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IDHAS Segue

Hey, folks! It’s that time of the year again when the lazy bum dedicated professional in charge of this studio returns to get things rolling with our latest project. Well, technically not our latest project. That’s going to be discussed in another blog post in what is likely to be a series of posts over the next week. Enough of the puzzle pieces are in place that I feel comfortable about showing some of the amazing things that IDHAS has in store over the next several months. We’re going to start with our biggest presentation first, the one I know most of you have been waiting to hear about! The special project is…

RAFLogoPossessing the crystal that almost killed the lives of the brave crew of the KSS Nimross, Special Investigations and Tactics officer Natalie Puccile is on the run from those she once served alongside. With nothing but the scraps of information from her previous investigation, Natalie is forced to scour the galaxy for hints of the truth and support from those who trust in her. But with threats from all sides closing in, will her skills as an investigator and the faith of those loyal few be enough to prevent the truth and safety of the galaxy from disappearing into nothingness?

That’s right! It’s Rising Angels: Fates. Not Rising Angels: Fayes, like I keep misspelling. I was pondering how I should make the first public announcement. In the end, I decided to go with some of the biggest questions that have hovered over development and discuss them first. We’ll go more into the cast and plot in our next Fates post.

  • One of the biggest things I heard from the audience is that everyone wanted to have more impact on the story. More choices, more story impact. The good news is that this time around we will have considerably more interactivity for you folks who want to cause some chaos. It will consist of two separate types sections, the investigative sections and the story sections.

    • In story sections, it will play out like a traditional visual novel. While a lot less interactive than the investigative sections, there will still be choices in the story sections. These choices will more likely be about Natalie’s relationships with the crew and their day-to-day lives during the investigation. These choices will have an indirect impact upon the story, however. Your relationships with the crew can turn friends into enemies or make the insidious threats less likely to sabotage your endeavors. When you are a government special investigator, the right person can make or break your quest.

    • In investigation mode, you get a lot more hands-on into the mysteries surrounding the crystals and the players seeking them. Investigation mode will allow you to interact with your surroundings, finding clues and unearthing new evidence that may lift the shroud around the events that are transpiring. With these clues, you will be able to gain light from those around you or push the right piece of evidence to force those who would work for evil back into the shadows. However, tipping your hand at the wrong point or pressing your allies too hard could easily undo everything you seek to accomplish. A good investigator will have to know when to let the little fish get away to snag the big one.

  • Since we are on the topic of things that everyone wanted added, let’s talk about some romance. There was a large breadth of responses to this. Some of you were happy with just having the growing love with Zuri. Others wanted some time with Sol and Alphonse, while some wanted to just have some friendship. I will take a moment and confirm what is set in stone.

    • Zuri: I know I’ve said this several times, but I will say it again. The Rising Angels series is primarily a yuri series. Zuri is still a confirmed love interest and arguably the main female lead behind Natalie. Zuri’s story is going to be a continuation to what went on in Reborn and develop as their adventure goes on. Will it last though when a figure from the past returns to Zuri’s life?

    • Kika: The problem with writing a Kika romance route is that Kika really isn’t interested in having a romantic relationship. Where as Zuri wants someone to give her heart to, Kika just wants a friend she can trust. That being said, her route is going to be a lot more focused on their bonding as close friends through the rigors of war. That, and seeing what Kika is hiding behind her attitude of supremacy.

    • New characters: Right now, there is at least one more romantic lead coming out of the woodworks. The new character isn’t really a new character to the series, but she’s been sitting in the wings since her last appearance. She’s a lot more experienced in matters of the heart than the crew, so don’t expect a simple video game or toot on the flute to win her over. There may be others, but I’m not making anything official yet. I do want to make sure there is a calm, sweet girl to accent some of the more dynamic ones of the group. A certain white-haired lupide might fill that roll well.

    • Otome/Sol: Otome is probably going to depend on how the kickstarter does. Remember earlier in this when I said that RA was a yuri series? I meant it. Shoujo-ai is the primary focus. For once, I’d like to assure the yuri audience that they are going to be the main cater, not the tack-on at the last minute. That being said, I am still planning on writing a Sol route because I’m curious how it would go.

