Helllllllo again! This is another dreadfully late blog post, and we wanted to start off by apologizing for that. We were holding off on making another post until after all the CG line art was wrapped up, but there was a bit of a hiccup on that front. We’re close, though -— just four to go as of the time of writing! As backgrounds have been progressing steadily as well, progress on the art front overall has been pretty positive.
In the last post we mentioned grabbing a new sprite artist without dropping a name on you. We did preview a rough Mekki mockup on Twitter but never showed anything here, so apologies if you missed that! In either case, we can 100% officially announce that AcoTan is working on our sprites now, and they’re looking great! For now we’ll still just dump some roughs on you, but we’ll of course have fully finalized stuff to look at hopefully soonish.
Okay so, with that being said, we were going for full transparency regarding our situation in the last blog post, and would like to continue that trend in this one. What’s about to come will definitely sound dire, but we hope you’ll take our word that everything is going smoothly as of right now and we’re in a much better place than before.
First Snow was originally pitched as a small time investment, with the potential for asset reuse and the like, but that started being the case less and less due to some long-time developers’ cease of involvement. As such, First Snow’s new given purpose has been to provide us with a window to lick several years’ worth of wounds and take a critical eye to Twofold proper, giving us some time to look at the future of the main VN while simultaneously giving you guys something to chew on.
And that we’ve done. What we’ve concluded is that Twofold’s initial scripts and overall premise were more than a little messy, and we’ve been trying too hard to salvage them for the sake of consistency with publicly released information.
We’ve been trying to mask this for a while; avoiding questions in regards to writing, being vague about the premise while we tried to sort it out ourselves. We cannot apologize enough for this. Trying to keep everything you know about the story intact just tied our hands too much. Because of this we want to just air this dirty laundry out right now, so we can wipe away the things we had previously built up and re-examine things with a “nothing is guaranteed” outlook, without feeling like we were deceiving you.
So. What’s changing, as of right now? While we want to re-examine absolutely everything, here’s a few things we’ve already been mulling over:
We’ve brought this point up repeatedly, but we really do want the emphasis of this story to be on the concept of family and what that entails. Despite us being pretty vocal about this, it isn’t actually super apparent with things like the website and such. This is definitely the core of our story and we want to treat it as such.
One of the very first things we established in the story is that it would be about Oliver flunking out of school. This stopped being the primary focus relatively quick, but we kept hammering this point home because it was one of the foundations we built up early.
Oliver suffering through his courses in one aspect or another is still planned (at this time) to be an element at the start of the VN, but we don’t want to cite this as the actual premise anymore. If we use this plot element at all in the final draft, it’ll likely just be a way to goad Oliver into a club but we don’t want it to be the focus of the story in the slightest.
Trimming down characters. There were a lot of characters in early versions of Twofold. A LOT. We’re condensing them down as much as humanly possible. Some characters in the super old demo, Lawe and Izaac, have already been cut, and a few unreleased ones have also been scrapped entirely or merged into other characters.
In addition to this, we’ve also been re-considering the roles played by the current characters in the story, and tweaking or otherwise changing their personalities and purpose in the story to better match the new situation.
- Oliver himself. We mentioned this a bit in the last post and before that as well, but we want to tone him down. In previous drafts he was just outright cruel and while we still think having him be a bit standoffish and antisocial can work, he was just way too deep into that.
Some cosmetic and background changes. There are artifacts from Twofold’s very first draft that are recognizable, but don’t really represent the VN anymore. We want to consider removing them.
A prime example of this is Caprice’s hat. We’ve heard Twofold called “the visual novel with the top hat girl” more than once and we considered stuff like this as sacred, unchangeable thing, but given the freedom to explore removing small elements like these would be nice.
- Re-working the background story of the clubs. In the really old demo and our own earlier drafts, the writing club was woefully underdeveloped and seemed to be drifting around purposelessly for the sake of giving the writing characters a place to interact. While the art club had a somewhat better development arc going for it, it needed some extra fleshing out as well.
Finally, we want to bring up the possibility of First Snow not using Twrlare’s sprites. Our plan as of right now is to go ahead and use them, as they’re all drawn up and just require coloring, but depending on AcoTan’s and Curchack’s speed and schedule, swapping them out may not be out of the picture. We’d prefer this to maintain consistency between the two visual novels, but have no intention of delaying FS to make this happen. It should not influence the release at all, so don’t worry about it too much, we just wanted to give you a fair warning just in case we update one day and the sprites looked entirely different.
At this point, we’d say that the vast majority of stuff that you’d know about Twofold from the old demo is not at all accurate anymore. As such, we removed links to the old demo from the website. If you really really need it for some reason, you can still get it HERE. It’d be nice to take the time to re-write the summary and bios on the website to reflect all the changes too, but please understand that’s a low priority right now compared to actually getting the stuff done.
We know there’s been a couple of apologies already, but I want to offer one more as we wrap this blog post up. There’s been a pretty severe lack of transparency on our part while we tried to fix things up, but all that caused was problems on both sides. While we continue to finish up First Snow, we’re going to use our time to plan out Twofold to the best of our ability and will hopefully have more solid stuff for both visual novels for you sooner rather than later.