Emerald Woods – Lightening up [0.2.12]

You can download Emerald Woods for free from the page at itch.io.

This version contains some small but important tweaks:

  • Add the missing commands to Drop items to the Action Menu
  • Allow toggling tips instead of disabling them completely
  • Improve onboarding sequence: use [Ctrl] instead of enter, put additional info about building fences, raise the order of the Actions menu, and put the “hide tips” shortcut at the end
  • Allow dropping floating things in the water (so you can now push a raft into the lake and paddle)
  • Add a message when extracting seeds from a plantable
  • Prevent the sudden disappearance of animals when you don’t see them

Emerald Woods – Expand your horizons [0.2.11]

We have packed a lot of work in this version, hope you enjoy it! You can download it for free from the page at itch.io.

As we continue pouring work into this, we get closer to a point of providing a paid “Earlier Access” version via itch.io. That will probably happen for version 0.3.0 which is not extremely far away. For now, this version remains completely free. A demo will likely remain free with limited in-game time (10 days).

We have been streaming weekly on Wednesday and Friday, 11AM PST / 7PM GMT. Subscribe to our twitch so you don’t miss it! But if you do, these are always backed as VoD into our YouTube channel, so subscribe to it as well!

The overall goal for v0.3.0 in the roadmap is improving Farming, so that has been the criteria guiding the development of these new versions. Here is a summarized log of the changes and the work behind them.


Following suggestions by friends, we have expanded the field of view to cover the entire viewport instead of a circle in the middle of the screen.

While this will have some implications over the perceived size of the world, as well as the future possible auto-mapping features, I believe it works pretty fine for immersion purposes and addresses the problem we were having with the underused areas of the UI.

Additionally, there are now atmospheric colors based on the time of the day with smooth transitions between them, removing the sudden change to nighttime and adding a bit more immersion to the exploration experience. I thought I was being smart by using HSL interpolation instead of RGB but the hues went crazy, so I ended up using chroma.js which was a breeze to create nice-looking gradients.

I also did a first incremental pass to the title screen art; originally a downscaled AI-generated art, so there was a lot of work done removing noise, and flattening colors in preparation for adding proper shading.


Although we will be focusing on the developments around animals in a future milestone, a tweak was needed to prevent out-of-control exponential breeding; now you will have to feed them daily in order for them to progress through their breeding cycle. There is a new command for this (Shift+F, Feed), and it can also be accessed from the actions menu when you are in front of an animal.

The changes designed for the future stipulate things such as different types of diets per animal race, and more nuances and complexities for the player to consider while breeding, however for now all animals eat the same kind of food (nuts that can be found in the forests.)


Fixes were made to enable crafting liquid items into containers besides cooking (such as paints); containers that are already partially filled can also be reused now to craft more of the same liquid.

Note however that the Paint action is still disabled, and paints can only be used to craft other items such as the clay tiles.

Gameplay tweaks

Small but important changes were made based on feedback from playtesting sessions, including the following:

  • Reduce costs for actions drastically (both time and fatigue)
  • Reduce the weight of stones
  • Reduce hunger recovery for knock nuts
  • Make rafts carry-able
  • Allow walking over sprouts before they become shrubs

Additionally, we are also now displaying the real reason why you cannot carry an item now when your inventory is full.

Emerald Woods – Small quickfix [0.2.10]

We had some players dive into the latest version and they quickly found some small but noisy bugs, so here’s a bugfix version! You can get it for free at itch.io

Here’s the changelog

  • Fix bed recipe: Set to place in the world instead of carrying
  • Fix raft recipes: Set to build on water instead of carrying.
  • Improvement: Try to place items in front when crafting and the resulting item is too heavy (instead of failing crafting)
  • Fix: Use materials around the player to build heavy stuff, which is required when crafting items that require more materials than the player can carry.
  • Fix: Row using a paddle (new craftable) while standing on a floating vehicle (new world object type).
  • Fix: Prevent axing or breaking items that have a stacked item
  • Fix: The “Building” achievable is displayed even after completing it.
  • Fix: Transformed cells like doors and gates are re-opened after loading the game.
  • Fix: Correct sickness hours based on gravity and vitality (had a wrong scale in minutes instead of hours)
  • Fix: Change capture animals’ achievement to only include small ones that can currently be captured.
  • Fix: Flooring examine description doesn’t include name of the tile
  • Fix: Item examine description displays undefined.

