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Fates Weekly Update #12

Hello, folks. It’s Saturday and it is time for me to give the moooooooooorning report. Gives you the long and the short! Every grunt, roar, and… Wait… it’s night. Never mind, continue your musical numbers elsewhere. Sorry, sorry. Because of the astronomical amount of IRL work this week and completely random schedule, I have lost track of time. If it wasn’t for my weekly report, I doubt I would have realized that it was Saturday.

Writing: I’m in a marathon event right now. This coming week is the first week in months where I had a set schedule! That’s right, I don’t have to wake up at utterly random times and can have some sort of semblance of normality in my life. To celebrate this, I’ve cleared out nearly all of my commitments, got everything in order, and am doing a writing marathon. For the next seven days, I am going full bore to completely write all of Kika’s scenes. Can I write roughly 60,000 words in one week? Probably not, but I’m going to make one helluva go at it. I’ve learned a lot of tricks over the years of being a visual novel writer. Time to show a few of them. Wordcount will update next week.

Dakimakura: Still waiting on the Natalie images. However, I did a personal commissioned with CG artist to do a special Zuri one for me. Originally, I wasn’t going to share it because I am an evil mustache-twiddling madman, but I was recently talked down from that position. Are the daki backers (or any random passerby) interested? As a reminder, if you can’t see it in the link, these are fairly NSFW.

http://www.idhasstudios.com/Images/NSFW/NSFWZuriDakiA.png

http://www.idhasstudios.com/Images/NSFW/NSFWZuriDakiB.png

For today’s chat, I want to talk about some of the GUI things. When we decided to split up the storylines between the Katajion Defense Force and the rebels, the idea of having a split GUI was pondered. The factions themselves are fundamentally different. The Katajions are a lot more formal than the rebels and drastically more regimented. Anton has the power of Intelligence Director Doichu and the funding of the directorship on his side. Things like finding ways to refuel the ship and how they are going to keep food in their bellies isn’t an underlying issue. The individual natures of each faction resulted in us wanting to take some differences in the GUI.

GUI example for the rebel side
GUI example for the rebel side

 

GUI example for the KDF side
GUI example for the KDF side

The window being shown is the presenting window. This window is for both regular interrogation scene where you can present either people to the person you are talking with or in key situations where you need to propose a suspect or an item. The two windows being shown are for those key moments. One thing we are debating is whether you, the player, should be limited to just the basic information about the person/object you are trying to present or if we should make it a little more interesting with Natalie adding clues/red herrings based on scenes and evidence gathered.

I’m torn myself on this. On one hand, having Natalie give her feedback on it means that clues you might not have caught or events in dialog that were overlooked can be given to the player for free. It makes it easier for the player to determine their course of action. Green clues meaning that it supports this person/item being the right one, yellow being indifferent info, and red being evidence that disagrees with you. In the pictures shown above, the evidence shows that Kika is much more likely to be a pillow thief than Anton. It takes some of the organic nature of investigation out and makes it easier on the player.

At the same point, it does make things more difficult. Just because all evidence is flashing green doesn’t mean that you have the right person. Missing key events, asking the wrong questions, coming to the wrong conclusions in questioning scenes can build you into a false answer. Like a real investigator, you have to determine if the facts are what they appear to be. It could add a new layer of gameplay of intrigue while not forcing you to constantly reload to try and remember some random scene.

So what do you all think about it? A handicap that takes away the fun of drawing your own conclusions or a nifty system that makes life easier and will make you think?

That’s all for this week’s episode. Tune in next time to see if Chief managed to give himself carpal tunnel hitting that mark. Until next time, Chief out!

Fates Weekly Update #11

Hello, folks. Well, the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligned with Mars. That means it is the dawning of the Age of Fates updates.

Wordcount: 43096 (1200 this week.) This week’s word count is pretty low because most of it was spent in editing. If there is one thing I hate more than anything, it is having to go back through my works with a hedgetrimmer, but any good writer will tell you that being able to take a saw to your baby is a key skill. Nobody writes things perfect on their first go, no sane artist uses their sketches 100%. Of course, I am also notorious for using my first drafts as my final drafts. It’s a weakness, I admit. My day job eats up so much of my time that deadlines force me to drop a dozen or so edits after release. NOT THIS TIME! I was smart enough to budget editing time into my schedules.

