Celestial Tear: Demon's Revenge

Hello everyone,

This update is going to focus a lot on the battle mechanics and what changes to expect. We look forward to any comments and critique as this will deviate in a lot of ways from the previous system and the game as a whole. We have been holding off showing a lot of these features as we wanted to make sure it was tested and functional and most of all fun.

Before we get into that, we just want to acknowledge just how long it is taking to recreate this. Admittedly, it is taking a lot longer than we anticipated. This is mainly due to trying to create a perfect base for the rest of the chapter to build on. The battle system, the map systems, all of the menus had to be redone. A lot of the base is finished and a lot of the game is playable, but there’s still more that needs to be done. So let’s move on to the update! 😀

Making An Engaging Battle System

Getting this thing done has been the most pain staking part of this process. The biggest obstacles we faced was getting the right people on the job. Now we have gotten the system to a presentable state and we are ready to go.

The previous system suffered from repetitive turn based game play. In most JRPGs there is usually a single way to fight enemies in your standard system. One of our main goals that we had when we started this game was to have make our system into something the player wanted to do. We wanted battles to be just as engaging as the story and persuade you to enter combat.

One of the ways that we initially started with which is already in the previous version of the game was the inclusion of combo system. We have since upgraded that system by making it faster smoother and more engaging.

Riposte

While using the combo system (your basic attack), the enemy now has a chance to knock you out of your combo string by performing a riposte. These happen randomly with multiple variations on occurrence based on what you are fighting.

Active Defense

 

via GIPHY

We have also included a defense system in which players have the option to avoid enemy melee attacks manually. This will use some of your AP bar(previously known as the RG bar) and will completely negate the damage that would effect the character.

The Grid

The grid in place is what we referred to as positioning in the past. Where you are on the battlefield will effect what your opponent does. With the inclusion of obstacles and terrain, it makes for some very interesting scenarios. Again, the way that your opponent may react to an obstacle or terrain will change, especially between creatures and people.

We feel like these mechanics will not only be a lot of fun, but they will change the way you look at the characters you play, as well as the enemies you face. Strategy will play a big role in this updated system.

Face Portraits

Since we increased our resolution, we noticed our older face portraits were not going to be as noticeable as they were before. We needed something much bigger. We had already started the process of adding emotions to the character portraits and with help from our artist, Ricky, we had that fully realized!

New Cutscene Animations

We also took another look at some of the scenes and decided that they were a bit too static for what was going on so we added a little more movement so that they were more organic.

In Conclusion

We hope you all enjoyed this update! We are constantly working on this game. We rarely show anything unless we have had significant progress. We are trucking along and we are still extremely dedicated. We do not have a solid release date as of yet for the engine update or episode 2, but as soon as we do we will let you know. Thanks for taking a look at our latest update. We look forward to showing more soon!

Please let us know if you have any questions, comments, suggestions, anything. We’d love to hear back from you all! 😀

– Tyrell & Whitney White

1 Year update

Last year, it was around this time of the year that we released our first game on Steam. We are dedicated to providing a greater experience going forward. To let everyone know exactly what has been going on with the project, here is a detailed list of the changes and advancements we have made with this project so far. We look forward to both your feedback and critique of what we have as we climb towards getting out a beta as well as the official release.

Presentation and Menus

One of the biggest critiques that we had experienced was the resolution of the game.

We have increased it from 640×480 to 1280×720. This gives the game a much more crisp look as well as more room for menus and text.

In our previous version, when we put the game in full screen it left the game stretched. Pixels were not as crisp and it seemed to make the game look bad to some who would prefer to play on that setting.

Main Menu

The main menu now features much more of the characters portraits. Due to the new positioning system there is also a part of the menu where you can modify the way your party is placed during battle.

Main menu
Main menu

Item Menu

The item menu is a little different here. We wanted to make the most out of the amount of space we had, so now there are now three columns. This is a great addition as you can acquire many items at one time in the game and having the extra space as well as the sorting options will make finding the item you need much easier.

Item menu
Item menu

Status menu

The status menu has some notable changes as well. You can cycle through stats to get a quick view of status resistances and basic attributes. We have also decided to get rid of MP levels so that there is only one MP bar for all skills.

Status
Status

Skill Menu

The skill menu has also gone through some notable changes. The combo finishers and skills are on two different windows. Also when you upgrade, there is a separate window which gives you more insight into what the upgrade/gaining of that ability will be able to do. The visuals of this screen are not finished, but it is functional.

