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A love letter to J-RPG classics from the Playstation era like Final Fantasy, Breath of Fire, Suikoden, and Persona.
A love letter to J-RPG classics.
A love letter to J-RPG classics.
5,631 backers pledged $195,528 to help bring this project to life.

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Soul Saga - Update 25 – Airships and ETA!

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Happy New Year, Friend!

Hey, it's nice to see you again! What have you been up to? How's your new year going? I'm sure you can guess what I've been up to... Yup! I've just been working on Soul Saga! Have you made a new years resolution yet? I've made mine, and it's to release Soul Saga by...

June 2016!

Move over monkey, cause' this here's the year of the Soul Saga! I'm vigorously crunching away at over 100 hours a week to get Soul Saga's PC, Mac, and Linux versions to you by June of this year, and then consoles should be very soon after that. This is just an ETA, so it could be a little bit earlier or later, but will definitely be around that time.

EXCITING!!!

It's been a long journey and the finish line is in sight. Thank you very much for always being there for me every step of the way. I can't wait to finally share Soul Saga with you! In celebration, any children born this year should be named Mithos, Elise, or Cake!

Beta

There will be a beta update containing airship mechanics in the next update. It's technically ready now, but I'd like to polish it up a bit more before sending it off for your approval. This update will include the main components of what I've been working on for you in regards to airship mechanics. These include...

Mithos' Airship

Mithos' first airship is a cute and practical Koi model; a modest beginning for a not-so-modest young man. In Medonia, airships don't grow on trees. Wait... do they anywhere? Anyways! In the final version of Soul Saga the airship is earned through a hard earned journey, but in the (next) beta you'll receive the airship as soon as you visit the docks for the sake of testing.

Airship Exploration

One of the biggest inspirations of Soul Saga is Skies of Arcadia, and it’s kept true to that with the addition of the most important feature… airship exploration!

Airship Exploration is experienced from a third person view behind the airship. Some of the things you can do are:

Boost!

The skies of Medonia are a vast and beautiful landscape that invite one to ponder on the smaller things in life, like which came first: the Squabble or the egg? But whose got time to count the Torne hairs?! Kick your adventure into overdrive with the boost engine!

Mining

While boosting you can break through smaller rocks and debris to collect goodies like ores and other minerals!

Fishing

You can also catch fish that are floating around in schools. These can be sold or used for cooking in Soul Saga’s unique lunchbox crafting system!

Fighting

Battles in the Soul Saga Airship system are initiated just like on the field system. You simply make contact with an enemy and you’ll be placed in battle mode! Prepare yourself!

And More!

… and more more that will be discussed in future updates!

On a technical note, the airship exploration uses a character controller instead of physics for movement for the sake of having more direct control over the airship.

Airship Combat

We had a poll on the Disastercake forum regarding your opinion on whether airship combat should be turn-based or real time. The votes leaned in favor of real-time, and so I got quick to work on a prototype for you!

I experimented with the battle system quite a bit, and in the end the angle that felt best was the side view. This is because our characters are designed to be seen from the side, and we also have a gorgeous horizon line.

At the moment I’m utilizing Unity’s physics engine to give a gradual acceleration and deceleration feeling, like if you were trying to drive a boat in real life. This helps set a skill bar that requires a bit of practice to maneuver, but is still easy to handle at its basics. When you get your hands on it in the next update, I’d love to get your opinion on how it feels!

Most of the special effects and particles are placeholder and will be enhanced during the polishing phases.

Airship Shop

You can also outfit your airship with different equipment to use different weapons, achieve new speeds, and increase your health points! The airship shop is located at the docks where you launch from.

Airship Music

Journey of the Flying Koi (Airship Exploration Theme)

Aivi Tran created this piece a while ago and I’ve been itching to show it off at just the right time… which is now! This song is heard through several of the Airship exploration zones throughout Soul Saga.

Rough Sailing (Airship Battle Theme)

Ryan Camus has been hard at work filling out the remainder of Soul Saga’s soundtrack, and he’s doing an amazing job at it! Here are two songs he’s dong for the airship zones: the battle theme and the boss theme.

Max Altitude (Airship Boss Battle Theme)

A Better Sky

Now that we’re seeing the horizon line constantly in airship exploration mode, we decided it was time to start making our own skies! Zahra researched skyboxes and came up with something beautiful. I hope you like it!

Collective Brainstorming

We currently have a discussion going on in the Disastercake Forums regarding the naming of the goblin species in Soul Saga. The word “Goblin” works, but I’m planning to change it to something more unique. I thought “which of my friends are clever and creative?” and you were the first to come to mind! If you have any ideas, please visit us in the forums and drop a vote or comment. =)

Goblin Race Name Voting Thread

In Other Kickstarter News... Shadows of Adam!