-The biggest reason that time was suddenly spent in editing instead of writing this week was for the preparations of the demo. It’s going to be a fairly raw alpha, but I wanted to give everyone a show of what we are trying to do and give a rough idea of what the final product may look like. We have a working GUI, a working interface code, and several sections of story that will highlight each type of interaction. We don’t have a release date for it yet, but I’m hoping to have one shortly. We wanted to have everything done this week and it was going to be the HUGE update I promised last week, but someone just had to break some code and highlight some important mistakes, putting us back. I just need to make sure everything is set, edited, and won’t burst into unholy flames of agony like every other initial release. Kickstarter backers will have access to the entire thing to play around with, everyone else gets to watch a video of me playing around with what I want to show.

-As we get into the holiday seasons, updates are going to be a bit more sparse. While Chief hasn’t taken a vacation since the dawn of time, several of our staff members have families and children and all that other jazz that reduces work flow. The good news is that I’ll still be here each week with the updates that I will still be here to tell stories about the story and programming adventures.

-Speaking of adventures in coding, would there be any interest in a rhythm game like Final Fantasy Theatrhythm? I was bored during some down time at work and decided to draw up an engine that would allow us to make that sort of game. Originally, we were totally just going to drop the investigation engine and your romance/investigation was going to be dependent on how well you could keep the beat (just like real life), but someone managed to inform me how nuts I was before it could be implemented.

This week is going to wrap up early. As a consolidation prize, here’s a lineart from one of the characters who hasn’t been shown yet! Haven’t seen any minotaurs since Red Rose and even then the doctor was just a very minor character. Quite exciting! There are quite a few characters in the roster who haven’t had their moment to shine yet. Next week, we are going to be talking about some of the romance in Rising Angels: Fates, some history of the cast, and maybe even a little world history while we are at it. Until next time, Chief out!

One of the unshown cast members
One of the unshown cast members

 

Fates Weekly Update #10

Hello, folks! After that freak early evening post, we are back to our usual late night writing. I’m on a bit of a vacation since it is Thanksgiving, so night is my friend. I’m like Batman… except totally not like Batman. I think my cat might be more like Batman than I am. He darts around, fighting evil and beating up on robins.

Wordcount: 41896 (5012 this week) Being on vacation helped me out with getting some extra time to write.

-I want to take a moment and thank welcome our new musician to the team. You can check out his works here.

-For those of you who have been with the studio, I did a cross-compare of Name from Anton’s Vacation to her in Rising Angels: Fates. I think we’ve been evolving for the better.

-I failed NaNoWriMo. Horribly. I apologize to everyone. Words cannot describe the level of failure. The good news is that I did manage to pass all of my tests at work so I can keep being able to work on this, so I do believe that it was a decent trade-off.

WARNING: THIS WEEK CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS FROM RISING ANGELS: REBORN!

So the big thing this week is that after a long debate, we have decided to split up the routes a bit. The original plan had Natalie following the “to be continued” route of Fates. There were two different ends to that, but both of them required Natalie to keep the crystal. After the debate, we decided that we were going to allow you to choose the other ending where you decide to turn the crystal over to the government. This shakes things up a lot; it wasn’t an easy decision to come to. It’ll increase the main plot writing, but it also means we don’t have to find what was increasingly arbitrary reasons for Natalie to be associating with members of the enemy faction. It isn’t going to increase the number of character routes, but it will break them out.

As we are working on the GUI, there will be a different graphical version for the different factions. A bit off topic, but there might be a demo coming up in the future…

Katajion Defense Force faction: If you decided that Natalie should hand over the crystal instead of keeping it from the government, a lot of your former allies feel betrayed. If you aren’t willing to accept being a warrior, Zuri will. Kika is swept up with Zuri, unsure where she belongs. Sol’s reasons for joining Zuri are a mystery… perhaps there is more to his defection… While you may have lost your friends, you do gain better trained allies. With Anton and Sora on your side, you get the power of the KDF intel network and a lot more reliable information from official sources. With Agent Syl Logivechk, you have arguably one of the best assassins and bodyguards in the game. And Name… well, she’s there because someone has to be the pessimist of the group. The last member of the KDF faction is the adorable Faye Moonfallow, who is still dependent on the increasing amounts of KDF medical attention.

