Hometown Hero is back! – Learning to stay in touch…and out of my head

Whew! It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? I know, You thought Hometown Hero was dead, didn’t you? Well, I’m glad to shatter that notion, because it’s alive and well! In fact, the game has undergone a complete redesign since the last devlog:

While you got a glimpse at the redesigned character I was working on, and the new combat style, most of you still likely think the game is turn-based like old school Pokémon games, right? Now, Hometown Hero features real-time combat. In time, it will be polished to look and feel more like a simplified Kingdom Hearts combat style.

Realigning with my vision

As a refresher, you can see what inspired me to start working on Hometown Hero and the original vision I had for it below:

While that vision is still my burning passion, the shape it’s taking has surprised me, and evolved over time. I promise to explain fully in an upcoming third devlog, but I’m now more excited than ever about the project. With this in mind, development has slowed a lot more than I’ve wanted it to, and life has proven to be more complicated and interrupts about as much as you’d imagine. Luckily, I’ve made it clear from the start that the game is a passion project that I would be working on part time between my day job. Since then, I’ve changed jobs, gone through major depression, and come back up out of that pit among many other things.

Hometown Hero’s deeper meaning

All of this has reminded me how important Hometown Hero and the larger universe it takes place in is to me and how important it can be to you in time. The idea behind the game has always been to help the player explore physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual health through sparring gameplay much in the same way that Pokémon has always placed a focus on friendship, perseverance and pushing forward despite the odds.

Envisioning this and bringing it to life in a way it deserves while battling with the very things I’m trying to help the player squash and overcome has become both a struggle beyond belief and the driving force to see it through all at once.

Learning to stay in touch…and out of my head

I may not be making as much sense as I’d hope, but I’m writing this at 4:00 AM and thinking about how much I’ve been doing behind the scenes and how hard it is to communicate that properly and be consistent on social media and here on the blog. I hope you’ll forgive me for that, and hang in there with me for the journey to come. My goal this year is to start communicating more with you and showing you what I’m working on.

To be honest, most of the past few years has been me learning how to 3D model, program and plan from scratch. I came from a writing and publishing background, and I’ve come so far since then. Additionally, I’ve tried to maintain this facade of a professional indie game studio, but I’ve since realized that if I want to do that, I’ll never release anything (thanks, imposter syndrome!).

The idea that everything has to fully articulate what’s in my head and heart as a designer and developer and more so as a storyteller, has caused me to freeze up and hide. The truth of the matter is that none of us are perfect, nothing we create is perfect, and that’s what makes it beautiful. The fact that we struggle is precisely why I’m creating Hometown Hero, and I started this journey to include you as I explore that. To date, I’ve largely failed because of the model I’ve set up.

Follow My Journey

Starting today, I’m going to use the new “Follow My Journey” tab here on the website to post daily or weekly updates (there’s also a huge backlog you can pick through as my apology to you – enjoy!) I’ve also placed this blog post and previous ones in the Updates section of the left sidebar. Today’s post itself is more a stream of consciousness, and quite honestly, a messy reconnection with you to show that the project is not dead – it’s more alive than ever! Learning to deliver information in smaller snippets is both more manageable, and keeps me from suffering from my perfectionism, so please look forward to more clear and understandable information on Hometown Hero, its gameplay, upcoming plans, and more in the near future.

Play the Hometown Hero Combat Alpha…Soon!

Now that the game is no longer a turn-based loop, I wanted to show off the very basic, admittedly rudimentary combat that’s replaced it. Again, the idea behind the rework is that it should feel a lot like what it was inspired by – Chambara from Switch Sports and Struggle Battles in Kingdom Hearts 2. Fun fact – the struggle swords from KH2 were actually the inspiration behind the foam bokken combat! I’ve always wanted non-lethal fighting in a game, especially since my son was younger when I started this project.

Anyone subscribed to my Patreon will gain access to the combat alpha, which just means you’ll get to walk around a half broken game with crappy graphics and see my imposter syndrome in full-swing. Enticing, right? If you’d like to keep up-to-date with the game, the best way is to check the site here or join the Discord community where we hang out and talk about things!

Steam Page Update

Oh, and while the Steam page still features the older graphics, I’d love if you’d take a moment and wishlist Hometown Hero. I’ll be sure to swap everything out when I get time to. Again, I’m going for a more “rolling changes, tweet-style chat” with you about things as I create them as opposed to larger devlogs once per year. In fact, I’m thinking about breaking the next traditional devlog into smaller videos on YouTube and releasing them staggered. Let me know if you’d like that!

Thanks for sticking around, and know that I’ll create games until the day I die. I’ve secretly committed to being the next Stan Lee – retirement is not an option, and I’m truly passionate about the characters, world and stories I’m creating. I’ve got a large backlog of ideas that I’ve developed over the past 15 years, and I’m stoked to keep showing you how those come together. The technical need to learn Unreal Engine, Blender, and more while working and raising my son (and dealing with my demons) has been the hold up, and I’m more grateful than ever that you’re still here. Love you all, and see you soon!

Responses

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    1. That means so much, thank you! Amazing how much better I feel just being raw and real instead of polished haha. Thanks for leaving a comment <3