Gameplay: We've Got Some New Mechanics! by Derrick Fields

Hey everyone!

Since our last update, we've received some critical feedback that has helped us address the core mechanics of Onsen Master. It's shaping up nicely and we wanted to share some of that with you.

The driving point to Onsen Master is customer management. As Mu, you are tasked with organizing your patrons into fresh hot spring baths, based on their ailments. Once sorted, you must then retrieve an ingredient that would alleviate their symptoms and add it to their water. Sounds simple, right? Well, it's certainly meant to start that way but once you begin to receive more variant customers the game will begin to challenge you on your organization and memory.

 See for yourself (and please excuse our early UI and lack of animations)

onsenmaster-mechanics

Digital Pen Pushing: Izajima Concept Art by Derrick Fields

Concept art by Derrick Fields

Welcome to Izajima! The island in which Naka-Onsen and Mu are located. 

Izajima is a small island comprised of two main provinces-- Nagi and Nami. Each province and its inhabitants are guarded by their very own mountains, aptly named Nagiyama and Namiyama. If you look closely you will find Naka-Onsen on the left, sitting just under the peak of Nagiyama. 

A Look Back: Onsen then and Onsen Now by Derrick Fields

This game has changed... a lot!

I went back to take a look at some of the early designs to Onsen Master and found some really fun takes on what the onsen was going to be like from 2014 to now. Although there are still more changes to come, it's fun to see how much progress has been made.

Have a look at these design iterations

Diving Back In! by Derrick Fields

The holidays were BRUTAL but it's time to dive back into some Onsen Master work again. We've been going over the system to establish a better gameplay cycle and think we have a much better system on our hands! Should be able to explain away those developments in just a few weeks. 

Here's to 2018! 

A Bit on the Business Side of Things by Derrick Fields

Indie game development is not easy... but nothing that you're passionate about should be, right? 

Despite the retrospective dev articles and documentaries out there, I still choose to pursue it because it's an opportunity to share your world with others. The Onsen Team and I have been developing the same game, part-time, for the last 3 years now. From its infancy to approaching a prototype everyone can be proud of, every fire hoop and hurdle that's overcome leaves me the way one might feel after taking on a minor Dark Souls boss (I say minor because we're still not done yet). 

As we made these successes, it was without a doubt there'd be our own version of Anor Londo ("a really hard spot" if you don't care for the Souls references) on the horizon; for now, that meant making a company. Onsen Master is becoming something much more than just a passion project among friends and I want to make sure we are wearing the right kind of armor. So I started asking other devs, prodding business owners, and sifting through Reddit posts on what are the appropriate steps in creating a business. My ears bled with audio books and there was no more space in my brain for the "do's and don'ts" of small business. When I felt comfortable with the resources I gathered, I found a lawyer to assist me with all the needed paper work and made my artist name, WakingOni, an LLC just a few months ago. Overall this was not an easy accomplishment, but it wasn't all that hard either. Most of all it was a commitment of my time and my money, both of which hold platinum trophies as coveted things for me and I'm sure many others.

There's still more to do, but at least with those steps out of the way, I feel much safer about when we finally take Onsen Master to crowdfunding. Most of all, I hope this game is not the only title to exit Waking Oni's door. I truly want this to become that bonfire I return to each day and continue making games. That's the last Dark Souls reference I'll make.

Praise the sun \[T]/... whatever, sorry. 

Restore the Balance by Derrick Fields

Concept art by Sarah Gavagan

This week I wanted to take a second to talk about balance. One of the key elements to Onsen Master is once again bringing a balance between the humans and yokai that exist in the town. Before their disappearance, Naka Onsen was ran by Mu's sensei and it was the core to what brought harmony between the human and spirit realm. Visiting the onsen meant ridding yourself of worry or pain. It was a chance to relax and bask in the harmony with those around you-- worldly and otherworldly. When Mu's sensei vanished things began to fall in disarray. Not only was the owner to Naka Onsen missing, but something deep in its core was just... gone. Shortly after, the building began to fall apart, employees lost their will to work, and patrons started to fade away. Worst of all the humans and yokai started to become hostile with one another, getting so bad that the yokai left the human realm entirely.