Skill
Skill

Controls and Key Config

Another feature we looked into when we were upgrading the engine was the ability to change your key configuration. We had some players who were interested in this feature and we wanted to make sure that it was addressed. Unlike the previous version, controller and keyboard operation will work together.

Key config
Key config

This is not the final look. We intend to modify it a bit more. It is fully functional and shifts to gamepad controls once it is plugged in.

Backer Rewards

Although the game is released we still have some backer content that needs to be fulfilled. The soundtrack has been slowed since the last time we talked, but there are at least 8 songs that need to be done/redone and so far we have not been able to get that done. We have contemplated releasing what we have, but we don’t feel like it is complete enough for commercial release.

Backer Character: Percyl

Another backer boss character, Percyl by HolyHeaven, has gotten the Demon’s Revenge treatment. He is a young penguin pirate who can travel through different worlds in his boat, this time he has docked on Hasphal.

Percyl
Percyl

News On Mioni Saga

We have talked about our in-between project called The Mioni Saga which features an important character from episode 2. We have gotten most of the writing and some sprite work done, but a few aspects in the main system have to be addressed. We have most of that done and we will move onto that as soon as we get the episode 1 update done.

In Mioni’s saga, we feature a very important character to the world of Hasphal known as Hydorn. He was mentioned a few times in episode one, but we really dive into his origins and the impact he has made on the planet through Mioni’s journey.

Hydorn
Hydorn

Updated Tools

Tools are now much faster and varied. Sen’s waterball is now capable of grabbing and opening items like chest that may seem hard to reach on maps. Jagen’s scythe now cuts more area at once. I really did not like the animations that were there previously and I am far more satisfied with the updated version.

 project video thumbnail

Subtitles & Captions
English — English


Make your video accessible in other languages and to deaf and hard-of-hearing backers.

Marketing and Release

I mention this as it is probably the most important aspect of our process. We had done a very poor job on the initial release as far as getting the news and generating interest for our game’s Steam release. We do not want to end up in the same position as we were before with giving a release date and not fulfilling that promise. For now we will continue to update you with information as we progress in regards to both the future episodes and content released as we move forward.

T-shirt
T-shirt

With that being said, we have a much stronger campaign which involves me doing a lot of work like I did with our crowdfunding campaign. We will also be working with a PR company in order to supplement our efforts, but we are going for some re-branding and trying to resurrect our initial efforts.

More Enemies and More Animations

Dash
Dash

 

Jump
Jump

I mentioned in a previous update that we were adding more basic animations to characters in order to make them move more cohesive with the grid system. We also increased the amount of enemies that will be in episode 1. There was a feature (day/night enemies/skills) in the game that we did not get a chance to implement as well as a major plot point in the game where a major battle was supposed to appear. All of these things will be featured in the update as well as the interactive objects in battle.

These are four of the added enemies in the game. We also will be updating a few with  more animations and skills to use on the grid. There will also be the addition of a couple of bosses.

Conclusion

We are working very hard to get this out to everyone. We are very close to getting a tech demo and beta out. We would love to give an exact date  for the release, but there are somethings that are out of our hands. As soon as we get the battle system stuff presentable we will have a better idea on when we can release and provide a date for it. We will feature the battle system in its own update as we have a lot to go over with it.

Thanks everyone for your continued support. We will have another update soon.

Long Overdue Update

Hey everyone,

Its been a while since we did an update and although we have been a bit quiet, you can be sure that we have been getting some work done. Our website is down right now and it is going to go through a bit of a make over. We have other side projects that we are going to start working on and we want everything to be accessible in one place. We had a little trouble paying for our website, but it should be back up in another week or so. Now let’s get back to the game.

Backer Characters

We are working on backer submitted boss characters and where they will be located within the game. One of those characters is Bumato and with the information Jay gave us, we were able to produce this design.

Bumato
Bumato

More Animations

While coming up with the improved battle system, we decided that there needed to be more and improved animations so that everything will flow well. Movement going horizontal and vertically had to be uniform and efficient so we decided to use dashing and jumps to simulate a character going from one area on the grid to another.

Vertical movement
Vertical movement

We used jumps to simulate taking a strategic position going vertically. We felt like this smooth transition would help with both the aesthetics and game flow.