  • Funding… Funding is a major issue right now. Unlike previous games where I fronted everything at personal expense, I don’t have the same amount of operating capital this time around. Everyone knows how much I dislike Kickstarter, but it currently seems like the best way to raise the needed money. I hate to say it, but if things go bad with the kickstarter, we are gonna have to give this some serious cuts. It may be the premature death of the series, I don’t know yet. We’ll be counting a lot on the support of fans this time around.

  • Will it be commercial? That’s a tricky question. Right now, yes, it will be commercial. However, despite the numerous arguments I’ve gotten in with my assistants, I am going to make sure there is a free version. It might only be Zuri’s route or less interactive content, but I refuse to let those who can’t afford it be unable to continue the series. It’s just cold and cruel to let you play RA: Reborn, get attached to the story, and then cut off the rest of the series.

  • Release date: I have not set a hard release date. The tentative release date is going to be October 30, 2015. Depending on how things go, I might be able to bump that date up. I want this out so I can play it just as much as you all want it.

  • What happens if the kickstarter fails? Well, there won’t be any funds. No backgrounds, no CG, no new sprites, no nothing. Everything will be dead in the water. If the kickstarter fails, the novel will still continue on, but that’s about it. No playing investigator, no amount of gameplay or options, and no choices of romance. It will just be a text story.

  • Sound effects? Yes, we screwed up with sound effects last time. This time, we are ahead of the power curve and will be including sound effects to help promote immersion.

  • Will there be voice acting? No. There will be no voice acting. I’m not budging on this one. Reborn was supposed to have voice acting, and some of the voice actors did deliver. They worked hard and I wasn’t able to make that dream happen because of complications with other VA. This has happened every time we want to do voices. No. I’m not going to waste anyone’s hard work again.

  • What platforms will it be on? The traditional Ren’py four; PC, Linux, Mac, and Android. The android version will be customized this time to be easier on the android people instead of being a direct port.

  • The soundtrack was very, very well received. The great news is that we are going to be expanding the soundtrack as well as well as including a music box so you can listen to your favorites outside the story.

  • The codex was very sparse in the original release. Not only are we doing a massive addition to the codex, but one of the kickstarter rewards will be a copy of the ultimate codex. This codex will not only go into great detail about the various elements that Natalie interacts with in her journey, but will talk about the decade of lore that has been generated. You’ll get more KDF background than you cared to read.

  • Setting? Unlike last time, where we were stuck cruising around in the Nimross, we will be spending some more time on the ground for Fates. The background list doubled from our deep space adventure, so expect to see some more sights of the universe.

I’m probably forgetting a lot of things, but this is already a long post. Our next discussion is supposed to be about Rising Angels: Hope, the Red Rose remake, but I think I might buck the schedule a bit and write some tidbits on the plot and cast. I’m very, very excited about some of the awesome storylines coming up and it has been hard lately not to go into super chatty mode. Anyway, I hope you are all excited. All updates will also be appearing on the Rising Angels: Fates page you can access at the top of the screen. It’s barren right now, but it will be growing as the week goes on. Spread the word, Rising Angels is back.zurchib(Special thanks to Jason for chibi Zuri!)

Our video of the post is one that’s been bugging me. I’m particularly fond of it while I write Nat and Zuri scenes.

Short news post

I’m in the middle of typing up a new report as we begin the start of a new season of development, but let’s just drop a couple of hints first.

- Rising Angels: The Red Rose and Rising Angels: Reborn are both getting expansions and some other cool additions. Red Rose is getting the most modifications to it. In addition to a large number of the existing scenes getting rewritten, there are a massive ton of additional scenes being added. CG will be added, as well as a new GUI, sci-fi backgrounds, and a soundtrack closer to what is heard in RA: Reborn. It’s going to be pretty much a brand new game, so we are giving the expansion a new name, Rising Angels: Hope. Special thanks to MusicAO for the logo.

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- Rising Angels: Reborn is getting an expansion as well. We are mostly going to be adding to the mystery scenes, Sol’s route, and a few minor things here and there based on feedback from the original release.

- There will be a kickstarter ran to help the studio with these pretty massive expenses. We’re already going through a pretty impressive list of rewards (dakimakuras, lore books, character additions) to help reward those that help the studio out in its time of need.

