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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.

Fates Weekly Update #25

Hey, folks. It’s another late night Fates Weekly Update. As is normal for my Saturday, I spent a fair amount of it playing Dungeons and Dragons. First I was a male half-dragon monk, then I was a female human healer, then I evil, then I was a statue, then I was a private eye in a noir story, then I was killed in a dream, and now I’m part-machine. I’m pretty sure this character is terribly traumatized by this point. After Fates, the life and probable death of Hobson might be a story. Until then, onto Fates!

Wordcount: 6,014 (Pretty rough week, similar to last, but I did get to spend a good amount of time working on things. Tropolain is a planet that has a lot of history in lore. The original full-length novel even visited it at one point. That visit creeps its way into a fair bit of the routes of the people who were part of that; Anton, Yoi, and Sol all have scenes that reflect back on those days. Part of me wants to rerelease that original novel, even though 90% of it has completely fallen out of canon. I think I might end up including it as an early release in the book of short stories and then a later release for general. As funny as the idea might sound, I think there may be people who are interested in reading the adventures of Lenna Edeck.)

-Sprites: Sprites are all done! Every single member of the cast is done! The grand total of characters in Rising Angels: Fates is ending at 21 characters. Two protagonists, eight love interests, and eleven support characters. It’s a pretty massive cast to be sure, but there are two storylines and five worlds to visit. One of my favorite things when building a universe is to have it populated with both strong and unique “party members” and a supporting cast that is more than the occasional throwaway without a sprite. The world is populated with more than the main character and love interests. You don’t get that feel of being on an epic adventure through space without the locals.

Pray you never see all three of the game's draemon at once. It's not a good end.
Pray you never see all three of the game’s draemon at once. It’s not a good end.

-Our CG artist is a bit sick, so I’m taking a moment to wish her well. I’m also going to take a moment to remind everyone to eat healthy, get sleep, and workout as best as you can. Taking care of yourself is important. It is going to be a few more months before Fates is released and you gotta take care of yourself to see its release. As someone who has had too many medical visits lately, health is a very important thing to protect. Okay, that’s all for my soapbox moment.

-Today’s big topic is a bit of discussion on how the romance system will be implemented in Fates. It has gone through some evolutions over the months of development and I am quite happy with how things are going. Let’s take a moment to review the changes and what you can expect on release.

Having Angry Yoi would result in a much more falsely confident Yoi.
Having Angry Yoi would result in a much more falsely confident Yoi.

Starting out, we originally were going to use the bread and butter points system. It’s a very basic system where every choice gives you points towards a certain character. If you wanted to get on Zuri’s route, you had to say things that would make Zuri like you (don’t be a selfish jerk). This system was used for Rising Angels: Reborn. For most visual novels, this works out really well because the aim of most visual novels is to be primarily romantic. As you might have guessed, I rapidly fell out of love with this system because romance is not supposed to be the leading draw of the Rising Angels series. Yes, love is a part of it, but the adventure is the most important part. I want people to worry that their decision could be ruining a relationship, but saving the world, not worrying how to figure out how to get on a route, gather the points, and try to save the day. Too wide of a focus.

The second version was much more separated. After talking with everyone several weeklies back, I decided that the best idea was to have the romance and the story options in two separate districts. The investigation sections would only impact the case as a whole, while the story sections would only impact relationship with the character. Even then, the impact was going to be fairly minimal. You would pick a character option at the start of the game and the story would bring you along with those scenes being paired along the story. You’d get some options to make the character love or hate you more, but nothing too world shattering. This was a merger of some of the original ideas of the project and the new ones. In the end, I decided that modifications were needed. As it stood, it was too inorganic. If you are screwing up and threatening the universe, Sol wouldn’t just sit there and nod his head. Zuri wouldn’t be kissing you on the cheek if you just accused her of being a terrorist in disguise. Too inorganic.

The final version is a merger of those two. At the start of game, you will get the choice of whose route Natalie and Name are going to follow. No ambiguity, no forced options to try and get on a route. From the start, if you want Natalie to realize her love of hair drills, you just choose that. This will also determine if Natalie gave Kika more time to work on the crystal or if she decided to use it in the engine. Kika and Alexi are with giving Kika more time, Sol and Zuri are with putting it in the engine. However, just because you choose which line of scenes are going to appear between investigations and core story scenes does not mean you can breathe easy. Forcing the player to occasionally make the tough choice between what they think is the right choice for the case and what their heart is asking them to do. I’m trying my hardest to make sure there is rarely a “right” answer. I think this is going to be the biggest appeal of Fates. You are an investigator, lives are in your hands. If you constantly disagree with Zuri and question her all the time, don’t expect her to not to begin to question if you really love her in her route. At the same time, if you don’t ask questions and look for the truth, you all might not be alive to have a romance at the end of the day.