Emerald Woods – Survival mode activated (0.2.9)

It’s been one month since the last public release. We have packed a lot of work in this version, hope you enjoy it! You can download it for free from the page at itch.io.

As we continue pouring work into this, we get closer to a point of providing an “Earlier Access” version via itch.io. That will probably happen for version 0.3.0 which is not extremely far away. For now, this version remains completely free.

We have been streaming weekly on Wednesday and Friday, 11AM PST / 7PM GMT. Subscribe to our twitch so you don’t miss it! But if you do, these are always backed as VoD into our YouTube channel, so subscribe to it as well!

The overall goal for v0.3.0 in the roadmap is improving Farming, so that has been the criteria guiding the development of these new versions. Here is a summarized log of the changes and the work behind them.


Some of the most noticeable changes in gameplay are related to the exploration facet. The game has been rebalanced so it’s not that chill anymore: in the absence of monsters to combat, the biggest danger is your fatigue and hunger bars.

For starters, this version brings back the possibility of Fainting if you continue working (or even walking) when your fatigue bar is full; there are options to recover from the fatigue, like taking a nap (as long as it’s not too late already), eating or drinking a fatigue recovering item (coffee, for instance), or just relaxing for a bit up to a cap of fatigue recovery per day of sleep. Ultimately you will want to have a good night of rest, in a proper bed or bedroll and by a warm campfire, and with your stomach full, if you want to avoid the risk.

Fainting or mediocre sleeping will hit your health hard, and you will die quickly (and permanently) if you don’t keep an eye on it. We are open to your feedback on these aspects since we want to make the game enjoyable for a broad number of players but we see merits in being able to enjoy the procedural generation aspects more and requiring the players to take meaningful choices.

Another important addition, semi-related to these balancing changes, is the carry capacity limits; items now have weight so you will have to decide what to carry with you if you want to be able to bring back things, adding a layer of planning to your journeys.

Forageable items (like mushrooms and nuts) are now added to the journal, displayed in a separate section from the growable crops (along with the berries).

World Interactivity

As a big improvement to the User Interface, there is now a new “contextual” menu with which you can now access all the possible actions based on your current tool and whatever is in front of you just by pressing Space. This eliminates the need of learning a lot of keyboard commands (or the clutter on screen that we had on previous versions). Additionally, this takes us one step ahead to a possible mobile version.

Some other additions included:

  • A new tool, the shovel, which you can use to dig Clay out of the ground (which is used for some new crafting recipes).
  • Actions also now take different amounts of time, this includes lumbering and mining taking some relevant time so you have to plan your work.
  • You can now drop a single item from a stack of items, and it will merge into existing stacks of items.
  • Tables (and other objects) you can place items on top of.


As mentioned before, farming and cooking is the guiding force of the 0.3.0 milestone, so there was a substantial amount of work on this which in turn pushed some other areas of the game.

For starters, we changed the cooking panel to display a grid of recipes instead of a list, along with the ingredients and required containers; this grid always includes the “inspirational” recipes, but we also added the option to cook any kind of meat you are carrying (in which case the recipe only displays for the raw meats in your inventory). This menu also now stays open in case you want to cook more than one recipe.

The recipes requiring a container will now require you to place it on top of the cooking place, and that recipient is where the contents of the recipe will be stored, replacing whatever was on it (as long as its previous contents were useable for the recipe itself). This triggered lots of changes for the liquid containers, which are described in the section below.

Some recipes now require plates as containers, so you don’t eat them like a savage.

We also added a bunch of recipes that use carrots, as well as other ingredients that are required for them, scattered as treasures in the cabins all along the land. This made sense since carrots are the first crop you’ll normally harvest so what better use for it than a good recipe. Along with that, a new overarching goal was added to bake a Carrot cake, which will require you to explore around to find the ingredients.

Liquid Containers

Containers can now be filled with liquids from other containers (not just water or results from cooking), this means you can prepare a given beverage in a big container, and then fill smaller containers with some of it for conveniently carrying it around. This is pretty useless for now.

The appearance of the containers is now updated based on their contents, as well as the description displayed when they are examined.

A new command, Pour, can now be used to empty containers as opposed to just placing them on the floor.


