December 2021 Progress Update

Welcome to the snowy season. We hope everyone enjoyed the last little bits of fall! Here’s a brief update on everything the team was up to during November!

Finishing the Biome

This month we finished off the new biome we started in June! We primarily focused on updating the in-betweens/transitional levels between the old biome and the new one.

It was rather easy for us to update the the biome where it splits along a natural gap, such as a river. However the real difficulty shows up with natural land transitions. For example, the grass in the biome on the left is brighter than that on the right. You can’t quite put the two right beside each other without it looking weird. It took quite a lot of time, but we’re pretty happy with how it all worked out.

Making Friends

One area we’ve really been focusing on recently has been creating more passive animals. We talked about it briefly last month, but it’s things like cats, dogs, bugs, birds, frogs and other animals that exist to give the world more life. One thing we really noticed when traveling throughout the world is that other than NPCs and enemies (and treasure) there wasn’t too much else. These little things can add a lot of extra movement so we hope it will help.

Twitch

We’ve begun to do regular weekly Twitch streams every Tuesday from 8-10pm EST. If you’re interested in watching, follow on Twitch or keep an eye on Twitter for when we go live. And if you miss it a VOD is available on Twitch for the next little bit.

What’s Next?

Our big plan over the next few months will be to:

  • Continue writing and reworking the end of the game
  • Developing the last biome
  • Upgrading the turn-based battle system

The general theme of this next work is to finish “preparing for content”. In other words, although the story might be written, it hasn’t been implemented in the game just yet. We need all of the levels to exist in order to do that. At the same time we’ll be upgrading the turn-based battle system and fleshing it out more. After that’s gotten it’s turn, we’ll look at the debate battle system – which is heavily dependent on the story.

Our next update will focus more on a year in review and what our plans are for the coming year, so in the meantime we hope everyone stays safe during the holiday season!

November 2021 Progress Update

Happy Belated Halloween! We hope everyone had a spooktacular night! Here’s what we’ve been up to over the past month.

Misc Additions & Improvements

As we mentioned last month, progress was expected to be pretty slow. That being said, we got a few things done, and have a few things coming along the way such as:

  • The Stealth skill animation was updated to match the new battle animations
  • All of the Skill and Item icons were updated to match the new 1080p UI resolution
  • We fixed a bug where when you changed the selected quest in the quest log and left the menu the mini map was still pointing to the old quest until you changed levels
  • Added an area identifier to the mini map for quests that have an objective in a general area
  • Working on an animation that plays when turns are skipped during battle
  • Working on adding passive animals to the game, such as cats, dogs and birds
  • Designed some new VFX for when walking on dirt, sand, and through shallow and deep water
  • Working on juicing up the game with new transition animations for battles and menus
  • Creating new emote bubbles for cutscenes, and updating the debate battle bubble to be more clear
  • And More!

What’s Next?

As we outlined before, we’ll be continuing to focus on various improvements through the month of November. We hope to finish off most of the transition maps/levels between the new province and the old ones, and start planning out the last province and the battle improvements.

October 2021 Progress Update

Happy Spooky October! Here’s what we were up to over the past month!

Province Update

This month we primarily focused on completing the new province! Pictured to the side is a large chunk of what was left after last month’s update!

This area was mainly composed of in between areas on the outskirts of the country. It mainly features a small forest, the military outpost along the border, the river that divides Gataela from Rical, and a small secluded settlement. From this area you can also see part of Myran Lake.

Misc Additions & Improvements

This month we also worked on a variety of other small tasks such as:

  • Fixing the remaining bugs from the public bug list
  • Creating running animations for bear, moose, cougar and wolf enemies
  • Creating a special boss skill
  • Creating more emote bubbles and working on improving the debate emote bubble
  • Creating various VFX
  • MSQ writing improvements

What’s Next?

As we previously mentioned, progress will be slow over the next few months due to some sudden important real-life responsibilities and events. Now that the new province has been added, we’ll be working on the following for the next little bit:

  • General animation improvements, such as running animations, more VFX, etc
  • More MSQ writing improvements
  • Updating the Skill and Item icons with a a higher resolution version
  • In-between levels/maps blending and connecting the new province with the older ones
  • Planning for battle improvements and the next (and last) province

September 2021 Progress Update

Hello! Summer has gone and passed, and Autumn will soon be arriving ?

Province Update

For the past couple months, we’ve been talking about the level work for the new province and how we want to add more visual diversity to the game. We originally said this would take about three months and be finished for the end of September.

Good news! We’re still on track!

Spoiler! As you can see to the left, we’ve updated a majority of the area, and will be finishing off the last levels this month.

This is the first pass of these areas, so they are missing events, NPCs, house interiors, enemies, treasure and so on. Once these are finished, it’ll open us up to being able to add these things along the second pass through.

We’re also looking to add more environmental details, such as bugs flying around, frogs croaking, and grass moving back and forth as you walk through. We have a lot of ideas, and we’re hoping to show you all soon!

Battle Animation Update

This month we also finished off the battle animation updates for ALL of the characters. Yes. Every character now has animations for each of the possible weapon types. Owen has been doing a stellar job with these over the past few months and we can’t wait to show you more in the future!

What’s Next?

Next month we’re looking to finish off the rest of the province, more writing and finish fixing all the user-reported bugs.

It’s also important to note that the next couple updates for the month of September and October will likely be short on content due to some sudden real-life responsibilities and events. We thank you for your understanding during this time.

August 2021 Progress Update

Hello everyone! We hope you are all doing well as we enter into the last official month of Summer!!! Here’s what we’ve been up to during July.

Battle Animations

This past month we hit a big milestone for the development of the battle system. As a brief reminder for everyone, in the past the turn-based battles used to look as follows:

When we released the demo and did Steam Greenlight in 2017, we got a lot of feedback about the battle system and the general look of the game. For example, a lot of people expected the stage to have enemies on the left and your party on the right. We also didn’t have proper battle idles, death animations, and so on. A lot of people also critiqued the art style of the overworld characters and the UI.

From late 2017 to the graphical demo update in 2019 we worked on updating all of these key areas, but as you can imagine redoing a significant number of assets takes a LONG time. When the demo was released in 2019 we only had a few skills available to the user and the enemies.

This past month we hit a very big milestone, which was the completion of adding in all of the new animations for the skills! There’s still some work ahead, such as rebalancing the battle system, adding a few small visual improvements, and adding the new battle stances, but we’re quite happy with how far things have come! We’ve been working towards this goal for a while, and so it’s nice to finally be able to say that they’ve all been updated!

Levels & Music

As we mentioned last month, we’ve been working hard on updating some of the older areas to add more visual interest and diversity into the world of Gataela. William has been doing an amazing job with the soundtrack, and last month we posted a sneak preview of it:

We’re still working our way through adding the new province, and we’re still on track to finish off this work for the end of September.

What’s Next?

Next month we’re looking to complete the rest of the new weapon animations for all of the characters, continue work on updating the story, and heavily focus on creating the levels for the new province.