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A medieval fantasy themed visual novel with emphasis on LGBT characters and people of color
A medieval fantasy themed visual novel with emphasis on LGBT characters and people of color
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1,281 backers pledged $30,835 to help bring this project to life.

Development Update #10

Posted by Marccus (Creator)
67 likes

Hey folks!  Hope you're doing well :)

A lot has changed for me over the past month, and most if not all of it is a positive change in terms of developing the game.  I left my part time job to allow me to devote all of my time to working this project, I bought some new software to let me do some cool stuff I've been wanting to add into the game (I'm being intentionally vague here because I haven't yet been successful, but I'm still trying), I got a midi keyboard so I no longer have to compose all the music using the piano roll in the DAW I use, and I finally managed to get myself out of a creative block I've been dealing with a couple of months now.  

I also have something important to say regarding the project, but I'll leave that till the end--for now, onto the update. 

During March, I actually, genuinely, 100%, for certain, finalized the character designs of all the characters who have romance content in the game.  I'm at the point where I'm on the verge of completing a lot of the scenes I've been working on, and character art is what I leave for last, so I had to stop tinkering with things and call it a day as far as character design goes.

I thought it might be fun to make a height chart for all of those characters, so here's what that ended up looking like:

From left to right: Faaron, Ehsanh, Luca, Amal, Tariq, Emre, Lorev, Diogo, Thanh, Akwasi, and Kunal.
From left to right: Faaron, Ehsanh, Luca, Amal, Tariq, Emre, Lorev, Diogo, Thanh, Akwasi, and Kunal.

In my written descriptions for each character, I included everyone's height, but I didn't realize what I had gotten myself into until I put Kunal next to Faaron in a straight on view

Here's the rest of the finalized physical designs spaced out a bit more.

 

 

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 I'm pretty happy with how all the characters ended up!  Now, onto some talk about backgrounds.

Last update, I posted this background:

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 And this month I took a few hours to make an alternative version if it:

When I was initially writing Eldet, I actually wanted to make an RPG-maker sort of game, with day night cycles and different events associated with the areas depending on the time of day.  In the end, obviously I didn't stick with the RPG maker plan, but I'm still including different times of day being tied to different events in the visual novel.  That means making a lot of alternate lighting conditions for certain scenes. Sometimes its pretty challenging, but I think it makes the world feel more real to see the same scene in different ways. 

In March, I also focused a lot on developing the architectural identity of Karnata, the main city you'll be moving around in the game.  

 

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I wanted to depict a medieval setting that wasn't strictly castles because, well, drawing individual bricks is tedious, but mostly I don't see the point in playing through settings which people feel like they've already seen countless times.  I don't always accomplish that uniqueness, but it's something I'm striving towards.  

I'm also advancing to some of the more challenging settings I described in writing months and months ago, and a lot of them are proving to be more difficult to draw than I thought they'd be.  I gotta say though, it's been fun to stretch what I'm used to drawing, and it's helped break the creative block I've had for a while now.

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 I also started working on the music that's going to play along with the last background I posted.  It's very very early on in the composition process, and it's only a small segment of the whole piece, but I'm beginning to get the vibe that I want this place to have. ( audio artifacts are due to kickstarter's audio compression on upload)

 

Last, I mentioned at the start of the update that I had something important to talk about, and you probably wont like to hear it, but I like to be open about how the development of the game is going.  

This is the first game I've ever tried to make, and I really did try to accurately forecast how long it would take me to make the full game based on how long it took me to make the demo, but I think development on this game might end up taking longer than September to complete.  I'm not super behind where I hoped to be by this point, but going from asset creation to music composition to programming to tweaking and polishing each scene and making little dialog edits and sending things off to my beta testers and getting their feedback and making more changes, it's A LOT of stuff to do, and I don't want to release anything that doesn't live up to the standards I set for my own work.  That said, no longer working my part time job will allow me to work even more to try to get it out to you as soon as I'm able to.  

So I can't say concretely when I believe the game will be done, it could be a few months after when I said it would be, but I no longer believe the game will be done and ready to be sent to you all by September, and I am sorry about that.  Several people have suggested to me I begin to release the game in chunks, but I've talked about this here on kickstarter and on tumblr, the design of the game does not lend itself to being released incrementally, it simply won't work the way I want it to.  However, I'm going to continue to post updates and keep you all informed about how things are going as I have been.  I hope you understand! 