Added three variations of tiled floor you can craft, these require clay and paint so the paint items are back (however for now you cannot apply them to the world or other items, since that will require some changes in the rendering since we are no longer in the 1bit mode.)


A small but extremely visible change was making the grass lighter to improve the contrast with the outlines of the objects in the world.

The sprites for the berries, coffee grains, and bushes, were remade. The trees in the plains areas (outside the woods) also have a unique appearance.

A small nuance that was fixed was making fences no longer “stick” to trees and rocks, an artifact of how the smart rendering rules work.

A placeholder title screen was added based on an AI-generated image sent by a friend.

Procedural Generation

While the procgen is not the focus of the current overarching milestone, that doesn’t mean some small improvements cannot be done.

I added some patches of Ouvlurin forests to give some variety to the woods; in the future, there will be more of these kinds of features the player will feel very happy to find around.

More importantly, Genco cabins will no longer be placed inside mountains or lakes, preventing runs where you could explore the entire woods without finding a single cabin. This already required quite a refactor in the codebase but will be worth it for future iterations hopefully.

TypeScript Migration

This of course is not visible to the players, but I decided to take the big step and start migrating the vanilla Javascript code into TypeScript. This will drastically reduce the chances of runtime errors due to undefined attributes, as well as ease the long-term maintenance of the project and improve the speed at which new features are developed by a solid 43%.

Emerald Woods – Graphics Overhaul! (0.2.6)

It’s been one month since the last public release. We have packed a lot of work in this version, hope you enjoy it! You can download it for free from the page at itch.io.

As we continue pouring work into this, we get closer to a point of proving and Earlier Access version via itch.io. That will probably happen for version 0.3.0 which is not extremely far away. For now, this version remains completely free.

The overall goal for v0.3.0 in the roadmap is improving Farming, so that has been the criteria guiding the development of these new versions. Besides dev work we continue organizing the project and keeping track of the tasks and plans, you can see the current roadmap here.


There’s a lot to talk about the work we put into the visuals, but images are worth more than words.

At first, I worked on improving how trees were rendered so that they took up a little bit more space and didn’t look just like flat icons on the map; in order for this to work I had to break away from the grid, and activate the transparent rendering mode. This then led to adding some exceptions to how the tinted 1bit tileset worked, so that the trunks of the trees could have a different color.

Now that we had transparency it longer made sense to have the plants and animals rendered with an opaque background, which led to pixel work to add outlines or remake tiles so that they looked fine against the ground background.

All this continued accumulating until I decided to go ahead and remove the ultra-low colors mode, replacing it with a full-blown 64 colors tileset with no restrictions per sprite based on the original pixel art concepts designed by Mateo Robayo. There were several iterations looking for something that would remain close to the roguelike aesthetic but was still readable and looked good.

A lot of pixel art had to be done in order to cover all of the game objects, terrain, animals, new recipes, and ingredients. This is what had mainly prevented me from doing the jump, and it accounted for a lot of work, but I figured out this was something we had to do in order to reach more people.

But the work didn’t stop there, now that we had more colors, I needed to push things a bit further to add perspective. This included adding vertical offsets to the sprites to give a better illusion of depth with creatures and trees appearing as standing “billboards” instead of seeming to be laying flat in the ground, coupled with allowing any sprite to be bigger than the grid (not just trees) so that there can be big animals and items. Walls are also now rendered as chunky “blocks”, to give them some depth.

Another important change was adding support for rendering “rules”, effectively creating a layer of abstraction between the world model and the tiled sprites representation. The following rules have been implemented:

  • Boundary: Renders a different texture if a tile in the world has another type of tile above. This is used to draw the borders of lakes and the “cut-off” version of walls so you can see what is behind them.
  • Perlin: Pick the texture to render from a list, using Perlin noise having the coordinates of the object as input. This simple but effective rule allows for adding a lot of variety to the representation of the world.
  • Anchor: Select the texture to render based on the immediate solid tiles to the sides. Used for things like doors and gates to display vertical and horizontal variations.
  • Grid15: Simple heuristics to select the texture to draw based on the neighbor solid tiles, from a set of 15 tiles covering cases not only for vertical and horizontal representations but also for corners and tips. Currently used for the fences.

