The Lost Art of Innkeeping - updated to Version 1.2!

SeaPhoenix

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Available on Itch.io and Steam for US$4.99!​

Synopsis

The good news is that you've just inherited Cascade Manor from your eccentric Aunt Agatha. The bad news is that the manor is in a dismal condition and you have no money to pay for repairs and its upkeep. The even worse news is that you have thirty days to pay off the loan that Aunt Agatha took out shortly before her death, or the bank will seize the manor.

You decide to convert the manor to an inn, but while you’re busy trying to satisfy the needs of your unusual and persnickety guests, you discover that there is more to the manor than meets the eye...

Why did Aunt Agatha borrow so much money, and what did she spend it on? (Obviously, it wasn’t to keep the manor in tiptop condition.) What is your helpful and unflappable butler hiding behind the locked door of his bedroom? Is cousin Rudolph trying to help you or hinder you? How do you get rid of the ghost that’s suddenly decided to start haunting your manor? And doesn’t every manor have a secret room somewhere?

Highlights
  • Explore the manor and its surroundings, and unlock new rooms and discover new areas.
  • Hire an interesting cast of characters to work at your inn.
  • Meet a gaggle of guests, including adventurers, inventors, opera singers, fairies, and many others, all of whom have unique personalities and varied preferences.
  • Complete mini-quests such as hunting down the ghost haunting the manor, finding coal for the blacksmith, restoring an ancient temple, and more!
  • Configure the guest rooms. purchase amenities, and upgrade the manor and nearby village to keep your guests happy.
  • Design advertisements to attract more guests, but be warned, false advertising will not be taken lightly either by the authorities or your visitors!
  • Find items and beautiful paintings that will help you pay off the loan and solve the mystery of Aunt Agatha’s puzzling behavior.
  • Replay the game with a New Game+ and discover several exciting new items and guests, and experience different outcomes and multiple endings based on your choices and actions.
  • Unlock achievements, master the art of innkeeping, and become the owner of a 5-star inn that caters even to royalty!

Purchase link (Windows version only)
Itch.io (released May 8, 2020): https://seaphoenix.itch.io/LostArt
Steam (released July 29, 2020):
Trailer


This game is an extension of my IGMC 2017 game, The Rock and the Rose (which won 2nd prize!), with many more new items, areas, characters and upgrades, additional gameplay elements, a richer storyline, achievements, higher-resolution artwork, and improved pixel art and UI.

Main_face.png

Elinor
The main character and new owner of Cascade Manor.
The manor’s been in the family for years,
and she’ll do all she can to keep it that way and restore the manor to its former glory!

Butler_face.png

Wodehouse
The butler who joined Aunt Agatha’s household just a couple years ago.
He’s helpful and unfailingly polite, but is he hiding a sinister secret?

Rudolph_face.png

Rudolph
Elinor’s cousin, who moves from the city to the nearby village
shortly after Elinor inherits the manor.
He publishes the local newspaper and gives the inn some much-needed publicity,
but he totally seems like a suspicious character.

Employees.png

Employees
Hire a maid, chef, gardener, receptionist, and more!

Villagers.png

Villagers
Buy items from and complete quests for the café owner, shopkeeper, blacksmith, and more!

Guests.png

Guests
Meet adventurers, inventors, train engineers, opera singers, cat burglar, fairies, mermaids, royalty, and more!
Are their pets welcome too?​

Titlescreen.png

CascadeManor.png

VillagerNotHome_small.png

TalkingToPat.png

Amenities.png

AssigningPatToRoom.png

Roses_small.png

Graphics
FSM: Town of Beginnings Tiles, FSM: Woods and Cave Tiles, FSM: Castle and Town Tiles, FSM: Autumn Woods and Rural Tiles

Title screen and game logo
Heather "MakioKuta" Farnsworth

Sprites
REFMAP blog, Nirwanda

Icons
Avery, Enterbrain

Additional art
Avery, whtdragon, Ayene, comshou, Kadokawa, Enterbrain, RPG Maker MV Add-on Series, REFMAP blog, National Gallery of Art, WikiArt, JJuni (Pixabay), Susann Mielke (Pixabay), spiritsighs-stock

Plugins/Tools
Yanfly, Galv, Hudell, HimeWorks, Krimer, Tor Damian Design, Chaucer, Visustella, Liquidize, Archeia, bblizzard, ChampX, Catball Games, Jonforum, Shaz

Music
J.C. Brickston

Sound Effects
Kadokawa, Gamemaster Audio, W.O.W Sound

Playtesters
Paul, TeknoKyo Customs, Sillyshoes, Wayne, Gillian, Simon, fizzly, clng

And finally, thanks to my family and friends, and many members of the RPG Maker and gaming communities (especially Kyattchan, Finnuval, and slimmmeiske2) for their support and feedback!

2020/07/29 Released on Steam! Updated credits
2020/05/25 Added link to Steam website and updated trailer
2020/05/08 Released! Edited text and screenshots
2020/05/06 Updated release date and screenshots, and edited credits
2020/04/26 Added trailer and edited screenshots, text, and credits
2020/02/21 Edited credits and title screen
 
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slimmmeiske2

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I only got to play The Rock and The Rose last year and I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to playing this updated (and extended) version. The screenshots are looking really nice so far. :)
 

Sunjean

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Gone follow this one. I am a sucker for simulation/tycoon type of games :)
 

Tw0Face

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This looks amazing! Can't wait to give this one a run. I simply love simulation games.
 

