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A love letter to J-RPG classics from the Playstation era like Final Fantasy, Breath of Fire, Suikoden, and Persona.
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Disastercake

5,631 backers pledged $195,528 to help bring this project to life.

Soul Saga - Update 3

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Hello, old friend!

So another month has gone by and I'm ready to share some news with you again! We have quite a lot of new concept art, and even the beginnings of the transition to 3D. I'm very happy with how all of this is going, and I am sure you will be well.

Updated Mithos Design

In the last update I unveiled Mithos' new design, but he was just too young for the vision I have for him. So Ina (our talented character artist) aged him up about 10 years to the image you see above. He now matches the age range of the "Mithos in his early 20's" that we all know and love. He also wields a one-handed sword now instead of a two-handed sword. The sword is not currently finished being designed. The voice actor will, of course, still be Todd Haberkorn.

New Elise Design

Like Mithos, Elise has seen a complete overhaul. We went for a more simple design and gave her a very natural, girl-next-door look while adding some small elements that hint at her being a mechanic. We aimed to keep her attractive and a little more grown up than before.

The previous design sported a gun, but it didn't really fit Elise's character well. She's not a killer or a natural adventurer, so I decided to change her weapon to a single punching glove that she uses for self defense. As she goes through the game she will find new punching bags made from different materials such as wood, iron, rock, and automated machinery.

Elise's personality remains untouched, and the voice actor will still be Kira Buckland.

As a heads up: you will be seeing a complete overhaul of literally -everything- in the coming months, including Garen and the Toki.

New Monster Concepts

Below are 3 new monster concepts that our talented monster designer, Yoshiro, has come up with. We have a lot more in the vault, but I won't be showing all of them since I'd like you to at least be a little surprised as you explore the world of Oterra.

The Dodo

The first image is of the Dodo. This is a work in progress name and is still up to be decided. Some possibilities include Cukyu, Que Que, and Squabbles. The Dodos are a beast of burden similar to the bird mounts in the classics we love. Their small pupils give them a lot of personality, making them seem a little more on the unintelligent side, and their bodies have a very cute shape to them. They'll have a large presence around Medonia's sky islands.

Snap Peas

The second concept is a carnivorous plant monster found in the forests of Dragon Tree Island. This plant is very mobile and likes to capture its prey in it's vice-like alligator jaws. It's work in progress name is Snap Pea. Why? I dunno... cause it snaps? And... pees? Leave my bad name-making skills alone!

The Torne

The third concept is the adorable Torne. This is another work in progress name that we're currently brainstorming for. Though they are mammals, the Torne lay eggs in their nests that they keep high in the trees. They can reach these by utilizing their powerful vertical leap abilities. They also tend to slap things with their surprisingly powerful large tails. The locals find the Torne eggs to be delicious. Next time you're in town, stop by the local restaurant and grab a Torne omelette!

New Environment Concept

Yoshiro has also come up with a lot of new environment concepts, but for the sake of keeping things a surprise in the final game I am only going to show a little. Here is a concept of the goblin village. You can see all of the unique skulls piled around, and a mysterious and foreboding giant skull in the far back. The goblins are clever enough to create and repair their houses, but they lack any sophistication and settle for sloppy patchwork jobs.

Goblin Model

We have modeled the Goblin enemy, and it's looking really good. The current texture is just temporary, and we will be going back over it to make it a bit more cell shaded to help match Soul Saga's anime style. We're currently working on modeling the other enemy designs, and will begin work on Mithos and Elise as soon as I find a good human (anime) character modeler.

The Current Status of Development

Overall I am happy with the progress we have made in the past couple months. It's been a little over 2 months (since the Kickstarter ended) and we already have a lot of the concept art completed. I estimate that we will be done with all of the concept work by December.

I have completely revamped the artists I am working with on Soul Saga. I am no longer utilizing any of the Chinese outsourcers that created the art in the Kickstarter. This is making development move slightly slower than I originally planned, but we have picked up steam and I am very proud of the new art direction Soul Saga has taken.

My largest hurdle at the moment is finding the right character modeler to capture the authentic anime style Soul Saga is aiming for.

