Fates Weekly Update #63

Hello, folks. I’d break out in holiday songs, but I am still federally banned from any form of singing. Apparently it is a crime against nature when I sing. I’m a bit offended, really. It just isn’t the same without going around sing carols and having people pay me to stop. So, instead, we will start off today with a special drawing done by Fates’s CG artist, Tscbr!

Fates Weekly Updates have been moved to Sunday! Due to a lot of scheduling conflicts, it was getting a lot harder to get them done in a reasonable time, so we planned to move them to Sunday. It was supposed to happen at the start of the year, but we came to the conclusion that there was no point in waiting.

Writing: Do you know there will be a time in the future when Rising Angels: Fates will be complete with the writing? Reflecting on the endings brought that up with me. When you’ve been writing the same story for over a year, you start thinking that there is never going to be an end to it. Visual novels are long and it is a lot of time spent seeing the same characters, the same story. Drives you a bit batty after a while. It’s like a never-ending tunnel that goes on and on forever, even though the light gradually gets brighter.

Why am I talking about this sort of madness? Because we’ve been considering where the story is going to go after we conclude Fates. My original intent was to completely wrap up Natalie’s story and retire her as a character. People deserve to relax after saving the world after all. Don’t want to be Han Solo, the 70-year-old smuggler. The problem is… there are two endings in Fates that don’t nicely wrap up the story. The first one is a smaller ending on one of the severely tragic routes. There’s no clean ending there and it leaves itself open for more Natalie adventures in a pretty dark and grizzly setting. It’s fun designing a true criminal underworld in the RA universe. The other ending… is the true ending. As I was writing out the last little bits, I had a sudden moment of pure and shining inspiration. I mean it was amazing, lit the whole apartment up like a spotlight. It tied a lot of loose ends and weaker plot elements into a grand finale. The problem is… it screams sequel.

What does this mean? The Rising Angels series is unlikely to end with the conclusion of Fates. I don’t know if the tunnel just got longer or brighter, but I don’t like letting things end with loose ends. As the art assets start to wrap up, we will begin drawings on the next adventure to come. As for the writing, we will be here on that march towards Natalie saving the world from an ancient superweapon and Name saving the world from Natalie.

Rising Angels: Hope: Okay, we are making the official announcement! Rising Angels: Hope will be making its release in early February for backers and donators! Everyone else will get it shortly after. We discussed it a long time, but we are 100% committed to releasing it for free. That’s right, you can get the completely revamped and redone adventures of Faye Moonfallow without paying a penny. Quite exciting!

Discussion: There has been a proposed idea in the studio. With all elements of Fates Act 1 almost coming together finally, the idea was floated that we could release each act of Fates’s 4 acts separately, 1 every 1.5-2 months. Each act would be roughly a couple hours per route. With Steam, we could do it with relative ease with updates.


-Fates in your hands faster

-Smaller pieces for those of you like me who can’t sink a lot of time into games in any one sitting (until it was fully released; then you’d have to marathon it)


-There’d be stops for those of you who want to marathon

-It would be that nasty e-word.

We’d like to hear your thoughts on it. Would you like to see a staggered release for Fates so you have fun yuri adventures during the drought or would you like us to keep holding on to all the cards until we have a full release?

That’s all for this week. Once again, I hope you all are having fun and exciting holidays! Until next time, Chief out!


Video o’ the post needs to be something festive!

Order of Ataxia: Initial Effects Monthly Update #3

Hello, folks. Chief here today after slipping off to see the new Star Wars movie. This has been a record year for me actually getting out to see movies in the theaters with a whopping two movies! It is a pretty good inspiration, honestly. I’m thinking that Fallore really needs a lightsaber now. Not because she can use the force or is a talented swordswoman, but because it would make Charles jealous and that alone would be worth it to her. Fallore Skywalker: Goddess of the Force. Sounds like a possible sequel to this… but it is too early to think of that when we have updates to give!

Release date: So the original intent was to get everything out by mid-late this month. As we are pretty much sitting on that date, it is safe to assume that we are not going to be able to release on-time. I apologize for this as there have been some small hiccups that have breed a few delays. Good news is that they aren’t major delays and we are still moving somewhat close to a regular schedule. Most of the pieces of the puzzle are done and most of what awaits us is getting it put all together. I don’t like delays, even small ones like this, but they happen and we are pushing everything as hard as we can to get completed. Our new forecast is mid-January, so this should hopefully be the last monthly update you see before the release.