Dash
Dash

 

Dodge
Dodge

We also felt like the dash and dodge animations worked best for non running characters to get to where they needed to go much quicker. That helps with getting into position as fast as possible so that the flow of battle would feel quick and satisfying. We felt that the way some things worked in the previous version was too slow and not as responsive as we wanted it to be.

A lot of the work done was non visual, back end stuff. We have a few more things to show, but at this stage in development we need it to be much more presentable. Stay tuned as we continue to show more progress and talk about an ETA on release as the month goes on.

Getting back on track

This month has been very productive. We have reached a lot of our goals. We have also been doing a lot of research on what it’s going to take to make sure we do things better going forward. We have fallen way behind in communicating with everyone who has invested their time and money with our product, but we assure you that the time we are spending to make this a better experience is going to be well worth it. Especially if you like the current version available on Steam.

Sprite Animations

I have been doing quite a bit of spriting and coming up with a few needed upgrades to animations. These were either minor updates that needed to be taken care of or missing animations that I felt were essential.

Good news! The combo system is very complete there still needs to be some testing and there’s possibly a few bugs that we have to work out, but it is really close to what we need it to be. I say really close because the function that we have went with works a lot better for an RPG. We wanted to take the idea of a turn based battle system and combine it with some new elements and create something unique. You will see and find a few elements from fighting games in our system, but it’s not too distracting from the premise that it would be off putting. It is however pretty engaging and fun.

Countering

Boar Counter
Boar Counter

We also have a new counter system in which your combos can be interrupted. We can make each enemy have a different counterattack that they will perform and their own timer for the chance for you to counter his counter. It is a lot more fun than just pressing buttons and watching a combo play out. It has proven to be a rewarding experience. It’s there to keep you on your feet, engaged and ready for action.

We are going to try and get a presentation for the combo system done within the next 2 weeks. We are just having a little trouble with the battle layers. I want it to look very polished before showing it and the animated battle layers working properly will really help.

Updated Ending

The final few panels for the episode 1 ending motion comic is complete. We just don’t want to spoil anything. Well… Some of you may know what happens in the end, but we thought it was a little anti-climatic so it’s going to be written a little bit better with much better visuals.

Character Portraits

With that being said there were also some important characters with missing portraits. Those are near complete and we are going to get the backer character portraits soon after that.

Az portrait
Az portrait

Episode 2 and 3 and Release Schedule

We’ve had huge delays on these episodes. This comes largely in part to the changing of the engine and outsourced code work. We however have to also take into account the amount of time that we are going to use in order to promote the game effectively. That being said I can not see the completion of the next two installments until next year. There is a significant amount of work done for the next episodes. This includes tiles, music, and of course the basic code that we are working on for this update.

I am sure this is really disappointing for our season pass holders, but this is all worth it for a much better product. Once we get the ground work back up, we will have a much better idea on when these next episodes will be complete.

For the next update to ep. 1, we will be shooting for early next year. This is for the time we need to promote and create marketing materials for our project as well as trying to bypass the holiday season. Many AAA titles will be promoting and releasing during that time. To be honest, I have tried to get my publisher to suspend the title on Steam until we update the game. We are very proud of our work, but technically it is not up to the standards we want to represent.

More Content

Here’s something that we talked about, but did not go into much detail in a previous update regarding the wait time between episodes. We do intend to provide content to supplement the wait time and keep everyone interested and engaged. Right now, we are working on a story for one of our important NPC’s named Mioni. We talked about her quite a lot during our kickstarter campaigns and we would like to properly introduce this character and her importance to the story.

Thanks for your time and patience, we hope to update you again soon.

-Tyrell and Whitney White

Hey everyone,

We are going for a really strong push to get a beta out to you guys so that you can see what is so special about this coming update. We have taken our time to work on this so that our next installments will have a good platform to build unto.

This will be quite different than your initial experience. New dialogue, new characters and new places to explore. The battle system will be much more robust and the overall story experience will be far more obtainable and less disjointed.

We take making games very seriously. Although this has made the second episode come a lot slower we feel this is the right way to go. Giving you what you have pledged for or more is our goal. We know we have something really special and we have put together a pretty impressive team. I feel like all the pieces have really come together.

That being said, the motion comic ending is coming together rather nicely. Ricky is putting together some really nice artwork from our concept. I was told by Whitney I should not show the whole thing so I decided to show a panel that was not too far into spoiler territory.

This is really going to be nice. We wanted each episode to end on a motion comic and we are going to make that happen! Looks great and we feel as though it is really going to get the point across.

