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There are rumors...
About a monster...
And you have been summoned to kill it!
But first, you have to find it!
Welcome to this forsaken land...
There is a lot of ground to cover...
Every part of the map can be visited. Explore different locations, such as villages...
But beware! There are creatures everywhere! You have a pistol to defend yourself. It can be useful for simpler animals, such as snakes and wolves... but can it handle more dangerous creatures?
The monster is somewhere. No one knows exactly where... but maybe someone has a clue?
Perhaps it is hiding somewhere... in the deep secrets of this land...
Hurry! Time is against us!
Welcome to Monster Hunter, a top-down shooter that alternates fast-paced action with overworld exploration.
You control the hunter. Depending on where you are, controls are different:
In the overworld, move with the arrows. Every tile except for roads and open areas can be entered by pressing X. Look at the top of the screen. A quick description of the location is shown there. You can move everywhere except for water and rocks. But try to stay in the road. The hunter moves faster in roads.
When inside some area, you can move with the arrows, and use X to shoot your weapon. Use Z to select a different weapon (if you have one). Keeping X pressed makes the hunter shoot continuously. But different weapons have different shooting rates, beware. You can walk (and shoot) diagonally too!
The game starts with you (the hunter) in the top left corner of the map, in the docks. The ship that brought you here can still be seen there.
There is one monster in the map, somewhere. But you can't see where it is. You can only find out its location by asking people in villages, farms and churches. Normally, people will tell you a general direction where it was last seen (if it has been seen). If the monster is really close, a villager will warn you to hurry. Go outside to the overworld and look for a question mark. It will pinpoint the monster's last known location. Be fast, though! If you take too long, it will move. If you enter the location where the monster is, you will have the opportunity to confront it!
But beware! You start with a simple pistol. You cannot defeat the monster with it! It is suicide! In fact, it is only effective with weaker creatures such as snakes and bats. For other creatures, you must acquire a better weapon. Look for a store. But you will need money... I am afraid you will have to use your hunting skills to earn some cash! Each time you kill a creature you earn some money. Of course, weaker creatures drop less cash. To get the best weapons you will need to kill strong creatures. Psst: I heard dwarves living in keeps and caves have a lot of money...
The monster will not stay still, waiting for you. No! It is constantly moving. And every time it enters a village, it kills everyone in it! Look for the top right number in the screen. This shows the number of people still alive. If the population reaches zero... well... let's hope you can defeat the monster before that, right?
While hunting, try not to be injured by creatures. If you let some creature touch you, you will be injured! You will not die immediately, though, but you will need some time to heal. Try not to lose your mind to madness while the monster rapidly decimates the population during this time!
These are the basic rules! Investigate! Hunt! Earn cash! Buy a weapon that you feel strong enough to kill the monster! And track it down! If you are lucky enough to hurt him, it will try to escape! Do not let it escape! Kill it immediately, otherwise... it will hide! It will heal! And it will come back for you... stronger as before!
Oh, one last thing... every playthrough is different. The overworld is the same, but each individual location is different. Different enemies, different people... and a different monster every time! Some are more difficult than others. Can you discover all monsters? Can you defeat them all? Keep playing until you have mastered the game!
Behind the scenes
Thank you for being interested in my little game. This is my first game in PICO-8. I am not a professional game developer, but I loved playing with PICO-8 and its limitations! And I have to tell you... I had a really hard time squeezing everything into a single cartridge!
This is what I implemented:
Procedural map generation. Different places have different procedures. Caves and forests use a cellular automata algorithm. I had to use a fill algorithm too, to avoid unreachable places. I developed my own algorithm to generate rooms for the keep, and houses for the villages/farm. It was fun to correctly place doors, windows and furniture! Oh, and I had to learn coroutines too, otherwise PICO-8 would freeze every time.
Enemy AI was also challenging. I had to implement pathfinding, both for the monster moving in the overworld, and the enemies in the arenas. It was fun! But it took a lot of space.
Speaking of it, there is an overworld and an arena! If you think about it, it's two games in one! Two types of sprites for the player, and two sets of sprites for the scenario, two sets of movements, two kinds of camera movements...
Player movement and box detection also had to work in both scenarios. But in the arena, box detection had to deal with movement and sliding in walls. This was not easy, but I learned how to do it!
Bullets! I implemented an algorithm where bullets had to hit moving targets. Hitbox detection was challenging too, because of this. There are some cool animations too, such as smoke trail for the guns and a small explosion (or blood) in the spot where the bullet hit its target.
- Sounds and music were done very poorly. I do not think this turned out to be very professional. I liked it, but I recognize a pro could have done so much better.
I think this is a good overview of the challenges. Please, take a look at my code. If you have any ideas about how to reduce it, I appreciate it! There was a lot of cut content because of the code and sprite limitations:
- I wanted to include a better title screen
- I wanted to include better conversations with NPCs
- I wanted to include two more monsters
- I wanted the player to find bullets and items throughout the map. Some monster would require different items to be killed (silver bullet for a werewolf, a special cross for a vampire, etc). And the player would be required to save ammo and gather resources
But of course, I couldn't do all of this. Perhaps when Picotron is out I might be able to do it!
Finally, I think this game is HARD! I like it, though (I am an old-time gamer!)! But new players might find it too hard! Sorry about that!
My name is Daniel Lucrédio, I am a hobbyst game developer, and a teacher. You can find more about me in my website: dlucredio.com (it's in portuguese, sorry about that). But you can e-mail me (find the email at the bottom of the site).