April 2023 Progress Update

Happy Post-April Fools and welcome to the start of Spring! Here’s what we were up to during the month of March!

New Enemies New Skills

Last month we showed off some of the new enemies that we’ve been working on and this month we started on that long process to add new animations and work on rebalancing the battle system!

When we initially started on Gataela, the thought was that the enemies would be somewhat like Pokemon in that we would have certain types, and as the game progressed their levels would go up and they would get some new skills, but it would still be the same type of enemy.

As we added the overworld and added biomes to it, it became apparent that not all enemy types will belong in the same biomes. (Not to mention that would be kinda boring.) So we expanded our initial list going from 9 different common types to 23. That’s a whole lot more!

But with more enemies means the need for more skills.

Each enemy before had a maximum of 5 different skills that it could use. With only four skill slots, there would be quite a bit of repetition in enemy encounters. We’ve been working on expanding that so that each enemy has 10 different skills, with different levels associated to those skills. For example, if you run into a level 2 snake they probably shouldn’t have skills that could cause an instant kill. As your enemies level up, so do the skills it has available going from more basic skills, to intermediate, to expert.

God-level skills are saved for bosses 🙂

So we doubled the enemies and doubled their skills, does that mean 4x more skills? Nope. This is the “fun” part of breaking down who has what skill and looking for overlaps. For example, both snakes and wolves can bite. Does that mean two different Bite skills? Maybe in terms of stats since a snake would have a poisonous bite, but the animations can probably be the same. But then is the only difference in stats the poison aspect, or do we need to consider the skill level as well?

Lots of excel sheets have been made and continue to be made.

Over the next few months this will be something being done in the background and we’ll probably bring this up every once in a while to introduce some of the cooler skills.

Interior Time

Now that the overworld is complete we’re beginning to focus on interiors. In particular this past month we worked on the interiors for the Palace. I wonder what happens there? :3c

We’ll be continuing on various areas over the next few months, including adding backer houses. Look forward to more in the future!

What’s Next?

Next month we’ll be focusing on these areas:

  • TTBattle Skills and Balancing
  • Adding Cutscenes
  • Adding Overworld Interiors
  • Improving Map/Level Load Times

March 2023 Progress Update

What a short month! But this update is jam packed with good news so get ready! Here’s what we were up to over the past month~

Overworld Completion

Oh me oh my it’s true it’s done! Here is the complete overworld and the country of Gataela! This past month we spent a lot of time finishing up the last little bit blending the biomes between the rocky region of Olvia and the marshland of Vescha!

This area was quite difficult to work on as there were no shared ground tiles between the two regions. In the end we used the marsh-ness of Vescha to break the area up into blocks of land, which allowed for a more natural transition between the two.

There are more improvements that we would like to make – such as fixing the water or updating the older regions in the northern part of the overworld – but those things will come in due time. Due time being… probably after release.

But! We are done for now! Enjoy!

Turn-Based Enemy Completion

Another thing we completed this month was a bunch of new enemies and all of their animations! Owen’s been hard at work to help diversify the group and they are now complete! Above are just a few of the many now completed. We might show off more information about them in the future!

MSQ Skit Completion

And finally we crossed off finishing the non-debate MSQ skits! The debate MSQ skits will come after the debates are rewritten (since, y’know, they need to directly mention debate content). But this is a huge step forward for getting content into the game!

What’s Next?

Wow, what a banger month, huh? Going forward we will continue to focus on the two battle systems, and working our way through the towns, cities and their interiors. Or in summary:

  • Begin completing the Turn-Based Battle Skill VFX
  • Rebalancing the Turn-Based Battle System
  • Finish rewriting all of the debates and related side quests
  • Completing city/town interiors

Have a great March! See you in April~

February 2023 Progress Update

Happy Deep Freeze! We hope you are all keeping warm. Here’s what we were up to during the last month!

Completing the Forest

This month our main focus was on completing the layout for one of the last dungeons of the game! It was a lot of hard work to get everything done but with this we have a nice base to put in events, enemies and cool effects. We can’t show you all too much, but here are a few screenshots of various locations.


