Thanks to finally having someone on the team who knows how to do website stuff, we are in the middle of setting up an actual website for the game. I’ll be updating that and a few other things here in the upcoming future. IDHAS is hard at work trying to make one helluva release.
And since I didn’t do a video of the post for the last one, gotta do one for this! This little animation is inspiring IDHAS’s follow-up otome game. The ladies deserve some amazing stories and fanservice too, right?
Rising Angels is the story of Faye Moonfallow, her squad of somewhat loveable misfits, and their dreams of becoming officers in the Katajion Defense Force. However, before they can get there, they have to first pass the rigorous Space Sector Academy. Life is rough, non-stop, and the danger of getting the boot is ever-present. Can Faye and her squad overcome the challenges posed to them or will the group destroy itself in chaos?
-5 to 6 hours of story
-Rated R for cursing and suggestive themes
-Our lovely OP sung by Azura
Hello, folks! Chief here to give you the latest and greatest updates!
There are none.
Really. Let’s go down the project list.
Rising Angels: Completed a couple weeks ago, but since I’m waiting on backgrounds and CG, I’ve refrained from releasing. There won’t be any more progress for a while since it depends solely on getting those done.
Beyond Fading Stars (the sequel to Rising Angels): Initial development has been started, but there isn’t a lot to talk about right now. Sprites are being commissioned and everything else will follow. I’m waiting until there is a larger pool of information to share before I open up that particular mystery. Arseniquez will be returning as sprite artist. I guess I can show a little bit of that development…
Whispered Voyages: Finished, but became a private release. Once the hold order expires in a couple months, it will release.
The Edge of Magic: I’ve handed over all responsibility to Asagi.
And there you go. Waiting on art assets. I’ve taken up a freelancer position with Neko-soft on their otome game, but I’m not sure how much I can talk about that at this time. I’ve also been considering writing reviews for EVN in the meantime, but I’m on the fence about it.
That’s all I wanted to say. I’m not dead, just waiting. Chief out!
As we move forward with Whispered Voyages, I’ve been thinking a lot about how certain characters were portrayed in Anton’s Vacation. Over the next couple weeks to release, I want to take a little bit of time and talk about the ones who are facing both major sprite changes or major character changes. Sometimes a little bit of both, as with today’s character.
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 outer 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.
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.
If there is one thing I loath from AV, it is how Syl was portrayed. To me, Syl is the model. 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.
Well, that’s it. Major sprite changes and more badarseness for Syl. Stay tuned for our next entry on either Ai Onday or Sora Doichu.
And for the video of the post, let’s pay tribute to a legend almost as big as Anton.
It has been a long, long day of misery and woe for me, but at least there is one bright spot in the day! Time to announce our winners for the contest. The reviews will be a little late coming due to my being at home for less than two hours a day, but we can announce the winners now at least!
Before I get into this, I want to thank everyone who participated. This project meant a lot to me. Dreams of the Skies holds a very dear place in my heart. To have people participate in this contest is something that I can’t express into words. All I can say is thank you so much and I hope you continue to support our work as we move forward.
A common thing I noticed in this category was a lack of theme. In the end, theme was the determining factor between first and second. Third and fourth was also an incredibly close race. I mean it was decided by a hair. Hours were consumed debating 3rd, whose art was clearer and had a slightly more artistic impact, and 4th, who was the only person to nail the theme perfectly. Honestly, if I could have split 3rd and 4th, I would have. The final decision came down to my assistant. When we release the review this weekend, we will get into the exact debate that went on.
Writing was very easy to determine first. While I absolutely adored every entry in here, 1st was grammatically sound and had wonderful emotional impact. The theme was easy to see as well. 2nd and 3rd had a close contest similar to the art’s. Emotional impact was what tipped the scales here. I personally loved Hope, hell I was very interested in reading what would be an interesting series, but Happy had that emotional factor that swayed the other judges.
