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Fates Weekly Update #35

Hello, folks! It’s Saturday evening here at the studio and, unlike last week, I don’t sound like death incarnate. Just like the draemon I’m writing about, I’m feeling pretty hearty and strong. Not as strong as I’d like for my fitness test next week, but that’s how life goes sometimes. You don’t always get to choose the hand, but you do choose how you get to play it. Anyway, enough about me, let’s talk some lore this week!

Writing: 5,988 (Took a break from Bri VII to write some of the other half of Act 3, which is the other half of our playable characters!)

While Natalie is off on Bri VII, Nàme is hot on her tail… on a completely different planet. Like I mentioned last week, Act 3 is the first and only act where our two investigators end up on completely different tracks. How they end up on different tracks is something you’ll have to wait to find out, but Natalie does manage to shake her tail.

For those of you who don’t remember from Reborn, Ona’thon is a desert wasteland that is home to the draemons and their sacred site, the City of Emerald Winds. For Act 3, Nàme doesn’t end up in the city, but instead is pursuing a key clue hidden in the wastes. Ona’thon is a rather poor planet, more of a place for the scum and villainy of the universe than her more prosperous residents. With few natural resources and more than a few ruins and failed cities, Ona’thon is a good place to get sand, lose authorities, and get yourself into serious trouble. Only the toughest survive here, which is why the draemon pride themselves on being both an honest and a resilient people. With their natural genetic advantages and unique society, draemon are considered some of the most talented fighters in the galaxy.

But that advantage doesn’t come without sacrifice. Draemon are born from eggs laid in clutches out in the desert wastes. These young draemon, known as hatchlings, wander the wastes as they learn to survive its harsh and unforgiving land. While there are some ancient elder draemon who return to the wastes to teach hatchlings, most hatchlings have to learn how to survive on their own. As expected, only the strongest survive the land and the predators that prey on young draemon. When a draemon is old enough and has conqured the wastes, they are given the opportunity to join draemon society and be given their names. Some choose never to leave and become predators themselves, but most accept the three golden gems, known as the mark, and being their journey to the ancient temples to learn their heritage.

These draemon, known as wildlings, journey back out into the wilds to find the six temples. These temples teach them what it means to be a warrior, a scholar, and a draemon. When they have proven themselves to the elder of the temple, they are given a Wing of Chaza to show their learning. While there are trails and routes that are commonly taken between these temples, they are also the most often preyed upon routes. Often, draemon will band together (mostly from their birth clutch) to safely travel these paths. Nevertheless, most draemon do not survive the journey that takes them across multiple continents. A full journey often takes years to make, though draemon themselves tend to live hundreds of years. When a draemon gathers all six Wings, they go to the City of Emerald Winds. It is here, while the ancient song passed on from generation to generation is played, that the wings glow bright and are grafted to a draemon to show their passing into adulthood.

Draemon are an ancient race with a tradition of strength and discipline. Messing with their home and their way of life is dangerous and can very easily spell the end of a SITO team. If Anton’s team lives long enough to someday hear the song or if they find their doom in those wastes… it all depends on well you play the game…

Hope update: I haven’t heard back from the CG artist for Hope and I’m a tad bit concerned. Considering a half dozen deadlines have been broken in regards to them, I am being forced to consider what my alternative options are. The one thing I refuse to do is release it without CG. The style is rather unique, so it is hard to find alternative CG artists. Hopefully, we should have a viable option soon.

Speaking of CG artists, Tscbr is doing an awesome job on the Fates ones! There’s some adorable Natalie and Nàme ones and a pretty spooky one with Yoi. Roughs, right now. Poor Yoi, she’s life’s kicking bag it seems. Not showing the other variations of this one. No spoilers.

Pronunciation guide: While I was listening to some people talk about RA: Reborn, I realized that everyone has a different pronunciation of many words in the universe. Time for some educational lessons on pronunciation!

Katajion- Ka-teh-jah-n (This is the most commonly mispronounced word. Mostly because it looks Japanese in a traditionally eastern medium and isn’t. All because it is not pronounced how it is spelled. English, amirite?)

Akurel- Ah-curr-el

Draemon- Dray-mon (It was misspelled in the entirety of Reborn because I screwed up the ctrl-F replace at the end. The codex, which had the correct spelling, is the right way.)