What could have happened to start all of this and how is Mu going to restore it? 

Meet Mu! by Derrick Fields

Concept art by Sarah Gavagan

Mu is a clumsy, loud-mouth, yet kind-hearted individual that has been tasked with raising a dilapidated Naka Onsen. After spending some time away, he has returned to the village only to discover that their sensei (master/teacher) has gone missing. Mu must now set out restore the onsen to its former glory and continue fulfilling their sensei's mission-- heal the villagers and restore the balance between humans and yokai.

...but we have not seen yokai in many, many years. 

Welcome to Nakatsukuni Onsen! by Derrick Fields

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Is the name too long for you? Naka Onsen is okay with us!

If that name sounds familiar to you, it is because Nakatsukuni comes from the Kojiki. For those not familiar, the Kojiki, or "Record of Ancient Matters", is considered one of the oldest existing chronicles to Japan and details the origin of its four main islands. It is also maintained to be the origin of Japan's Kami (deities). Nakatsukuni essentially means "middle-earth" and exists between Takamagahara (heaven, basically) and Yomi (the underworld). But we will get to things like that another time.

The Kojiki has been a key influence for Onsen Master and I often reference it. It can be a challenge to interpret at times, because most English interpretations break the names down to their literal meanings (and I can't stand that). We’re still prototyping so keep your eye's peeled for more posts as we dive deeper into development. 

Derrick

Onsen Dev Blog: And the Floodgates are open! by Derrick Fields

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to the first Dev Blog post for Onsen Master! As many of you know we have been hard at work on Onsen Master to bring you a fantastic title, but you may be asking yourselves "why are they just now doing Dev Blog posts?" Well the simple answer to that is we are now at a point where we feel confident and comfortable enough to share some of our project with the public. But before we get to that we want to take some time to introduce ourselves to you all and explain exactly what we all do.

Derrick Tarrance
Role: Director, Designer, Lead Artist
Derrick is an Illustrator and 3D Artist by trade. The decision to create Onsen Master originated from their devotion to studying Japanese culture and arts. Under the name Waking Oni, most of their works come heavily influenced by Black culture, anime, and various Japanese art movements.
Likes - Horror Games, Cookies, and JRPG's
Dislikes - That one wet sock because you stepped in something.

Tim Robinson
Role: Producer, Project Manager, Designer
Tim has a long history of taking ideas and pulling resources together to make them come to life. With an addiction to well built fictional worlds, he has found a way to mix his skills with his passions in the game development field.
Likes - RTS Games, Adam Jensen's Beard, and Chocolate
Dislikes - Command & Conquer being canceled, Deus Ex being put on hiatus, and not having chocolate

Sarah Gavagan
Role: Artist
Sarah is a freelance illustrator with a passion for fantasy and creatures. Heavily influenced by printmaking, Golden Age illustrators and nature, most of her work plays with various forms of spirituality, magical worlds and characters.
Likes - The Legend of Zelda, Stationary sets, and Dressing up like He-man
Dislikes - Burnt Pancakes and Wasted Potential

Leo Riveron
Role: Programmer, Tech Lead
Leo has been developing games for over a decade, both professionally and recreationally. His role is to take design concepts, art assets, and music files, and code them into a fun, immersive, and innovative game. By utilizing and building upon previous games' features and functionality, each subsequent game is built on top of a more and more robust engine that helps make development easier and more streamlined.
Likes: Platformer games, RPG games, Rick and Morty, playing music, and being a ninja.
Dislikes: When the computer crashes without saving, headphone cords, stale protein shakes, and toxic masculinity.

And that's us! Thank you for taking the time to get more acquainted with the team and we hope to see you all back here next week for our first full piece of development news.

See you then!