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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.

Soul Saga - Update 12


Hello, friend!

I missed you! How have you been? Soul Saga is moving along great. My personal health took a dip a few months ago when I became bed ridden from a ruptured disc in my spine. I have barely been able to walk, and unable to sit for about 3 months now. The doctor says I will probably need surgery. >.<

But don't worry, I won't do something like that until Soul Saga is done. I want to make sure I get a good game to you as soon as possible. I've acquired a laptop so I can work from bed since I can't sit at my normal workstation. I'm still personally clocking in ~100 hours a week on Soul Saga, so there shouldn't be any delays from my end of the project. Today is going to be a quick update clarifying an important element of the game.

Dialogue Scenes

As shown in the Kickstarter, the majority of dialogue will be given in a 2D theater style. In this style we have a backdrop of the scene, and each character either on the left or right hand of the screen that are engaged in conversation. Here is a snapshot from the current build of the game:

During the Kickstarter there was a large dialogue box taking up a significant portion of the screen. Since then our art has developed into something so amazing that it really feels like it'd be a crime to not show off every beautiful pixel. To do this I've opted for a more minimalist dialogue box design. What do you think?

Fanart Corner

I'm always blown away with what Soul Saga fans come up with when they put their creative minds to it. So I wanted to show a little bit of what we've gotten so far:

Elise by Lemyngue

Elise Animated Spray by The Doctor

Straight Jacket Ai by Roy

Max and his friend by Bluswordgrl

Cake by Nozomi


The motivation your art gives us is priceless. Everyone is flattered that you love Soul Saga as much as we do, and we're honored to have you all be a part of Soul Saga's creation! Thank you!

Do you have any fanart to submit? There's a place on our forum for it, and you can also message me directly on Kickstarter or at the e-mail found here if you don't have forum access yet. Sometimes my e-mail is a little wonky and rejects some senders, so the forum is the best place for it if possible! If you should have forum access but don't, please e-mail to get your forum registration key.

Attention $500+ backers!

If you pledged to have a custom character designed and have not gotten in touch with me yet, please check your Kickstarter private messages. We have gotten several backer characters done already, but there are a couple people that still need to get in touch with me. Since we're cruising through development as fast as we can, it's imperative we get these done as soon as possible to try and fit in schedule. Here is an example of one of our backer's, Neil Chatterjee's, characters, Deiser.

What do you think?

I love to hear your thoughts, so please let me know what you're thinking in the forums! You can join us in this update's discussion thread here:

Roy, Kirk Brownridge, and 29 more people like this update.


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    1. Yoru Azenia on October 12, 2014

      Wow I missed a lot in the time I have spent away XD I tried to stay away to temper my excitement for this game but I just had to log in cause I back a lot of projects and I realized I'm missing out on a lot. lol anyways I will say while I'm probably more excited for this game than anyone (that's right I said it) I will throw my hat in the ring and say you should get the surgery (assuming you haven't already) I am clawing my eyes out waiting for this game but I wouldn't want you to be disabled because of it you will have plenty of time to work on it (and maybe sequels *wink* *wink*) after your recovered. That said the progress you've made looks awesome I'm loving that dialogue scene I have a feeling Elise is going to be my favorite character in the game :D

    2. Disastercake Creator on July 12, 2014

      @ Mana Cook - Thank you so much! I'm glad you like it! =D
      @ Ryan - Thanks for the feedback! This would be a great discussion for the forum where we can have an organized thread with other backers to help find a reasonable middle ground that we all find fair. I look forward to seeing you there. =D

    3. Missing avatar

      Mana Cook on July 11, 2014

      Wow, the game is progressing well! That art looks gorgeous, and Elise's new design was already spectacular to me, but it just continues to grow on me (it's like Venasaur mega-evolving)!

      Although animated chat would be nice, it's just nice to see emotion period in the art/models, so I think it looks great. Looking forward to the next update!

    4. Ryan Gadsby
      on July 11, 2014

      Working 100 hours a week on the game, and three months since your last update you don't seem to have much to show for it aside from some dialogue mockups. If you're having health problems that are going to interfere with the delivery of the project it seems kind of irresponsible to go all the way out to the estimated delivery month without bringing them up.