It’s requiring a lot of writing. Honestly, it is a pretty hefty load even for a veteran writer like me. That being said, it is something I think will turn out for the best. And with that statement of optimism, I am going to wrap up this weekly and get some more writing done before I retire for the night. Remember, folks, to try and keep healthy. Until next time, Chief out!

 

For the video of the post, I want to take a moment to pay tribute to the Kobold (Earth type), the Djinn (Wind type), and the Fire-Souled (Fire type).

Fates Weekly Update #24

Hey, folks. It’s Saturday and that means it is time for another Fates Weekly Update! It is NaNoRenO season, so you know what that means… It means that I won’t be participating this year. While nothing would make me happier than to sit down and write some epic tales, I really can’t pull myself away from the work I have now. Dedication and all that. That means that all of you are going to have to go out there and make games in a month for me! I’m counting on all of you!

Wordcount: 3710 (I decided to take a short break from working core to indulge myself with some content from the character routes. Alexi got some special attention this week. Writing a Raltin character allows me to explore her unique heritage and point of views. It also has led me to a moment where I am trying to figure out what to do about adult content. This isn’t the first time where I’ve had to come to terms with characters letting hormones and feelings put themselves into mature situations. I’ve been practicing and I think I could write such scenes tastefully. On the other hand, I’m not sure I want to bring them in. It’s only certain characters and fading to black works for most situations. This doesn’t work in this particular case because Alexi seducing Natalie is a key plot point for her arc. If she doesn’t, things unfold completely differently than if she does. It changes certain dynamics between them and evolves her arc. This week has been me pondering if I let it go forward and then fade to black before it gets too far, give an option for a softer option that leads to the same place, or rework her route entirely. If anyone has thoughts on the matter, I would love to hear them.)

Merchandise update for backers: Okay, as those of you who follow me on Twitter already know, the person who was supposed to be in charge of shipping everything and had told me had already done turned out to be a liar. It came to my attention this week that he had not done so. After some choice words and removal from the studio, I will personally be taking care of getting everything out. I have a short (inconsistent as well) lunch break, but I have been trying to get all the customs forms and packaging finished up. I’ve got some of the things out and will get the rest out on Tuesday since I have time off of work to go to a doctor’s appointment. I cannot begin to state how sorry I am for this. I apologize and promise that it will not happen again.

I’m going to cut this one off early. I just… uhhh… lost my dinner, if you get the phrase. Apparently I am sick now and probably should go lie down or at least hover near the bathroom. I hate apologizing twice in one week, but I just can’t seem to shake this illness. Tune in next week (or possibly sooner, as I meant for this one to be longer) as we talk about Rising Angels: Hope getting ready to get out the door, new music for you all to enjoy, and some more lore to dive into. Until next time, Chief out!

 

And let’s do a video of the post for me to listen to as I hack up a lung!

Fates Weekly Update #23

Hey, folks. My bi-weekly Dungeons and Dragons session ended a bit early tonight, so this update won’t be done at 11:59, but instead at 11:58. I’m sorry, but healers gotta heal. Didn’t do a lot of healing this week, mostly just yelled at midgets, books, and dragons. But before anyone starts complaining to me, that little midget had it coming! Anyway… let’s do that update.

Wordcount: 4,229 (Most of the writing was focused on adding scenes to the Ardent Flare, the ship that you all named! Alexi is pretty fond of her little ship and having the stink of Katajions on it is driving her crazy. Even on her route and you manage to help her believe that not all Katajions are foul dogs, she still really hates the weird smells that Natalie and company drag onto her highly perfumed ship. Part of the reason I like Alexi is that she doesn’t like to stay in the cookie cutter I made her out of. There’s a lot of little oddities to her personality that keep coming out in the weirdest ways as Natalie gets deeper into the Raltin world.”

Music: A couple more songs of the custom soundtrack were finished up. As a reminder, all songs of the custom soundtrack will be distributed to the Kickstarter backers when the game is released. Once again, this game wouldn’t even have been possible without that key support. It will be available for purchase at a later time.

Art: Since there is only so much that I can ask from our CG artist, I’ve been thinking about adding chibi CG for some of the slice of life scenes and some other little moments in Fates. I guess my biggest question is if people would like those sorts of little art additions to Fates? Do you hate chibi illustrations and plan to hit me for even thinking of it or would it add some amusement and would enjoy the extra art? Let me know!