Late Backer Closed, Pre-Orders Open

You may have noticed that the home page of www.disastercake.com shows information on Soul Saga (though old), and also has the humble bundle widgets. The link that use to go to the late backer Paypal page also redirects to the same Soul Saga page. This means that I have officially stopped taking any pledges for the Kickstarter tiers.

However, the Humble Bundle widgets found on the main page with allow you to pre-order the DRM-Free version of Soul Saga from Humble Bundle, the art book, soundtrack, and beta. These are offered through bundle deals.

If you have already pledged or pre-ordered a copy of Soul Saga, but want to pre-order the art book, soundtrack, or beta then you will be happy to know that I will be offering these as single purchases. I just need to still put the widgets up somewhere without making stuff messy.

I will update the art on the site once I have video of the new art style so that all of the art can coherently match. I don't want to confuse new fans by having one page with different art styles on it.

Surveys Soon

Sometime in the near future (maybe 1 to 2 months from now) I will be sending out a survey to all backers to clarify addresses, e-mails, and add-on orders. Please make sure you can receive mail from Kickstarter so I can get that to you. I need to start getting a tally of everything I have to create when the game is near completion, and also set all of the digital orders up with Humble Bundle.

Let's Play: The Last Remnant (Next Week)

A while ago, one of our backers gifted me The Last Remnant on Steam and asked for me to do a Let's Play of it. I have finally remembered to do this, so I hope they will be coming to join us! Thank you again for the great gift!

I wanted to hang out with you this weekend, but I injured my back yesterday and am having difficulties sitting for long periods of time. Lots of Ibuprofen should clear it up by next weekend. Let's aim for Saturday the 19th at 5P.M. Pacific time.

This will be at the standard locations:

www.twitch.tv/disastercake

youtube.disastercake.com

Charles Caulkins, Xong Vang, and 27 more people like this update.

Comments

    1. Creator Duncan A. Doherty on November 2, 2013

      For the most part, I like the new designs (so far), and definitely like the enemy/creature reveals. That said, I'm hoping that Elise's long braid/hat & goggles combo makes it back into her design. It gave her that little extra bit of panache that made me want to get her in figure form. As is currently, I'm not as excited for the figure. That is my only nitpick with her however, as I even like the glove :D.

      I just hope you're ready for the inevitable backlash you'll get for redesigning the Taro (as you teased in this update). They've developed quite the rabid following. Then again, who knows? Maybe their new design will WOW everyone. Gotta stay positive, right :)?

      Looking forward to the next update!

    2. Creator William Allen on October 25, 2013

      I owe you an apology. I jumped to conclusions on several of the new design decisions without having any concrete details to base those conclusions on. I backed this project with the belief that you would deliver the best game possible, and from what I have seen that is what you intend to do. I'll be more mindful in the future, and I want to say I am still very much looking forward to this game when it comes out.

    3. Creator Elizabeth Crystal Lloyd on October 23, 2013

      I miss all the red on Elise, and the hat and goggles, but while she could use a bit more color, I think she looks really good, and I like the new boots. She does look like Winry now, and Mithos reminds me of Syaoran from Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles. I do miss the old Mithos a bit, but things happen and I fully support you. Mithos is still Mithos and Elise still Elise, and I will love them however you end up making them look. I don't know if it's feasible, but maybe unlocking the original outfits would be kinda cool. Update us when you can, boss. =)

    4. Creator Disastercake on October 22, 2013

      I've had Yoshiro-san (our monster/environmental artist) take a crack at designing Mithos and Elise to see what we could come up with. We came up with something that was a good mix between the old and new designs for Mithos, and a different direction with Elise with some slightly edgy and unique characteristics added to her. I can't spend any more time messing with their designs, so I'll be skipping straight to the modeling phase for them and hoping to get them in an update to you within a month.

    5. Creator Brandon on October 22, 2013

      Oh and Elise? I think her new design looks perfect. May not be as colourful but I definitely like the design more now.

    6. Creator Brandon on October 22, 2013

      Mike, I just want to say that I absolutely love the new art design. Definitely a step up from the chibi design you originally had.

