Corral Countdown 37: Harvesting and Growing Your Farm

You may recall in Boot Hill Heroes, that Kid and his mom were having financial issues maintaining the Howl Family Farm. In fact, this was the catalyst that initially caused Kid to go find a job in Swellsville and soon get wrapped up in an unexpected adventure.

Well, now that there’s some money coming in, Kid can use it to invest in the farm to grow more crops – like onions, potatoes, corn and wheat – or livestock – like pigs, cows, goats and chickens. Harvesting these things yields ingredient items that we’ll talk more about later.

He also gains Farming Experience and can eventually level up to gain a rank in farming. Kid starts out a lowly “Greenhorn” rank but can ascend to become a “Sod Buster” or even a “Weed Reaper”. There are 10 Farm Ranks to obtain in all. The more farm ranks you obtain, the more upgrades you can buy for your farm. And the more upgrades you can buy for your farm, the more you can harvest and get more Farming Experience to gain another Farm Rank.

Not all Farm Upgrades are unlocked through Farm Ranks, you can also hire farm hands like Josie Trotter and Leon Barker as seen in the video. But first you have to find them during your journey and offer them a job. Who else will end up working at the farm?

Tomorrow, it’s once again DevBlog Friday and I’ll demonstrate a technique I used to help improve my sprite art.

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Corral Countdown 38: Rusty Challenges

Teaching players how to play your game is not always easy. After all, games are supposed to be fun! And when you have an especially complex game that requires a lot of explanation, it can be even more difficult to educate the player.

Boot Hill Bounties 2017 10 08 23 33 02 38 Corral Countdown 38: Rusty Challenges

Rusty Challenges are game tutorials cloaked as side quests given to you by your dog, Rusty. Rusty already follows the player around and saves your game, but now he constantly gives you tiny challenges through the game. If you complete a challenge, you Rusty rewards you with an item he’s dug up while on your quest.

Boot Hill Bounties 2017 10 08 23 35 21 63 Corral Countdown 38: Rusty Challenges

And the quality and usefulness of these items varies wildly! You never know if Rusty will give you gold or garbage. He is, afterall, just a dog and cannot very well appraise the value of things he finds!

Boot Hill Bounties 2017 10 08 23 34 52 24 Corral Countdown 38: Rusty Challenges

Rusty’s challenges are usually simple things, like sell an item at a shop or use the inquire button to learn what Vantages an enemy is capable of. Rusty will explain how to do these things and then reward the player for doing them.

Here are some other Challenges you can expect:

Pause the Battle Clock

Change the Text Speed

See What a Bonus Does

Set a Deluxe Vantage

Have a Second Player Join

Change Keyboard Controls

Switch Party Leader

Toggle the Town Map

Use the Inquire Button on an Enemy

Change the Battle Speed

Boot Hill Bounties 2017 10 08 23 35 51 74 Corral Countdown 38: Rusty Challenges

As you can see, Rusty is not the most epic of quest-givers. But, again, he is just a dog.

Tomorrow, we’re going to talk about the Howl family farm.

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Corral Countdown 39: A New Hat for Rosy

Rosy joined late in the game in Boot Hill Heroes so she didn’t get a lot of hats. This time around things are very different so let’s talk about one of those hats. There are SPOILERS abound, so click to reveal…

Hat Spoilers! Click to Reveal!

Boot Hill Bounties 2017 10 09 00 51 46 37 Corral Countdown 39: A New Hat for Rosy

A pith helmet is a cloth helmet made of plant tissue often worn by travelers and explorers. Just looking at it and you immediately think “African Safari.” So it’s easy to guess what kind of Vantages come along with this hat.

  • Tame
  • – Gives animals the “Tame” stance, causing them to temporarily fight alongside you until it wears off or they are attacked.

  • Zig Zag
  • – A blocking stance that uses a rope weapon to absorb damage.

  • Feed
  • – Feeds a random food item to an animal enemy. It won’t take action while eating and is easier to Tame!

  • Tranquilize
  • – Rope attack that may put animal enemies to sleep

As you can see the Pith Helmet is about subduing and controlling animal enemies you encounter. Not very useful against human opponents. In those cases, there are a few summon Vantages that come with the Pith Helmet that I won’t spoil here!

Tomorrow we’re going to talk about a kind of side quest or achievement that is also a tutorial system.

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Corral Countdown 40: Battle Bonuses

Suddenly we are on the third week of the Corral Countdown, one-fifth of our way to the release of Boot Hill Bounties. Now that we’re really starting to get into it I can finally talk about some major things I’ve had to keep quiet.