Until next time, take care. :)

Debop, Thomas Fox, and 65 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Thomas on

      I get that a character was removed from the main plot and all....but is no one gonna mention that our main guy is short as hell �

    2. Gabriel M on

      No point in rushing your work if it's not something you're proud of. Keep up the good work and release your game to be a huge success in it's genre! I gotta say i'm very impressed by how immersing the backgrounds are, it makes me want to explore every corner of Karnata and find every secret it hides. The guys also looks very unique to each other, the character design looks very sharpened so far! Tho I must say i'm also one of Bradachs fans, and I wish we could get more in depth with him. But I trust if he was cut from being a main into a secondary character we will still get to chat him up a bit! Please take care, and keep up your good work with love and passion!

    3. Cade Peterson
      Superbacker
      on

      I'm always of the opinion that I'd rather wait for something that will be a better product than have a rushed and unsatisfying (or less satisfying) one. Carry on!

    4. Ian L. on

      I never backed anything on Kickstarter that was actually completed on time. Realistically, I think it's to be expected. Few should be upset as long as there are regular updates that show progress toward completion.

    5. Howard Kistler
      Superbacker
      on

      Delays are to be expected, especially on games that are a solo development effort. Given how beautiful your work is, it is certainly worth taking your time to make everything in the game live up your vision. Thanks for letting us know!

    6. Missing avatar

      Biotic Apostate on

      I understand that if a story wasn't really clicking, there's no point in forcing it in. About the chubby character - the lineup looks different now than it did at the start. I liked both Bradach and Tariq, because the depictions of chubby gay men are mostly for laughs, so I got excited about those two. And I'd be equally disappointed, if Tariq was no longer a main character. Of course there are more choices now. Emre looks fantastic, and Ehsanh and Diogo look way softer now compared to their previous concepts, which I really like (as I've said, Bradach is not the only character, whose appearance I like). I haven't mentioned that, but I do appreciate that there are multiple characters with this body type.

      Also, for now I'm not really making any choices as to whom to romance in the game, sorry if I've given you that impression. Bios give a general feel of the character, but it's just a glimpse. Faaron and Tariq turned out differently then I expected them to. I think many people concentrate on the looks not because they only care about that, but because it's the most tangible piece of information we have on many characters right now. To me, Tariq and Faaron stopped being shirtless guys and started being characters after I played the demo.

      Because negativity travels much better through the internet than praise, I'll add this - the news about Bradach wasn't great, but I'm still incredibly happy that this game is being made, and each update you post, whether it's character, music, or story related, makes me even more excited.

    7. Missing avatar

      Tran Ha Nam on

      Haha, I love it that almost every love interest is taller than you. It really help sold Kunal's character concept of "bumbling mage apprentice who is in need of some hot steamy protection" ;)

      Keep up the good work!

    8. Marccus Creator on

      Two things:

      One, I'd like to thank all the folks who have been totally understanding of the release date being pushed back, I'm happily relieved you understand what I'm trying to do and that I want to make sure I do everything to a high standard I can be confident in. It means a lot to me!

      Second, a final word to the various people who are upset about Bradach.
      As I said previously, he is still in the game. However, he is no longer a main character. The idea I had for his potential plot was significantly weaker than any of the other main characters, so I made the decision to remove it and put him into another's story. In my experience, it is better to remove something than agonize over fixing something that simply isn't working, especially given the scope of this project. It's true that he is chubby, but there are other chubby characters with romance content in the game, the only difference is that Bradach is white. I don't want to shame or condemn anyone's feelings in any way whatsoever, but I need to speak honestly here--I wanted to create this game because people of color are minimized and excluded frequently in all forms of media, so it is disheartening for me to hear that many people's favorite character is someone for which I've never written and posted a bio, or said much of anything about his personality or backstory at all. All he has been is a single drawing I posted almost 10 months ago. I want to reiterate that I'm not saying this to make you feel bad about which characters you like, I did my best to design all of the characters to be likable and well received as best as they could be. But the spirit of this project is to give the spotlight to people who are seldom given the opportunity to shine. Yes Bradach is chubby, and chubby characters are also frequently excluded in media, but again, multiple other characters in the game are chubby. If it's harder to relate to them because they aren't white, then I see it as part of my job to make it so it's easy to relate to them despite those differences. Having an additional white main character doesn't make a game 'more diverse' in a world where white main characters are overwhelmingly represented in all forms of media. My goal in making this game was not to 'pander' to select groups by giving them exactly what they wanted while letting others be ignored. It's to demonstrate that any one of these people are worth your time. People are so much more than their appearances, and I want to prove that to anyone who, knowingly or not, might believe otherwise.

