June 2021 Progress Update

Happy June! Here’s what we were up to during the month of May!

New Levels

As we mentioned last month, we got a whole slew of new assets to help diversify Gataela’s world. One of the key areas we looked to enhance was the city of Vescha, pictured above. This is a small city located in a wetland forest and is noted for it’s monochrome buildings and vibrantly purple-pink trees. We also started to work on the surrounding wetlands, as pictured below.

Around this time last year we finished up the Lakure province and noticed that the world was beginning to feel very samey as you traveled throughout it. As a result, we did a ton of research and work to create these new assets, plus we’ve also begun work on new music for the areas! We hope you all enjoy these sneak previews!

Cutscenes & Story

This past month we started to do more work on the cutscenes and story and decided to make a slight change to the story that we thought was of interest to share.

When Gataela was first drafted in 2012, the story wasn’t very mature. It was a story of a bunch of people without any relation to each other or any power “saving the country/world”. Those types of stories are fine, but it was a major flaw in Gataela’s writing with the sort of topics its attempting to tackle. It also led to a lot of leaps in logic and relied heavily on plot armor for things to progress. It was the sort of story where if you stopped to think about character motivations it would be difficult to see why one character would side with another outside of “that’s what the author wanted”.

Quite a while ago (perhaps 2014 or 2015?) this was changed. The character relationships were reevaluated and the plot started to make a lot more sense. The core outline hasn’t changed much at all, but it made A LOT more sense. This past month we got to rewriting the mid portion of the story. In the original outline, this was the part where your final party was formed, and the final goal of the game was determined. It was interesting rewriting this portion of the game with the new character relationships, and it led to reorganizing the order of events for this section.

This coming month we will finish off this reorganization, but it means that we are beginning to approach the “open ended” section of the game, writing-wise. It was mentioned a few times over the years, but Gataela was intended to be very linear until the final party configuration, branch out to allow the players to explore the whole country at their leisure, and then come back together at the end of the game. Even though finishing the final rewrite is a while away, it feels like it is coming in reach.

What’s Next?

Next month we’ll be focusing on story, levels, and more battle improvements. We’ve been doing a big push to get the SFX completed for the new animations during May and this will continue into June. Right now our summer plans are to continue splitting our focus across various tasks in order to avoid burnout.