January 2020 Progress Update

Happy New Year! We hope everyone is doing well. This month we’ll be talking about what happened in December, what happened in 2019, and what we’re planning to do for 2020!

December 2019

December was focused on getting back into the swing of things after our break in November. We did a lot of planning, story writing, and other supportive work to prepare for this year.

We’ve also started working on the next beta release which is to land sometime around March. We’re aiming for a relatively safe-sized release, so it’s been going quite well thus far, and we’re estimated to be about halfway there. We may end up squeezing in some more bugs fixes than expected, or releasing it early, depending on how planning for the Summer beta goes.

Otherwise, we’ve begun to upload our Twitch development streams to Youtube. Let us know what you think!

2019

2019 was a busy year! We:

  • Released the demo update
  • Moved to a new site
  • Added new music, art, animations and story and a load of new features
  • Started Twitch streaming again
  • Created a Discord server
  • Publicizing our git commits using Discord
  • Started archiving dev streams on Youtube
  • And more!

2020

So what are we planning to do for 2020?

  • Beta Releases every quarter to Beta Testers
  • Finishing the Main Story Quest for the game

The beta releases we’ve spoken about many times by now, which should come as no surprise. However, to speak to the second one requires some more explanations.

First, for those unfamiliar with the term Main Story Quest (MSQ), it refers to all of the cutscenes, quests, etc, which are mandatory to complete the game. So to say that we want to finish it, is to mean that we want to have the MSQ in the game, playable, from start to finish by the end of the year.

The story for Gataela was written almost 7 years ago. In trying to get the first demo completed, and then the second one, it has sat there waiting to be added. By the end of the year we don’t want it to be waiting any longer.

However, that does not mean the game would be considered complete. We have a number of side quests and Kickstarter rewards to add to the game too!

Obviously our ideal is to have the game complete this year. However, after seeing how long it took to complete the demo update, we’ve decided to be a little more realistic. That’s why the goal is a little low-bar.

Otherwise, we will also be working on adding new SFX, more graphical updates to non-demo content, new maps, more story, gamepad support, more features and aiming for more platforms (consoles?)!

Thank you for all the support over the past years and we hope you look forward to seeing how Gataela grows this year!

0.1.1 Release Notes

This is a small patch to address a couple of bugs reported by people. It is available to download on Itch, Gamejolt and Steam.

  • Fixed a crash in the Inventory screen when no items were available. This typically occurred when going from the items section to the weapons section with no weapons in your inventory.
  • Fixed a bug where optional details (ex. Health) were not cleared when switching between sections in the Inventory screen.

December 2019 Progress Update

Hey everyone! Last month we released the demo update, and with that decided to take a break and do some planning! So, what’s up for the future?

Demo Release

As a reminder, the demo was released! We hope everyone enjoyed the updates we’ve made, and if you haven’t gotten around to it yet, we’re looking forward to hearing your feedback!

What’s Next?

This past month was spent mostly relaxing and taking a break. Taking a step back, planning for what we want to do and so on. There was a lot to reflect on process-wise, and a lot to look at what is left to get the game done.

Earlier this year we mentioned that once that demo was out we wanted to release beta updates every quarter to the beta testers. We want to keep to this promise, and so we’re currently targeting the next beta release for March 2020.

So what will be in March 2020’s release? Here’s a short list:

  • New debate
  • New story content & skits
  • (Some) Side quests
  • Turn-based battle improvements (ex. Dodge, Block, Crit animations, some UI improvements)
  • Planning for the future: unit testing framework, debate system workflow improvements
  • New battle animations
  • Preparing for Summer 2020 beta
  • Minor improvements and bug fixes

This will be our first attempt at having a planned beta release each quarter, so we’ll be focusing more on bug fixes, workflow improvements, and a little bit of story. The Summer 2020 update will likely be much larger, as the number of maps added will double the size of the current in-game world.

We’re also anticipating the next Gamemaker Studio 2 update, which should make cutscenes easier to script. However, large version upgrades tend to break things, so we want to make sure that we have testing in place so that if something breaks we know!

Otherwise, in December we will likely be streaming a lot from the 15 to the New Year! We look forward to seeing you all then!

November 2019 Progress Update

Hey everyone! Hope everyone’s been enjoying the demo release! Here’s the update for November~

Demo Update

We’ve been talking about it for ages, but the demo update is finally out! If you’re interested in more details, such as why we needed a demo update, or why it took so long, please check out the release notes.

We hope the description there has enough details, but on the off chance it does not, feel free to reach out!

Discord Server

Speaking of reaching out, we decided to make a discord server to make it easier for people interested in the game to talk with each other and ask questions to the dev team.

In the past we had a discourse forum, but it was unused by people. There were also other forums of communication like Tumblr asks or Twitter messages, but that didn’t really seem to work well.

This server is by and large an experiment for now. We don’t know how many people will join or chat, so for now the server is a little bare-bones. You can chat with us, we can chat with you, and you can spy on our git commit titles. There is also a special channel for Kickstarter backers.