Price: Due to the sheer amount of content being added, we’ve been discussing a possible price increase for the game’s release from $15 to $20. This wouldn’t affect anyone who has donated or backed the project and would be implemented after release.

Okay, for this week’s game topic, I want to take a moment and talk about the history of the Katajion uniform. There are a lot of them that have been added over the years and more that will probably be added as we explore different sectors and roles. Right now there are six official renditions over the years and four of them that are still in effect.

Pre-visual novel era uniforms: (Yes, I drew that back in the day and yes I am ashamed of it) For those of you who have been around since the start of the series, you’ll remember seeing the original outfits that the Katajions were drawn in. Back then, there was no real differential in uniforms between the various sectors of the directorship other than color. Everyone wore what was basically business casual outfits. The uniform consisted of black slacks or white skirt, black leather boots, white undershirt, and a dress shirt and tie in the color of the member’s sector. The dress shirt had epaulet for the rank of the member, pockets, and the unit’s insignia on the shoulders. Various types of overcoats were designed and authorized during this era. Unlike many of the other uniforms, the PV uniforms fell completely out of canon and no characters are authorized them anymore.

Anton’s Vacation uniforms: Because the sprites from AV were pre-made royalty free ones, they were never given KDF uniforms. However, they did wear something kind of like the PV uniforms. The female members wore black skirts, white or gray undershirts, and black blazers. Anton wore whatever the hell he felt like because he is a boss. His uniform wasn’t a Japanese school outfit… stop looking at me like that! Anton’s position in the Katajion Directorship allows him to wear gray uniforms, which makes him the only member to wear gray.

RA: The Red Rose uniforms (Katajion Defense Force dress uniforms): During the failed development of Anton’s Vacation EP: 3, a new set of uniforms were designed by Auro-Cyanide. These outfits were the first real uniform that the fictional Katajion Defense Force ever really had. There are also a fairly wide variety of styles as it is used by all sectors and most of them for day-to-day operations. For space sector, a white dress shirt with either a red or black tie is authorized. Depending on the rank depends on the coat worn over it. For a junior member or cadet, the coat ends at the shoulders. For deck, fleet, or director grade troops, a full coat in the sector colors are authorized. Both males and females are allowed to wear black dress slacks or pencil skirt, though individual commands can specify which is authorized.

Katajion Pilot Uniform: One of the secrets of Rising Angels: The Red Rose is that there was supposed to be a completely different ending to it. Instead of fading to a to be continued, the group was to get a call that total war had broken out between the Empire and the Directorship. Faye was going to be drafted and serve aboard a carrier heading off to battle. To support the pilots, a suit was designed by Geckos to help bring the fighter pilots back alive.

Katajion Space Combat Uniform: In addition to the fighter pilot uniforms, a uniform was designed for the crew of the carrier. It takes a lot of people to make a ship run smoothly and they needed a uniform that could look solid and practical in all environments. Also designed by Geckos, it had a variation that had a gold and red singlet and a pair of tough black cargo pants in addition to having a heavy black overcoat. This uniform was designed to be unisex and have solid utility for crew aboard ships that were expected to go into combat.

Katajion Space Utility Uniform: While the KSCU is used primarily by the marine corps of the Katajion Space Sector, it never gathered a lot of popularity with the core as a whole. Because of this, a new uniform was designed and implemented by Nuge. This outfit was more decorative and less utilitarian than the KSCU, but it also is a lot more comfortable and easier to take care of in austere conditions. While both uniforms wear black pants, the KSUU uses dress slacks similar to the dress uniform, a thick knit shirt, and tunic in the color scheme of the sector that the member serves in. There are variations of the tunic that is determined by what tier of rank the member holds.

And that’s all for this week. I hope you enjoyed the history lesson. Until next time, Chief out!

 

And my video of the post is a bit of a homage this week…

Fates Weekly Update #22

Hey, folks. Sorry for both the lateness of this post and the brevity of its contents. I’ve got a headache bad enough that I can barely see the text. I doubt any of the words coming out of my fingers make much sense at this point, but I’m not going to miss a week because I’m a purple monkey dishwasher. I’m just going to give you the key details this week and we’ll do some more in-depth talks next week.

Writing update: Wordcount: (23900)Real life kept my writing far away from the record. Act 1’s core is all done and a fair bit of Act 2’s core is done. I’m going to be focusing on the next week or so on getting through Act 2’s core so I can get ahead for the voice actors.

Voice acting: The first round of casting has been done. There were 310 auditions for the 6 roles in the first round, which was astounding to me. I want to take a moment and thank everyone who auditioned, it was an incredibly tough decision. For those of you who were not chosen, we will be doing a second set of auditions to cast the secondary characters in the upcoming months.