I couldn't have made Soul Saga without your support on Kickstarter, and for that I am eternally grateful.  I always like to kick it forward to other talented indie developers, and right now there's a really gorgeous looking game called Shadows of Adam that just launched their campaign today!  Please take a moment to check them out at:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/949430021/shadows-of-adam

You can even try out their demo for free at: http://demo.shadowsofadam.com/

So... What do you think?

This has been an exciting update to write up for you. I’m trembling with anticipation as we move closer to releasing Soul Saga. Please let me know what you think in today’s forum thread!

Soul Saga Update 25 Forum Thread

Soul Saga – Update 24 – Performance Enhancements

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Hello, Friend!

How have you been? It's been less than a week since the last Soul Saga update! Things have moved forward with Soul Saga as I continue to add performance enhancements, so I wanted to give you another update this month!

Beta v7.6 Live!

Beta Testers can find the latest Soul Saga beta build in your Humble Bundle library. Please upgrade to this version as soon as you can.

Water Performance Enhancements

I've added a settings option for adjusting water quality that can give HUGE performance gains. On integrated graphics cards the "pretty" water can slow down the game quite a bit, so switching to "fast" can give some massive performance gains. I will work with the developer of the water shader to try and optimize it so that we can get a prettier looking "fast" version of the water, and as always I'll keep you in the loop on that!

Better Save File Compatibility Added

Behind the scenes of the code I've implemented in more of the "save file version compatibility" in preparation of the final version of Soul Saga. For now the game will display an error message between Soul Saga Beta save file versions. There are major enhancements to the beta's code in each update, so it's best from a testing perspective to start with a clean slate. In the final version of Soul Saga, save files will be updated automatically to maintain compatibility between different game versions.

FPS Overlay

I've added a package that will overlay the screen with the FPS (frames per second) and system data. This can be helpful for reporting FPS drops at certain locations in the game. The FPS overlay can be toggled on and off by pressing Ctrl + Alt + F.

Unity Services

The Unity game engine offers developers some services that can help them gather information regarding their game's usage so they can better serve their fans. In this version of the Soul Saga beta I've added in Unity Analytics and Unity Performance Reporting to test how well these services can gather important data needed to create a better game for you. Unity Analytics tallies some basic non-identifiable playtime information, and Unity Performance monitoring will hopefully catch some error handling data that can help in assisting with polishing.

Thank You!

Thank you very much for reading the update! I couldn't make Soul Saga so well without your support, so please stop by the Disastercake Forums and let us all know what you think! You can find today's topic here:

http://forums.disastercake.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=830

Soul Saga – Update 23 – Getting Close!

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Hello, Friend!

Hello, Friend! How have you been? Is the fall season treating you well? I hope everything is going as well for you as it is for Soul Saga!

Beta v7.5 is Live!

I've updated the Soul Saga Beta build for you on Humble Bundle. The new version is Beta 7.5 and it brings with it some good progress, especially in regards to optimizations. I've gotten several reports of individuals who want to be able to run Soul Saga on weaker PCs, so I'm trying my best to make it run as smoothly as possible for you.

As always, please remember to delete old Save files before playing the beta!

House Interiors Added

Getting to explore the inside of strangers' houses and taking their loot in the name of heroism is everyone's favorite part of good RPGs, right?! That's why we've added interiors to all of the houses in Soul Saga! They've been added to the beta, and you can check some of them out in Dragontree Village!

Bug Reporting

The contributions made by Soul Saga's beta testers have been amazing. I wouldn't be able to polish Soul Saga so well without you! So to help ease the process of bug reporting, I've added a third party plugin for in-game bug reports. This report will send me an output log of the game data, a summary of your hardware and operating system information, a screenshot, your explanation of what happened, and an e-mail address (optionally) to contact you with further questions.

To open the bug report menu, either left click 3 times on the very top-left side of the screen (there is an invisible button there), or use Ctrl+Alt+B on Windows and Linux, or Ctrl+Option+B on Mac to open it up.

Optimizations

Optimizing the performance of a game is a constant balance as you add content, especially for 3D games. It's also one of the most important aspects to Soul Saga since it will be on so many different platforms and must be compatible between them all. And more importantly, I want to try my best to make sure that none of Soul Saga's backers are left out of the game if they have weaker PCs! One of the recent optimizations I made to Soul Saga was switching from Unity's default shadow system to an optimized projection shadow system. This not only greatly optimizes Soul Saga so it runs better on a wider range of hardware, but also adds a better aesthetic appeal. This technique is used in many of the lower poly AAA games like Zelda and Pokemon on the Nintendo 3DS.

