Hi hello, it’s been a long while since any kind of significant post so I wanted to get a relatively large status update out of the way.
Let’s just go down the list of the usual things as well as popular issues that we’ve seen brought up a few times:
On Radio Silence
As we progress further and further into developing WiP, it becomes increasingly harder to show our actual progress since we want to avoid spoiling events, characters, et cetera.
For now, there’s a hard cut-off for things we’re able to show, assigned at scene 30.
Since the original demo was already 20 scenes in, there isn’t a lot left we feel comfortable showing, which is why there’s been a minimum amount of new content coming out. It sounds silly and arbitrary but THEMS THE BREAKS.
There are currently no plans to release a second public demo. We got a ton of useful feedback from our first release and we think it gave us a good idea of what people were liking and what we needed to improve on.
A second demo feels sort of redundant in that regard since we expect we’d just be getting confirmation about things we already know.
On top of that, we’d end up spending more time going over the beginning scenes, tweaking everything again and while it’s definitely always good to build on and improve your work, if we keep going back to it we’re afraid it may cause some kind of burn out (working on the same 20 scenes over and over can make anything feel like a slog).
However, like before the first demo we’ll be releasing private builds to select people so we can get feedback on new things after we get further into development.
Why are you taking so long?
On top of the usual go-tos it’s easy to underestimate the amount of work/quality we’ve committed to filling the VN with.
Using the sprites as an example, we have several expressions, poses, and then pile those on with multiple outfits (some are even planned to have indoor/outdoor variants to remove things like coats, accessories, etc…yikes!) and you have a verrrrrrrrrry long list of things to make. There are also characters like Mekki who has an asymmetrical design which effectively means her sprite count has to more or less double. As a matter of fact, in the demo Mekki had over 130 sprites, and I expect that number to easily triple before we finish.
This kind of work ethic applies to other areas as well, obviously: the way we handle choices in the writing results in scenes that are GIANT due to the number of alternative paths they have. We realize going this route makes the odds of success seem low but we’re fully invested in paying attention to as many small details as possible and that means we have a lot of additional things to make that another VN of a similar size may exclude.
Please be (as) patient (as possible)!
Sprites are going on at a mostly consistent pace. While new sprites are coming out, we’ve also taken the opportunity to redraw all of the extremely old sprites present in the demo (the art club sprites were over a year older than all of the writing club sprites, for example) so roughly half of the sprites you’ve seen before have gotten some nice redraws.
We’ve also attempted to future-proof new sprites by creating the base sprites for the entire cast now, making future poses, clothes, etc appear more consistent than those seen in the demo.
Likewise, we’ve brought on Skrats as a dedicated redliner since the demo, and he’s been quality checking all of the art assets (sprites as well as CGs) for things like anatomy and the like.
Amazing, great, super. CGs are pretty much completely caught up and the grand majority of the CGs from the demo have been redrawn.
We’re well aware that the CGs got the most amount of criticism from before and we’ve worked hard to rectify that. Here’s some before and after comparisons (it’s honestly a little embarrassing to post these…):
Curchack, our background artist, also colors all of the CGs and sprites to maintain consistency.
Since there’s a LOT of sprites and CGs being developed and only a few new backgrounds they’re taking lower priority on the to-do list.
They’re still being done, but we’re putting emphasis on other assets for the time being.
We mostly haven’t had the need for new music, so there’s been no new music lately. That being said we’re still looking for more musicians for when we, you know, DO need music. So that was pretty simple. Hit us up if you’re interested!
We have one writer who has been dealing with personal issues so it’s admittedly been sluggish.
Things are still being produced, just at a slower-than-we’d-like pace due to problems outside our control.
However, this is being worked on and up until recently we’ve been fine!
We’re aware people want to see more of the side characters.
Things like bios or short stories are currently low-priority while we work on the actual VN but we’re at least aware of the desire and we’ll see what happens later on when workload lessens. As for character count you can expect to see five-seven (there’s a solid number, just want to leave you some guessing room!) more important characters in the VN that you didn’t see in the demo (this includes the parents you’ve seen thus far however, so the amount of “new” characters is less than that). Outside of the club members we wanted to keep the cast fairly small and have the characters relate to each other in more ways.
The new engine is continuing to be slowly worked on, with little to actually talk about.
In the meantime, scenes 21+ will still be temporarily directed in Ren’Py, the engine used in the demo, to get a basic idea of how they should look as well as be used in the previously mentioned private builds.
There! Hopefully that long list of stuff can help assure you that we’re still workin’ to the best of our ability. If you ever have any questions or concerns please please please join our IRC and hit us up, there’s almost always at least one of us active.