Fates Weekly Update #44

Hey, folks. Chief here, trying to keep awake at his desk. It’s been a long week and everything is starting to take its toll on me this weekend. Being wiped out by my day job seems to be a common theme, I know, but this week was more taxing than usual. It was so bad that Fuzzy decided to cuddle with me several times. The moment cats start showing affecting without expecting a bribe of food you know you are not doing so hot. My birthday is coming up soon, so I think fighting for a small vacation might be in order.

Wordcount: 4,999 (So close to that 5k, but I ended early. This week was a return to Act 1 after finishing up Act 3 last week. I’ve been trying to get all of the character routes and investigation scenes done for the early part so that we can finally get that demo out. It was originally planned months ago, but I held back after we decided that we wanted to release a full Act 1 as a demo instead of a chopped down one with a few features missing.

The character route I was working on this week was Sol’s. Sol’s route inclusion is something that has caused a small amount of controversy because it was viewed as a hostile invasion of otome into yuri. While I will not dwell too closely on that line of thinking, I do think including Sol’s route was a good idea. Unlike the rest of the cast, Sol and Natalie’s friendship is something that has extended for years and years. There have been a lot of rocky moments between them (Lenna being the biggest point of contention between them), but they have always kept that bond strong. Sol has always been something of a pillar to Natalie. Whenever things have started falling apart, she could always count on him to lend an ear and reliably help however he could.

But there is a lot on Sol’s mind as we enter Fates. Over the years, Sol has lost a lot of friends to the war. He almost lost another one on the Nimross without being able to do anything other than continuing his duties as the executive officer. Having to count on Zuri to be an emotional anchor for Natalie while he continued his duties took a tough mental toll on Sol. With the Katajion agents closing in on them, Sol doesn’t want to keep losing friends, his emotions are slowly starting to creep out. Part of the fun of having multiple routes is that in the Zuri/Akurel/Alexi routes, Natalie isn’t there to listen to him because she is pulled away and Kika instead serves the role as Sol’s vent box. The one little difference ends up shifting a lot of the relationship lines because Kika gives advice a lot different than Natalie. Kika and Sol is another one of the possible relationship lines in Fates. There are a couple non-MC ones in addition to them as well, Faye/Lenna being another prominent one you can make happen. Anyway, off-track again.

But with Natalie being there, Sol has his oldest friend to hear the troubles of the heart and mind of the dutiful officer. Will it give fuel to the sparks that have always flickered between them? That waits to be seen… Either way, writing scenes with Sol not being annoying, angry, grumpy, or exhausted has been pretty fun!

Art contest: There is only three weeks left in the Rising Angels art contest! Remember to get those entries in soon!

Voice acting update: The voices for Act 1 and Act 2 are in the hands of the code monkey, by which I mean myself. Right now, we are going through each line, reviewing it, and coding it into the respective section. I’m hoping to have all of them coded in before the end of the upcoming week. With everything coming into place, we should have something solid to show you all soon.

Also, we still have auditions going on for the minor character, Elizabeth, and the recasting for Zuri. You can find out more about it here.

Order of Ataxia: Taking a moment before we wrap up this session to do a quick plug for the kickstarter being ran by another team (and led by old Chief) under the IDHAS banner called Order of Ataxia: Initial Effects. It is a slice of life BxG visual novel with some heavy fanservice, but I hope you all will take the time to see if it interests you.

Doctor Charles Malcom always dreamed of worlds far beyond his own. With a team of scientists and countless experiments, he finally broke out of Earth and onto the rest of the planescape! Unfortunately, his experiments caused unforeseen troubles by disrupting the flow of other worlds. With the gods of the planescape threatening punishment for all eternity, it is up to Charles and his overseer from the gods, Fallore, to right the wrongs his devices have caused.

This time, Charles finds himself in the city of Aidis, a faltering castle town with a thief problem. A thief who has her eyes on a royal magical treasure, the machine core of experiment #26. Will you side with the elven thief, Raiyne, to help liberate it from the clutches of Lady Beta and her court or will you remain loyal to the court and find a way to safely (and legally) liberate it from their possession before it brings about doom?

With that, I am heading to bed before I end up passing out a third time while trying to write. Probably because I wrote too much Sol, a generally alert person, and not enough of Faye. Passing my exhaustion on to my characters… that’s how it works, right? Until next time, Chief out!


Video of the post is one of the few things that made me laugh this week. NSFW: Cursing

Fates Weekly Update #43

Hello, folks. It’s that time of the night where we turn on the black light and let the Dungeons and Dragons begin! It’s D and… what? It’s over? Apparently I can’t tell time and it is not D&D time, but time for the Fates Weekly Update.