Character routes: Faye Syl Name Sol

Rebel faction: If you understand that your government can’t be trusted with this power, then you are going to be a little more stressed to find allies. A lot of the people Natalie will have to turn to aren’t the official types or traditional allies. Finding the needed resources and information is going to be trickier, but you’ll also have a greater range of minds to help you figure things out. From the Raltins, you will gain the alliance of Alexi and her band of imperials. From the Ryu’llians, you’ll get the ambassadorial power of Akurel. Following up the back from Marakia, you get the brain power of Nigel Hackett and a team of researchers working on the crystals legacy. With their powers combined, you are Captain SITO! Oh, and you might have the undying loyalty of your comrades from the Nimross.

Character routes: Zuri/Akurel Alexi Kika Sol (alternate)

You won’t be able to join the true enemy faction. Sorry, Natalie is trying to save the universe after all.

Going to make it a short night. This is a bit of a filler week since next week is going to be pretty massive in terms of updates. I wish we could have had everything ready by the 10th Weekly Update, but 11th is just as good… right? Until next week, Chief out!

Fates Weekly Update #9

Hello, folks! You know what time it is… It’s Saturday night and… wait. What? It’s only late Saturday afternoon? But I always write the update in the late evening when I should have gone to bed hours before. I guess we are stuck in some sort of time conflux. Perhaps it is because of the medieval airstrike I suffered through in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Took a hellfire ball to the face from a F-Dragon5 flying overhead; never saw it coming. Okay, bad jokes aside. Let’s get to the update!

-Wordcount: 36884 (4000 this week, I just had to hit that mark on the dot) Does anyone want me to talk more about Sol being the lovely man he is? He’s the hardest character to write, I swear. It’s easy making a knight in shining armor. It’s easy making a foul racist who is easy to hate. Merging the two together just makes life so difficult. Finding that middle ground, as is the case with people in real life, where they are good people with bad parts to their nature is tricky. Some of the scenes I worked on this week were putting Sol into that uncomfortable position where he is unsure where his views of his comrades really lie. Except for Zuri. His views on her will always lie somewhere near the scars she accidentally gave him and that happy he can’t tear out of her soul.

-Music: We have found our musician. We are still working out the details but it should be finished up today.

-Wall scroll: The final image for the wall scrolls is done! The image has already been sent off to the printers to get made! Tscbr, the artist who designed the scroll, will also be one of our CG artists.

-Dakimakura: Right now, we are waiting on the dakimakura artist to finish drawing the darkimakura for Natalie. He’s been behind and I’m trying my best to get him to finish everything up as quickly as possible. To help keep costs reasonable, I had to work a bulk deal for the dakimakura. Without the Natalie image, the printer doesn’t want start. After that, it is going to be two weeks to receive the dakis. As soon as they come in, I will be sending out a survey to the daki folks who only were getting one to choose from either Natalie or Faye (or Zuri, if my assistant isn’t looking and the CG artist is up for it). At that point, I will be shipping them as each survey comes in. I didn’t want to ship ASAP (wanted to get some of those other physical goodies (prints, poster, and a patch) done, but we are still too early in development). International shipping is expensive and I wanted to get the most for the shipping costs and some extras for the backers. However, I am willing to ship early for those who just really wanted the daki ASAP.

Long story short: Artist is behind and I’m trying to convince the producer to start without the full order. I’m highly confident we will have it resolved shortly.

For today’s topic, I received an e-mail asking me to talk about some of the different species and their racial traits in Fates. The first thing that needs to be mentioned is that all species mentioned so far in the series are sub-human. Now, I don’t mean that they are lowly monsters compared to humans, I mean that every race started out from the human template. There are no true aliens in the known universe at the moment. Lupide, elves, afrik… all of them can trace their heritage back to the humans from earth. How we ended up with the current batch is a topic for another day. Will there be aliens in the universe? I’ve considered letting some in, just as I’ve considered using that shiny awesome RPG engine I developed.

Lupide/Kitsune: The first group I want to talk about is the lupide and kitsune. I’ve never been fond of using the term kitsune for them. They aren’t foxes, but the term has stuck around since they were first allowed into the RP way back in the day. In the story, there are two lupide and one kitsune. Those of you who have been paying close attention should realize something in that statement, but that is a mystery being left unanswered. The first thing to know about lupide is they are very superstitious. With their close-knit families, stories of tales from beyond the stars are shared between them. How often are these tales true? That is something for Natalie to figure out. Every legend is based in true… not so true. Faye and her aversion to giving blood because her cousins told her stories of people losing their intelligence because of it probably doesn’t hold any merit. Stories of a monster that prowls around elven woods might be a little more important to ask about. Lupide and Kitsune also tend to think more with their hands than with their heads. With a few rare exceptions, they tend to be a lot more reliable taking care of the now rather than the later.