Nàme- Nah-May

Raltin- Rahl-tin

Puccile- Pew-seal

Tropolain- Tro-poh-layn

SITO- Sigh-toe

That’s all for today. I’m hoping to get the rest of Act 3 core done in the next two weeks and then move on to the final act. Really happy how development is going, though I want to increase my writing outflow to make sure I get as many character events in there as the outline calls for. Until next time, Chief out!

And for the video of the post… let’s go with something not many of you have probably heard before.

Fates Weekly Update #34

Hello, folks. Chief here with the latest and greatest update for you all to enjoy. Hasn’t been a good week for me personally. I’ve had an upper respiratory viral infection paired with severe seasonal allergies since Monday. My hearing has been muffled to the point where it sounds like I’ve got headphones on and enough liquids coming out that I could fill an ocean. You know, you never hear about heroes in games and stories that suffer from mild illnesses. They are either 100% healthy, stuck in bed for cute cutscene with the love interest taking care of them, or dying from the illness. Never any mild suffering. I need to go share my bug with them…

Wordcount: 7,001 (I was going to break that 7k mark. My marathon days were ruined a bit by the fact that I coughed up both lungs over the course of the week, but I did manage to get some good writing in and some editing of older scenes. This week, we rejoined Natalie and her adventures on the watery resort planet of Bri VII.

Bri VII is a fun little planet that is the resort world of the Ryu’llian Republic and shares the border with the Katajion Directorship. While Uterik is the more preferred world to visit, Bri VII has a lot more to offer a tourist. Unlike Uterik, Bri VII used to be home to an ancient civilization that once ruled the stars before humanity ever left Earth (for the second time). These once great and beautiful cathedrals floated upon the seas by magic (or technology that humans cannot quite grasp yet, your choice). When the empire fell, the cities dissolved into ruin and were sunk to the bottom of the sea. For you historical, treasure-hunting types of tourists, there are plenty of ancient ruins to skulk around! For you more fashionable tourists, there are beaches, spas, boardwalks, and all sorts of sea and wildlife tours to be had!

Bri VII is a planet for the opulent as they pay homage to powers they do not understand. It is up to you as Natalie to pursue the pieces of the weapon that threatens space travel and render them safe. Bri VII brings back some old faces from previous acts and games, adds a couple new villains to Fates, and brings about the end of several arcs that have been running through the series. Stan Nelson’s true role will come to light and, at the request of many, you have the option to leave him at the bottom of the ocean. Another arc that will come to its conclusion, one that has ran many RA games, is Sol and the non-humans. His actions over the series, his motivations, and his true thoughts will finally come to a conclusion on Bri VII. It’s been incredibly painful writing his development over the series. Writing a likeable racist was by far one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. I hope Sol’s story with Faye, Kika, and Lenna comes to a conclusion that everyone will enjoy. Or end it with drowning him alongside Stan. I like to keep the options open.

Natalie also is getting a second outfit for Bri VII. It’s a parting gift from one of your party members…

BGs: Since we are talking about Bri VII, here is one of the BG sketches currently in the works for the planet. Bri VII wasn’t originally in the outline, so these backgrounds had to be added afterwards. The previous ones turned out very nice and I have high hopes for these as well.

Trailer: Still trying to get the video editing just right!

Miscellaneous: Since the question was raised, IDHAS Studios will once again be working with Sekai Project to release Rising Angels: Fates on Steam. We had a good relationship with them for the Rising Angels: Reborn release and I’m looking forward to working with them again on the sequel!

Brilliant Shadows, a necromancer/paladin adventure with yuri done by our colleague and artist Geckos, is down to its last 48 hours! If you can help them out, please do so!

That’s all for this week’s update. I’m off to take my evening medication and catch some sleep. Until next time, Chief out!

 

Video of the post is in celebration of the 10th aniversary of this.

Fates Weekly Update #33

Hello, folks. Chief Komi was out of the office for most of this week and barely around this weekend. Sorry for the super short update, but I’ve been borderline dead.

