Fates Weekly Update #49

Hello, folks. Another short post day. D&D went really, really, really long tonight. This is the first time that we’ve technically posted after midnight on Sunday. I’m rather ashamed that I allowed myself to get so distracted and run over. If it makes any difference though, my characters got into an epic battle against a superpowered werebear drinking powerthirst and got turned into gooey paste against an arena wall. They paid for their dalliance with their lives… like some of the cast of Fates! I mean… let’s get to that update.

Wordcount: 2,358 Today’s topic: Name and Yoi: Since some of their scenes go outside of their assigned duties, extra outfits were needed. Name isn’t really the most fashionable nor does she often go out on the town. While she isn’t as much of a gamer as her sister, Name doesn’t really get out of the house much. I’d say she’s definitely more of a tomboy than Natalie; much more fond of tinkering and discovering the insides of how things work. Yoi on the other hand is a very much a social butterfly. In the visual novels alone, Yoi has flirted with pretty much every single major character. She likes to be fashionable (except when she’s on duty) and enjoys the presence of others. Though she is a bit callous at times, Yoi tries to be perceptive of the feelings of others (something she learns from her friendship with Faye in Red Rose/Hope).

During the adventures on Celestia, there are some moments after the excitement is said and done that Name gets a chance to take a night off. If you are on Yoi’s route, you get the option to accept a night on the town with the cheery half-elf. So far, it is one of the longest events I’ve written and is one of Yoi’s most important moments. Kind of funny to think that considering it is just a girl’s night out. When it comes to pre-existing canon, Name actually has two conflicting canon stories involving her romantic interests. The older canon, coming from the old novels, has Name and Anton getting together after Yoi and Anton’s relationship dissolving. The newer canon from the visual novels has a much stronger relationship between Yoi and Name, even if they bicker a bit and Yoi plays a lot of tricks on Name.

I guess that’s the magic of visual novels. I can explore the different possibilities that exist. While I do have to declare one of them canon in the end, I have to see them all before making any calls. The thing is… I’m thinking it is probably going to end up being… Faye. Faye’s just too adorable and she bonds a lot better with motherly Name. Just like most of her other relationships, I see Yoi’s bond with burning incredibly bright but quickly. Perhaps I will be wrong though. If the rest of her route is anything like this scene with Yoi doing what she does best to make Name smile after finding out the terrible news about her traitorous sister, there may be some staying power in their relation…

Enough about Name’s team, let’s show some Celestia WIP CG! There’s a lot of variations in this one, but you’ll have to wait until the release to see them all! There’s a lot of cute scenes between our investigators when those few moments arise when things aren’t exploding around them. Like a wise writer once told me, if the world doesn’t stop burning for a few moments your audience won’t have any stakes in seeing it peaceful once more.

Well, I’m on the borderline of collapse, so that’s all for this week. Stay tuned for more fun and excitement. Remember, next week will see the start of the Rising Angels Writing Contest. We thought we had a theme, but we went back to the drawing board to discuss it once more. Until then, Chief out!


Video of the post is… well, it was going to be the Powerthirst video for you new kids, but I try to keep the video o’ the post without any cursing. So, instead, you get… another D&D related video.

Fates Weekly Update #48

Hello, folks. Chief here with a very fuzzy, very spastic cat. He broke the rest off of my keyboard. I know I really needed to get a new keyboard that actually has all the keys and doesn’t stick, but it still had some life left in it. It’s a bit saddening to think that my old reliable keyboard has to go on to that broken bin in the sky… I just want to take a moment and honor its memory. Many good stories came from it.

Wordcount: 8,022; We are almost finally done with all of these endings. I can stop traumatizing myself with pitting them through such trials. It was a smart idea for me to leave most of the character route scenes for after the ending parts. That means I can write some cute and light scenes to balance out some of the dark stuff. As a writer, writing death and sadness can get to you after a while.

One thing the contest and a few other interactions have taught me is that Faye is the audience favorite for most adorable. I was thinking about that for a bit and wondered why Zuri didn’t rank anywhere near there. Maybe it is because of the lizard aspects, maybe it was the warrior mantra. One thing is for certain, I really want to explore more into Zuri’s day-to-day life. Though she would try to convince everyone otherwise, there really is a lot more to her than just training her body and mind to be a proper warrior. Natalie is probably the best thing for her to realize what she wants to be. And some moments that aren’t so life changing. I doubt Zuri has ever tried ice cream before. I think a nice brain-freezing moment is order.