The battle system is something that we are getting really excited about. As we see it coming together, we are thinking about new and interesting ideas to do with it. Some of it is about the environment interaction and a lot of it is generally how you can strategically move your party around the field.

Here you can see more of the types of attacks that we may have. This would be piercing damage and as you can see, it would be effected by both range and the character’s position on the grid.

Here you can see that a character can take up a certain amount of space which can affect its movement ability. Having this type of control and variation will make some really unique experiences. We look forward to having a lot of fun with this. Someone (Shaun) once told me that RPG turn based battle systems are like a puzzles. As this system becomes more robust I really begin to take that point of view to heart.

I have been working on many more animations, working on new enemies to help move the story along.

We hope you enjoy what we have presented to you all today. We have much more content and much more work to do and we will get it done. What ever it takes!

Thanks again everyone!

-Tyrell & Whitney White

Progress continues

Hey everyone we wanted to give you an update on what is going on. Right now we are still in the process of converting the game and we should be well on our way to getting things polished and a lot more enjoyable for everyone when we release it. That means that a lot of the game is also going under the microscope and we will be ironing out things and adding a bit of content for those who would like to play the first chapter again after this initial upgrade to the new engine.

giphy

We are always looking for ways to improve the game and taking the game to this new engine has proved fruitful. The frame rate is much better and we are able to accommodate our heavy load of images and effects that we use in our battle system and you can see how that coupled with the larger resolution has made for a much better visual experience.

Visuals alone does not make a great game and working with Shaun we have already come up with some really good story points to the game that may need tweaking, things we never considered which add much more flavor to the characters and story and make the world a bit more robust and attractive.

Dialogue will also come with some emotions and a little more animation. We have started to adopt the idea of using facial animations for the characters portraits combined with the voice acting to give you a better idea on how they are feeling. We hope that this will make the characters feel more alive, although there are plenty of animations to hammer the point home I am always looking for ways to engage our audience.

Sad
Sad
Angry
Angry
Happy
Happy

Some other things that I did not feel were quite right and we were going over was the battle animations and designs. I felt like we could have done a much better job on some of the sprite animations, especially with the Ridders, as they will play a bigger part in the story. We are also considering giving them combo finishers so that they will be more consistent with the current playable roster.

Quint's new stance
Quint’s new stance
Quint's old stance
Quint’s old stance

We also took a lot of critique from reviews and gamers who felt our game was missing some things or could have been improved in certain areas. So we are looking to add shops, more variation in areas, variation in enemies and a way to respawn enemies. Other things that we didn’t quite have time to implement will also be featured in the upcoming update like night time enemies and skills. Side quests and other battle features.

New wolf den BG
New wolf den BG
Blackthorne : side quest
Blackthorne : side quest

As far as rewards go we are still working towards getting that soundtrack out. We are working on getting the cover art for that made as well as some extra physical goodies for those who pledged for the physical copy of the game. We have a lot more things to talk about and go into detail but we will wait for another update for that.

We have taken up some commission work to help further development on our project so coming up with an exact release date will be misleading. We have an idea when we would like to release it, but we want to be very careful when we announce it.

Thanks for all you have done for us we will continue to try and provide you with a great gaming experience.

T-Shirt design and writing direction

Hey everyone,

I wanted to talk to you all about some of the changes and direction that we are looking to explore as we are writing a more dynamic set of dialogue and events. One of the things we felt we got away from was the general themes of identity and discovery. This is something we want to really look to move forward with as we talk about this in our weekly meetings with Shaun. We are really looking into the nature of each character and trying to build around that for the entire infrastructure of the game. If it’s Jagen’s nobility or Sen’s detachment from civilization at a young age, we want you guys to build an understanding and a reason why these characters do what they do.

We are always looking into ways to show backer appreciation as we have a few backer rewards in progress we are looking into more creative ways to show you all ow appreciative that you have helped now and in some ways towards to future.

Recently we had a T-shirt designed by Ricky and we wanted to see if we could get that out to some backers at specific tiers. We are still trying to figure that out but for now we are concentrating on the design. We went with the chibi like character designs with the silhouettes of the main antagonists from the entire Chapter 1. We hope you enjoy it and we would really like to get them into a few of you backers hands. We may do more designs in the future, but we seemed to attract a bit more attention with these “cute” designs than we normally would have. So in the future expect something a lot more “Demon’s Revengy” in art style.