Wordcount: (5,310; Started into Act 3. This is the first and only act where Natalie and Name are on completely different missions. Natalie is heading towards Bri VII, where she will be attempting to find her way to a sunken temple. Name, on the other hand, is heading for Ona’thon in hot pursuit of Natalie. Yes, that might sound like a bit of confliction of information. Act 3 is full of betrayals, death, and the trails of friendships under fire. While you can damage your investigations in Acts 1 and 2, Act 3 is where you can do the most overall damage. If you screw it up hard enough, a lot of your friends (and then the universe) have a very, very grim fate…)

Voice acting auditions are over and now the roles have been cast. I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who auditioned. We had over 200 auditions and it was incredibly difficult to choose.

Akurel- JoeyKat

Alexi- ohnobones

Eiril- Damaru

Faye- Axus

Lenna- Kendra Braun

Miyani- Heidi Tabing

Nigel- Ardailec

Sora- Marissa Lenti

Stan- Sparkvoice

Sylvania- Rachelacting

Yoi- MewVenus

Rising Angels: Hope is still delayed as I wait for the CG artist to deliver. In the meanwhile, I’ve gone back to finish the coding for Spark and I took a day this week to code out a game that is jokingly called Baby Dragon Oregon Trail. If the draemon quest to become adults is as hard as this game, it would be amazing that there are 3 draemon in Fates’s cast.

Wallscrolls and dakimakura should be arriving! If you have not gotten one and are expecting one, let me know.

We are still taking suggestions for possible contests.

Anyway, next week I hope to have the trailer up and running. Until then, Chief out.

Video of the post has some Queen and Freddie Mercury for ya.

Fates Weekly Update #32

Hey, folks. Chief the terrible scanner here to bring you the words! Pretty tired, but I’m in a good mood after a terrible week. Between the painful day job and development, development was by far more fun and certain more rewarding. Remember, kids! Don’t be like Chief, do what you love for your day job. If you can’t do that, do what pays so you can do what you love in your spare time. It leaves you constantly exhausted, but it is rewarding. And now on to talking about the rewarding work!

Wordcount: 2,782 (Mostly just editing this week)

Voice acting: The second round of voice acting ended last week. Right now we are going over the voices and we should have a cast list up sometime next week.

Sprites: Almost all of the wiggles and blinks are done! Only one character remains on that! Here’s a very happy, very excited example!

Very excited! Much happy! Wow!

Very excited! Much happy! Wow!

Trailer: It has been a long time coming, but work has almost completed on the trailer video. Though it isn’t an incredibly amazing and astounding video that will awe children for ages to come, I’m very delighted with how it is shaping up. The song is good, I’m rapidly learning how to use the video editor, and all of the assets are coming together. Right now I’m getting recordings from our tech demo, which is very rapidly becoming an alpha of the first Act. This will be the first public showing of some of our gameplay, so I’m incredibly stoked! As a bit of a sneak peak of both voice acting and the trailer, here’s our opening line from Natalie, voiced by Jill Harris.

 

 

Promotion ideas: It’s not just the trailer that we are thinking about for getting Fates out there to the masses. I’ve always been fond of running contests and promotions, thought it has been a while since I’ve had a big one. I’m thinking there will probably be three leading up to release, one tied to each of the three big games. I’ve got some fun ideas for prizes, but I’ve been pondering what sort of contests might be fun. While there is always the classic fanart/fanfic ones, I decided it might be fun to ask out to the audience for suggestions. As always, either send your suggestions to the IDHAS e-mail or drop them here in the comments!

Last week I was asked about how I decide scenes and how they are written out. Very happy with this question because I do things differently and you all can get a sneak peek into how the madness is formed!

Like most writers, I start out with a simple idea of what I want to see. Nothing big or cosmic at this point in the process. It was a lot easier for Fates because I didn’t need to decide the premise idea because it was mostly there from Reborn. I want an investigator working against multiple enemies to try and save the universe. Very broad, very generic. The next step is to build the world. Again, most of this was already done because the RA universe. There were some additions to the universe though, mostly the underlying evils and further developing the crystals. Lore is incredibly important when designing a universe. If you don’t understand the societal and historical settings, it is hard to design characters.

Characters are my next big step. This is the part where I have a lot of fun. I’ll go through dozens of character ideas that could make for an interesting cast. I’ll pair foils, I’ll grab some stereotypes and see what I can get out of them. At this point, I pass the best ideas to the artist. When the designs come back, I then tend to consider whose design is the most interesting. That’s actually how Zuri ended up moving from a very minor character to the primary love interest and Natalie’s best friend.

