Development Update #23
Hello folks! Hope you're doing well!
This month's update is highly atypical; it's all talking, but there's important info to be shared. For folks who want just the info, here's the tl;dr version, with a more in depth explanation of things afterwards.
1) Another "empty update" next month, I'll be spending the entire month fine tuning things for the release of the second demo, so no point in sharing content you'll be playing just a couple weeks after reading about it.
2) I've made changes to the structure of the game in order to release individual chapters/character routes in advance to backers before the entire game is done. This format of the game will be lacking content that the full game will have, as that content requires the game to be altogether in order to function. The full release of the game will have this content.
That's the bare bones info! If that's all you've read, I'll be talking a bit about the demo/how that's going in a month from now, take care!
For those who are interested in more details, the first point is fairly straight forward, most of the work I've done this month has been mostly programming heavy, making small adjustments to the scenes, trying and trying and trying again to get the cutscenes to all play perfectly each time without resorting to using a lower resolution video (this is a point I'm still struggling with, unfortunately).
As for the second point, from the beginning of this project I had the game's structure and all the gameplay mechanics more or less hammered out, and one thing I really, really wanted to avoid was releasing the game in chunks rather than altogether because of specific mechanics I had in mind.
***spoilers for in-game mechanics, potentially plot spoilers ahead***
One thing I never really cared for in visual novels was how formulaic each character route felt-- you start off in a fairly free to explore narrative environment in the beginning which allows you to meet all the characters, but then you get shuttled into very restrictive, highly linear routes for each character. I wanted to mitigate that somewhat in Eldet, by writing several versions of each person's character route which not only changes from your own decision making, but is further changed depending on which routes you've done previously--for other characters-- and in which order you did them. In addition to that, in Eldet, I wanted you all to be able to jump from one route to another based on specific triggers and unlockable dialog sequences. This, in my mind, would give people a fresher experience and break up the linearity of the character routes. However, this necessitated that the entire game be complete, and I want you all to be able to start playing since the project has taken longer than I anticipated.
One important point I'd like to stress is that I'm not abandoning this mechanic, but for those of you who ARE interested in playing the game earlier, these features will not be present until the full release of the game. The individual chapters won't be released on a specific set schedule, rather just as they're completed (meaning, complete in the development sense, and after extensive testing by myself and the beta testers).
That's all from me for now, I hope you all have a great month!