Draemon: The second largest non-human species in the story is the draemons with a gold, a red, and a green draemon. In terms of population, they are one of the smallest. With their shockingly absent parenting, harrowing trials to become an adult, and culture deep rooted in spirituality and a warrior mindset, most draemons don’t live to see the longevity that comes with their race. Being strong, agile, and able to fly, draemon are some of the best fighters in the universe. If there is a threat, having a draemon fighter between it and you is the best way to keep alive. The only problem with this is that draemon tend to be incredibly hard to reason with. There is rarely a moral gray area and it is easy to turn a loyal fighter into a dangerous enemy. Just like chocobos, different color draemons have different levels of physical and mental prowess, abilities, and status in draemon society. The ranking order goes…

Gold; Royality or draemon of high stature Blue; seers of the draemon culture and most of their artists, philosophers, and intellectuals Red; masters of the draemon fighting styles and the most physically able after gold draemons Green; the most common and weakest; often serving as guides for young draemon or wanderers

When dealing with draemons, you would do well to learn how not to offend to get the most information out of them.

Afrik: Out of all the species, Afrik are the least common and the oldest. If there is one species you should never trust out of all of them, it is an afrik. Rumor has it that they originally arrived from a future time and were the cause of the original human hybrids, playing havoc with the time-space continuum and being both the chicken and the egg. The average afrik is millennium old and, while they are harder to kill, they are not immortal. An afrik keeps themselves alive by playing the younger species, by manipulating events to ensure they get the results they want. The universe is a stage and the afrik are puppetmasters. The one afrik in Fates might appear to be nothing more than a bumbling idiot, but people are easier to play when they think their adversary does nothing but make mistakes.

There are three other species that will be playing with Natalie, the minotaur, the elves, and the frikon, but that is more for another day. Until next week, Chief out!

Fates Weekly Update #8

Hello, folks! It’s that time of the week again! Actually, I’m not really sure what time it is right now. It’s dark, but it turns dark at noon nowadays, so who knows…

-Word count: 32884 (2,882 this week. I committed one of the gravest sins of all in writing. Most people know of the writer’s block. Most creative arts have it in some form or fashion. Now, the best way to get around this is to skip around or try writing something different. Sitting there and fighting against a wall kills productivity. Today’s story is a sad tale of woe. This week, I started my NaNo story of Natalie in a world of heroes and magic. I had a tough time with it. I should have given up and tried writing something else… but I am a prideful man. I wasn’t going to let it go. By Thursday, I had written almost a dozen openings and every single one of them was terrible. I’d made no progress in Fates or anything else. So… I finally came to my sense and wrote some young Zuri and Fates.)

-Music: We got some pretty strong musicians who showed interest in helping the studio. I’m going through them right now and deciding who to give the commission to. Please standby just a little longer.

-Sprites: We are getting closer to the completion of another one of the route characters. Like I mentioned last week, not all the characters are going to have romance routes. Natalie’s younger sister, Nàme, is one of them. Might be the only one, now that I think about it…

Name: Nàme Wagner

Age: 22

Gender: F

Rank: Captain

Nationality: Katajion

Bio: Nàme is lead detective of the judicial sector security team sent to arrest Natalie. Nàme tends to be incredibly stubborn and focused when it comes to arresting criminals and villains. Like her sister, Nàme wanted to be a SITO and become a fleet tactician. To her sister’s knowledge, she became one and was telling Natalie. What happened between then and now remains a mystery. Nàme claims no relation with her sister, denying that she has anything to do with a traitor. However, she loves and admires her older sister, hoping that she can find a way to prove Natalie innocent.

Chief’s Notes: Nàme Takase… Wagner… Puccile… Nàme has had so many different last names. As some of you might have noticed from previous characters, there was a time when a lot of characters had Japanese names for no adequately explored reasons. Some of those characters had their names changed (Sol being one of them), others disappeared from the canon. Nàme didn’t disappear though. She is keeping her father’s last name instead of her mother’s (like Natalie).