Really in the mood to write cute slice of life for a bit…

Music update: Want to hear some of the soundtrack for Rising Angels: Fates?

Interested in getting that sneak peak? Thanks to Terranivium, you can!

Art contest update! The judging is in! Let’s take a look at our winners!

Third place was by far the hardest. There were a lot of entries that were fighting for it and it resulted in a lot of arguing among the judges. I mean, it got pretty bad there for a while. In the end, Mookie’s entry of Faye took the spot. While Faye was a common character in the contest, she’s also one of the most adorable characters in the series. The coloring was quite nice, giving the piece a very soft theme that felt quite fitting for Faye. Another thing is the stronger connection to the theme of heritage. In the end, this was the deciding factor. Faye’s heritage of basically being asleep 99% of everything that ever happens ever won the day.


Second place didn’t invoke as much fighting among the judges. Geckos’s entry jumped out to us because it was a comic. That might not seem like a big wow factor, but it was quite original and stood as an awesome idea to the judges. There’s a lot of little things that tied it to the games and some small details that impressed us. It took a moment for me to realize that the font that does look like how Natalie describe Chazari writing is actually readable and is a cute little love letter from Kika. There’s a pretty clear link to the heritage theme. Poor Kika, never knowing how to tell those around her what she really things.

First place… Notice how I talk about theme a lot in the previous two? Out of all the entries, Teresa’s entry stood above it all in that category. From bringing home strays to not getting changed before spending the day reading to not caging a bird but instead making a decorative one, there are a lot of little heritage details that stood out. The overall color scheme was soft on the eyes, the detail in the background was solid, the dog was adorable… All three of the judges were very impressed with the entry and unanimously voted it the winner of the Rising Angels Art Contest.

We had several of good entries in the contest. It was a great contest and I hope everyone had fun with it! We will be starting the writing contest in roughly two weeks.

That’s all for this week! Tune in next time for some more Rising Angels fun. Until then, Chief out!


Video of the post is related to some ideas we are tossing around for after Fates.

Fates Weekly Update #47

Hello, folks! Short post because D&D ended up running late. Just the updates, none of my usual witty banter. Okay, maybe a little.

Wordcount: Like last week, this was more of a coding nightmare week. The good news about coding in Renpy is that it is fairly easy to understand and adding voices is pretty easy. The bad news is that it is a lot of code. I mean a lot. Way too much.

Okay, so we have a hard number on the total of endings to Fates. There are ten unique endings with most of those endings having several different variants to how those endings play out. A lot of the variants are more dependent on who survives and what smaller clues you gathered.There are some pretty tough endings in that list, though not all of the bad ones are really that bad. You can still save the world even if you screw up badly, get people killed, and bungle proving who is right and who is wrong.

Voice acting: I’m happy to announce the new voice actors for Zuri and a previously unknown character named Elizabeth. Secrets, secrets…

Zuri: Lindsay Wells

Elizabeth: Stephanie Williams

Art contest update: The art contest ends in a couple of hours, so get those entries in now if you have them. I’m staying up pretty late tonight, so I’d say there is roughly 9 hrs or so to get entries in. The reason I use by the time I wake up instead of a fixed time is that my e-mail tends to randomize what time it thinks the e-mail arrived. It’s weird as heck.

We’ll announce the winners and talk about the contest next week!

Music update: The custom soundtrack is being mastered and almost finished. Fates currently has 17 different tracks for the game. Depending on how things go, we will be attempting to increase that number.

Order of Ataxia update: This is the last few days for the Order of Ataxia: Initial Effects kickstarter! While it isn’t just your old friend Chief at the writing wheel, it has some remarkable talent and an enjoyable storyline planned. If you can help, we would be appreciative.

Okay, that’s it for this week. Until next time, Chief out!

Video of the post is something that was very much related to tonight’s D&D campaign.

Fates Weekly Update #46

Hey, folks. So, I took a day off from development this week. Why? Because it was my birthday and I turned… I’ll let you all guess. Mostly because I don’t remember myself. It was some time after the Wright Brothers invented the airplane. Back in those days, we did all our coding on paper and used puppets for our sprites. Oh those were the days…

Wordcount: There wasn’t any writing this week. No, this was a nearly full editing and coding week. As we are nearing the release date, I’m putting away my keyboard and… putting the keyboard back out to fix all of the mistakes I made while typing. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but being half-asleep has a direct impact on writing. While it does make me quite a bit more creative and willing to try new ideas and incorporate them into the story, those words don’t always make it down on paper quite right. By quite right, I mean I’ll write half of one sentence and change to another sentence halfway through. It may have made sense at the time, but…

Also playing a lot of code monkey this week as well. Since the voices for Act 1 and Act 2 came in, there is a lot of coding that needs to be done so the voices play right during the game. You can’t tell how well the voices did if you can’t see them in action, right? Well, that also means getting all the sprites properly coded in. Lots of code. Lots and lots of coding. Very repetitive coding as well. But that’s how it goes when you make a visual novel.

