Monoceros Milestone 1

But I want a development update!

You want a RoP development update? Okay, fine. Subquests are done and I’m working my way through all the “pamphlet” stuff. You can publish stories by reporting them to Mia, and she gives you pamphlets you can show to NPCs who then comment on things. I get to write hundreds of lines of dialogue! Urimas is also making sprites, and we have all the UI/map stuff from Hund for the next update now. Harpy TF is half done, Mario is working on the bunny TF.

Okay Now Monoceros

All the coding, scripting, balance, etc. is going to be done in January. I have currently assigned our unpaid intern Pyxxis to do the initial balance layout. Combat will be getting changed around a bit.

Enemies will come in several categories: Basic enemies, “tough” enemies (who appear differently on the field, have +20% stats and +50% HP, use curse more often) and “miniboss” enemies, who have a third field appearance. Minibosses are pre-designed enemy groups that appear in specific locations. When they are first encountered, the player cannot bypass them. If defeated they will respawn out of the way so the player can fight them again later to farm stuff if desired. Minibosses also have unique gimmicks.

The idea here is to use “beefgates” to require the player to engage with combat a certain amount in order to progress, and better meter the player’s levels and equipment. You will be less likely to be underleveled when engaging the game’s seven mandatory bosses since the minibosses will give you an idea if you’re underpowered.

The drop system will be getting reworked. Essences are still in, but you will also need material supplies which drop from enemies and can be purchased from Gavin. Material supplies are dropped by multiple enemy overlaps, and essence are still required but only needed in bulk to get charms. This should take a bit of pressure off the “farming” aspect, while still allowing a player who is finding things too tough to kill some enemies, get a few equipment upgrades, and make the game easier. Now instead of having to kill 20 slimes, you need to kill 3 slimes and 10 of several different enemies who drop the same items.

We’ve also created a tentative map layout. The game has 7 optional areas in addition to its 11 mandatory areas (not counting Heronstadt).

Yeah but what about the art?

Chicmonster has finished sketching ALL of the enemies and bosses, and has sketched about half of the player forms. I asked her to get me some finished pieces to show off for this milestone, so here we are:

First up is Clementine’s redesign. Chic ran out of time before the prototype was released, so I asked another ANONYMOUS artist to do Clementine. This is Chic’s take. The design is mostly the same, but we gotta keep the style consistent.

Here we have the Queen of Black Ice, who is assigned to stop you right before you reach the monastery. She’s the fifth boss of the game (I’m skipping the third and fourth ones on purpose, bwahaha) and, well, what do you want me to say? You think she tries to freeze you? The TF is a bit obvious. It’s like asking if Verand is going to vampire TF you (she is).

What’s less obvious is that she was never human, and is in fact an ice elemental, similar to the electricity elemental Electrosprites from chapter 5 of RoP. She’s a lot more malicious, but why? What does she gain from allying with Verand? Find out (next year)!

When I said the enemies were sketched, I meant it. I have them at placeholder sizes. Let’s show one or two off.

I asked Chic for some fish people. You know, mermaids, that kind of thing. Well we got some frog dudes too, and there’s a couple more aquatic enemies in this area. You’re gonna get mermaid TF’d from these enemies.

You want bugs? Bugs are cool. How about this firefly design? Fireflies are the game’s only bug TF, but I get the feeling Chic will try to slip in some other bugs (Caelyn would make a good stag beetle, maybe Centipedyrano?).

Here we have the succubus – hey wait, that’s Izana! Oops, my mistake. Clementine’s boss fight will also be changing so she performs the succubus TF and charms party members. Statue TF is getting moved later in the game.

And lastly, the piece I asked Chic to color and shade, because I loved it so much. This is the “Stained Glass” TF. I didn’t expect her to turn the party into ornaments and I love the result.

Salty’s game development pro-tip: Trust your artists. They have great ideas.

So what now?

Chic is going to finish all the player form TF sketches, then start lining, coloring, and shading. I have to get back to working on the next release of RoP (hopefully in November) and I have to finish another project in November, as well. My work on Monoceros doesn’t start until January, and we have another milestone post scheduled for the end of January. Until then it’s quietly laying out map progression and enemy stats.

What about Fan Art?

I didn’t ask the artist of this incredible piece of Izana fan art if it’s okay to post under their name, so the artist will remain anonymous. You can really sense the rage coming off this piece. It’s a work of passion from someone with, shall we say, more drive than skill. Keep practicing!

There are some RoP fan art pieces but I’ll hold onto those for next week in order to keep the post’s theme lined up.

Curious Cat

WARNING: I have slipped some near-invisible cats into the question and answer nonsense. Proceed at your own SPOOKY risk.

The photographer died seconds after this photo was taken. You will not be missed.


You’re getting only links because I don’t have money to buy treats. Bing bong.

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