Finally, I added variations to the player sprite so you can see when it is resting, sleeping, working, or when it’s struggling to do work because of fatigue.

On a side note, as a result of the big overhaul, this version sadly does not support the characters-based display (i.e. ASCII/Unicode mode). That UI will need some work to get on pair with the graphics one, and we also need to (re)define a whole bunch of appearances and colors to use, for the updated content.


Added persistent plants that give fruits periodically, including berry bushes, coffee shrubs, and avocado trees. These shrubs are now “solid” so you must plant them strategically.

Guided by the addition of the new recipes, and to some extent the developments of the plot, we have new crops including carrots, avocado, sugarcane, garlic, red rice, giant wheat, and onion.

There is also a new command, “P”lant, useful for some seed items you can either consume or plant (including sugarcane).


Add a new batch of recipes (note that some of them still can’t be done due to missing ingredients), some items are also now liquid containers, and can be filled with water or results of the recipes (like black coffee, or some soups).

The list of recipes is now filtered so that it only displays the things you have ingredients for unless it is an “inspirational” recipe (as in, things we want the player to seek to cook). This means you can also do simpler recipes, for example, all kinds of meat can be grilled for added nutritional value.

For the inspirational recipes, a message with the ingredients missing was added in case you attempt it.

Procedural content generation and vegetation

This release is not heavy on procgen improvements, however, there were some tweaks in the population of the vegetation, including adding scattered nuts, a new type of mushroom, and the addition of “tall grass”, which you need to cut in order to be able to farm (a new tool, the Machete, was added for that in addition to some other uses for resource gathering). There are also stones scattered around so that you have to clean up the area you want to farm on, or gather and use them as resources.

Also, as mentioned before, the berries were replaced by shrubs, which required tweaking the values a bit to prevent exploits.

Achievable Goals

As an open-world experience, you can pretty much put your own goals in Emerald Woods. However, we are adding some “achievable goals” you will be able to select to guide your journey (or at least they will serve to show the player examples of what they can do within the game).

For now, there are four, fixed achievable goals:

  • Capture one of each animal species.
  • Grow one of each available crop.
  • Discover the Genco offices.
  • Build a big house.

These achievable goals are displayed in the HUD along with the progression on them.

More goals have been designed but have yet to be integrated.


Some balancing was done, adding more starting seeds and food for survival, and increasing the nutritional values of gathered food.

There is now a heavy health penalty when sleeping in an unsafe location (no campfire).

A new command was added to “rest in place” for some minutes, just in case you need a slight recovery without taking a nap.

Crafting and building things now has stamina and time cost, so you have to do some resource management if you want to make big buildings!

Rocks are now solid, and you can break them with the pickaxe.

Paint recipes (and painting in general) have been disabled for now, until accommodations are made for the new visuals.


Most of the data is now being loaded from external JSON files instead of being hardcoded into the game, this includes the visual appearances, items data, recipes, animal races, plants, and even the tileset configuration. This will make it easier in the future to support mods (both official and player-made)

We are considering creating the first of such mods for this year’s 7DRL challenge, we’ll see how that goes.

Genco Plot

There has been a lot of narrative work in the subplot of the game involving Genco corporation. Some of it has been added already as documents scattered in the cabins in the woods but this is just the beginning. The intro has also been updated with hints of this narrative.

User Experience

A chain of tips was added to onboard players into the game, explaining the basics of farming and interaction. There is also a blocking alert shown for long actions (like Saving Game) or when important things happen (for instance the warning when you don’t sleep well)


Here’s a briefing of stuff we have good progress on the design front but no implementation yet

  • Seasons system
  • Animals behavior
  • Genco narrative (more content)
  • More crops and forageable plants
  • Crafting furniture and a lot of items.
  • Pets system

Emerald Woods – with Graphics! [v0.2.0]

A new version of Emerald Woods is available! we are inaugurating its graphics mode, hoping this will allow a lot more players to enjoy an adventure of lonely discovery in the woods! You can play online for free, or download the game (both graphics and character versions) at the itch.io page.

We have a lot of plans for Emerald Woods, but I figured it would be good to have this version out before we dive into the final leg of development for NovaMundi. We are in the process of preparing a roadmap with our many ideas and future features for the game.

Following is a detailed journey through the changes bundled in this version.