    5. Disastercake Creator on July 10, 2014

      @Sean - Great idea, Sean! Can you start a thread in the disastercake feedback voting forum so everyone can have an organized place to pitch in possible ideas?
      @Michael Melnikoff - Please don’t' blame yourselves. I'm just a crazy guy who wants to see this done more than anything else in the world, and want to share that experience with all of my generous backers.
      @Valentina - Thank you! I will let you know if it has to come to that, but I am hoping it can resolve naturally. =)
      @Ryan - Great feedback! Can you please bring this to the feedback voting forum so we can all pitch in ideas?
      @Xavier - I'll try, but no promises. ;)
      @Jean-Francois - Thank you! I also hope it is avoidable. I don't think I can lessen my work load on Soul Saga, though. So much to do!
      @djnforce9 - Thank you! =)
      @Christopher - Thank you~ I will keep a close eye on it and let you know in the future if it doesn't get better.
      @Greg - Hmm it's hard to say. Because I'm the only full time person on the project due to our budget, the art production fluctuates for many reasons. We're still pushing for early December 2014, but it's always possible it could get delayed a couple months if someone hits a snag. But I can't take any longer than early 2015 to finish it.
      @Jamie - Thanks, Jamie! =D Love ya too!
      @Abilash - Thank you! I will try to take a break if I can find time.
      @Michael Salbato - Thank you for the kind words! It is always refreshing to take a break, I wish I could find time for it! I will try, though.
      @Sorth31 - Thank you, Sorth! It definitely helps morale to know all of you care so much. =)
      @Alyindar - I hope you're feeling better! I hope it doesn't come down to the surgery, but I promise I will keep an eye on it.
      @Timotheus - Thanks, Timotheus! =)
      @Piero - Awesome! =D
      @Lewis - I promise not to ignore it if it gets worse. Thank you!
      @Tenouchi - Thank you! Hopefully it doesn't come down to that, though.
      @Methanoid - Okay, I promise not to die before its done! ;)
      @Yacob - Nooo.. don't force me away from Soul Saga. =( I love it too much!
      @mkl - Those are some excellent points! Can you start a thread in the feedback voting forum in the disastercake forums so we can pitch in ideas? Also, I promise to keep you up to date on anything that could delay. =)
      @Mikhail - =O I hope you are okay! I will definitely consider it.
      @Edward - Thank you! I don't know much about Live2D, perhaps I can look at it for the next game. It may add a lot of extra work to development time to figure it out and implement it.
      @Stefan - Thanks, Stefan! And your English it great. =D
      @Brett Schwartz - Thank you so much!

    6. Sean Pace on July 10, 2014

      On the text could you do a black outline on the white text to make it easy to read. As is could see having issues reading it.

    7. Missing avatar

      Michael on July 10, 2014

      You should probably get that surgery. Don't suffer needlessly on our account.

    8. Valentina Bertani on July 9, 2014

      Aww! So sorry to hear about your injury! You should worry more about your health. We understand if the game is delayed by an health problem. If surgery is needed you ought to do everything you could so you recover. Best wishes!

    9. Missing avatar

      Ryan Rice on July 9, 2014

      I hate dialog with no background -- way too hard to read. I hope you at least give us the option of having a background if we want one.

    10. Missing avatar

      Darryl Reyes on July 8, 2014

      Please tell me they'll also change poses and gestures. That would put this game over so much into over 9000 territory levels of awesome.

    11. Missing avatar

      Xavier on July 8, 2014

      The dialog scenes look amazing!!! Also, please be careful and SLOW DOWN!!!!

    12. Jean-Francois Quesnel on July 8, 2014

      Great Progress so far, beautiful art, looking good. I hope you can avoid surgery, but more so I wish you a speedy recovery. If you are unwilling to take a full break from developing the game to recover maybe reduce your work hours on it a week by 25% see if it helps. You need time to recover and I am certain all your backers will understand if you only work 75 hours a week on the game :P or less....

    13. djnforce9 on July 8, 2014

      Thanks for the update; Hope you recover soon! You sure are dedicated to even work from your bed.

    14. Christopher
      on July 7, 2014

      Sorry to hear about your injury. I agree with what most everyone else has mentioned. Your health should come first and if you have to delay the game then I and most everyone else here would totally understand. Either way, keep up the great work and take care!

    15. Greg Marsall on July 7, 2014

      Mike, don't work too hard and injure yourself any more! I do have one question though,as a very rough estimate, when do you expect to finish Soul Saga and have it released? Mid to late 2015, is a perfectly acceptable answer btw! Take care and stay healthy!