But first I want to talk about a nice but simple feature – Battle Bonuses. These are titles you get at the end of every battle that say something about how each character performed. They’re basically like the after battle bonuses from Super Smash Bros Melee.

Boot Hill Bounties 2017 10 08 23 31 16 18 Corral Countdown 40: Battle Bonuses

They are usually complementary:

Status Master – Caused 5 different status ailments in battle

Perfect Dodging – Evaded every attack

Savior – Revived other characters four or more times

Wall Breaker – Defeated an opponent while they were blocking

But can be embarrassing:

Whipping Boy – You were the only party member who was attacked.

Punching Bag – Took twice as much damage as the next biggest punching bag

Status Sufferer – Got more than 5 different status ailments

Wimpy KO – Defeated an opponent with a weak attack

Unfortunate Folly – Was knocked unconscious trying to dodge but stumbled

Or just plain kind of interesting:

Pacifist – Never used an attack

No Sweat – Dodged an attack that cost 10 Power

Burn Out – Defeated an enemy using fire

Coffee Needed – Started the battle unconscious or asleep

Power Scrooge – Allowed the character to charge to 10 Power

Long Ranger – Only used long-ranged attacks

There are currently 34 bonuses to collect. They are mostly for fun but they do serve a few small purposes:

They teach players about combat
Gives something for players in co-op something to compete over. Who can earn the most battle bonuses? There’s even a battle bonus for earning twice as much bonuses as the next player! A multiple bonus bonus!
There is a Steam achievement for collecting all 34 battle bonuses among your players.
And finally, there’s the Bonus High Striker game…

Hop on a train over to the circus where you can play Ivan’s Bonus High Striker game. Just pick up the mallet and hit the lever. If the puck strikes the bell, you win a prize!

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But your strength comes from how many bonuses you’ve collected. Each of your characters will need to have collected a lot of bonuses before they finally win at Bonus High Striker.

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Tomorrow it’s time to reveal another hat. By now, you probably noticed that’s what we do here on Tuesdays at the Corral Countdown!

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Corral Countdown 41: Shrinking Swellsville (Friday Devblog)

The town of Swellsville is the first town featured in Boot Hill Heroes and it’s back again in Boot Hill Bounties, of course. But the town has been completely redesigned. This isn’t the first time I’ve remade this town, so I thought it would be interesting to talk about how and why it has changed so much.

The original intent was good. Make a great big town that gives the player a ton of things to do and places to explore. I wanted a BIG town to create a BIG sense of adventure. The bigger the better!

With that in mind, here’s the first design of Swellsville that was made in 2011 or 2012. Can you believe it’s been that long?

SwellsvilleTown Corral Countdown 41: Shrinking Swellsville (Friday Devblog)

You’ll notice how huge the town is and also how much the art style has changed. The Earthbound influence was much greater in this early version. What I found from early testing is that while players were impressed by the scope of this town, they were also a bit intimidated by it.

Maybe it felt almost like a chore to go through all these buildings, leaving no stone unturned. And it quickly became apparent that filling each of these buildings with rooms and people would be an immense effort and there just wasn’t enough content to go around. Another design was made and this is the version that was in the game.

SwellsvilleTown2 Corral Countdown 41: Shrinking Swellsville (Friday Devblog)

What I learned from Boot Hill Heroes was that bigger was not always better. Quite the opposite. Too much freedom, too many things to explore can feel almost like a burden to a player. And it slows down the pacing of a game. The obligation to explore becomes more of a chore than an adventure. In Boot Hill Bounties I wanted to have more laser-focused content, rather than have it spread all out over the place. I also evolved the art style even further.

So here is the version of Swellsville in Boot Hill Bounties. Look how much it has changed since the original!

Swellsville Corral Countdown 41: Shrinking Swellsville (Friday Devblog)

The smaller size makes the interesting parts of the town more focused. There’s something worth engaging in every few steps whether its a shop, restaurant or citizen. Swellsville has a saloon to buy food, a clothing store for armor, a hardware store for weapons, a general store for ingredients, a train depot for transportation, and a ton more that I still have to keep a secret.

Swellsville wasn’t the only town that got smaller. Check out the Chepakwik Village from Boot Hill Heroes.

ChepakwikVillage Corral Countdown 41: Shrinking Swellsville (Friday Devblog)

And here’s the village in Boot Hill Bounties. Again it was shrunken down.

ChepakwikVillage1 Corral Countdown 41: Shrinking Swellsville (Friday Devblog)

So that’s the end of week two of our countdown as we crawl towards that December 1 release date. This week we learned about a ton of stuff in the game but also how towns like Swellsville also got smaller. What will we find out next week?

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