To those who won, you should be receiving messages from me shortly. The review will be posted up sometime this weekend; I’ll post it here as well as on my site. For those of you who are interested, there will also be a talk about the revival and merger of Echo Disks, Anton’s Vacation, and Anima.
The IDHAS Dream of the Skies Anniversary contest is over! I will be posting links to the entries tomorrow. Reviewing will conclude on the first and we will post the winners then. We ended up receiving 5 art entries and 3 writing entries, which is more than I thought we’d have last night!
The IDHAS Dream of the Skies Anniversary contest is almost over! Time to get those entries in if you want to make it! The contest will officially end at 0000Z, 26 OCT 12. Any entries that arrive past that point will not be judged.
Hellooooooooooooo, folks! Chief here with another blog post talking about that ever-shifting development of Rising Angels. Today, we are going to talk about the important things we are considering and a certain sassy princess.
There aren’t a lot of new changes to talk about other than these…
Kika and Termin’s sprites have been changed up a bit. I wasn’t too happy with how they looked; they didn’t really fit the roles that I pictured them. Kika didn’t quite have the “Prestigious governor’s daughter” look, and Termin… just didn’t feel right.
Still haven’t add in the menu options so…
The game contains 6,100 screens of dialogue.
These screens contain a total of 70,412 words,
for an average of 11.5 words per screen.
The game contains 0 menus.
Preparations for a beta release are getting setup. We are aiming for 04 March 2013. Part of this is tied to a competition between myself and an IRL friend.
However, before we can decide on when the beta will be, we need to decide what is going to be in it. So, I’m back trying to decide on the release order. I agreed with Samu-kun that I needed to make this a little more manageable. As I refuse to reduce characters and cast, my next option was to split the release into two versions; a GxB and a GxG version. Right now, my vote is on GxG going first and then the GxB expansion later because I love the female cast a lot more. Unless I get a sudden uproar that demands the male routes first… I know that my data suggests that a GxB would be more popular, but the otome crowd has been pretty quiet with little support.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s start talking about one of the major characters, one with a new sprite, Kika Starr.
Name: Kika Starr
Birthday: February 1st
Homeworld: Duster Station
Bloodtype: A+ [Grigori virus]
Sexual Preference: Unknown
Bio: The daughter of the leader of Duster Station, an independent trade station. Used to having the best that money can provide and the success that tends to accompany it, Kika grew up incredibly spoiled. Loud, brash, and determined, Kika’s princess mentality tends to rub everyone around her the wrong way. Most people tend to bear with it, as her father’s money overrides their dislike, leading her to further believe that not only is she the best at anything she does, but that she is also the most loved girl in the universe. When she finds out that her father cannot buy her a fleet of her own, she decides to join the Katajion Space forces to become the greatest admiral of all time.
Chief’s notes: Kika Starr is a character with a very long history. I’ve played with Kika in my stories since around 2002. She’s a very, very old character to me. However, this is the first time that she’s ever been involved in something public. This is also the first time she’s ever been something other than a reporter as well. Nevertheless, Kika has always been a very determined, very outspoken girl who has always led the fight from the front.
When I was rounding up characters for Rising Angels, Kika wasn’t the first one I thought of. Faye, Lenna, and Yoi were. As I went down the list of characters, I realized there wasn’t another lupide/kitsune girl to go alongside Faye. I had no rival that wasn’t such an unlikeable character like Sol. Originally, I was just going to use one of Faye’s other hairstyles and have the running joke of lookalikes. In the end, I decided to commission four more characters, one of which would be a kitsune to run against Faye.
There has never been any art for Kika since she was always just a character in my head. When I looked at the sprites for the first time, I automatically wanted to use the drill hairstyle. As amusing as it looked, it feel just right. I backed away from it, though, and went with the twin braids. I’ve since decided to go back to the drills, since it made me think of Kika as the hero she thinks she is instead of the sidekick.