Once I have the characters diviated to their respective positions, I decide how I am going to start the story and how I want to end the story. For Fates, I want to start out with something a lot more dynamic and exciting than Reborn. Reborn started really slowly and I had to cover the space sector side of the Katajion Directorship. Now that that’s done, I can go ahead and kick the door with some adventure. As for the end, I wanted a very solid end for the Rising Angels series. The stakes are high, so I need to make sure I keep the tension up.

Now that I have my start and stop, I need to start filling in the rest. Traditionally, I’ll make the vaguest semblance of an outline. Just normally enough to figure out the barest basics, though I’ll increase it when I have a fellow writer with me. I don’t traditionally follow the outline too closely. The original outline for Reborn had several routes that ended up not making it in. I know several writers who will adhere to those things religiously, but I’m not as fond.

A big secret of how I write is that I write a single draft. I’ll spend hours of time ponder thousands of different variants of a scene while I’m working at my day job, while I’m getting ready for bed, or whenever. I’ll evaluate how those characters in the scene would play each event and how changing a variable can change the overall effect. By the time a scene makes it to paper, I’ve probably spent 10 hours working on it. I do this for every major scene. It’s pretty taxing, to be honest, but I am strict dungeonmaster. There are no rerolls in this campaign.

Now, that covers the major plot scenes. There’s a lot of time when I’ll get ahead of the curve. This is when I decide to work on some of the more minor scenes and scenes that are character specific. These scenes aren’t incredibly thought out. Because of all the investment into characters and setting, I’ll step back and let the characters push things along. These points are very fluid and they can either turn out really well and give me a brilliant idea for the next major scene or… they can screw things up pretty hard. One of my favorites has to be the Zuri talking with Natalie about her friends growing up. It wasn’t planned, but it sounded fun when the idea popped up. As I was writing along, I remembered that I had earlier given Zuri a major clue. By letting Zuri speak herself, I not only managed to get a pretty cute scene, but I got a stagnant investigation back on track. I was very proud of that one.

That’s how it goes. I do all the universe prep work, I set the start and stop points, and then bounce between highly scripted moments and very loose scenes. With all these put together, I’ve got my script. The one exception is that when I’m writing visual novels with options instead of kinetic novels, I’ll take some of those variations on major scenes and let them develop into different routes. There are a LOT of those in Fates. It’s staggering. This is a very, very, very big game.

I hope that was interesting. If anyone wants me to highlight things and go into more detail, just ask. Until next week, Chief out!

 

And for the video of the post, I give you something that’s been stuck in my head ever since the writer of Brilliant Shadows put it there.

Fates Weekly Update #31

Hey, folks. Chief here with another weekly update. It is going to be a short update since there isn’t a lot of things happening. It’s pretty rare when I have a week that is almost solely aimed towards writing. Normally there is a lot of setting up art commissions, listening to audio from SFX and music, coding games (some mini-games that probably won’t be included in this game), and other odd activities that keep me darting around. Not this week. It’s pretty weird not running circles as the studio head.

Wordcount: 6,441 (So, there I was, happy that I had completed the Act 2 core. I was getting ready to finalize the script and send it off to the voice actors when I realized that I had completely forgotten to include vocal sections when you run into characters during your investigative scenes. These small scenes add to the story and help with character development. I was upset that I had forgotten to include them for Act 2 and spent a pretty healthy amount of time adding them in for each character. Just as I was finishing those up and getting ready to finalize again, I remembered that I had forgotten write a very special scene.

Sol Hackett is a character that I’ve always had some difficulty writing. Sol’s a jerk. There’s no way to sugarcoat that. He’s very strict, has no problem with pointing things out… and he is that horrible racist. As a writer, I have to find ways to show that he isn’t as terrible as he tries to make himself out to be. In Fates, there are a bunch of smaller stories that run alongside the main event. By far the most important one to me is the Sol’s past and his relationship with both Zuri and Kika. If you bungle this subplot earlier, you’ll end up missing this scene. Though you didn’t see too much of it in Reborn, Kika and Sol have a long history together, almost as long of a history as Natalie and Sol. They’ve served together for years and they know each other really well. How they’ve managed to stay friends over that time period, if they are even friends at all… this scene is the first one that shows Sol’s feelings and attitudes and how they’ve evolved from the hateful cadet we’ve seen in the original Rising Angels game. I’m hoping this arc plays out well and people will enjoy the stories that aren’t focused on Natalie.)

