Monthly Update 
This is the twenty-first 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.
[ Dev Update ]
The big news this month is that we've completed our framework build and we now have a solid foundation for the whole game. We've started the polishing, bug fixing, tweaking, editing and reworking period of production and are already seeing big improvements in just these last few weeks.
It's exciting to have a rough version of the complete base game in-hand and the opportunity to take a step back and ask; how can we make this better? What works? What needs changing, updating or re-doing?
This upcoming period of development is hopefully where we can push Tokyo Dark from a good game to a great game. We hope to address much of the feedback we've received from over a year of playtesting since the alpha at events around the world.
It's worth mentioning that it is your support that gives us the opportunity to continue to spend this extra time working on Tokyo Dark to get it right. Thank you.
[ Voice Acting ]
Detective Itō now has a voice!
We have finished recording sessions and voice actress Asama Hikage did a great job. As well as scripted spoken sequences we have taken care to add vocal performance; breathing, sighs, gasps, coughs, screams, and laughter for example, which add life to the game even if you don't understand a single word of Japanese.
Here are few short samples of Detective Itō's new voice:
If you'd prefer to play without voice acting, you'll be able to switch VA on or off via the language settings.
[ Animated CGs ]
While our full anime sequences are looking fantastic, some of the CG art in the game up to this point felt very static in comparison. We've been updating these, using a number of animation techniques, to add a more dynamic feel to specific scenes.
(The low quality in these images is due to gif compression, in game they are beautifully crisp at 1920x1080.)
[ UI Improvements ]
We've been testing a number of changes to the UI, the gif below shows the latest version.
We've frequently had the same two constructive pieces of feedback about the mouse point & click UI:
- The hit box directly around the text was too small.
- When there is only one option at a location it was unintuitive to move over the box to trigger the options, then out of the box to click the text.
While in hindsight the solution above seems obvious, it took a bit of experimentation to get there. The new interface has a significantly larger hit boxes (the static highlight triangle) and requires much less mouse movement to make a selection.
When it comes to mouse controls we've found the less you need to move the mouse the smoother the experience feels.
Improving the UI has been time well spent. But (as often with game dev) it's introduced a handful of unexpected pesky bugs that we'll be hunting down and politely asking to move along over the next few months.
[ Play at EGX Rezzed ]
If you're in London 30th March ~ 1st April then you can see all of the changes described in this update and more in our new demo build at EGX Rezzed.
Tokyo Dark will be in the Square Enix Collective area. Unfortunately, we can't make it there ourselves (as you might be able to tell) we're super-mega busy with production right now. But the folk at Square Enix Collective will be on hand to chat about the game and high-five you if you let them know you're a Kickstarter backer.
[ Credits ]
Based on the feedback & comments from last month's update, we have decided to have a Kickstarter Backers credit section on the main menu, featuring all your names in an alphabetized tabbed list, available immediately from the first time you start the game.
We plan to make this a nice interactive credit section and a huge THANK YOU to all of you. To make it a little more interesting (and tempt non-backers to explore) it will feature concept art & sketches to show how the game has changed and developed because of your support.
At the end of the game, we will have a short production credit scroll for the dev team & attributions. This way you won't need to complete the game to find your name or sit through a 5500+ name scroll at the end of the game.
[ Press ]
Jon recently spoke with GameSkinny about how development is going, his thoughts on working with Square Enix Collective, life in Japan and Kickstarter. You can read the full interview here.
[ Stories from Collective ]
As part of the new Square Enix Collective site, you can find a section called: Stories from Collective. Where SEC share information on the teams behind the games they are publishing. Cherrymochi are up first. Head over to the SEC page for a little more info on us, the small team behind Tokyo Dark.
[ Kimi's new manga series ]
We'd like to give a shout-out to our very own Kimi Ureshino, (Tokyo Dark's Japanese language co-writer and localizer) as well as being an accomplished novelist she just released her debut manga series which has launched to great success in Japan this month! Congratulations Kimi!
That's all for now.
Hope you all have a great month!
We'll be back on Saturday 29th April with our next monthly update.