Shoppe Keep is a construction and management simulation role-playing video game developed by Arvydas Žemaitis of Strange Fire, and published by Excalibur Games and Merge Games. It was released on May 20, 2016, and can be purchased from the Steam store. The game is available for the PC, Mac and Linux platforms.
The game is set in a fictional world around the medieval time period where the player enters the role of a shop owner who inherited the business from their grandfather. The player is given the ability to furnish their shop with displays that they can use to sell merchandise. They can also order, organize, and set prices for the merchandise they purchase. Once the player has settled on what furniture they will use and what merchandise they will sell, they can open the shop and begin a new day.
During a day, the player will encounter many customers of different classes. Some customers will be mages and will only be interested in magic based items, while other customers will be warriors and will only be interested in offensive and defensive items. Regardless of what class a customer is, if they notice something akin to their interests in the shop, they'll enter and make a purchase.
The player will also encounter thieves and barbarians during a normal day. Thieves are customers who cannot afford to buy anything and will resort to stealing as a means of getting what they want. They will enter the shop, locate the item they want, grab it and start running. The player's job is to stop them by using their weapon or magic attacks. If the thief gets away, the item is lost.
Barbarians are vicious characters that will go out of their way to shut down the player's business. They will normally form a raid party and will attack the shop at random. When they do, all of your customers will flee to safety, and the barbarians will enter the shop to destroy any object they encounter. However, if the player attempts to stop them, they will switch their focus onto the player. The player must then defend themselves if they wish to keep their business afloat.
In Shoppe Keep, days are split into four segments. The morning, afternoon and evening segments are each five minutes long. The morning is the start of the day and yields little customer traffic, the afternoon shows the bulk of customer traffic, and the evening slows things down again. The fourth segment occurs when the shop is closed at midnight, which allows the player to calmly maintain their shop and stock.
Once a day has ended, the player's work doesn't. Aside from being able to purchase and place furniture and merchandise, the player is also able to repair damaged furniture and sweep up dirt and dead bodies from the floor. Doing so will improve the approval rating of the shop, and will attract more customers.
The player is able to unlock and upgrade skills that can help them in various ways. Such skills include the ability to open a portal in their back room to speed up delivery times, while another skill allows the player to enable a thief-proof entrance to their shop.
The player can also craft new items from a cauldron to sell in the shop. Most of the required ingredients for the cauldron must be taken from the grinding machine. To make these ingredients, the player must insert items they don't need from their hand into the grinder. The grinder will then pulverize the item and turn it into material that can be used as ingredients in the cauldron.
Shoppe Keep, like many other indie games, was conceptualized in the middle of the night in a developer's bedroom. The first build of the game, now called build zero, started off as a realistic simulator of shop management. Customers were polygonal humanoid characters that changed colors, the shoppe scroll was an iPad, the shop itself was a simple divider wall and delivery zone, there were only two items to buy, and the items would arrive in crates instead of chests.
Over the span of 3-4 months after the fundraiser, the project was named Shop Keep, the art direction for the game was established, sounds and music were created, a main menu was added, a whole set of new items and objects were added, a short campaign was added, and then a different name for the game was chosen, Shoppe Keep. On July 2, 2015, the first in a series of five change logs were released describing the changes that took place in the game during the hiatus of news posts.
On August 20, 2015, the game was released under the early access program in the Steam store. The game received continuous updates which included new features, updates to core functionality, performance improvements and bug fixes. It was launched as a fully released game on May 20, 2016.