Airship Combat Voting

Very soon I will be moving on to the auxiliary components of Soul Saga, one of which includes Airship Combat. In the past we didn't cover much about Airship Combat because I needed to feel the game as a whole to see what type of element would work best for it. At this point in Soul Saga's development I can get a strong grasp on how all of the pieces are connected and, most importantly, how they feel to a gamer. I'm now ready to develop the Airship Combat and am interested in exploring the option of an arcade styled shooter to help add more texture and variety to Soul Saga's gameplay, rather than another turn based system. However, I am willing to do whatever you feel is best for your enjoyment, and so I've started a poll on the Disastercake forums to get your opinion on this element (and many others). Please take a moment to stop by the poll and place an anonymous vote, or drop a comment in the thread detailing the reason for your decision. You can find the Airship Combat voting poll here:

http://forums.disastercake.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=805

The Excellent State of Development

I'm very pleased to say that Soul Saga's development continues to go well and the core development of Soul Saga is about 90% complete. All of the environment models are complete and there is a game loop with all of the scenes in place and getting filled out with polished content over time. All of the character models are complete and there's just a couple NPC animations left to do. I've also brought on a writer and level designer to help me finish up Soul Saga more quickly for you.

The writing is the most important part of an RPG. Writing is my first love, and I really only bothered to teach myself programming so that I could see my stories come to life. Now that the bulk of the story has been written and the game loop has been scoped out, I've brought on a writer, Alex Kain, to help polish up the writing and to help ensure its quality. Alex Kain is a great writer with a very impressive portfolio including the award winning Action-RPG game Dust: An Elysian Tale, the beautiful web comic Western Deep, and his latest mobile app project Space Miner. Alex and I are combing over the story and tightening up all the parts without breaking the overall flow of the core story development. Everything has gone very smoothly and we should be done with our first phase very soon.

Also, Nozomi has generously donated her time to help me out with Level Design work. She takes my initial instructions on the dungeon design and helps plan out the maps and lays out all of the environment art onto the scenes. This will drastically help to decrease delivery time and increase quality. Nozomi has been working closely with me for a while now on this and is planning to be finished by the end of this month.

The auxiliary components have been prototyped and will be finalized after I have all of my other core work complete. There is a release date in mind and if things continue to go well this month, I am hoping I can share the ETA for Soul Saga's completion date in the next update.

Looking for a UI Artist!

Now that we're nearing the end of Soul Saga I'm in need of a UI artist to give a special touch to Soul Saga. This position will require both traditional art and graphic design skills. This individual will be in charge of all aspects of the design and art creation process. They will be in charge of making sure Soul Saga's UI is fun and artistic while maintaining functionality with a clean and readable interface. If you know anyone interested, please have them e-mail me their portfolio at my e-mail address mike@disastercake.com. If you've e-mailed me in the past, please do so again to let me know you're available. Sometimes my e-mail sends legitimate letters to the junk-mail folder, so if you don't get a response within 24 hours please send me a private message on Facebook or Twitter as well.

Thank You!

Thank you very much for being awesome and showing so much support for Soul Saga! I can't wait to finally share our game with you in the near future. Also, feel free to stop by the Disastercake Forum and leave a message. I love to read your thoughts! You can find today's forum topic here:

http://forums.disastercake.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=822

Soul Saga – Update 22 - Happy Halloween!

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Happy Halloween, Friend!

I hope you're having a great holiday! I've noticed a lot of cute little ghosts, goblins, and Taylor Swifts walking up and down my road. I'm too busy finishing up Soul Saga to celebrate this year, but maybe next year I can dress up as Mithos! ...or maybe Elise? Hmmm....

Here's Your Treat!

It would be difficult for me to give you candy all the way through the e-nets... so how about some Soul Saga goodies?! ;)

Let's start with some beautifully haunting music by the talented Surasshu...

A dark setting…

A spookily cute apparition…

And a mysteriously frightening silhouette…

Thank You!

It’s been fun chatting and showing off Soul Saga to you! Now it’s back to work for me! I can’t wait to be able to share Soul Saga with you, and I’ll have some exciting news on Soul Saga release date in a few updates. Thank you for being awesome, stay safe, and don’t eat too much candy!

Sincerely,

Mike (Disastercake)

P.S. You can stop by and drop a comment for me in the comments below, or on today's Disastercake Forums topic here: http://forums.disastercake.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=800

Beta v7.4 Live!

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Hello again, friend!

Just a quick update today to let you know that there is an updated beta version titled Beta v7.4 in your Humble Bundle library ( if you're a beta tester ).  This build continues to improve the polish and stability of Soul Saga based on the invaluable feedback shared by our amazing beta testers.

One of the important implementations in this patch is the option to toggle off "Camera Smoothing".  Camera Smoothing helps make the camera feel less stiff when it is panning by moving the camera a little after the player begins moving, and slowly bringing it to a stop when the player stops (instead of abruptly stopping).  However, on slower machines that are struggling to keep up the frame rate, the Camera Smoothing lerp algorithms can cause more problems than it helps.  If you have an older or weaker machine, make sure to check this option off to increase the performance.  Also, please check the change log on the Disastercake forums for more information if you're curious.

Thank you very much for the love and support you've shown Soul Saga.  I can't wait to share the final game with you! =D

Sincerely,

Mike (Disastercake)