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.

July 2021 Progress Update

Happy Summer! We hope everyone is keeping cool and safe. Here’s how the development of Gataela went during June!

Levels & Music

We’ve been chugging along working on the updated levels and music for the new areas, and pictured above is a comparison of one of those! This level is located just north of Vescha and used to have some of the city spilling out into it at the bottom. With the changes we made last month to the city’s layout, this isn’t happening anymore, so there’s more room for vegetation!

It’s been great seeing a lot more visual interest being added to the world of Gataela while working on these changes, and it should help everyone traveling through the game feel like each area is more distinct. But if on the off chance the visual changes aren’t enough, we completed the soundtrack for these to help too!

Speaking of the soundtrack, William has been doing an amazing job and it’s now at 60 tracks! With such a monumental number, it’s a good time to mention that the soundtrack will also be released for sale at some point in the future! We’ll be posting a sneak preview of the new music for this area later this month, so look forward to it!

Battle Upgrades & SFXs

Another big focus for the last month was more battle animations, but in particular the SFX for them. We finished off our first round of work back in December, which updated all of the existing SFX in the game. For the last couple of months, we’ve been focusing on adding SFX for all of the battle skills! This is a huge step forward, and we’re looking forward to sharing it with everyone!

What’s Next?

As per usual, we’ll be focusing on the three key areas: levels, battle upgrades & story. We’re aiming to finish off adding the rest of the updated skill animations for battles in July, as well as finishing creating the new weapon animations for all of the characters. Another big focus in the near future will be level work, and we’re hoping to round out the end of the quarter with a whole new province added.

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.

May 2021 Progress Update

Hello everyone! We hope everyone is enjoying the spring weather and continues to stay safe. Here’s what we were up to for the month of April!

Trailer Update!

Last month we mentioned that there would be a small surprise released and that was a new trailer! We spent quite a while working out the new trailer and trying to have it represent the current state of the game. While we were doing that, we looked back at all of the old trailers and – Wow! Gataela has come a long way. We hope that this new trailer gives you a better idea of Gataela as a game and how development is going!

Battle Updates

We spent another month working on battle upgrades and knocked a lot of items out of the park. To give a brief summary:

  • Added about 80-90% of the skill animations into the game with the new graphics
  • Enabled status effects
  • Items that apply status effects are now affected by chance as specified on the inventory summary page
  • Group-wide skills that apply status effects will affect each party member with chance differently
  • Started to work on new SFX for these animations

We’ll be continuing to work on battle upgrades over the next few months, but to a lesser degree as we begin to shift back into level making and cutscene adding. We do plan to hold a game development stream sometime in the future focusing on the TTBattle System and rebalancing it. If this is of interest, please make sure to follow our Twitch channel or Twitter to get notified when it goes live.

6 / 2 (1 + 2) = ?

It seems like just about everyone had an opinion on how to handle this math problem this month, so how about we ask the cast of Gataela?

What’s Next?

Starting next month we’ll be shifting to working on levels, cutscenes and battle related work inter-spaced throughout. We’ve gotten a ton of new assets from the wonderful folks at Buko Studios that we’re itching to put into use so we hope everyone will enjoy the new environments!