Weekly Update 2018-06-24

I cannot express to you how good it feels to be working on a regular cadence again. To have a schedule in hand with a series of objectives to be checked off and knowing from one minute to the next what it is you need to get accomplished. Like the weekly update for instance!

Finally! No more updates about broken machines, lags and delays. We get to come back around full circle and tell you about what it is we’ve accomplished this week. It’s a lot, and we’re very excited to tell you about it.

We previously announced we are ready to move into beta. With the understanding that we only began dabbling in Daz and experimenting with Renpy back in January, we felt there was a lot we needed to learn. What we didn’t want to do was put out a product we felt was sub-par. We went into this with a vision of improvement over other products we’d loved.

These improvements included things like a tighter narrative. Better story pacing. Improved visuals with a high attention to detail and lighting. A story, that while on the far edge of belief, was still somewhat plausible. And most of all, dialogue that seemed natural and didn’t make you cringe.

We decided that the best way to get experience was to just start creating. Let’s make a game, release it as often as we can, and solicit as much feedback as possible. We’ll simply call it the alpha, knowing that we’ll eventually go back and do some serious rewriting and reimagining later. Daz alone is an amazing tool with a lot of facets to it and I thought it would take a considerable amount of time to come to full grips with it. But we were dedicated and determined to become masters.

I still don’t know if we’re masters, but we can make it do what we want it to do. And the end results are phenomenal. We’ve trimmed up our code and parsed everything down to the essentials. Our control structures are locked down and there isn’t much else to do but finish the game. And that is why it’s time for beta!

Our next release coming in about two weeks will be our first v1.x.x. Now unfortunately this means the next release will not be compatible with anything we’ve produced previously. There is nothing to merge and no data will carry over. Too much has changed under the surface, and in truth, we’ve added too much you won’t want to miss. 

When you fire up our next release, it’s going to feel like a new game. You’ll recognize characters, plot lines, themes, etc. But the enhancements are going to be clear and present. The interface has been polished. We’ve completed scene transitions and gui art. And much of what we had previously written has been rewritten into longer, stronger scenes.

There is a much clearer feeling about what this game is about from scene one. We’ve cut no corners and have made every effort to bring this as close to the final version as possible. Our hope is that from here the only changes we make are the inclusion of new scenes each month, and bug fixing on what we’ve already done.

We aren’t planning to hold ourselves to a tight series of deadlines. We want each release from this point forward to be as high quality as it can possibly be. We are going to work through the entire month, and what we have done is what we’ll release. Some months will obviously offer a greater amount of content than others depending on complexity, but every release will be of the highest quality we ourselves can produce. It will never feel like we rushed a scene, animation or plot line just to meet a deadline. We want to do this right.

That said, we didn’t have much time left this month after getting our computer up and running. Our first release, v1.0.0 is going to be shorter than what you’d expect in a normal month.

To help set your expectations it will include your first meeting with Doctor Amana, where Roger becomes a patient and begins to delve into his problems and woes. It does a great job of setting up the character and helps explain how the story will ‘function’. This scene will then flow directly into the next, where we meet Miss Nanami Sakamura.

Ultimately it is Roger’s involvement with Ms. Sakamura and her plans that throws his life off course and sends him spiraling out of control. It’s the catalyst that changes the character from what he was before the story began, to who he is now and why he’s behaving the way he does.

Your decisions in the opening scenes will lead you down one of two paths with Nanami, and this will be your first experience with the diverging story arcs. A strong point of feedback from the alpha was that there wasn’t much contrast between some of the scene variants. We’ve taken that to heart and are making sure that every time the story diverges into one of two directions, the changes are noticeable, immediate, and drastically contrasted with their counter parts. After all, this story is all about choice, and we want your choices to have had a real impact on Roger’s life.

That is all for now. We have teaser art coming out shortly and we’ll be posting up next month’s poll after the 1st. So stay tuned.

Stay frosty my friends!

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