    7. Creator Lloyd Sims on October 16, 2013

      I like the new Elize, she sorta reminds me of Winry from Full Metal Alchemist.

      If people are upset about whether it's this version the version with the brown vest/coat dubery, why not give them the option of both? Plenty of games have alternate clothing for main characters. I don't know how much extra work it would be to model that garment + texture, but it might be worth it.

      Either way, you won't please everyone, and remember, people are more likely to throw negative comments your way than positive, especially when they've backed at a much higher level then they would a regular game. I'm not necessarily saying their opinions are wrong, they're not. But they are just that, opinions, and everyone's will differ.

      If you have a magic wand that can make everyone happy, I'd love to borrow it!

    8. Creator Dustin Burnett on October 14, 2013

      Dear Mike. I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to read and respond to the feedback here. I know you are extremely busy, which is why it's really cool of you to take the time and read all the comments and feedback.

      Even though some of the replies are negative sounding, don't let that bother you. Everyone is so excited about the game, I think that passion just carries over into the comments. ^^

      Once again, thanks for taking the time to read all the comments. My comment was only meant to be a bit of feedback or small suggestions, even if some of the other comments sound critical, I believe they all have something positive at heart.

      I almost forgot, really embarrassed I didn't mention this before. Stay healthy! I hope your back is doing better!

      Anyways, take care. I can't wait to see more Soul Saga. It's one of my most anticipated games. =)

      - Dustin (Just a simple backer.)

    9. Creator Steel on October 14, 2013

      Damn. I do wish there was an edit button here. Oh well....

    10. Creator Steel on October 13, 2013

      Now that I think of it what Gotta go with what Pedro is saying on this makes sense weatherwise. At the same time I can remember countless scenes in which jrpg characters go through horrible blizzards without a costume change, so it wouldn't be the first wardrobe not matching climate deal.

    11. Creator Brett Schwartz on October 13, 2013

      @AttentionDeficitGuy: Haha :D

    12. Creator Niels Versluis on October 13, 2013

      I absolutely LOVE all of the new art.
      Great work, keep it up Mike!

    13. Creator The WP on October 13, 2013

      Awww, I liked their old designs

    14. Creator Pedro Ramos on October 13, 2013

      By waist, I meant hip.

    15. Creator Pedro Ramos on October 13, 2013

      http://www.disastercake.com/dev/soulsaga_elise_vestandbag_draft.jpg

      I like that Elise's torso a bit more, but I still think what might make it perfect is, along with the above, if you gave her a short-sleeve brown vest that is open at the front, come down to about her waist, and covers just past her shoulders. Something that says "Mithos is a baby who can't handle the cold, with that big coat. I'm ready for cold if it hits, but this ain't nothin' yet so I ain't even gonna do up my vest."

      Just brainstorming.

    16. Creator Pedro Ramos on October 13, 2013

      New Elise: Everything from the waist down is awesome. Boots are awesome, jeans are awesome, bandana is awesome, big-ass glove is awesome... great! Now...
      The only thing I don't like about Elise's new design is the tank-top. For various reasons:

      - Inconsistency. She and Mithos are from the exact same place, childhood friends, yet Mithos is dressed ready for fall in New York while Elise is ready for summer in Phoenix. One of my biggest peeves with character design is when there is no consistency between characters and origin locale. Either Medonia is cold right now, or its hot, so one of the characters isn't dressed accordingly enough. Since Medonia is in the clouds and likely very windy, my money is on Mithos being comfortable and Elise being freezing. Kinda breaks the immersion to see the two main characters be from the exact same place yet be dressed for wildly different climates/weathers...

      - Simple is good, but the tank-top is boring. There is nothing happening there, visually, which means the only thing you have to look at between belt and face is belly button and cleavage. They're the only thing capturing your eye. I love that you didn't oversexualize her just to make her "grown-up", and this is exactly why I think she needs something else on her torso to make it match the amount of detail in her lower body. That plain and white and skin just sticks out and looks unfinished and uninspired.

      Just my two cents! Mithos and the other concepts look great, by the way.