One misconception of Kika that I’m sure many people might make is that she only cares about herself. When Kika says that she believes that she is the hero, she means it. Kika will always be the first to put herself between danger and those she believes are under her charge. When push comes to shove, Kika will take up the banner and fight the villain. When that fight is over though, she expects that the world will bow down and recognize her brilliance and bow down to her.
Kika is going to be an interesting character in Rising Angels. Faye and Kika aren’t going to be friends, even if I do say they are alike. Kika’s presumptions that she is the best aren’t going to work well with Faye’s everyone is unique mentality. What starts as a simple misunderstanding is going to ramp up into a pretty heated rivalry. In most routes, Kika serves as our primary antagonist alongside Sol. In Lenna’s and Kika’s route, you’ll get to see a lot more of the determined kitsune who wants nothing more than to be the hero she’s always dreamed of being.
That’s it for today! And what would will be out video of the post? Only her theme song…
The video cannot be shown at the moment. Please try again later.
Four years ago, a small English visual novel was released by a no-name man with little to his name other than fleas and a scanner from the early 90s. That first pathetic visual novel, that first drug into the world of VN creation, were the humble beginnings of one of the most egotistical EVN makers to plague the world. As we sit on the anniversary of that first game and the upcoming releases of some of the most ambitious projects imagined, I think it is time for a little celebration of how far we’ve come. With this, I’m happy to announce the start of the Dreams of the Skies 4th anniversary art and writing contest!
For those of you who have never played Dreams of the Skies, shame on you. You can download the story from here. http://www.idhasstudios.com/?page_id=8 The story is only around 30 minutes to an hour long.
Plot: Tobias is a 23 year old one winged angel. He’s lived his whole life shunned by the angelic society for being a freak and by human society for being the member of a society that nearly destroyed itself ten years ago in a war that engulfed angelic society. However, all of that is about to change. Following an ancient legend, Tobias is about to regain the wing he never had and claim the heritage that was denied to him. All it will take is one simple thing, murder.
This contest is two sided, a separated art and writing contest. I’m not an artist myself (the orignal version should highlight that), but a writer. Both writers and artists are welcomed in this contest.
Theme: Past, Present, and Future
Prizes, what you all are interested in! Both the writing contest and art contest have identical prizes. Now, I’d like to give out more than large cash prizes, so if there are any donations to our contest, I’ll welcome them. If the winner doesn’t have Paypal, I’ll send your winnings via DA points, though I have no idea what you could do with 16,000 pts.
First place: $200 USD via Paypal
Second place: $100 USD via Paypal
Third place: $50 USD via Paypal
That’s right, there is a whopping $700 of prizes in the pool, making this the largest contest IDHAS has ever ran.
Deadline: October 25, 2012
Results announced: November 1, 2012
Judging: All pieces will be judged on creativity, originality, and plain old awesomeness (writing will also be judged on grammar). All pieces will be reviewed by the dynamic IDHAS trio: Chief Editor Komi and his two bumbling assistants. Depending on the number of entries, we might include a fan vote in there as well.
Art contest rules:
You must have 1 Dreams of the Skies character and 1 non-DotS character. It can be your OC or a fanart. For the DotS character, you can use any character from either the original or remake.
Proper credit must be given to all characters!
You must include the theme in some way, shape, or form.
You can submit up to two pieces for both contests total. Meaning you can put two in the art contest, two in the writing contest, or one in each.
Keep it under XXX rating. IDHAS has never been a family friendly studio, but let’s keep the smut out of this one. You can toe that line, just don’t cross it.
Also, for the your submission, you can either comment me a link on this entry or send it to my e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
All entries will get featured in a later blog. Not so much a rule, just something to note.
I’ve been promising this for a while. I normally do a lookback for my sake one month after a game as been released. While this may only be an Alpha version, it is still the longest IDHAS work released to date, so it gets a lookback. Since I haven’t done anything on here lately, I am going to put up my thoughts. Today, I will be doing the major lessons we’ve learned. Tomorrow, I will be putting up our reactions and changes we will be doing to Rising Angels. After that, I think we’ll do some sort event for the Dreams of the Skies anniversary. As our first game released to the public, I like to do something to remember it.
