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.
So we are extremely busy and a lot more organized than we have ever been. We have started using a program called Trello and it has increased production exponentially. We are pretty much done with the demo beta besides a few bugs and workarounds that makes it a bit more playable. We are setting something up in Trello so that it will be a lot easier for our beta testers to give direct feedback and bug reports. We are pretty excited to hear from you guys, we want the beta to be as playable as possible as we continue to improve on what is beginning to really impress me.
Ricky has finished this gorgeous map. We are extremely impressed with what he has done. Despite all the work he has done previously, this map is one of the best pieces of art he has created. Whitney’s vision on these places coming to life is really cool. I was skeptical of all the locations she had and wondered if it was too much. It looks perfectly balanced and the detail is so good I thought we could offer the full sized version to our backers as a wallpaper.
Over the course of developing this game we have had some good expectations and in a lot of ways when I test play our project we have met and exceeded anything I personally thought we could have achieved. I have grown so much with my pixel art and I continue to evolve as this project goes on. Jagen has been one of the more detailed and prominent characters in our game and he has been the bane of my existence, with all the detail that both Whitney and Ricky put on him. Yet I still am able to improve on what I was able to do before hand. A lot of people respect my work which makes me very proud. I never thought I would reach this level of achievement doing what I love.
We have had some gameplay changes and we would definitely like your opinion on it. Although we will continue to have jumping in our game, freely jumping anywhere you want will no longer be a feature. We had some visual and gameplay problems with it and in order to tie the project down in a clean and neat package we had to modify it the way we did. Now there will be jumping prompts where that aspect is available and hopefully we will maintain that free roam aspect and feel of the game.
We have also implemented a point and rage system within the combo and finisher system. There are now three buttons instead of 4 directions, having left and right seemed a bit redundant and the other button will more than likely be reserved for cancelling out of the melee attack position. The base combo points will start at 40 and progress as the game goes on. Up, which is the strongest attack has less accuracy and takes the bulk of the points. Left is the moderate attack and takes a modest amount of points and does middle of the road damage. Down does the least damage and has the most accuracy which takes the least points. They also have direction implications which will allow you to exploit an opponents weakness or discover its advantages. For example, attacking a flying enemy like a bat which has 100% evasion against your low attack would be useless so instead of spamming the attack button you will be planning out your attacks and hopefully this holds players attention to battle. Rage points are used to execute a combo finisher. You gather rage points as you do melee damage and are attacked. It is divided into 4 sections which attributes to the four levels of combo finishers. Our goal is to make the battles both fun visually and technically and help you connect with our characters both in and out of battle.
We hope you all enjoyed this update, we are definitely on our way!
Hey everyone, we have been pretty quiet over the last couple of weeks mostly because we are working towards a predetermined goal. We have been hammering at our demo for the last couple of weeks due to a stream that made us work twice as hard on our game due to some of the missteps that we saw within in it. The good thing is that we have a pretty good demo and we are going to distribute it to our backer beta testers soon.
We have had some pretty solid work done by Ricky over that time. He has been working on some of the character intros as well as the world map and hopefully we’ll see the complete versions soon. He has already done an excellent job as always.
Battle System Status
We have just a few more things to implement and test with our battle system, although it is almost ready to distribute and test for our backers we still have much more that we need to do as far as visuals and bug fixes.
We are pretty excited about the combos and the combo finishers. They add some real variety and excitement in the battle system, enough to hold your attention. As you go further into the game you will be able to unlock, upgrade and perform more combos to help keep you engaged and having fun throughout your gameplay.
Interactive objects are something that is in the game but we have yet to implement it. This is something else that will add a little more depth and variety in our system. As we have been playing our current build we realize that this could be used to make boss battles a little more strategic and add some variety in the ways you can defeat your enemies.
Game Release Date And Backer Rewards.
It is now April and most of the rewards were due last month. We do apologize for the delay. We now plan to release the game in the summer and we are in progress of getting the rest of the rewards as soon as possible. Our soundtrack for chapter one is nearly complete and we have over 24 tracks for it. We have a few motion comics in progress and we will be featured on steam when we launch. We have recently realized that some of our backers have yet to receive their wallpapers and we will send a message out individually to see if they had received it yet.