>  Natalie – Jill Harris

>  Name – Cayla Martin

>  Kika – ScaredTear

>  Zuri – Trina

>  Sol – Matthew Curtis

>  Anton – Patrick Seymour

Random: I’ve been playing with depth lately. Here’s some of my random tests.

Yay, depth.
Yay, depth.

Okay, wrapping up. Sorry, will be more amazing next week, I promise. Until then, Chief out.

Fates Weekly Update #21

Hey, folks. It’s the day of love here and I was late getting this out because I was out there enjoying a sexy time with my beautiful love… Okay, that’s a total lie. I spent all day with my cat and staying at home. There’s a blizzard out there! That, and my only love is my love of writing. That’s pretty hard to romance.

-Wordcount: 2,396 (This week was slow. I ended up being the only person working my office this week and we got 4x the amount of work we normally get with our full staff. If I wasn’t doing my day job, I was sleeping and trying to recover. The good news is that most of the time I was preparing for this week. This week is going to be my first attempt at breaking my personal record for most words written in one week. Do I think I can write 105,000 in a week like I did so many years ago? Probably not. Do I think I can make some serious headway into getting Fates finished? Most certainly!)

-Voice Acting update: Voice acting is closed (or in the process of closing as we speak). There have been some amazing entries and a lot of them. I’m pretty impressed by the number of people interested in voicing this project. At the risk of being cliché, I’m a bit sad we don’t have enough roles for everyone. The good news is that there will be more minor roles available at a later time when we cast the rest of the cast. For those of you who auditioned, we will be announcing the roles in the next week.

-Art update: Just a little showing this week of some of the rough work being done on the CG. No matter where Natalie goes, there is always a pair of hidden spies listening in as they follow behind. Sadly, neither of them are very good at the whole disguising thing… (“But at least I’m trying, unlike someone,” Name grumbles.)

Today’s character is Sylvania Logivechk, one of the longest standing characters in the series. As I’ve talked about before, Syl is very strange in that her core personality has never really faltered or changed. However, Anton’s Vacation was a bad moment when her inner shell was shown a lot more than the reason she is by far my most favorite female character from the series. Let’s go into some depth on that.

And this isn't even all the Syl sprites over the years.
And this isn’t even all the Syl sprites over the years.

Name: Sylvania Logivechk

Age: 29

Gender: F

Species: Human

Chief’s Notes: First thing that should jump out at you is the radical differences in the sprite itself. AV was so far off canon when it came to that we might as well have been talking about Lord of the Rings. Syl wore glasses, a schoolgirl uniform, green eyes, very big breasts, very wispy hair, and a stance that was very out of place for her. The sprite was just utterly wrong for Syl, but we used it because that was what we had at the time. Out of all of the characters, Syl’s sprite underwent the most changes. Changes that made her both canon and fell better within how she composes herself. Then we went from the Whispered Voyage’s Syl design and moved to the current one. Honestly, I don’t know how I feel about it.

Out of all the cast, Syl has been out there saving the universe the longest. She started out as a government killer at the young age of 13 and has been earning her keep since then. Prior to an incident involving her brother, Syl wasn’t the stonewall she is now. Young Syl was a tad bit shy and very devoted to studying everything she could about anything. The only real friend she had was the problematic child of a local politician who would constantly drag her into trouble; a friendship that still exists in this story with Sora Doichu. Back in those days, Syl was borderline naive, even to the trade she was a master of performing.

Then a certain incident happened when she was a young adult and everything changed. Only a couple people are still around who remember the fateful mission or the girl she used to be. After that, Syl almost never spoke, going from never saying a word to her current limit of less than 3 words at a time. She became a lot more focused on perfecting her trade and her combative, the wonder of the universe that once inspired her disappearing. While she has warmed up a bit from the days after the incident, Syl never returned to the way she was before.

If there is one thing I loath from AV, it is how Syl was portrayed. She’s determined, ingenuous in matters both physical and emotional, and a team player. She can be forceful when the situation calls for it; I always picture her walking along side Anton, stepping in front when danger lurks or falling back when they enter the political arena. Falling back, but always there to step in. Almost always, Syl will hold back and gather the facts, using moderation when unexpected situations arise.

What she isn’t is a clingy servant of Anton. The thing that seemed to be missing from Anton’s Vacation is the badarseness that makes Syl herself. There was the closeness with Anton that came from three years of living alongside him night and day, but it didn’t have the feel that I wanted. They weren’t two close friends who had been through hell together, it was a shy girl who couldn’t express her feelings. Good story, I often enjoy it, not Syl’s story. While that is a facet of their relationship in the story, I focused a little too closely on it. What I want to do is show the relationship before I try forcing the changes down the reader’s throat.