We’ll add more features as we go, so if there’s something you’re interested in, please join and let us know.

In the meantime, if you are interested in joining, you can click here.

What’s Next?

The demo update is done! So what’s next?

Our immediate goal is to get the demo up on Steam. Hopefully by the end of the week. Afterwards? We plan to take a bit of a break.

We mentioned it a few months back, but we’ve been planning to take a little bit of a break on development for about a month. Since we released the demo on November 1, the month of November is our break month. Although I say we’ll be on break (which we will be) we will also be doing some prep for the next phase of the project: finishing the game.

Some of us have been working on the game for 7 years, others for 2 years, and some even less. Either way, we all want to finish the game. The demo update was absolutely necessary in order to complete a game with the quality we wanted, but it did take away from finishing it.

So! With all that said, our next update in December will be light on development details, but hopefully will talk more about what we will be doing going forward to get the game done!

Look forward to seeing you all then~!

Demo Update Release Notes

It’s here! It’s out! The graphical overhaul demo is complete!

Estimated Play Time: 3-5 hours

Download: Itch.io or Gamejolt or SteamN

Demo Summary

As I’m sure everyone following around is aware, we’ve been working hard on this demo for the past 1.5 – 2 years. When we released the previous demo we got A LOT of feedback from people. Most of the feedback focused on the art and how the game played.

The art feedback focused on the overworld sprites and how the battles played. The low frame count, and the design of the sprites were not appealing. For the battles, a lot of people were not fans of the vertical battle style, and preferred to have something more classically horizontal.

The game feedback was less on the story or characters but on the game engine itself. People found the collisions too floaty and bouncy, it was easy to clip through them if you tried, some people ran into crashes that was hard to reproduce, and others had some issues with how the levels were designed.

We took all of this feedback and decided to invest in getting this stuff right, but it was no easy feat. It required essentially redoing the whole game. So, yes, this last 1.5 years or so have been spent redoing the game.

We redid all of the overworld sprites, the title screen, added new battle animations, new UI, new game engine, more music, and new story.

We hope everyone enjoys the changes that we’ve made!

Release Notes

Due to the sheer number of changes (over 1000) the following release notes will be light on details, but will highlight some of the more important differences between this demo and the previous version. Note that major changes will be bolded.

Added

  • Added running and a run button
  • Added new Title Screen Illustration
  • Added new character specific themes and battle specific themes
  • Added a popup when you enter into a named area
  • Added a popup when you gain a new quest
  • Added a Statement Screen, which displays all gained testimonies, facts and evidence gathered
  • Added a new boss battle
  • Added sunset and nighttime shaders for select areas
  • Added a map screen showing the whole map of Gataela
  • Added new battle animation states for Idle, Attack, Damage, Death and Revive
  • Added a victory screen when winning battles
  • Added new options to the debate battles
  • Added a grass effect to look like objects are walking through tall grass
  • Added mountain TTBattle background
  • Added screen transition effects for battles
  • Added all of the NPC dialogue to the translation files
  • Added new endings for some of the debate battles
  • Added an indicator in the main menu to remind that some characters may have status points to be spent

Removed

  • Removed charisma stat and charisma bar from debate battles
  • Temporarily removed most crafted items from being usable in battle
  • Temporarily removed some enemy types from the maps
  • Removed one of the NPCs that provides bread during the second quest
  • Removed some homes and NPCs from the overworld

Other

  • Changed game engines from Cocos2dx to Gamemaker Studio 2
  • Redid the UI
  • Redid the opening sequence
  • Redid the portraits for all of the skits and debate battles
  • Redid all of the overworld human and animal sprites
  • Frame count for animations changed from 4 to at least 8
  • Redid all of the battle animations for enemies and party members and skills
  • Battles changed from vertical layout to horizontal layout
  • Rewrote the Klatchez main story quest
  • Rewrote almost all of the debate battles
  • Adjusted all of the skits and cutscene dialogue
  • Reset the version numbering to 0.1.0
  • Debate facts have been changed from being single statements gathered from one NPC to being divided into testimonies (gathered from many NPCs), facts (gathered from one NPC) and evidence (gathered from interacting with objects).
  • Changed being able to escape from encounters with patrol events to make Wiska Forest more palatable. May be changed to an option to toggle in the future.
  • Reduced game download size
  • The game should now run much smoother on lower-end devices and take up less RAM
  • Adjusted percentages of battle items. To be adjusted as more feedback given.
  • Simplified finding the NPCs needed to get bread from during the second quest
  • Removed most of the inaccessible houses from Vuni.
  • Changed Vuni’s layout for the market zone. This should make exiting the city easier.
  • Changed Pharyon’s layout
  • Changed Klatchez’s layout
  • Changed Vischet’s layout
  • Adjusted the western mountains layout
  • Adjusted some home designs in Wynoa