Of course, the most significant change for this version was the addition of a completely new UI using tiled graphics. I ported the latest developments of JSRL as a foundation, but much additional work was required, as Emerald is already a beast compared to the sample JSRL roguelike, and its UI is much more complex (with the toolbox in the HUD, and the window for the recipes).

But that’s not all! we are even ideating a completely original tileset taking inspiration from the likes of Unreal World, Dwarf Fortress, KeeperRL, the Gameboy Zelda titles, and more. I’ve been working with fellow artist Mapedorr (who did the graphics for 404 Rhythm not Found, as well as a big secret Slashware project we’ll disclose in the following months). We did a couple of iterations, landing on what you see below as a general style; however, down the road we realized it will be SOME time until we are able to integrate it and make it complete enough because of the content of the world, its procedural nature and how you can build/destroy it freely.

It has been quite a complex process, just to determine what we should aim for. Everything is easier with a characters-based display because you rely completely on the imagination of the player, so you are exempted from having to decide on a visual style and you can target a broad range of players (that is, IF they get over the no-graphics barrier). But of course, we want to be able to reach more people, and then you have to choose. Some of the previous ideas leaned a bit more into a classic jRPG / Pokemon look, which I think may still work.

In any case, implementing this is not doable right now so we’re keeping that front open for the future. For now, I settled on using a 1-bit tileset and coloring the sprites based on their in-world color (same as used in the characters display).

I initially used Kenney’s 1-bit tileset (inherited from JSRL), but then found it a bit too “comic” proportions for my vision of the game; I dug Denzi’s diary and found something closer to what I wanted (I have this magic connection with Denzi for some reason).

In any case, in the process of choosing between them, I added support for multiple tilesets. This will facilitate future modding work (but still need some work to have a lot of data external to the game bundle so that people can more easily have fun with that).

After settling with Denzi’s tileset, I selected and created the graphics for all the current animals, and filled many other gaps (an advantage of using such simplified tileset is a programmer can still do that)


SlashwareKnight-010, “Stoltverd”, has been working on the design front in preparation for future development iterations; this has included expanding the list of craftable items, and along with that the materials that you can find in the world and how you harvest them with tools you can improve.

We have also been designing new areas of the world that players will optionally be able to explore to uncover a story, and improvements in the pet system so you can teach them tricks and have them follow you around just for company or to perform some useful duties


For some time I’ve been debating how to add some aids for the players not to get lost (since I discovered, painfully, that players (modern players?) don’t really enjoy that). The obvious answer is an automatic minimap, but before going into that I’m experimenting with some less direct aids. This version includes “waypoints”, you can use the O key to cycle thru them, and there’s an indication in the HUD on what direction they are. Still experimenting to see how well this works.

Discovery Journal

Another big late change included in the version was the first version of the “Discovery Journal” or Field Notes, as they are called inside the game; we are now keeping track of the animals you have captured or the crops you have harvested. This is just a first effort at giving players a sense of progression in case they want to embark on the task of discovering the world.

Emerald woods – downloadable! (0.1.4)

The streak of weekly releases continues for now, hope you enjoy it!

Play online (or download!) at https://slash.itch.io/emerald-woods

Downloadable build

You can now download Emerald Woods so you can play offline easily any time you want. We are using Electron for this hence the big download size, but that shouldn’t be a problem in 2022 (luckily!). The recent update to JSRL was really helpful for this.

This also comes coupled with an “up to date” check done at startup, it will let you know if you are using an outdated version so you can quickly zip there and get the latest changes!

Note that, at least for the moment, I’m also keeping the online version up and working; also for the moment I’m only producing builds for Windows, but if you are on Mac or Linux you can still play online.


I made some efforts to put some small constraints on exploration so it’s more interesting; you’ll now be heavily affected if you don’t sleep next to a campfire, losing a bit of your max health every day. Campfires are also a bit more expensive to create now and require Flintstone which is very rare (you start with 1 but can recover it by axing a campfire).

The idea behind this is to make campfires work as shelters, you need to build them at a given place to come back every night, dismantle and make another one deeper in the woods… if you want to explore further.

The starting cabin also has a “campfire” now, of course (should rename that to “fireplace”), so you can sleep cozily there.


The intensity of the walk sound effects has been lowered, and the sounds for inventory have been changed from a loud beep to something muter.

