Monthly Update 
This is the twenty-fourth 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 ]
Update 24! 2 years since you funded this project and we got the ball rolling together! Wow! It seems quite fitting that this week we had our first start to end play-through of Tokyo Dark without hitting bugs and without using dev tools. Another big milestone. There is still plenty of bug fixing and polishing needed before launch, but we're getting closer and closer to a release quality build every week.
This month we've been mostly focused on NG+. The second time you play through Tokyo Dark new mechanics and content are unlocked. We also decided to expand on the 11th ending so Chris has been re-writing scripts & Moochirin has been working on new art. (Not feature creep, just some additions to make the 11th ending more special & worth hunting for).
Kimi & Maho have been hard at work on the Japanese translations and localisations. Rather than simply have one language as the original and the second as the 'translated', both versions are influencing each other. Changes by Kimi in the Japanese script are working their way back into the English script, by updating the English and Japanese scripts simultaneously while editing we hope to make the scripts feel natural in both languages, but also keep a distinctly Japanese flavour, matching the setting and theme of the game.
We're on schedule to have all NG+ content added and finished in-game by July 4th. After this point we will be fully focused on bug hunting, optimization, polish, Steam integration and release planning.
[ Non-Steam release ]
We know that a number of you are not fans of Steam and prefer to have your games completely DRM free. We are currently talking to platform partners to launch Tokyo Dark on, though this is going slowly and is unfortunately an area we have no control over.
If we can not make suitable arrangements with a platform partner to work with, we will create our own platform to distribute Kickstarter DRM free builds. We will make sure we get you the game, how you want it. Though because this will take time, we can not guarantee that the DRM free version will be available at the same time as our Steam launch.
The majority of you will likely want a Steam version, as it is the most common platform and will include extra features like unlockable achievements and cards. (You don't need to take any action if you want a Steam key.) But for those of you who are 100% sure you want a non-steam DRM-free version of Tokyo Dark, please take the following steps:
Using your Kickstarter registered email address please send an email to:
Subject: No Steam for me
Email body: DRM-Free / Non Steam version of Tokyo Dark for me please! :)
We will then add you to the DRM free list and keep you updated on all DRM free / non-Steam developments.
Thank you & apologies for the inconvenience.
As I mentioned in the last update, we've started working closer with our publisher, Square Enix Collective as we gear up to launch. Amy from Square Enix kindly offered to update you all on the work they've been doing to support Tokyo Dark this past month. - Jon
[ Greetings from Square Enix Collective ]
Hello, I’m Amy, and I’m the Community Manager for Square Enix Collective – we’re really excited to be helping Cherrymochi with publishing duties for Tokyo Dark!
The main question we’re asked is: Why do you work with indies? Sometimes people see us as a big, global publisher and worry that maybe we’re only doing this for financial reasons, or taking creative control away from developers. Actually, we really care about the industry, and we know how important it is to support new talent, and help teams to get the most from their games, so that they can continue to be independent, and freely creative. It’s a bit unusual, perhaps, but in the end a strong industry is as important for Square Enix as it is for anybody. Plus… we love games of all sizes!
In general we take responsibility for things like marketing (awareness), QA (helping to find bugs) and selling the game (we have strong relationships with folks like Steam, which can help).
Recently, we’ve been doing some internal playtests of Tokyo Dark over the past few weeks and they’ve been going great, the game is really taking shape and we’ve had some overwhelmingly positive feedback. We’ve had people from all over the company come in and try the game, including some of the faces behind other narrative games such as Life is Strange – all with some great words to say.
A few of the main positives we received from the feedback were that the game really brings an atmosphere, you feel involved in the story and invested in the characters, which is obviously good to hear as one of the key elements of Tokyo Dark is the character development. Stylish was also a key word which came from our feedback, the teams were impressed with how the game is looking and how the level designs really do feel like Japan – some of the new look UI is pretty impressive.
The playtest also pointed out some things which need tweaking, and the team are already working hard on addressing these. As most of you are aware there are multiple ways to tackle each scenario, however at the moment these aren’t quite as clearly sign-posted as they could be and we want the player to be able to think tactically about each decision they make.
We also came across some (not so) delightful game breaking bugs, and I’m happy to say that the team have already addressed and fixed most of these! I’ll be spending the next week playing through a new build and sending more bug reports to the team (they love me :P).
I am a pretty big fan of games such as Danganronpa, Steins Gate & Persona, and since playing Tokyo Dark I can really feel the influence these have had on the game. It’s great to play a game which brings different elements of some of my favourite games together to create a tense, atmospheric game with a gripping narrative. I can’t wait for you all to see and play more!
I'm looking forward to continue working with the team and to share some more information with you all like the release date and showing off some new gameplay. We tend to post some teasers every now and again over on the Square Enix Collective pages so don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.
And, if you have any questions, you can always find me on Twitter at @ObvItsAmy
That's all for now, but if you have any questions, feedback, thoughts, comments or ponderings please post them below.
Hope you all have a great month!
We'll be back on Saturday July 29th with our next monthly update.