Category: Progress Update

April 2024 Progress Update

Happy April! Let’s get into what we were up to last month!

New Battle Effects

Last month we added another new set of battle effects to the game with their accompanying audio. Here’s a couple of them below.

Splash is used only by Turtles. They do a little hop and a skip (it’s really quite cute) in order to lower your guard (and all of your stats with it).

Drum is only used by Crabs. They wave their pincers around in the air and psychs up the other Crabs on the field, raising their defence.

Birds, Cats and Ducks

Another improvement we made was adding movement to the birds, cats and ducks.

Cats have three distinct modes: wandering, sitting and sleeping.

Birds can be wandering around, stationary or in flight. If you walk passed them they don’t particularly care, but run and they’ll be spooked and fly off. As for the ones in flight, well, they’re too high up to care.

Ducks are similar to the other birds, however they are water-bound. If you run near them they’ll get spooked and fly off.

With this all the animals now have some sort of movement logic which means they’re ready to be added to all of the maps!

What’s Next?

We’ll be wrapping up Olvia’s interiors and hopefully the Kickstarter interiors with that along with the usual Cutscenes & Battle effects. If all goes well, we’ll also be putting in some dungeon puzzles!

  • Olvia Interiors
  • Kickstarter Interiors
  • MSQ Cutscenes
  • TTBattle VFX & SFX
  • Dungeon Puzzles

May you have April showers!

March 2024 Progress Update

Hello everyone! We hope you’re having a Feb- Wait- It’s March?

Demo Update

This update will be a bit of a short one as what we did last month was *checks JIRA* the demo update. That’s it. It was a lot. But that’s it.

So in case you haven’t seen it yet- ✨Here’s the release notes for the update!

The demo update was mainly for:

  • Fixing some small bugs reported
  • Introducing all the performance changes and some QoL changes
  • Gamemaker Engine Upgrades

Engine upgrades are pretty straight forward in terms of bugs – upgrade the engine and run into API changes, lifecycle changes, Steam extension changes, etc. So this led to random crashes, weird artifacts on the screen and so on. One upgrade actually broke the starting map and it required an interesting use of excel, php, and scraping the raw map files to figure out what what affected and how to fix it.

As for performance, well, things ran too fast so we had problems with flickering – cutscenes, screens and maps loaded so fast you could now see state changes (ex. showing and hiding NPCs based on completed events).

So we ended up replaying the demo a few times to fix all the various issues, which came out to 70 or so bugs, if not more, all of which were fixed during the month! Then as for getting the update out, we had to scrub all of the cutscene additions we’ve made to the game from the demo due to ✨spoilers✨

Suffice to say, there won’t be a big update for the next while.

Please don’t find bugs. But if you do please tell us.

What’s Next?

We’ll be going back to our original plan for the month which was:

  • Olvia Interiors
  • Kickstarter Interiors
  • MSQ Cutscenes
  • TTBattle VFX & SFX

Happy March!

February 2024 Progress Update

We hope everyone is having a Feb-ulous Fab-ruary! Here’s what we were up to for the last month~


Ziacia is the capital city of Gataela and home to the King’s Palace, just north of the city across a small bridge. The city itself is surrounded by a star fort, but it’s still easily accessible by boat if needed. (And we hope that won’t ever be needed.)

Ziacia is home to many tall buildings, many of which function as apartments. For example, this building contains four apartments with two on each floor. Pictured are two small units on the first floor:

  • Left: Someone with quite an expensive taste in furniture, but it seems they blew all their budget so they don’t have much else
  • Right: A single parent lives here with their child. It seems they’re getting ready for a picnic.

Some of the buildings also house groups of students all renting together… although it seems like this particular one has someone cramming for an exam, thesis or some other important thing. Let’s wish them luck, it seems they’ll need it.

Ziacia has a “famous” local bar down by the pier. Many sailors and military officers stop by here everyday as their favourite spot so it’s always packed. That being said there’s never any reports of issues because, after all, no one wants to anger the bar manager. Or else.

A small home belonging to a local sailor. It doesn’t seem like they are home very often, or perhaps they just haven’t cleaned in a while. But hm? Is that something behind their wardrobe?

What’s Next?

We’ll be focusing on the following for the next month or so:

  • Olvia Interiors
  • Kickstarter Interiors
  • MSQ Cutscenes
  • TTBattle VFX

Olvia will be the last city we need to do interiors for and will contain most of the Kickstarter interiors (as most of you guys picked the same theme for your interiors. Wow.) It’ll take a month or two to complete, so we’ll have more about it in April’s update. A few people also reported some bugs in the demo, so we’ll begin to look at pushing out an update for that in early March which should contain other performance improvements and so on since the last update. It’ll be quite the patch notes.

Take care everyone!

January 2024 Progress Update

Happy New Year! We hope everyone stayed happy and healthy over the winter holidays! Let’s go over 2023 and our plans for 2024!

December 2023

Before getting into 2023 in review, let’s go over December quickly! As per usual, our focus was on cutscenes, interiors, and animations. We also worked on some bug fixes and updating Gamemaker! As we are now tackling larger cities, we’ll save an overview of the city and it’s interiors after they are completed. In the meantime, here’s a look at one bug we’ve fixed:

Did you know that if you happen to be in an interior with camera movement that if you entered into the main menu and returned it broke? No? Neither did we. It was a bit of a surprise when we stumbled upon this. Most interiors are made such that a camera isn’t needed, but in this case one was! A quick check in the menu for something led to… well… this. But it’s fixed now, so all’s well that ends well.