Wordcount: So, good news this week! We have finally finished all of Act 3’s core. This week, I finished writing Name’s section of Act 3. Her section is a bit shorter than Natalie’s, but there is a fair bit more gameplay in it than Natalie’s. Natalie’s section has a lot more of the traditional clue gathering and interrogation sections that run throughout the game. Name’s, however, is a lot more puzzle focused as she attempts to break through the locks to gain access to her truths on Ona’thon. And survival. There’s very much a survival element for her.

Going into Act 4 is a lot of writing. There are a lot of possible options and the start of Act 4 is where everything comes back together. Who is alive, who is dead, what items have been acquired, what party members are slighted against, and what truths have been discovered all play into it. As this is the first time that Natalie and Name meet since the start of the game, it is a fair explosion of variables. What does that mean? That means for the next couple weeks, I’m going to be writing a thousand different variations of the same scene. Some of them are going to have minor variations, some of them are going to have a lot of variation. Natalie and Name being the only survivors facing each other with no understanding of the other’s actions is going to end a lot differently than if both parties are holding together and prepared to listen to the other.

I think the worst situation has to be the first one though. Even if you fail the events of Act 3 and only one party is still standing, you don’t have to pit protagonist against protagonist with nothing but their differences standing beside them. After the terrible ordeals that each has gone through, both investigators will stand by their convictions and what choices and items you have will determine who walks away from it. Even in the other outlined ends, the worst thing that will happen is pitting friend against friend, possibly lover against lover. But to turn against your family to defend the galaxy, to defend what you think is right. Tough choices, tough choices. But that’s how it goes when you as the player have the ability to influence the story. You make poor Chief have to write sad and painful ends.

CG: I was going to save this completed CG to show on a rainy day, but I think today might be a good reveal. We went through a lot of discussion if we were going to split our protagonists (for those of you who have stuck with us through this weekly updates), but I think we made the right choices in the end.

Voice acting: We have reopened auditions for Fates voice acting. Due to real life issues, we are being forced to recast Zuri, as well as introducing one final minor character. If you are interested, you can find more information here.

Art contest: We’ve had our first entry into Rising Angels fan art contest! As a reminder, you have left than a month remaining to get your entries in. After we finish up with the fan art contest, we will be holding the writing contest after that.

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


For the video of the post, let’s reveal the song from the opening.

Rising Angels: Fates Fanart Contest

We are going to start our lead up to Fates’s release with a couple of contests. The first contest is going to be the big fanart contest! There will be two more, though they will be a writing contest and a raffle.

Theme: Heritage; The first contest is more of a look at the past, where we have come. In order to determine our future, we must know where we come from. Everyone has a past, just as the series has a pretty long and decorated one. So the challenge being posed is to draw your imaginings of the pasts of the cast. What events transpired to shape the characters you read about today. What sort of heritage does each of the cast hold dear to them?

Eligible games to draw characters from:
Anton’s Vacation
Rising Angels: The Red Rose
Rising Angels: Reborn
Rising Angels: Fates

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. I’m chatting with a couple people to see if they would be willing to lend some aid, so prizes may increase.
First place: $200 USD via Paypal
Second place: $100 USD via Paypal
Third place: $50 USD via Paypal

Contest officially starts on July 1st, 2015

August 15th, 2015

Results announced:
August 22nd, 2015 during our regular Fates Weekly.

Judging: All pieces will be judged on creativity, relation to the theme, and plain old awesomeness. 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: 1. You must have at least one character from either Rising Angels: The Red Rose, Rising Angels: Reborn, or Anton’s Vacation. You can include other characters, if you wish.

2. Proper credit must be given to all characters. (Mostly if you include characters that aren’t yours or the studios.)

3. You must include the theme in some way, shape, or form.

4. You can submit up to two pieces for contest.

5. 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.

Either post entries here or send them to overwatch@idhasstudios.com . Winners will be announced on the website and e-mailed.

Fates Weekly Update #42

Hello, folks! Chief here! Okay, not really here, I’m down visiting family for the day. I’m writing this while everyone is sleeping. In addition to seeing my own brothers and sisters, I got to see Fuzzy’s brother as well. It’s a bit strange to see a cat that looks just like my fuzzball except not as fuzzy and calm… kind of. Glad to see spastic is a family trait. I don’t know when he’s going to come back and steal my keyboard, so let’s get on with the update!

Wordcount: 12,808 (As everyone may remember from last week, I was having a bit of a rough spot with Act 3. I just couldn’t figure out how I was going to treat Natalie’s side of the adventure. Good news, I finally found my way through that one. Bad news, there are now a lot more ways that you can really mess-up Natalie’s adventure. Like all writers, I tend to… accidentally let my characters get into really bad, heart-rending situations. There are a lot of tough calls to make in Fates and I can officially say that Act 3 is the most difficult of the four to get an all-survivors ending. I was going to say get a happy ending, but there are ways to still end happily. Happiness is in the eye of the beholder, after all.