As I’ve said before, Syl and Name do not get along in the slightest. Name only sees the cold exterior of a former assassin with a mission to protect Anton. Syl sees Name as a glory hound who cares little for anything more than her own pride. For there to be an effective route between them that isn’t them exchanging barbs every other line they share, there has to be something that to give them some sort of common ground. I’ve spent almost the entire last two weeks mulling over what sort of thing could give them that bridge and only one thing comes to mind. Anton.

While she has no problem laying into Anton about every little mistake, Name does care for her boss as an intellectual and as the person who kept her from ending up on the streets after failing as a SITO. Syl has protected Anton for years and the two are incredibly close. If there is one thing that I think would bring them together long enough to gain even a little traction as friends, it would be saving Anton’s bacon. So… it is looking less and less deus ex machina to get those two to have a solid route, but I’ve still got some ground to cover before I feel like it would be worthy to play.

That’s all for this week. Tune in next week for another update! Until then, Chief out!

 

Got a video of the post this week! Don’t ask why this relates to the Syl and Sora.

Fates Weekly Update #20

Heya, folks! Chief here with… GET OFF THE KEYBOARD, FUZZY! Crikey, I can’t go five minutes without him deciding that the best place to sleep is my keyboard. He’s finally found a place between my keyboard and the monitor, but that gives him the perfect place to swipe at my fingers as I type. There’s only so far adorable can take you… At least he is giving me more ideas for Alexi. Anyway, back to the update!

Wordcount: 3411 (This week was mostly focused on getting Brilliant Shadows and RA: Spark off of my books, so I didn’t get as much writing time as I’ve been in coding hell. Good news is that they should be off my plate soon and full efforts will return to Fates. Going to start my marathon. My goal is to get 100,000 words done before the end of March. I want all of the core done for the voice actors.)

Merchandise shipping: Weather and the front office made all of my shipping materials take forever to get to me. They held it for two weeks without telling me… Anyway, I’m getting the stuff in the mail this week.

Sprite update: Almost all of the sprites are done! Only two supporting characters, both of whom are unlikely to survive to the end of Fates, are awaiting to be finished (currently sketches) and Natalie’s sprite needs to be started. That will bring our final cast to… 21 people. Here’s one of the finished sprites that was just delivered to me, another one of the minor characters you will meet in your journey. Bonus points to those people who can recognize the character as she belonged to an apprentice of mine who had to quit for health reasons.

Last week’s questions: To all the folks who have sent me comments, messages, and e-mails, thank you so much! I’m behind in getting all the responses out, but I have read and appreciate everyone’s feedback. Right now, the pro-Name protagonist group has a pretty dominate lead in that aspect. I’m going to let the sister rivalry go forward. Now, the three-way fight for the route isn’t going as cleanly. It’s a pretty close fight between Syl and Yoi. Turns out very few people love Lenna after the Sol debacle, so she’s been eliminated. I’m gonna let another week go for more opinions. Also gonna talk about Yoi this week.

Voice acting update: One week left to audition for the 6 largest roles in Fates! There have been a staggering amount of auditions so far. If you don’t get chosen, there will still be chances to work with the studio for the large number of supporting characters. I mean, Faye isn’t even part of the first run. Tons of awesome characters still are coming.

Today’s update is going to be about Yoi since she’s currently leading the pack. This is a bit of an old update, but it is still a good one, pertinent, and pretty likely nobody ever read it back in 2012. I updated it to match Fates.

Name: Yoi Mono

Age: 20

Gender: Female

Species: Half-Elf

Birthday: November 15 (Earth Standard System)

Favorite Pet: Bubbles

Bio: The daughter of a Katajion Director and granddaughter of the Trilani Rangers’ patriarch, many thought that she would have a life of ease. However, her father was assassinated in office while she was only three. She was then sent to live with her mother as an elven ranger trainee. Many in the community resented Minako Mono’s husband, leading to her exile from the world of Troplain. The council also wished to banish the young Yoi, but the Patriarch refused, saying she had commit no offense and would permit the girl to continue training as a ranger and the eventual heiress of the Trilani Rangers.

Yoi grew up with very few friends, suffering the scorn of being a half-elf in a pure blood society. Nonetheless, she tried her best to make friends, often coming off as hyperactive and talkative to conceal her loneliness. In an effort to help his granddaughter out and get her away from the racism, a deal was brokered between the Katajion Directorship to permit Yoi to attend the Space Academy, making her the first Trilani ranger to also attempt to be a combat pilot.