Like Sol, Lenna, and Yoi, Nàme came from the early days of the fiction. I think she might have been around longer than those three. I’d have to find the original paper script to be able to answer for sure who came first. Since the start, Nàme has had a very defined personality. She was a tsundere from the very beginning. Prideful and ambitious, Nàme was determined to be the best there ever was. To catch them was her real test. To train them was her cause. She was as stereotypical as you could get. Of course, unlike Natalie, Nàme had very few friends and was a lot more isolated. While Natalie was able to make friends and put her pride aside to learn her weakness, Nàme embraced her ego like a liferaft.

Nàme’s primary roles were in the Anton stories. The last visual novel that Nàme was in was the second episode of the Anton’s Vacation series. It is also the only visual novel that she was the protagonist of. The thing is that it wasn’t the only visual novel since then that she was SUPPOSED to be the main character of. That’s right, in the first draft, Nàme was the protagonist of Rising Angels: Reborn instead of Natalie. For those of you who noticed that Natalie was a lot more pompous and grumpy at the start, that is the reason why. Natalie stole her younger sister’s position when I started fleshing out the story. As much as I love her, Nàme is a very aggressive character. I didn’t like how she was interacting with the story. I didn’t like now she was going to end up making an enemy out of everyone, even Sol. I mean, they fought like hell in Katajion’s Dream. Without Anton and his calmness to counterbalance her, everything just felt wrong. So the role was changed and I started designing a new character to take the lead.

Now that we are getting into Fates, I realized it was time for the two major groups of the series (Anton and the Phoenix Investigative Squad and Natalie’s band of heroes) to go toe to toe. Nàme pretty much had her assured role when I decided to add Anton. They’re a pair. If you read AV2, you know I very strongly approve of their relationship. But that means Nàme is going to be put in an awkward place in Fates. Though she might insult her sister, they are close siblings. Nàme doesn’t want to put her in jail, she doesn’t want to be forced into any situation that might cause her to harm or even kill Natalie. But Nàme is loyal to her duty and loyal to Anton as well. Throughout the story, you are going to go up against her again and again. Nàme is not going to let you get away. Out of all the villains, she is both the most persistent, the most adaptive, and the one who knows what Natalie is going to do before she does it. With her at Anton’s side, he stands a serious chance of being able to stop her. So I pose the question to you, dear players. How prepared are you to succeed in your goal? Victory is made through sacrifice and some sacrifices are more painful than others. Is the life of your little sister worth the lives of the universe?

And with that, we are wrapped up for the evening. Stay tuned as we continue towards our goal! Chief out!

Fates Weekly Update #7

Hello, folks! I’m getting ready for bed on a Saturday night, so that must mean that it is time for another weekly! I don’t know if everyone else looks forward to these as much as I do, but I can’t help but love talking development. I also love talking about my sleeping fuzzball, but I sense I might be the only one.

-Wordcount: 29,954 (3,640 this week. Another slower week) This week, we went back to Celestia to continue working on the first act of the story. One thing I heard a lot of was how slow Reborn started. I fear it may have turned away some readers who didn’t get past the “situation normal” to get to the rest of the story. That’s why we are starting out with a bang! Right now, there is at least one game over ending in the start. It’ll be an easy one to avoid, if you keep your emotions in check. Throughout the game, there will be several such events where being able to keep calm and carry on will be the difference between everyone making it out alive and burying members of your investigation team. Of course, maybe you don’t want everyone to make it out. I mean, there’s only so much Sol gives me…

Kika_s Night

-Last week, I mentioned that I was going to start a story for NaNoWriMo. The votes have been tallied and the winner by a narrow margin was the alternate universe. Sorry, Zuri fans. The Zuri story will still be part of the short stories book. Now, a lot of people didn’t want to see the stereotypical high school story. I thought about it for a moment and decided that we should move our school setting to an alternate alternate universe! We could be like Harry Potter, right? Great Britain is a fictional place after all. Then I realized I shouldn’t take their made-up place and should make my own, France. I’m kidding, I’m kidding. We’ll be visiting the lands of swords and magic plagued by the forces of darkness (I guess that is England…). Time to learn to be a magical hero, Natalie!