A big reason the game is being delayed is due to our production quality increasing, marketing and bringing our game up to industry standards. We apologize for the delay but we hope you will still enjoy the hard work and effort we are putting into this project.
We are coming very close to releasing the demo, we have worked very hard pushing each other and arguing with each other to make sure everything fits our combined vision. We feel that we have something that everyone will really have fun with. This month has been very exciting and we are eager to get feedback on everything that we have. Be prepared to lend us your unbiased opinion and let us know how you feel about everything when it comes out.
We are first going to be streaming the demo on hitbox with the Average Giants on Monday the 23rd at 9PM EST. Come see us get some direct criticism and see what Indie Game Magazine has to say about our game. If you guys can come and lend us the support, we would really appreciate it. It is always a fun stream and both Nicks are really cool people and usually very nice.
One of the cool things that we are bringing to the table and that gives the battle backgrounds a bit more depth is adding some really solid animation. We have managed to get our animator, Chris Lewin, back on the job and he has produced some really solid results check it out!
Ricky is at it again and he has done some really cool art work. He’s interpreting our vision from my less than stellar story boards. He started working on the intros of the three main characters and so far, just looking at the first frame it is going to be epic!
How I feel about our project right now
We have learned a few things through these past few months about our game and what we really want to provide the players with. I think one of the most important things that we wanted to do as a developer is come up with something that is fun, engaging, and interesting. Then I believe somewhere beyond those lines we feel that we have a bit of a mature audience and we wanted to do something that would have meaning and a bit of social commentary without taking itself too seriously. At this point the game has sort of taken on its own identity and it is sort of developing into something that we would have never seen coming, it has matured into its own individual thing and like a parent to it’s children we are very proud of it. Our game is dark and a bit grim at times and we feel like we really can not help it. We think our game is perfect the way we are writing it and we really hope you all feel like it is too. I hope that our central message is interpreted properly and everyone is able to find enjoyment with something we put all our heart into.
To give just a little more insight into how we operate and what we are thinking when we are working on the game, we never had a sense that we want people to think of this game as something from their past like nostalgia, nor did we want to recreate the wheel. We have played and have been big fans of RPGs and games in general. Our first priority has been to balance every part of the game and I feel when one part of the game starts to look, sound, or even feel a bit better than the other, there is a tiny voice in the back of my mind that is letting me know that the other things just have to measure up. I think to myself how could this part be just as good and that is the tough part about making this game with all the great artists, musicians and minds working on this project. We want so badly for everything to come together. I really hope you all will like the effort that we put into this and we can not thank you all enough for giving us this opportunity on this platform to make a difference in our lives we are truly grateful to be able to do this and we could not have done it without every single one of you here.
Thanks so much everyone for you support. We really appreciate it!
So we are ending our February and coming into what could be our biggest event since our Kickstarter campaign. We are on a schedule of releasing our playable demo by the third week of March. We want to give you guys a little insight of what the demo will contain and how things have changed since our campaign up until now.
The demo will be about an hour long depending on how you play it. It will be more or less an intro into the actual story and feature our main character. When we release the demo we are really going to be looking for some strong feedback, everything will be upgraded and we feel we can not make a great experience without your input. Our goal is to make a really great game, we want the game to do well commercially and critically.
We are wrapping up this month with a lot of great news and content. I have been working on Jagen again and I have been making his sprite look more like the image that Ricky has drawn. I have added more detail to his armor and upgraded his gauntlet to look more like Ricky’s detailed work.
Using this design I have been implementing it into Jagen’s combo animations and I really like how they look opposed to what they were before. This new version will be featured in the demo, so he will definitely have to look the best he can look.
I have also been working on some animations dealing with the character sprites such as climbing, jumping, bending down, and stance. Here is a small example of Sen’s in game map sprite.
Sen’s stance animation
We have enlisted some more on on tile sets over the past couple of weeks and the production has been fantastic! We have had some really talented people come along and the work they have produced along with our contracted spriter is amazing you are really going to enjoy what we have to offer as far as landscapes go.
I firmly believe that we should have one of the best soundtracks for an indie game this year. Mark continues to impress with his remakes of our older tracks. Jagen’s new battle theme may be one of the the best tracks he’s made so far. I personally think Jagen has all of the best music associated with him. I can not wait to hear you guys’ opinions on it.