    17. Creator John Thurman on October 13, 2013

      I agree with whoever mentioned costume changes. Mike you should atleast add some kind of attachments like the takes series had like goggles or snorkels even watermelons. I think that could quite a lot of people down.

    18. Creator AttentionDeficitGuy on October 12, 2013

      @Brett As for breaking her inventor stuff, don't be silly! Elise makes her tools and equipment to last!

    19. Creator Brett Schwartz on October 12, 2013

      Oh yeah, glad the personalities and voice actors are still the same. :)

    20. Creator Brett Schwartz on October 12, 2013

      Pretty much agree with AttentionDeficitGuy, I like Elise's redesign and really like the personality it gives off. Also, what Jamie Dutton, just said definitely, I think you aged her up perfectly.

      Getting used to the change I really like the look I think the hairstyle and hair color work great and she looks cute/pretty with the jeans and boots.

      I really like the color added by the red cloth and red glove when mixed with the jeans and the boots, also the belt and stuff on it like the wrench and the little bag to go with the big punching bag/glove is a nice mix. I can't decide if I like it better with or without the vest since the vest looked pretty nice and a little more modest but she looks more colorful this way.

      The only nitpick I can think of is if her inventor stuff is in the bag she's punching with, won't they break?

      Thanks for showing us the progress versions, I think you picked the best one.

    21. Creator Juan Carlos Gonzalez on October 12, 2013

      They need to add more hooch to the Squabbles, but that's just my opinion.

    22. Creator Jamie Dutton on October 12, 2013

      Oh I totally forgot to mention, that I really like how you made Elise look older without going overboard in the chest area! She looks feminine without looking hoochy! Thanks for that too, Mike. :)

    23. Creator Jamie Dutton on October 12, 2013

      The strap for the bag really needs to come back in some way, Mike! Not seeing it just confused the heck out of most of us. We thought punching glove weapon, when it was really just a nifty backpack type thing. Probably does make quite a weapon though, if all of her inventor stuff is inside it! I like the color it is now, btw.
      Yeah goggles look good, too. Maybe we can get an option to wear them as she gets more equipment?

      Thank you Mike for showing us the other sketches of Elise ya'll went through to get to this point. It definitely helped seeing the bag shown with the strap.

    24. Creator Juan Carlos Gonzalez on October 12, 2013

      Fine @ADG I'll come clean! I got the sandals from the goblins I encountered last week, but they are just as good I swear!

    25. Creator Steel on October 12, 2013

      Nice to see some progress. While I'm mostly fine with the art changes as is(Elise does look a little too winry, but w/e. Rapede and red XIII anyone?), I after seeing the designs you went over I have to say overall I like this one best:

      http://www.disastercake.com/dev/soulsaga_elise_vestandbag_draft.jpg

      The strap makes the glove look a lot more natural honestly.

    26. Creator AttentionDeficitGuy on October 12, 2013

      @Juan, nope.

      I was tempted at first, but then you started mentioning squabble sandals and I just knew that you were a fraud. Nobody can take a sandal from a squabble. They would never let their sandals be parted from them while still alive, and when the squabble dies the sandal disappears into the afterlife along with the squabble's soul.

    27. Creator Juan Carlos Gonzalez on October 12, 2013

      I'm gonna make Torne hats similar to raccoon hats, who will like to buy a set? I'm opening my little shop for the first time in the Medonia's town square tomorrow. I will also be selling squabble sandals, do you have any idea how hard these things are to steal from them? I took a few kicks to the head is all I'm gonna say.

    28. Creator Joshua on October 12, 2013

      Correction I see Mithos has always been one handed but in the original poster he holds it with two hands and thought it was two handed. Which I think would be a nice change or added option within the game to have Mithos wielding a larger 2 handed sword

    29. Creator Edward T. on October 12, 2013

      Heh, Mithos can just wield a huge sword single-handedly, like Dante ;)

      @ADG
      I hope Mike makes them ridiculously powerful so they'll take you out in the first hit >_<

    30. Creator Joshua on October 12, 2013

      Hello
      This is just my opinion
      I like the redesign of the characters and monster but I do have a few concerns

      I would have liked Mithos to look a little more mature his age is right but as a character he looks just a bit on the childish side

      I also wanted him to have a larger two handed sword vs a single handed one. I was kind of disappointed to read that, that aspect changed

      Also I would just like to see some concept art for more serious monsters

      Will Mithos look change as different gear and weapons are equipped?

