Progress Update – 4/1/19 – 79.2% Complete


  • Final Overworld Maps – 14.2% in progress; 71.7% complete
  • Worked on adding new music
  • Worked on updating the UI
  • Worked on updating and adding new animations
  • Worked on updating older maps
  • Worked on a new website
  • Optimized the new shaders
  • Added Battle Screen Transitions
  • Revealed more new characters
  • Added a file version number to save files 
  • Added location popup information to some maps
  • Added shadows to Wynoa houses in the overworld
  • Add a dev mode that will identify objects which will cause the player to be stuck into on map load/spawn (i.e. this shouldn’t happen anymore)
  • Changed the run button to be a toggle between running/walking for hand comfort
  • Changed Pharyon and Klatchez town layouts completely
  • Modified some of the opening sequence changes back to the original
  • Set the max number of file saves for the game to 10
  • Worked on updating more dialogue for older cutscenes
  • Fixed a bug where the new opening cutscene would lag on computers with 8GB of RAM or less
  • Fixed a bug where loaded skills would be drawn off screen except in certain situations where they were on screen
  • Fixed a bug where switching between the main menu and the overworld would have roofs, water, grass effects, house shading and other effects disappear
  • Fixed a problem where some cutscenes would freeze
  • Fixed a shader issue which caused more complicated screen transitions to draw incorrectly

Coming up next:

  • Bug fixes
  • Graphical Update

This past month focused on optimization, bug fixes, updating older maps, new music, new art, and some much needed polish.

Also this update is unfortunately very late due to a lack of internet.

2018 in Review

Now that we’re firmly in 2019 land, I wanted to talk a bit about 2018 and how much we actually got done!

I know for a lot of people who have been following the development for a long time that it doesn’t feel like much has happened the last couple of years. As you may or may not be aware, due to family situations I had to stop all work in 2017 shortly after the Steam greenlight.

When I started up work again in 2018, I spent a lot of time thinking about the feedback from everyone from the demo, how to make the game better, and how to finish it faster. Most of this year was putting everyone’s feedback into the game.

So 2018 was a really big transitional period. I’ve been working a full-time job since that time in 2017, so all my work on Gataela has been part-time since then, not to mention most of the Gataela team work part-time to begin with.

And with all that going on, here’s how 2018 went for the game:

  • 468 commits; 284,735 additions; 260,291 deletions; 1 programmer
  • 328 programming JIRAs completed
  • Finished all of the skit/debate images, including updating older ones
  • Changed all of the animations to be 8-frame+ instead of 4-frame
  • Changed the turn-based battles to be from the side view instead of top-down
  • New pixel art style for the characters!
  • Added new character battle animations
  • Re-did over half of the battle skill animations, and all of the character battle animations
  • Re-did all of the overworld sprites
  • Re-did all of the UI (25+ screens)
  • Added a new screen for summarizing known debate facts
  • Went to two conventions (Anime North, Otakuthon) and showed off a sneak preview of the new demo
  • Added run animations + the highly requested run button
  • Doubled Gataela’s soundtrack (~70 minutes long now)
  • Added a screenshot function to the game
  • Added a unit test framework (i.e. more future stability)
  • Added more polish to debate battles: a countdown sfx, debate images with more expressions, the character profiles will animate more based on what was said
  • Updated Vuni’s layout to make it easier to get around
  • Redid Pharyon and Klatchez, and other in between maps
  • Created a new opening sequence, with new animations and music
  • Moved beta testing to Steam
  • Optimized the heck out of the game, including reducing textures, switching to using shaders, optimizing shaders, etc.
  • Saving is now instant (1 second or less)
  • Map transitions for larger scenes are now almost instant 1-3 seconds
  • Converted older methods of map making to shaders, added new cool shader effects such as walking through grass, time of day, etc.
  • Download size for the game is stable around 250-300MB. (Final game size was originally estimated to be 2GB)
  • RAM usage down, i.e. lower end devices can now run chrome, OBS and Gataela at the same time.
  • Reworked a lot of dialogue and debates, removing a lot of it, adding new scenes
  • Debate system was upgraded from strictly being talk-to-npc based to include facts, testimonies and evidence gathering (i.e. a little bit more detective-like)
  • Revealed new characters!
  • New logo
  • Fancy battle screen transitions
  • New Quest pop-up and Location pop-up was added to the overworld

So TL;DR a super busy year.


So what’s up for 2019? I’m not going to promise anything in particular, but there’s a few high-level goals which I will touch on below:

  • New Website: We’ve been working on a new website for a little while that will give us more support for writing longer-form posts, and act more of a hub of information for the game which will be easier to search through. We really want to post more technical posts, like the shader work, how we approach the level design or some of the changes we’ve made and why, etc. Tumblr is a site focused more on micro-blogging, which makes posts, particularly with code, difficult to organize nicely.
  • 80% Hump: We’ve been at 79% completion for a long time. Let’s get past that.
  • New Demo: There will be a new demo published this year showing off all of the above work. It will be the same length as the older one, but with all of the improvements, and obviously the new dialogue/story segment.
  • Beta-Testing Schedule: This year I would like to get to a point where every quarter (after the demo comes out) there is at least one new beta release to the beta testers.

Other than that, we’ll see!

Happy New Year everyone!