2017 Project – Grocery Store Game

The Goal – New Year’s Resolution

Since it’s a New Year, I’ve decided to pursue a single game project with the goal of having a complete and polished game by the end of 2017.  I made this decision on the 2nd of January and I’ve already started creating art assets for the game.  I will be writing about my progress here with this blog, and probably make a WIP page for the game as well.  Perhaps even a WIP page on the GMC, too.

Working title:  “Smalltown Grocery”

I’ve titled the game “Smalltown Grocery”, but that is subject to change.  The game will be a grocery store management sim/tycoon type of game, but with a heavy focus on day-to-day tasks instead of economics.  So far, some of the features I want to include in the game are:  employees, store hours, departments (meat, produce, bakery/deli), customers, Random Events, and Actionable Tasks.  This is also subject to change as I iron out the design over the next few weeks.  I believe this will be a good game for me to make since I’m currently working in a grocery store and have become familiar with its operation.  I will be using the store I work in as a model after which I will base the game.

Features and Predictions

The economic aspect will be there (bills and revenue, profits and loss), but I want to try making the economics of the game more streamlined, minimized, and generalized.  I don’t want to fuss with itemizing each and every item a grocery store might sell, and I believe a player won’t want to, either.  We want to play a game, not become an accountant, right?  I haven’t made a GDD for this game yet, but I’ve mulled it over in my head for a few months and have started making notes and concepts on paper.  The possible major programming obstacle I can foresee with this project might be the pathfinding, as I’m not too sure of myself in that area.  However, I have successfully experimented with pathfinding a few times so I think I can work out whatever needs to be done.

“Actionable Tasks” are all the duties that must be performed in a grocery store by various employees.  Things like:  stocking shelves, facing product, cashiering, cleaning, department work (meat, produce, bakery prep), updating price tags, recieving product shipments.  In the game, employees will be given tasks that they are supposed to perform automatically, but you (the player) can click an employee and send them to any task at any time, overriding their task queue.  For instance, if there is a long line of customers waiting, call for another cashier.  If a shelf goes empty, have it filled now instead of waiting for it to be reached and filled automatically by a working employee.

Employees will have stats governing their efficiency and performance.  Some stats, like skills, may improve over time with experience, depending on the ‘character’ of the employee.  Employees can be hired and fired.

Random Events can include:  product breakage causing spill that needs cleaned, cooling unit malfunction, furnace malfunction, employee calls in absent (sick or otherwise), power outage, etc…

Well!… That’s a start to some design aspects, anyway.  I think a lot of this may get cut out, or at least cut down, as some of it is beginning to feel a bit like feature creep.  I find myself thinking it would be great to be able to build your own store from the ground up (buying space, creating rooms, adding/moving around shelves, cashier stations, etc) but stuff like that will have to wait for “Smalltown Grocery II” or “III”.  That may be a really long wait.  lol!

Here’s a little screenie of some art I’m starting to work on.  Floor tile, different types of shelving, person and cart…

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