The Full Game
We have plans to release the game in the near two to three months. That being said, I want to clarify what this game will feature and what may be left out as far as the first chapter goes. As you all should know, this game is going to be chapter 1 of a full length RPG experience. We aim to make the chapters at least between 14 and 17 hours. We have 3 playable characters, 8 areas in 4 locations, and a few secret ones too, all in the first chapter.
What we may or may not be leaving out is an additional playable character and 3 more areas which would just take a little bit more time but could be added to the next chapter. We shall find out what we could do with that by the end of March.
Let us know how you feel about this as we want you all to feel like you are getting your pledge’s worth. We want everyone to feel satisfied with our game and their pledge so if you have any concerns at all please feel free to let us know! We are always willing to talk about it and we will respond promptly.
In Game Backer Rewards
We are currently in the process of getting the in game backer rewards for you guys and we would like to get the information for your boss or NPC if you have not yet given it to us yet. We will be contacting you throughout the month if we have not already done so. By the end of the month of March, everyone with the NPC or boss reward will be given a map of the main location. You will be able to choose a spot for your NPC to live. Some locations are not available in the first chapter so you will have the option to choose one of those locations to live as well if you are comfortable with waiting for your character to be put in the game.
Thanks everyone for your support and we hope to impress you with our demo/beta in a few weeks.
-Tyrell and Whitney White
PS – Today was my birthday, just to throw that out there. I could not have had a better time spending it working on the game with my wife. 🙂
Hey guys! This update is a bit late, but there were somethings I really wanted to show. I have been playing around with Spriter Pro and I was able to make a pretty fluid animation for Jynx’s stance. For a spriter, this program is very exciting for me and there are many things that you can do with it.
Debbie, another sprite artist I have working with me, did a great job on animating the arm as well as other key frames to animations that we have been working on together. She is really good in different forms of animation and her work challenges me to make my work much better.
Here is another animation of a minor enemy we worked on together.
In a previous update we were talking about getting our custom battle effects, we have been working with Oray Studios and they have produced some really cool stuff. They are really great to work with and are very efficient with time and production as they had completed them in a short time period.
Sen's Attack 1
We have an update on the battlesystem and we are excited to really get some more work completed on it. We have a small preview of the battle system and as you can see we went in a slightly different direction on the way you do combos. One of our backers Steven introduced us to Xenogears and we loved the way those combos were performed so we did our own variation on it. Thanks Steven! 🙂 We hope that you all will have fun with it as we plan to make it as fun as possible to go into battles. This is a very raw preview of it, as it does not have the effects that we showed earlier in this update as well as the proper hitsparks, timing, etc.
We are working to get a new demo/beta up in March and we are finalizing our end point for our project (at least for the 1st chapter). In March, we want to give everyone another chunk of gameplay like we had done in our previous demo. There will be a completely different portion of the game and you will definitely see the differences that we were able to produce with the funding. We are really eager and excited to get your feedback on what we have so far and we are working hard to make an engaging and interesting experience. One thing that we regretfully may not show is the card game, although it is being worked on we have a slight delay in it. It has made Yin pretty upset, but as you all know we have a pretty hard time letting things like that bring us down for long and we will take the positive and move on with that.
Thanks for checking out our updates everyone. We are doing pretty well and we really hope that you like what we will show you guys sometime in March.
If you did not catch it, we recently had a an interview with reaxxion.com. We had a really great time with the interview and we hope you enjoy it. I really loved the interview and the blurb that he wrote at the beginning was insightful. We are happy that he felt our project was competent enough to write about it.
The last two weeks have been really great with development. Mark has made some really great music. The stuff he has recently composed really captures the the essence of what we want to interpret to everyone and it’s really exciting to get things going. These pieces are important to the story and its something we want you all to experience in the game first. I feel like he is making the best soundtrack for our game and it is really exciting to hear every new piece.
Ricky is still doing his thing, making battle backgrounds. He is currently working and getting a lot done as usual. Here is a sketch of his current work in progress.
So I have had my eye on this program called Spriter Pro for some time now and I have to say this is my new favorite program. I have been able to make some really solid animations with a lot less spriting. Although our main humanoid characters will be sprited the traditional way this program makes a way to animate some really big enemies like the ones we planned with efficiency and quality.
The first thing I sprited was a mechanical creature that we are creating for an undisclosed area. I think you will see how well we were able to animate it and for a first attempt at the program, I do not think it was that bad.