      Will there be possible clothing options for the characters as well?

      Thank you for the update and I look forward to seeing the final product

    31. Creator AttentionDeficitGuy on October 12, 2013

      But, they will bleed sweet, delicious EXP!

    32. Creator Edward T. on October 12, 2013

      I can't believe I missed that saddle on the Dodo. My gosh, it could potentially be Soul Saga's version of chocobos!

    33. Creator Edward T. on October 12, 2013

      That reminds me, you said that you want to slaughter the Tornes. How can you be such a monster T__T?

    34. Creator AttentionDeficitGuy on October 12, 2013

      Fair enough. Personally, I love everything about this redesign, but others are entitled to their own opinions and feedback.

    35. Creator Edward T. on October 12, 2013

      @ADG
      But, well,... I don't... which is why I hope that there would be an option for hair switching.

    36. Creator Edward T. on October 12, 2013

      Regarding my last sentence, to clarify, what I meant is that if the option for hair switching isn't possible, then I would prefer that you do away with the pony tail.

    37. Creator AttentionDeficitGuy on October 12, 2013

      But, but... I love the ponytail!

    38. Creator Edward T. on October 12, 2013

      How about just give Elise and other characters a very limited costume modification? Like an option to toggle on/off for the vest and hat and another one for between the pony tail or braid. Opinions regarding her looks will differ, so I would at least like to be given an option to switch her looks to the one I prefer while not forcing other to simply accept the fact and swallow it down. Also, regarding the option for her hair, if the braid isn't possible than simply let her hair down and do away with a pony tail (seriously hate that pony tail.)

    39. Creator AttentionDeficitGuy on October 12, 2013

      Personally I prefer what you are going with at the moment. It has that simplicity which looks so clean and pretty, and works quite well for a supporting female protagonist.

    40. Creator Edward T. on October 12, 2013

      I personally prefer the one with the hat and braid (that combination looks adorable xP) I also like the vest but would prefer something like a jacket, too. I mean she's a bit too exposed in comparison to Mithos who got way too much clothes on him. I think it would be balanced that way. Also, don't change the glove color, it looks better as it is now.

    41. Creator Disastercake on October 12, 2013

      Here's an example of what we were playing with for a hat with her current hairstyle:
      www.disastercake.com/dev/soulsaga_elise_withhat_draft.jpg

      It felt like it really detracted from her overall "cuteness" though.

      We also tried out giving her a vest at one point and a strap to the bag (and a different color for the bag):
      www.disastercake.com/dev/soulsaga_elise_vestandbag_draft.jpg

      We went through a lot of revisions like this, including hat and hair combos:
      www.disastercake.com/dev/soulsaga_elise_hathair_sketches.jpg

      In the end, what I liked best was what I showed in the blog post above (for reasons I posted in an earlier comment).

      Do one of these designs seem to fit better with what you have imagined?

    42. Creator AttentionDeficitGuy on October 12, 2013

      @Marcus Soll;

      While I understand the end of your complaint (the art style drew you in to the project; with that change your interest has dwindled), there are a few things that I feel compelled to argue:

      These designs are still vastly more colorful than they are grey. Yes, gone is the bright blue and much of the red from Mithos' design, as well as the yellow and orange from Elise's design. However, Mithos now sports lots of rich browns (not a few slightly different shades of dusty brown, as is too common in western game design) accentuated by the single blaze of red that is his scarf. I think that looks very good and is colorful in its own way. As for Elise, her new design has some nice reds and blues to it as well. Fewer colors =/= less colorful.

      For my second point, just because the designs are simple does not mean they lack detail. Yes, they lack the little complex bits, like old!Mithos' armor and old!Elise's belt and jacket, but it does not mean they lack detail. The difference is, that with a simpler design, the detail can go into simpler things to make them look more polished, like new!Mithos' tattered scarf and the buttons on his shirt and the pockets on his coat, or new!Elise's ponytail and laced boots. There's less accessorizing and complex designs, but there's also less clutter and more room for polish.