After her academy days, Yoi was assigned to a squadron with former friends Lenna Edeck and Sol Hackett. Unbeknownst to them, Yoi was on an assignment for the Trilani Rangers. Her mission was to assassinate Commander Anton Rogers. After her mission failed due to shifting mission objectives, Yoi accepted a mercenary job as Commander Roger’s bodyguard (Anton is a bit of an odd man…). Yoi now serves as Anton’s personal pilot, tracker, and occasional pain in the butt.

Chief’s notes: Yoi is a reoccurring villain in pretty much everything she’s ever been in, despite her best efforts to be on the side of good and justice. She’s manipulative and crafty, but she gets rerouted easily. When I was first developing her character, I started out with a slightly modified Rikku for FF10. Yoi was a very minor character who was there for an energetic comic relief character for Lenna. That didn’t stick. Yoi was a very dynamic character who kept ending up in places I never intended her to be.

One thing that has always ate at me while writing Yoi is her energetic, bubbly personality. It always seemed to suit her so well, but something just felt wrong. It was like petting a cat the wrong way. It is still fuzzy, but you know your hand was just seconds from being shredded by claws. Her happiness felt legitimate, but at the same time, I could see her using her own nature as a shield from her feelings. Yoi would be sad, hurt, and emotionally ripped apart in a scene, but she’d just keep acting like everything was fine. The more I wrote her, the more it dawned on me that I didn’t understand a thing about the character I had created. It took me several rewrites and books before I finally saw the true Yoi, a mature girl hurt by years of solitude, forced to hide behind a mask so long that she couldn’t figure out which was her true self.

One thing that is rather special about Yoi is that she’s the first character I’ve ever drawn. I used to draw her so much! Since I’ve dropped out of art, she doesn’t get drawn nearly as much. One thing people might notice is the difference in her hair from Rising Angels and Katajion’s Dream to Anton’s Vacation. To me, it seemed fitting as she uncovered more and more of her true self and found her place in the universe. I personally liked the short, spiky style more, but as we move away from her early days, we move back to her longer curly hair.

In Red Rose (and subsequently Hope), Yoi is slowly adapting to a world where everyone ISN’T out to get her. The problem is that she still has a very “ME” attitude, which results in a lot of pain for Faye. While she grows to realize that there is more to the world than making herself happy, Yoi still is a pretty two-faced friend. Fates’s Yoi has grown up a bit, both physically and emotionally. Under Anton’s tutelage and support, Yoi has managed to conquer some of the ghosts of her past. While she is still a pretty heavy flirter and still a tad greedy and selfish, Yoi’d learned to harness her talents to help those she cares about. Murder and manipulation, Yoi can do it all with a smile. There is still a torrent of confusion behind it, but the smile she gives is more often real than her favorite mask. If Yoi gets the route over Syl, rest assured that it will be the most upbeat of them all.

And that wraps up the twentieth Fates weekly update! Can you believe I’m still out here ranting every week since August? I’m amazed as well! Next week we should have some CG art to share and some chit-chats about Syl.  Until next time, Chief out!

Video of the post? Of course! I stumbled on this video again recently.  Such awesomeness.

Fates Weekly Update #19

Hello, folks. It’s that time of the week. It has been a pretty rough week and I’m looking forward to some sleep. On that note, going to be a short update week.

-Wordcount (3501; this week was mostly focused on trying to work out the details on how the Anton team route is going to work. Right now, we have two viable strategies. The first one is to give you the option of joining Anton as Natalie via a specific ending of Reborn. The second idea is to let Natalie’s younger sister, Name, take the second protagonist role. I’m rather fond of letting Name take a whack at being the second protagonist. This would allow you get to play parallel, seeing both routes and influencing the story overall. Natalie playing with the rebels, Name playing with Katajions. Both gather hints and clues that can create the overall picture. Or have you commit familicide. I doubt that will solve the problem, but failing has such fun consequences…

So that is question one for the audience: Do you think it would be more fun to have split routes with Natalie on one side and Name on the other or just have two completely different stories of Natalie and her allegiance?

Second thing I’ve been working on in my head is the flow of all the routes. I hate to say it, but all but one worked out well. That last route is one that isn’t working out well. Sylvania Logivechk is a very cold person to those she hasn’t grown to trust and enjoys their company. That’s not the kind of friendship Natalie can gain in a couple weeks of traveling and for those of you who remember Anton’s Vacation will remember that Name and Syl strongly dislike the other and barely maintain a professional work environment. While I can figure it out with the power of deus ex, I can offer a potential solution.

Lenna, Yoi, and Syl
Lenna, Yoi, and Syl

Right now, I have three possible characters who could have routes.