    9. Missing avatar

      Biotic Apostate on

      Thanks for the answer! Bradach isn't the only character I like the design of, but it's still a bit disappointing to hear, since he was (if I remember correctly) the first chubby guy in the game to be revealed and I was really looking forward to meeting him.

      Either way, as others have said - don't worry and take your time.

    10. Missing avatar

      Hell_bound on

      Sorry, originally posted in wrong place.

      So with Bradach originally being pitched as one of the 6 main love interests was he replaced with anyone else? I believe the original idea was to get the "true" final act you had to work through each main love interest's storyline. Is there only 5 now? Disappointed that he was taken out as I appreciated the diversity (and he looks a lot like my boyfriend ;)).
      Secondly, I'm a little disappointed in the changes to Amal. I can't quite put my finger on it, but he appears a lot more youthful than I expected. Probably the hair/beard changes and maybe a narrowing of the face? I totally respect that these are your characters, and that it's just my personal preferences, but figured I'd give the feedback. There are plenty of handsome guys to go around.

    11. Adam Neil Callaby on

      Thank you for the update Marccus!

      Your artwork looks fantastic, and I'm really loving the various day-night depictions of different scenes. The height differences made me chuckle a bit, I was most surprised by Kunals height, as I thought he'd be a bit taller! But really intrigued by how it's going to playout with such interesting height differences.

      Deadlines. I work in Marketing and let me tell you there's no such thing. The vast majority of video games that are put out despite needing more work, with bugs, or rushed, are because marketing a video game takes the most of the budget, and having to keep people interested in a game for a further 2-6 months is insanely expensive, which is why there's a negative atmosphere around games being "pushed back".

      Because yours is independent, a person artwork, you honestly have no need to worry. People are reasonable enough to see the work you're putting in and you keep everyone updated really well with a mixture of character, scenery and music. Take the time you feel you need. Your backer want to see you make something good because something like this just isn't made in mainstream, so I'm pretty such a few/many more months is not an issue on anyone's cards.

    12. Steve Parker on

      When you're being creative things can take longer than the original estimates. I've seen that with another Kickstarter project I backed and it was worth the wait. I'm sure Eldet will be the same. As others have said, I'm fine with waiting longer to get a great game and more importantly, a game that YOU are proud of. “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by,” as Douglas Adams said. Look at the work he produced by pretty much ignoring deadlines :)

    13. Missing avatar

      Vailen on

      You're doing great work! While I can't wait to see the finish product, take the time you need. I may not be speaking for everyone but I think it's much better to delay and polish to your expectations than to rush to meet a deadline. Thanks for your transparency!

    14. Missing avatar

      Tahir Raines on

      That's ok. Take your time to make a great game so it's a product you can be truly proud of.

    15. Missing avatar

      Hell_bound on

      Oh no - Bradach was my favorite too!

    16. Kungfuboom
      Superbacker
      on

      Yah know that size difference just makes me want Farron all the more :P
      Also take your time mate, I think we can all appreciate how much work you're putting into this game ^^

    17. Gabriel Guimarães on

      WOW. WOW. JUST WOW.

      Stunning.

      Take your time. A great game can't be rushed.

    18. Dawn Adams on

      It looks wonderful! And no complaints about the extra wait from me, my concerns are that you get the time to create a game you're proud of and that the when I play the game, it will be one I love.

    19. Tom van der Spek
      Superbacker
      on

      Great update! And please, use the time you need to make Eldet even more beautiful as it looks already! I can wait! You have done a nice job so far! Love the caracters!

    20. Sam Hardy on

      Stunning. My jaw dropped when I saw the last background.

    21. Marccus Creator on

      @biotic apostate: to answer your question, Bradach is still in the game, but at the time of the demo release and initial kickstarter campaign, he was a character in design only (ie: he had no plot or any other writing associated with him), and over the course of development, he moved from being a potential main character to just being a character in someone else's plotline.

    22. Missing avatar

      Kieran on

      oh fuck yeaaaa, my big beefy boyfriend Faaron is tall as fuck >:3c

    23. Missing avatar

      Biotic Apostate on

      I love, love the art and music. I'm amazed by the amount of work you've put into this game. Can't wait to play it!

      Gotta ask though, one of my favourite guys, Bradach, seems to be missing from the chart. Was he cut from the game?