Voice acting auditions are ending in a couple hours. That’s right, you don’t have to hear me promote them any more! We’ll be reviewing all auditions and should hopefully have a list ready for the weekly update!

All physical merchandise is out the door. Some of it didn’t make it out originally due to a box getting lost when I moved apartments. This is the first time the studio has ever done physical items and it was a pretty painful learning experience over all. If anyone wants some of the details and stories, I’m willing to do a hotwash about the lessons learned.

Rising Angels: Hope is currently delayed. I’m very, very, very unhappy to have to say that, but it is an unpleasant truth. While all of the chibi CG are done, the CG art for the game is delayed. It’s unfortunate as these CG have been in development for… a year now, but that is the pain of development. Thankfully, Fates’s CG artist is quite speedy and I doubt we will be seeing the same problem twice. The good news is that delays are letting me play around more with the GUI and adding some more minor scenes to the game.

Anyway, short night. Just wanted to get those quick updates out so people didn’t wonder too hard why Hope wasn’t out yet. After Hope is finished, I’m going to be moving on to finish up the coding of Spark. Got a good lineup of things coming soon. As a reminder, if you have any lore questions or whatnot, I’m always up for some story telling. Until then, Chief out.

 

For the video o’ the post, let’s go with a bit of a classic. It’s hard to think that the once overwhelming cult of this has evaporated. Makes me feel old.

Fates Weekly Update #30

Hey, folks. Chief here with your weekly update. Are you in a good mood? I’m in a good mood. I’ve finally recovered from my illness and get to return to my flying job next week! That means I can get back out there earning and saving money that can be used to increase the amount of awesome things in Fates! That, and I hate sitting at a desk. The old man isn’t one for sitting at home living a 9 to 5. Those stories of excitement and adventure you all enjoy have to be inspired from somewhere, right? Until then, let’s talk Fates.

Wordcount: (6,010; Focused a lot on finishing up Act 2 as quickly as I can. I really want to get off the Planet of the Elves and continue my journey. A lot of focus this week was on the investigation sections of Act 2. Though this may come as a shock to you, I’m an old hand at Phoenix Wright games and enjoy them a lot. One thing that bugged me about Phoenix Wright though is that there is always only a single correct answer. A specific line and a specific piece of evidence is needed to move things along. I get it at points, but there were several cases that had me banging my head against a wall because I had a clear cut solution and the game didn’t like it.

I’m going into this with the idea that there should be multiple solutions to a particular investigation, multiple clues that could answer your mystery or take it on a completely different path. Act 2 is the first point where the clues and how you react to them will influence the story. A particular moment I want to share involves Lenna Edeck, Sol and Faye’s old love interest. During the course of talking with her, there will be several moments where you can use clues gathered to either realize that Lenna isn’t sharing her facts. Pressing too hard, however, can turn Sol against you pretty quickly. He still loves Lenna, and if you want to press her too hard, you can expect the investigations with him to be a lot more difficult. That does increase the amount of writing I have to do though, which is why I’m considering that additional writer.

Art: Still working on the blinks and movements of the characters. I do have a pretty awesome thing to announce. Originally, we didn’t have a character sprite for Natalie. Much sorrow. The sprite artist wasn’t going to be able to finish her off. However, thanks to the awesome Geckos, who is doing those animations, we now have a sprite for Natalie. That’s right, you aren’t going to be forced to do all Natalie/Name scenes from Natalie’s perspective! It also opens the possibility of side sprites again. I’m really, really, really excited. A couple characters are also going to get additional outfits as well.

Sisters fated against each other...
Sisters fated against each other…

Advertisement: Speaking of Geckos and her art, if you have a few spare dollars, please consider backing her kickstarter for a pretty awesome visual novel called Brilliant Shadows. I’ve gotten to do some admin support for it and I’m pretty excited about it. You can check it out here.

Voice acting: One last week to get your auditions in!

Lore: Now, for this week, we get to talk about something a little less… happy. While I do have some experience with chemical and biological weapons, I didn’t put a lot of thought into what hit Faye on that desert planet. I knew what I wanted to happen and lore didn’t really catch up. However, as her illness is going to be a pretty strong point in her route (dying tends to be a major life moment), it had to be worked out. Thanks to the help of the Eve writer, we now have a very detailed list of effects to what Faye is now suffering from.