Writing: Poor Fuzai has been suffering from life for the past month, so the old man had to step in to help get things back on track. That means the last month was focused on editing and coding. We’ve been fleshing out some of the new tricks we’ve learned in Renpy to make the transitions and GUI a bit smoother. What does this mean to you? Hopefully not a lot. Programming is one of those things that is so rarely noticed when it is done well. The editing, however, should be a lot more noticeable. That late night writing, while often highly creative and interesting, does not always translate as readable when the morning comes around. With the writing almost finished up and the editing mostly done, we are about ready to call the writing section of this visual novel completed.

Characters: Thanks to the generous support from our backers, we were able to add a couple of extra characters to the game. It was almost perfect that each character’s description lent themselves well to a particular character. Since there were three backer characters for four routes, we decided to also bring in an RP character of mine to round out the support cast. Though these are just sketches and we are still working on getting the exact details down, here’s some of the new folks joining the cast.


Additional voice acting auditions will be going live soon. With these extra backer characters and a couple of characters who weren’t voiced before, we will be reopening the voice acting auditions for the minor characters starting tomorrow. The roles are fairly small with a limited number lines, but it is another opportunity for those actors who want to help give life to the story. Stay tuned for the audition information dropping tomorrow here.

CG: We are on the last set of CG for the game! I’m quite happy with how they are turning out, hopefully you will be as well! As for this one… Like the fire elemental, you get this one completely out of context…

Just a couple more weeks and Order of Ataxia: Initial Effects should be in your hands! Not quite a Christmas present, but something to offset those post-holiday days.


For the video of the post, let’s celebrate some Star Wars.

Fates Weekly Update #62

Hello, folks. Do you know what really grinds my gears? Moving. There’s nothing worse than having to pack up and find somewhere new to live. With my contract coming to an end soon, I’m going to head back to the midwest. That means I have to find somewhere to live from 1000 miles away. It’s like throwing a dart at the board and hoping you’re going to hit the small spot with the good apartments. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to do that in a fantasy space setting. How did Natalie pack up and move from her backwater station to her position aboard the Nimross? We’ll find out in the next Rising Angels game! Maybe. Not at all. Let’s talk about some more realistic things in development.

Writing: This week was a great week for writing. I rarely get inspired and have time to write. They generally are mutually exclusive things. Time to do anything is a rarity and finding the time to put in the hours is sometimes incredibly difficult. It’s such a rare thing that I am taking off 45 days in late January into early March that will be devoted straight to writing. If I can’t get things done with that amount of time, I’ll be amazed. But my work-cation isn’t what I wanted to talk about. No, what I wanted to talk about is the 38,915 wordcount we managed to get this week. That’s right, things got done this week. Some of that was Order of Ataxia and RA: Hope, but the majority of it was our beloved Fates.

The ending has been troubling me. I didn’t like how it ended. There were so many open threads and it didn’t quite wrap up the way I wanted it. With everything that was going on around it, a clean simple “Bam! You win!” ending just didn’t fit the feel of the story. Natalie’s struggle has always been against the odds with enemies in the shadows. In Reborn, the enemy sat right out in front and was so obvious that you’d think he was almost acting like it… Fates has the enemy forces more… unknown. More ambiguous until the end. When it wraps up, I want you to know who you faced, why you faced them, and at what cost. That “AH-HAH!!!” moment was missing from the previous end. You did the thing and everyone ate cookies.

I’m not even sure what triggered the moment of inspiration. Maybe it was the copious amounts of confusion in my life, but I had a sudden epiphany in the madness. The Rising Angels series has always been about making personal choices in the chaos that is life. Good or bad, right or wrong, the choices that Natalie and Faye have had to make were always important things to their lives. That’s how I wanted Fates to end. What sort of victory matters to you. So I have the canon ending of Fates now. The die has been cast and perhaps will take Natalie on one more adventure. It ties in a lot of the less mentioned plot threads and draws the series one step closer towards the true foe of life.

CG: We’ve almost hit the point where the required CG for Fates are finished. It’s quite heartening to see the end of another key part of Fates. We are still planning on slipping more in there as time allows since writing is still in that sprint to catch up. A couple weeks ago we shared a cute one with dear adorable Faye recovering in a bed in the Nimross. This week, you get to see the completed version of it!