Another key focus for this month was skits! As we mentioned last month one of our main goals this quarter was adding all of the MSQ skits. Good news! We’re almost there. Excluding MSQ skits directly related to debates, we have 3 left. How exciting!

What’s Next

Our focus for the next month will be:

  • Completing the rest of the overworld maps
  • Finishing adding the rest of the MSQ skits
  • Complete the new turn-based enemies

January 2023 Progress Update

Happy New Year! We hope you had a good holiday season~ Here’s what we’ve been up to in December, what we accomplished over the year, and some goals for 2023!

December 2022

Before we dive into a big review of the year, let’s go over some of the stuff we accomplished before 2022 ended! As per usual, a lot of time was spent visiting family and friends, but we managed to accomplish quite a few things, such as:

  • Finished 67% (56! submaps) for the last major dungeon
  • Added a few MSQ skits
  • Completed some overworld maps
  • Created more animations for new enemies

2022 Review

2022 can be described as “The Year of Preparation”, which – as the name suggests – we focused on preparing the game for the big Content™ addition of 2023. So let’s go over some of the things we did!

First is the overworld maps. We went from having 3/4 regions completed to (almost) all 4 regions! All that’s missing is the little area blending between the two biomes in the bottom right which should be completed soon™.

We also did a big wildlife update during 2022 focused on creating creatures to help the world feel more alive. This also included more than doubling the number of enemies and rebalancing the turn-based battles. We now have 17 passive animals, and 12 new enemies – all with various variants. We even updated some older enemies with variants while we were at it!

Some other key highlights from 2022:

  • Finished rewriting the end of the game
  • Finished rewriting the MSQ skits
  • Updated SFXs for all of the older turn-based battle skills
  • Designed mechanics, puzzles and visual aspects of the last few dungeons
  • Added new VFX to the overworld
  • Improved UI animations
  • Added skip features to Skits and Cutscenes
  • Added more emote bubbles
  • Completed more Debate Portraits
  • Upgraded our Debate Battle Infrastructure (adding and changing debates are easier than ever!) & converted all of the old debates
  • Added Gamepad support (and redid our input handling in general)
  • Upgraded Gamemaker to the current version (and maybe suffered for it)
  • Released a few updates (0.6.0 & 0.6.1)
  • Did a presentation on how we go about level design
  • General Bug Fixes, QoL & Performance Improvements

2023 Plans

As mentioned before – it’s the year of Content™. Which means our main focus for the year is to combine all of our hard work together. Our short term goals for the next few months will be:

  • Complete the remaining overworld maps
  • Complete the new turn-based enemies, animations, and skills
  • Add all of the MSQ skits

And as for the rest of the year we will be focused on:

  • Adding all of the MSQ cutscenes
  • Finish rewriting all of the debates and related side quests
  • Finish all city/town interiors and related NPCs
  • General bug fixes, visual & performance improvements

Take care and see you all next month!

December 2022 Progress Update

Hello everyone! We’re happy to report we had a productive month with absolutely NO misfortune…. probably. Here’s what we were up to!

Little Improvements

One of our focuses for the month was making a variety of little improvements from bug fixes to little performance things to animations. Some of the little animations we added include moving minecarts, windy grass, UI improvements and so on.

Skipping the Scenes Away

Another small improvement we made was adding the ability to skip cutscenes! Although… the cutscenes are not entirely skippable just yet. We have some work to do to update all of the older cutscenes to work with the new system, which we will get around to in the new year. However, the important thing to note is the tech exists, and we made sure that it would work for nearly all of the scenes (minus ones with battles or important choices). We weren’t sure whether to allow skipping if you haven’t seen the scene before, but considering that it would be a lot more work to track that information, and we wouldn’t know if people were doing multiple playthroughs either on the same device or different ones – we decided to just trust the player. If you don’t want to see it and it won’t break anything, it’s fine. You can skip.

What’s Next?

As the year is reaching the end we’ll be focusing on a few key areas in preparation for next year:

  • Finishing the last major dungeon’s design
  • Final Battle Work
  • Finishing all of the Overworld Maps

Have some happy holidays and see you all in January for our yearly review!