Qudratexadon uses an ibotenic acid base to disrupt the lupide immune system, thus allowing it to take hold without being combated effectively. It causes inflammation of the alveoli, thus limiting gas exchange between the lungs and blood, and causing a buildup of fluid in the lungs. Qudratexadon poisoning directly causes effects to other parts of the body as well. Tissue hardening between brain hemispheres is a common symptom of Qudratexadon poisoning, and causes emotional turmoil, as the brain can no longer properly regulate emotion with reason (the effect is more profound in people that were predominately logical, as those mental tendencies are disrupted). Muscle development becomes hindered, and while the effect is generally universal, most cases are afflicted with uneven loss of muscle mass. In the worst cases, this can cause muscle spasms so severe they appear to be seizures, though most cases simply inhibit basic motor functions. Higher doses have a profound effect upon the nervous system, mainly damage to the nerves along the vertebral column and brain stem, causing impaired touch sensitivity, muscle paralysis, blurred vision, and possibly death.

I’d like to take a moment to mention that Faye is one of my favorite characters, she’s been in 3 visual novels so far. That being said, she is a very, very sick lupide who had the misfortune of ending up in a bad situation. Should she be out there? Definitely not, even with a specialist doctor following her around. Even though she’s a very lazy, very laidback person, Faye’s not going to abandon her friends in their time of need. Will Name be able to help her keep going or will Faye succumb to such a terrible disease…? Faye will be one of the hardest characters to keep alive in this story (both from external and internal problems), but you can do it.

With that bit of lore, I wrap this up for the evening. Remember not to contract deadly toxins! Until next time, Chief out!

 

Today’s video of the post is one talking about our new spaceship design. Kinda creepy that he does look a bit like me…

Fates Weekly Update #29

Hey, folks. It’s time for some Saturday Night Fever! After finally earning the murderhobo title after a crazy night of Dungeons and Dragons (broke time and space at one point…), I’m here to give you the weekly update! One thing I’m actually kind of surprised about in Fates is that we don’t really have any murderous or hobo-like members in either Natalie or Name’s groups. It’s weird. If this was an alignment scale, most of the cast would be lawful good or neutral good. Kind of tempted to plot that stuff out when I get a free moment… ANYWAY, back to the update!

-Wordcount: (Honestly, with as much editing as I’ve done this week, any wordcount total is probably going to be negative. As the scripts for Act 2 are being finished up for the voice actors, I’m trying hard to make sure that they’ve got clean scripts and that everything is exactly how I want it. If I fub a section and it is already voiced, my options are limited to redo the scene’s voices or retool further story to polish over it. The first option costs time and money, the second option costs story flow. As a man of the flight deck, I’m very much used to the world where most of the time being right isn’t acceptable. That’s why I’m being remarkably detailed and thorough in planning my events, just like I’d plan a flight.

The character route scenes though are a bit more like my usual loose writing style. Since they aren’t being voice due to budget constraints, I can let them occasionally have a free moment without trying to stick to the outline to the dot. Some of my favorite scenes from Reborn were really just organic moments where I didn’t quite know what I wanted to do and let them run wild. Not sure if that’s a good thing to do as a writer, but we’ll find out very soon…)

-Voice acting updates: Voice acting auditions are still going on and you are probably not going to hear the end of that until they end, I apologize. More information can be found here.

All of the voices for the first act by the major characters are finished up. Right now, I’m just waiting on the director to go through and make sure everything is okay. For those of you who have been with IDHAS a while, you’ll remember that I’m a bit leery towards voices. However, after the stellar auditions and the success of the voices in Perceptions of the Dead, I’m very stoked about having the voices in Fates. I can’t wait to share some of them with you all.

-Art: Right now, there are two major areas of art that are still going full steam ahead. The first one is the CG. I’m still pondering doing chibi CG for the more comedic/light-hearted moments, but I’m still very much on the fence. It works better for RA: Hope, which is a slice of life. Fates isn’t as light-hearted and I’m still leery about adding chibi to a serious investigation. While that is resolved, the focus is still very much on the normal CG. I realized that a finished CG has not been shown and I wanted to take today to show one off.