You can read along at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VMfZS5MbLUaqrnxAejj01ZNPjZnQyB1-uDoXjdUrGY0/edit?usp=sharing . I’m several days behind, so I’m gonna have to push it hard. It remains to be seen if I will be doing it in renpy script (just in-case something strange happens in the future and it gets made into a vn) or traditional prose.

-I just want to take a moment and remind everyone that we have a forum (alongside some other awesome games) over at http://innomenpro.com/forums/index.php . Any questions or random discussions about any of the three Rising Angels games are welcomed! The forums are pretty quiet right now. I can always dress in drag and do the hula if that’s what it takes.

-The wallscroll image is moving along nicely. I was delivered the lineart and things are looking good. I can’t wait to share the final image!

-Voice Acting: I’ve been holding back on making any big announcement for voice acting because I wanted to make sure enough of the script was done before opening voice acting. Nobody wants to be told that they got a part and then have to wait months before getting any work. The good news is that I think we are getting closer to that point. I’d like to start casting at the start of December.

-Music: We are looking to hire a musician to help use with the custom soundtrack. If you are interested, please send an e-mail to overwatch@idhasstudios.com .

I think that’s all for now. Until next week, Chief out!

Fates Weekly Update: #6

Hello, again! It’s late Saturday night and you know what that means! Time to unleash the arsekickulator! WOOWOOWOOWOWOO! I mean… time for the weekly Fates update. It’s been hard to write this with Fuzz trying to sleep between the keyboard and monitor, but I’m getting through his paws.

-Wordcount: 26,314 (3,201 this week, three 5AM mornings ruined productivity) This week, I decide to jump ahead a bit and write some of Akurel’s route scenes. Originally, Akurel’s route was going to be completely independent. The problem with this is it had to end with you destroying Zuri’s feeling in so many ways. While a few people might enjoy that, Zuri was the most loved character Reborn and one close to my heart. Instead, Akurel’s story is going to be intertwined with Zuri’s. They are two peas in a pod, it only makes sense to tie their stories together. It’s going to be tricky, but it is looking likely that there will be a happy ending for everyone.

-There have been some questions about which routes are going to be included. Right now, these are the routes planned for each version.

Free version is the core story and Zuri’s route. I refuse to be the guy who gave one piece of the overarching story away for free and then charged people to continue.

Commercial version: Core story, Zuri’s route, Kika’s route, Sol’s route, Alexi’s route, Faye’s route, Nàme’s story, Syl’s route, and Akurel’s story.

Note: Not all of those routes are romantic. Natalie is not going to sleep with her younger sister.

-Wall scroll: The initial sketches have been delivered for the wall scroll! We went into a fair bit of debate at the studio about how we should do this. Originally, I was thinking it should be just Natalie. Then Natalie and Zuri. In the end, we decided that we should have the wall scroll be of Natalie and her team. Maybe there will be one later of the villain teams or some romantic interests, but I wanted this one to be special.

-Dakimakura: The sketch for Natalie’s is done! I’d love to show it to you, but that’s something we are saving for the backers right now. Also, we are getting a batch of Faye’s done, so hopefully we will have something more physical to show off in a couple weeks.

-NaNoWriMo: I normally don’t participate, but I decided that I want to use this event to write some short stories for both the short stories book and a few for the public to enjoy. Write now I’ve been considering a couple ideas and I’d like to hear from you all! Would you like to see?

-Tales of Zuri and her hatch as they survive in the wilderness

-What happened during the conspiracy Sol got wrapped up in (technically a rewrite of a really old story)

-Alternate Universe with the cast back in high school (yeah, Sunrider inspired me a bit on that one)

-Something else? Comment or e-mail me now!

I think that’s it for now. I’ve been doing a lot of coding for the RPG the studio has been working in the background for the last couple years. It’s been making me think of ways that I can help increase the fun and excitement of the gameplay. Well, until next week… Chief out!

 

PS: There was no images for the Fates public update, so let’s do a video of the post!!! I also haven’t done a studio update in a while, so I might write one of those up tomorrow.

Fates Weekly Update #5

Hello, folks! Chief back for the weekly update! It has been an interesting week in the world… just not very interesting here. It’s one of those weeks where there’s not a lot for me to do other than try to amuse you all with a dance number! Unfortunately, I also mildly injured my knee this week, so no dance number either.

