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!
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. 🙂
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?
Today we have a new update for you, but before we continue with that we just want to congratulate Ricky, our main artist, on his new baby!
Now on to the update!
We’ve been hard at work over the past 2 weeks working on the game’s story, making progress on battlers among other things. Tyrell has been going non stop on the battlers and is currently working on our resident martial artist, Amira! She’s gotten a revamped stance removing the staff since she is a weapon master. We felt that the weapon mastery should be incorporated in her moves while her bare hands skills should be default.
And to think, I wanted to kill her off! Haha!
Next in the art department, Ricky has finished a different section of Origin Forest! This is the area that Sen roams. Looks spooky doesn’t it!
Michael has produced more infobook icons. These are some status effect healing items along with the tent, the new analyze, and some scrolls. I look at the new design for the analyze and I’m in awe! The scrolls came out exactly how I wanted them to too!
The assets are really coming together for me to work with!
The updated battle system is also on it’s way too, so stay tuned for that! Hopefully in the next update or the next after that, we’ll be able to show you guys a little sneak peek of it. We should be acquainted with the system by then.
I’ve been recreating a lot of stuff that I thought could come out better, like the scene that happens at Sen’s house after Jagen meets her. I can also say that I’ve officially moved on from the intro of the game!So yeah, progress is a little slow this month, but stuff is still getting done! This would not even be happening without you guys. Sometimes I still can’t believe it lol. Being able to work on our game is the best Christmas gift ever. Speaking of Christmas, before we go, I want to say happy holidays to everyone! 😀
So we have been off to a great start. I have been trying my best to fit in whatever time I could get between my job to get some spriting done and like I said in a previous update, Sen is my priority. Since she is the main focus in chapter one, she has to be the most fleshed out character. So we want to get her as complete as possible in all aspects before the month is done.
One of the big things I am focusing on with her is her battler sprites making transitions and having the sprites animations move as smooth as possible.
Here you will see a transition I have been working on between the run and the stance. Making the sprite animations flow into each other in seamless animations will make a much more enjoyable experience. Presentation is very important to us and we are putting a lot of effort into it.
You can see the difference between the older and more recent animations here. With the added reliability of the funding I have been able to go back and redo a lot of Sen’s much older sprites. Through time, we have really learned a lot and now implementing those skills have really produced some great results.
We have been working on characterization and making the animations look more dynamic. Each character’s style of play will vary and having those attacks and animations look far more exciting than what you have seen in our demo has become a major goal. As you can see we have reworked Sen’s stance to have her hair and shirt move just a tad bit more for those who remember the one we showed during the kickstarter campaign.
I do not want to give away the entire animation library of sprites for each character so I will try to hold much more back in the future but still show you guys progress. 🙂
I had also been working on a bunch of templates that we are using for NPCs. Male/female of larger and smaller characters as well as elderly characters are all done.
Along with the progressing the story, Whitney has been talking business with a lot of people and getting everyone prepared for the work ahead. We’ve learned that there’s really nobody who is able to replicate the style of our current tiles, so you may or may not see some changes in style, we are still talking about that.
As most of you know, we were talking about signing with a publisher before the kickstarter ended. Turns out the deal was a win for us! They have introduced us to many knowledgeable people and even got us connected to our new artist. He works on items specifically for the infobook. Michael Rookard!
He’s already completed some work for us. Take a look at it!
Ricky is currently working on the second wallpaper, which is in the same style except with the chapter 1 main villains. We have the sketch of that too and it looks like it is going to turn out great! Let’s see if you can recognize any of them from the sketch alone!
With that said, I think we are done for this update! I hope you guys enjoyed it! I look forward to giving you guys more news in another 2 weeks! (Yeah, I know we’ve been giving info in between, but we still want to stick to every 2 weeks :P)
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.
With just 7 days left, we are really almost there. At the moment I am writing this, we only need 1,240 to make our goal! This is very exciting and we are truly ready for this. It is hard to think about the many times we have tried this, but as we have shown in our latest stream it has truly made a difference.
In our last stream we showed many old videos of our game in its multiple phases of development. You can see how far we have progressed over the years and what we felt we needed to do in order to get our game to the level it is at now.
I also want to thank everyone who came into the stream and helped us redesign the white wolf from it’s older design. I loved everyone’s suggestions. It really came out looking great. I am very happy that you all were interested in our creative process.
A very fantastic person on Reddit decided to give us a shout out by posting our project on Imgur. So far it has received a positive reception. If you guys can take a look at it and share it on your social media that would really help. He did a very fantastic presentation for us and I believe it could help out a lot!
This has been a fantastic journey. Over the last couple of years we have had some highs and lows, but this campaign is by far the highlight of everything. We have met and talked to some really great people, you guys have really invested your time with us and we are truly grateful. Now that we are so comfortable with streaming, we feel that we can hold weekly updates on whats going on with our project. After the game is funded we can also use our forum and our newsletter on our webpage to let you all know what is going on as well as the kickstarter updates as we have done in the past.
With this last week approaching we need your help more than ever! Share our project on facebook and twitter and any social media you can use to held spread the word. We appreciate all your help and we are ready to finish our project and get it in your hands as soon as possible. Thank you to everyone who is helping us accomplish our dreams, we are truly grateful.
So most of April has been about trying to bring you guys a demo worth playing as well as preparing for the kickstarter coming in May. The demo is coming along pretty well so far, but it pains me to say that we will have to release the demo in parts again, as the other parts still need time to be perfected. The first part being Jagen’s introduction, the second part being Sen’s introduction, and the third part showcasing the first real town in the game including a big beautiful palace which took me some time to get done. We thought we’d have more of the battle system done by now, but that has been going veeeery slow and we only have a small bit of it to show which will indeed be included in the demo.