Well, let’s get this started!
Lesson #1: Just because documented evidence proves that people love the shy girl doesn’t mean that she should be the ONLY character available for the first release.
-Okay, an addition to that statement should be that Lenna Edeck should NOT have been the first release. As a reoccurring main character, I’ve seen how the audience has reacted to her before. It’s always been night and day. One person hates her guts with an undying passion, the next thinks she’s a wonderful character. Either way, she shouldn’t have been sent out there to stand on her own against the audience. The original plan was for Lenna, Jade, and Kika Act 1s to be released as a group. That would have been the SMART plan.
Lesson #2: While I hate descriptions and what I refer to as fluff, everyone else likes knowing the backstory of the universe. Dropping them in cold turkey is bad, m’kay?
-A sign that you’ve been working in a series too long is when there’s nothing more you hate than having to reestablish the setting. I know it. I’ve wrote it for nearly a dozen other works. However, you all don’t read my works, so I need to do it again… and again… and again… and again… it annoys the hell out of me. But… I’ve got to do it. I doubt I will ever really like writing setting over character interaction, I think I can try it one more time.
Lesson #3: The audience has no clue what they want.
-Half of you hate the cast, you find them mean and annoying. The other half finds them interesting and diverse. Half of you hate the art style, the other half adores it. One person says the females are undersexualized and boring while the next one says they are oversexualized. Every single time I start trying to develop trends in what everybody wants, it gets thrown in complete disarray. Almost every aspect of the game went 50/50 with people’s feelings. I could accept that, if it wasn’t for the crowd wasn’t perfectly divided hate/love on all aspects. Nobody liked/hated the same things. In the end, I feel it is safe to conclude that there are almost no trends I can draw from the audience.
Lesson #4: But the one trend I DID find was that everybody hates kinetic novels.
-I don’t know why everyone dislikes kinetic novels so much. To me, it is just like a play. To all of you, I’m committing a major sin of interactive fiction. Let me be quite frank: I don’t like the standard choice options most visual novels give you, mine included. 99% of you will only give the answers you think the character you are trying to romance wants to hear. What’s the point in giving options in a story if I already know which one you are going to pick?
Lesson #5: File size is going to hurt.
-It is. It has always been pretty staggering due to the resolution I work with, but I’m starting to think that other distribution methods might be needed for the final release.
Lesson #6: Don’t talk about expenses.
-The only person who cares about my costs is me. While this information could be useful to others, this will be the last time I talk about studio expenses. My forecasts were used against me, and I do not intend to let that happen again. IDHAS always has budget problems due to artists bailing out with money in hand, but I’m going to try and minimize how often you hear of it.
Lesson #7: WIPs early on are a bad idea because things are always changing.
-Anyone who has followed us since our initial start-up in June of last year knows that this project has undergone so many changes. There was one point where we were working on an RPG setup. Then we had mini-games. Now, we are falling back to a traditional visual novel. I have my reasons for everything I do, and I accept that I can’t do everything I want to do, but it hurts the fans. I suppose many of you thought I was going to do a traditional otome, despite deciding against that very early on. Some thought it was going to contain high amounts of sci-fi, despite that the Foxes of Luck series has always been light sci-fi at best. The sad fact of the matter is that the way IDHAS operates doesn’t permit any sort of public display until late development, after we’ve worked all the bugs and bad ideas out.
Lesson #8: Update
-Yeah, I need to do my updates more often and keep information up-to-date. The fans would have less jarring surprises if I helped them understand more about what the story is about. The reason I don’t do it too often though is that I get more comments from spam bots than I do humans. Heck, sometimes all I get are the spambots. That is NOT motivational gotta say. Still, I need to push past that and do it anyway.
That’s it! Basically, I need to start timing when I shut my mouth and when I open it. See you all tomorrow for what we are going to do to make Rising Angels the best damn story you’ve ever played!