Monday, January 7, 2013


The inventory system is coming along really well! I finally finished the base for it today, so I can search through and sort items and display the current user's inventory. It's ready to be integrated into the shopping system, as well.

I have also programmed 12 items into the game, minus their image files which I have not drawn the art for yet (right now, they are all grey boxes). I can't guarantee those twelve or any I discuss here will be in the final release, of course, but I project there will be around 35-50 different consumable items you can give to your monster.

Items are, at the most basic level, categorized into two types: meals and non-meals.

This traditional Japanese dish can help your monster's Power.
Monsters need to eat meals every day in order to thrive. If you forget to feed your monster a meal, it will become hungry, which can stress it out, tire it out, and make it refuse to work. Your monster's lifespan may decrease if you often forget to feed it, and if you starve it completely, it may get sick or die. So meals are very important to monsters.

Not only do monsters need to eat to live, but how they grow also is influenced by food. Monsters eat human food in the game, and I used real-life nutritional properties of food as inspiration for the different meals you can serve your monster. I researched health benefits of many types of foods, and tried to create a world buffet of foods for your monster. For example, Japanese fermented soybeans with rice can help your monster beef up and become strong. On the other hand, if you regularly feed your monster caldo verde (a Portuguese green soup loaded with kale), your monster's brain will stay healthy and you will notice it will succeed more in intelligence training. Other foods you may see in the game include the Italian pasta dish pesto cavatappi and a spinach and feta Greek favorite of mine, spanakopita.

Can you guess which training this carb-loaded meal benefits?
There will also be "larger" meals available that may greatly help with training, but make your monster more sluggish and tire out easily from overeating. These "supermeals" can be helpful if you don't have a lot of time for training and want to get the biggest boost you can, or if you forgot to feed your monster until later in the day.

In addition to the meals you can feed your pets, there will be the non-meal items. Most of these will still be foods of some sort, but more like snacks. I am considering other consumables like soaps and balms, but right now there are no plans for such items.

One primary type of non-meal you can give your monster is tea. While meals are best for the beginning of the day, to prepare your monster for training, teas are better for afternoon or evening when your monster has been growing tired and stressed from its training, but you still have work to do. Teas can help relax and soothe your monster while offering some training bonuses. Unlike meals, they will be somewhat expensive (especially the rare teas!) so they are best used as a way to unwind on days of rigorous training rather than as training boosters.

There will also be some more risky items, like supplements to use in place of meals that can greatly help with training but may decrease your monster's overall health (since they are not getting a truly balanced diet) or junk food that makes your monster very happy but makes it do worse in its training.

And no items will train your monster for you; they will only supplement the training. No matter how many servings of natto you give your monster, they can't grow that muscle without working out! So the key to a healthy and strong monster is to eat right and exercise regularly! (And don't forget to rest when needed, too. Rest is a very important factor in Skitter!)

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