-Lenna Edeck, a young former pilot who run away from her job to become a singer with the man she loved. Unfortunately, this did not turn out well for them. Unable to find work, Lenna and Sol fought and bickered to the point where they split up. Forced to return to her roots on the streets, Lenna dreams of finally finding that world where she can live happily. (Lenna and Natalie are not friends over Lenna’s paranoia over Sol and Natalie’s friendship. However, it also gives them a touchstone to rebuild their friendship. -Natalie and Name have some very slightly friendship over the conspiracy in the past.)

-Yoi Mono, an elven ranger who is often hired by the Katajion Directorship to support Anton Rogers. Playful and energetic, Yoi tries to think on the bright side of life and enjoys life. Under all the smiles though is a woman who is under immense amounts of pressure by her organization and worries that she is alone in the universe. (Yoi and Natalie haven’t met, though Yoi would attempt to make friends with any new party members. -Yoi loves flirting with Name and considers them to be good friends no matter how much they fight.)

Syl, the cold assassin that left the life of murder behind her to become a bodyguard. Despite the rough life of killing from the age of 13, Syl doesn’t let the life of death overwhelm her. In fact, she doesn’t really think much about it. Being a woman of education, she leads her life in peace and calm. (Syl has no relationship with Natalie. -Syl and Name hate each other.)

So I am going to give you all the chance to vote. Which character route would you like to see included? Please either send an e-mail to the overwatch@idhasstudios.com or post a comment.

That’s going to be it for this week. Until next time, Chief out!

Fates Weekly Update #18

Hey, folks. Chief here with the weekly update. No dramatic or interesting intro this week, I’m not doing so well. Health, the weakness of man. Just like a crazy dancing red dot is the weakness of Fuzz now that I bought a cheap little laser pointer. I don’t know what red dots did to him as a wee kitten, but he will try to maul it with unseen ferocity. Anyway, on to the update.

Wordcount: 5,220 (Most of the writing this week was focused on the core story, aka the non-investigation/non-romance sections. The reason for this is to get the script properly set for the voice acting, which auditions have just started. Read below!)

Backers at the physical item level update: Everything is in! …except for the wall scroll shipping tubes. Curse you winter storms! Shipping will be started next week by my lovely assistant Figerit. Zuri’s has to be my favorite of the group.

Voice acting update: Voice acting auditions have been started! Sakura Hughes has joined us as VA director, so no crazy attempts of Komi tring to figure out which end of the microphone is which. There are going to be two different casting calls. The first one (this one) is for the characters with the most lines in the core path. That means it will be Natalie, Nàme, Zuri, Kika, Sol, and Anton. The rest of the cast will be done in a later casting call. If you are interested in auditioning for these roles or know someone who is, more information can be found at…

Lemmasoft Forums

Voice Acting Alliance

Music update: Music is coming along nicely. As a part of today’s update, a small snip-it of one of our mystery tunes by Terranivium is available for you to enjoy!

Since it seems like I’m always up on the stage singing and dancing for everyone, let’s take a moment for an update from the other writer on the team, rellimkram!

I shall share a bit about Eve Auroch, one of the characters I’m responsible for writing and developing for Fates. While I’ve worked on her, especially at the beginning, I got to write a bit of the lore for the RA universe as well, as Eve’s race, the minotaurs, haven’t really been expanded on much (even in Chief’s hidden stash of writings, it seems). As such, I’ll talk a bit about them as well.

If you haven’t seen her yet, her sprite was shown in Weekly Update #14. Minotaurs are a nomadic people, wanderers that only settle down when forced to by something. For Eve’s band (groups of minotaurs are called bands. Racists call them herds, though), the cause was the inability to continue supporting themselves, as the war between the Directorship and the Empire made trade more difficult, especially for those with no clear allegiance. With their ability to obtain the necessities for constant travel crippled, they settled down and tried to make a livelihood for themselves. Unfortunately, minotaurs aren’t always well liked by other races, especially humans, which is rather ironic, seeing as the all female race of minotaurs require other species to continue to reproduce. The distrust and general disapproval, even hatred, shown to Eve’s band made life for them quite difficult, especially for the young Eve, who was only four at the time. Other children avoided her, and the adults did so as well for the most part, with most of their interactions with her being to tell her to stay away from their children. Skipping over details (don’t want to spoil too much), the loneliness of her childhood drove Eve to seek acceptance, which she chose to find in trying to make herself indispensable to society, namely a doctor (her profession was also revealed in the update). After a rather emotional series of events (which I plan to reveal during Fates somehow), she found herself caring for everyone’s favorite lupide, Faye.

