts of Vlk Manor, or the Impossible Adventures of the Honourable Lady Tyler and her friend Miss Oswald. Clara and Rose were lady detectives before Rose went for a merry jaunt through space and time. Clara’s spent their time apart working as a barmaid but when she hears the sound of the machine that took her partner away she’s quick to find it. But the moment Rose opens the door she can sense something is wrong. This time it isn’t just another cheating spouse or stolen heirloom. There’s something much more sinister happening and it’s not just the snow. What are the reports of ghosts in one of the nearby manors? Are they connected? Neither woman will back down until they’ve solved the mystery. The game is afoot.
Thanks to all of you who submitted prompts! If you don’t see your prompts, send me a message. I might’ve missed some. Same if I messed up your prompt. But hopefully, every prompt is on the list and they’re sound like you wanted them to.
This new edition of the graphic novel adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s short story (and later, radio play) “Murder Mysteries,” from the collection Angels and Visitations, is an example of how much an artistic collaborator can bring to the mix.
P. Craig Russell, who’s also drawn some of Gaiman’s Sandman series, as well as illustrating some of Bill Willingham’s Fables series, turns this story into a lyrical tale very much like the medieval mystery plays from which Gaiman takes his inspiration.
Where the mystery plays formed a tableau to illustrate a religious miracle, Gaiman puts an entirely new spin on the concept of a miracle: What if evil entered the world because God willed it? In this story within a story, we have the tale of the first murder, in heaven, of one angel by another, and the vengeance served the wrongdoer.
But vengeance and justice are not the same thing, and there may be more than one murder mystery afoot here. It’s certainly the case that Russell has created a heavenly city that looks a great deal like a medieval cathedral.
Also included is a lengthy interview with Russell, illustrated with panels from the novel, which explains how decisions were made about what to include and how the collaboration with Gaiman worked.
In all, a lovely edition of a classic story, good for both collectors and Gaiman fans as well as for casual readers of speculative fiction and graphic novels.
How is the new dnd game going? Also how was the switch from pathfinder to 5e?
We just started last week. We’re members of a travelling airship that crashed and now we need to figure out what to do about the crew and also there are mysterious happenings afoot that need investigating.
Charity got peer pressured by cool teens and got drunk and raged and punched a bouncer and then felt really bad about what she did and made him a little leather pouch to apologize for her bad behaviour so she could get unbanned from the tavern. Then she helped kill a manticore and made it into a belt to impress the hunky half-elf acrobat back at the circus.