Monthly Update 
This is the eighth in a series of monthly updates we'll be posting on the last Saturday of every month (JST) until Tokyo Dark's release. If you want to follow development in more detail and you are an [ Access Pack ] + backer remember to drop into the Tokyo Dark backer's forum for our weekly updates every Saturday. If weekly and monthly updates aren't quite enough, you can follow us on Twitter or Facebook for your midweek Cherrymochi fix.
[ No Spoilers ]
This month's update will have a lot of information about the closed alpha, but will not include any story spoilers.
[ Access Pack ] + backers please be careful not to post any spoilers in the comments.
[ Chapter 1 closed alpha ]
Last week we launched our chapter 1 alpha for Windows & OSX in English & Japanese. We sent out download codes to all 2285 [ Access Pack ] + backers. It's been very exciting to get Tokyo Dark chapter 1 out to you all and we've had a lot of fantastic feedback.
A huge thank you to everyone who played, filled in a feedback form and made bug reports. We are very lucky to have such an awesome community helping us!
[ Alpha testing stats ]
17th Feb ~ 25th Feb
- 2285 alpha invitations sent
- 618 downloads
- 112 feedback forms completed
- 37 bug reports
(1 feedback form removed from results.)
[ Alpha survey results ]
1. How would you rate your overall experience playing the Tokyo Dark alpha chapter?
- Positive (I enjoyed playing) 94.64% (106)
- Neutral (It was ok) 3.57% (4)
- Negative (I did not enjoy playing) 0.89% (1)
- I was unable to play (bug or error) 0.89% (1)
Though a very general question, a 94% positive rating is a great response. It's reassured us that we are moving in the right direction.
2. I found Tokyo Dark's performance:
- Great! It ran perfectly on my system 76.79% (86)
- Good. I didn't have any serious issues with performance 15.18% (17)
- Ok. It was playable but there were occasional severe framerate drops 6.25% (7)
- Poor. I had low framerates and the game sometimes froze 0.89% (1)
- Bad. The game often froze and had a terrible frame rate 0.89% (1)
We did not set any minimum specification requirement for the alpha and have seen a huge range of system specs in the feedback. With 91.6% of players saying the performance was either great or good we are fairly confident that our minimum system specifications will be quite low.
3. Did you encounter any bugs during your play through?
- None 59.46% (66)
- A few minor bugs 36.94% (41)
- Several bugs 1.80% (2)
- Many bugs, difficult to play 0 (0)
- Unplayable due to bugs 0 (0)
- Game would not start 1.80% (2)
For an alpha, we're quite happy with these results. We have a lot of bug bashing to do, but many of the bugs that we're seeing are very quick to fix design oversights and script problems.
We've had some fantastic bug reports that have helped to identify exactly where there are problems. Thank you to all you bug hunters! We love you guys!
We know of at least one instance (reported on the Backer's forum technical support section) where Tokyo Dark would not initially start up, but this was fixed by running the game in Windows compatibility mode.
4. Which aspects of the game do you think are strongest?
- Setting / atmosphere (103)
- Character art (87)
- Music (85)
- Story / Narrative (84)
- Background art (73)
- Writing (57)
- SPIN mechanic (56)
- Animation (33)
- UI design (25)
- Controls (16)
- User options / settings (4)
- Other (2)
5. How would you rate your experience of the story?
- Gripping, I can't wait to find out what happens next! 66.67% (74)
- Interesting, I enjoyed the story 30.63% (34)
- Fine, The story was ok but nothing special 2.70% (3)
- Poor, I didn't enjoy the story 0 (0)
Tokyo Dark is a story focused game, so this question is very important to us. We know we can't please everyone, but with 66% of alpha players rating the story as gripping and 0% rating it as poor, we think we're off to a strong start.
6. Which aspects of the game would you like to see improved?
- Controls (49)
- UI design (42)
- User option / Settings (38)
- Animation (38)
- Writing (17)
- Character art (17)
- Other (15)
- SPIN mechanic (12)
- Background (12)
- Story (5)
- Setting / atmosphere (5)
- Music (3)
Alpha players would most like to see improvements to the game's Controls.
Based on this feedback we are making the following changes:
- Holding down left the mouse button down at the edges of the screen will make Detective Itō continue to run. (reducing the number of mouse clicks needed to explore an area.)
- We will separate the camera system from the player character so that stopping and changing direction does not feel so abrupt (smooth panning).
- Exit area icons will be directly clickable.
- Larger point and click hit boxes.
- Menus will be navigable using controller.
We'll continue to keep improving both controller and point and click controls during development.
Once again, thank you to everyone who took part in the closed alpha!
In updates over the coming months I'll share details of further changes we are making in response to alpha feedback. - Jon
[ Things we like ]
"Acting hurt? Dropping loot? Giving EXP to heroes? All in a day's work. Experience the daily adventures of a random encounter monster"
We love the premise of Mediocre Monster! You are an average random monster working in an RPG. It's a hard life, but someone has to do it.
"Imps. Goblins. Slimes. Shitake Mushrooms. These are a few of the first and weakest monsters you face in classic JRPGs like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Chrono Trigger. These monsters lead a depressing existence: walk around the forest, get slashed by a level 1 hero a few times, and disintegrate in an orange blur. Or so you think."
The song in Opal Squad's Kickstarter pitch video is definitely worth checking out.
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That's all for now.
We'll be back with our next monthly update on Saturday 26th March.
Have a great month!