Category: Progress Update

June 2019 Progress Update

Hello again everyone! Here’s an update on what we’ve been up to the past month!

Debate Updates

We’ve been working hard over the past month to finish rewriting the demo debates, and making changes to debates in general. We won’t be going into particular details with the specific debate changes, but we would like to talk about one major change we’ve made: removing the debate progress bar & charisma stat.

The debate progress bar has been part of the game’s design since the beginning and was intended to display the debate’s progress. It would be influenced by a user’s charisma stat, and to clear a debate you needed to have a high enough charisma stat and be able to select the correct choices.

We ran into a few issues with this:

  • What the bar at the top of the screen did was unclear. It was assumed it was for:
    • Progress
    • How much your opponent liked you
    • Charisma
  • You could choose all of the correct options in a debate and fail because your charisma was too low
  • There was no indicator on how much charisma was needed
  • If your charisma was very high, you would have a full progress bar before the end of the debate, which was confusing
  • Even with the debate bar filled in, if a very bad option was picked you could fail, which was also confusing

So we decided to get rid of it.

Now debates focus more on selecting correct choices, and doing investigative footwork (i.e. talking to NPCs to figure out the correct choices) than choices plus stats.

We hope everyone will enjoy the debate changes!

Demo Status

So what’s the status of the demo? We have good news! We’re targeting to release the demo within the next few months in either July or August! We’re still figuring out the details, but keep your eyes peeled for it to drop in the near future!

What’s Next

As always, we’re continuing to work on the demo update and quality of life improvements! Look forward to the news in the next few months~

May 2019 Progress Update!

Hey everyone! Happy May~ Last month we made a huge leap forward with the demo update!

Map Updates

Most of last month focused on updating maps, NPCs and checking to make sure everything both ran smoothly and we didn’t run into weird “getting stuck in collisions when changing maps” errors. These things aren’t quite glamorous to look at, but there’s nothing worse than it actually happening, especially if you haven’t saved in a while…..

Twitch?

Some of you folks will have noticed that last month we made a return to Twitch streaming! We had to stop streaming a couple years back due to a poor internet connection. How poor? Let’s just say on average the download speed was 600kbps.

So we got a new connection last month, which means streaming is now possible again! We don’t have a schedule at the moment, but if it happens it will typically be sometime around 6pm to 9pm EST. To find out when we stream, follow us on Twitch!

What’s Next?

We’ll be continuing on as usual. We’re getting closer and closer to feeling comfortable of calling a date for the new demo release, so keep an eye out on the next few updates!

April 2019 Progress Update!

Happy April! I hope everyone had a good March! This past month was more chugging along as usual on the graphics update, but here’s some of the cooler stuff we’ve been up to!

Day? Night?

We showed it off a bit last month, but we’re putting in time-of-day shaders! We showed off the sunset one last month, so here’s our nighttime one!

When the game was first conceived, we wanted to have a dynamic day-night cycle for the whole game. Except that is a heck of a lot of work. So we now have it for select maps during select story segments to help set the mood~

We’ve been told that it’s much more impressive in-game so we hope everyone looks forward to seeing them in action!

Quest Popups!

Another small thing we’ve done is include these quest popup icons whenever you gain a new quest. In the old demo there wasn’t any indicator, and that was fine since it only had main story content. But as we move forward with the new demo, we’ve realized that it’s a big improvement to just know that you’ve picked up a new quest or finished one! Plus, talking to some NPCs will trigger sub-quests, so it’ll be good to know when you’ve picked one up~

Debate Improvements

Bit of a ~spoiler~ but we’ve been making some interesting upgrades to the Debate Battle System. If you don’t want to hear any of it, best skip to the end.

In the current demo, during the tutorial section, there is a merchant you speak to, to get some bread. In order to convince her to hand it over to you, you need to gather a set of facts from around town and use them.

We’ve talked about it previously, but some of the upgrades we’ve done to the Debate Battle System is to divide gathering statements into three types: Facts, Testimonies and Evidence.

WIP Statement Screen

In the current version of the demo, there’s three statements and only one guy has the one you need to advance through the main story. In the new version, these three are now testimonies and gathering all three will produce a statement for you, which you can use in the debate.

Cool! This means we can have less facts, but more meaningful ones.

In the grand scheme of things, no one really cares that one bread seller in Vuni is not selling well, but it being a symptom of a larger problem and being used to back up a conclusion (i.e. poverty in Vuni) is much more substantive.

And there’s more~!

Another minor improvement we made was to add support for custom actions during a debate. For instance, our merchant friend is a merchant, it seems obvious that she might just offer the bread to you to buy. In the old system, this wasn’t possible. To do something like this the debate would end and you could be given the option in a cutscene of sorts. Now she’ll give you the option to buy the bread instead of trading it for info.

This’ll open up more possibilities for more interesting options, so we hope you look forward to it!

What’s Next?

Going forward we’ll be continuing to work on the demo update. We’ve been getting a lot of feedback from testers and the build is very stable so we’ll be adding in a bunch more content in the next month! We’re steadily approaching completion, look forward to it~

March 2019 Progress Update!

Happy March Everyone! This past month was shorter than normal, but oddly enough very, very productive. We’re moving along very well with the new graphics update and adding a bunch of polish to the game. One such example is the use of day-of-time shaders, like shown above, and also things like battle animations/transitions, more environmental/background effects during cutscenes and just general QoL improvements.

New Website

One of the big things we did this past month was migrate to a new site! This has been something on our todo list for a while and was one of our 2019 goals! We hope you like it, but also if you come across any problems please let us know!

One of the reasons for the new site is to post longer-form blog posts about some of the tech behind the game, maybe some creative decisions, and so on. For the moment we’ve done a quick poll with some potential ideas, so look forward to these in the next coming months!

What’s Next?

For the most part, we’re still spinning our wheels on the demo update, and will continue to do so for the next little while. This is our next big goal for the year and we are steadily approaching it thanks to the help of a couple of testers who’ve allowed us to stabilize everything much faster than expected! We’ll likely have more before and afters to show of the old demo and the new one in the next little while. In the meantime, I hope what everyone has seen so far has gotten them excited about what’s to come!

Progress Update – 2/2/19 – 79.2% Complete

Completed:

  • Final Overworld Maps – 14.2% in progress; 71.7% complete
  • Worked on adding new music
  • Worked on updating and adding new animations
  • Worked on a new website
  • Lots of bug fixes
  • Added some quality of life fixes to the UI to improve UX
  • Added a new battle results screen
  • Updated some old dialogue
  • Added more failure/pass options for the port debate
  • Rearranged early-on debate facts
  • Revealed some more characters

Coming up next:

  • Bug fixes
  • Graphical Update

This past month was mostly focused on bug fixes.

Demo Testing

We’ve started to enter into testing for the new demo, which means that we’ve been encountering a range of issues from crashes to little quality of life improvements.

Some of the quality of life improvements have been things like:

  • Don’t allow the user to click on a button if they can’t do anything
  • Play music/adjust the in game volume in real time while adjusting the settings
  • Adding invisible walls to the tutorial area
  • Clickable UI elements get highlighted

And so on.

As we prep for the demo we will be mainly focused on bug fixes and these QoL improvements. 

See ya next month!