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.