SeaPhoenix

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The game is almost done! I'm just working on the code for the guest reservation system now, to make it easier for the player to assign guests to rooms, without having to configure everything manually. It's one of the last upgrades one can purchase for the inn, but it's a little tricky to automate since one guest's preferences can have an impact on another guest!

In the meantime, here are more sneak peeks. Some of the new things I've added to the game, compared to The Rock and the Rose, is a star ranking system, side-quests, a train station, and many more guests, including pets. The first screenshot also gives you an idea of how dismal the inn looks when you first start out, and how it'll be up to you to upgrade it and make it worthy of 5 stars!

TrainStationTask.png

TrainStation_PatCroesus.png
 

FreeCake4All

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This sounds super neat! I can't wait for it to come out!
 

Kalyith

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I love games like this. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product!! :kaopride:I really like the title too.
 

SeaPhoenix

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I'm happy to see that a number of people are interested in the game - thanks for the support!

I finally finished the code for the guest reservation system, and the bulk of the work is done... now I just need to do a lot of play-testing for bugs and balance! I also updated the release date from January to early 2020. :smile:

Anyway, some characters in the game are based on historical & mythological figures. Can you guess who Lance & Gwen were inspired by? And are you a matchmaker or a cynic? Because there are achievements to unlock!

I also wanted to give a shout-out to @Avery for the animals (can we consider Mr Turnip an animal?) and icons, among other things!

LanceAndGwen.png

Achievements.png
 

SeaPhoenix

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Without giving too much away, Van Gogh's paintings play an important role in the storyline of my upcoming game The Lost Art of Innkeeping. If you've played The Rock and the Rose, you already know this, but I've added a few more paintings to the mix. Even better, you'll be able to view the paintings at a higher resolution (instead of just tiny thumbnails) in The Lost Art of Innkeeping.

Some of the paintings - including the one shown in the spoiler below - are from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., which has stunning images from many artists in their digital database and a very nice open access policy!

FarmhouseinProvence_framed720.png

Meanwhile, the journey towards completion continues: I've started asking a few other people to playtest the game! The most difficult things for me as a playtester of my own games are that it's hard for me to judge the difficulty level of the game, and because I know the "right" or "easiest" way to do things, I sometimes don't catch the bugs that occur when players don't approach things the way I do.

To combat this, I've tried doing things in reverse order, intentionally getting things wrong, visiting everything and everyone when I wouldn't normally do so, and so on. I find debugging to be tedious, but alas, it's so necessary!
 

fizzly

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@SeaPhoenix, love your game from the very beginning, and the "demo" (The Rock and the Rose) was so good! I like the idea with the pictures :) Can't wait to play full version!! Also I like how characters looks like.

Edit: If you need playtester, count me in!! *_*
 
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SeaPhoenix

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Thanks, @fizzly! I thought your game looked super cute too during IGMC 2017, and I see that you're still updating it. I'm going to try it out once I'm less busy! Thanks for the offer to playtest too - I'm going to make some changes after feedback from my first batch of playtesters, and I'll keep you in mind for the next batch!
 

fizzly

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@SeaPhoenix Thank you so much! Will be waiting for eventually betatesting your game and/or for full release for sure! :)
 

SeaPhoenix

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Based on feedback from my first few playtesters, I'm looking to add a couple new guests to the game. I posted a crowdsourcing request on Twitter, but I'd love to hear from you guys too!

Any suggestions for who would visit an inn in the year 1900?

So far I have an adventurer, a writer, inventors, train engineers, fairies, opera singers, a burglar, a mermaid, royalty...

Note: the final decision will depend in large part on my (limited) ability to draw or frankensprite the characters! :wink:
 

Finnuval

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This looks pretty :)

As to who would visit an Inn in the 1900's :

possibilities depend a little on setting and place but these come to mind : Socialites, suffragettes, (Tobacco) salesman, Ladies of leisure, Tycoons, Police, gamblers, gangsters, Stagecoach drivers...

Could prolly think of more but that's a first thought. Hope it helps :)
 

slimmmeiske2

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The updates look nice. Can't wait to play the game :)

As for guests, besides the ones Finnuval mentioned: Sherlock Holmes (or other private detectives), foreign tourists, star-crossed lovers (though I suppose Lance and Gwen fit this already), painters, lawyers.
 

SeaPhoenix

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Thanks for the suggestions, @Finnuval and @slimmmeiske2! I have a generic rich person in my game, but I like the suggestion of a tycoon, and since I have a train station in the game, I'm going to modify his background so that he'll be a railroad tycoon!

A Sherlock Holmes-like character would be very distinctive, though I don't know if I can draw the hat and clothing... I also like the idea of a salesman, gambler or gangster (never thought of these two!), and lawyer. I'm going to see what inspiration I can dig up for the sprites and back stories, and make maybe 2 or 3 more new characters. Thanks again!
 

Finnuval

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@SeaPhoenix I think if you can get the overcoat looking 'Tweed' enough and give that character a pipe and have him act distinct and logical you may not necessarily need the hat for a Sherlock Holmes character. To be 100% sure ppl get the reference immediately (if that is what you want) give him a side-kick character with a bowler hat ;)

And if you need more suggestions let us know :)
Always happy to help
 

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