Although we can make many more frames of animations we are limiting them as we do not want to overload the program with thousands of frames per animation, but we could if we really wanted to make the game lag like crazy lol.
I have recently been animating the white wolf which we all worked on together during the campaign. The program actually has a method to either save the pixel work or smooth it out. Now we are between which version that we would want to use.
These are still somewhat rough animations as the heads would need to change and animate a bit more and I enlarged them so you can see how different they are. We would really like you guys opinions on this as we would like to know which version you all would prefer. We feel it’s better to ask the people who are definitely going to be playing, you guys collectively can help answer the question of what you would like to see.
We finally found an animator that is going to be making custom visual effects for skills and abilities and we hope to show you more news on that soon. I’ve also acquired a little help to make the main playable characters and bosses much more dynamic and diverse. Her name is Debbie Ekberg and she has already shown she has a lot of talent and skills to bring to our game.
We have been playing around with the idea of selling t-shirts to gather some more funding for some small additions to our project. We want to ask you guys if you think it’s a good idea. We want to go to Ricky and with your help, come up with a cool design that you all will like. Let us know in the comments what you think and you can help us brainstorm some killer ideas for it.
By the way, Whitney has just finished changing the forum software and updating it. It’s been inactive for a bit, but we are still around checking it almost everyday. Previous members who we KNOW are real have been migrated here. Posts have been copied, but not post times, so please ignore that stuff. It’s all going to say the same date/time. Those that have been migrated here, please make a new password. When migrating the members, Whitney gave you all a password manually, so she knows it.
Great news. Everything is back on track when it comes to everyone working on the game. We’ve got a lot more infobook items, more sprites, a background, more story… I love the progress that me and our team are making.
Ricky just pulled another fast one on us with a battle background. Check out the sewers. I don’t want to say too much about this place, but just know that it is dangerous and it will have puzzles!
Mark is picking up the pace when it comes to music. He’s just finished a sad and intense track for one of the scenes in the game. Next he’s working on Jagen’s battle theme. There will be a lot of battle themes in the game mainly because I love music! We plan on giving the player the option of choosing battle music, but of course bosses and cutscene battles will have their own special songs. (Yeah, that includes you guys bosses which I can’t wait to get to!)
In a couple of days, I’ll be remapping some of the forest with the new tiles that Leen has done. Lot of wood, lot of deadness. Sen’s part of the forest is really one of the most depressing places I’ve ever seen. Really sets the atmosphere for her story.
Michael is really pumping out these infobook items, currently working on some crafting/loot stuff. There’s so many, but I’m going to leave you these three. Here goes some slime, an enemy claw, and some shrooms!
Tyrell is keeping his focus on battlers for now. He’s been working on some of the desert creatures. Reworking the crow’s sprites and fixing some animation on the cactabus, our resident living and moving cactus. Scorpon has also been revamped to be leaner and better with a more creative look.
I’ve been working on some dialogue… Most of it is serious, but I try to throw in some light moments to keep some balance. I’m not good with comedy or anything like that, but I’m trying. When we’re in beta, I can only hope someone can tell me if I’m being more cheesy than funny 😀
I haven’t had a chance to test the platforming elements, but the code is done. It will be more about timing than location precision since it will keep to being tile based and I think I’m ok with that. I guess we’ll see once it’s in game.
In the midst of all of that good news, we do have some bad news. The battle system is being delayed again. To be fair it’s a big system and we’ve made some pretty significant changes along the way. It may be a setback, but we are determined to get it how we want it, how we envisioned it.
We have some real questions for you guys. We want to give you guys as much information as possible, but do you think we are showing too much and leaving no surprises? We love showing you our progress, but never thought about these things until now. All of the eye candy, locations, the characters being introduced, sprites, infobook stuff… Do you think it’s too much to show?
Thanks to all of you fantastic people for funding our project. This has been a long time coming and we are ready to get to work on our game and bring you an amazing experience. There have been so many risks and sacrifices that we have taken in order to get this game to the state it is in and with your help it is going to be even better. Itis going to have better animations, more music, more art and everything in between. This is truly a dream come true and we hope you all continue to join us in our development. Bringing our characters to life in this game to you all will be an honor.