    16. Jamie Dutton on July 7, 2014

      Mikey this is wonderful progress, but I'm with everyone else who's telling you to take care of yourself first! We won't mind the delay if it means you'll get better! Love ya Mike!
      *twiddles fingers mysteriously to send healing mojo your way*

    17. Abilash Pulicken
      on July 7, 2014

      The new dialogue box is awesome! That said though, I'm going to lend my voice to the scores of others asking you to take a break. Surgery is serious business, and while this project is awesome, it shouldn't take precedence over your health. :)

    18. Michael Salbato on July 7, 2014

      I'm happy to see that so many other people came here to comment on the same thing as I - take a break! Seriously, the game is shaping up nicely. Those character portraits are simply gorgeous, and I like the balance between the characters and text (maybe round the corners on the box?).

      But really, all of this can wait. You can barely walk and can't sit down? Then the game needs to take a backseat. Seriously. I want to play it, and like seeing the progress, but in the end, for us consumers and backers, it's just a game, and not worth jeopardizing your health over. Please just take care of yourself FIRST. Plus, you can come back to the game without having to worry about the other stuff anymore - which I'm sure will help your creative mindset too.

      Whatever happens, please take care of yourself, and I think I speak for many of us here in hoping for the best.

    19. Sorth31 on July 7, 2014

      Honestly I'd advise you to get the surgery if needed as soon as you can, your dedication to providing what was described to and funded by your backers is appreciated but I'd have to say your health should come before your work. I love the look of the game and can say I'm excited at the way it's shaping up, but I believe you shouldn't feel you need to put yourself through extended pain or discomfort for it or for your backers.

      In fact a quick skim of the comments indicates a lot of them feel the same as I do, so hopefully that helps you at least morale wise even if only a little.

      Many regards and my hopes for a rapid recovery.

    20. Alyindar
      on July 7, 2014

      Ouch! I went through almost the same thing last year, I had a herniated disc between my L5 and L6 that was causing significant pain. Get the surgery, you won't feel better without it. Good luck and I hope for a speedy recovery!

    21. Timotheus on July 7, 2014

      Please get the surgery if you need it, I have no problem waiting for the game. Health is the most important thing.

    22. Piero on July 7, 2014

      I like the 2D theater style

    23. Lewis on July 7, 2014

      The updates look good, and I'm glad it's progressing, but please don't sacrifice your health for this game. Get the surgery if you need to ASAP.

    24. Tenouchi on July 7, 2014

      Good to hear the game is progressing, love what i've seen so far. Less good to hear about your health problems. Like many others have said, take care of your health. Go get that surgery, i won't mind the delay.

    25. Methanoid Pete on July 7, 2014

      oh yeah....forgot, good progress btw, few and far between updates but each glimpse is worth any wait.

    26. Methanoid Pete on July 7, 2014

      for the love of god, dont die on us before the games done, and dont make the game on us while your dying....ish. :)

    27. Yacob on July 7, 2014

      Maybe we can force the devs to take time off? I don't believe any sane person would blame you for taking the time needed to undergo surgery and get healthy again, you shouldn't force yourself.

    28. Missing avatar

      mkl on July 7, 2014

      I like the semi-transparent dialog boxes, but a busy background impacts the reading flow, especially for fast readers. That's even more important when the game has lots of dialog. In this screenshot, while readability is still okay, the contrast between the background of the words "Mithos" and "calm down" is already too strong. Will the text be readable at all if the backdrop is mostly white in this region?

      I'm not sure what the solution could be. Maybe what those online map services do, render black text with a white outline. This works for roadmaps, where you read one word at a time, but does it work for continuous text? Maybe a darker dialog box could work. Or design backdrops with this in mind if that's feasible, like just grass would work in the example above.

      Anyways, good work!

    29. Missing avatar

      mkl on July 7, 2014

      Okay, listen. If you damage yourself permanently because of the game, I will not be able to enjoy the game. This is not about you, it's about me! Seriously though, it's about you. I understand that this game is your life dream, but please don't let your life dream ruin your ... life?

      If you keep us up to date, and be honest to us and to yourself, then a delay of some months, or however long it'll take, will not be a problem at all.