A CG from Zuri's route
A CG from Zuri’s route

 Link for the full size version.

The other art area starting up is the animation of the sprites. Ear wiggles, blinks, wing flaps, and (maybe) tail wags are being done and coded in now that the sprites are completely finished. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I like having little things like that to add movement and life to the world.

Wrapping up tonight. I’ve got to go into work tomorrow to approve some stuff, so I should get to bed. Until next time, Chief out!

 

Video of the post… I have no clue why, but I like the song.

Fates Weekly Update #28

Hey, folks. This weekly update almost didn’t happen. Why? Because I nearly burned down an apartment building. As you may have gathered from last week’s post, I was in the process of moving. After more trips up three flights of stairs than I want to ever do again (until I move out), I was almost done. Then I realized I had one day to completely clean the 3 bedroom apartment. Seven hours to be exact. Pretty much by myself. Fuzz had left a lot of stains and messes for me to scramble and clean. I almost submitted to the temptation to clean by fire, but then I realized I had packed my lighter away. So, in the end, I got to waste most of last week moving and cleaning. This week’s lesson for all of you is to bu… can’t say that… plan ahead?

-Wordcount 2,022 (More writing on the core of Natalie’s story. Though they may be sisters, how they get things done is rather different. Not even intentionally different, just how their personalities influence investigations. Name is a very direct person. Writing her investigation scenes ends up with a lot more pressing people and a fair bit more natural distrust. Name doesn’t speak her mind very often and has a lot more internal dialog as she processes the information gathered during investigation scenes. As I was writing Natalie’s this week, the differences jumped out. Natalie confides a lot more into Zuri and Sol, bouncing her opinions off of theirs. Even when she withholds information (by player choice), she still tends to talk her way through problems. The thing I find most interesting is that I’m not sure which of them has the better method. Name isn’t at as much risk of spreading confidential information or letting the traitors and confused in her group cloud her judgment. Natalie can gather additional perspectives and can find answers that would otherwise be sealed off from her personal biases. I’m pretty excited about the comparisons and am more sure that it was the right choice splitting her and Name up.)

-Voice acting auditions are still going on. If you haven’t gotten your audition in, there is still plenty of time as auditions will not be closing until the 24th of April. More information can be found here.

-Soundtrack is progressing well and should be done by sometime in June.

-We may possibly add another writer to help ease the burden on myself. While I am an experienced writer with a lot of time behind the keyboard under the belt, this week has proven how even the best can get beaten down by real life. Another writer would help mitigate those problems and also reduce the burden on me. While I am not completely committed to this idea yet, I will accept any interested writers’ applications at overwatch@idhasstudios.com . Just make sure you send over a sample of your writing, preferably a completed visual novel. It would be a paid post, I’d just need to figure out what the budget can afford.

-Hope is going well and should be out sometime later in the month. For those of you who are new to the weeklies, Rising Angels: Hope is the remake of the original game, Rising Angels: The Red Rose. The story is being fleshed out and finished, the GUI is being implemented, CG are added, and all in all, it should be a fun time for all. We’re still working out the cost as there has been a recurrence of the free for all to enjoy vs raising some money to help add more things to Fates debate. It’s a philosophical debate that will go on forever, I think. Either way, all backers of Fates and studio donators will have it for free and two weeks early when it is finished. Right now, we are waiting on the last of the CG.

-If you all have not had the chance to play Perceptions of the Dead, I highly recommend you check it out. It’s a fully voiced short horror VN done by our awesome partners over at Ithaqua Labs! Geckos is an awesome artist; Nyogtha a talented writer. There’s a lot of cool effects in Perceptions that we are hoping to add to Fates, so… GO CHECK IT OUT! Android version can be found here, PC/Mac/Linux can be found here.

Anyway, I’m wrapping it up. Not only are there a bunch of NaNoRenO games I want to try out, but I need to work on getting back on track. Until next time, Chief out!

Video of the post is one you all should take to heart! I often ask myself it playing Heroes of the Storm!

Fates Weekly Update #27

Hey, folks. Short update today. I’m still trying to get everything cleaned up at the old apartment and settled in at the new one. Exhausted and nobody else was available to help out with this week’s update, so I’m gonna hit just the basics.