-Wordcount: 23,113 (5,239 this week) This week was mostly focused on writing a few scenes for the first world that Natalie will visit, the neutral world of commerce, Celestia. For those of you who have played Rising Angels: Reborn, you will remember that this is where we last left Natalie. For those of you who remember Rising Angels: The Red Rose, this is the homeworld of Jade and Mana. While it is a neutral world, it enjoys a good relationship with Katajion Directorship. This is good for our hero, as they are unlikely to try and deport Natalie. Sadly, they are also much more likely to let the Katajion Judicial Sector forces and SITO agents have free reign in trying to arrest a certain blonde SITO.

-Background art: A few more of the backgrounds were completed! Since the writing was about the adventures of Celestia, let’s show off one of the locales that you will get to visit. When you have one of the best SITO in the game hunting you down and an Intelligence Director who wants to have a meeting with you, back alley escapes are going to be your friend!

back_alley

-No updates on the wallscroll or Natalie dakimakura. I apologize. Also, next week I will give an excerpt from either the book of short stories or codex. Is there a preference people would like to see? I’m not sure yet what I’d pull from the codex, but I think the short story would be an excerpt from Zuri’s tale.

Short update this week, much larger update next week. Until next time, Chief out!

Fates Weekly Update #4

Hello, folks. Chief here with the 4th update of Rising Angels: Fates. As we get into the groove of development, things are settling into their standard routine. It has mostly been a mid-production week where there isn’t a lot to show and not much to talk about. Originally, I was going to do drunken karaoke to keep people entertained, but I’m still federally banned from singing. While that spares you from the brutal savagery of my singing voice, it means we have a fairly limited update for this week.

-Would everyone like to see a running word count? I like having one to help me, as the writer, keep honest about how much progress I’m making.

-Did some tweaking of the interface this week. Right now we are commissioning an artist to replace the temporary assets used to make it. Once we starting getting those done, we’ll be able to show some gameplay screenshots and perhaps make a demo for you all to give a try.

-For the dakimakura supporters, we should have a sketch of Natalie’s up next week. Hopefully, I will also be able to show off the wall scroll as well.

-Thanks in part to our friends at Innomen Productions, we now have a forum! For those of you who want to talk about any of the Rising Angels series, this is now the hip new place to do it. There are also several other awesome games to check out while you are there!

-Since the musical styling of Chief is out of the question, let’s talk about the existing romantic interest carrying over from Rising Angels: Reborn, the Nimross’s brave hero, Zuri.

zuriSketch

Name: Zuri
Age: 121
Gender: F
Rank: Lieutenant
Nationality: Ryu’llian
Bio: The security officer of the KSS Nimross. A former musician who joined the Katajion Defense Force for unknown reasons. Determined with a strong sense of right and wrong, Zuri’s fearless and optimistic nature serves as a rallying point to those around her. However, behind the mask of justice, Zuri constantly berates herself for perceived weaknesses.

Chief’s Notes: Zuri, the dragon fighter of the group and Natalie’s romantic companion. Zuri, the human co-pilot with the incredibly minor role. While these phrases might seem to describe two totally different characters, they both were true about Zuri at various points of development. When the game was starting out in its concept phase, Zuri didn’t really have a place. Like Commander Rasoona, she was designed to be a character who needed to fill a specific role on the crew. Sol needed a co-pilot to take the stick when he was off with Natalie and a foil to help bounce jokes off of. She wasn’t going to be anything more than a check on the crew line-up.

Then I saw her concept.

zuri

It’s hard to explain what caught my eye. Zuri was the first draemon in the series. Despite the series always walking the fantasy line, I hadn’t ever considered adding dragons to the series. When Nuge showed me this concept after being told to do whatever she wanted, I knew I had an opportunity. Of course, I needed to start doing a lot more development on her personality. For those of you who remember, her original description was nothing more than two lines. She liked to work out and was upbeat. That’s all I knew about her at the start of development.

One of the biggest problems I had with writing Zuri was that I wasn’t sure how strong her relationship with Natalie was going to be. For the first two thirds of the story, I couldn’t find a spark between them. Sure, they were friends, but that was as much as I could do. They worked well as a duo. Zuri could provide the muscle, Natalie the brains behind it. Easy, by-the-books relations. I think it was around the picture of her hatch friends that I started to realize that I was underestimating Zuri. There was more to this fighter than I had originally thought.