    30. Mikhail Aristov on July 7, 2014

      Dude, priorities! I want this game badly, but not enough to risk you being potentially disabled for the rest of your life. :-/ Health is the one reason I will always accept for a delay (and I don't think I'm alone in this), and as someone who had a back injury and DIDN'T get the surgery in time, all I can say is: put that laptop down and get your spine healed, dammit!

    31. Edward T. on July 7, 2014

      Hey Mike, a friend of mine has recently told me that it would be nice if Soul Saga was to incorporate Live2D for dialogue scenes. Not that it would matter to Soul Saga but out of curiosity, how costly would using Live2D be in comparison to traditional style that use simple sprites and would it be complicated to incorporate into the current engine?

    32. Stefan S. on July 7, 2014

      Oh my god, think of your health. It is more important, that you regenerate than to bring the game out.

      Just don't overdrive and take care of yourself. It is not helping anybody if you get badly injured.

      Anyways: Great Update for a great game so far!

      Sorry for my English, English is not my mother tongue.

    33. Edward T. on July 7, 2014

      Take good care of yourself, Mike. Don't do anything reckless.

    34. Missing avatar

      Brett S.
      on July 7, 2014

      Great update and gorgeous looking dialogue scene shot, love the art and style. And please make sure you take care of yourself. :)

    35. Disastercake Creator on July 6, 2014

      @ Daniel - Thanks, Daniel! I will try to slow down. =) I don't want to game to suffer for it.
      @ Mike - Woah, that sounds bad. =( I hope you are feeling better now or at least feel better soon!
      @ Lau - Thanks! =D I don't really have anyone to hand it over to, but I promise I will try to keep myself from crashing.
      @ Onery - Thank you! I promise to keep you in the loop. =)
      @ Jonathan - Great! I'm glad you like it. =D Don't blame yourselves; it's just in my nature to push myself to the limits. I really want to get Soul Saga done well and in your hands so we can all enjoy it. =)
      @ Orson - I'm sorry to hear that about your dad. =( That's a very good story, and I see your point. I will keep a close eye on it and will plan what to do next if it doesn't heal on its own.
      @ Hussam - That is very true, it can lead to worse things. I promise to take care of it if it doesn't get better.
      @ Carlos - Okay, if all other options extinguish I will do that. =)
      @ Rednal - That's some great feedback! This would be a perfect discussion for the forum voting, actually. Is it possible you could start a thread there soeveryone can vote and pitch in ideas in an organized thread?
      @ mrfatso - Well I went the Kickstarter route so I could get you and everyone else involed so we can make the proejct even better! I still want to try and get it to you as soon as possible (without quality cutting) so you can enjoy it! If it comes down to surgery I promise I will do that. =)
      @ Ryan - Thank you! =D I promise to do that if the time comes.
      @ Ian - Don't worry, I wouldn't blame anyone but myself if it gets worse. Thank you so much for your concern!
      @ Matthew - Thank you! =D
      @ Deaftard - Thank you so much! You're always very kind. =D
      @ Neil Chatterjee - Thanks, Neil! And thanks for letting me use your character as an example. =D
      @ LB - Hopefully in time it can heal itself. I'd really like to avoid surgery if possible. Thank you for the well wishes!
      @ Tech - Thanks! I will try not to ignore it for too long.
      @ Benjamin - Don't worry! Being able to lay while I work relieves most of the pain. And thank you!
      @ Dustin - I'm happy you like it!
      @ Sebastian - Thanks so much, Sebastian!
      @ Kirk - I'm sorry to hear about your mother! Yeah they are surprisingly important (Mom's and spines ;)
      @ Roy - Thanks, Roy! And thanks for your awesome art! =D

    36. Missing avatar

      Daniel Siegmann on July 6, 2014

      I love the backdrop artwork, but the text is more important. I prefer a clearer dialog box and more easily readable dialog, even if it comes at the expense of the artwork.

      Now, with that out of the way ...

      WTF is wrong with you?!?! You don't need to be a hero. There are no lives at stake here. This is just a video game. Your health is a hell of a lot more important than getting a game released on time. Get the surgery you need and the game will be done when it's done. Besides, it's doubtful you're going to do good work if you're working 100 hour weeks for a long time, and especially if you're in poor health while you're doing it.

      Please slow down - take care of yourself, and then take on the game at a reasonable pace. Your backers will understand.

    37. Mike cota on July 6, 2014

      Had the same thing happen., tried chiro, steroid injections, two different physical therapist and finally surgery. 7 months of barely being able to walk. Lucky for you i was on so many meds i didnt even realize your were gone for so long. Good luck on the recovery. Even after surgery it's gunna be rough for a few months.