Rising Angels: Hope: After losing some hope (I need my puns) early in the year when things went wacky, Hope is rapidly making progress towards release. A couple CG illustrations have been completed and all the basic sketches have been done. There’s some fun going on in the old R&D about making a time management sim in there where you play Faye trying to keep everyone on course for passing, but it will probably come out after the remake is finished. Time to repel that feature creep! There are also some weird things going on with R&D as well. Something about a yaoi version with a genderbender… I don’t know. The head of IDHAS R&D is a madman who has odd whims when he gets to coding.

That’s all for this week. Still working the details for the writing job, so that should be posted on the studio site tomorrow. Until next time, Chief out!

Some various talks this week have led to this video o’ the post.

Fates Weekly Update #61

Hello, folks. Sorry for last week. I don’t often get to take full holidays off, so I decided to take advantage of it. One of the few homecooked meals I’ve had in years! Most Thanksgivings I’m out on the road for my job or unable to leave the local area to go visit family. This is the first time in 7 years I’ve been with family for Thanksgiving. I hope my United States readers were able to have a good holiday as well. Sadly (or thankfully for you readers), my vacation for Christmas got cancelled, so I will be here with you all per usual for the rest of the year.

Katajion Defense Force team has had their route decided. As was talked about earlier, we decided to change up the canon route since it was decided that Anton/Name wasn’t going to be a romantic route. The votes are in and the new canon route for Name Puccile is… Yoi. It was one of the rare moments where there was a heavy enough vote in one direction that I didn’t have to intercede. I know there will be a fair bit of disappointment in Faye losing that spot, but her route will still be there in the commercial version. Faye isn’t going anywhere… Assuming you’re doing it right.

Writing: One of the things mentioned a lot is the interest in the personality differences between Yoi and Name. There’s a lot of them out there. The most obvious one is the difference in work ethic. If she isn’t on a mission, Yoi is probably the biggest slacker in the RA series. Showing up for work? If she can get out of bed on-time. Writing reports? Reports are boring, but she totally filed them… didn’t you get it? Must be some sort of lag in the network. If it isn’t fun or her primary job of putting the bullet in the bad men, Yoi might not get around to doing it. When compared to the very orderly Name, who would rather break time and space than miss a deadline, there’s some conflict. Working with Yoi drives Name crazy.

But for all of their differences in work philosophy, I’d have to say that Yoi and Name share a lot more than Faye and Name do. The first and most obvious is their shared history. Since she took her first assignment, they’ve been together. Just like Syl was Anton’s bodyguard and shooter, Yoi is Name’s. Makes you wonder whose Natalie’s is… The second one is their childhood of being shunted out of the limelight. Name had to grow up under her big sister Natalie’s shadow. Even though she loves her, Name has always wanted to make that step up and be recognized as the greater of the two. Being a half-elf meant that Yoi grew up as a shame on her society. Always shunted, always mocked, Yoi tried to not let it get to her. Being a social butterfly, however, Yoi ended up hiding a lot of pain and distress behind her laughter and smiles. By taking dangerous and unusual assignments, she tried to make people respect her… or be remembered in death for being a true ranger.

Which I guess brings us to their biggest similarity that ties them together. Both of them want someone who they know always has their back. With the exception of Faye, Yoi never really had anyone she felt she could open her heart up to. Name led a fairly reclusive life and most people ended up keeping their distance from the often brash hermit. Both had their masks to hide from the isolation and disappointment in their lots. That’s why I’m quite fond of their route together as they force themselves through this turbulent investigation. They might have a lot of superficial differences when it comes to keeping the office tidy or that Bubbles is much cuter than Name’s fat cat, but they are close friends where it counts.

IDHAS Studios is planning on hiring a second writer to help get things done a little bit faster. The second writer is going to assist with some of the investigation scenes and a character route. We are currently running the numbers on the budget to see what we can support. Details will be posted up on the studio website and Lemmasoft Forums this week.

Bit of a short week, but I’m now trying to cope with the fact that both protagonists are blonde and both canon love interests have green hair. Rather unintentional. Anyway, until next time, Chief out!

This week’s video of the post is one I’ve been meaning to share for a while.