Voice acting update: Auditions for Elizabeth and the recast for Zuri have closed! We should have a casting update for everyone soon.

Art contest update: This is the final week of the Rising Angels art contest. That’s right, if you have an entry that you want to submit, this is the final seven days to do so! We will be accepting entries up until the moment I manage to roll out of bed next Sunday morning.

Rising Angels: Hope update: Hope was nicknamed because of my hope that we could finally see the story that I originally wanted to tell. Not living up to the name. These CG delays have driven me mad, I swear. Since the artist has again failed to deliver, I am hunting down a CG artist to help me complete the remaining illustrations and finally put this story to bed.

Short story update: I got a pretty large number of people who wanted to hear the Sol manifesto, which caught me a bit off-guard. It was a bit of a joke because Sol gives Faye that manifesto in Hope and I really didn’t intend to write another one. Don’t worry, you all will get that soon. The other idea thrown out there was a story involving Faye and Kika. We might be giving Faye and Kika some time off to have their own little vacation. I’m considering possible locations to drop them into. Maybe something a little more… exotic than the usual settings. We’ve got some fun locales in the universe that haven’t been visited in years.

That’s all for this week! Remember, one week left for the contest. The writing contest will be starting in a few weeks as well. Until then, Chief out.


Video of the post is a great birthday song.

Fates Weekly Update #45

Hello, folks. Short update this week as we continue the slow trot towards release. SGDQ was going on this week, I hope you all were able to take the time to support the good cause and catch some awesome speed runs!

Word count: 5,092; After the week of romance with Sol, I returned to the core story. There are so many different ways to enter Act 4 that I’ll be writing this section for quite a while. The different options that you gather in the previous acts all come to a climax in the final act. While I love the various scenarios that opens up, it makes a dozen and a half possible ways to get into the act. Different version do have some similarities, but most of them have major differences. For example, having Faye not be with the party means that one of your strongest proponents for peace between the parties isn’t there. Without her there, the difficulty of brokering a ceasefire between Natalie and Name increases a lot.

While there is an ending that I would consider the best (everyone survives and the culprits are stopped), I wouldn’t say there are any truly bad endings. Don’t get me wrong, a pretty large majority of the possible endings aren’t incredibly positive. Based on who makes it and what clues you have gathered at the ending, you’ll be forced to make some pretty hard choices on what you have to sacrifice. Heck, you might not even want to prevent the end of space travel by the time you get there. In short, there really is no right choice, just what lengths that you, the player, are willing to go.

The ending I’ve been working on this week is one where both sisters manage to gather enough clues to understand what is going on, but somehow managed to get there with absolutely no party members left. That’s right, you can get there with Anton, Yoi, Syl, Faye, Sol, Kika, Zuri, and Alexi dead (Eve and Akurel having left). I’d say it might be the hardest ending to get because you have to make some terrible choices, but somehow survive them. It’s written so you can’t slip up, else one or both of them perish to their mistakes. It’s pretty heartfelt for both of them, seeing what you’ve had to lose to get to that point. There’s no happy end for the romance routes, but you can see the story to a satisfying conclusion by saving the world with no massive losses of life. I’m pretty fond of this ending, honestly, though I don’t know if I’d say it is my favorite one without writing the rest of them.

I think I am going to alternate writing endings, bounce back and forth between the lighter and heavier endings. As good at suppressing emotion as I am, I don’t think I can keep writing the darker endings one after another.

-I am still taking suggestions for the side story. Nobody ended up sending me any thing they’d like to see for the public story that will be included in the short stories book. Doesn’t have to be canon, it can be some fun little alt universe story. If nobody gives me any ideas by next week, I’m gonna write Sol’s Manifesto on Why Lupide Are Not Cute.

That’s it for the week, I’m afraid. This week was mostly just a lot of writing. Next week we should have something more interesting to talk about than the many terrible decisions that await you should you let Faye die. Until then, Chief out!