Development Update #14 *Important*
Hey folks! Not to lessen the importance of other development updates, but if you're going to look through any of the updates, this is one that shouldn't be missed. The first half of the update will be structured like a normal update, and the second half contains an official delay announcement and a bit about why the game is delayed + why game delays occur in general. So, without further ado--
July was one of the best months I've ever had working on the project--I took on a few new challenges and many of them yielded the results I was hoping for! I also took the time to devise a better structure for further work on the game rather than going at things piecemeal, and I settled on hammering out backgrounds as my primary focus until each of those are completed rather than going full scene by full scene. This has already helped me focus in on specific tasks and greatly increased my overall productivity!
One of the more challenging backgrounds I worked on this month was another animated background, this one taking on animated water, mist, fireflies, and some subtle tree movement--
Unfortunately, youtube is adept at destroying the quality of everything I try to upload, but this scene looks stunning in game, I'm super pleased with how it turned out given the complexity of the different elements I wanted it to have.
In addition to trying to go for more complex scenes, I've also changed the way I construct them. The above scene is actually comprised of several different parts--
and I didn't end up fully utilizing each part, but having the flexibility to do different things if I get a new idea is super useful for me.
I've also finally developed a good system for being able to quickly generate different times of days for different scenes--
First, I draw the entire background in flat/neutral lighting
Then, I go in and do color/light adjustments and additional painting to get the desired look for each time of day I want
And here's an example from another background:
It's actually an idea I got from doing some simple 3d work, and it's really helped with speeding up my workflow.
The last thing I'll show today is from a picture I began the other day--not done yet, but I'm pleased with how it's looking so far
As always, I keep the bulk of each month's work under wraps as to not spoil too much of the game, but I hope what I've included today is enough to satisfy until next month's update :)
And as per usual, I'll close out the update with a couple of the songs written during last month--the first a little somber, the second a little more upbeat
Link to the second song with less audio compression can be found [Here]
From here on out, things get wordy.
PART 2 -- official delay announcement
If you have been keeping up with each of the development updates, then you might remember that I've already announced (specifically, in the April development update) that the game would not be coming out in September as I had hoped it would be when I first began the kickstarter campaign. If you're not familiar with how kickstarter works, the moment you launch your campaign, you cannot edit the estimated release date--and when I began the project with a goal of just $7000, I had a smaller game in mind, simpler stories, simpler backgrounds, simpler music, and had you all not donated enough to reach over 400% of that original goal, it's likely I would have made that original game, and would probably have finished earlier than September.
However, as I already mentioned, the campaign didn't stop at the original goal, and so I rescaled the project-- I added several new character's worth of content to the base game, extended each character's original plotline, expanded the end of the game, scaled up the quality of the art, and really took my time with things to let the game be as strong as it could be. It's understandable that people would hope the game would still come out "on time", but the project as it is today is worlds apart from the project as it was when I started the campaign last July. A lot of people have a good grasp on why delays occur, and that delays are sort of how things go in game development, but I want to express that this delay means you get a better experience in the end, and that's what I care most about. If anyone is still frustrated, I understand! But I would hope that you'd take a look at the content I've been previewing over the last year and compare it to games of a similar ilk-- I'm attempting to give you all something I haven't seen out there, and it's taken a lot of effort, and it'll take even more effort, but I'm passionate about this project and I'm going to see it finished in a form I can be proud of.
So, the game will not be coming out in September. I hesitate to give an expected release date, as I've learned it's just tough to give a good estimate, and not meeting new estimates can lead to more frustration. However, I've been extremely open with the development of the game--both the ups and the downs, and answering questions (mainly on tumblr), and giving these monthly updates--I felt that this would help establish trust between myself and you all that I'm diligently working to get this done, and I hope that continues to be the case as we head steadily towards the game's release.
Thanks for your time, have a wonderful month!