For those of you who will still like to pledge through paypal we are giving you a limited time to still claim some of the lower tier rewards. So we will be placing a link to the paypal here for you to pledge on our website for those rewards. Later we will change it to simple donations, and a time after that we will want to sell T-shirts or possibly hoodies for those who are interested.
I have contacted our artist Ricky Gunawan and talked to him about the wallpapers and the other backer rewards such as the boss portraits and other things.If we have not already sent you a message requesting information on your NPC or boss character, we will do that soon. We look forward to working with you on your creative content and we will start on that stuff as soon as we get all of your information.
We will give more information on the steam greenlight entry soon, as we may have an alternate way of approaching that platform. We will give information on as soon as we can!
Our focus now is to get all our people together. We have already set goals. We are going to re-clarify everything and then everything is going to move quite rapidly. My focus will be on the battle system and animations if we want the impact that we are going for this is a main priority. So I will be analyzing what we have now adding some frames to animations. Adding the combo animations and perfecting some designs and motions. I will also be doing a template for the npcs this way we can have cloths made so that they can be layered on top of them to be interchanged and edited much easier. Jynx will be started. He requires a lot of effects so I will be doing his base sprites. Since a lot of him requires transformations, he will be very effect heavy.
Yin will correct any bugs we have seen so far and get the optimization going as soon as possible. That has been a problem for people with older computers. We need the battle system completed first in order to do that. We should get that done for the most part before the month is over.
Our goal for this project is to make this game a notable commodity in the gaming world. We have seen a lot of indie games reach such status in the gaming world like Shovel Knight, SuperMeatBoy and Braid among many more titles. We want to stand out in the RPG genre by being notable for story, exploration, presentation and having the best battle system. There are some really great 2D RPGs that are coming out, so that is going to be a challenge but one that we accept and want to be involved in. Games like You Are Not The Hero, Toby’s Island and Celestian Tales: Old North are really high quality games that stand out in this genre. We all aim to excel as indies but bring that AAA dynamic that we have known these games could be in the past and present.
Thanks to everyone we most certainly could not get this far without you and in order to make a really dynamic and fun game we hope that you will all join us in the process.
We are in the last 48 hours of our campaign and I would like to go over what would be considered a 60 day campaign. We have had some ups and downs through this whole process and we have shown nothing but resilience and determination to get this game going and in a polished and professional state. We would like to thank you all especially the ones who have backed us since 2012. We continued to develop and you have been there for the entire journey. Thank you so much and we are going to deliver you all a product worthy of all your generosity.
Boss Design Contest
For those who do not know, we held a boss design contest for participants from just about everywhere we post our project. Our 1st place winner was Fred Green and he designed a very interesting character with a remarkable background. He is one of our backers and we are very proud to have this character in our game. You can find out more about her and other characters in our game by following the link in the picture.
We also designed thank you cards for just about everyone who participated in the contest. Although these are not the final designs we plan to add them into a fun and simple trading card game within our project. There are still some that I have to refine and finish, but this is a glimpse of what we have so far.
Through this time we also had the opportunity to cross promote with 2 other projects in a form that allowed cameos in game.Land of Eyas and Legena, both of which were completely funded just a couple of days ago. We found it to be a unique and fun opportunity and we plan to add them both to the card game.
Backer Created Content
I have had the opportunity to work with some backers on their in game rewards. I started with Steven on his NPC and so far he is coming out extremely well. I have some information on Fred’s NPC and boss and we should get to that soon. Even after the campaign is done, we can all still get together and discuss a lot of these ideas that surround this world and the fantastic politics and culture that exist within it. After all when you put your input into the characters, you are creating more depth and diversity in this world.
Streaming and progress
Towards the end of the campaign we streamed quite a bit. Mostly about our game and past projects. We talked about where the project is going and where it has come from. We talked about the games that inspired us and Whitney played a bit of Tomb Raider. We had fun and we learned things about our backers and they learned some stuff about us too. If you want to recap on what those things were, we uploaded the streams onto youtube for you to review.
Thanks to you all, but we are not yet done! We are very close to our goal with very little to go. With your help and your participation we can make a run to finish this campaign successfully. You have all been great and we could not ask for much better support than the support we are getting from you all, our backers. Let’s all share our project on all social media and let everyone know about our great game. If this is successful, we aim to bring you a very good RPG experience and some new and unexpected twist to a great gaming formula.