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Koe is an introduction to the Japanese language in a game reminiscent of traditional JRPGs like Final Fantasy and Pokemon.
Koe is an introduction to the Japanese language in a game reminiscent of traditional JRPGs like Final Fantasy and Pokemon.
4,169 backers pledged £75,167 to help bring this project to life.

Koe Alpha Development Demo Released!

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Hey guys, we've just released the second alpha demo! Get it hot out of the engine oven at the usual place on the forums. Remember, this is another iteration to the demo, so the amount of content (along with the length of the game) stays the same as the previous demo. Your feedback is important in making the project better! While we haven't addressed all the feedback (yet) there are quite a few changes that we've made to the game since the last demo. You can get a list of the major changes at the changelog here. The demo this time is backer-only.

I want to preface this release by saying I appreciate the patience you guys have shown throughout the plethora of issues we've had over the years. I've never felt so confident about this project than I have this last month. The quality of the team has been amazing and we've been going full steam ahead with development. We're not done yet, but our amazing community drives us to be the best developers we can be!

Anyway, let's show off a few of the newest changes shall we?

Language

There's a Japanese 101 class, a primer to the language for players who have little to no Japanese language experience. We'll be updating the content of this class as we gather feedback, but it's a nice starting point for people who have not had much time with the language prior to Koe.

One of the biggest feature requests was for stroke order diagrams for learned cards. So we're hoping these little animations will help retention. They show up for every kanji and kana in the menu.

There's also a dictionary now available from the menu. This will automatically store any words you see in the world or in-battle.

Battle

In our constant goal to make the battle system more understandable, we've made a few changes.

Translations, stroke orders, move descriptions and types are now available in battle using the translate button (Xbox button X or keybaord Z) You'll also get the JP cost and direct translation of the word.

We've added a history stack of the last few moves that happened, we know a few of you were confused when seeing the move for a word the first time, so this should make that clearer.

We've made a whole bunch of other changes too, be sure to check out the changelog.

Configuration and system

You can now change the quality settings individually from the main menu. Note that this window isn't available in-world just incase something bad happens so you don't lose your progress.

There are a few system changes. The largest being the ability to modify the random encounter rate. We're aware the demo doesn't have a large selection of enemies so you might want to skip over them when you're not out grinding. (We're focusing on the variation of enemies in the next build)

Visual

While our focus for this demo wasn't visual, we have a few changes we'd like to point to. Firstly, most of the indoor environments have had a single polish pass, things like the player's home have more Japan-inspired furniture and the school and airport have a few people or students walking around it.

The biggest update was to the UI. While we have updated the character models, we decided to change the portraits in dialogue to hand drawn VN-style popups. These were designed and made by the very talented Aaron Joseph.

Steam

Steam Greenlight is dead! There's nothing to fear though, Koe was greenlit before the changes so we still have access to the Steam release platform. We're looking to migrate the demo build to Steam and send out keys ASAP (ASAP being this week). We were actually supposed to finish this last week, but we hit a few snags.

A side note; There is only a Windows (DX11 and DX12) release initially, the other builds will be available later on in the week. There are a few reasons for this, but the largest is that Koe currently takes around 3 hours to build on my old weepy machine, so I'm trying to minimize development downtime for now.

That's it for the update. Go play!

The Strawberry Games Team

Ryan James Wood, Nakano, and 36 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Jitesh Rawal Creator on

      @Vivvav, the Mac and Linux builds will be available by the end of tomorrow. Apologies for the delay.

    2. Missing avatar

      Vivvav on

      It's been ten days and a Mac build of the demo still isn't available in that forum post. When's that coming?

    3. Jitesh Rawal Creator on

      @alcaray, we still do have plans to release through other channels. GOG being on top of that list. Currently, Steam is the only platform that will handle beta access and releases without us manually having to host and track everything so we're focusing on that for now.

    4. alcaray on

      You mentioned to me that you were in discussions with other distribution points than Steam for your game. You mentioned GOG by name. How is that going?

    5. Jitesh Rawal Creator on

      @Ryan, the vita version of the game isn't currently actively being developed (we still have our devkit and will be focusing on it after the initial release)
      Mobile devices are probably a no-go at this point, but don't quote me on that if in a few months you see Koe on the app store.
      Nintendo Switch is something we're actively pushing for and is our handheld of choice at this point.

    6. Ryan James Wood on

      I'm still super excited!!! How's things going for handheld gaming for it?