Eve’s interactions with the cast of Fates is largely still undetermined at this point, but I can say for sure that she will be tied to Faye’s fate in some way or another. Basically, if Faye gets killed for some reason, Eve may chose to leave the group, as she will no longer have an obligation to stay, and if Faye’s condition worsens, Eve will likely recede to the sidelines, her efforts being focused on keeping her patient alive rather than interacting with the others. Now, don’t let those things discourage you, as Eve may still prove at least moderately significant, as Chief has told me that some romancing with Eve is something I’m allowed to write (though I still haven’t really worked out how I’m going to do that yet). I might take suggestions (or at least indirect influence) from you all as I write her part of the story, and maybe I’ll reveal something about an old acquaintance of hers that will more likely than not also make an appearance in Fates, an elf by the name of Sovran.

Okay, Chief back. I’m gonna take a moment to do an inclusion to this since the question was asked before. There are other relationships that can happen in Fates. Natalie is not the only person who has a chance of finding love while the universe explodes around them. However, Natalie (and you as the player) do have the chance to either help it along or completely ruin it. It’s not a full matchmaking game, but there are some characters who can get close.

As many of you were curious to why we were really late with today’s update, the reason was to let the voting end on the Raltin Ship name contest. It was a really, really, really close contest, but the winner has been decided… it is… me discovering I set the time wrong. You have until 7AM EST tomorrow to get your votes in. It’s currently a dead even tie between Ardent Flare and Darklight.

That’s all for this week. Stay tuned. Chief out!

Fates Weekly Update #17

Hey, folks! Chief here with… you know what… IT’S A FATE WEEKLY UPDATE! Did you know that a week hasn’t gone by since August where I didn’t post something? I’m just as surprised as you are! Well, probably not. I mean, I’m going to keep doing consistent updates until October 31st at the minimum, so I think I will save my awe until the end.

Writing update: 1400. Yes, I have to admit that the number of words written this week is pretty low. Remarkably low. Before we raise the calls demanding for my head, I want to take a moment and talk about the small story that took up this week and a little bit of next. Nuge (the CG artist for Reborn) and I are working on Rising Angels: Spark (title pending), a fun little quiz dress-up game which will follow the story of Kika and Blade during their time at the academy. It’s a little jaunt down memory lane and a might be a refresher for the remake of Red Rose that is coming out in the upcoming months. Besides, the greatest character of all time will be making a canon return in Spark. It’s been fun having him rampage around again.

She's just too darn cute sometimes...
She’s just too darn cute sometimes…

Speaking of Hope, the Red Rose remake, the CG should be done by the end of the month. After some more writing and a few other things, it will be ready to go. As a benefit for everyone who has backed the Rising Angels: Fates kickstarter and those who have donated to the studio, these folks will have early access to Hope.

Daki update: The daki have been finished being printed and are now on their way to the studio. I know most of you aren’t really caring about that, but this has a bit of significance to the studio. This is the first time that the studio has ever produced physical goods. If wallscrolls and body pillows do well, we may be able to fund future projects without having to charge people for them and expand what we can offer. Honestly, it is a bit of a dream for me. If there is a way where I can write stories and release them to the world for free while not having to live under the bridge in a cardboard box, I’m going to pursue it.

Voice Acting update: I’ve been quiet for a while on the voice acting front. For those of you who may have forgotten, we did get to the voice acting stretch goal. Hopefully starting next week, we will be opening auditions for the roles in Rising Angels: Fates. Because of the staggering length of all routes in the game and the fairly limited budget, voice acting will be limited to scenes for the core route. I’d love to voice the entire game, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to even afford my spot under the bridge. There will be roles open for a whopping 18 characters; 5 males, 13 females; 6 major roles, 4 medium roles, and 8 minor roles. If you are interested in auditioning, details will be posted up sometime during the week on the IDHAS website. For those of you not interested, it will give you a sneak peak at some of the characters who haven’t been talked about yet.

It’s voting time for the Raltin ship! We had a lot of strong entries. The poll is currently up at http://innomenpro.com/forums/index.php?topic=1013 . I’ve got my own personal favorite, but I’m not going to risk tainting the vote by saying it! The poll closes after 7 days, so get out there and vote now before it is too late!

That’s all for the week. For those of you who want an updated schedule of Rising Angels games coming out this year, the confirmed ones are…

Rising Angels: Spark – 1 Feb15

Rising Angels: Hope – ?? Apr15

Rising Angels: Fates – 31 Oct15

Depending on how fast I can go, another game or two might be able to slip in there. Maybe a short little jaunt into some of the space battles. Until next time, Chief out!