      I honestly don't see how cute changed to serious. Yes, the old designs were cute, but so are the new designs, and they are just bursting with personality. Just look at Mithos' innocent expression, oversized gloves, and wrinkled shirt, as well as Elise's short ponytail, laced boots, and confident expression. To me, those all translate to a very cute look, and the very simplicity which you seem to dislike is part of what makes that possible.

      Japanese changed to Western... huh? I look and look and look at those designs and for the life of me I cannot see what you mean. Both the designs and the style used to portray them are very Japanese. Yes, they are more reminiscent of Japanese anime and video games that take place in a more Western-inspired setting, like Fullmetal Alchemist or The Legend of Heroes, but they are still quite Japanese.

      And finally, as for keeping to his vision... that's exactly what he's doing. These designs are actually closer to his original vision for the game than what we saw during the Kickstarter.

    43. Creator DeafTard on October 12, 2013

      OMG MIKEY! DUDE! Same thing happened to me! Friday I had 1 class to attend for a midterm and I woke up 4am that morning due to my back (I have a metal titanium rod in my back) giving me EXTREME pain. I couldn't lay back down to resume back to sleep! So I had to stand up and remain like that until my class started at 1pm, I opened up a therma care (ya know those heated pads that heat up by itself with small rocks inside of it) and it help BIG time in order for me to attend my class to take the mid term. Once I did, I headed back home and immediately went back to lay down while leaving the therma care wrapped around my stomach/back as I drifted off to asleep again. Now this it's saturday my back is still aching and giving me those sharp instant pains every now and then but at least I don;t have too do much today besides relax. That's so weird that yer back and my back are hurting right now! I highly recommend you get someone or somehow pick up a box of that therma care stuff that you can wrap around yer back, it will help put some much needed heat on your back to calm the pain down.& it will help you be able to relax as well since you need it!
      I am absolutely LOVING the artwork you just posted in this update! It looks utterly amazing! Look at all the comments you have gotten so far from many other kickstarter users! Anyways, as always keep up the fantastic work, no rushing and baby steps!

    44. Creator J. C. SweetZ on October 12, 2013

      Mithos went from looking like Vaan from FF12 to Ryu from Breath of Fire 3. I love it.

    45. Creator Michael Melnikoff on October 12, 2013

      New designs are perfectly fine with me and I can't believe people are screaming about this.

      Also a Let's Play of Last Remnant? You know the game is over 100 hour long right?

    46. Creator Marcus Soll on October 12, 2013

      I must say I'm quiet disappointed by the way the art has changed.

      In your Kickstarter it seemed you had a clear art design - colorful, detailed, cute, Japanese. If I look at the new design I feel it got a big change.
      Colorful changed to gray.
      Detailed changed to simple.
      Cute changed to serious.
      Japanese changed to Western.
      So in the end I feel all that make me like the art has disappeared. Would I back it if it had the new design instead of the old? I don't think so. I think I have lost a lot of interest in this project. So next time you start a Kickstarter, please try to keep to your vision instead of changing everything.

    47. Creator Tony Chow on October 12, 2013

      No chance for the original design as an alternate costume?

    48. Creator Juan Carlos Gonzalez on October 12, 2013

      Elise is great, Also click the Kickstarter video at the start it says, PLACEHOLDER ART!,

      Mithos eat your vegetables, Mithos do your HOmerwork! Mithos follow your dreams! ugh! what a jerk!

      Also, every monster you have announce so far has got me giddy.

    49. Creator ThomasN on October 12, 2013

      You can change the art all you want, just please leave the protagonists alone.
      You wanted crowdfunding, so there, my opinion.
      David Brunelle: Contract workers doing good work getting everyone excited in a crowdfunding, then wanting raise, then being fired. That's ironic :-)

    50. Creator ThomasN on October 12, 2013

      "I had been mentioning I was going to change the art style through the whole Kickstarter".
      So, if you pledge to the kickstarter when it was up first, because you liked what you saw in the video, then walked away, it's my fault? I'm glad that I pledged at the lowest tier already.