Simplicity. I think that is the best word to describe Zuri. While you could interpret that as she’s dumb, as indicated by her lack of understanding of technology, I wouldn’t use it that way. Many people would say that there is no clear cut answers in the world. There is no single answer to a problem. Zuri wouldn’t agree. Right is right, wrong is wrong. There is no middle ground, there is no gray area. A warrior is a warrior. To Zuri, there is very little in the world that causes her to falter when she knows what her duty demands her to do. While Natalie sees a thousand different answers to the question of their fate, Zuri only sees one. Protect those she cares and never harm the innocent.

That simplicity is why I think Zuri and Natalie make such a strong pair. Natalie was a SITO with dreams of the top, becoming an admiral and rising to the top. Zuri never thought of herself or what made her happy, just what the code demanded and what others needed. Zuri never had anyone she could care about after Akurel left her. When Natalie entered her life, Zuri saw some of Akurel in Natalie and that old flame reignited in her heart. For the first time in a long time, Zuri started to think about herself and what she had lost on this path. For Natalie, she began to see that there was more in life than what she could get out of it. There were the makings of an eternal bond between them, if both of them could learn to see how the other did a little bit.

As we go into Fates, that bond is going to be tested. At the end of the Zuri route, the bond is still fragile and easily broken. When a figure from Zuri’s past returns to haunt her. With the universe falling apart around them, both of them are going to heavily depend on the other to help make sense of the new world they’ve stepped into. Out of all the character romances, Zuri is going to be the most difficult to maintain and see a positive resolution. To be able to hold the heart of the draemon warrior, you have to be prepared to put your own on the line. A warrior’s bond is forged in fire, after all.

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Okay, after having to rewrite this a third time because it kept getting deleted, I’m going to go take a break before I finally go off the mental deep end. Until next week, Chief out!

Fates Weekly Update #3

Hello, folks! It’s that time of the week again! I hope you all have been having a good week. Personally, I’ve had several strange moments this week, but most of them have been situations in real life by people trying to break the time-space continuum. Development, on the other hand, has been a lot more standard. No big updates for this week, but a fair number of small ones.

-The number of completed backgrounds jumped up pretty significantly this week. Five backgrounds were finished up this week, bringing our total up 6, all but one of them having different alterations for time of day. For those of you who played Reborn, you’ll remember that it only have a grand total of 8 backgrounds, so we are on course for having a lot more diversity in the destinations. I’m pretty stoked about that.

While Reborn didn’t really need a whole lot of backgrounds because it was very focused in that one setting, Fates is trying to expand upon that. To me, the story of an investigator going on a journey to save the universe needs some diversity in the locale. My thoughts drift back to Dragon Age 2 when I think about locale diversity. It’s limiting to recycle the same places again and again and again. We are on an epic adventure and we need some epic places to go!

The universe that Rising Angels is a part of is one inspired by fantasy. Fantasy and sci-fi… it’s an odd hybrid to be sure, but we are going to have an enjoyable time with Zuri and her ancient temples and Kika freaking out in her underwater bubble cities. Wait… I mean…

cave_f

-For those of you who are interested, updates to Rising Angels: Hope (The Red Rose remake) are also going along well. CG are looking pretty and the story is shaping up a lot better. No idea on the release date yet though. As part of my thanks, all Kickstarter backers will get two week early access to it when it releases.

-Some of the new things being added to Fates that were left out of Reborn are aiming towards increasing the amount of immersion. In the words of an old visual novel reviewer whom I can’t seem to convince to return, immersion makes the visual novel. The story needs those little things to help the player stay engaged.

For those of you who have been following me on twitter for a long time, you’ll know that I love Muv Luv. We can argue all day about various elements of the story, but there is one lesson from it that the EVN industry needs to take to heart. No movement is boring. You have a world, you have characters. Let’s give them a little life. Panning backgrounds, character poses and depth in the scene, and other little things help give that life. I’m pretty happy to admit that some of those things have been making their way in. With the help of Geckos, we’ve (she, really, not going to take credit for her hard work) been adding those things. As pathetic as it may sound, one of the biggest things that disappointed me in the previous RA series games is that Faye’s ears don’t wiggle with her emotions.

faye_test2

Problem solved. (You have to click on the picture. Website doesn’t show it right.)

That’s about it for this week’s update. As always, stay tuned for next week’s update on the crazy world that is visual novel development! Chief out!