But there is one scene that is coming up that I’m both really looking forward to since some light and cute after all this death 20,000 leagues under the sea, but has some really depressing things depending on how you ended Act 3. That’s right, it is time to write the Natalie’s Birthday scene. Originally, it was slatted to be at the end of Act 2, when everyone was most likely to be there. Now, it can be a very lonely birthday.

Without getting too spoilery, each character route has their own take on the event. Zuri, being a draemon and hatched from an egg with no real family, doesn’t have a good understanding of what birthdays are. With the help of Akurel, she undertakes the daunting task of trying to throw a party of Natalie. In Sol’s route, he very much understands what a birthday is, especially since he spent many of Natalie’s younger ones with her. This time, it wants it to be a special one and is going to try and be romantic for her. Naturally, romance and Sol are two polar concepts. The Great Kika Starr knows how to throw a party. Even if they are stuck in space, Kika has big plans and is a totally awesome host! If anyone wants to help, that is… Which leads to Akurel’s version… where they just watch movies and hang out. Or not. Who knows what that Raltin temptress has in store…

But there are multiple versions of these events. It’s hard to have cute or romantic moments if you’ve spent the entire game hurting their feelings, fingering them for possible crimes, or if they aren’t among the living anymore. The last one is the worst to write. If you have developing a strong romance and then have to celebrate such a moment alone… or worse, completely alone since nobody made it out… Don’t slack in your investigations. I’d rather be the only one who has to suffer these scenes.

Contest update: The Rising Angels Art Contest is still going on! We will be extending out the deadline since IRL work has kept me from properly spreading the word. The new deadline will be August 15th.

Side work: The work on the book of short stories is going well. We’ve got stories for most of the main cast (Zuri and her childhood (I ended up finishing this one from a previous open story), Sol and Kika on the Xeon, Anton and Name’s adventure before Fates, and a few others.) However, I’ve realized I have one opening in my lineup. I’d like to propose a few ideas for the final story. This story will be open to everyone as well as included in the short stories.

1.Syl’s Day Off, a story of the trained assassin’s day off with Yoi.

2.Natalie’s MMO Adventure, a somewhat alternative universe with Natalie and Name’s favorite fantasy MMO as they attempt to clear the final boss before Natalie leaves for the Academy.

3.Alexi:Desert Queen, the story of Alexi leading her band of cutthroat… I mean, merry thieves and escaping the law.

4.Your ideas! What sort of canon, alt universe, or weird adventure would you like to see with which members of the cast? I’d prefer lighter stories, but I’ll take all ideas into consideration.

My family is awake now and I should be spending what limited time I have with them. Until next week, Chief out!

Fates Weekly Update #41

Hello, folks. I know many of you came out here tonight expecting to hear the latest and greatest on the development of Rising Angels: Fates, but there isn’t going to be a lot today. Between being a host to friends and family on this holiday weekend, I’ve been tied down with my day job. That means there isn’t a lot of time to write a solid weekly and my brain is too mushy to write something charming and witty. Gonna be short and brief tonight, we’ll get back to the regular show next week.

Wordcount: Couldn’t tell you, I’ve deleted and rewrote the same set of scenes more times than I care to count. For the regular viewers, you’ll remember that I do a lot of prep work going into a scene to keep rewrites to a minimum. While that is a key technique, it doesn’t work in all situations. I’m trying to wrap up the Bri VII scenes and I just can’t find a way that makes me satisfied that you, my dear readers, will enjoy. I think what I am going to do is just add some additional scenes to branch out the story in a direction that would allow the conflicts to resolve themselves. Part of the problem with writing branching stories is that you hit points where you should have an option, but having the option just messes up your existing flow. Natalie should be given a chance to survive her bad decisions, though you may have to work for your survival.

Gameplay: Anyone here a fan of 999 and Virtue’s Last Reward? I am! This may come as no surprise, but I’m a fan of puzzle solving and old school adventure games. That being said, we are now testing the implementation of some extra game features into Fates. In addition to the usual questioning and investigation sections, we were thinking about adding some puzzle solving parts since Natalie spends far too much of the game trying to escape both the authorities and the culprits. I’m currently playing code monkey to find a way to tie them together to create a seamless adventure of fun. Before I open the floor to opinions on inclusion of these extra features, I would like to get a working demo or play video to give people an idea of what they could be.

Art: Due to some health complications, we will soon be looking for another artist to assist our under-the-weather CG artist. If you are interested in working with us, please send an e-mail to overwatch@idhasstudios.com . We will be doing a formal offer posting in the upcoming week. Early warning, while we are not forecasting any possible delays to release, we will keep everyone posted if this does cause any issues.

Not the most positive weekly update, but there isn’t anything that Chief hasn’t seen and handled before. Now I need to go before someone uses fireworks to set something on fire. Until next time, Chief out.

For the video of the post, let’s have something overwhelmingly cheery to brighten the mood!