Got some new sweet sound effects from QuietGecko which were promptly integrated; these included sounds for crafting paint, building/destroying campfires, and painting stuff.

We also added a location-based sound loop for the campfires which we’ll be improving on the next versions so it fades based on distance.


There are no big visual changes for this version, however, several icons were changed including the berries, berry bushes, and mushrooms.


  • A critical bug causing the game to crash when hanging around the map borders was fixed.
  • Several instances of missing checks to make sure the player could carry were added (when pulling fruit, capturing animals, crafting items, or sacrificing animals), before they would cause the grabbed item to be lost.
  • Prevent contextual action waterfalling when some action cannot be performed in the chain, and restore input accordingly. This was causing the players to execute the wrong contextual action when their inventory was full.

Emerald Woods – Paint the world

After almost 6 days, here is a new juicy version, hope you enjoy it!

Play online at https://slash.itch.io/emerald-woods

New activity! – Painting (the world)

  • You will now find colorful berries scattered around the world
  • You can now craft paint using colorful berries.
  • Use paint items to paint the world around you or your items.
  • Note: You can currently “poly-paint” (i.e. stacks of items get painted the same color)
  • Note: Painted items are merged as a single color stack in the inventory
  • Note: Painting (as in making paintings) is planned as a separate facet and will be awesome.


  • Change wall tiles to use block characters

User Experience

  • Add an explanation for movement modes
  • Pick things under the player if nothing in front
  • Add help for turning in Exploration Mode

Small fixes

  • Make campfire destroyable

Emerald Woods 0.1.2

After almost 3 years, here is a new juicy version, hope you enjoy it!

Play online for free at https://slash.itch.io/emerald-woods

The following are the major changes:

  • Full-screen mode!
  • Fishing v1: Build a raft and paddle inside a lake to get some fish.
  • Campfires now provide light during the night.
  • Crafting UX improvements: Imagine what you will make and then build a lot of them if you want.
  • Improved immediate on-screen help: Complete relayout and addition of the critical Transform command to obtain seed from fruits, as well as the toggle between Exploration and Work modes.
  • Increase hunger recovery for all items.
  • Tweaks in animal spawning parameters.
  • Fix critical bugs with an infinite inventory.
  • Fix bugs with an empty inventory.

Share your adventures in the community and upload your videos! if there’s enough interest the new version might take less than 3 years 🙂

Emerald Woods 0.1.0 released

Still focused on UI improvements, but incorporating some major changes in the world model, procgen and some crafting.

You can play it online here or here. Your suggestions for improvements and content are also welcome in the community.


Changelog Summary


  • Add tree variations
  • Add intro screen


  • Sleep comfortably in bed and bedroll.
  • Don’t faint when fully fatigued, but unable to work.
  • Add food that recovers fatigue and health
  • Remove “safe to sleep” places (for now)
  • Multiply stamina consumption when hungry
  • Allow chopping down world objects (doors, walls)
  • Prevent dropping items in solid tiles.
  • Add jumpable world objects, walkable only for the player. Apply for Wooden Gate.
  • Remove PEX for now until the economy is implemented.


  • Add error beep
  • Created crossfade for normal time of day change. (gecko)


  • Position newborn animals correctly.
  • Make newborns immortal.

Procedural Generation

  • Prevent adding trees to flooring tiles and solid places.
  • Add prizes to stations including Bedroll.
  • Prevent animals from being generated inside fenced areas.
    • It works but is not very optimal. It will be reworked next version.
  • Add map border (unbreakable mountain)

User Interface – Display

  • Display the item icon on the list.

User Interface – Input

  • Restore explicit farming mode and shift to turn.
  • Remove auto-mine.
  • Auto-equip tool when bumping into stone or tree.
  • Confirm prompts with Ctrl, Space or Enter.
  • Remove vi keys movement.
  • Execute all actions on key up instead of keydown (only movement on keydown)
  • Remap keys to enable clean WADXpad movement

World Model

  • Add flooring layer to level
  • Model doors as transformable items instead of cells.


  • Bridges that you can cross.
  • Wooden floor, Wood walkway, Stone road
  • Wooden wall


  • Add pathfinding infrastructure
    • Still not used for AI.
  • Craft “flooring” instead of map cells.