Weekly Update 2018-06-02
I know I’ve been late with these updates and for that I apologize. Working two jobs sucks and raising a family on top of it is a lot to do in a week. Fortunately, my days of dual employment have come to a close and it looks as though we shall soon be back on track.
With the exception of the video card, the new system is online and we are back up and running. During the down time I think we’ve watched almost every tutorial we could find regarding Daz and Iray renders and we are ready to put it to use. Using the onboard GPU we’ve already begun experimenting with some of the new techniques that we’ve learned and I have to say, I’m very pleased with the results.
You can see a sample of some of the new renders in the Patreon reward images on our page. This is the level of quality we had always envisioned for our narrative graphics. While we know you’ve been waiting in the queue for a long time, I think when we finally release this next distribution you will be surprised at the exponential increase in visual quality.
Using what we’ve learned about morphing, shaders and material settings, we’ve been able to correct a lot of the things that were annoying us with our previous renders. Most notably is Cassie’s skin. It’s not gray anymore. =D All of these leaps in quality have lead us to a big decision.
Even though we haven’t had anything to show for our effort, we have been working hard behind the scenes nailing down a lot of the previously ambiguous details of the project. These details include the story arc, the characters and most notably the coding structure. We’ve made serious improvements over our previous process and any changes going forward will be incremental improvements rather than huge leaps in production quality. That said, we believe it’s time to discard the remainder of the alpha and move directly into beta.
So as of now we are officially in beta. Our goal is to release a complete character act per distribution, with each character having three acts. Each release will essentially be 1/3 of a character’s story. We believe this to be an achievable pace. If we can hit some of our Patreon benchmarks, such as the ability to hire a dedicated coder, then things of course will happen much faster. We are incredibly excited by this move and hope you are too.
In other news, we’ve starting to experiment with animation. Animations are something we love to see in adult visual novels and something we’ve always clearly wanted to include in ours. Now currently, without a graphics card in place, we haven’t been able to produce anything of substantial quality. BUT! We have managed to do a test animation using Monica and Daz’s Open GL renderer. It’s only a sample, but for our first pass at animation using a premade aniblock from Stimuli on Renderotica, it works quite well. (To see the sample, become a patron or visit us on our website doctoramana.com)
Now the long term plan is to create custom animations of our own that will better conform to our characters. But for now it’s a place to start and study.
Which finally brings us to what is probably the question on everyone’s mind, when is the next distribution? As you know, the billing cycle has just finished on Patreon. That covers $150.00 (after Patreon takes their vig) towards the $536.00 purchase of a new card. The last check from the second job is only a fraction of a week’s work, so that trickle amounts to an additional $70. So currently we are approximately $316 short of the mark. Once we clear that final hurdle, we’re going to blow the doors off this place.
We’ll keep dropping our own dollars on it in the meantime from whatever we have left after the bills and keep everyone current on the running total. Friends, we’re close to getting this ship back in the water and we’re very excited about it. She’s going to be more beautiful than ever. Stay tuned!