We would have had this update out a little sooner, but I was hoping to get a little more content out there for you all to take a look at. Mostly to talk about some battle stuff, as I think that contains the bulk of the changes. I am currently working on some new enemies like this spider, but it would be a lot cooler to see it in game with its proper colors.

The colors are not finalized, but I thought it would be cool to show some progress on some things we have not shown off yet.

We hope you enjoy this update. We have a lot more things coming up soon. The new and improved combat system and a more robust ending with a new motion comic. This time we are going to make sure the videos can play on everyone’s computer well. That was a huge problem we faced with the previous release.

We are always looking forward to hearing what you guys think.

Thanks again and we look forward to showing you all more and releasing this major update and then finally moving on to episode 2.

Soundtrack and battle mechanics

So as things progress we wanted to let you know how some of these rewards are working out. One of the rewards that is closer to getting completed is the soundtrack although there are many of the songs already completed we have about 40 more tracks for the entire chapter one. We would like to put this out sooner than later but we feel that it needs to be complete in order for you to enjoy the entire soundtrack as a whole.

We played around with the idea of releasing it with the current tracks and than upgrading it over time but one solid release seems like the most viable idea. We do have the cover art completed for the soundtrack and the more we get done on it the more we really want to release it to you all. Let us know how you feel about releasing the soundtrack, especially to you backers as we would like your opinions.

These are the current complete tracks not counting the 40 or so other tracks for the entire chapter.

Track list
Track list

With the soundtrack cover we wanted something a little more colorful and fun. So we had Ricky do a design that reflected that. Ricky did a great job here. As always he really shows how versatile he can be.

Soundtrack cover
Soundtrack cover

Upgrading the battles system

Some things about our system did not reflect our entire vision, animations did not play out entirely like they were suppose too and some key features were missing. There were balancing issues and what was suppose to be the one of the biggest highlights of our game became the most polarizing part of it. Now there is some reason for the way things went the way they had, a guy we commissioned to do work on it stopped working on it and we had a hard time getting in touch with him prior to our initial release so a lot of key features, basic functions and overall performance of our system just was not were it needed to be. Not to say there were not some issues on our end. We wanted a challenging game and we went about it the right way. Now we have a better idea on what we need to do in order to make the game both fun and challenging and we are implementing those things as I am writing this update to you now.

One of the big things we are working on is pacing and the overall feel of the system. The combo system was not as “snappy” and fast paced as it needed to be. We wanted some form of agency as you were pressing the buttons and performing your combos.

Previously when you performed your combo the entire animation would play out and you would have to wait for the transitions back into the idle stance.

Full-frames
Full-frames

Although it looks smooth it can feel a little stiff and may prolong the battle far longer than it needs to be.

So we want something that feels natural to your button presses, as long as you have pressed your next combo attack before it hits your animations should transition into the next hit and it would look a little more like this.

Combo-Flow
Combo-Flow

Here, it is a lot more fast paced and upon each hit you should immediately go into the next animation. This paces the battles much better and makes it feel a little more dynamic.

Now if you miss or you do not make the button press on time you will still get the full frames with transition so that the enemies dodge animation will look more natural to the animation you are performing.

Working with the new resolution changes the way we are going to present the battles and we are coming up with more efficient ways of using them to conserve both space and the amount of memory the engine will use. So we are playing around with the idea to use the 200+ frame animations in video format. Converting the images into webm videos which compress down really well..

This is the battle background in webm format. Although this video cuts off, you can see that it loops very well in engine. We have much more to talk about regarding the battle system and we should have more news about that and more soon.

Thanks again for your time. We look forward to talking about more in the next update.

-Tyrell and Whitney White

May 28th update

As I was getting up today I noticed how off track we had strayed from giving you guys updates. I had been posting things on facebook and twitter for the last couple of days before I begin work on the game in the morning. A lot has happened over that time and we would like to share a lot of that with you.

 

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What has been going on with CTDR

Hey guys, this update is really late but we have been working really hard on the game and a lot of big things have been going on for and around the game.

One of the big things we have been doing is submitting our project to IndieCade and for the Indie Mega Booth at PAX Prime. We have been going over hundreds of pages of bug fixes and game play elements to get the game ready for those two events and we really hope our project gets selected for both.

That being said, it is ready for our backers to give it a swing. We are going to prepare a section in the forum really soon for you all to give your feedback and let us know how we are doing. This has not really been tackled yet as we have had all our energy and focused on the game.
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