    38. Eddie Lau on July 6, 2014

      You crazy man !!
      Hand over to someone else for a while please.
      You can work harder when you recover !

      Anyway, THANK YOU for the hard work. It looks great !!

    39. Onery on July 6, 2014

      Lords, get someone to help you with the game and a surgeon to help you with the back! We don't mind delays due to health as long as you tell us. Your back man! We have it, so you get yours fixed!

    40. Jonathan on July 6, 2014

      Wow, every update for this game makes me more and more excited! But you should really focus on your health. Anybody who can't accept the project getting delayed under those conditions are heartless and selfish. Take care of yourself first! It is the most important thing. The fact that this is even something that needs to be said makes me wonder if the weight of living up to your backers expectations is overly stressing you out. I know it would heavily stress me out if I were in your position.

    41. Gearsoul Dragon
      on July 6, 2014

      Awesome update, love the dialogue box and the art!

      But I agree that you should get your back fixed first!

      My Dad broke a bone in his foot once, just a tiny thing, but the contract he had for work didn't allow for sick days(it does now), so because he wasn't getting paid and we needed the money and his boss wouldn't give him -- her only employee who also saves her *tons* of money and time by being able to fix equipment when it breaks down -- any money while he was recovering he had to go back to work...

      That must have been a year or two ago now and his foot hurts like EVERY day to the point sometimes of making him limp because he didn't get that precious recovery time.

      You need to take care of your back before it gets worse and possibly complicates the surgery!

      It's okay, we can wait! :3 You've done a fantastic job, but take however long you need to fix yourself up!

      Backs are serious issues, everything's connected to them.

      What if something got worse and you couldn't get the surgery anymore and couldn't sit for the rest of your life?! It would probably be a constant battle after that to keep it from getting worse.

      n___n Seriously, it's all good. We can wait.

      Thanks for the update~ :3

    42. Missing avatar

      Hussam on July 6, 2014

      K u need to stop working on this game and get ur back fixed. Back issues r nothing to joke about. This game can wait. I know ppl with back issues and it hunts them for the rest of their lives. Get the surgery. We can wait.

    43. Carlos Enrique Uribe on July 6, 2014

      Ummm...are you crazy?

      Get the surgery. Soul Saga can wait.

    44. Rednal on July 6, 2014

      Huzzah, updates!

      That said, may I suggest darkening the dialogue box a little bit? It's important to have a good, contrasting background for the text - and if it's too transparent, it might be hard to see the text against some backgrounds. ^^

    45. mrfatso ~ Defender of The Goat on July 6, 2014

      like what neil has said...

      But please take care of your health, why did you go to the kickstarter route? wasnt it so that there are no deadline and you could make the game that you want?

      Go for surgery, take a few month break to recover, remember, your health will always be the most important thing..

    46. Ryan
      on July 6, 2014

      Great update. Really excited about this game but if worse comes to worse please prioritize your health over finishing the game.

    47. Ian White on July 6, 2014

      Your health is more important than the timing of the release. If there is a risk to you by delaying surgery, please do it sooner rather than later. None of us want to be responsible for causing you harm by making you feel you need to satisfy us first. I've backed projects which are a year overdue without justification - surgery is legit and we will all understand.

    48. jimmywolf on July 6, 2014

      thank you for the update, sorry for any pain you must endure. hopefully everything work it self out in the end an you be back too 100%

      still hyped an looking forward to the end game an it future sequels!

    49. Matthew Lam on July 6, 2014

      Dialog scene looks pretty amazing ^_^

      Also, be sure to take care of yourself!

    50. DeafTard on July 6, 2014

      Mikey I love this new update but I am sad that your health isn't where it needs to be and I honestly believe you should focus on your health more than soul saga but that's just me. I know you will deliver and complete Soul Saga, that isn't the problem but I wouldn't want you to keep going when your health needs to be fixed because I would be more worried that you wont be able to make more game projects in the future after soul saga is released. Anyways, I still stand behind you mikey cause you are hands down the BEST project creator on KS that I have ever backed because you are the MOST vocal about your project than other KS project creators. I wish more KS project creators would take notes from you and learn from you as well since your professionalism is 50 times better than all the other KS projects I've backed. I love all the fan art and dialogue scenes!