- Updates will be starting again weekly. These will cover the RA expansions and our minor otome projects.

- Rising Angels: White Flame (the hentai attempt) is in indefinite hold. I’m a terrible hentai writer and I’m still trying to get things right.

- Rising Angels: Fates is still in development.¬†I’m writing full time on both of them, so if I seem to be very tired of late, this is why. Go support RA: Reborn/Fate’s artist, Nuge, on her project, Lemon Project.

 

Better updates will come this weekend, so please bear with this very lacking post.

Don’t worry, folks. Chief is back…

Downtime and updates

Hey, folks! Just here to announce that we’ve released the new GUI version. The new GUI version has a new setup so you can access the gallery from the main menu, a redone interface, and a massive polishing up of spelling errors in the script. You can download the new version from the Rising Angels: Reborn page under the Rising Angels tab.

No major updates right now. We’ve been in a bit of a hiatus while we get ready to start work on the next part of the series, Rising Angels: Fates. More interesting news should break as we get start revving up the engines.

And the video of the post is the song of 2013 for the studio!

(NSFW)

Round Two… FIGHT

¬†Natalie Puccile, a Special Investigations and Tactics officer with the Katajion Directorship, has spent her career watching over a listening post in the middle of deep space. After the orders that she has always dreamed of finally arrive, she finds herself in charge of a small destroyer and tasked with discovering the fate of a missing research team investigating an ancient civilization. As the situation falls apart around her, it is up to Natalie’s brilliance and the dedication of the crew of the KSS Nimross to avert a galaxy-shattering event that could spell the end of all space travel. With determination in her heart, Natalie rises to the chance to beat back the danger and perhaps find love in the twinkling lights of the distant stars.

-Rising Angels: Reborn is a remake of the Rising Angels series. You don’t have to have played the original.
-Four hours of epic adventure and heartwarming romance
-Five endings to this adventure
-Release date of October 31st
-Unique sprites with multiple poses, backgrounds and GUI (none of that 90s Japanese high school stuff this time)
-1366×768 resolution
-Free… not the anime, the amount of money required for purchase

Download for all OSs

Screenshots:

SCR1SCR2

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Video of the post is the song I’m humming in the background as I eat my victory cake. We made the deadline, damn it! The android and voiced version will be released later this year.

Clock is running low

Weekly update:

Plot: Smoothing out the last of the script right now. Wordcount is ending at roughly 70k. The story is very heavily an adventure tale, romance playing a backseat. I use the terms “otome” and “yuri”, but that’s only talking about the character pairings in the story. A long talk with our sprite artist has led me to conclude that I have been improperly using those words. When we do our release, I’m going to avoid using those terms since the game is not about pursuing a romantic relationship… but the story of a young woman and an assignment gone wrong. Who says you can’t teach an old chief new tricks? I have no idea, because I’m still a young whippersnapper.

Release: That release date is coming quickly… too quickly. It’s looking like we might have to delay a bit because a few of the CG may not be done in time. This wouldn’t be a big deal if I wasn’t going to be on the road for a month or so with no ability to upload. Right now, we are reviewing possibilities of releasing with a scene or two down in the first week of November and the voiced release in December with the extra content or just pushing both until December 16th. More breaking news on this to follow in the upcoming days… (The script and music is all done though!)

Sprites: I’m already drafting up my dream sheet for the next one. For those of you who liked the defunct Anton’s Vacation, a crossover is pretty much assured.

Music: I finished coding the music in just now. Twenty two songs total. I think we’ve got a beautiful, diverse soundtrack.

VA: A couple of the voice actors are done and the rest are hard at work. Kylie’s voice is absolutely adorable, it makes me wish she had a larger role!

Misc: Testing has pretty much been wrapped up. We may be permitting early access for a couple folks, but there isn’t any big plan for it.

That’s it for this week. Expect a new update in the next few days.

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The video of the post contains some cursing, but it is a pretty awesome song.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Code Monkey

It’s time for the weekly report. By gosh, has it been a painful week for me. Good for all of you, agony for me.

Wordcount: 65,000 (It was at 68,000 but I’ve been editing)

Plot: Zuri’s route is completely finished!

Sprites: Sprites for another game have been done. There’s a bishoujo/yuri game (a short one this time) already lining up in the pipe.