Wordcount: 5,222 (I’ve wrapped up the core of Act 2. Like Act 1, there are ways to get yourself and other people killed off. As a writer, I try to minimize how many unrecoverable things like that happen in the first half of the story. It gets very, very complicated when the player starts losing key people and it makes things a lot longer to write. Nevertheless, there are stakes in Fates. Even if they go up drastically as time goes on, they are still there in the earlier acts. Somethings are easy to avoid by using even the tracest amount of common sense. Others… well, you’ll learn over time the lasting effects your decisions will have. As a writer, there is a balancing act between making sure you know what you are getting into and sometimes having effects that could not be foreseen.)

Backgrounds: All of the backgrounds of the Ardent Flare are done! There are five different locations on the Flare. While that is not as many as the Nimross, the Flare is smaller than the Nimross and is more of a personal yacht than a warship.

Much nicer rooms than the Nimross though
Much nicer rooms than the Nimross though

Voice acting: Voicing acting for the other members of the cast has started. The characters who can be auditioned for this time around includes Alexi, Faye, Yoi, Lenna, Akurel, Miyani, Sora, Syl, Eiril, Nigel, and Stan. Who is a villain, who is a hero…? They’re ALL villains! Or not. Either way, if you are interested in auditioning, information can be found here.

I hate writing these short updates when I had fun ones planned. Next week we will have something incredibly fun planned, I promise. Until then, Chief out.

 

And the video of the post is a very, very, very important one for Fates.

Fates Weekly Update #26

Hello, everyone! Chief here writing from a pretty barren office today. I’ve spent the last couple days packing up and moving, so this will be the final weekly from my current office. While I was looking forward to this day for a long time, the actual moving parts have completely and utterly wiped me out. It didn’t help that the day I was going to start the heavy lifting was the same day that I also got to do a pretty heavy workout. Not exactly sure how I am going to get out of this chair…

Wordcount: 1,566 (Didn’t get to write much this week. Between packing and moving, I got barely any time to sit at my computer to just knock things out. I plan on catching up though by dedicating tomorrow solely to writing since I won’t have any internet after I finish this post. The other thing I’ll be knocking out is Rising Angels: Hope (the remake of Red Rose). It has a release coming up next month and will be free with early access to all backers/donators.)

Voice Acting update: I’m hoping to have some samples of the voice acting to share in the upcoming weeks. We are almost done with the first act’s voices, which is the core of Celestia. After that will come act 2, which is our first trip to the Nimross and Ardent Flare as well as both teams’ adventures on the forest planet of Tropolain.

The biggest voice acting update though is that we are getting ready to start auditions soon for the secondary characters. The list of characters to audition for is pretty long and there are a decent number of “route” characters who are hiding in there as well. One thing to note is that most of these roles are female. I didn’t realize it when I was making the outlines and deciding characters, but Fates is pretty heavy in the female to male ratio. Funny story involving Eiril accidentally changing genders in there as well… These characters will include… Alexi Faye Yoi Lenna Akurel Miyani Sora Syl Eirl Nigel Stan

Art: With sprites being completely finished until we start working on all of the animations for them, the focus turns to CG and BG. Tscbr, our CG artist, has recovered and work has continued forward for the CG. Got to see a rough for a Zuri route CG that I can’t help but share with you all below. There is a variation on this one that I love and hope you all will love when it comes out. Zuri standing up for what she wants… People evolve as time goes by and working with Young Zuri for the short stories makes me a bit proud of her evolution.

Rough of a Zuri fighting CG
Rough of a Zuri fighting CG

The first set of backgrounds is all done! Right now, all we are waiting on the rest of the Ardent Flare backgrounds, a couple more Emerald City locales, and the backgrounds for Natalie’s adventures 20,000 leagues under the sea. All in all, there are probably 13 more backgrounds that need to be done out of the 36-40 backgrounds in Fates.

Greenlight: After a long amount of discussion with various people, we have decided to use the Greenlight system to get Fates onto Steam. It’ll help spread the word, which is something I’ve always struggled with over the years. More details to follow, but I did want to make the initial announcement now.

And that’s all for this week. As all that remains in my office is my desk, computer chair, and computer, I really need to finish packing up and getting it to the new apartment. Until next week (from our new locale), Chief out!

 

For the video of the post… don’t ask why I felt the need to listen to this or share it with you. Some things are better left unasked.