We also spent time this month upgrading our development machines (they were 10 years old) and the Gamemaker version from Feb 2023 to Nov 2023. A few important things came out from this:

  1. This bug from October 2022 is now fixed. This was one of the major blockers for the demo update since we use that feature of the engine quite extensively. We didn’t want to release an update that could randomly crash.
  2. Between the development machine upgrade and the Gamemaker engine upgrade, Gataela’s compile times have dropped from 10 to about 1:30 minutes. What a huge improvement!
  3. We are also now able to build YYC (native) for machines because of the bug fix. This means better runtime performance on machines.

Gamemaker has a number of build-related changes coming in the future so likely things will continue to improve as we upgrade over time. This largely means that development time is spent developing instead of waiting for things to compile.

And that’s it for December!

2023 In Review

Now let’s talk about 2023! And man, 2023 was a thing. Lots of exciting things happened, but there was a lot of interruptions and difficulties. Let’s go over some of the highlights and see what we accomplished!

Maps Maps Maps

The first big thing was completing the overworld! That was back in Feburary! Wow! We’ve gone through since then and added interiors for nearly all of the cities – we are left with half of Ziacia and Olvia (those two big cities in the south of the map). Once those are done nearly all maps, and sub-maps for the game will be complete! Kinda. We will still have to add NPCs and such but, well, that can’t be done until the maps exist.

MSQ Cutscenes & Skits

Another major focus for the year was adding Main Story Quest cutscenes and skits. These are the main meat of the game. We spent a lot of time working on these and finished adding all of the skits, and most of the cutscenes! We also did some general cutscene infrastructure improvements.

Turn-based Battle Improvements

Lots and lots of time was spent on working to improve the turn-based battle system. In particular:

The Other Stuff

Other improvements and work include but aren’t limited to:

2024 Plans

Now lets get into what we’re cooking for 2024!

Generally speaking we’ll be doing more of the same with adding content and putting everything together. Our year will focus on cutscenes, maps, battle systems (turn-based and debate) and general bug fixes and performance.

In the short term (3-6 months), this means:

  • Finish adding all of the MSQ
  • Finish adding all of the city interiors
  • Finish adding all of the Kickstarter backer houses
  • Finish implementing dungeon puzzles/mechanics (including UI changes)
  • Create & add more turn-based battle skill VFX & SFX

And looking beyond that (subject to change):

  • Adding NPCs, animals, treasure, etc. to the maps
  • Rebalancing Debate battles & related facts/evidence/side quests etc.
  • Map visual upgrades (ex. the water shader)
  • Performance and bug fixes as needed
  • Demo update? Beta update? Who knows.

So with all the being said, thanks for reading and have a good start to 2024!

December 2023 Progress Update

Happy Winter! Here’s what we were up to during November!


Vescha is the largest city in the region, sporting a healthy forestry industry as well as the southern military headquarters. It is on the edge of Viche forest – a large forest along the border that divides Gataela and Aerand.

One of the nearby residents has renovated their living room to be a small classroom. Whether the owner is just well off in general or has expensive tastes – no one really knows. However, they are an excellent teacher and know quite a lot of various things.

It seems we’ve stumbled upon someone in the middle of moving in! Located in a prime location in the city, they managed to get this place for cheap because the wallpaper in the house was pretty terrible – at least as far as they are concerned. One of the first things they’ll be replacing for sure.

A home-grown florist. They spend a lot of time on the first floor growing and taking care of plants – specifically plants for the local general store. It’s said that ever purple plant in the town originated from this one place.


This month’s new skill is Triage – a party wide heal! Our dear friend Zack here is demonstrating what it’ll look like when it plays over a single member.

This skill comes from our recent review – did you know that we had plenty of party-wide damaging skills but no healing skills? Whoops.

Besides the obvious gap this presents, it also is a big problem for gameplay and general turn-based battle enjoyment. When you have one party member and a single heal everything is fine. Throw in another and you might have some turns where you only heal, but most of the time you’ll be spending it doing damage or supports. When you have more than two party members then… well… you have one party member dedicated to healing.

This wouldn’t be a problem if there was a dedicated healing class – but we don’t have one. So you end up with a damage dealer that’s healing instead of doing damage and battles drag on. You may even have the whole team healing themselves with items or skills instead of attacking for whole turns very often as enemies also have party-wide damaging skills. Not very fun.

So with that said – the addition of the Triage skill is super important.

Now why “Triage” as the name? Fun fact: a lot of the skill names come from real life things, such as fencing terms, or animal behaviours. Triage is “a medical process by professionals with first aid knowledge”. Know what the singular heal skill is called? First Aid. A natural evolution.

And there’s your hint for how to eventually unlock this beauty.

What’s Next?

Goodness! The year is almost already over? We’ll be focusing on wrapping up work we started during the year, and doing our 2024 planning. We’ll also be doing:

  • Cutscenes
  • Ziacia Interiors
  • Misc Bugs

Happy Early Holidays!