Coding: Not just the script, but the whole damn thing is ready for primetime. I’ve spent the good portion of the week dealing with positioning and emotions. Long. Painful. Necessary. When I thought I was done, I realized that I hadn’t done Natalie, which meant that I had to go back and add all of her side sprites. I now know what code monkey hell is like.

VA: All of the roles have been cast. Right now, I’m going through the script and highlighting the lines for everyone. This week has been dull repetitive task week.

Misc: I’m going to be sending out the preview to testers here shortly.

Okay. No more typing for now. My fingers hurt. Until next week!

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Video of the week? I almost didn’t put one up because I was too busy trying to find the answer.

C-c-c-c-c-c-combo post

It’s time for the weekly report! I bet you all thought I forgot. Well, you’d be right. I’m still here on-time, so it doesn’t matter!

Wordcount: 58,000; we are one day’s worth of writing from making this longer than Rising Angels: The Red Rose. I don’t know if that counts as a success at tenacity or a failure of sticking to development plans on making this short.

Plot: Wrote the second “bad” end for Zuri’s route. I don’t think it is a bad ending, but it certainly is sad. I should be done with Zuri in the next day or two. Then we move on to Sol.

Music: Just doing all of the conversions to .OGG.

CG: We are 2.5/10 completed.

Sprites: I really need to remove this section from the update… Concept design on the next IDHAS game has been started. Doesn’t really relate to this update, but I’m bored and figured that I should add something in this completed category.

Coding: We’re over 5.5k lines of dialog. This is a long, bloody death march of coding. Progress is being made and we are growing closer to the end.

Misc: Since Zuri’s route is almost completed, I am now looking for reviewers/proofreaders to look at and review the story so far.

There will be a voiced version of the story released a few weeks after the unvoiced version. I want to give a special thanks to Annie Quinn for volunteering to help us with this!

And that concludes my weekly update. Nine (six on the website) weekly updates in a row… Whoooooooo…

To wrap everything up, here’s the second ever piece of fan art I’ve ever received! Thanks, propanoll!14035009v3

 

And for the video of the post, let’s go with the song playing in my head.

Keeping the update train rolling

It’s Sunday again, folks! You know what that means… You don’t? Neither do I. Anyway, let’s get cracking on that weekly update.

Wordcount: 51,000; I actually got no writing done until today. I think I did roughly 300 of the 5,000 in the first six days of the week. My plan is to finish writing Zuri’s route this week and knock out Sol’s next week.

Plot: So… remember when I said that we were going to have a yuri route? Well, as I was getting further and further in the route… I just didn’t feel it. They are making good friends, but that spark of romance just doesn’t seem to be developing between them. Unlike last time when I kept trying to shoehorn it in with a sledgehammer, I’m going to go ahead and let them be friends. Zuri’s route is now a friendship route and the game can put on its otome frock now…

Music: We’ve been licensing a few new songs to help make things sound a little more epic.

CG: There has been a new addition to our CG artist lineup. I want to take a moment and welcome Jason to the project.

Sprites: …what? They were all done last week.

Coding: I’ve begun the long and arduous process of adding in all of the music and sprites to the game. Wish my poor brain luck with this dull task.

Misc: Once I finish up Zuri’s route and getting the sprites added, I will be looking for testers and proofreaders once again. Expect to see that request next week.

That’s it for now. No pretty art update this week. Stay tuned for more excitement and whatnot as we are roughly a month from release.

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The video of the post is dedicated to my having to strike the yuri route.

To the future that awaits

Today, five years ago, I released my first game on ren’py. While technically not my first visual novel developed (I worked on my own engine and with Blade Engine prior), it was the first I made and released to the world. Today, I take a moment to celebrate being an active developer in this community for five years. No big contests this year, no new releases. I just wanted to take a moment and raise a toast to those developers we’ve lost over the years to the forces of the universe. There is almost nobody left of that generation still making games alongside us today. Even I feel the pull of the world upon me, having gone from an unemployed bum to an instructor engineer.¬† Yet, I fear for EVNs naught. I see the young’ins of today and have faith that the stories of tomorrow will be bigger and better than those that inspired me as a young, unemployed man years ago.

Cheers, mates, to the novels that have seen the light of day and those that await us.

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