Hello again. I gave myself a bit of a shock last night. As we’ve started adding some people to our Slack group I’ve had to make some of the more sensitive bits private. There was one channel in particular where very rare but very important things happen.
Even so, the last message was in Feb 2018. Surely that was a typo; it meant to say 2019.
Luckily it turns out we moved the discussions on that channel to a difference one, but it shows we’ve been doing this for nearly 2 years. That milestone will be passed early in 2020, but still, at least 18 months in and so far we’ve only done a demo on the first 1.5 scenes (out of about 20-ish) for the first path (of three).
Privately since the demo was released, a lot more has happened. We have a lot of art, music, sounds and backgrounds, and the script is mostly finished (apart from those scenes that will be edited for art).
Making a VN seems to always be a long-term endeavor if you’re doing it as a hobby. I think this is why some people don’t mention anything at all during the dev process; after a year of “Screenshot Saturdays” that are indistinguishable from each other, you tend to lose interest. It’s a bit the same with the blog posts. We’re not doing anything monumental with the engine (although I like to think that there are some tricks that I haven’t seen before) so it’s not like I could show you some freaky game mechanic that would boost hype.
Experience-wise, we’re going for more of the “kinetic novel” rather than a “true” VN; there are no choices etc. We’ve picked a route though our universe (a convoluted one, but a single one nonetheless).
Now, I wish I were smart, dedicated and talented enough to write weekly blog posts with hidden messages in them; clues hidden between the lines, or so on, but at this point there really isn’t any point in that. Maybe once we get the Doug path out of the way I can pretend to be more mysterious and post cryptic clues as to what it was you actually just read (or, like I did for Zemlya, I might do some “origins” looks at some of the main characters). I went to school in Penrith so I’m familiar with the town, but when I returned to get some reference images I found that there were quite a few changes to my old stomping grounds.
One of the reasons I don’t write many blog posts is because I’m spending most of the time going over the game again and again to tweak things. Sound Effects are my main thing now but we’re also playing with some interesting music mechanics, and this morning I noticed that I want to change a sprite mid-line. If I had my other PC with me today I probably would have fixed those things instead of writing this, but here we are.
When I feel that we’re getting closer I’ll start writing cryptic blog posts or talk about the story, but for now you’ll have to deal with these sporadic “dev notes” . We still have a few more sprites that we need, some backgrounds and some CGs, but the neat thing about Art is that each sprite set massively increases what we’re able to do in terms of game direction.