We mentioned last month that we ran in to a few issues with contractors and have been doing our best to rectify them. I'm going to give the run down of how we're approaching these issues, the current state of progress and where we're going to go from here.
Let's start with the current state of progress with what I believe is most relevant- the characters! Koe's characters are split in to 2 different styles- the original battle and fantasy chibi style (which now has a bit more polish) and the "real world" style. We have different people working on each set of characters. The rigs and meshes for the real world are being made by Deco Digital's Kieron White and being textured by our very own Dan Tsukasa for the sake of speed. The chibi-style battle and fantasy world characters are being designed, modelled, rigged and textured by Jess Hyland.
We'll start off with the progress for the real world characters which are currently in their animation and texture stages, though some of them still have undeveloped proportions. We've decided to stick with the "alternative" (jeans and t-shirt) for the female main character as this was what the community said they wanted on the forum. The red dress will be available as either free DLC or as a wardrobe switch available in the final game.
While the fantasy and battle "chibi" characters are currently being modelled and textured, with rigging and animation following shortly after. Here is the non-spoiler progress of these characters.
Progress is coming along pretty quickly with these characters and we hope to be finished with them by the end of July. I'll discuss the timeline of progress after giving the rest of this content update.
The highest priority for this month was the residential area for the main player. It's a rural Japanese location next to a few fields and a farm. We're only setting up a few scenes here because the larger chunk of traversal will be around the school and shrine areas. In any case, here is the progress for the residential area.
The second part we've been working on is the school area, where we decided to license assets instead of making everything from scratch.
Note that we have removed the story elements and characters from the above screenshots to show the environments themselves. The game will not be this bare.
Monsters and battle system
I mentioned previously that the battle system had been revamped with a new UI and word selection, along with hiragana/katakana lookup directly within battle. However, I don't believe this is in a polished enough state to show. Instead, I will leave the mechanics and story progress for next time.
We also have a few new monsters to show you.
And it wouldn't be an RPG without these little guys showing up in every cave you visit.
Japanese folklore style monsters will be part of the next batch as per the requests. You may post in this thread with your questions and suggestions for the next batch of monsters.
Yes, this is the 3rd time we're changing the "release" timeline. Though still provisional, this is the one we hope to stick with. I know a lot of these should have been available much too long ago and we can only apologize for the delay. We're working as fast as we can to make playable content available as soon as possible.
- 17th July - Prototyping deadline 1st batch. (camera, movement, style)
- 22nd August - Prototyping deadline 2nd batch, closed non-story Alpha.
- 5th September - Story Alpha deadline.
- 10th September - Tokyo Game Show asset deadline.
- 1st October - Beta deadline.
- 1st December - Official release.
That's it for this time! It might be a bit to take in and not the progress we wish we had at this point (we should have released by now!). We welcome your comments and suggestions.
Until next month,
The Strawberry Games team.